Shalom, Salam, Peace
The picture you see was taken in the Garden of Gethsemane, Jerusalem. The tree you can just see at the top is an Olive Tree that is over 2000 years old. That tree was in the garden during Jesus’ time. Did he sit beneath it? Who knows. Did he pick its fruit? Who knows. The point is, as with so many of the amazing, awe-filled, challenging places in the land we call Holy, the trees, and rocks, and even the earth, of the Garden of Gethsemane have provided focus, reflection, a place of peace and a place of faith for almost 2 millennia to people of many races, many languages, many faiths.
But the land we call Holy isn’t just Israel, it is also Palestine and Jordon. It encompasses the people who say Shalom and also the people who say Salam, and both peoples also say Peace! Let peace reign, let peace fill our hearts and our minds, let our hands hold Bibles and Korans, not guns and bombs, let our children exchange Lego cards, not insults.
As we look towards Remembrance Sunday, Armistice Day, as we reflect on 100 years since the end of the War to end all Wars, and 73 years since the end of the World War that followed, it would be easy to think that peace is no closer than it was then. There is still bloodshed, there is still hatred, there is still fear, but there is also still hope.
It was a privilege to walk, tentatively, unworthily, in the footsteps of Jesus. It was a challenge to hear the words of love and peace that He spoke read out standing beside a refugee camp in Bethlehem, the place of his birth. It was a joy to hear the refugees say, the wall you hate has brought us hope, because it has brought Muslim and Jew, Palestinian and Israeli together.
Paul said in his letter to the Galatians, ‘There is no longer Jew or Greek, there is no longer slave or free, there is no longer male and female; for all of you are one in Christ Jesus’.
As we meet in churches and in parks, stand by cenotaphs and beacons, let us pray that as we look to the future, we can take those words to heart, not seeing the colour of skin, nor accent, nor gender, nor faith, but simply that we are all created equal in the sight of the one true God.
Revd. Sarah Manouch
Almighty Father, whose will is to restore all things in your beloved Son, the King of all: govern the hearts and minds of those in authority, and bring the families of the nations, divided and torn apart by the ravages of sin, to be subject to his just and gentle rule; who is alive and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen
We continue to pray for:
Clemmie, Michael Palmer, Charlotte Megenney, Guy Solan, Sylvia Stear and Kris Tippen
And those who have recently died and their loved ones:
Peter McDonald, Hilda Finnamore, Murray Fox and Beryl Cleaver
If you know of anyone who needs our prayers or would appreciate a visit, please let the Rector or the Parish Administrator know.
Should you wish to contact the Rector his mobile number is 07538 011579.
Services for this weekend
8.00 BCP Holy Communion at West Wittering
At the main service at Birdham (9.30am) Eric Eyre’s sermon theme will be “When the Call Comes”. At West Wittering (9.30) there will be no sermon and at 10.50 during the Act of Remembrance Bruce Holben will be preaching. At Itchenor (9.50) Ben Harvey’s sermon theme will be “The WORD is mightier than the sword”.
There is no Evensong at West Wittering this Sunday
Remembrance Day Services
9.30 Parish Eucharist followed by at 10.50 Act of Remembrance
6.50 Ring out the Bells
9.30 Parish Communion followed by Act of Remembrance
10.50 Act of Remembrance followed by Village Communion
The Ministry Team are only too happy to talk through aspects of their Sermon.
Sunday 11th November
Jonah 3. 1-5, 10; Hebrews 9. 24-28; Mark 1. 14-20
Colossians 1. 3-12; Matthew 9. 18-26
Sunday 18th November
Second Sunday before Advent
Daniel 12. 1-3; Hebrews 10. 11-14 (15-18) 19-25; Mark 13. 1-8
Romans 13. 1-7; Matthew 8. 23-34
Daniel 3; Matthew 13. 24-30, 36-43