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Dear friends,

The word “jubilee” comes from the book of Leviticus. In Leviticus 25, God commanded the House of Israel to observe a year of Jubilee every 50 years. The Jubilee year, the Bible explains, was to be a year of rest, including the forgiveness of all debts, and the liberation of slaves and servants to their native lands.

The text of Leviticus 25 explains how the Jubilee is supposed to work. All outstanding debts between members of the House of Israel must be wiped clean. All people must be allowed to return to their “own property.” In an agrarian society, it was common for indebted people to forfeit ownership of their land to a creditor. The accepted interpretation of this commandment is that all land must be returned to its original owners. Likewise, if a Hebrew has taken a fellow Hebrew as an indentured servant, he must release the servant and cancel his debt in the Jubilee year.This served as a reset for society. It prevented injustice and inequality from becoming ingrained for generation after generation. It gave the land a chance to rest and recover too. 

God designed into creation a rhythm of rest and work. The story in Genesis 1 tells us of the creation of humanity on day 6, and on day 7 God rested. So on our first day after being created God invited us to rest with him, and then he sent us to work on day 8. His design is that rather that resting from work, we are to work from rest. This principle the Bible calls Sabbath. One day a week we are to stop. This reminds us that we are the creatures, not the creator. That we are finite, and get tired, whereas God is infinite and omnipotent. It is hard to develop and sustain a spiritual life of intimacy with God if we never stop and rest.

This season reminds me of both of these Biblical principles. The lockdown has forced us to stop and to rest. It has also pressed a reset button on our world. It has reminded us of the cost of the way we were living, with the birds drowned out by traffic noise, and blue skies hidden behind pollution and smog. The Black Lives Matter protests too are reminding us of the great injustices we’ve tolerated in our society for too long.

We could have known these benefits without this crisis. However we now have a choice, do we try to go back to the way things were before, with us slowly poisoning the planet, and strangling our own souls, or will we turn back to God’s ways and  work to build a better world from the ashes of the old? As we do, let’s ensure we work from a place of resting in Him and with Him in line with his original instructions!

Yours with much love in Christ,
Jonathan.

Jonathan Widdess
Vicar of Cumnor
01865 863702

Here is this weeks news….


Sunday’s Online Service

This Sunday’s online service is led by Eve Lockett and Jonathan is preaching from the Old Testament story of Abraham. Claire Horsman is leading the prayers, there’s the next in our new series, 30 Seconds of Thankfulness, and the St Michael’s choir sing “Guide me O thou great redeemer”. It will be available on our website by 10:30am on Sunday 21st June, https://cumnor.org/sunday-service-online-21st-june-2020/, or as usual you can listen in by phoning 01865 920993. A service sheet is available on the link above.

Reopening St Michael’s

I am please to be able to announce that St Michael’s will reopen for private prayer and funerals on Monday at 9am. We will initially be opening on Mondays and Fridays from 9am-5pm. 
Please help us to keep everyone safe by using the hand sanitiser on the way in and out, observing social distancing while in the church building and not venturing into the pews and other areas which have been temporarily closed off.
If you visit the church and later develop Covid-19 symptoms then please let us know in the office ASAP.

County Council Consultation on Speed Limit on Cumnor Hill

After last years accident involving a pupil from Matthew Arnold, and the petition many of us signed, I wanted to let you know that the consultation for the reduction of speed on the Cumnor Hill is now online. If you are able to, please would you respond? It may also be worthwhile mentioning that a 20mph limit around the Primary School would be great too! https://consultations.oxfordshire.gov.uk/consult.ti/CumnorHillOxfordRoad30mph/

After Service Coffee Time

After the service on Sunday at 11:30am, we will again be gathering together on Zoom to catch up with one another. 
If you’re not used to using zoom, there is a handy guide here: https://support.zoom.us/hc/en-us/articles/201362193-Joining-a-Meeting

Simply click on this link to join in: https://zoom.us/j/93248933388?pwd=WG9vekgvWk1hNXFsdlFFOUlXY0F0QT09
Meeting ID: 932 4893 3388 Password: coffee

Zoom Weekly Prayer Meeting

“If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land.” – 2 Chronicles 7:14 Our weekly prayer meeting continues on Monday at 10:30am. Join us as we gather together online to pray for one another, our families, friends and neighbours, our parish, our nation and the world.
For more details on how to connect, see this web page.

Parish Online Worship Survey

We’re missing meeting together, though new people have been joining us online. Now can you help us think about the future? How is the online experience working and what changes should we make when the church buildings are fully open again? Please complete our online survey here: https://cumnor.org/online-church-survey/ If a questionnaire is not your thing, do phone 01865 863702 or email to let me know your thoughts – vicar@cumnor.org

Please Continue To Pray For…

  • Those doing the Alpha Course
  • The St Andrew’s Rebuilding Project
  • Those on the frontline in NHS and care homes.
  • Those struggling to care for the vulnerable and confused at home without the normal respite services.
  • Cumnor School staff, pupils and their families, as Y6 pupils return to school from Monday.
  • Those who have lost loved ones recently, and especially the families of Rosie Harris and Alf Popper.
  • Those who have lost their jobs, and are facing an uncertain future.
  • All those feeling increasingly lonely and isolated.
  • All those who are ill or growing frailer.
  • Our CMS mission partner Bia.