Vicar's Letter

Dear Friends,

The countdown to school holidays has begun! I still feel that anticipation and excitement that I experienced as a child, even though it is a very long time since I left school!  Wimbledon has begun. It is also Good Shepherd Sunday on 7th July. I hope many of you will be free to join us for this special day in the life of our church. It is the annual celebration of our life together at The Good Shepherd – a time to be thankful and praise God! I am delighted to be welcoming back, Carol Cooper, who was on placement with us last summer. Carol will be preaching for us. Do make her welcome.

July can be a busy month at The Good Shepherd, as we try to fit in the meetings we need to have before people start going off on holiday.  After that, the hope is to keep August as free of meetings as possible so that everyone can have a good rest and a chance to re-charge the batteries before September.

There is still quite a lot going on through July and August! 

Once again members of our church are involved in running the Children’s Holiday Club based at Larchfield Community Centre.  This will run every morning from Tuesday 30th July to Friday 2nd August. This summer the theme will be ‘Space Academy’, linking in with the 50th Anniversary of the first moon landing. I’m sure Alice Gilbert, the youth worker at West Street URC will, as usual, have lots of great games, craft activities and Bible stories lined up to fit in with the space theme. Extra volunteers would be very welcome! You do not need to be there for all the mornings – just any morning you can manage. If you have children or grandchildren of Primary School age, do book them in to this Fun Event.  Spaces are limited.  Please keep the children, leaders and volunteers at the Holiday Club in your prayers.

Please do come along to the Cream Teas on Saturday 17th August at the Community Centre from 3-5pm. This is always a lovely relaxing and enjoyable afternoon. Thanks, in anticipation to our Social and Fundraising Group for all their hard work. Do think of people you could invite or encourage to come along!

Do also look out for other dates, yet to be arranged – a Quiet Morning sometime in August, and maybe one or two films to enjoy. I also hope to offer an evening (and possibly a daytime session too) on Mindfulness for those who may be interested in finding out more about it. I did a Mindfulness course for clergy some years ago and have found it very beneficial. Do come along! There will also be the opportunity to experience a Mindfulness meditation or two. Watch Bleatings for dates and further details.

I never seem to have enough time for visiting, or to see people one-to-one. If you would like to book some time for a chat during August, to talk about concerns you may have, pastoral matters, or perhaps how you might take steps in deepening your faith, getting more involved, using your gifts, or discerning how God may be calling you – do contact me. The Diocesan Vocations Department has also recently produced some very helpful resources to aid some of these discussion areas.

Enjoy the rest of the summer – especially those of you taking holidays in the coming weeks. If you are unable to get a break away, I do hope you can find time for rest and relaxation over July and August.

As we take time and space for holidays or relaxation in other ways, may we know the presence of the God who calls us into being, who longs that we should know and love him, and who promises to be with us always (whether at home or away).

Every blessing,

Joan H