Parish Newsletter (Sept 2017)

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Newsletter for September2017 from Settle Vicarage

Dear Friends,

The August newsletter from me ended with 'love and many blessings on us all as we work with change, resting on the eternal changelessness of our great God, made known in Jesus who lived through all that life throws at humanity, who shows us our way home'. I start this letter with the same sentiments, as we work this month on our draft new service pattern, ready for the October PCC meeting where the results of consultation will be considered and a new pattern agreed for the new Church Year that begins in Advent. Change is great for some people, anathema to others, but it is inevitable. I hope I will raise a smile in referring to the young priest who approaches an elderly gentleman he finds in the church he has been newly appointed to. With every desire to make friends he comments to his parishioner what a great many changes he must have seen in his time 'Aye' comes the triumphant reply 'an ah've opposed every one of um!' And of course that attitude always gives a sense of a permanent lost cause. We can no more prevent change than Canute could make the tide go back. The challenge is to shape (rather than simply oppose) the changes we have to live with. John Asher gives us a good example of how to do this in dealing with what has happened at Castleberg. 

As far as service pattern goes, our present one was never intended to be 'for ever'. There was an intention to review it in 6 months, but that was put back to a year after it turned out that 6 months including Christmas gave no sense of how this was really working. Subsequently we have been waiting for formalisation of the clergy allocation locally, not wanting change and then change again. We now  find ourselves in further uncertainty as the proposals put forward have not been finalised. We have therefore gone ahead with formulating something we hope can work for a while whatever happens in the next few years, as we are clear that there will be no more stipendiary clergy in our area than at present, there could be fewer. So, please engage positively with this process - the pattern currently under discussion is there to be tweaked, but do remember, it is not about 'getting our own way'. We have a pattern to break in this respect, which involves trusting a God of unstinting generosity. We need to think of one another beyond our immediate social groups towards a future where the Kingdom grows. 

So, let us look and plan to the future, loving one another as we are loved by God, and facing outwards to show God's to the wider community in which we are set.

Every blessing and much love, Hilary

== Notices ==

Reflections on August
Holiday month has not meant nothing doing in the churches, although people have been away and will be during September, so there will be lots of catching up to do during this month and next. Thank you everyone who asked after our time away and helped us get back into the swing on our return, it’s just what we need to do for one another. The Living Stones initiatives have continued, with planning for Settle kitchen and considerations on our outward-facing mission as meetings have taken place this month. Plans for a curtain designed in the parishes for the new door in Settle are underway, thank you everyone who is working on that.

September Prayers
Our special prayers this month are for blessing of our young people progressing in education. August 'A' level results have given joy to many, we celebrate and give thanks with those who are now going on to the University of their choice. We pray too with those for whom there is disappointment and/or uncertainty. In whatever circumstance, may each know themselves valued and of worth, and find God in all they do
We pray too for children starting a new year, in the same or a new school. We remember those who were Y6 last academic year and now transfer to secondary schools. All the churches involved have feedback sheets from the 'Fast Forward' event where children shared what they were worried about and what they look forward to. We pray that young people find people they can make positive relationships with among staff and fellow students and can quickly settle in to new routines and locations.
As ever, we pray with, and for, those recently bereaved.

Newsletters and Weekly Sheets – Volunteers?
Ray will not be producing weekly sheets during September, so during this time please contact Hilary with anything you need publicising. However this points up the need for 'cover' in this respect. If you think you can help with the task of preparing these publications, please contact Hilary or Ray. The technical know-how to circulate the material electronically is not needed, only the preparation of copy in electronic format, and, ideally, the printing of the paper copy.

Consultation on the new service pattern 
The grid showing a possible new pattern for services in our three parishes was made available in all our churches last week. Please have a look at it and share your thoughts with PCC members NB this is not necessarily the final version. The issues listed below have been repeatedly raised with our present pattern, and the new one is designed to address them, at least in part. The PCC will be approving a new pattern  in October, if you can see a better way of doing things, please make suggestions to Hilary or one of the Wardens, your thoughts will address these issues:
+ Opportunity to worship in a style that suits existing and new worshippers at least some of the time.
+ Making best use of human resources, clergy and laity, allowing time to be together.
+ A service in each church each Sunday, (Rathmell two Sundays in the month)
+ A main service shared between the parishes more often. + Worship times that work for current and potential worshippers.

Advance Notice October
Dedication and Harvest Festivals happen this month. Settle will be celebrating both with everyone on the 5th Sunday, Oct 29th at 10am. Rathmell and Giggleswick will be celebrating on Sunday October 1st, our Archdeacon Beverley Mason will be at Rathmell that day.
October 7th  Holy Ascension events group is planning an Auction of Promises with a meeting on September 5th to draw up plans.