Parish Letter

November 2021

November Rain! One of my favourite songs by Guns and Roses. I am not really a classical kind of girl. I have always preferred rock music and my concert memories are of Cher, Bon Jovi, Genesis, Meatloaf and Guns and Roses. Just before lockdown my husband and I had discovered tribute bands and the smaller venues where you can see ‘Kiss’ or ‘Slade’ or equivalent great quality for minimum cost. OK – they are not always great, but you get a good night out and the joy of singing and dancing to well known songs for a minimum expense. The other thing is that sometimes it is such a wonderful surprise, sometimes they are really great! On other occasions the genuine original artists play these smaller venues – it is intimate and special. I mention this because I think that those who heard Jesus preach were excited and out for a good days entertainment, but the really special moments were the more intimate, smaller gatherings when he was perhaps more relaxed and able to speak freely. Often late into the night, sharing good food and company and discussing what they believed about God, heaven, hell, the existence or not of the afterlife, bodily resurrection or not, punishment for sins – was it visited on future generations or just the sinner, was it right for people to punish those who broke God’s law or should it be left to God? So many questions to answer and think about. Marriage, divorce, adultery, sexual behaviour, sinfulness and greed were always good topics for debate. The interesting thing is that all these years later we still discuss much the same topics in relation to what we believe about our faith. We still argue about what is truly sinful and what is acceptable to God. The church does have clear teaching on some issues but there is ongoing debate about others. The joy of following Jesus is drawing closer to him and seeking a deeper understanding of how he might answer those questions if he was alive in our world today and participating in our debates. Scripture guides us and provides us with a plumb line – but the bible can also be conflicting and confusing. That is why talking to each other, reading about our faith in such things as the Church Times online or paper issues; and joining in with local house groups or bible study groups can be so important and so helpful to us.

So do please consider joining in with a course or a prayer group; in your local church or the benefice as a whole; course running on Thursday evenings in November and December at 7pm in Hampsthwaite community room, speak to Suzy. If you haven’t been a part of one before – give it a try!

Have a great November and I pray that we are all on track for a wonderful Advent season when we get there…

God Bless, Suzy

01423 772638 (please call between 9am and 9pm)