Issue 138 “UNION NEWS” September 2021

Dear Parishioners,
We start off this month in the Parish with a fresh sense of confidence which is being shared throughout the country, that hopefully the worst effects of the pandemic are easing and we can all look forward to reconnecting with those aspects of our lives that we find so fulfilling and enjoyable.

We hope, in the Parish, that with the easing of the restrictions, we will be able to gradually restart the activities and events that help make our Parish life so special. I hope you all feel encouraged to continue your
support for the Parish and return to the worshipping of God in church on Sundays.

Climate Sunday – 19 th September at 11.00 a.m.
In November world leaders will be gathering in Glasgow to discuss Climate Change.
Our Parish is one of 5,000 churches in Ireland and the UK holding Climate Sunday Services this month. Church leaders will highlight the Christian view on climate change and our Parish will be included as one of the parishes that is taking part in the Climate Sunday initiative. We are going to hold a special Service on 19 th September at 11.00 a.m. in the open air around the church and school.

The easing of the restrictions allow for a larger attendance at these services and I urge you to come and show your support. We hope a drone photograph will be taken which will, of course, protect individual identity, to show the number of people in the Parish who have attended the Service. It would be lovely to feel that this photograph would show a large congregation and the depth of our commitment to the issue of climate change.

Please do come. All the parishes in the Union will gather together for this one Service.

I am pleased to be able to announce that the Harvest Services will be held again this year and details will be given in the October newsletter.

A special symposium on “Brexit, Borders and the Common Good” will be held in All Saints’ Church on Monday 27 th September at 11.00 a.m.

The distinguished speakers will be Most Revd. John McDowell, Archbishop of Armagh and Primate of All Ireland, and Professor Katy Hayward – Professor of Political Sociology in Queen’s University Belfast. The symposium will be chaired by Bishop Storey.

This is a very significant and important event and we are privileged that All Saints’ IS HOSTING and organising this symposium.

Due to social distancing attending the symposium is by invitation only and if you would like to attend you should speak with Arthur O’Toole, Churchwarden at All Saints.

The Service of Confirmation with the Bishop will be held on Sunday 24 th October at 11.00 a.m. in All Saints’. A small number of candidates have expressed their wish to be confirmed. I would urge any other families to get in touch with me immediately regarding confirmation.

Select Vestry
The next meeting of the Select Vestry will be held at 7.30 p.m. on Monday 13th September.

Rectory Garden Coffee Morning
Olive and I were delighted that so many people were able to attend the Garden Coffee Morning on Sunday 15 th August. In all, 63 parishioners of all ages enjoyed meeting together after what seemed to be a long time due to the lockdowns.

Olive takes an enormous interest in the garden and so many flowers were beautifully in bloom for the occasion. We always love to see people come to the Rectory as hospitality is at the very heart of Christian parish life.

Midweek Holy Days
On Tuesday 21 st September, St. Matthew’s Day, there will be a celebration of Holy Communion at 11.00 a.m. in All Saints’.

St. Michael and All Angels’ Day On Wednesday 29th September there will be a Service of Holy Communion at 11.00
a.m. in All Saints’, to celebrate.

Holy Baptisms
We congratulate the children who were baptised into God’s family over the summer months. We pray for them and for their parents and godparents as the children begin their journey of faith.

Diocesan Synod
The Diocesan Synod will be held by Zoom on Saturday 25 th September.

Christian Leadership Workshops during August. I had the privilege of leading the Christian Leadership Workshops with the young
leaders of the Lighten Our Darkness initiative.

It was so inspiring to be with them and to explore the application of Christian leadership in relation to climate change and the destruction of the natural world and environment.

An Amazing Find by an amazing family.
We congratulate Richard Denniston on his amazing find of the Hauberk chainmail which he came across while farming. The chainmail would have been worn by a child as an armoured vest over 800 years ago and the safekeeping of the Hauberk is now in the safe hands of the statutory authorities.

Richard’s generous philanthropy is truly admirable and it is lovely to think that he, Lesley and the children will always be associated with this invaluable archaeological find.

Rectory Birds
Last month Olive and I had a visit in the Rectory from a bird expert. As we sat having a cup of coffee in the garden the bird expert was able to identify the following birds in
the garden:

chiff chaff which migrates to Africa, treecreeper, blue tit, house
sparrow, goldcrest, magpie, chaffinch, blackcap, blackbird, pied wagtail, mistle
It is such a delight to know that so many birds still visit the Rectory garden for food in an environment where they must feel completely safe and respected.

All Saints’ Choir
It will be simply wonderful to have All Saints’ Choir leading the Service on Sunday 12 th September. During the pandemic we have all missed singing in church and it is such a wonderful blessing to now be able to have music return to our worship on Sundays and at other Services.

We remember in prayer this month those candidates in the Diocese who will be ordained deacons and priests. May God bless each of their ministries.

All Saints’ Air Purifier
In All Saints’ we have recently installed two high-quality air purifiers which happily completely cleanse the air and free it of viruses and bacteria. I hope this will give everyone confidence in knowing that when you are worshipping you are in a very safe environment.

The other churches are, of course, also totally safe and are well-aired
and ventilated.

Leaving Certificate Exam
I would like to congratulate all the young people on their success in the Leaving Certificate and I hope each will be successful in pursuing the course of their choice.
We pray that God will bless each one of them with good health and happiness as they embark on this new sphere of their young lives.
I hope that you will continue to keep safe and well and, as I have mentioned before, I am always available if you ever need to contact me at any time. The best telephone no. to contact me on is 087-7870985.

With God’s blessings,
Rev. Alastair Graham

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Rev. Alastair Graham
The Rectory
Gaol Hill
Co. Westmeath

Tel: 044 9348376