The Parish of Green Street Green and Pratts Bottom

To Follow and Worship Jesus, Sharing His Love

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Gillian Garman writes :

“Thirty days hath September……” and if you go online and look up “What happens in September in the UK” you will find something to celebrate or be involved in for almost every day of September!

The month can begin with “Harry Potter Back to Hogwarts” day on 1st September, through “International Sudoku Day” on the 9th, because Sudoku is traditionally played on a 9x9 board and “Teddy Bear “Day on 9th too!

Towards the end of September on 24th we have “World Rivers” day. A celebration of the world's waterways, highlighting the many values of rivers and to increase public awareness and encourage the improved stewardship of rivers around the world.

Finally on 30th September “World Maritime Day”. A day to focus on and appreciate the contribution of the maritime industry for trade, and to ensure the safe and fair treatment of maritime workers of all nations.

Traditionally, in our country, September is the time of new beginnings, especially academically. There will be children we know “rising 5s” that will start in the reception classes at their local Primary school, a big day for them and their families! Older children starting Secondary school in Year 7, others joining the 6th Form, and others too, going on to university. They all need our love, prayers, and support especially this month.

There will be other young people too, who feel they are in limbo without direction in their lives, especially in the busy-ness of new beginnings in September, maybe they need our prayers even more.

And what of the Church calendar in September, what challenges and expectations and new beginnings can we look forward to? There are two new initiatives already in the September calendar:

Rev Martin is leading a “Welcomer session” in the Brass Crosby Room at St Martin’s on Wednesday 20th September 19.30pm an occasion to understand Christian welcoming in the context of those coming through our Church doors for the first time.

On Saturday 23rd September Rev Michael is opening the first session of the “Repair Café” at St Mary’s Church Centre, another opportunity for welcoming people from the community into our Church building by offering very practical support.

There is also Rev Martin’s Ordination as Priest in Rochester Cathedral on 30th September, along with others who feel a calling to serve God in this way.

On 8th September, the Church of England, now in line with the Catholic Church, celebrates the Feast of the birth of the Blessed Virgin Mary, (moved from 15th August).

We read much about Mary, the mother of Jesus, in the Bible, and we know how excited and fearful she felt when the Angel Gabriel told her she would be the mother of the Son of God: Luke Chapter 1:

“I am the Lord’s servant,” Mary answered. “May your word to me be fulfilled.” Then the angel left her. Shortly afterwards Mary visits her cousin Elizabeth and

sings this song out of joy and gratitude for all that God was doing.

“My soul glorifies the Lord.

and my spirit rejoices in God my Saviour, for he has been mindful

of the humble state of his servant.

From now on all generations will call me blessed, for the Mighty One has done great things for me— holy is his name.

His mercy extends to those who fear him, from generation to generation.

He has performed mighty deeds with his arm.

he has scattered those who are proud in their inmost thoughts. He has brought down rulers from their thrones.

but has lifted up the humble.

He has filled the hungry with good things. but has sent the rich away empty. He has helped his servant Israel, remembering to be merciful to Abraham and his descendants forever, just as he promised our ancestors.”

We know, too, what lies ahead for Mary and all that she will suffer as the mother of Jesus so that her Son can be the Redeemer of the world.

This is the collect prayer for the 8th of September, a prayer for us to reflect on during this month:

Almighty and everlasting God, who stooped to raise fallen humanity
Through the childbearing of blessed Mary.
Grant that we, who have seen your glory revealed in our human nature
And your love made perfect in our weakness, may be daily renewed in your image And conformed to the pattern of your Son,

Jesus Christ our Lord, who is alive and reigns with you, In the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God now and forever. 


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