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Dear Friends

“If the only prayer you make is "thank you," that will suffice.” (attributed to Meister Eckhart, German mystic)

As the leaves begin to turn and the last of the fields is harvested, we take time, at Harvest Festival, as a church community to give thanks for what has been gathered in this year – both the fruits of the earth and also the fruits of the Spirit.

We take time to appreciate abundance - physical (pickled runner beans anyone?) and personal (our gifts and talents, our relationships of support and love).

We reflect on the nature of ‘gift’ and how that is present in our lives – both given and received.

This time of reflection reminds us of the interdependence of our lives in this world; the recognition that our achievements are never fully our own, but emerge from a network of relationships that sustain and shape us. It is a reminder that we are always held and dependent on God, the life of this amazing planet, and all the people who have guided, protected, inspired, and nurtured us.

Taking time to say “Thank you” is a spiritual practice and is something we never finish doing. Saying “Thank you” is a daily act of trust; of being attentive to goodness in the midst of everyday life - even in the midst of challenge and difficulty, something which only becomes possible if we have made thanksgiving a habit. The blessing of this practice is that we become more attuned to noticing goodness and abundance. We see it more clearly and find it even in the unexpected turns of our lives.

Yes! If the only prayer you make is "thank you," that will be enough. And, "thank you" can be said over and over again not just to God for the blessings of this day, but to everyone whose life touches yours in a creative way. Such gratitude opens us to new blessings, but more importantly opens our hands to bless others -- through a kind word as well as our time, talent, and treasure.

One of my favorite sayings comes from the late United Nations Secretary General Dag Hammarskjold:

For all that has been -- thanks!
For all that will be -- yes!

Gratitude is the gift of "yes" -- yes to life, yes to blessing, yes to God, yes to possibility, and yes to others. In an interdependent universe, the energy of life is constantly flowing through us, and we are constantly receiving and giving -- gratitude is the awareness that we can shape our lives to bless and heal and love out of the bounty we have received. So, throughout this month give "thanks" -- remember those who have supported you and upon whom you depend today; notice your interchanges with others; and look for the movements of God in every interaction. This is a wonderful life that beckons us to give thanks at every turn.

From Rowena



Dear Friends

Summer time ends at 2am on Sunday 29th October. Remember put your clocks back one hour.

We have our Harvest Choral Evensong at St Mark's on Sunday 8th October at 4.00pm followed by refreshments, any cakes and offers of help will be most welcome.

We send our love and best wishes for the future to Brian and Dawn on their recent marriage.

Advance notice, our Pre-Christmas Coffee Morning is on
Saturday 4th November, with all the usual stalls, bric a brac, cakes, plants etc.

With love and best wishes



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