Pastoral Letter - 6th August 2020
6th August: Feast of the transfiguration
A cloud came and overshadowed them; and they were terrified as they entered the cloud. Then from the cloud there came a voice that said, ‘This is my Son, my chosen; listen to him!’ When the voice had spoken, Jesus was found all alone. And they kept silent and in those days told no one of any of the things they had seen.
In the mountain top experience that is Jesus’ transfiguration, two seminal events from the Hebrew Scriptures are recalled. The first is Moses’ encounter with God at the top of Sinai when God’s presence descends and he receives the Law; the second is Elijah’s departure from this earthly life- from which he is snatched by a chariot of fire which descends from heaven.
Jesus, then, supercedes both the Law and the Prophets. I don’t know how far this glimpse of glory is needed by Christ to sustain him on the journey that is to come, which is towards his death outside the walls of Jerusalem – but the three disciples who witness Jesus’ transfiguration know they have arrived at a good place. And that is indeed true: they have seen into heaven.
I hold two events in tension on this day. August 6th 1945 was the day that Hiroshima was bombed, with the transfiguring light being a destructive one, rather than the light of heaven. But on the feast of the transfiguration, I also recall the moment when I first saw Christ and understood that he is divine: that illumination brought by the Holy Spirit. So I invite you this day to remember that moment when you first understood Christ’s identity – and to allow yourself to wonder at Christ being both human and divine, revealing to us not only heaven, but ‘the deep things of God’ (1 Corinthians 2.10)
Let’s remember what it is to be drawn into the cloud of the divine mystery – and worship.
And now some news!
Church Hall rentals
I’m glad to say that the Church Hall was one of the first local venues to re-open, which means that the parish has secured some new hirers and have had expressions of interest from significant others. Whilst the hall is by no means generating a full income yet, this rapid turn-around, with clear guidance for users on how to use the space as safely as possible to give them confidence, will help gradually to restore some of the income we have lost over the past 3-4 months.
Parish finance team – please help!
I have written already to say that Terry Smith is standing down as Treasurer at the end of September and that Dan will be leaving at the end of August, leaving the role of Stewardship recorder vacant. Jo Wong also stood down last year from her work preparing annual accounts. Whilst there is one tentative expression of interest, the individual in question already has a long list of church responsibilities and may need to give up some if he is to take up another.
If you have any experience or skills in accounting or book-keeping and can spare an hour a week, I would be very grateful to hear from you. Filling these roles is becoming an urgent need.
Dan Bishop leaving
The constraints of COVID ‘security’ will prevent us from having a real life party to celebrate the gift of Dan and wish him well on his way – but we will instead be having:
> A Zoom party on Sunday 23rd August, 11.15-12.15. Please join us online –
meeting ID: 818 0727 9969
Or by telephone –
Dial: 0203 051 2874
Enter meeting ID: 818 0727 9969
Enter Passcode: 040958
> Please send donations for a leaving gift to the Parish Office
> There will also be a card in the parish office which parishioners may wish to sign (using alcohol gel on their hands before and after signature)
Recruiting an Interim Youth Minister
At its meeting on 22nd June, the PCC approved appointment of an interim youth minister from September 2020 – 2021.
Details of this are now live on the parish website here and will make their way into the Willesden Area Mailing.
Please circulate details of this post through your networks. Deadline for applications is 15th August.
Worship and COVID-19 constraints
Present worship cycle
I’m delighted that we’ve managed to get a regular cycle of worship up and running in church, and that this is live streamed to allow participation at home as well as in church. We will expand provision as is possible but will need volunteer support to do this. For now, I ask your patience, and that, if you can attend on a Thursday, that you consider doing this.
We have all seen the reports in the news of a possible second ‘wave’ of COVID-19 infections. We must therefore remain vigilant. If our pattern of services needs to change in response, I will contact you.
It is possible to book seats for services online at https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/eucharist-tickets-113182856972
Sadie Wright is now taking bookings and can be contacted
o By email: firstname.lastname@example.org
o By phone: 0208 868 7413
Stewards still needed
With six stewards being needed per service, any more volunteers would be gratefully received. Please contact Elaine Wigington who is organising stewards from week to week.
Do talk to your friends about what is going on the parish – some news is not being passed on. So if there is someone you haven’t heard from in a while, do pick up the phone and give them a call – or drop around a copy of this letter.
There has been almost constant change over the past few months to accommodate the COVID situation and day to day change in the parish. Be kind to yourselves – that change can be tiring for all of us.
Please make sure that you still rest over the summer period, and your ministry team will endeavour to do the same.
My prayers and all good wishes,
The Revd Dr John Seymour
Parish Priest (Interim) St Lawrence, Eastcote
Address The Vicarage, 2, Bridle Road, Eastcote, Pinner. HA5 2SJ
Mobile +44 (0) 753 504 9710
Landline +44 (0) 208 966 9350
Parish Office +44 (0) 208 429 1131 Website https://www.st-lawrence-eastcote.org.uk/