La Côte Anglican church gathers in harvest offerings with grateful hearts and open hands
The joy of being together, receiving Holy Communion, the beautiful decorations in the church, music from the Song Group, chatter at coffee afterwards, meeting students from the nearby Ecumencial Institute at Bossey, all helped to make up for the continuing need to observe Covid restrictions. Our Harvest gifts of non-perishables were taken to the ‘Restos du Coeur’ association in Divonne, France.
Ascension day walk: 13th May
Zacchaeus (here played by Ed Kelley) was so enamoured by all the things he possessed, he couldn’t see where he was going … or that other people had much less than him. Until he heard that Jesus was coming to town and climbed that tree …
This was the story enacted, with humour and loads of props, at our Harvest Thanksgiving service in Crassier (on the Swiss-French border) on 3 Oct. Based on a Harvest Service suggestion from the CofE’s Support Hub (churchsupporthub.org), the themes of sharing, giving and thanking, in response to Jesus’ unconditional love for us, have everything to do with Harvest.
The Prayer of Penitence was also visually enhanced by scattering autumn leaves on the floor, reminding us of our failing to take care of the world and those around us – and also that sometimes we need to let go of things so that new things can happen. As they were swept up, we were assured of God’s constant forgiveness.
Machteld Kelsey RIP
02.01.1940 – 19.03.2021
Machteld was a wonderful, caring, compassionate, faithful member of the Prayer Group and Bible Study, having hosted both groups in her home, as well as Pastoral Care, a leader of intercessions, chalice-bearer, welcomer, representative to the local ecumenical World Day of Prayer services, and a member of that small band of unsung heroes who set-up for services and clear-up afterwards. She loved decorating the church with flowers and arranged sales to raise funds for a Romanian village. Machteld was committed and meticulous in everything she took on – she always sat in the same place in church and was never late! She will leave a big gap in our community when we all emerge from this pandemic.
On Wednesday 17 March 2021, Chris Talbot led the first of two Lenten Seminars on the theme of Distorting the Truth and Manipulating Fear. The seminar examined that theme from the perspective of political power. Here is the PowerPoint presentation that Chris showed, slightly edited. And here is an accompanying paper with the text from which Chris spoke.
On 24 March, Dr Nigel Rollins led the second seminar on the same theme, examined from the perspective of commercial profit. Here is the PowerPoint presentation that Nigel showed, slightly edited.
The Bible's bloody bits
The Bible – like sacred scriptures of other religions – contains some problematic passages – and even whole books. Many of these difficult sections seem to suggest that God encourages or even mandates violence. How can and should Christians respond to these ‘bloody bits’? What do they imply for our understanding and interpretation of scripture? Click here to watch this Zoom study session led by Dr Clare Amos looked in detail at some of the problematic passages of Joshua and Judges, and then explored the wider implications for our understanding and use of the Bible. Click here for the handout.