One World Week
"Show me your faith without deeds and I will show you my faith by what I do" (James 2:14-26 NIV). St James makes it clear that faith, real faith, is expressed by action. So if you believe, what are you doing about it? What difference does your faith make to the way that you live your life? This is an important question because too often faith is regarded as a purely private thing; something hidden away and protected from prying eyes. True, your faith is your business. I have no right to insist that you believe the same as me. But if you are a Christian I do have the right to remind you of scripture - In fact it is my job.
So I hope you agree that faith has to be practical. That said. There are many ways of putting faith into practice. Faith can be expressed through being more caring to family, friends and strangers. You can give regularly to good causes. But sometimes we need to come together as a Church to bring the world's concerns into our worship and combine our efforts to make things better. This month there will be two such opportunities.
Firstly our services during One World Week (20-28 October) will be considering the 4 themes chosen this year which are "Tackling racism - locally and in global structures," "Trade rules - who gains, who loses?", "Fuel - what's the cost?" and "HIV/AIDS - a positive attitude".
Secondly throughout October and into the first week of November we, along with Northwold and Stoke Ferry Schools, will be collecting toys to send as Christmas presents to children in the Ukraine. If you want to donate an unwanted toy (in good condition) please bring it to Church or drop it off at The Vicarage. We will then be dedicating the toys at toy services on 3rd November before sending them off to arrive in the Ukraine in time for their Christmas on 6th January. If you have little children who would like to donate a toy they have outgrown at the toy service they please bring them along.
The end of October and the beginning of November are also the time of a three day mid week festival. The 31st October is All Saints Eve or Halloween and we will be holding a service where we look back at our national ancestors who for good or bad have shaped the culture that nurtures us. Moving on from this, on the 1st of November we celebrate the feast of All Saints. Here we are celebrating the lives of those who through their devotion to God and self sacrifice have shaped the Church and our understanding of God. Finally on the 2nd November we have the feast of All Souls and our Commemoration of the Faithful Departed. This is a feast of sadness and hope blended together where the names of the dead are read out and we remind ourselves of God's promise that death is not the end. This is a service of hope and comfort to those who have lost someone dear to them and feel the pain of that loss. If you would like the name of a loved one to be read out please give me their name in writing before the service.
I wish you God's blessing this autumn.
Revd Nigel Tuffnell