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Breakfast service 20 August

Colyton’s 3rd Sunday breakfast starts at 10 with the service at 10.30 – everyone is welcome!

August 2017

This month’s letter comes from our associate minister, Revd John Lees

Welcoming the stranger

A recent newspaper article explored how we have redefined the word ‘alien’. Today we normally mean little green men in spaceships. In the past the word meant ‘stranger’ or ‘foreigner’.

New learners of English confuse these terms, and one language guide offers a very clear definition: an alien is a technical term for a foreign national, and a stranger is somebody you don’t know yet.

Here in East Devon many people earn their living by providing a welcome to strangers, and we do it well.

I’ve often thought that in this part of the world we should invent a new Christian festival to supplement Christmas, Easter, and Harvest. We should arguably have a Festival of Hospitality, celebrating all the people who stay among us, enjoy themselves, and support the economy. It wouldn’t just be acknowledging tourism, but a celebration of welcome.

Many Bible stories tell us about welcoming people we don’t know, especially if they are in need. It’s a powerful antidote to tribalism and suspicion. This isn’t just about helping people you don’t know. It’s about fundamental trust – trusting in strangers, and encouraging them to trust that you will be a good host.

The Bible says important things about aliens – visitors, travellers, people from other cultures. Perhaps the idea is rooted in exile: ‘”So show your love for the alien, for you were aliens in the land of Egypt’. As in many cultures, offering welcome to strangers was vital. It’s a good reminder to treat people as you would hope to be treated yourself. Besides, your visitor might be an angel or (as Sarah and Abraham found) God himself visiting your tent. Sharing food with strangers is one of the most important ways getting to know them (the word companion simply means someone you break bread with).

Hospitality isn’t just about feeding and entertaining people – it’s about being generous, and being curious. Is about what we can learn from each other and seeing the world through new eyes. You may take your home town granted, but for a visitor it may be a visual treat.

As for a service celebrating hospitality – let me know what you think. In the meantime, watch out for aliens, and be prepared to offer them tea.

 

Breathing Space

This August there will again be a short series of brief, reflective, quiet services in St Andrew’s Colyton. Thursdays 3rd, 10th, 17th and 24th from 6.30-7.00. All welcome.

 

Beach Songs of Praise

Branscombe’s popular summer Songs of Praise services at the beach return this year, at 6.00 pm on Sundays 11th June and 20th August. Come along for a good sing! Parking is free by kind permission of the Sea Shanty – and let them know if you want fish and chips there afterwards.

Pelleas Ensemble and Pimms at Colyton

The Pelleas Ensemble will play on Saturday 29th July, with Pimms and Canapes served on the green beforehand from 6.45.

Messy Jurassic

Messy Church had a great trip to the Seaton Jurassic Centre on Sunday 9th July. Many thanks to Claire and all the team at Seaton Jurassic for a wonderful afternoon.

Musbury cream teas

Once again it was lovely weather on Sunday 9th for the cream tea and open garden at Musbury Barton, by kind permission of Lt. Col. Tony Drake. Just over £500 was raised for church funds.

Messy Church July

This month Messy Church on 9th July is going for an outing instead of meeting in the Reece Strawbridge Centre. Anyone who would like to come please phone Kathryn Radley on 07599 292449 for details.

There will be no Messy Church in August or September, and we are meeting again in October.

July Breakfast Service

Our next Breakfast Service at St Andrew’s Church takes place on Sunday 16 July.

As usual, we begin with breakfast at 10.00 followed by a short all-age service beginning at 10.30 and lasting around 35 minutes, with plenty to engage all ages, including young children.

Do please promote/ share/ invite your friends…..

July 2017

This month’s letter is from Anne:

As summer and holidays are well and truly upon us, I’m reminded of one of my favourite old T-shirt designs.  On the front is printed the legend: ‘Sail fast, live slow’.

The great 20th century philosopher, Wittgenstein, is very hard to understand. He wrote with irony, parody and jokes.  He spattered his writing with punctuation marks.  He mixed up fragments of texts. He seemed to change the subject at random.

In his later writing, Wittgenstein explained why he did this: “Sometimes a sentence can only be understood if it is read at the right speed. My sentences are all meant to be read slowly.”  And later:  “I really want my copious punctuation marks to slow down the speed of reading.  Because I should like to be read slowly.”

A few weeks ago I re-read (quite slowly!) the delightful novel, ‘Salmon fishing in the Yemen’, by Paul Torday.  In it, a sheikh has a seemingly impossible vision.  He wants to introduce salmon to the seasonal waters of a wadi in the desert.  As a lover of fishing himself, he believes that it will help his people to enjoy life and to be less hot-tempered:  “My countrymen will stand on the banks side by side and fish for salmon.  And their natures too will be changed.  They will feel the enchantment of this silver fish, and the overwhelming love that I know for the fish and the river it swims in.  And then when talk turns to what this tribe said or did, and voices grow heated, then someone will say, “Let us arise, and go fishing”.

God is committed to our full enjoyment of this extraordinary world.  One rabbi famously said that the first question God would ask him at the end of his life would be “Did you enjoy my creation?”

In the three short years of Jesus’s busy ministry on earth he found time to do just that.  He’d journey around the countryside at walking pace, and with a deep sense of wonder he’d point out to his friends the glory around them: the birds of the air, the beauty of the meadow flowers.  Jesus would pause and marvel at the world’s beauty and in so doing, draw closer to God, his Father.

As this holiday season gets into full swing, I hope that all of us find time, whether we’re at home or further afield, to do just that: to pause and marvel at God’s glorious creation; to savour good books at leisure; to ‘live slow’ and to draw closer to God.

Anne Futcher

Branscombe Church Open Day

Branscombe Church is holding a special Open Day with the annual market at the church on Saturday 15th July from 10.30-3.00 pm.

Come and enjoy – Trips us the church tower – Guided historical tours – Amazing parachuting teddy bears off the tower at 2.30 – light lunches, coffee and refreshments – various stalls.

Spirit to Spirit Choir

As part of the God at Work festival, the renowned Spirit to Spirit Choir with Andrew Hague will give a free concert at St Andrew’s Colyton on: Saturday 24th June at 7.30 pm

Musbury Cream Tea

The very popular cream tea at Musbury Barton returns this year on Sunday 9th July from 3.00-5.00 pm, by kind invitation of Lt Col Tony Drake.

Colyford Summer Concert

The St Michael’s Summer Concert this year is on Saturday 8th July at 12 noon, with Alex Davies, organ, Alison Davies, Saxophone and David Fouracre, Baritone. Followed by ploughman’s lunch including dessert and tea or coffee.

Tickets £8 in advance from The Little Shop Colyton or Colyford Post Office; or £10 on the day. Under 18s free.

All proceeds to the organ fund.

God at work – photos

See St Andrew’s church transformed into the Holy Land…. Different areas represent different parts of Jesus’ life and ministry, and story tellers are there to fill in the picture.

Please see earlier post for details of opening times and evening events between Wed 21st and Sun 25th June.