The Parish Magazine June 2023

Serving the communities of Charvil, Sonning, and Sonning Eye since 1869

Serving the communities of Charvil, Sonning, and Sonning Eye since 1869


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the parish noticeboard — 3<br />

What<br />

makes<br />

<strong>June</strong><br />

special?<br />

<strong>The</strong> Midnight Sun in Norway<br />

Mettesd, dreamstime.com<br />

By Rev Dr Roger Roberts, pastor of the International<br />

Baptist Church Brussels<br />

<strong>June</strong> is the month of light — the month of the summer<br />

solstice, when millions of people in northernmost Europe<br />

stay out late to enjoy the sight of the midnight sun. To<br />

have light and glory where there is usually darkness is<br />

something we celebrate. We welcome it.<br />

In John 9 Jesus said: 'I am the light of the world.' He wasn’t<br />

comparing himself to the summer solstice, but preaching<br />

at a Jewish occasion which celebrated light every bit as<br />

much. It was the Feast of Tabernacles (John 7:14), which<br />

was a celebration not only of God’s provision of water, but<br />

also of the light of God’s presence with the Israelites in<br />

the wilderness.<br />

During the Feast of Tabernacles there was a joyful<br />

celebration. <strong>The</strong> priests would light four huge lamps in the<br />

Court of Women. <strong>The</strong> flames would reach as high as the<br />

temple walls and would provide a light that could be seen<br />

all throughout Jerusalem.<br />

Men of deep piety would dance throughout the night<br />

for the entire week of celebrating. A choir, accompanied<br />

by an orchestra of instruments, would sing psalms such<br />

as Psalm 27, which declare '<strong>The</strong> Lord is my light and my<br />

salvation.'<br />

At the height of this grand celebration, the Lord Jesus<br />

had the temerity to stand and say that he was the light<br />

that was foreshadowed by the light for the Israelites in the<br />

wilderness.<br />

<strong>The</strong> Jewish leaders were furious, and tried to stone him<br />

to death. Jesus did not fight back, he simply illustrated his<br />

claim to be the Light of the World by immediately giving<br />

sight to a man born blind. (John 9).<br />

In the 20 centuries since then, the Word of God, when<br />

it is proclaimed, has drawn people out of the darkness and<br />

into the light of Jesus. <strong>The</strong> Word is, as the psalmist said,<br />

'a lamp to my feet and a light for my path' (Psalm 119:105) and<br />

David said, 'In your light we see light' (Psalm 36:9b).<br />

Today, by the light of the Word of God, we can see<br />

Jesus as he is: truly the Light of the World.<br />

From the<br />

editor's desk<br />

editor@theparishmagazine.co.uk<br />

Keeping calm<br />

<strong>The</strong> <strong>Parish</strong> <strong>Magazine</strong> - <strong>June</strong> <strong>2023</strong> 11<br />

One of the things I learnt early in my career as a<br />

journalist was the need to be flexible and not to waste<br />

time complaining or worrying about a story or an article<br />

that had to be dropped unexpectedly after spending a<br />

long time working on it.<br />

On one occasion I was working for a defence electronics<br />

company — yes, journalists are employed by companies<br />

to help promote their products and services by getting<br />

newspapers, magazines, radio and tv stations to publish<br />

stories about their people, products and services.<br />

In 1981, I was working with a tv news crew on a story<br />

about a new, advanced electronic security system. After<br />

several days of discussions and planning, and then a full<br />

day filming in a cold, wet and muddy army firing range,<br />

I was driving home with my boss — who was a very<br />

experienced fleet street journalist before moving into<br />

public relations — when, after thanking me for the work<br />

I had done, he said, 'I've been talking to the producer, and<br />

there's no doubt they will use the film on tonight's main<br />

news programme, unless, of course, the Pope gets shot.'<br />

And you can guess what happened, Pope John Paul II was<br />

shot and wounded in Vatican City that very day and our<br />

news item was shelved!<br />

Whatever work put into a dropped story will come in<br />

handy sometime in the future, maybe next week, or even<br />

several years ahead because all information, whether it<br />

can be used or not, is valuable, if only to tell a story in<br />

this column! <strong>The</strong> way forward is to stay calm and focus on<br />

whatever comes next.<br />

DON'T PANIC!<br />

For this month's issue I have had to do a considerable<br />

amount of staying calm in the face of changes to my<br />

plans, mainly because our scheduled deadline was 12 noon<br />

on Saturday 6 May, the precise time that King Charles<br />

III was being crowned! <strong>The</strong> timing of the Coronation<br />

has, despite some careful planning in advance, led me<br />

on several occasions to remind myself of Corporal Jones'<br />

famous cry, 'Don't panic Mr Wainwaring!'<br />

As well as editing this magazine I also write a<br />

newsletter each month for the Association of Church<br />

Editors, all of whom write and publish church and parish<br />

magazines.<br />

<strong>The</strong> newsletter gives tips and ideas about how to write<br />

and design their magazines, and one of the tips that I<br />

often remind the other editors is to ask God for his help<br />

with their magazine, and no-one has ever got back to me<br />

complaining that prayer does not work, because it does.<br />

But, of course, you don't have to be a magazine<br />

editor to pray for God's help, it applies to everyone and<br />

everything we do. I'm sure that if more people prayed<br />

about their own lives, as well as those of others, and their<br />

work and other activities they might be involved with, the<br />

world will be a calmer and much happier place.

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