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From the Vicar - October 2022

28/09/2022

Capturing the Full Spirit of Harvest Thanksgiving

Believe it or not, once again it’s “that time of year” when we celebrate Harvest Thanksgiving in our churches, schools and communities!

I chose the title of my article because of two particularly insightful - and memorable - phrases given to me by a Rabbi friend in the United States, which I hope will equally enable you to celebrate this most meaningfully…..

Cultivate an ‘Attitude of Gratitude’

What a fantastic phrase that is….reminding us that all of life is a gift, graciously given us by the creator of the universe and the author of life itself - the one the Holy Bible calls GOD!

Harvest celebrations are a natural occasion to remember and to give true thanks for the provision of food which we enjoy (and, perhaps far too often, take for granted) every single day throughout the year, ultimately made possible through the gracious, on-going creative power of God who gives seeds to sow, sun and rain for growth, and the gifts of intelligence and creativity endowed to humankind to produce the plentiful types and quantities of food upon which the world depends for the provision of its ‘daily bread’.

It is indeed right and proper to express our profound gratitude, first and foremost, to the Lord of heaven and earth, who blesses us with everything we need for life, health and fulfilment!

However, our attitude of gratitude also needs to include others whose daily efforts (perhaps unseen, or unnoticed) contribute significantly to God’s on-going work in and through us and his created order…..all those who farm and work the land…..…..those who help manufacture,transport, and sell the food products we rely upon and enjoy daily…..

….and let’s not forget to extend our ‘attitude of gratitude’ to encompass the splendid efforts of those who cook and serve food for those in their household, too!!

“Thanks-giving by Thanks-living”

This second phrase offered by my Rabbi friend powerfully reminds us that our ‘attitude of gratitude’ needs to be reflected not only in our mind and by our lips, but also in the ways we live our lives serving God’s loving purposes and helping those in need around us to experience that love at their point of real need….

The current ‘cost of living crisis’ is causing serious anxiety in a growing number of households - even in our own locality - about being able to afford feeding their family members due to rapidly increasing pressure on household budgets.

Local foodbanks - including our own which serves Lichfield and surrounding area - are presently overwhelmed with record numbers of people needing to rely on the generosity of their neighbours in order to make ends meet and feed their families.

If you are in a position to help provide vitally needed food for those who are really struggling at the present time, this is a truly wonderful way to express our thanksgiving to God this Harvest-time by generously sharing his gracious provision with those in need around us - that’s a very powerful example of ‘thanksgiving by thanks-living’!

Our churches serving the village communities of Alrewas, Fradley and Wychnor warmly invite and welcome you and your family to join in the various Harvest worship services, community events and opportunities for ‘thanks-living’ which are highlighted in this edition of the Parish News during October…

Together, let’s sincerely express our gratitude to God with our lips AND our lives!

With every blessing,

 

Vicar John

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