We’d love you to join us for our Harvest Festival on Sunday 6th October 3pm for an afternoon service of thanksgiving followed by refreshments in the hall. The celebrations wrap up with the Harvest Sale on Mon 7th October 7pm following a short service. It’s a wonderful time of year, celebrating all that we’ve been given, hard endeavours reaped, nourishment and sustainment both physically and spiritually.
World mental health day is on the 10th October which is a great opportunity to reflect on our own mental health and those around us. If you’re finding things hard going at the moment, finding fears and worries are having an impact on your life or have any concerns that things aren’t right for you please talk to someone about it. Your GP can be a great first point of contact and charities such as Mind can also be a valuable source of help. We should also look out for mental health issues in those around us – any changes in patterns of behaviour, loss of interest in activities that they previously enjoyed or an unwillingness to engage with others, especially following a life-changing event (positive or negative) can be a clue that someone we know is struggling and sometimes all it takes is a friendly “Hi, how are you feeling today?” to start a conversation that will make all the difference in someone’s life.
1 in 4 of us will experience some form of mental health issue this year but help and support is available and does make a difference. Mind can be contacted on 0300 123 3393 weekdays from 9am-6pm.
Sometimes things in life can be a bit of a challenge! I recently started a project in our garden to clear some of the ground ready to add a pathway and some new plants. Once the ground was prepared and slabs laid, I started early the next morning to do the planting. The following morning one of the little plants had been pulled up. So I dutifully put it back in. The same thing happened again and again. Then something started pulling up a couple of the others. The poor plants with their roots continually exposed to the full heat of the summer sun are looking tired and drained. I feel their frustration! Having given them plenty of water and added some rocks to help hold them down whilst they reattempt to establish themselves, I’m hopeful it may deter whatever it is that has taken a liking to uprooting them.
This incident is only a minor thing, however it’s a good example of how in everyday life things can sometimes seem to be against us no matter what we do. Perhaps a test of our endurance or training for patience or other fruits of the Spirit. Whatever we find ourselves up against, large or small we are encouraged to remember these words Moses said to Israel before they entered the promised land:
“Be determined and confident. Do not be afraid of them. Your God, the Lord himself, will be with you. He will not fail you or abandon you” Deuteronomy chapter 31, verse 6
At Horton Heath we’ve started an ‘eco church’ project where we’re encouraging wildlife with patches of wild flowers, bird feeders and nesting boxes along with plans to create a bug hotel and more!
To help create a wildlife pit stop at our church. We already have our residential bees, a variety of little birds visiting, scatty squirrels and evidence of badgers. One of which we suspect, with a little help from the squirrels took a particular liking to one of the feeders which is currently missing. We expect it will turn up sometime in the hedgerow or surrounding field.
It’s a lovely project and one that the whole church is actively behind, making the most of our beautiful setting nestled in the countryside. Many thanks to our Joan for instigating the initiative.
In a similar way the church is a pit stop for us each week, providing a place of rest and reflection, spiritual refuelling, as well as a community hub. All are welcome. We have our outdoor benches crafted from one of the tree trunks so you can sit and enjoy the wildlife and surroundings – let us know what wildlife you spot!
At the time of writing it is Mental Health Awareness Week. It’s such an important issue and something we need to be mindful of throughout the year, for ourselves and for those around us. It seems that ‘we’, nationally and as a society, have lost our way, especially when it comes to our individual needs. Our society is very much driven by financial success, and all about immediate results/delivery.
The demands, stress and strains this puts on our time, energy and wellbeing, as well as the knock on effects it has on our own family life are at tipping point. As a society our health, both physically and mentally, is out of balance – we’ve forgotten what’s important and what real success actually is. The very root as to what defines success is happiness & fulfilment. But how do you find this? Where do you draw your strength from in times of adversity and challenge? How do you stay true to what makes you happy?
“Everyone then who hears these words of mine and does them will be like a wise man who built his house on the rock. And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house, but it did not fall, because it had been founded on the rock. And everyone who hears these words of mine and does not do them will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand. And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell, and great was the fall of it.” Matthew 7:24-27
The house is a symbol of protection and safety. Our refuge. It also represents the foundations we put in place, our hope and faith. Jesus’ words and commandments are about love; compassion and understanding in action. How we live our daily lives in the community where we are. Here, using our own unique gifts, skills and talents given to us to serve others we’ll find happiness and fulfilment in abundance.
“May, more than any other month of the year, wants us to feel most alive” Fennel Hudson. A beautiful description aptly following on from the joys of Easter last month. Remembering the promise of a new and eternal life and the knowledge that Jesus is alive!
What brings you most alive? Is it someone you always look forward to spending time with, family holiday, being out and about in the great outdoors, get together with friends, a hobby or activity, your work?
If you could spend more time on the things you loved to do, which made you feel alive, how different would your day be? Sometimes the tasks we fill our days with are the things that don’t actually bring us fulfilment. We can all to easily busy ourselves chasing opportunities, looking for the next best thing. However this distracts. Pulling you away from what’s important to you. Draining your energy and preventing you from spending the time with those who matter the most to you. The things that make you feel happy. How many times have you said “I don’t have the time to…” We each have the option to make the best of every situation each day brings. To decide where and how our time is spent. Take action today to plan into your diary more of what makes you feel alive, schedule activities around your commitments. See what you can change about your current commitments and duties to make them work better and feel better for you. Watch the effect it brings.
“Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes? Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they?” Matthew 6:25-26
You’re invited to join us for some community Easter fun: Hot Cross Buns Coffee Afternoon & Easter Egg Hunt! Saturday 20th April between 3pm and 5pm.
The Easter Egg Hunt starts at 3.30pm (don’t be late for this very important date!) Easter bonnets, bunny ears or fancy dress completely optional!
Build up your energy for the hunt and restore it again afterwards with this lovely seasonal treat. Or simply sit back and relax whilst you enjoy watching the fun with freshly toasted hot cross buns and a knob of butter beautifully melting on top along with a nice warming cuppa.
Plus more Easter activities you can enjoy from the comfort of your chair. Bring along family and friends for some fun time out during the holidays, yummy food and good company. All donations in aid of Church Building Funds.
We look forward to seeing you there!
Sunday 7th April Chapel Anniversary
Afternoon Service at 3pm followed by tea
Monday 15th April, Wordshop, 7.30pm. ‘Jesus the Game Changer’:
Subject this month is ‘Women & Children’. Meets in the church hall.
Saturday 20th April, Hot Cross Buns Coffee Afternoon & Egg Hunt
3pm – 5pm (Easter Egg hunt starts at 3.30pm) – all invited.
Donations in aid of Church Building Funds
Sunday 21st April, Easter Day Service 10.45am
Annual Dinner, The Link, 7.30pm – Thursday 2nd May
please contact Joan Hayes for menu options
You’re invited to join us for freshly flipped pancakes this Shrove Tuesday, 5th March. Bring along friends and family, choose your favourite toppings and refreshments and enjoy! Donations in aid church maintenance. Drop in anytime between 6pm and 8pm.
The three main pancake ingredients, each with symbolical meanings:
– plain flour – for our daily bread
– eggs – for creation
– milk – for purity
combined and blended together to create a delicious treat.
This treat forms a wonderful reminder of the Holy Trinity and our personal relationship with the Trinity. The toppings we each eagerly choose to give full flavour to the treat and experience, all wrapped within the hot pancake. Whether traditional lemon and sugar, golden syrup, or ice cream and chocolate! We each have our own individual, personal tastes, and in the same way we have our own gifts, talents and passions. Which when aligned and combined with the Trinity achieves happiness and fulfilment.
So the humble pancake, whilst being delicious, is a wonderful metaphor and reminder of God’s presence within our lives, and the amazing goodness He has in store for us. Sometimes we need to flip things round to gain clarity, change direction and realign ourselves with God – this is all part of the preparation that Lent provides.
Pancakes are being served up in our church hall. We look forward to seeing you there!
Lent will soon be upon us, where we are challenged to reflect on our lives; to give up something that’s holding us back, or to start to do something new. Some people choose to give up a certain food or treat, others choose to break a bad habit, or to form a new good habit for 40 days, from Ash Wednesday to Easter Morning. Six weeks of self discipline. Reflective of Jesus’ 40 days in the wilderness as He prepared himself to complete His mission. The final part of His gift and promise.
What challenge will you set yourself? What will tempt you to revert? Can you do something that will benefit your own wellbeing as well as those around you, or take on a challenge together so that you are accountable to each other? We sometimes struggle when we try to go it alone and do things in our own power, not only during Lent but throughout our lives. The great news is you don’t have to:
“For God loved the world so much that He gave His one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in Him will not perish but have eternal life” John 3:16
What a gift and promise! You have a loving, mighty, powerful God. The Holy Trinity, watching over you, routing for you, wanting to help you, ready to listen to you. The gift has already been given and promised. And God doesn’t break His word.
Interestingly the word ‘lent’ is also the past tense of the word ‘lend’. The world was given Jesus for a brief period of time, approx 33 years, here on earth in physical, human form, as one of us. His task complete, defeating death once and for all through His crucifixion and resurrection 3 days later. (Note the power of 3). The period of Lent gives us a chance to reflect on what Jesus went through to save us and God’s unchanging love for us. A chance to focus on our individual purpose and calling, to give something up, let something go, or give something back.