Rev Jo’s Letter – Oct 2021

I think what we have missed most about church over the last 18 months or so is singing—so on Sunday October 10th at 3pm we are having a mammoth Songs of Praise with Harvest hymns and many other favourites –12 in all! This will replace the usual 10.30 service just for this month. 

We have been giving thought to worship at Ryhall by asking those who come to church to give their views. We are aware of the need to gather in young families by offering a livelier service while continuing to offer traditional worship for our existing ‘regulars’, who were insistent that they did not wish to lose familiar traditional services. It is possible to offer both and we can– and must – do this so that there is something for everyone. We plan to hold All Age Worship on the second Sunday of the month at 10.30, starting in January. A service for those who prefer more 
traditional worship, either Evensong or an 8am Communion will also take place on that day—details and time to follow. 

Something that many mentioned as a ‘must’ was music; familiar hymns and organ or piano accompaniment. At pre-sent we are without a regular organist/pianist, but we hope to have someone before too long. Again, details will follow. So those of all tastes will both be catered for.
We greatly appreciate our gardeners at Ryhall, who have worked wonders in removing ivy and brambles, restoring flower beds and digging out tree stumps. It would be lovely to round up the gardening season with a meal 
together. If the gardeners would like to let me know their thoughts, I will enquire about a booking. And if you are not yet a member of the gardening gang, you are welcome to come too and see what a friendly bunch we are.
So much for organisational matters, which tend to occupy most of my working week; now to something theological. 
The refugee situation continues to fill our screens and newspapers. 

Christ Himself and the Holy Family were refugees, as they fled to Egypt to escape the terror of Herod. As an adult, Jesus was an itinerant preacher travelling through Galilee and Judea to spread his message: “Foxes have holes, and birds of the air have nests, but the Son of Man has nowhere to lay His Head.” (Mt 8-20) 
Jesus lived as a migrant and refugee to demonstrate solidarity with his people. He teaches us that to attain the Kingdom of Heaven, we must welcome the stranger: “For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me.” (Mt. 25:35) “Just as you did this to the least of these who are members of our family, you did it to me.” (Mt. 25:40). 

May we put his words into action and welcome the stranger. 
With best wishes