Thoughts and reflections

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Harvest Services with Schools

Harvest services from our schools have filled the churches. Way beyond our expectations. Churches bursting at the seams. Food donations piled high at the font and the altar. All ready to be taken to the town food bank.

Children’s voices raised the roof. Prayers read and stories told.

What more could I add than just the biggest thank you from the depths of my heart for bringing back the love, laughter and joy to church.

Rev’d Sue Martin

Help and Pray for the People of the Ukraine.

…dreadful and devastating crisis emerges before our eyes

The dreadful and devastating crisis emerges before our eyes as the Russian military invade Ukraine.

This is something we have not experienced for over eighty years. Hundreds of thousands of children and adults have been affected. The evacuation of so many people on the roads with their suitcases, travelling away from their homes to places of safety, such as Poland, Moldova, Romania, and Hungary. Europe is united in support of these people who need our help now.

What can we do? Firstly, we can pray. We can pray for the people and for peace. In our schools, in our churches and in our homes. We can pray on our own or join in with others to show solidarity, united in faith.

Secondly, we can give. It may be online donation or actual clothes and food and medicines. There are places in every town where these can be sent to depots to reach the Ukrainian people, wherever they are.

There are many large charities where your money will be well used. UNICEF is focussing on children and families.

Donate now to protect children in Ukraine

A Prayer for Ukraine

Dear Father,

We pray for peace and for the leaders of the countries as they try valiantly to open talks and prevent further fighting and use of weapons.

We pray for the people in Ukraine, those who have stayed and those who have travelled away from their country, in fear and desperation for their lives. Children and families have been separated in the fight for the freedom of their country. Help us to do what we can to help, by giving and praying.

Father, hear our prayers and calm our fears. Be with us and with our neighbours of Ukraine.

Amen.  Rev’d Sue Martin, Diocese of Norwich

 

Feeling small…

I have always been fascinated by the large container ships that carry vast numbers of containers across the world. In October 2018, I was visiting my daughter and family in Hong Kong and we were fortunate to or not, to get very close to a large container ship.

We were out on a small junk, with a crew of two people and crossing the shipping channel on our way back to Hong Kong. I had seen the large container ship travelling our way and as it came closer we slowed down to let it pass in front of us.

The video shows how close we were, it made us feel very small. This container ship was certainly not one of the largest, but it made me realise how small we are in the big scheme of things. Maybe a speck of dust from outer space, but yet each one of us is special to God!

Like all the things inside those containers, from the smallest reel of brightly coloured ribbons to large boxes of fruit, being small does not matter.

Back in March 2021,one of the largest container ships The Ever Given became stuck in the Suez Canal. The Ever Given was 400 metres long and held 20,000 containers. Once stuck it was an enormous problem to re-float this huge structure. As a result, large number of container ships had to wait at the entrance to the Suez Canal and shipping around the world was delayed.

How dependant we are on far away places.

Rev’d Sue Martin

 

 

Advent 3 Sunrise

I’m going to start with the sunrise! Yesterday morning was absolutely wonderful. I was just getting up about 7.00am and looked outside to see a warm reddish pink glow on the skyline, so I said how lovely it was and continued with my usual ‘getting up’ arrangements.

By 7.30am I was outside  looking at the sky, touched by pinkness on the edge of high clouds.

All out of darkness we have light!

Read more on Advent 2021...

Ascension Day 13th May 2021

Ephesians 1:15-23

Acts 1:1-11

‘A cloud took him out of their sight

And so the disciples were left behind, and returned to Jerusalem. Once again they had to say goodbye to Jesus and were even more aware that they needed to be going out into the world to spread the word.

The cloud often appears in the Bible and can be seen as the way that God appears in a veil of cloud. How often do you stand looking at fluffy white clouds and make them into amorphous shapes?

A cloud took him out of their sight…

This is where the distance between heaven and earth comes close. It is hard to visualise and explain this concept, it can be described as like cutting through paper with a knife and finding yourself in another place, at certain points in our world we can feel closer to God and heaven.

We hope that many of our churches are in such places, but it can also be a place in the countryside or a spot in a town, somewhere where you do feel closer to God.

Read more in Sermons 2021

Strange Times but a sign of hope!

We live in strange times. Somewhat of an understatement I know. Times are difficult, unpredictable, sometimes we are in the doldrums and it is like we are becalmed in a vast ocean Other times we are bashed about like the disciples in the boat in a storm on Lake Galilee.

I was thinking that it reminds me of a film called The Life of Pi, which I am sure some of you will have seen. Briefly, a boy is travelling with his family and their entire zoo, including a tiger, on a boat, which is caught in a storm. The boy is saved and also the tiger and they share a journey across the oceans in a small boat. At one point they are becalmed. They keep their distance from each other. The boy is frightened of the tiger with his very sharp teeth and claws. The tiger is frightened of the boy and his ability to use things like wood and sails to threaten him. After a long, long time they drift to an island in the tropics and the tiger walks away, leaving the boy alone.

We are definitely becalmed somewhere, fortunately  in our own homes, and we are frightened of the virus with its spike proteins, maybe and I am guessing here, the virus is frightened of us and our ability to use vaccinations against it.( I don’t think the virus has any emotions though so don’t quote me!!

We are in a period of time which is called, ‘waiting’! We are waiting for the vaccination, unless we have already had it, we are waiting for the curve in the graph to be right down and we are waiting to be told that life can go back to some kind of normal.

What a strange time indeed. Never saw this one coming!!

But this week a real sign of hope The US inauguration for Joe Biden President of the United States and Kamala Harris as Vice President. What a joy to hear in his speech that he refers to his Christian faith at least 10 times. He referred to St Augustine who wrote that a people is a multitude defined by their common objects of their love. He said that the work and prayers of centuries have brought them to this day. And that the American story is a story of hope and not fear. Plus so much more…

This is the right time for a US president with such a dedicated faith who is able to proclaim that love.

Rev’d Sue Martin

So long as we…

Above all else in this time of social distancing, isolation and world wide pandemic a little prayer to remind us of life in this world.

So long as we enjoy the light of day

May we greet one another with love.

So long as we enjoy the light of the day

May we pray for one another,

Zuni prayer taken from A Child’s Book of Prayer, compiled by Tessa Strickland, Barefoot Books

Rev’d Sue Martin

Happy Christmas

And all the bells on earth shall ring

On Christmas Day

On Christmas Day

And all the bells on earth shall ring on Christmas Day

In the Morning

Happy Christmas to All

Rev’d Sue Martin

 

Remembrance 2018 – 100 Years

Poppies made by the Girl Guides,Gayton

One hundred years ago the Armistice was signed between the Allies of World War 1 and the German Empire. The cessation of hostilities took effect at 11.00 am on 11th November 1918.

This year marks the centenary and Remembrance Day is commemorated across the UK.

In our Benefice on Norfolk, we held two main services with packed churches and two minutes silence at 11.00am. Even the traffic stopped on the road for us this year. In the evening  two large bonfires were held and again huge numbers of people gathered to watch and the church bells rang out at 6.50pm to join in across the UK.

This was followed by singing the old songs and enjoying a glass of wine and some cakes and listening to stores of people from our village who went to war and never returned.

The first verse of the poem by Rupert Brooke, written in 1914, is a reminder of that time and the young men who gave their lives in the trenches in France and Belgium.

If I should die, think only this of me:

That there’s some corner of a foreign field

That is forever England. There shall be

In that rich earth a richer dust concealed;

A dust whom England bore, shaped, made aware,

Gave, once, her flowers to love, her ways to roam,

A body of England’s breathing English air,

Washed by rivers, blest by suns of home.

 

And think, this heart, all evil shed away,

A pulse in the eternal mind, no less

Gives somewhere back the thoughts by England given;

Her sights and sounds; dreams happy as her day;

And laughter, learnt if friends; and gentleness,

In hearts at peace, under an English heaven.

Rupert Brooke 1914

Rev’d Sue Martin

Light up a Life!

lual-candles-at-the-minster-in-kings-lynnLight up a Life services with the Norfolk Hospice, Tapping House are being held this week.

Over a hundred people joined us on Sunday 4th December, at King’s Lynn Minster and lit candles which were placed on the altar. Carols were sung and people had chance to reflect and join together over a cup of tea and a mince pie.

On Monday December 5th, a service was held at the Sandringham Visitor’s Centre and more than a hundred people listened, prayed and lit candles too. Tea and mince pies again on offer and a well needed chance to meet and chat!

When we lose someone we love.… a chance to read the address

Rev’d Sue Martin

Chaplain to the Norfolk Hospice, Tapping House

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