Reverend Cathy writes - September 2018
I can’t believe September is upon us! Where has the year gone?
Though we usually get an ‘Indian summer’ in the autumn – it is nonetheless still autumn and no longer summer. It is a time of endings and beginnings in different ways...
A new academic year starts: new classes; new schools; or maybe off to university. The trees start to change colour and hedgerows are laden with brightly coloured berries. After the equinox around the 21st there’s more night than day, and at the end of the month we hope that all has been ‘safely gathered in’ as we plan harvest festivals. I think of September as a month of change – at the start of the month it’s practically still summer, by the end it’s very different. As if to drive home the point this is the month when all next year’s diaries and calendars appear in the shops!
We might be prompted to pause and ponder and pray on September 11th (or ‘9/11’ in America) as we remember the appalling terrorist attacks on that day in 2001.
Or we might take note of Christian festivals such as ‘Holy Cross’ day on the 15th (particularly meaningful for me as that is the day on which I was first ordained), St Matthew on the 21st and St Michael and all angels on the 29th.
A date that caught my eye on the web is 9th September - apparently designated ‘wonderful wierdos day’!
That strikes me as just perfect! In the current culture of increasing secularism, Christians are easily labelled weirdos. Over the summer I read a fantastic book which started thus “My daughter has just turned six. Sometime over the next year or so she will discover that her parents are weird. We’re weird because we go to church.”
The dictionary defines ‘weird’ as ‘odd, strange or unusual.’ And I suppose we are! Certainly it is not usual in 2018 to go to church. According to the last survey less than 2% of the population of the UK attend church weekly; when published, these results prompted renewed calls for disestablishment of the church from the National Secular Society.
But if we are weird, then we are also – or have the potential to be – wonderful. For the message we proclaim is truly a wonderful one and churches have been called to be fools for Christ since the earliest days. St Paul, writing to the newly established church in Corinth explains ‘If you think you are wise in this age you should become fools so that you may become wise. For the wisdom of this world is foolishness with God.’ In other words – nothing has changed!
In thinking of September as a month of change, we can remember the greatest change ever, the greatest new beginning ever – from death to life; from despair to hope – that occurred at the foundational event of Christianity: the resurrection. And know again the wonderful message that brings: the disciples saw Jesus and knew that death was conquered. Knew that in the end, what is good and right triumphs over all.
In September let us pray for the wonderful change that this good news can make to so many lives; let’s be ready to show how the light of hope overcomes darkness; let’s play our part in bringing this change to a world that sorely needs it.
With every blessing,
 ‘Unapologetic’ by Francis Spufford. I thoroughly recommend it!
 Encarta Dictionary
 see e.g. https://faithsurvey.co.uk/uk-christianity.html
 1 Cor 3:18-19
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