Thursday, 18 June 2015
Reverend Cate Edmonds
The Rectory, Station Road,
How lovely it is as I write this to see blue sky with just a wisp of cloud from my office window. When I woke up early this morning to walk the new addition to our family the air was fresh, the sky was blue, the sun was just rising to shine and the world looked wonderful, I appreciated my walk and the world around me. It might sound rather romantic and I’m sure we all appreciate how fortunate we are to live in this peaceful part of the world.
I have to say having a new 4 legged friend, by the way she is a black collie named Sasha, has made me go for longer walks than our old dogs could cope with. It’s such a good way to spend some time in thought. One train of thought was about Sasha; she was nearly 8 months old when we got her, she had had no training at all and certainly was unsure about what was right and wrong. So she needs a guiding hand to teach her, if left untrained she certainly could not become part of the family, she needs to learn the rules of the home and community so that she can become a considerate and useful member, taking an active part in our lives. My train of thought moved onto humans, we too need a guiding hand from time to time; we need training not just in the physical things of life but in the spiritual and moral ways of the world. Without a guiding hand, teaching and example we run the risk of being out of control and not “house/community trained”. We all have the guiding hand of God available to us to guide, protect, to steer us on the right path and help us to develop our moral code. As Christians we follow the teachings of Jesus as our training manual, yes sometimes we have “accidents” and make mistakes but like any good dog owner/trainer God forgives us and lets us try again perhaps a bit harder.
I am really appreciating this extra time I have for reflection, (whether I will on a cold wet winter morning, we’ll wait and see) but I know it’s good for us all to take time to think about our place in the world and perhaps what additional training we need. Not everyone will appreciate my canine analogies but we can learn from a range of people, situations and things and I hope you may get the meaning and don’t forget DOG spelt backwards is GOD
Every blessing, Rev Cate
Posted by Christine Gibbins at 15:22
Tuesday, 16 June 2015
a coloured image,
or an opening on another world
with special reference
Friday 24th July 7.00pm
in aid of church funds
Tickets £10 to include wine and light snacks available from Chris and Lindsay Saunders on 01404 812962 and Judy Davis on 01404 812739
Posted by Christine Gibbins at 08:50
Friday, 12 June 2015
Usually on the second Sunday of each month we have at St Andrews a 10.30 service called Morning Worship, this service cannot taken by Rev. Cate as she is taking a service at Payhembury at the same time.
The only Communion service for the three parishes on the second Sunday has until now been held at Escot at 9 a.m., but most parishioners from Feniton or Payhembury who wish to have a Communion service are reluctant to move their place of worship.
So for a trial period of three months we are holding a 9 a.m Holy Communion at St Andrews hoping that being in the middle of our church group will prove to be more convenient to members of all three parishes. This service will be taken by Rev Cate.
Escot church members have been very accommodating in taking part in this trial run.
We hope that you will be able to attend or at least make comment on this change of venue
Rev. Cate and the PCC.
Posted by Christine Gibbins at 19:32
Tuesday, 26 May 2015
Tuesday, 19 May 2015
We have just passed Whit Sunday, did you notice? Sadly it passes many people by. Some of you may remember that we used to have a moveable Bank Holiday which was usually referred to as Whit Monday as it followed Whit Sunday and this was the start of the school summer half term holiday. Whit Sunday or Pentecost as it is referred to in the Bible is 50 days after Jesus rose from the dead on Easter Day. Easter is calculated by the movement of the Moon and therefore so is Pentecost or Whit Sunday. However in 1971 it was decided to fix the date of this bank holiday for convenience and it became known as the Spring Bank Holiday and so the association with Whit Sunday and thus with Pentecost was lost and for many it was only a memory.
Why Whit Sunday you may ask, well it is commonly believed that as people were often baptized/christened on that day and the tradition was to wear white so the word Whit was derived from white.
Why you may ask were baptisms/christening taking place on that day? The answer is is the other name for that day, Pentecost. The Day of Pentecost was the birthday of the Church, when Jesus followers were together after he had returned to heaven, they we waiting for something special. It came in the form of a rushing wind and tongues of flame settling on the disciples. They were filled with the Holy Spirit and were enabled to teach and travel around the world telling the stories and teachings of Jesus and so the early church was born.
Christians believe that the Holy Spirit is the presence of God with us every day and if we are open to His spirit we produce fruit, that is we can demonstrate it by 9 attributes; love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, humility, and self-control.
I don’t know about you but I think these are good attributes for all of us to have whether we are Christian or not. Whether we remember Whit Sunday, Pentecost or the coming of the Holy Spirit it’s certainly worth remembering the fruit of the spirit and if we worked hard at these I think the World would be a better place don’t you?
Every blessing, Rev Cate
Posted by Christine Gibbins at 19:45
Monday, 20 April 2015
Spring has certainly arrived, hasn’t it? The weather up to now has been very kind to us, perhaps by the time you read this it will be raining, but I hope not.
Certainly the weather has been great for the first few weddings of the season. I’m sure we all love a good wedding, when we are celebrating the love shared by a couple and which they are openly declaring as they publically commit themselves to each other. That love which they share of course comes directly from God though Jesus Christ, through his death and resurrection which we celebrate particularly at Easter.
At Easter we fill our churches with flowers in celebration just as we fill the churches with flowers at weddings in celebration. Somehow the sight and smell of floral arrangements lift our spirits and help us feel that there is something special happening. Celebrating God’s love for us all is certainly something very special and even though the blooms die away, God’s love for each and every one of us doesn’t, it’s there for us forever.
Often when I’m talking to children about God’s love I try to get them to understand that it’s not soppy, it’s not about hearts and chocolates etc but about actions, kind deeds. We can see love being shared in the way that people behave with each other and when God’s love is shared we find that the world around us is a happier place. A kindly smile and a helping hand are particularly good ways of sharing the love of God.
When the risen Jesus Christ appeared to his disciples he breathed on them and said “peace be with you”. We too can breathe God’s love on others not a literal breath but a kindly thought or action.
If there was more breathing of God’s love around the world I am sure we wouldn’t have as much pain and suffering that we see every day.
The blooms of celebration open up and smile at us, perhaps we too can open up and smile more frequently and we might notice a lifting of the collective spirit.
Every blessing, Rev Cate
Posted by Christine Gibbins at 22:15
Friday, 13 February 2015
I came across this comment the other day by Jimmy Chapman, “Disagreements between people are going to happen. It’s human nature to disagree with one another at times because we are different people! We are made out of the same stuff, but we are different people in spirit, attitude, thinking, etc.”
This got me thinking, when we look at the news or read our papers there are reported so many disagreements. In fact it often appears that the media only like to report on disagreements rather than agreements, there are of course exceptions.
Disagreements are going to happen but it is the way we deal with them that is important. People have strong views about certain issues and emotions can run high, but there are always two sides to an argument/ disagreement and both views need to be aired equally and most importantly listened to. It is when the two parties don’t except that others may have a view that problems occur and we can all see the consequences of this is the many areas of conflict around the world.
It is about respecting other views even when they differ so much from our own. We are always keen to teach our children about respecting others opinions but do we remember to do it ourselves? Are we sometimes too ready to jump to conclusions before finding out all the details? (I know I can be guilty of this!)
I was once given a tip about going for a difficult interview, I was told not to answer the questions too quickly but to pause for just a moment to collect my thoughts and that the answers would be so much better. It worked. Sometimes I think we need to stop and pause for just a moment before responding to an opinion different than ours to avoid upset and discord. Sometimes we need to think about how our opinions may be received by others. This can be a difficult task but one which I pray I can do better at.
I pray that you, the media and particularly politicians too may just pause for reflection occasionally and those disagreements may not have escalate into the dramatic consequences we see reported on a daily basis.
Every blessing, Rev Cate
Posted by Christine Gibbins at 09:55
Wednesday, 31 December 2014
As I write this letter we are quickly approaching that mad and frenetic time of year – Christmas. Prior to this we have the lead up period of preparation which in the church is known as Advent. Traditionally at this time we have used imagery of looking for the light, seeking the light of Christ through the darkness of winter.
Winter this year has been slow in coming, the temperature has been slow to drop though the rain certainly hasn’t. The leaves have remained on many of the trees longer than usual despite the winds. So we could say that winter hasn’t really set in as it might. Perhaps we haven’t really noticed the decline in the amount of light around us, or have we?
Light is essential for growth, we can’t do without light. For many people the lack of sunlight causes great emotional distress so in fact light is essential for all of God’s creation to flourish. We use light in many ways in religious practice. We light candles to remember God’s presence with us, we light candles to remind us that Jesus is the light of the world and that he lights our paths, we light candles as a sign of prayer, we light candles to remember our loved ones departed and we light candles in celebration. The bringing of light into a situation is extremely important and uplifting both in its religious significance and its social significance.
At this time of the year as we enter Advent, the preparation period, we are moving towards that great celebration of the birth of Jesus, God in human form, who brought light into a very dark world. We celebrate this season by lighting up our houses with a variety of decorations and as we do so may we think about the lighting up of our world by the baby in the manger, who brought God’s love into the world directly to each one of us and in doing so lights each one of us up with his love. As we dash headlong into this season, with all that it brings, let us just pause for a moment of wonder and be lit up with the reason for the season, Jesus the light of the world.
May I wish you all a very Merry Christmas and a Joyous New Year.
Every blessing, Rev Cate
Posted by Christine Gibbins at 14:50
Sunday, 14 December 2014
Back in September 2012 the ‘Churches Together in Ottery’ (CTIO) recruited a Youth Worker with a particular emphasis on detached street work.
CTIO also started a charity called The06 to oversee this work. James Ballantyne fulfilled this role until the spring this year when he moved back to the North East.
The06 then began to re-evaluate the role and made some changes to the job description. At the same time Devon County Council was making plans to close most of the Devon youth centres.
As a group concerned with services for young people The06 decided they would do all they could to keep the Ottery Station Youth Centre open.
Although the Ottery Youth Club ceased to operate on October 10th a lot has happened in the past month. It is great news that it will re-open on Wednesday December 17th. This will be a special evening, with the local press present.
The actual building and site is in the process of being transferred to the local community and we plan to establish a community hub at the Station Centre for the wider use of organisations in and around the town.
It is important to know that this youth club is not just for the youth of Ottery but also for the surrounding villages including Feniton and Payhembury.
The acquisition of the building means that when The06 recruits its new youth worker in 2015 he/she will have a facility from which to operate. One of the upstairs offices at the centre is earmarked for our use for church youth work.
The06 have been speaking to all of the churches within Ottery and the surrounding villages seeking their support for the costs of the new Youth Worker.
At the end of November the pledges received amounted to around 15% of what is needed. So we have still some way to go. If church members and others are willing to pledge a sum of money, no matter how much or how little, towards this project please contact Mac Dick, Chair of The06, who is happy to answer any questions you may have. He can be contacted at MacDick1@aol.com and he will send out pledge forms.
In early 2015 the Youth Club will begin meeting regularly again staffed by ex Devon County Council youth workers. It will be wonderful when this is matched by The06 youth work.
Posted by Christine Gibbins at 21:56