Notes from The Vicarage – Gillian writes I wonder what memories September brings for you? Contrasting with thoughts of harvest and the ending of the year are strong memories of the school and college year beginning and wondering what it will bring. I loved to learn and have carried on doing just that in one way or another for most of my life; I soon discovered I enjoyed helping others to learn too and spent a lot of my working life teaching adults in one way or another. Not that learning is only about school or college, some of my earliest and best memories are of learning new skills at home, learning to bake with my Grandma, a friend teaching me to knit (Grandma had tried and failed, possibly because I’m left handed!). It’s been a joy to watch our new grandson learning in his first 6 months; I understand children learn more in their first 12 months than in the whole of their lives. Imagine learning to breathe, feed, sleep (occasionally at night!), move, communicate… things we take for granted that at some point must be learnt. Human beings are made to learn, good learning can open our eyes to new ways of seeing things and new opportunities as well as bringing joy and delight in what we can do.
Jesus was a great teacher; the gospel stories show him starting where people were, telling stories, showing as well as telling, making people think, challenging them to act on what he said. His followers went on learning as they took his message out into the world and watched the church community grow. We go on learning too as we work out how to be Christians in today’s world, with computers, 24 hour news and big cities. Sometimes it helps to explore what faith means together and there are some special ways doing just that at the moment. Sharing services with Fountain Square folk is a wonderful way of learning about the faith we share, something we can continue doing in the Friday morning bible study group or Tuesday evening house group as well as Peak Deanery’s Transforming Faith group meeting again in Fairfield. We’ll also be exploring what faith means with a small group thinking about Confirmation (although it’s open to anyone, not only those who want to be confirmed!), speak to any of the clergy to find out more.
On top of that, our harvest giving this year focuses on two educational projects, one helping bring greater understanding between Christian and Muslim children in Pakistan and the other educating young people, especially girls, in Goa so they can escape poverty. More about both, elsewhere in the magazine.
May you enjoy a good learning year, with love Gillian