A walk in the countryside or at the coast provides us with some amazing scenes, sights, scents and smells. On a recent walk in the countryside, I noticed a patchwork of fields in their various shades and tones of green, and in white, where the grass had been cut recently. There were bales of hay in one of the fields, and in other fields there were cattle in a variety of colours and breeds.
The patchwork of fields was intersected with hedges, fences and trees of different kinds, of different ages and stages of growth. There were electricity pylons and poles, electricity and telephone wires. There were birds in flight, birds resting on the wires and in the trees. Some of the birds were singing sweetly, others were squawking and cawing.
There was an array of aromas, including the smell of cut grass, the scent of honeysuckle, dogrose and other plants in the hedges along the roadside, as well the scent of flowers from gardens.
In many ways it can be easy for people to take the world around us for granted. As we appreciate its beauty and many resources may we be those who acknowledge God as the One who created it all. As we recognise the beauty of the world and appreciate its many resources may we be motivated to use the earth’s resources wisely and responsibly, and care for the environment.
There are many things that damage and mar the beauty and balance of God’s world, and cause harm and hurt to people. Environmental issues impact on all our lives. War, violence, aggression and natural disasters impact on the lives of those caught up in them, and often they impact on the lives of many other people as well.
As we think and reflect on these things, it’s worth remembering that human beings are the pinnacle of all God created. We are made in his image and likeness, made to know Him and have a loving relationship with Him. God created human beings in His own image, male and female He created them.
Sadly, the closeness and intimacy of that relationship was disrupted and was broken by sin. We can’t repair the relationship by our own efforts, but God has made it possible for people’s relationship with Him to be restored and renewed.
God loves you so much that he gave His One and only Son, that all who put their trust in Him as their Saviour can know a restored relationship with Him. In all that’s happening in your life at the moment, in the challenges and in the opportunities, know that you are loved by God, invited and called into a loving and life transforming relationship with Him, where the Holy Spirit lives with us and within us.
God wants us to appreciate and enjoy the world He has created; He wants us to appreciate and enjoy a restored and renewed relationship with Him and with other members of his family. He longs for us to be those who encourage and support one another and help others know and understand they are loved by God. As a Church family we seek to share God’s love with others, so please contact us if you need help or support.
The Bible talks about the importance of meeting together to worship God and the importance of encouraging and supporting one another as we seek to grow in our relationship with God and with one another. Let’s make the most of the opportunities we have to meet together to worship God, to grow in our relationship with Him, to develop relationships within the family of God, and help others know they are loved by God. Let’s be those who are growing in God’s love and sharing it with others!
During the summer months I hope you will have an opportunity to appreciate and enjoy the beauty of God’s creation. May you be reminded of God, the One who created the world, the One who created you, the One who loves you. May you know His love, His grace, His mercy, His peace, His presence and His power.
Diane Ruddock is partway through her training as a Diocesan Reader, and has completed the Parish Reader’s training. We look forward to her commissioning as a Parish Reader at the 9.45am service on Sunday 24th July and to welcoming Diane to her new role at the 11.30am service. We wish Diane every blessing in her role as a Parish Reader and in her continuing studies.
Holy Trinity Church 8.30am Holy Communion | 9.45am Morning Service | 11.30am Morning Worship
St Patrick’s Church 10.00am Morning Service
Online Sunday Services
Our online Sunday services are available from 10.30am on the parish website (bchurch.co.uk), Facebook, YouTube, and the ‘dial-in’ number 028 4040 0345.
10.30am Holy Communion Holy Trinity Church
Over the summer months, we plan to have at least one picnic for the whole church family after Sunday services. Our first picnic will be on Sunday 24th July. Bring your own picnic, we’ll provide the tea and coffee, and enjoy time catching up and getting to know others at church! Please save the date and plan to join us.
Please Help Us to Keep in Touch
Just like any family, we love to keep in touch and share news! As part of our commitment to wisely steward our resources – both paper and finances – we’re looking to increase our capacity to communicate via email. Over the next months, we’re planning to launch a new email newsletter, which will contain all the information from this letter, plus handy links to make bookings for upcoming events. The email will also include the information normally enclosed with the letter.
In order to make this possible, we want to make sure we have up-to-date information: even if you think we already have it, please send your email address to firstname.lastname@example.org, and invite others in your household to do the same, so no one misses out on news from our church family!
We will continue to post the letter to those who would prefer a hard copy and to those who don’t use email.
Equipping For Life
Equipping for Life is a charity set up in 2018 by Bro. David Jardine. It is a faith-based initiative that aims to support children and young people’s learning and development. To date the main activity has been working with schools to provide literacy support.
This is an exciting and encouraging initiative and initially we are planning to partner with EFL to provide literacy support to children in two of our local schools, Abercorn and Edenderry. We are aiming to begin this initiative in the autumn term, which involves volunteers visiting the school for a short time and helping a child develop his/her literacy skills as they read together. Those who volunteer will receive training and support.
If you’d like to find out more or be part of the Equipping for Life initiative in Banbridge, please contact the Rector or Denise Jones via the Parish Office. Denise is co-ordinating the local Equipping for Life initiative.
Need Help or Require Pastoral Care and Support
Please contact me, or the Parish Office (028 4062 email@example.com) if you, or someone you know, need help or support, or phone me (028 4062 2612 or 07933096720) if you would like to talk or would like someone to pray with you.
Please keep in touch with family, friends and neighbours as we seek to provide help and support to one another and be ‘the Church at the heart of Banbridge and Seapatrick.’
Click on the month below to view previous pastoral letters: