The Manse : Letter for September 2021

Shall I compare thee to a summer’s day…?

My dear friends of St John’s and St Leonard’s in the Fields,

While summer on our ‘Sceptred Isle’ for so many has been glorious, as families and friends have gathered to enjoy together special moments amidst sunshine, showers and more sunshine, far away in land-locked Afghanistan summer is anything but restful. As I write in late August, the Paralympics are in full swing in Tokyo and, together with the July Games, have enabled us to witness men and women in harmony amidst victories and defeats: how sad and tragic that that microcosm in Japan of inter-locking Olympian continents cannot echo the continuing east/west conflict as seen in Afghanistan and also the Holy Land. Let us as Christians pray for peace in these distant lands where our soldiers have gone - and most recently our local Regiment, The Black Watch - to enable citizens to live in peace and have hope for tomorrow.

Watching from afar on our television screens, we count our blessings and thank God for our freedom, our Island Kingdom and our peaceful lives which will have contained in summer for many of us :  rest, a change from the normal routine: a visit to a beach, or the hills, a forest, a loch, an ocean or some other exciting place; and did you send your family a post card?!

A while ago you may remember, we all enjoyed a little literary fun: asked to write a story/poem/song on a moral/religious/ethical theme with a beginning, middle and an end, you and I had to write it in 50 words, perhaps the length you would write on a postcard. So I thought I’d ask you to write one with a glance over your shoulder at the Summer of 21…please send yours to me and a friend of mine will be the judge for ‘best in show’.

With summer nearly over, schools returning, routines once more to the fore, new experiences to share, old friends with whom to reminisce, church attendances gradually becoming what once they were, anxiety rightly about Covid and now extreme worry about Afghanistan: here is mine to set yours in motion….
Clasping onto aeroplanes, running on tarmac, humanity on the run. Summer 21 sees strife as history repeats itself while the pandemic rages. Earth suffers where evil, disease, war and power-mongers appear to have the upper hand : but, hold fast, goodness will always prevail : the Lord is at hand today.

Stay calm, follow the King of love: give, care, pray, love and may the God of peace be with you and all whom you love.

The September Services are listed on the home page and I very much hope that whenever you wish to come to church you will feel at ease and very much at home as together we worship God in the beauty of holiness.

May God continue to bless you in your own individual situation and bring you a great sense of His peace which passes all understanding.

My very best wishes to you and all that September will contain.

John