The Book Group
The Benefice book group will meet on Monday September 2nd at 7pm at St Catherine's chapel. There are lots of books there from Rev All's library to look at and please bring your suggestions. The group will meet to plan the next quarter's books to read, discussing them on the first Monday at 7pm in October, November and December at the Undercroft in Seaview.
The Theology Group
This group has been studying the progressive Christian course 'Living the Questions' and has really enjoyed it. For the Autumn season until Christmas it will be using material drawn from the 1980s BBC series the Sea of Faith by Don Cupitt. This fascinating exploration into the western worlds' loss of Christian faith will be updated by Ali into a new interactive course with video clips and lots of time to chat. It will give us a nice basis for understanding how the church is now where it is and we will debate together a way forward for the teaching of Jesus in the Spiritual age we now live in. Please do come along and invite friends on the Third Monday of the Month at 7pm in the Undercroft in Seaview.
Eco Church Programme for September Sunday 8th 9.30am at St Mary's Church and 10am St Helens Church followed by Eco Church 11am to 12pm. Stephen Dominy, Regional co-coordinator for Christian Aid to preach on the environment followed by a discussion about how we can be involved and connected to global environmental campaigning.
Saturday 14th Ride and Stride - a day long walk through the Haven Benefice visiting the churches, beginning at Yaverland at 10am.
Saturday 21st at St Mary's 12-5pm and Sunday 29th at St Helen's 12-3pm Community Apple Pressing Days. Bring your windfall apples and plastic bottles to squeeze and freeze your own apple juice.
Sunday 22nd 10am St Helen's Harvest Festival and 3.30pm Ecochurch with soup and apple cake! And a special visit from a local naturalist to look at what animal homes to make and habitats to improve in our churchyard as we prepare for winter.
Saturday 28th at 12pm St Helen's Harvest Lunch at the community centre. Eco church in October will be all about FOOD!
Sunday 8th 11am Barry Downer will be licenced as an Associate Priest to the Haven Benefice by the Venerable Peter Leonard at St John's Yaverland, with refreshments after.
Why not treat yourself to a new experience this Autumn and join us on a Thursday evening for Contemplative prayer, every week at 6pm in St Catherine's Chapel.
PLASTIC AWARENESS PROJECTS
Everywhere, around the country and the world, we are becoming aware that Plastic is causing huge problems for the natural environment and we want to do something about it..... BUT ..... controlling our plastic usage and turning back the tide is really not easy for any of us. The way we select food and cook, the way we buy products for our homes, and the way we like to shop - all these things have become reliant on single use disposable plastic and even if you are recycling your plastic this is just a small part of the solution.
We are working on Reduction, Reusing and then RECYCLING, and we want to have fun seeing how much change we can support each other in achieving as we move our personal lifestyles to Zero waste. The following things are planned;
1.Every church coffee morning in the Haven Benefice, look out for the REFILL STATION. This is an opportunity for you to bring your own household and hair product bottles and Refill them for a reasonable price. The intention is to begin to see how refilling works and develop patterns of consumption that high street shops can begin to offer.
2. Workshop events developing and making new reasonably priced plastic replacement products that can be sold at the coffee mornings. Waxed wraps, knitted scourers and soap bags, muslin veg bags for shopping etc.
3. Raising awareness with the supermarkets of the desires of the public to have the opportunity to make plastic free purchases. Supporting and advertising the supermarket 'Plastic attacks' where we are offered the opportunity to unwrap our plastic covered goods and leave the plastic for the store to dispose of. Remember to take your paper and fabric bags and reusable plastic containers to use at the fresh produce counters.
The Haven Benefice Churches are committed to helping us all live happier, more sustainable and much more skilled and creative lives as part of our passionate commitment to environmental justice. We take our commitment for this from the teachings of Jesus and his call for radical social justice and harmony.
The love that makes a community...
We thank you for our loving community in this village and, at its heart, our church. We ask you to bless friends and family who share our worship here today and all who are dear to us. Bless and care for all your people: especially we remember those who have neither family nor friends or a safe place to be.
Lord in your mercy Hear our prayer
We thank you for our history and our traditions. For sails that glow like coloured jewels in the sunshine; the sleek warm wood of the rowing boats and dinghies lovingly made and maintained over the years. For the week’s activities on the water as we master the waves, and for the beach sports: feeling the wind in our hair and the breeze on our faces. We rejoice in our health and our strength and we ask you to keep safe all those who have neither power nor hope in this world.
Lord in your mercy Hear our prayer
We ask you to acknowledge all the ways we have served one another and helped others; kindnesses given significant or small. Those small acts known only to the giver and to your Self, Lord. Guide all in this community and in the world; doing good, not for adulation or accolades, but for its own sake.
Lord in your mercy Hear our prayer
We delight in the winning: in the glow of pride reflected in our silver cups, in our smiles, in our eyes and in our faces. It is good to use and utilise these gifts from God. Gentle Jesus, help us, also, to accept defeat. To understand that losing is a gift also; building resilience and resourcefulness and harnessing humility. It is in just BEING in this world that matters. Contentment in taking part, and being a part, without working solely for reward.
Lord in your mercy Hear our prayer
Lord, we thank you for the gift of time. Time away from everyday life and daily cares: time to stop and reflect. Whether on a yoga mat in the Bay, walking along the shoreline or out at sea. Time to be: with others; with ourselves … with You. Bless and sustain all people in the world who have no time: no time away from war, from work or from their worries.
Lord in your mercy Hear our prayer
Finally, Lord, we thank you for the opportunity to be able to give as well as to receive.
Having absorbed summer all this week and flushed with its warmth, we ask that You help us now to carry with us the strength, the knowledge and the memories made: in service to our other communities. To touch the wider world with a little of Seaview’s magic and to make a difference.
We ask that You thaw the hearts of all who are hopeless, bring peace to the anxious and weary; reveal Your love in the hearts and lives of all Your people.
May we find community within ourselves; a meeting of mind, body and soul, in order that we are strengthened in Your goodness to make a difference.
We thank You for our Regatta week, well played, and the Seaview summer, sustaining us and carrying us forward….
… Until the next time.
Merciful Father Accept these prayers for the sake of Your son, our Saviour, Jesus Christ.
The driving ethos behind eco church is the desire for the church to be active in the world, following the way of Jesus in our real lives and a hopeful, creative vision for the future. It is about speaking out for justice and lives renewed by the simplicity and love that Jesus taught us. It is about doing something, making a difference and supporting each other in our desire to build a world of justice and beauty for all.
It seems that we are on our way to achieving our Gold Award for Eco church at St Helens as so may things are now up and running and 'boxes have been ticked'. This is a considerable achievement and it is proving to be great fun and inspirational. We have surveyed our churchyard, we have created a natural recreational space (labyrinth), and we have created a regular Eco church meeting. We have put things in the Parish News, attended fayres and gone on Lobbies to London and we have an active web site (thehavenecochurch.com). We are praying for the earth and its natural habitats and some of our liturgies and special services have that focus. The things we have yet to achieve are:
Checking our cleaning products are eco friendly, and tea and coffee are fair trade, and looking into ways to reduce plastic use and bulk buy organic food. Looking into native tree planting (where and what - and would St Helens school be interested?). Making Bat Boxes, Bird Boxes, Bug Hotels and Hedgehog boxes. Inviting speakers and looking at our personal environmental 'footprint' and thinking about digging a pond, (where and how and what design). We are also looking at LOAF and locally campaigning for a reduction in single use plastic.
LOAF.... One of the Eco church commitments is to promote LOAF food... that is Local, Organic, Animal friendly and Fairtrade. Something that is becoming evident is that the UK needs to think again about it's food production and as a nation of gardeners, it is terrible that over half of our food is imported. There is a growing interest in local small scale food production here on the Island and on educating school children in the art of horticulture with free green houses for schools (from APS Salads) and small scale intensive agriculture (from the Modern Kitchen Garden) and eco church is part of the networking, and that strengthens our local food economy. Follow updates on the web site.
Action on Plastic... As part of Eco church we are also committed to campaigning for environmental issues. The following campaign has been initiated on the Island and is something that you may be interested in joining. Follow updates on the web site and watch this program if you want to be inspired. On the Last Saturday of the month from 9.30 to 11.30 at Supermarkets around the island, a peaceful and hopeful protest involves bringing your reusable containers for the food you buy, removing the packaging from your regular shop and putting it in trolleys at Customer services. The first event was in Sainsbury's in June and the second at Tesco in July.
AUGUST Sunday 11th 10am Eco Sunday Communion followed by Eco church 11am to 12 noon A walk round the churchyard to look for places to plant trees and dig a pond and place animal homes. Wildlife management plan. Sunday 25th 3.30pm Eco Church Making animal homes.
SEPTEMBER Sunday 8th 10am Eco Sunday Communion followed by Eco Church 11am to 12 noon Stephen Dominy, Regional co-coordinator for Christian Aid, to preach on the environment followed by a discussion about how we can be involved and connected to global environmental campaigning. Putting the animal habitats in place. Saturday 14th Ride and Stride walk through the Haven Benefice visiting the churches. Beginning at Yaverland Church at 10am. Saturday 21st and 28th Community Apple pressing days (TBA) Sunday 22nd 10am St Helens Harvest Festival and 3.30pm Eco Church.The food we eat... looking at LOAF and fair-trade and a possible food coop.
If any of the above interests you or you have skills or time to offer then please do contact me on 07500 007437
Whatever else eco church is, mainly it is about US doing all we can.
In our family we have recently been reading and discussing a book about Piracy. In it piracy is not sanitised and made noble but it is however seen as an inevitable act of rebellion against the removal of rights and liberties from the common man (seaman in historical terms). The Author stresses that there is an idea called 'the commons'. This is space that is not in private or corporate ownership or bound up in copyright. It is thought, music, land, invention and food production that is FREE, free to use and enjoy by all people. In the book he describes the historic land enclosures and the annual beating of the bounds within the parishes that was literally the beating down of fences that encroached on the common land where the ordinary people lived and farmed.
Over the centuries we have lost so much in the privatisation of our lives to the point where our children travel all over the world looking for freedom; freedom to light a fire outside in a field with friends, to wander over land without fences. We look in this country for places of freedom, sailing on the sea, playing on our beaches, places were no one seems to be in ownership and we are treading on nobody's toes! Another place that is truly 'common' is the church. Your churches are yours by right and heritage. You can enter and you have a right to be part of the services that take place there. You should never feel that you are entering a closed club or a private building. You should never need a welcome (although you will surely get one!) because it is your space to wander in, sit in, create in, pray in. This weekend at St Helens Church we have enjoyed the 3OOyrs celebration flower festival and were entertained on Saturday night by the 'Scottish Fiddlers'. They played music from 3OOyrs that was 'common'. The tunes they played were for the ordinary people, for the sailors, the fishermen, for isolated rural communities to dance to. As we listened so it seemed the music was in tune with all we are trying to achieve in our churches. The inclusion, the community, the extraordinary beauty of a community bringing their talents and creativity together in the flower arrangements, the hospitality and the music.
For me this weekend and all the many community building activities that the church supports are acts of rebellion. We rebel against the privatisation of our lives, the stealing of our common spaces and our precious time. To all the young people who may wonder at our tea and cakes I say, look closer, we are pirates, we gather in communities of all people, sharing what we have (our time) in this rebellion against loneliness and fear of commitment and the endless pursuit of wealth. In this we gather with the greatest rebel of them all - Jesus, just read his teaching to see!
At the end of last month our beloved vicar Jill Carman died. She was suffering from terminal cancer but still her passing was a shock to us all. On the day before she died she jointly lead a 'Service for times of Need' in St Catherine's chapel where she prayed for all those there and offered blessing by the laying on of hands along with the Revds Ali and Michael. The service was peaceful and the people present were moved by the quiet peace and gentle encouragement that it offered.
The service was a recognition that life is not easy and that there are many griefs and trials to be born in our mortal lives and in the lives of those we love. We are not promised material blessing or physical healing from God but we are offered a firm psychological hand to hold and a path to wholeness and well-being that may include the restoration of our lives. The following words are from the forward to the service that was developed in the lona community in Scotland.
'We all stand in need of restoration and in this ministry we recognise that this also has a social dimension. The healing of divided communities, the healing of the earth itself, has a place alongside the mending of broken bodies, hurt minds and wounded hearts and of the hurts and divisions within ourselves. So too our prayers are complementary with the work of medicine and other forms of healing, which are also channels of God's loving and transforming action. In this service anyone may name particular people and places and situations for which prayers are specifically asked. We do this because each person and situation is known to God, not as a problem to be solved but as a focus for God's acceptance and love. We are nof seeking to change God but to change the world; and we trust God that our prayers will be heeded, although we do not know when or how that will happen'.
The prayers that we said offered this plea, God of compassion and love
we offer you all our suffering and pain.
Give us strength to bear our weakness,
healing even when there is no cure,
peace in the midst of turmoil,
and love to fill the spaces of our lives
For Jill there was 'Healing when there is no cure' and we are thankful for this even as we acknowledge that it is hard for those of us left behind; for her beloved family whom she adored and her village and church community whom she served with grace and fortitude even in her pain.
As we live in this fleshy, mortal world where life is a precious gift for a season so we dare to say that death can be a healing and that there is love and grace in mourning.
PS If you ever want a place to talk about death and dying then please do contact the church, we are here to help in many practical ways and to offer a listening ear for as long as you need it.