Dear Church member
"Look around you, and see how the fields are ripe for harvesting" John 4:35
Today is one of twelve Ember Days in the Church of England calendar that are occasions of fasting, prayer and reflection, with a focus on vocation and ministry. It is a good time to be asking how God might be calling us to serve him and the mission of his Church with our own unique gifts and opportunities.
Part of the mission of the Church, and a strong theme in the Bible, is the care of the poor and vulnerable. In our online service this week (available from 9am on Sunday), as we continue our journey through Acts and its description of life and mission of the early Church, we hear of the shared life of the believers, and the generosity they showed towards those in need.
One expression of that mission is the partnership that our churches have with six other local churches and the award-winning national charity Christians Against Poverty (CAP) which helps local people find a practical, lasting solution to debt and poverty through debt counselling and community groups. In the five years the Debt Centre has been established, 40 clients and their families have been released from crippling financial debt and many have found new or strengthened faith in the process.
The need for CAP locally and nationally will only increase as we enter a difficult economic climate, and our support for its work all the more important. Other local organisations serving those in need are Chilton Mutual Aid Group, Harwell Helpers, and Didcot Emergency Foodbank. Do please consider whether God might be calling you at this time to support the poor and vulnerable through one of these organisations, practically or financially. Information about CAP, which I wholeheartedly recommend, can be found here.
A prayer of blessing for Embertide:
May the boldness of the Spirit transform you,
may the gentleness of the Spirit lead you,
may the gifts of the Spirit equip you
to serve and worship God.
Yours, in Christ,
Revd Dr Jonathan Mobey
Rector of Harwell with Chilton
P.S. We have been working on providing a facility for people to download past services. This would allow services to be shown to people who have no internet access. A service could be downloaded onto a tablet or laptop and then this given to or brought to someone. If you would like to make use of this facility could you email Allan Macarthur on firstname.lastname@example.org and he can provide a link to a folder where individual services can be downloaded.