Alton Webteam: October 2020
There are times when people's lives so inspire and impress us that we might find ourselves saying 'what a saint!'
We admire their kindness, patience, helpfulness, and the beauty of their character that often shines through the many genuine and unassuming things they do.
'What a saint!' — I wonder if you can think of someone who fits into that category.
According to the Roman Catholic beliefs to receive the title of a saint you need to:
Be dead for five years
Be called a 'Servant of God' — a title given after an evaluation of your life & deeds.
Be attributed with a miracle after your death — as you are deemed to be in heaven interceding for others.
Be canonised after a second miracle is verified and a special ceremony has taken place.
Whilst respecting the teaching of another Christian denomination our protestant beliefs might want to point out that the Apostle Paul, when writing his letters to the various churches addresses all those who are Christians as saints!
'Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God, to the saints who are also faithful in Christ Jesus. Grace and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. (Ephesians 1.1-2)
The Apostle seems to be saying that everyone who believes in Jesus Christ are made holy (saints), not through our good deeds but by God's amazing grace!
Perhaps I should have begun this newsletter with the words:
'Philip, a minister of Christ Jesus by the will of God to all the saints in Alton, Farnham, Rowledge & Hale...!
May the light and love of Christ be shining through us today.
Following All Hallows Eve (Halloween) we remember 'All Saints Day', an opportunity to remember and to give thanks for all the saints who have gone before us in life.
It can also be a special time to remember our own loved ones who have died — we have usually shared in a 'Candles of Remembrance Service' at Alton where we can gather, reflect on past memories and light a candle in their honour.
There are other ways we can remember loved ones too — we were very touched by some church friends who gave Angela a bag of daffodil bulbs after her mum had died and encouraged us to plant them in her memory and enjoy the flowers when they bloomed. It was a lovely thing to do and one that we treasured.
It is a fitting time to remember and treasure the lives of those who have gone before us on 'All Saints Day'.
'For all the saints who showed your love,
In how they lived and where they moved,
For mindful women, caring men,
Accept our gratitude again.'
John L Bell & Graham Maule StF 746
What a fantastic array of autumn colour we have been enjoying this year. On Monday Angela and I took a trip to Winkworth Arboretum and enjoyed the spectacular sites.
We then came home and held a 'Bake Off Challenge!' seeking to make chocolate eclairs and choux buns. It was a tense contest, extremely competitive and quite filling to say the least! It would be quite unsaintly of me to say who was deemed the winner!
If you would like to contribute to the Christmas food parcels, which will be packed over the next few weeks, these are the preferred items:
Tinned ham and salmon
Savoury and Fancy Biscuits
Christmas and Sponge Puddings
Chocolate bars and spread
You'll see that mince pies are not on the list. This is because the Foodbank usually gets lots donated and they have a very short shelf life!
The Bible Course
During the summer 12 of us enjoyed the Bible Course produced by the Bible Society. It was well presented, challenging and we learnt a great deal. I have been asked to run the course again so that those unable to join the first group may attend plus anyone else. This will run via Zoom for 8 weeks on a Thursday Evening beginning on Nov 5th 7.30pm-8.30ish with two video presentations and time for discussion in the middle. If you would like to join just send me an email or give me a ring.
Churches Open for Worship
Alton: Sunday Worship — Nov. 1st at 10am led by Liz George
Pause for Thought — Wednesdays in church at 11am.This week led by Rev Philip Simpkins
Book by preferably emailing your name/s via firstname.lastname@example.org or ring Liz George by MIDAY on SATURDAY for Sunday Worship.
At Rowledge: Sunday Worship Nov. 1st at 10am led this week by Rev. Philip Simpkins
At Hale: Sunday Worship Nov.1st at 11am. Led by Rev Philip Simpkins.
At Farnham: Worship in church at 10.30 led by Rev Michael Hopkins
On-Line Worship This will continue with this week's service led by Liz George. To access the service go to www.altonmethodist.org.uk
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