Shared during March and April 2020
still brooding over the world -
We hear the cry of the earth,
we see the sorrow of the land
raped and plundered by our greed
for its various resources.
We hear the cry of the waters,
we see the sorrow of stream and ocean
polluted by poisons
we release into them.
We hear the cry of the animals,
we see the sorrow of bird, fish and beast
needlessly suffering and dying
to serve our profit or sport or vanity.
Please teach us
a proper sensitivity
towards your feeling creation
a proper simplicity
in the way we live in our environment
a proper appreciation
of the connectedness of all things
a proper respect
for the shalom of the universe.
We turn from our arrogant ways
to seek you again, creator of all life.
Redeem us – and redeem your world
and heal its wounds and dry its tears.
May our response to you bear fruit
in a fresh sense of responsibility
towards everything you have created.
A lovely illustration sent by Caroline McFarlane
Liz Pollard found this on a site from Skipton, Yorkshire and thought it was really thought provoking, so sent it to her daughter who is a teacher. At the time she was balancing teaching some children in class, while others were at home learning via a Web link. She liked it too, and it inspired her to ask her 11 year old pupils to write their own poems about how they feel at the moment with what’s going on in the world. Perhaps we’ll get to read some of their work some time….
No ones told the daffodils about the pause to Spring
And no ones told the birds to or ask them not to sing
No ones asked the lazy Bee to cease his bumbling round
And no ones stopped the bright green shoots emerging from the ground
No ones told the sap to rest, deep within the wood
And stop the sleeping trees from waking wreathed about in bud
No ones told the sky douse its brightest shades of blue
And stop the scudding clouds from puffing headlong into view
No ones asked the lambs to still the springs beneath their feet
To stop their rapid rush and quell each joyful bleat
No ones told the stream to halt its gurgle or its flow
No ones asked the raindrops not to fall upon the earth
And fail to quench the soil in the season of rebirth
No ones locked the sun down, or dimmed the shimmer of the moon
And even in the darkest night the stars are still immune
Remember what you value, remember who is dear
Close the doors to danger and keep your family near
In the quiet all around us take time to sit and stare
And wonder at the glory unfurling everywhere
Look towards the future, after the ordeal
And keep faith in mother natures power and will to heal.
To all at St Andrews...what a testing time this has been and the not knowing how long we are going to be in lockdown..There are so many people out there to be thanking for their help as the virus has taken hold..God bless them for their bravery. For ourselves within the Chaplaincy,as I sit around doing nothing, I know there are people working hard to keep us United, thank you,i am sure from us all. However,I need to say to Fr Nigel and to Sue Brown,thank you so much for all you are doing , as the days & weeks go by you are giving us such pleasure out of the horror that is Coronavirus..God Bless each and everyone of us ,and keep safe.......Sheila Allison.
I would like to share this beautiful Irish prayer/song with you ( I was born and raised in Liverpool so 3/4 Irish). This prayer has helped me through many difficult periods in life. Its seems very appropriate for our chaplaincy during these worrying times.
May the road rise to meet you
May the wind be always at your back
May the sun shine warm upon your face
And the rain fall soft upon your fields
And until WE MEET AGAIN
MAY GOD HOLD YOU in the palm of his hands
With a hug from Pauline Hulme (Calahonda)
On this very dark and dismal morning I went through the Sunday Service again.
Joined in the singing with the Hymns on Youtube. Took the time (which we all have) to read all the poems on the web site.
What a wonderful Chaplaincy family we have. I do believe God will keep us safe until we emerge at the end as better more thoughtful people.
Take care of each other.
Love Joan GS
People do sometimes doubt their faith because their prayers have not been answered.
It can take a day, a week, a month, years or even a life time.!!
Because I am one of the older communicates, I am able to speak from many years of personal experience.
Just believe and never doubt!
Sent by Jen Sutton....
The other morning I was eating my regular breakfast of porridge with a yogurt, banana, fresh raspberries and blueberries. I’m told it’s healthy as blueberries are very high in antioxidants to help keep us clear from heart disease and cancer, so we go through a fair few kilos in the year!
However, one morning, much to my surprise, I found one of my blueberries had a number on it. No doubt, this number is a batch number or a grower number, but I can’t imagine the engineering behind such a machine that can pick out one berry and write the number on the side in tiny numbers.
But it made me think of Jesus encouraging his disciples as he was sending them out to a potentially worrying situation. They were sent out to heal the sick and to cast out demons so they were likely to meet some lively opposition but Jesus was was encouraging them not to be afraid of those they would come up against. Matthew tells us what Jesus said in chapter 10 and verse 30 of his gospel, he told them “Even the very hairs on your head are all numbered. So don’t be afraid...” (You can read more about this in Matthew Chapter 10 )
In this time of crisis, we would be foolish to not be careful and cautious when we go outside our home and we would not be alone to admit we are anxious about the future, but these words should surely comfort us to not be afraid.
Elsewhere in Psalm 121 we are told God knows “ our going out and our coming in”. In other words, He knows us and He loves us and looks over us.
Just as that little blueberry is numbered, so are the hairs on our head. We are not an anonymous number, like Patrick MacGoohan in The Prisoner when he railed against his captors, (“I am not a number”), rather we are known to God as a parent knows their children.
So let us also be encouraged. Jesus said in Matthew Chapter 10 v29 :
Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? Yet not one of them will fall to the ground apart from the will of your Father. .......... (v31) So do not be afraid; you are worth more than many
It was Harold Wilson who allegedly said that ‘a week is a long time in politics’. In these recent momentous days, it looks as if that should be reduced to five minutes.
In the space of a very short time, life has been turned upside-down. Work, school, family life, daily routines, leisure activities, as well as that number one pastime – shopping – have changed for all of us, almost overnight.
It’s easy to see why our nation – nay, our world – is uneasy.
You may feel it yourself, identify it in friends and colleagues, or see it reflected in your social media feeds.
We’re experiencing what theologian David Ford has called ‘multiple overwhelmings’.
Whether personally, professionally, or politically, it’s one thing to have a single event that knocks us off our feet.
But what if the knocks continue to come thick and fast?
Is it any wonder we’re confused, anxious, distrustful, and fearful?
In all this, though, shafts of light manage to break through – the neighbours forming WhatsApp groups to support people in their street, the already-exhausted NHS workers coming in for the next shift, the rainbows in windows of houses saying more than the occupants of those homes perhaps know about the commitment of God to his creation.
They’re all traces of grace, showing something of a refusal to be shaped by the prevailing culture, which Christians of all people should understand.
Because while some ‘overwhelmings’ wound and crush us, others are life-giving and transformative.
As David Ford says, the wisest way to cope is ‘not to expect to be in control of everything’, but ‘to live amidst the overwhelmings’ in a way that lets one of them shape the others.
During this period of Lent, Christians remember that Christ himself embodied ‘multiple overwhelmings’ – baptised in the Jordan, driven into the wilderness, tempted by the devil.
Then, at the climax of his life, betrayed, deserted, tortured, crucified.
But, as Ford writes, ‘then came the resurrection, the most disorienting and transformative overwhelming of all’.
Given that death-and-resurrection pattern, what would it look like at this time to be overwhelmed with an assurance of God’s love?
Overwhelmed with gratitude?
Overwhelmed by generosity?
Overwhelmed by a commitment to pray?
Overwhelmed by a desire to see others thrive, even if it comes at our expense?
Given the resources available to us in the gospel, what might we be overwhelmed by today?
Sent in from Lesley Berridge who runs Age Care in Calahonda
This beautiful prayer was written by an Italian priest who is self-isolating at the moment and very sadly lost his own brother a few days ago to Covid-19...
I'm staying at home, Lord!
I'm staying at home, Lord! And today, I realise, you taught me this, remaining obedient to the Father, for thirty years in the house of Nazareth, waiting for the great mission.
I stay at home, Lord, and in Joseph's studio, your keeper and mine, I learn to work, to obey, to round the corners of my life and prepare you a work of art.
I'm staying at home, Lord! And I know that I am not alone because Mary, like any mother, is in the next room, doing chores and preparing lunch for all of us, God's family.
I'm staying at home, Lord! And I do it responsibly for my own good, for the health of my city, for my loved ones, and for the good of my brother, whom you have put beside me, asking me to take care of him in the garden of life.
I'm staying at home, Lord! And in the silence of Nazareth, I pledge to pray, to read, study, meditate, be useful for small jobs, in order to make our home more beautiful and more welcoming.
I'm staying at home, Lord! And in the morning, I thank you for the new day you give me, trying not to spoil it and welcome it with wonder, as a gift and an Easter surprise.
I'm staying at home, Lord! And at noon I will receive the greeting of the angel, I will make myself useful for love, in communion with you who have made you flesh to live among us; and, tired of the journey, thirsty, I will meet you at Jacob's well, and thirsty for love on the Cross.
I'm staying at home, Lord! And if the evening takes me melancholy, I will invoke you like the disciples of Emmaus: stay with us, the evening has arrived and the sun sets.
I'm staying at home, Lord! And in the night, in communion of prayer with the many sick, the lonely and all the caregivers, I will wait for the dawn to sing your mercy again and tell everyone that, in the storms, you have been my refuge.
I'm staying at home, Lord! And I don't feel alone and abandoned, because you told me: I'm with you every day. yes, and especially in these days of confusion, O Lord, in which, if my presence is not necessary, I will reach everyone,
only with the wings of prayer. Amen.
(with thanks to Redemptorist Publications)
My Forever Friend ( one of my favorites to sing )
Here is one verse and chorus of three
By Charlie Landsborough
A Christian, Country singer
Everybody needs a little help sometimes
No one stands alone
Makes no difference if you’re just a child like me
Or a king upon a throne
For there are no exceptions we all stand in the line
Everybody needs a friend
Let me tell you of MINE
He’s my forever friend
My leave me never friend
From darkest nights to rainbows end
He’s my forever friend
Sent from Pauline Hulme (Calahonda)
Following the sudden and unexpected death of our dear friend Betty Frost, a Service of Thanksgiving will be held at Los Boliches after the lockdown period has ended and we are able to gather for worship once more. The date and time will be arranged when it is possible for members of Betty’s family to travel and is convenient for them to attend.
An Easter Blessing for you:
May the risen Lord Jesus
Bless you with
His compassionate Love
His perfect Peace
His abiding Presence
His faithful Friendship
His gentle Grace
And His saving Strength
And by the power of
His eternal Spirit
All these in your life
This Easter time
Lovely poem sent by Thea Jenkins
In a time of distance
The unexpected always happens in the way
The unexpected has always occurred:
While we are doing something else,
While we are thinking of altogether
Different things – matters that events
Then show to be every bit as unimportant
As our human concerns so often are;
And then, with the unexpected upon us,
We look at one another with a sort of surprise;
How could things possibly turn out this way
When we are so competent, so pleased
With the elaborate systems we’ve created –
Networks and satellites, intelligent machines,
Pills for every eventuality – except this one?
And so we turn again to face one another
And discover those things
We had almost forgotten,
But that, mercifully, are still there:
Love and friendship, not just for those
To whom we are closest, but also for those
Whom we do not know and of whom
Perhaps we have in the past been frightened;
The words brother and sister, powerful still,
Are brought out, dusted down,
Found to be still capable of expressing
What we feel for others, that precise concern;
Joined together in adversity
We discover things we had put aside:
Old board games with obscure rules,
Books we had been meaning to read,
Letters we had intended to write,
Things we had thought we might say
But for which we never found the time;
And from these discoveries of self, of time,
There comes a new realisation
That we have been in too much of hurry,
That we have misused our fragile world,
That we have forgotten the claims of others
Who have been left behind;
We find that out in our seclusion,
In our silence; we commit ourselves afresh,
We look for a few bars of song
That we used to sing together,
A long time ago; we give what we can,
We wait, knowing that when this is over
A lot of us – not all perhaps – but most,
Will be slightly different people,
And our world, though diminished,
Will be much bigger, its beauty revealed afresh
Alexander McCall Smith published 19th March