As we move into the month June- so the Church moves into
Ordinary Time, following the celebration of Trinity Sunday which
this year was on 31 May.
calls this time 'Ordinary' not to indicate that it is worth any
the less in God's view, but simply that it is a time not punctuated
by any of the great Feasts or Festivals of the Church. The colour
of our vestments (the special robes worn by the priest and the
cloths that dress the altars etc., in church) are all green -
which also seems to suit the time of year when our gardens and
the whole of nature bursts into life and growth - not ordinary
we celebrated Rogation - when we ask God to bless the crops just
beginning to grow in the fields; and to bless us with a good
harvest when the time comes. Living here in Pattingham it is
still possible to feel close to the miracles of nature. The
beauty of our countryside often reminds me of the saying we get
from the Celtic church - that God teaches us through two great
books; the first is the Bible, but the second is that of nature
herself. And many people feel closer to God, or at least to something
bigger than themselves, when they are out of doors rather than
in a building - even one as beautiful as St Chad's. I am still
really surprised at how the natural world - and climate change
in particular - seemed to feature so little in the recent General
Election.... from almost all the parties!
that bring us closer to God will I imagine also be to the fore
when we visit the Cathedral in Lichfield on the morning of Saturday
13 June for the latest of the "For Richer For Poorer"
days with our partners at St Alban's Wednesfield. Terry Braithwaite
from St Albans was one of the visitors to South Africa from this
diocese earlier in the year and we hope very much that he will
be able to come and speak about his experiences with the Hands
at Work Africa organisation - both in the cathedral and perhaps
here in Pattingham too. Anyone who would like to join us on 13
June to hear more, please contact me.
And last but
not least I will be returning to the Cathedral at the end of
the month - Sunday 28th - to see Ness Tobin ordained as a deacon
in the Church of England. Ness did a placement with us this time
last year and since then she and her family have been regular
members of our congregation here in Pattingham. It is an occasion
of great joy to see her ordained - tinged with a little sadness
that from then on she will be working in her new parish - St
Thomas' Wednesdfield, with the Team Rector there, the Revd. Nick
Watson. But since that is the same team in which St Alban's is
a part - maybe we will still see her occasionally! Wherever she
is, I am sure she will have a wonderful ministry.
So maybe June
will not be so ordinary after all!