Parish Magazine ~ September 2019
We Need One Another!
My Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
I’m sure most of you will have now heard that I will be Retiring at Harvest, on Sunday 13th October 2019 at the 10am Service; followed by lunch in the hall. Retiring, but definitely not leaving! After a holiday, I plan to join everyone back in the pews; and as our Bishop is giving me permission to officiate, you may even see me helping out occasionally…
Recently, Bishop Rob gave our Vicar a book to read, it’s called, ‘We Need One Another’, By Jean Vanier. Jean Vanier, was the founder of L’Arche, a community which supports people with disabilities, he died on the 7th May this year in Paris at the age of ninety.
“Jean Vanier brings you in touch with a place inside yourself that few people have reached”, quotes Henri J. M. Nouwen in the book reviews.
The book has been like a local pre-Retirement Retreat for me; a great comfort and assurance as I look back over the past fifteen years of ministry at St Mary Magdalene’s. (My thanks to Gordon, for handing the book on to me) and also as I now look to the future, it couldn’t be more poignant just how much we all need one another! First, Vanier asks, ‘What are you living? Where is your pain? Where are your dreams?’ The reality of the world is that although we cannot always speak one another’s language, we can still attempt to understand one another’s pain, joys, hopes and dreams. Then he refers to the Bible and Jesus ministry who in turn asks us ‘What are you looking for? What are your desires? What do you long for?’ The message of Jesus is to announce who God is; and every person is unique. (As I prepare now for Retirement, these questions have been very useful for me to meditate upon; just what I needed as I turn another page nearer to the next chapter of my life-long Christian pilgrimage).
Vanier, uses examples of various children born with disabilities cared for by the community: If they are not loved they will not love in return. He quotes an example of a boy called Lucien whose screams awoke his own screams from within; the boy’s anguish awoke his own anguish; but to have given Lucien medication to quieten him, would have been to help Vanier himself, and not the child. The child just needed to be loved and in time Lucien began to trust his Carers and his screaming ceased. There was a love deep within him. (I have experienced similar circumstances in ministry; but knowing I am loved by Christ who was crucified for us all; helps me to recognize my own hurt within me; but stay strong within that weakness for the other person to whom I am ministering). We come to understand the pain of the other person, and where that person is coming from… All of us need to be forgiven and to forgive… Jesus ministry is one of forgiveness!
There is a wisdom in listening to people’s stories. Martin Luther King once said, “First I must accept myself; what is despicable in me; before I can learn to love others. I must accept myself as a broken person so that peace can come into my heart and into the world.” (I have always loved listening to people’s stories; and it does gives me a sense of peace within, alongside my own inner story).
Vanier goes on to say, that Jesus became flesh; he didn’t just become a human being; he did not just become a man, he became flesh. Flesh is fragile; it moves and is vulnerable. Jesus became vulnerable. The message Jesus gives us is a new reality; that we can accept ourselves in our brokenness, and when this happens, we can accept one another. The walls break down between us. My heart of stone can be turned into a heart of flesh; and those who I reject can heal me if I accept them! However, I cannot say that I am healed. I can only say that I am on a road of healing. I cannot say that I am fully transformed. I can only say that I am on a road of transformation. (How true this is if we are honest with ourselves!) When we think of the disabled and others like them: Vanier says that they themselves also have the power (within their vulnerability) to heal us. (This has so often been my own experience when ministering to the sick and the vulnerable).
The presence of God is in the weakest and most vulnerable; it is we who have to grow; in accepting people with their differences. Vanier again gives examples of people who are different, and encourages us to invite such people to our table who we might not usually think of inviting. Ask the vulnerable, make oneself vulnerable, around one’s own table. This is what Jesus meant when no one came to the banquet; when he said to go out into the street and ask the poor, the lame and the vulnerable. (During my own personal time of grief; I have often invited various different people to my table at home; and I can confirm that it really has made a difference, and it has certainly been part of my own on-going healing process).
Transformation says Vanier, is to discover that I can only move from the wound to the vision because some how I have had an experience of Jesus, who is saying to me, “Follow me.” Vanier believes that if you have not touched the place of wounds within yourself, you cannot walk to the place of Resurrection. It’s ok to say, “In the name of the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit,” when we make the sign of the cross, but we cannot stop there. We ought to live the cross. Living the cross of hope means we know we are wounded, but we know too that we are loved. (This too has always been my inner joy, throughout the ups and downs of life, as a child of God, knowing that I am loved!)
Vanier writes, washing someone’s feet is a very powerful thing to do! The very act itself can be a demonstration of love for another. (For me this experience has been very powerful (both on the receiving end, and the washing of someone else’s feet) but I know it isn’t for all, we each receive different gifts from the Holy Spirit). After washing the Disciples feet; the next day Jesus would be killed, assassinated like Martin Luther King Jr; Mahatma Gandhi, Roger Shultz, and others… Jesus wants to liberate us all with his love. Vanier, doesn’t just believe in the vocation to the priesthood or religious life, he also believes in the vocation of people with disabilities. The vocation of people’s hearts filled with love. (We can love one another, although we can be very different because of our backgrounds, our cultures, our sicknesses and our age; all that … but we are all human, born to need one another and to love one another.) None of us are better than anyone else, we are all called to be the Body of Christ, called to grow in love and be a sign of tenderness in the world. We all have a vocation to love Jesus.
Vanier concludes, that Jesus sent out his Disciples so that they may discover his presence in all those who are broken, lost, and have no hope. It is here that we begin to discover that as we go to the poor and the broken, they help to change our lives and make us become more human. And in becoming more human and loving, we become better disciples for Jesus.
Over the past fifteen years it has been both my privilege and my joy to serve the people of St Mary Magdalene Church and Parish. A huge thank you to Gordon our Vicar for his teaching, training, encouragement and friendship over those years. And to you all for your love, prayers and support: All thanks be to God. Wishing you all much Love, Joy, Peace, Hope and Faith in Jesus Christ, for the years to come… See you in the pews!
The Reverend Jackie Fish
Jackie’s last ‘official’ Service at St Mary Magdalene’s will be on Sunday 13th October – the Harvest festival, after which there will be celebrations. Keep alert for updates on this event!
It is with sadness that we report the death of MARY SAMPFORD, husband to our Vicar John (1978-2002). Funeral details are not known at the time of going to press, but her ashes will interred with John’s in our Memorial Garden, in due course. Requiescat in pace.
From the Parish Registers
4 August 2019
Cooper James Thompson
3 August 2019
Sophie Elizabeth Short to
Louis James Ashley Zaidman
Interment of Ashes in the Memorial Garden
18 August 2019
If anyone is celebrating a birthday or anniversary and wishes to take up the elements please inform the churchwardens.
For a PDF file of the Parish Magazine for this month please click here.
Regular Weekly Events
|Sunday||8:00 am||Holy Communion|
|10:00 am||Eucharist (Second Sunday in month Family Service)|
|6:30 pm||Evensong (or other ‘special’ service)|
|Please see the Google calendar for any further information regarding Sunday Services|
|Monday||10:00 am||Mattins (BCP)|
|Tuesday||7:45-9:00 pm||Bell Ringing Practice|
|Wednesday||8:30 pm||Drama Group|
|Thursday||10:30 am||Holy Communion (BCP)|
|7:30 pm||Choir Practice|
Thank you to all who came to our coffee morning on Tuesday 20th August. In fact so many came, 34 in total, that we were queueing out of the door!! Luckily the weather was good and we could use the garden. Our grandson Hugo enjoyed bringing round the biscuits, although we suspect that he ate many of them! At one point he asked why ‘everybody is talking and not eating’!!
Thank you also to Rita who helped a lot on the day with serving and to Elizabeth, who was on her first coffee morning, for bringing some extra eats, they were very welcome, and eaten! As always we ran a free raffle of various items donated which went well. Donations received on the day totalled £245 and with tax rebate gives the magnificent sum of £306.25. The next project, which this will go towards, will be the redecoration of the choir vestry and upgrading the vestry kitchen, which has been a bit sad for many years. Again, thank you for all who managed to come and we look forward to seeing you all again next year.
Gill and David Bird
Sunday Morning Coffee
We all enjoy our cup of coffee after the Parish Communion on Sunday mornings. This is prepared for us week by week by a dedicated team of Volunteers under the direction of Anneliese Fenwick. She needs more people to help her and if you feel able to join the ‘Team’ please speak to Anneliese.
Coffee Morning Dates 2019
September 17: Jackie Fish
October 15: Lilian and Colin
November 19: Gordon Giles
December 03: Rita Barker
This is to let you all know that my Christmas Coffee Morning which was booked for Tuesday 17th Dec has had to be altered as I will be 12k miles away so I have re-booked it for Tuesday 3rd December when we will still be singing Christmas Carols & having fun I hope - please make a note in your diaries now - I look forward to seeing lots of you then.
Coffee and a Concert
After the August break, concerts will resume at 12.30 pm on Wednesday 11 September when Catherine Leonard, a popular and talented pianist will play for us. If you are able – do come along and hear her and also partake of coffee/tea and home made cake in the vestry from 11.30 am. All are welcome.
11.30pm – 1pm
Coffee, tea and cake available in the Choir Vestry from 11.30 am
Concert programme for 2019
September 11 – Catherine Leonard: Piano
October 9 – Serafini Chamber Group
November 13 – Michael and Marion Smith: Piano and Organ
December 11 – Suzannah Knight: Oboe; Michael Lovejoy: Violin and Roddy Elmer: Piano
September 18: Haven House Children’s Hospice. 2pm.
October 16: Mo will give a visual trip around Singapore, New Zealand and Bali, with a background of the ‘good, the bad and the ugly. 2pm
November 20: Making music together, Eleanor. 2pm.
December 18: Fellowship Christmas Lunch, 12.30- 1pm. Venue tba
Please encourage friends to join us, especially when something is of interest.
Saturday 28 september at 5.00 pm
If you are able to join in and sing, play, recite, dance etc for a maximum of five minutes please contact me on Sunday 22 September at the latest so that a programme can be arranged and printed. Tea and cake will be available in the Hall following the concert. Everyone is invited to come along and enjoy the informal performance.
Launde Abbey Trip August 2019
We had a lovely time in Launde Abbey (as we always do!). The focus was on faith and science and we watched some videos, discussed and debated some profound material on the relationship between science and religion. As always, we also reflected on our Mission Action Plan, and the outcome is listed below, in terms of suggestions of thing to do and/or try out in the coming year or so. Please do comment, ask questions and let me know what you think, especially if you were not part of the discussion at Launde.
What shall we DO?
- Open Air service
- Church Family Open Day / Activity Day
- Get involved with the Local Homeless Project
- More banners
- Something really different, eg Café Church / Gospel Brunch
- Enfield Dispatch
- 4pm Services
- St Mary Magdalen - Oratorio
- Art Exhibition (maybe with flowers)
- Organ and Curry
- Semi Pro Coir
- Keying into RE KS2
(10 am Saturday morning in the Church or earlier as arranged)
28 September 2019
Peter Lamb/Carol Lamb
If you know of any lady or gentleman who would be able to help with stapling, or if you are unable to keep any of the above dates, please contact either Michael or Janet Dixon or Janet Whelpdale.
Items for the October edition to the editor by Sunday 15 September.
Please use the magazine section of the pigeon-holes or email to firstname.lastname@example.org. Documents should be in Microsoft Word or plain text. If you know of anyone who would be able to help with stapling or if you are unable to keep the above dates please contact either Michael or Janet Dixon or Janet Whelpdale
North Enfield Food Bank
We make regular contributions to the Food Bank and their needs change from time to time. Up to date information can be found on their web site: northenfield.foodbank.org.uk.
At the moment they urgently need: Tinned tomatoes, tinned meat, tinned fruit, tinned vegetables, tinned meat soup, tinned spaghetti/spaghetti hoops, instant mash, instant noodles, savoury snacks – crisps / popcorn / crackers, chocolate / snack bars, biscuits, tinned puddings, rice pudding, custard, shampoo/conditioner, shower gel, toilet roll.
They have plenty of: Beans, pasta, cereal, beans/pulses (kidney, black-eyed peas and lentils) tea, sugar and cereal.