In October, the 15th to be precise, I will have been your Team Vicar for three years! Where has that time gone? It is my great joy and privilege to serve St Katharine’s and St Thomas’s. I am really blessed to serve within a great team and I feel like I’ve known some of you all my life! I mean that as a compliment not a sentence! My ministry has its challenges and I know there are lots of things I’d like to do and some that I should do and probably things that I shouldn’t do as well. I can only say that like all of us I am a work in progress and God isn’t finished with me yet. Thankfully.
October is the time when we celebrate Harvest. I still love the traditional Harvest Festival with “We plough the fields and scatter” and “Come ye thankful people come”. The words might be out of date but they invoke in me a sense of gratitude for all the “good gifts around us, sent from heaven above”. This year our harvest collection will go to The Woodland Trust who are planting trees on the Smithills Estate. Many trees have already been planted and unfortunately many of those were destroyed in last year’s moorland fires. There is a concerted effort now to plant 20,000 trees and they would like the churches’ help. There are several dates in November when they are asking for volunteers to get involved. I am up for it are you?
It would be a great way to follow through our Harvest gifts. On the 6th October at the 11am service a speaker from The Woodland Trust will give us a talk about their work. Give it some thought, and if you are interested we could form a party and go and help. Trees have been called the “lungs of the earth” because of their role in reducing carbon in the air. They “breathe in” carbon dioxide and “breathe out” oxygen. The exact opposite to human beings. Isn’t our God amazing to think of that! So give generously to our Harvest appeal and if you can, do get involved in planting trees.
October is also the time when we think about Stewardship. We are so grateful for those of you who contribute in the envelope scheme or by standing order. It enables us to budget and plan our spending. The church is only able to be open because of you. Stewardship isn’t just about money though. We also need your skills and talents both in running the church and in its worship and mission. We would love some more choir members. Garyth is planning some new music so it would be great to have more voices. We also would like some more servers and acolytes to assist in the services. Full training will be given and it’s such a privilege to serve in this way. There is no age limit for this, just a willing heart. Please consider how you can use your own gifts to the glory of God and have a word with me or Garyth for the choir, or Brian McCabe for the servers.
Jesus said to his disciples, ‘The harvest is plentiful, but the labourers are few; therefore ask the Lord of the harvest to send out labourers into his harvest.’ Matthew 9. 37-38
Please pray that more people will respond to God’s calling to serve Him at St Katharine’s.
God bless you all.