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Vicar's Letter

September 2017

Dear Friends and Neighbours,

September marks the beginning of a new academic year and might be a month where Star Trek fans get even more excitable than usual! The Romans believed that September was a month that was looked after by the god Vulcan. The famous catch phrase ‘Live Long & Prosper’ was the greeting of the fictional Vulcan people and introduced to our screens by Mr Spock. The hand sign and the statement were and indeed are part of a Jewish blessing. The sign means ‘Almighty God’ and is based on the letter ‘Shin’ which points to the Hebrew translation ‘Shaddai’. The statement was based on the Jewish “Shalom Aleichem” (peace be upon you) and the traditional reply of “Aleichem Shalom” (upon you be peace). The two are used together in a service of prayer.

So there is a kind of an appropriateness in as much as I am sure that we will all be praying if not willing those involved in our nation’s education, students and teachers alike, a peaceful and productive year. Lifelong learning has been given a bit more of an airing in recent years but to be truthful and to share some of the wisdom of Wellington 'Wise people learn when they can; fools learn when they must.’ The University of the Third Age started in Toulouse, France in 1973 and is an international network of groups that meet to provide ‘life enhancing and life changing opportunities. Invariably this is not simply a box ticking exercise. Many that learn new skills are just itching to put them into practice.

Learning from past mistakes is ok up to a point, but learning with enthusiasm adds a significant dimension and a hugely different result. It’s no different with our journey in life and in faith. No one benefits from being constantly moaned at, neither the moaner nor the recipient. In recognition of this and in an effort counter the damage caused by an increasingly relentless number of measurement systems that the Department of Education is forcing upon schools, at Bishopstone we begin our Governors Meetings with an item entitled Celebrating Success. It recognises the point that we are already achieving and stimulates subsequent discussion from a basis of attainment.

The same is true of the Gospel. We were loved, we are loved and we will be loved. Known before we were formed in the womb there are great plans for us. Knowing this is fundamental to our journey toward eternal life. Like the Hot Chocolate Hit from the 1982 album “Mystery”, it starts with something simple. With the band Hot Chocolate it started with a kiss, while many a powerful story of someone finding their faith started with a simple prayer. Assuring you of my prayers, whatever you are doing to learn a new skill, may you and those who benefit from this new skill be blessed beyond your wildest dreams.

With these preparations for winter having been said, I do hope that you get to enjoy some great weather if not some great holidaying during this month of August.

With best wishes and prayers

Bill

If you have anything that you would like our village prayer group to pray for please telephone 790088 or
email :villageprayers@gmail.com