THE LINK  

   The monthly magazine of St Andrew’s, Devizes; Marston Chapel;

and Trinity, Market Lavington

November 2018

Minister's Musings

 

Revd Gary Gotham

 

 

Dear Friends,

 

'They devoted themselves to the apostles' teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer.'  Acts 2:42

Here's the question ... well a series, a jumble, a ball of wool with loose threads ... of questions if I'm honest.

 

Breaking bread, what's it all about?  We have so many names for it, each with their own preconceptions ... (Holy) Communion, The Lord's Supper, Agape, Breaking Bread, The Eucharist, The (Holy) Mass and probably several I have overlooked.  I'm going to use the word 'communion' from now on but you substitute whichever term you are comfortable with.

 

Some say that at Communion, the person 'presiding' says some particular words and at that moment the bread and wine literally becomes Christ's body and blood.

 

Some say that at Communion, the person 'presiding' says some particular words and at that moment we are 'transported' back to that first supper in the upper room with Christ on the night when he was betrayed.

 

Some say that at Communion, the person 'presiding' says some particular words and at that moment, at one and the same time, it is both bread and wine and the body and blood of Christ.

 

Some say that at Communion, the person 'presiding' says some particular words and at that moment we, re-enact, remember, that first supper.

All this begs other questions - what do YOU think/feel happens when we break bread?  And what does this say to those with no prior experience of Christianity?

 

Let me share a story with you.  Some churches hold that a child cannot receive communion until they are of a certain age, or have completed a certain course.  But here's the thing ... my Aunt was born with brain damage.  She is now in her 60's ... but she has an intellectual age of a 2 year old.  Would you allow her to receive communion if she worshipped with you?  And if a 2 year old was present could they receive communion?

 

As we break bread together may God bless the world through you.

God Bless

 

Gary

 

 

 

Holy Habits : Breaking the Bread

 

It is important to remember that none of the ten Holy Habits which we are exploring are stand-alone.  All of the Habits are inter-related.  Together they enable us to follow in Jesus' footsteps to lead our life in the way He did and become better Christians.

 

The Habit to be explored in November is 'Breaking Bread'.  This Habit works on the broad understanding that it includes the practice of Holy Communion but also includes breaking bread in other ways and contexts - ways that also make Jesus known.  it is thought that the unity of these two aspects is part of the ideal picture of the earliest church.  At that time Breaking Bread may have been as part of a meal sometimes as Holy Communion.  Sometimes both.  On all occasions the breaking of bread would remind people of Jesus and help to recognise His presence with them.

 

Early Christians found God in every aspect of life as they gathered together to share their lives as a community.  They found something so special in sharing this experience that they tried to follow Christ's example.

 

Our challenge is also to adopt this lifestyle and make these Habits become a natural part of the rhythm of our lives.  We too are invited to gather and take bread thanking God for it, breaking it, sharing it and eating it.  Above all our prayer is that this Habit helps us deepen our trust, knowing ourselves loved by God and challenging us to offer God our love individually, as a church and as a community living alongside others.

 

                                                                                     Bill Thomas

 

 

 

 

Click HERE to read 'Sad News' from Traidcraft

 

 

 

 

Snippets of Information from the Pastoral Secretary

 

Help with Allergy Concerns

Allergy UK provide a range of information to help people who live with allergies.  This includes useful downloadable fact sheets, allergy recipes and a helpline: 01322 619898.  Website www.allergyuk.org

 

Councillors Roadshow

The next Councillors Roadshow will be inside the Shambles Market on Saturday 17 November 2018 between 10 a.m. and 1 p.m.  An opportunity to engage with your councillors.

 

Lost Property

If you have lost something in the town, ask at the Library on Sheep Street.  They may have it or will be able to report it to the police for you.

 

Devizes Children's Choir

On Wednesdays from 4.30 p.m. to 5.30 p.m. the Devizes Children's Choir takes place at the Baptist Church Hall, Sheep Street.  This is a children's community choir for children from Year 1 upwards.  They have been running for just under a year and their aim is to sing for fun and to go out and about in the community.  The team sings at local events in the community and at places like care homes.  There are currently 24 children but would like to increase their numbers into their second year.  For more information or to get involved call Heather Flower on 01380 722013.

 

Contact the Elderly

A national charity dedicated to tackling loneliness and social isolation amongst older people living in the United Kingdom.  Supported by a nationwide network of over 11,000 volunteers, Contact the Elderly organises free monthly sodical events for small groups of isolated older people.  The groups operate at weekends when most community services for older people are not available.  Sunday has been highlighted to us by our older guests as being a particularly lonely day of the week.  Groups are kept purposely small and they meet in the welcoming environment of someone's home.

 

Locally there are tea parties for people 75 and over on Sunday afternoons once a month.  First point of contact for making enquiries is by getting in touch with Suzan Hyland: 0207 881 2361, or suzan.hyland@contact-the-elderly.org.uk 

 

 

Jenny Brearley

Information taken from website: www.contact-the-elderly.org.uk 

 

 

 

AN A ROCHA UK PROJECT

 

Food Waste

It is estimated that 100,000 tonnes of edible food, amounting to 250 million meals, is thrown away in the UK each year.  The Environment Minister, Michael Gove, has unveiled a £15 million project to tackle this.  Those of us brought up with rationing for many years are probably more aware of the need to clear our plate and only take what we can eat.

 

Locally, the supermarkets donate usable food to OpenDoors and, when appropriate, the Food Bank.  You will have also seen in the foyers, the left-over food that they cannot use, for people to buy.  Those of us with suitable space can compost some waste food but maybe the council could arrange to collect left-over food as is done in other areas.

 

When you read that in South America and whole of Africa, 821 million people (1 in 9) were going hungry last year but at the same time 672 million (1 in 8) adults are obese, we are a long way from reaching the UN Sustainable Development Goals of hunger eradication by 2030.

 

I personally doubt that legislation is the answer.  Maybe it is education, example and a spiritual revival.

 

Christine Madigan

 
 

 

Prayer for November from the Prayer Group

 

Almighty God, we bring our praise and thanks to you as day by day we receive your love and blessings

 

God of hope guide us in your ways.

 

God of all our activities help us to work with your purposes.

 

God who is always with us may we place our footsteps in yours and walk where you lead.

 

And as Advent approaches please be with us as we prepare ourselves for the coming of Christ.

 

In Jesus' name we pray.   Amen

                               Hilary Burn

 

 

 

Click HERE for November TURNING POINT news

 

www.tptrust.org