Seven Churches in South Oxfordshire

From the Rector: Tuesday 27th June 2023

Unsteady State

Dear Friends

The bubblings over of the inner tensions in Russian government should warn us not to assume that the war in Ukraine is something contained, or bounded. Our lives continue to be profoundly affected by the economic aftershocks of the conflict; fuel prices rises threw petrol on inflationary fires already started by the pandemic; hurried re-armament by western nations diverting spending previously earmarked for the health service and social care. Whilst we might cheer any consequent end of the war with Ukraine that might follow a Russian systems failure, nevertheless our prayers ought to be directed towards a victory for Ukraine without a catastrophe, either civil or economic, on either side. War is not a steady state, meaning that it is an inherantly unstable system. In chemical terms, this is called a “transition state” – a high energy condition that is “on the way” to something else – perhaps a new compound, perhaps a decomposition. There is often no way back, except under very limited and difficult to achieve conditions, which involve getting the energy out of the system. I think we can already begin to appreciate that the war has fundamentally changed the balance of power Eastern Europe in that any rapprochement between Russia and Ukraine is going to be impossible for at least a generation, and that western nations who might have a decade ago given the Russian regime some latitude will from now on find it extremely difficult to do so. The choice for Russia will be whether to slump  into isolationism, or look to the east. One unanticipated piece of good news is that the west has been forced to decarbonise at a faster rate in order to reduce our dependencies upon fossil fuels from morally dubious sources.

So, we pray for peace, and a return to stability for all of us, and echo the psalmist: “O Lord, make haste to help us.”

Worship Services for Sunday  2nd July

9.30am Family Service at St John’s, Stoke Row with Mr Peter Ferguson

11am Morning Prayer at St Peter and Paul, Checkendon with Canon Kevin Davies

Midweek zoom service: Wednesday Evensong at 5.00pm  410 935 129

Looking ahead a little

The Revd David Benskin is to be licensed by Bishop Gavin as the next Team Vicar for Woodcote at a special service at St Leonard’s on Thursday 6th July at  7.30pm. Please join me in prayer for David, Alice, and their three girls, as they prepare for their move to Woodcote, and the start of his ministry in the Langtree Team.

You are invited to join Checkendon School from 1pm on Monday 10th July for their end of year production “Cinderalla and Rockefella”, in the school hall. Please email to RSVP.

There is to be a PET SERVICE at St Peter & Paul, Checkendon, on Sunday 16th July at 11am. Please mark this important day in your diary. (and in your pet’s diary, too!) We are going to celebrate and give thanks for our companion animal friends, and pray for their welfare. All pets will be welcome to church on this occasion; dogs must be kept on leads, please.

The Checkendon School end of year service is in church on Wednesday 19th July at 2pm, and everybody is very welcome. The service of thanksgiving, prayer and readings will last about 45 minutes.

To mark the beginning of the summer holidays there is to be a Team Service and garden party, at St Mary’s Whitchurch on Thames, on Sunday 30th July, from 10.30am by kind invitation of Revd Dr and Mrs James and Debbie Leach. Further details to follow soon.

Lastly, from the garden, a picture:

There was no choice about the caption. It just had to be “Lettuce pray.”

May the Lord bless you.   Your Rector, Revd Kevin


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