News – Page 13

Anglican Church News

Dear Friends,

Whilst out cycling last week I was stopped at the Lowdham railway line by a couple of trains. It’s irritating to have to wait in the cold as the trains pull into Lowdham station but this time I found myself looking at one of the biggest trees near the line. All the leaves were off so I could examine its whole structure, and I was interested to see how many branches had obviously lost their ends and then regrown. The tree wasn’t a perfect shape either; one branch had grown out of alignment with the rest. And yet, for all its battered branches and
irregular shape, it was magnificent, towering up into the sky; and when it’s in full leaf, it will be quite majestic.

These magnificent old trees take years to reach maturity, suffering storms and broken branches in their growth; and even when they are fully grown they still continue to flourish, producing new growth, leaves, and seeds every year, maybe not growing dramatically any more, but each year there is fresh growth. And on this old tree most of the branches which had suffered damage had re-spouted and grown back. Only one branch had given up and died; I suppose in due course a gale will get rid of that branch naturally.

It made me think.

In the midst of our own life journey, how do we cope with the storms? Of course, they batter us and damage and hurt us; of course, they bow us down for a time. And of course, we are sometimes tempted to give up. But does the battering lead us to give up or does it provoke us, through our faith, to re-sprout, to find a different way through?

Jesus talked a lot about us being like trees and vines, especially about being fruitful and letting life prune us.

As we look for new life in the hedgerows and our gardens maybe we need to look at that tree again. Weathered and scarred and yet ready for new growth. If you’ve been through a storm or two lately it might feel all too much to expect new life, but God can be found in any situation. Blessings can emerge from any moment no matter how hard.

I have often had to remind myself of this truth. Having lost a close friend to cancer recently I had to remind myself of this again as I took his funeral. An incredibly hard moment. I’m waiting for the blessings, but I know they will emerge. That battered broken branch has buds waiting to blossom.

As you journey through storms may that be your experience of God too.

With every blessing

Anthony

Parishes of Woodborough, Epperstone, Oxton & Gonalston

Church Services & Happenings in January

February Services

3rd February

8.00a.m. Holy Communion (W’b)

10.00a.m All Age Worship (W’b)

11.00a.m. Morning Prayer (Gon)

 

10th February

9.30a.m. Holy Communion (W’b)

9.30a.m. Holy Communion (Ep)

11.00a.m. Holy Communion (Ox)

 

17th February

9.30a.m. Holy Communion (W’b)

9.30a.m Holy Communion (Ep)

11.00a.m BCP Holy Communion (Gon)

6.00p.m. Prayer & Reflection (Ox)

 

24th February

9.30a.m. Holy Communion (W’b)

9.30a.m. All Age Worship (Ep)

11.00p.m. All Age Worship (Ox)

 

27th February

12.30a.m. Mid-week Holy
Communion, plus ’bring & share’ lunch (W’b)

 

3rd March

8.00a.m. Holy Communion (W’b)

10.00a.m Family Service (W’b)

11.00a.m. Holy Communion (Gon)

 

Church Happenings in February

Sunday 3rd February

10.00a.m Sunday Club, Oxton village hall

 

Wednesday 6th February

10.00a.m. Coffee Drop In, St. Swithun’s

7.30p.m Julian Meeting, St. Swithun’s

 

Sunday 10th February

9.30a.m Stars & Explorers @ St. Swithun’s

 

Wednesday 13th February

9.30a.m. Play Church, St. Swithun’s

 

Wednesday 20th February

7.30p.m Julian Meeting, St. Swithun’s

 

Sunday 24th February

9.30a.m Stars & Explorers @ St. Swithun’s

 

Wednesday 27th February

9.30a.m. Play Church, St. Swithun’s