"We are teeming with life and change as we bubble together in the Spirit's flow"
Check out stourdene.com which is the new and improved website for the community of six parishes that take their collective name from the two rivers that run through our parishes. For Alderminster, Halford and Newbold-on-Stour the clue is in the name with the River Stour being a prominent feature in all these villages; and for Ettington, Pillertons and Butlers Marston, also the River Dene flows nearby. Both the Rivers Stour and Dene are tributaries of the River Avon, which along with all rivers is both a permanent part of the landscape and yet always changing as it flows towards its ultimate destination to join the sea. A river is the same, and yet never the same, as water is permanently flowing into a community and outwards on its journey to the sea, just as our church families in villages are part of a greater global movement of the Kingdom of God, present here and now yet part of a bigger map and story. We are a constant presence in each community, but also teeming with life and change as we bubble together in the Spirit’s flow.
From 13 – 23 May we again locally join in marking this year’s global prayer movement of ‘Thy Kingdom Come’. In the days between Ascension Day and Pentecost we are called to especially listen for how God is moving in our world today and pray that we will see him refresh us all by his Holy Spirit like water in a dry and thirsty land. In this period of nine days, I will be taking a prayer walk down to the nearest bank of the river in each of our villages and praying for you. I would love others to join me, so let me know if you are up for that and I will arrange the best time with you. I will also again be putting prayer stations into each of our church buildings, which will offer resources to prompt your prayer.
Among other words, I will be praying this water blessing:
May clean clear water bless us; Wellspring or waterfall; Life in abundance
Flowing, cleansing, refreshing.
May we use wisely God’s gift of water and cherish each drop
Bring life to earth’s deserts.
Jesus, pour your water, Greening and satisfying on the dry dustiness
of the deserts within us.
Holy Spirit, flow through us; Revive our faithfulness; Cleanse our sinfulness
Fill us with prayerfulness. Amen.