Shepton Beauchamp

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Remembrance Sunday

This month of November brings with it Remembrance Sunday and many of us are be caught between different feelings: some may wear a red poppy to honour those who fought – especially those who didn’t return. Others may wear a white poppy to pledge themselves to peace. Some may want to look back and thank God that ‘our boys’ won and that this country remained free. Others may want the freedom to be proud of ‘our boys and girls’ who are fighting today without facing the accusation of encouraging or glorifying warfare. Some may want to remember the victory of self-sacrifice… and others want to be able to forget the horror of war.

Two of the readings for Remembrance Sunday help us sort out our feelings….

A. In Isaiah we look forward to a time when God will create a new heaven and a new earth – with love and peace and prosperity for all people: life will not always be this hard and in the end God will sort it out. BUT….

B. Paul, in his letter to the Thessalonians gives warning to those who are prepared to just wait for God to sort things out and so fritter their lives and their time away sitting around. ‘Do not be weary in doing what is right’ says Paul. Sometimes we cannot simply dream of peace – but we have to be prepared to struggle with all the issues to work out what is the right thing to do.

Paul tells us not to be put off from facing the difficult question, ‘what are we to do?’. Can we sit back & hope God will sort it out; or is this abdicating our responsibility?

This Remembrance Sunday, as we again face the question ‘in the face of suffering and warfare and conflict – what are we to do?’, our faith helps us to rephrase the question - ‘What would God have us do?’. What does Remembrance Sunday mean in 2013? To remember? To forgive? To give thanks? To pray for peace? Can we - each one of us - make a difference in the way we treat other people, especially those with whom we disagree? How can we allow God to change us this Remembrance Sunday, so that we can be agents of peace and forgiveness in a world which longs for both?

Make me a channel of your peace. Where there is hatred let me bring your love; where there is injury your pardon, Lord; and where there's doubt true faith in you. Amen.

LOVED AND LOST

REMEMBERING OUR DEPARTED LOVED ONES

10th November (5.00pm) - at Shepton Beauchamp Church Have you known someone who has died and is remembered with great affection? Loved and Lost is a quiet service of reading, remembering, reflection and respect. During the service there is the opportunity for you to light a candle and remember individuals by name. Lasting half an hour it is a means of remembering our lost loved ones and honouring their memory and many who have attended in the past have been really helped by the experience.

FUNDRAISING MATTERS - it really does matter

A VERY BIG THANK YOU - to everyone who, in any way, has helped to contribute to the fundraising activities of our little village churches…..

10th Oct Shepton Beauchamp - RNAS Band Concert - raised £2600 to be split between Help for Heroes and Shepton Church.

THANK YOU EVERYONE! The Rector

A Vicar climbs to the top of Mt. Sinai to get close to and talk to God and looking heavenward, he asks the Lord, “God, what does a million years mean to you?” The Lord replies, ’A minute‘. The Vicar asks,’And what does a million pounds mean to you?’ The Lord replies,’A penny.‘ The Vicar asks,’Can I have a penny?’ The Lord replies,’In a minute.’

REV’D CHLOE KINGDON WRITES - hymn singing

Thank you to all who have come along to hymn practices over the past months, they will continue on Tuesdays from 2-3pm at the following churches: everyone is welcome to come and learn some new/old/different hymns.

NOVEMBER …. 5th Shepton Beauchamp 12th Dowlish Wake 19th Shepton 26th Dowlish DECEMBER 3rd Shepton 10th Dowlish

Practices will begin again in January.

Food for Thought

Annie Gurner – Deanery Rural Advisor

As I write this column in early October, we are in the midst of the time of ‘mellow fruitfulness’ – the cereal harvest is now in, the apple pickers and cider makers are working flat out, and the early mist and chills are warning us of a winter coming.  For the younger generation seasonal produce is losing its relevance as we expect to find fruit and vegetables, bread and fresh meat in our shops all the year round.  Sometimes, I feel so fortunate to have all these food choices; other times I am nostalgic for the loss of anticipation that eating with the seasons brought.

I have attended about a dozen harvest festivals this Autumn, to celebrate food production and local farm producers, and to give thanks for our forgiving and productive local soil, and all their hard work. A new feature of harvests this year is the ubiquitous collection of produce for local food banks. Whilst I suspect we have always distributed harvest foods to the poor, the housebound and the homeless, and it is a lovely to see the local primary schools continuing with this practice, there are now an estimated half a million people in the UK who are reliant on food aid. We are accustomed to seeing British and other charities and government agencies deliver food aid to third world countries, but increasingly recognise that this is an emergency, stop-gap measure. Yet government figures suggest that four million people in the UK now suffer from food poverty, and the Trussell Trust (a network of UK food banks), reports the creation of two or three new food banks each week throughout 2011 and 2012. And this in the seventh richest country and the world!

A recent report called Walking with the Breadline – the scandal of food poverty in 21st Century Britain (available from Oxfam and Church Action on Poverty), suggests that the withdrawal of benefits or delays and sanctions on payments have gone too far and need to be reviewed urgently, and together with unemployment and rising prices of fuel and food, contribute significantly to this situation. They also propose more priority be given to addressing tax dodging by companies to help avoid further benefit cuts. What can we do? Perhaps, in addition to keeping up our own generosity to local food banks, we could take time to tell our elected representatives what we think about food poverty. In the countryside, deprivation is often more hidden, and our neighbours may well really value the offer of a hot meal with us or some sharing of our produce. In the meantime South Somerset is celebrating their new Anaerobic Digestion plant which is to be partly fuelled by our food waste, collected from the kerbside. Apparently this facility may generate enough electricity to power several thousand Somerset homes. It makes you think, doesn’t it? Annie Gurner

From the Church Registers

14th October Dennis (Danny) Russell, 85 yrs Service at Taunton Crematorium
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