MULLINGAR UNION OF PARISHES
Issue 127 “UNION NEWS” October 2020
As we continue our journey through the pandemic it is so important that all of us keep our focus on just doing the “right things” in terms of our personal hygiene and contact with others. There is no doubt that this pandemic will eventually come to an end but, as we journey towards the “finishing line”, we must not lose our concentration or our personal responsibility to do all that we can in supporting all the efforts to keep everyone safe and well.
For Christians, of course, there is an added dimension. We know we are not alone on this journey and that God is with us. We have the lovely story in St. John’s Gospel, Chapter 20, when Mary Magdalene, feeling at a very low point following the death of Jesus, was suddenly strengthened and encouraged when she met Jesus and went to the disciples with the news “I have seen the Lord”. Through our prayer and worship we, too, experience the presence of the Lord which is a comfort, strength and consolation in these challenging times. Christians are people of hope and it is so important that we remain hopeful as well as being responsible.
At this time of year parishes hold Harvest Services to give thanks to God for, yet again, crowning the year with His goodness by giving us the fruits of the earth in their season. This month there will be three Harvest Services, each held in the Open Air which, we hope, will be very well supported. The services will be held as follows:
Sunday 4th October
11.30 a.m. Killucan Outside the Parish Hall on the Mullingar Road.
Sunday 4th October
3.30 p.m. Almoritia In the Church Grounds
Sunday 11th October
11.00 a.m. All Saints’ At the rear of the church
The Service in All Saints’ will be conducted by the young people from the Lighten Our Darkness initiative. Due to the pandemic the churches will not be decorated for Harvest this year but we invite people to bring gifts of fruit, flowers and vegetables with them to the Harvest Service, which they will be asked to take home afterwards. At each of the Services we will have the opportunity to hear the familiar Harvest hymns.
Bible Study- 10.30 a.m. Saturday 17th October – All Saints’
Open for Prayer – All Saints’ Wednesdays 7th, 14th, 21st, 28th Oct – 12noon to 2p.m
Sunday 18th October is St. Luke’s Day. As we know, St. Luke was a physician and, in celebrating St. Luke’s Day, we remember God’s gift of healing and the importance of the healing ministry in the Church. There will be a special Healing Services in All Saints’ at 10.00 a.m.
FOLLOWING LEVEL 3 GOVERMENT ADVISORY THERE WILL BE NO CHURCH SERVICES FROM MIDNIGHT 6th October for 3 weeks we will update as this progresses.
I warmly invite parishioners to come to church. You will find that in the church you will feel completely safe, and the guidelines are adhered to. I am pleased to say that this month we will start having monthly Services in both Almoritia and Kilbixy, in addition to the Services in All Saints’ and Killucan.
Ecumenical Prayer Initiative
I am currently in discussion with the leaders of the other Christian churches in the Mullingar area to discuss the holding of a special Christian Prayer Initiative. I will announce further details when the arrangements are finalised.
On Sunday 25th October, at Services in All Saints’ and Killucan, we will invite parents to bring children to church for a short Prayer Service. This is experimental but, I hope, it may set a nice pattern to enable children to attend church.
All Saints’ Patronal Festival
This year All Saints’ Day falls on Sunday 1st November. Each year we have a special celebration to mark the Patronal Festival. This year the Service will be at 11.00 a.m. and will be conducted by the young people from the Lighten Our Darkness initiative. Given the significance of their initiative the Service will be a United Service for all the churches in the Union, and I do hope that the Service will be well attended. Further details will be provided in the November Union Notes.
Parish Website and Facebook – www.mullingarunionofparishes.net.
I warmly commend both the website and the Facebook to you. You will not only find news of our Parish but also news of other Parishes and Dioceses that will be of interest to you.
General Easter Vestry
The General Easter Vestry Service on Sunday 20th September went very well and I would like to congratulate those who have been appointed and elected to Office in the Parish. I would also like to again thank those who have given such service to the Parish, particularly during these last few months. I hope we can look forward to the next year with confidence and hope.
Bereavement –We offer our deepest sympathy to Patrick and Caroline Pilkington. Patrick’s mother passed away peacefully following an illness she bore with courage and dignity. Patrick and his family provided a wonderful prayerful and loving presence for their mother which I know was a great comfort to her as was the close loving presence of Almighty God. May she rest in peace and rise in glory.
Last month I included some comforting words and prayers which I hope you had the opportunity to use. This month I am including on the back page, “The Great Realisation” by Tomas Roberts and I hope you will take some time to use the reflection as a time of discernment. I would again like to thank you for your support and I hope you will all keep safe and well. As you know, I am always available if needed and I will look forward to hearing from you.
With God’s blessings,
Rev. Alastair Graham, Rector
CHURCH SERVICES THIS MONTH
Sunday 4th October
All Saints’ 10.00 a.m. Holy Communion (said), Rector
Killucan 11.30 a.m. Harvest Thanksgiving Service
(Venue – Outside the Parish Hall)
Almoritia 3.30 p.m. Harvest Thanksgiving Service
(Venue – Church grounds)
Sunday 11th October
All Saints’ 11.00 a.m. Harvest Thanksgiving Service
(Venue – Church grounds)
Sunday 18th October
All Saints’ 10.00 a.m. Healing Prayer Service
Killucan 11.30 a.m. Children and Family Service
Kilbixy 4.p.m. Evening Prayer
Sunday 25th October
All Saints’ 9.30 a.m. Holy Communion
11.00 a.m. Children and Family Service
Killucan 11.30 a.m. Morning Prayer- Richard Tansley
The Great Realisation by Tomas Roberts
It was a world of waste and wonder, of poverty and plenty,
back before we understood why hindsight is 20/20.
You see the people came up with Companies to trade across all lands
but they swelled and got much bigger than ever we had planned.
We had always had our wants but now things go so quick,
we could have everything we dreamed of, today, or with a click.
We noticed families had stopped talking, that didn’t mean they never spoke,
but the meaning must have melted and the work/life balance broke.
The children’s eyes grew squarer and every toddler had a phone,
they filtered out the imperfections but amidst the noise they felt alone.
And every day the skies grew thicker till we couldn’t see the stars,
so we flew in planes to find them and down below we filled our cars.
We’d drive around all day in circles, we’d forgotten how to run,
we swapped the grass for tarmac, shrunk the parks till there were none.
We filled the sea with plastic because our waste was never capped,
until each day when we went fishing we pulled them out already wrapped.
And while we drank and smoked and gambled, our leaders taught us that it’s best not to upset the Lobbies, more convenient to die,
But then in 2020 a new virus came our way, the governments reacted and told us all to hide away.
But while we were hidden amidst the fear and all the while,
the people dusted off their instincts, they remembered how to smile,
They started clapping to say ‘thank you’ and calling up their mums,
and while the car keys gathered dust they would look forward to their runs,
And with the skies less full of voyagers the earth began to breathe,
and the beaches bore new wildlife that scuttled off in to the seas,
Some people started dancing, some were singing, some were baking,
we’d grown so used to bad news but some good news was in the making.
And so, when we found the cure and were allowed to go outside,
we all preferred the world we found to the one we left behind.
Old habits became extinct and they made up for the new,
and every act of kindness was now given its’ due.
But why did it take a virus to bring the people back together?
Well, sometimes you’ve got to get sick my boy before you start feeling better.
Now lie down and dream of tomorrow and all the things that you can do
And who knows if you dream hard enough maybe some will come true.
We now call it The Great Realisation and since then there have been many,
but that’s the story of how it started and why hindsight is 20/20.
I pray you will keep well and safe.