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A Message from Fr Paul Seaman
 

Dear Friends,

We continue to move through these very challenging and difficult times with the prospect of few changes in the near future. It is still difficult to see very far ahead and make substantial plans for the months ahead. However, we will get through this current crisis and there are signs of hope appearing on the horizon.

This is the time of the year when we celebrate the gathering in of the harvest, giving thanks to God for all His gifts in creation. Although these celebrations wont look as they normally do, we still have as much to be thankful for. Our focus should always be on what we have rather than on what we don't have!

Of all the sermons and addresses I have listened to in my life, I can only recall one or two that have really stuck in my mind, although I am sure many of them were helpful at the time? One of those that stands out was given by the late Michael Ramsey, a saintly Archbishop of Canterbury. As he reflected upon a particular passage from the Bible, he made the point that we should not give thanks for all things but give thanks in all things. I have always remembered this although I have not always lived it out!

Clearly we are not thankful for this pandemic nor can we be thankful for contracting a debilitating disease for example, but we can always express our gratitude for what is good and what does bring us joy and delight. There is indeed something rather special about a person who continually shows gratitude for what they have, whether it is the child who expects nothing but really appreciates what they are given or the elderly person who is always so pleased with what they have, that they are a pleasure to spend time with.

At the heart of the Church's life is the Eucharist (or Mass, Holy Communion etc), the word 'Eucharist' meaning 'thanksgiving'.

This reminds us that gratitude should be a hallmark of the Christian and our lives should be filled with that sense that we have so much to be thankful for and then we should naturally want to see others enjoying what we have!

This year, as we celebrate 'Harvest Thanksgiving' in our church and school here in Pulborough, we will still be offering donations of food to support the ongoing work of 'Family Support Work ' here in Sussex, as well as making a contribution to support the work of a local charity for the homeless.

So even in the midst of this pandemic let us be thankful to the Lord for all those good gifts around us.

Keep safe and well.


With my prayers and best wishes,
Fr Paul Seaman (Rector of Pulborough)


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