THE CENTRE CHAPLAIN’S CORNER – November
As I write this November 2018 Chaplain’s Corner it is just over ten weeks until Christmas! The Centre continues to be busy and the bacon rolls are proving to be quite a success!
I am pleased to inform you that the Horsham and Dorking Methodist Circuit have extended my contract as Lay Chaplain at The Centre for another two years so I consider this to be a great privilege.
There is definitely going to be a lunch on Christmas Day at The Christian Centre. Two couples from St Joseph’s Church will be doing the cooking and hosting on the day so do look out for the flyers and information about the day.
We miss Betty Scott at the till and particularly we think of her younger son Jeremy who had a stem cell implantation for his cancer on the 9th October. At present he is in King’s College Hospital, London and will be for four to six weeks. We pray for God’s healing hand to be upon him.
One of our homeless gentlemen has just been given a room by the Council after a long wait. This is really good news and he is very grateful in the way The Centre has supported and helped him during this difficult time.
The end of October, beginning of November this year not only celebrates Halloween, All Saints’ Day, all Souls’ Day, but the Centenary of the end of the First World War and also Remembrance Sunday.
Halloween occurs on the 31st October each year and is the evening before All Hallow’s Day or All Saints’ Day, the latter being celebrated on the 1st November.
Interestingly Hallowe’en literally means ‘holy evening’, dating back to pagan times and it is thought to have originated with the pagan festival of the Samhan, which was a celebration of the end of the harvest season, meaning ‘summer’s end’. A druidic belief is that during the night of November 1st, demons, witches and evil spirits roamed the earth with joy to the great arrival of ‘their season’. Hence the tradition today of people now dressing up in costumes and knocking on doors asking for food as this is thought to appease any of the spirits that are around. The trick or treat tradition evolved into children exchanging prayers for the dead in exchange for ‘soul cakes’ in the 11th century, called ‘souling’. These soul cakes were sweet with a cross on the top and they were intended to represent a spirit being freed from purgatory when eaten.
There can be a very dark side to Halloween and as Christians Ephesians 5 v 11 says ”Have nothing to do with the fruitless deeds of darkness, but rather expose them”. In 1 John 1 v 5b-7 there is a definite message for us: “God is light, in him there is no darkness at all. If we claim to have fellowship with him yet walk in darkness, we lie and do not live by the truth. But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, purifies us from all sin”.
Quite a few churches have a festival of ‘light’ on Halloween evening (31st October) and this is a wonderful way of celebration that Jesus is the light of the world (John 8 v 12). We are reminded in Ephesians 5 v 8 to live as children of light. We were once in darkness, but now we are light in the Lord – the fruit of the light consists in all goodness, righteousness and truth.
Centenary of the end of the First World War
The nation will be commemorating the 100th Anniversary of Armistice Day on the 11th November where members of the public will come together to mark the occasion in town squares, churches and cenotaphs across the land.
Beacons of light will be lit across the country which are intended to ‘symbolise the light of hope that emerged from the darkness of war’. The Christian has a unique hope and this is clearly set out in
1 Peter 1 v 3, “Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead ……” and as a Christian we must always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope you have (1 Peter 3 v 15).
All Saints’ Day
This day is also known as All Hallow’s Day and is the day after All Hallow’s eve (Halloween). It is a feast day celebrated on the 1st November by Anglicans and Roman Catholics and it gives believers an opportunity to remember all saints and martyrs, known and unknown throughout Christian history.
All Souls’ Day
This is a day of alms giving and prayers for the dead and its intent is for the living to assist those in purgatory. The Catholics believe ‘All Souls’ commemorates the church penitent of souls in Purgatory, whereas ‘All Saints’ commemorates the church triumphant of saints in heaven.
Hallow means ‘holy’ and we must remember as Christians to ‘worship the Lord in the splendour of holiness’ (Psalm 29 v 2b).
Companionship and Cake Afternoon (please note the change of title from the October Magazine)
There will be a tea on Wednesday afternoon the 7th November 2:30pm – 4pm in the Café at The Christian Centre. Hopefully this afternoon will provide an opportunity to share news, stories, a poem, or ideas and also to listen to some music. Please contact Rowan on 01306 886830 (09:00 to 14:00) or 07706 041339 if you are interested by the 4th November 2018.
Advent Bible Sessions (November/December 2018)
Please watch out for dates for these sessions in the St Martin’s Newsletter and flyers in the Christian Centre. The sessions are likely to start towards the end of November beginning of December.
As we near Christmas 2018 we think especially of people who have lost loved ones because this may be the first Christmas after someone has died and this is always a very sensitive poignant time.
Put your hope in God who richly provides us with everything for our enjoyment..
To him who is able to keep you from falling and to present you before his glorious presence without fault and with great joy – to the only God our Saviour be glory, majesty, power and authority, through Jesus Christ our Lord, before all ages, now and for evermore. Amen (Jude 24-25).
Rowan Nunnerley (Centre Chaplain)
Contact details: 01306 886830 or 07706 041339