Turn, turn, turn,

Spending a few days in North Yorkshire last week I noticed how beautifully the moors were
carpeted in purple flowering heather, and how hints of Autumn were already beginning to
show in and around the Moors and Wold tops. Yes the Summer evenings are drawing in and
another season is on its way.  It made me think of the song   written by Pete Seager in the
late 1950’s Turn, turn, turn, to everything - turn, turn, turn, there is a season - turn, turn,
turn and a time for every purpose under heaven. Most of the lyrics are adapted word-for-
word from Chapter 3 of the Book of Ecclesiastes, set to music and recorded in the 1960’s by
The Byrds

According to Wikipedia seasons are periods in a year marked by specific weather conditions,
temperatures and length of day. I am not so sure these days that the seasons are as clear as
they were when I was a child.  Certainly the weather seems quite confused as to which
season it belongs to.  For many seasons are defined by their love of sport, football season,
cricket season, and what an exciting cricketing  season this year as England won the Ashes,
holiday seasons and so on.   It’s the same with our lives; they have different seasons as well.

We see in creation how the four seasons were created, based upon the rotation of the Earth as
it orbits the Sun. The seasons change as the earth moves, but the sun in our planetary system
remains constant, and everything revolves around it. .  In many ways we see the signature of
the same artist in our lives.  Much like the earth, our lives should revolve around the Son,
Jesus Christ. Our lives will change, and we will enter and exit many seasons, but the Son
remains constant yesterday, today and forever.      We live by seasons as human beings; both
natural seasons and spiritual seasons. We go through them as individuals, in our
relationships, in our churches, and so on. Seasons affect almost every aspect of our daily
lives: they determine what we wear, what we might eat, what activities we engage in day to
day and even our moods for many of us.  Some of life’s seasons are enjoyable, anticipated,
even relished, others are not. Some seasons are planned for, long awaited and dreamed of,
and some seasons come abruptly and unexpectedly. They can be painful and difficult.
Thinking about our spiritual lives in terms of seasons, helps us to understand that there are
different stages in our spiritual lives and growth, different internal and external
circumstances that play a part in the seasons that we go through. God's seasonal plan
includes periods of growth and periods of rest. Recognizing the season you're in and
responding appropriately to that season, is the best way to insure continued spiritual growth
and a life that bears Godly fruit.  There are seasons of uncertainty when you know God is
working but even though you believe he is working, God may not be revealing anything
specific and you cannot make sense of the things that are going on in your life.  

Wouldn’t it be great if all of life could be lived on the mountaintop? But the truth is that life is
not lived on the mountaintop. Life is primarily lived in the wilderness and valley. So often in
these wilderness and valley times, times of not being where we want to be or think we should
be, God is building our character, teaching us patience, and  showing us the things about us
that we need to be changing, attitudes, actions and such like. It’s from the mountaintop
experiences that we gain the encouragement and strength to face the difficult times.

I’m thankful we have the Bible to help us understand how God works in all the seasons of life
to help us find faith and grow and mature.  God uses every season to teach us something, to
communicate to us something about Himself, something about His faithfulness, something
about His love in sending His Son, something about His strength, something about His
power. Right now, every one of us is in a different season of life. For some of us, life couldn’t
be better, for others, life is painful and difficult.  

But no matter what season of life we are in, we can be confident that God is there with us.  
We can’t change those seasons, but we can choose how we respond to them. So say to
yourself, "How is God directing me, how is God directing the church in this season of life in
which we find ourselves right now?"  Ask God to place in your heart what He wants you to
learn during this specific season of your life. Invite God to speak into your seasons.  
Deuteronomy 11:2 says, "Remember what you've learned about the Lord through your
experiences with Him." In other words, don't waste your experiences; God can teach you
something through them.  So I want to encourage you whatever season of life you're in, pain
or disappointment, victory: or success or some great blessing to see the hand of God in it.
You will change and seasons will change, but God is always the same, yesterday, today and
forever.  He is at work in every season…especially in the seasons of our lives.

                                                                                                  Pat Clarke

Editor: Turn, turn, turn by the Byrds - https://youtu.be/W4ga_M5Zdn4
Click here for the Churchyard Burial Records
Mission Statement.
We are here to help people love and worship God.
We aim to be, and encourage others to become, committed and active disciples of Jesus,
who love God and worship him, who know the power of the Holy Spirit and who show
God’s love in every part of their lives.
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Prayer for the Month
Thought for the Month
Below you will find extracts from this month's Parish Magazine
First Words...,  A Prayer for the Month & A Thought for the Month
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God, who in generous mercy sent the Holy Spirit
upon your Church in the burning fire of your love:
grant that your people may be fervent
in the fellowship of the gospel
that, always abiding in you,
they may be found steadfast in faith and active in service;
through Jesus Christ your Son our Lord,
who is alive and reigns with you,
in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, now and for ever.
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  • Details of the Harvest Supper, Emley Brass Band concert and Autumn Fayre are
    in Forthcoming Events
  • First Words, Prayer for the Month and Thought for the Month have been
    updated for September- see below
  • Read Bishop Peter's letter for September - Bishop's Letter.
  • The September issue of the Parish Magazine is available On-Line. News and Views
    From St Mary's Church Ecclesfield The oldest issue available is February 2011.
  • Listen again to recently recorded Sunday Sermons and this years Lent Reflections
    - Listen Again
  • Have a look at some interesting and thought provoking videos - Viral Videos
  • The  Diary and Rotas  page now has on-line features and will always be 'up-to-date'
  • Don't forget to check the Weekly Notices for service times and the latest news.
  • New Page - 6 Faces in a Wall - St. Mary’s link with local sculptor Andrew Vickers
    AKA Stoneface
  • Free Wi-Fi available in church for those who need to be 'connected'
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Parish Office - Jean Fowler Tel: 245 0106
Michael Waldron Tel: 246 3091
Andrew Robinson Tel: 246 3646

Revd. Jeni Fryer Tel: 246 1027 or Pat Clarke   Tel: 257 7191   

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Gatty Hall

Process to find next vicar
Key Contacts during the Interregnum are as below
St. Mary’s is in an Interregnum (or vacancy).  This means that we do not currently have a
vicar or priest in charge.

In the meantime,
Sunday Services and Thursday Communion will continue as normal with
the help of visiting clergy and our
Ministry Team.

Bookings for
Baptisms, Weddings and Funerals are still being taken – Click on links for
more information.

Please keep us in your thoughts and prayers during this time as we begin our quest for a
new vicar to lead us here in Ecclesfield.

‘For surely I know the plans I have for you, says the Lord, plans for your welfare and not for
harm, to give you a future with hope.’
Jeremiah 29:11

Further details of the vacancy   (advert)  and   Link to Parish Profile
  • Queen Elizabeth II & Ecclesfield Bells - On Wednesday 9th September 2015 Queen
    Elizabeth II will become our longest reigning monarch and to celebrate this wonderful
    event Ecclesfield Bells will be ringing out for an hour, starting at 7.30 pm.  

  • Crossroads Mission - the visit of Bishops from the Northern Province to Sheffield
    Diocese happens between the 10th and 13th of this month.  Why not come along to
    Ecclesfield Primary School on Saturday 12th September to meet and hear Paul Butler,
    Bishop of Durham (7-9pm).

  • Service of thanksgiving and celebration – Sunday 13th September at 10.00am.  A
    time to celebrate and  give thanks, not just for the Mission, but for  all the support and
    hard work given to this community of Ecclesfield, throughout the year,  by so many
    community groups.

  • Living Stones our 4 o’clock, once a month service, for children and families starts
    again on Sunday 20th September.

  • MacMillan Big Coffee Morning 25 September 2015 – come and  join us between
    10.00am and 12.30pm on this date when our usual Friday coffee morning will be for
    MacMillan Cancer support.

  • Harvest Festival – we look forward to seeing many of you at our Harvest celebrations
    at 10.00am on Sunday 11th October when we will be supporting The Cathedral Archer
    Project with our gifts as well as seeking to help farmers abroad through Farm Africa.  
    Our Harvest Supper is on Friday 9th October at 6.30pm in the Gatty Hall.   All are
    welcome.  Tickets available from Pat Wood on 2465086.

  • Emley Brass Band will be with us again on Saturday 17 October at 7pm for our very
    own “Last night at the Proms”.  Always a good evening.  Tickets available from Ian
    Hartshorne on 2459435.

    In this time of change at St Mary’s please continue to hold in your thoughts and
    prayers our Churchwardens, Ministry team, PCC and all members of our church
                                                                                                  Pat Clarke