Peace! Be Still!
I have to confess to being a little disappointed that the promised thunderstorm didn’t happen on Wednesday. There is something awesome and amazing in sitting and watching, and feeling, the power of nature, to see the lightening, to hear the thunder, and watch as the rain beats against the windowpanes.
Of course, that is always assuming I am safely indoors, protected from the elements, probably with a nice cup of reassuring tea in my hand! A few years ago, we were hit by a force 10 gale while on a cruise ship in the North Sea and that wasn’t much fun, at least not for me! But even then, once the worst of it had past, and we knew we were safe, the power of the waves as they crashed against the ship, and the beauty of the clouds as they sped by, was a breath-taking and even humbling experience.
We all get hit by life’s thunderstorms sometimes. We feel as if we are drowning in the demands of work, home, family and friends. We get battered by disappointments, by dreams unfulfilled, by the loss of loved ones, by illness and by the curve balls that life seems to throw at us.
On Sunday, our Gospel reading is the account of Jesus calming the storm, and of his disciples asking the question that we can also find ourselves asking of God ‘do you not care?’. The disciples were afraid of the storm and couldn’t understand how Jesus could sleep through it. When we are afraid, or overwhelmed, or doubting, it is sometimes easy for us to also wonder if God is sleeping through it, to ask ‘God, don’t you care?’
Many years ago, when life had thrown me quite a few curve balls, I was given a teddy bear, holding a heart. On the heart was written ‘Give all your troubles to God, he’s up all night anyway’. God does care, and God never sleeps, and God is with us in everything we do and everywhere we go. When Jesus addressed the wind and the sea and said ‘Peace! Be still!’ that is also what God is saying to us. Like any Father, God cannot stop us feeling pain, cannot prevent our fears, cannot erase our doubts, but we can find peace, and be still, in knowing that He is always with us, always watching, and always ready with a listening ear, and always ready to calm the fears, to ease the pain, and to listen to the doubts, and to love us, if we will let Him.
This Sunday the All Stars team will be in action once again, with activities for the children in the Vestry at West Dean during our Sunday service.
10am St Andrews West Dean
Collect for The Third Sunday after Trinity
God our Saviour,
look on this wounded world
in pity and in power;
hold us fast to your promises of peace
won for us by your Son,
our Saviour Jesus Christ
2 Corinthians 6: 1 – 13
Mark 4,:35 – 41
In other news
Can you help?
The organ in Singleton Church is in need of some good old TLC. Could you be part of a group looking at possible grants to restore this wonderful instrument to its former glory, and to liaise with the Diocesan Organ advisor and the Diocese as to the best way forward?
If you are interested please speak to me, or email me on email@example.com
Also, as we look forward (hopefully) to a return to congregational singing during our services, I would like to meet with anyone interested in assisting with providing musical accompaniment and/or planning the hymns and music to assist our worship. If you would like to help shape our music, hymns and songs going forward, please contact me.
After a very difficult time for many, we are now looking forward to the bright, sunlit uplands of summer.
It is very disappointing that neither East Dean or Singleton have been able to hold their popular Fetes, which over the years have made a significant contribution to the income of our Valley Parish churches. With fewer people able to attend services over the last year, there has been a significant decrease in income with very little decrease in costs.
We are holding this Summer Raffle to support The Valley Parish and our beautiful and historic churches. Please look out for more information in The Valley Diary in July, in which tickets will be included. The Raffle will run throughout July with the draw being made on 1st August. We would very much welcome your support.
Rev Sarah Manouch
Please note that I am part-time. My principal working days are Friday and Saturday as well as Sunday. (I am not available on Thursdays)
Church of England Daily Prayer – Join us in a service of Daily Prayer | The Church of England
St Paul’s in Chichester offer Evening Prayer on Zoom every weeknight at 5.30pm which is open to all – the link is below.
Meeting ID: 874 2253 8107 Passcode: Augustine
Christian Poetry Resource & Christian Devotionals https://heavensinspirations.com/
Together at Home www.tath.co.uk
This website offers resources for families to explore the bible together and also offers resources linked to the set readings for each Sunday. Although designed for families I know many of an older generation who have found some of the puzzles and activities fun and informative.
Time to Pray This is an app that has morning, evening and compline prayer, with daily psalms and reading in line with the Church of England Lectionary.
Pray as you Go Offers a daily reflection that you can listen to – includes readings, music, talks
There are of course many other resources available and if you have a favourite that you would like to tell others about please email me and I will include it in the newsletter next week.