Frensham Village Churches

Letter from the Vicarage - July 2016


Dear Brothers and Sisters,

I often watch films and TV programmes and am frequently surprised at the amount of ‘Godly’ content especially when there is absolutely no indication of this in the title or its trailer. Because of this, I have run ‘Films and Theology’ as a Advent course for quite a few years and the people who come along never cease to be amazed at how strong Christian and Biblical themes run through the most unexpected of films.
For a long time now I have also watched a clever comedy programme on the television called ‘The Big Bang Theory’. It’s like the TV series ‘Friends’ but for nerds(!) as the characters are super-intelligent physicists, biologists and engineers. I really like it because I’ve always been a bit of a science nerd myself and love the fact that I understand much of what they talk about, and, for a change, the programme directors have done their research and get the facts right!
At the end of the credits, the programme’s producer Chuck Lorre often writes a little reflection, and the other week he wrote this:
"…To let go of the fear and anger which imprisons my heart...
To relinquish all childish expectation and live joyfully in the world as it is – not as I wish or imagine it to be…
To be free of the always craven and ever-craving ego…
To be released from the endless hungers of the body…
To see God in others…
To see God in everything…
To die without death and merge my consciousness into the cosmic sea of bliss from which I came…
…This is my soul’s journey…"

Needless to say I was bowled over by the openness, depth and honesty of this writing – particularly the ‘see God in others’ and ‘see God in everything’.
This is something I always try to do as it enables me, in both my professional and personal life, to come alongside people of all faiths as well as those who are agnostics and those who are non-believers or non-religious. As I believe that all people naturally have spirituality as we are made up of body, mind and spirit, I try always to embody the spirit of ‘Namaste’ which means,
"My soul honours your soul; I honour the place in you where the whole universe resides; I honour the light, love, truth, beauty and peace within you because it is also in me; in sharing these things we are united – we are the same – we are one."
We are all God’s children living in God’s world and so if more people could embody Namaste the world would become a more peaceful, respectful, nourishing and flourishing place to live. There is so much for us all to learn (as well as unlearn) in life but Namaste is so simple a message I hope that by spreading information about it in the parish magazine, more people may embody it and share it… like Chuck Lorre, may it be ‘all our soul’s journeys’…
Another anonymous saying that I always keep close to my heart is this,
"Our first task in approaching
another people,
another culture,
another religion,
is to take off our shoes
for the place we are approaching is Holy –
else we may find ourselves
treading on another’s dream - more serious still
we may forget
that God was there
before our arrival."

As we give thanks for the summertime we are having – may our knowledge and gratefulness of God’s generosity of life grow within us. Namaste…

With love and prayers,