Churches of Thatcham – February 2022 News

February 2022

What is ordinary? The Oxford English Dictionary definition is “with no special or distinctive features; normal, what is commonplace or standard”.

Is your life ordinary? To be honest, I think mine is most of the time. Then something happens, a God-cident as I call them, that turns something ordinary into something extraordinary.  Let me share an example.  I led an ordinary carol service at Birchwood Home in Newbury a few weeks ago. One resident, who I’ll call James, was la-la-ing as we sang because he was unable to recall the words. Seeing this I turned to face him and pronounced the words clearly so that he could lip read me through my face shield. He joined in with the words of the rest of the carol. 


An ordinary moment turned into something extraordinary. Then, with a wry smile on his face he proceeded to tell me we’d sung ‘Hark the Herald Angels Sing’ too fast for his liking!  


We do ordinary tasks each day.  Washing our clothes, washing up dishes, knitting, DIY, listening to or reading a book, chatting with a relative or friend, or the supermarket delivery person or checkout assistant.

 

You may have heard the Bible story where Jesus and his mother, Mary, were invited to a wedding in Cana. It was an ordinary life event. Usually the best wine was served first and later, when the guests were drunk they would serve the cheaper wine. The wine ran out during the celebration. Jesus performed his first miracle by turning about 120 gallons of water into wine. This wine was more expensive than what the guests had been drinking earlier in the evening. They were really surprised.  Jesus had turned a regular, ordinary wedding celebration into something extraordinary.


Last year, when we were in the middle of lockdowns and restrictions I for one foundit easier to find the extraordinary in the ordinary. Celebrations – weddings, special birthdays, all sorts of things couldn’t take place or if they did, only in a very limited way. Of course, some of it was very hard: funerals with just a handful of family present; many of those shielding had little or no human contact for months.  

 

Yet, despite the undeniable difficulties and challenges, and without wanting to play down the harmful effects of the lockdown we had to find other ways to celebrate. Some of us mastered the technology and shared birthdays via computer and phone screens. Or joined in keep fit classes or quizzes. Or a ‘remote choir or orchestra’. Or watched socially distanced theatre or concerts. For many, going outside or watching through the window became much more important  – we celebrated the sunrises and sunsets, starlit skies, waves crashing on a beach, a walk to the end of the road or around the park, the first snowdrop or daffodil blooming.

Whatever it was for each of us, little things became important and we celebrated them. We had to look for the extraordinary in the ordinary, and appreciate the smaller things in life, or things that we never noticed before in all our rushing around or taking things for granted.

 

It may not have been the transformation of water into wine in the middle of an ordinary wedding, but we had to, and we did, find moments of real joy and surprise and even miracles in everyday life.

 

Do you still look for the extraordinary in the ordinary? Do you look for miracles in the everyday?

Do you celebrate the little things in life?

 

Karen Frost

Pastoral Development Worker

Hungerford, Newbury & Thatcham Development Worker

January 2022

Churches in Thatcham were able to celebrate Christmas in some wonderful ways.  Covid continued to affect us but we were delighted to welcome hundreds of people from the community to our services nonetheless.

During January the churches get together for the Week of Prayer For Christian Unity.  This is a worldwide event which happens every year at this time.  This year’s theme is “We saw His star in the east”, taking our cue from the story of the Wise Men who came to see Jesus.  We will be praying together around our various sites, and of course anyone is welcome to join us.

After the success of The Bereavement Journey in the autumn, we are pleased to announce that we are running this again on Wednesday evenings starting on 2 March, 7.30pm at Thatcham Baptist Church.  This is a 6-week course for anyone mourning the loss of a loved one.  It’s warm and friendly and if last term’s experience is anything go to by, you will make new friends.

We are also in the planning stages for a big community event to celebrate the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee.  This will take place on Sunday 5 June on Kennet School field (or inside the school if wet).  There will be games for all ages, a live band and a free barbecue lunch as part of the national Big Jubilee Lunch event.  Book the date in your diary now and plan to join us on that day – it will be great!

As ever we want our community to know that we are here to serve you in any way we can.  All of our Sunday services are open to anyone and we are always delighted to welcome newcomers.  Our individual churches have websites with contact details and lots of other information, and you can always contact me on 07922 170503.  I also write a daily encouragement email which goes out far beyond the churches, so if you would like to receive that just email me at david@thatchambaptist.org.uk

David Taylor (Rev)
Thatcham Baptist Church
Chair, Churches Together in Thatcham

Churches of Thatcham Links:

St Mary’s (Church of England)
St Barnabas (Church of England)
United Reformed Church
Thatcham Baptist Church
Thatcham Methodist Church
Glendale Church
Evangelical Church
Roman Catholic Church

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