Park Grove Methodist Church
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Park Grove Methodist Church.
September Pastoral Newsletter
Gosh! I cannot believe it’s nearly September! In a break from my usual pattern this email is *EARLY* not late (please make a note in your perpetual diary of this momentous occasion!) Partly because there is lots I want to share about what’s happening from September around our amazing villages.
There’s a reflection on Song of Songs, news about Hampsthwaite, an Invitation to Manse fellowship, and news from around the villages- so do read on!
We had an amazing time in France- and I’m back in the study this week getting ready for everything that is to come! (I’m not isolating but I will be keeping my distance!)
My wedding rings finally came back this week from being resized, and so it seemed appropriate when the lectionary offers Song of Songs to spend a little time reflecting on love- in all it’s forms
The voice of my beloved!
Look, he comes,
leaping upon the mountains,
bounding over the hills.
My beloved is like a gazelle
or a young stag.
Look, there he stands
behind our wall,
gazing in at the windows,
looking through the lattice.
My beloved speaks and says to me:
‘Arise, my love, my fair one,
and come away;
for now the winter is past,
the rain is over and gone.
The flowers appear on the earth;
the time of singing has come,
and the voice of the turtle-dove
is heard in our land.
The fig tree puts forth its figs,
and the vines are in blossom;
they give forth fragrance.
Arise, my love, my fair one,
and come away.
Song of Songs 2:8-13
I wonder if you’ve ever been in love? There’s that initial rush of delight at discovering a soul mate, a child a deep friendship, and then there’s the humdrum, putting the bins out, arguing over bedtime, trying to get a date/time to eventually get together for coffee. There are many different types of love, and in Song of Songs (or Song of Solomon depending which version you read) the love can be read in many ways. Some people try and say “well this shouldn’t be in scripture, it’s too lewd” others say “of course it’s all jus a metaphor for Christ’s love of the church” My understanding is that it can be both. It is a passionate song between too lovers, but all love is a reflection of God who is Love, and of God’s love for us. The idea that God pursues us, loves us, both as a community and as individuals can make us very reserved British people uncomfortable at times, we are much easier with the “putting the bins out” type of love than the type of love that would pursue their beloved over hot coals and elope together! But that’s how much, and how passionately God loves us, (to death and beyond) and Song of Solomon is a reflection of the beauty of passionate love in all it’s forms. Just don’t take it too literally!
It’s with much sadness, but a real sense of God’s hand and guidance that Hampsthwaite have officially requested permission to “cease to meet” (close as a chapel congregation) those of you who receive a circuit plan will see that their final service will be on 3rd October, with a circuit tea at 4:30pm, and a service of celebration at 6pm. Please do come along and help them celebrate all that God has done, and will continue to do in the lives of the congregation and village.
Lots of you will know that over the summer I’ve been offering “garden gate” pop by ad sit outside for a natter, and now that restrictions are easing I’ve asked myself “what do I really want to spend my last 12 months here doing?”
Unsurprisingly the answer involves food, scripture, and chatting. So from 13th September during term time every Monday, from 12:30-2:30 I want to invite you round to my house (which will be a tip- bring Lego proof shoes!) where we will share lunch (soup or pasta probably!) have a natter, read the bible together and chat about it. As those at Killinghall and Hampsthwaite will know my bible studies are informal, there are no “right and wrong” answers and we think and wrestle together with what God is saying to us. You don’t need to commit to come every week to pop by sometimes, but it would be helpful to know if you’re planning to come- so I don’t end up with 28kg of cooked pasta to eat myself! Let me know if you have dietary needs, and if the thought of me cooking terrifies you I won’t mind if you bring a packed lunch instead.
Around the Villages
There’s loads happening in September! Everyone is back to the regular plan, no more looking to see where is and isn’t worshipping, and you can pop round to see friends without booking.
28th August (I know- not September!) Coffee morning and craft sale.
Monday Mornings will be The Nest and Toddler Group once schools are back. Craft and Chatter is coming back too! Monthly on the 3rd Sunday will be Explore Together, a different take on all age worship, with something for everyone. Harvest 26th September.
Services at 3pm every week with the usual warm, song filled welcome, contact Ivy for the hymn singing dates. It’s such a wonderful setting and congregation, do come along if you find yourself at a loose end on a Sunday afternoon- especially if your Sunday Morning has been busy with stewarding and working for God.
Have their joint village harvest on 26th September at the Anglican Church (which is beautiful if you’ve never been!) and their harvest hymns the following week. The Nest is on each Wednesday Morning and has a great group of new families coming along, with cake and prayer at 11:30 on Wednesday too.
Are fully back in the swing, having had a wonderful service “At The Farm” and their harvest isn’t in September so I won’t tell you (3rd Oct 10:45am!!!)
Have awesome plans to engage the village, with a cafe style service on the 2nd Sunday of every month, and their usual fabulous evening harvest on 19th September at 6:30pm, do come along and support them.