The Minister writes… (November 2019)

Dear friends,

Many people will have heard about ‘Movember,’ the month when men are encouraged to grow a moustache to raise awareness of men’s health, but did you know that it also the month to ‘Go Vegetarian’? Indeed, the 1st of the month is World Vegan Day but if that seems too big a step to take, you might still consider taking up Go Vegetarian’s ‘Veg pledge.’ The idea is that, alongside eating more healthily and with less negative impact on the environment, you could raise money and awareness for Cancer Research UK.

If you sign up (see link below) they will send you delicious meat-free recipes for the month. You could combine it with celebrating National Sandwich Day on 3rd November – but choose your filling wisely!

It is interesting to ponder how some of these awareness days, weeks or even months have come about. Some dates have a long history. On 5th November we celebrate Bonfire Night which recalls the infamous plot to blow up the Houses of Parliament in 1605. Of course, that is only in the UK, but other dates have international significance such as Remembrance Day on November 11th which, though it started as Armistice Day, has broadened to include other wars and conflicts and honours not only the soldiers who died but also others who served and sacrificed  in different ways.

This year, Remembrance Sunday falls on the 10th November and we mark it with a service at our own church, followed by the civic service at Sandhurst Memorial Park.

On that Sunday we are also going to be holding a Service of Remembrance and Thanksgiving at our church at 4pm. This will be a time of reflection and worship, and an opportunity to remember loved ones who have died. It will be a time, I hope, of finding comfort in the knowledge of an eternal God who loves us and all those whom we have loved. Although those who have been bereaved in recent years may feel particularly drawn to it, the service is open to anyone who would like to remember people dear to them who have died. There will be an opportunity to light a candle and their names will be read out. If you would like a name(s) included (even if you can not attend yourself) please let me know. There are also invitations available for you to pass to anyone you think might like to attend.

A less solemn thought to leave you with: if you see me clutching a teddy bear on November 7th, it will be because I am observing ‘Hug a bear’ day. It seems the perfect antidote to International Stress Awareness Week which starts on the 4th November – at least, that is, as long as the bear is of the cuddly toy type. I rather think that hugging any other kind might not have the desired effect!

With love and every blessing,