I am currently undertaking a course called Foundation in Christian Ministry. Today (26th Oct) was the second study day held at the Belmont Chapel in Exeter.
We started to explore a number of fascinating aspects of lay deciplship, bible study, spirituality and pastoral care. This is a year long course designed to help me explore my own calling and my journey in faith.
Today we looked at the contemplative tradition of the church, what is this I hear you say. This is based on the desert fathers seeking a more prayer filled life – God in silence. Silence is a thing a lot of us are not used to or comfortable in.
So we asked ourselves, do we avoid silence? Is there much silence in church? And are there times of quiet in our diary.
Personally quiet times are hard for me and I am even listening to music as I think and type this! I dont feel I allow myself time in the day to be quiet with God and my thoughts. On Sundays I allow myself the time in a service but then its in a very structured way. I found the session really helpful to consider making a time each day where I am more mindful probably for me in the morning when I take the dogs out.
So I have tasked myself between this and next months session to ensure each day I have a meaningful time of silence and try to build it up in length.
I would invite you to look at your day and see if you can find a time to sit and be quiet with your thoughts. If you open your mind and your heart you never knows what you may hear.
It has been a long process and it looks like we are at the end of the begining! The advert for our new incumbant has gone on the diocese website and will go into the Church Times next week. We hope and pray that the person God is calling to serve with us sees this and is complelled to answer.
The whole process has been an enjoyable one in that it has made us as a mission Community come together and pool resources that we did not do so well in the past. The laity have stepped up and taken on roles which we never had done before. This has given us hope that we can continue to serve with joy until the right clergy person comes.
We must thank Dr Peter Smith who has chaired the steering committee and who without we would have been lost.
So we ask everyone to pray for the mission community in this continued time of interregnum and we hope that it will be at end soon.
The mission community came together on Epiphany Sunday to say our final farewells to Alan. Alan has been our rector for 23 years and in that time he has overseen a great number of changes and has lead us all further in our relationships with Christ.
I have worked with Alan for a number of years in my Church Warden capacity and I must say its been a privilege. The service was one of joy and with love in our hearts we lifted up Alan and Irene and thanked God for all their hard work over the years.
We are blessed in a way as they are not moving out of Silverton as they have been given permission to stay close to friends and family and so we will still be able to see them around.
This is a something I in my short time in Bickleigh have not seen an “interregnum”. We don’t know how long this will last and in what form we will exit but we do know that Alan has left us in good heart and excited for the future.
God Bless you Alan and hear is to the future.
(Thom & Polly)
(Chris, Alison, Mary, Preb Alan, Michael, Olive, Josie, Camilla)
Here are a few of the worshipers who joined in with our annual Songs of Praise service. We had 8 beautiful hymns played by our excellent organist Michael.
Next week we are looking forward to our harvest service during the week the church will be prepared for the school service.