We had become complacent about our connected world. Grain from Russia and Ukraine has stopped flowing to Africa, pushing more into desperate flight, or to give in to the temptation pick up a gun. Fragile economies teter on the edge. Our own spiralling energy costs and the resulting inflation come from the same conflict; the UK economy may not collapse, but many households are being moved out of the “barely managing” camp into real poverty. The connections we relied upon to sustain our lives are being broken.
However, new connections are being made. For the first time in my lifetime the UK government has actually got to engage with the rural economy; “local” food is moving out of the “nice, but unaffordable for most” niche into the real world, and farmers will once again have the chance to show why their sector is crucial. Here, in our communities, Ukrainian refugees are beginning to arrive; nervous hosts are stepping out of their comfort zones, and we are discovering more about ourselves as a result. For one thing, we find that even when we are being squeezed, we can still be generous.
Worship Services for Sunday 19th June
9.30am Informal Worship at St John’s Stoke Row, with the Mr Brian Turner
11am Family Worship at Checkendon, with Revd Kevin Davies. An informal service, with the music group, a baptism, and coffee afterwards.
6.30pm-7pm. Together at Home. An online evening service with Revd Kevin Davies. Zoom numbers 636 645 195 and passcode 000162. Music, prayers, and a word from Mark’s gospel.
Other service options for elsewhere in the Team can be found on the Langtree Team Ministry Churches website. Do join us for worship either in person, or online, or both. Don’t forget that you now can support both Checkendon and Stoke Row churches via dedicated and secure online card donation pages. Just click on the link. It is very easy! Thank you for your support.
Still to come
On a personal note I am looking forward to a three month sabbatical from July-September this year, and we are currently arranging cover for services throughout that time. Suffice to say, the basic Sunday worship pattern of 9.30am at Stoke Row and 11am at Checkendon will be covered, thanks to our wonderful team ministry staff. Revd Linda Smith will be deputising for me as Team Rector. I’m looking forward to some study time, a good holiday, and space in which to do some more creative writing. I’d like to thank both the Langtree Team Council, Checkendon PCC, and, of course, the Bishop, for their support.
Lastly, the gardeners among you will be pleased to hear that the goosberry sawfly caterpillars are under control; totally organic, and without pesticide. I’ve found the only way to deal with the critters is to take five minutes a day to look over the bushes and physically pick them off. Basic, but it seems to be working. However, a new garden menace has emerged; the strawberry loving squirrel. My Heath-Robinson anti bird frame has proved no deterrent; Mr Squirrel was seen yesterday swinging gaily on the underside of it, strawberry in mouth. Tinker, where are you?