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Clergy Letter Aug/Sept 2023

Childs Ercall Sunday school – on their Summer Outing to Hodnet Hall Gardens – ‘A memorable moment’ perhaps reminiscent of the ‘Wise man who built his house on a rock’ (Matthew 7:24-27)

‘Holy-days and Holy Moments’

One of the victims of our technological advances must surely be the ‘family photograph album’. Before digital photography, we would return from holiday, develop our films and wait excitedly for the prints to return. We then relived our holiday as we selected and stuck them into albums with appropriate dates and captions. Only the best OR most significant pictures made the grade! So many of these memorable moments happened on those precious weeks away – often with extended family and friends.

When our children were off school sick in the long Winter months, their favourite comfort was to sit in bed and leaf through our photograph albums; happy memories seemed to bring healing and raise their spirits with summer’s warmth. Perhaps our equivalent therapy is to sit and scroll on our phones?

Our English word ‘holiday’ comes from ‘Holy-days’. Adults and children were given time off work to celebrate significant feast days and festivals in the church calendar. Sometimes communities gathered for activities like harvest festival and may pole dancing, often involving food and drink. Sometimes people travelled to significant religious sites, making new friends and seeing new landscapes on their pilgrimage. However, there was always an expectation that they might meet with God in unexpected ways and encounters…. sometimes alone and sometimes in company. We had a family saying on holiday…. Looking at each other, we would acknowledge, “This is a MM.” (Magic/Memorable Moment).

So this August and September….be prepared to be surprised by the presence of God in new places and people. As Jacob said when he awoke from his dream at Bethel, “Surely the Lord is in this place, and I was not aware of it. How awesome is this place! This is none other than the house of God; this is the gate of heaven.” (Genesis 28:16-17) Perhaps you could take a photo of your ‘Holy moment’ to enlighten those drab Winter months?

Rev Becky Richards, 24/7/23


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