A very warm welcome to this service, and a particular welcome to those joining us for Harvest Festival at Checkendon and Stoke Row. Praise God for his provision, and faithfulness in Creation, that brings sun, and rain, and growth and life.
We give thanks to God for Toby Mottram, and Grace Kirby, married at Checkendon yesterday, and ask for his blessing on Daniel Terzino, and Tessa Merson, to be married on October 14th. We also give thanks for the life of Caroline Chojecki of Exlade Street, who died on 24th September at the family home in Scotland.
Please also pray for Jack Rowling, and Rupert Poynter, to be baptised at Checkendon on October 15th. Baptism is the mark of Christian belonging, and when we are baptised as infants our parents and godparents make promises on our behalf to bring us up in the way of Christ; to pray for us, and to bring us to church, so that when we are old enough we can if we choose underscore what our parents have done by asking for confirmation.
Bishop Colin will be conducting a confirmation service in the Team Ministry area next September, so if this is something that would interest you, please do make yourself known to your local minister. Traditionally, the service of confirmation was used as a gateway to Holy Communion. This is still the case, but also today the confirmation service is often seen as a mark of adult discipleship, where the Holy Spirit is invoked and lives offered in service.
Today as we enjoy the fruitfulness of God’s earth, our own gardens, and also let us remember the harvest that our own lives represent in some small way; a harvest of family relationships, good neighbourliness, and community building in the places that God has called us.
Your Rector Revd Canon Kevin Davies