In this centenary year of the ending of the First World War, services will be held on Sunday, 11th November at 9.30 am at Tavistock Parish Church and at 10.50 am at the War Memorial in Bedford Square, during which an Act of Remembrance will take place. I hope as many people as are able to do so will gather to be part of these acts of worship and remembrance, and to observe two minutes silence. The services will be offered on behalf of the whole community for all who have died for their country in war. Members of the British Legion and all ex-service men and women will be very welcome and are warmly invited to attend. The church bells will be rung at 12.30 pm and at 2.30 pm to commemorate the cessation of hostilities and fighting. At 2.30 pm the bells will also be ringing to mark the 700th Anniversary of Tavistock Parish Church. Commemorative services will take place at the War Memorials in Gulworthy at 10.50 am, and at Brentor at 10.50 am. In the evening, a service to mark the cessation of fighting will be held at St Michael de Rupe, during which a beacon will be lit. Please gather on Brent Tor at 6.30 pm.
Our Benefice Away-day will be held this year on Tuesday 27 November at Buckfast Abbey. Please put the date in your diary. The day will be led by the Venerable John Reed. Further details will be published in our churches and everyone is welcome. Please sign up.
The 30th November is St Andrew’s Day. St Andrew’s Day is the traditional day on which to pray for missionaries and mission, and to encourage vocations to missionary work.
Mission is a word which we are often hesitant about. Perhaps this is because we tend to begin with ourselves. We think how large the task is, how small and how few we are. The temptation is to shrink back from the task of mission, paralysed by a sort of fear. But mission is something which is not primarily about ourselves; it is about God. It is God who is doing the mission, for it is God who does the sending out – it is his mission, not ours. God has sent his Son into the world and he has sent his Holy Spirit. God sends us now in the name of Jesus and in the power of the Holy Spirit to do his will. All mission belongs to God, and therefore, in our thinking, planning, and doing of mission, we must always begin with God; for our mission is part of God’s mission. Our part in that mission must arise out of prayer and our discernment of God’s will and purpose for us as individuals and as part of the worldwide Church of God. Only then do we get mission in the right perspective. It is not so much about what we do, but rather about what God is doing, and what he can do in and through us.
Andrew’s encounter with Jesus awakened him to new awareness of life. Meeting Jesus gave him a new purpose and a new direction (St Matthew’s Gospel Chapter 4, verses18-22). He shared this new purpose and direction with his brother, Simon. Andrew’s story is one of new hope, for individuals and for the world.
When we think about mission, it’s important to begin by asking: “What is it that God is already doing around us?” “What are the opportunities and the good things already happening that we should build on and develop?” Then, we must ask ourselves: “What is not happening?” “What needs to be done?” “What gifts, strengths and vision has God given to me, and to the others, who are the church in this place, to fulfil his will?” “How best can I use my time, talents and money to help others?” With these questions in mind, our priority then will be to develop and use the opportunities and gifts we have been given to the full – responsibly, generously, and in love. One of our main responsibilities is to recognise the resources which God has given us to use in his name. As we think of St Andrew let us be encouraged to embrace more fully this task of mission which is God’s work, in and through each one of us.
With my love and prayers.