The word "holiday" comes from the Old English word for "Holy Day". It was a day off work to join in festivities and other celebrations of a special day in the Church's calendar - a Saint's day or other occasion. Nowadays the dictionary defines a holiday as "an extended period of recreation, especially away from home or in travelling; a break from work." Nonetheless, the spiritual dimension is still there, if we think about it - the origin of the word "recreation" is, of course, "to create again; renew".
Whether we are fortunate enough to be looking forward to a holiday away from home, or enjoying periods of recreation whilst staying at home - now called a "staycation", the opportunity is the same - the chance to relax and unwind, to have a well-earned break from the daily routine, to "re-charge our batteries" and to start again refreshed and renewed. But does it always work out that way? While we are away from home, away from all the pressures of daily life, we feel back in control. We may think that we have rediscovered our true selves. But when we arrive home to the bills and the deadlines perhaps it all seems like a dream. It was great whilst it lasted, but back to earth nothing has really changed.
As Christians we encounter God in the midst of our daily lives, amongst all the challenges, frustrations and disappointments, as well as in the more joyful times. Situations are not changed by escaping from them, but by seeing God in them and by discovering His will and purposes, for ourselves as well as for the people amongst whom we live and work. When, with God's help, we see with the eyes of Jesus, we become aware of how we must respond and we move forwards in hope and trust. One thing is clear - God gives us new opportunities every day to know Him and to serve Him.
Holidays are indeed great fun and a welcome and necessary time of rest and relaxation. But true RE-CREATION comes only by living each day consciously in the presence of God.
Children And Young People In The Church
We were all very sad when the Jam Club (Jesus and me) collapsed, due to a lack of both children and helpers. The Jam Club met on the first Sunday of each month at 9.30am in the Benefice Hall next to All Saints' Church, Wickhambrook. It was a lot of fun and enjoyed by those who attended, both children and adults. The children ranged in age from three to ten. A theme for the day was chosen with activities, songs and games linked to it. The children joined the congregation towards the end of the service for a blessing and to show them what they had done that morning in the Jam Club and the congregation loved to see them.
We would love to relaunch the Jam Club, to which children and leaders from all seven parishes in the Benefice would be most warmly welcome. If you would be interested in your children attending the Jam Club would you please let me or a Churchwarden know, so that we can assess likely interest? Similarly, if you would be prepared to be a leader or helper please let us know. As well as leaders, (we can provide resources and materials to help you plan the sessions) we need people to help set up the Benefice Hall - this includes putting the tables up, preparation with the arts and crafts, helping during Jam Club itself, and assisting with refreshments afterwards. This is for about two hours, from 9.00am - 11.00am. If we had enough people it wouldn't even have to be every month. Children are not only the Church of the future, but a much valued part of the Church today. What a joy it would be to have children involved in the life of the Church again. Please help, if you can.
With every blessing.
Rev'd Stephen Abbott