When I last wrote (in the June Newsletter), I commented on the positive effects of improved weather at the end of May. Unfortunately, it proved to be only a short-lived spell and the weather of the past month has yet again made headlines for all the wrong reasons. For example, average rainfall for June is currently running between 250 to 300% above normal. Yet despite this, we recently received warnings from the local Council that we need to use water sparingly. Although the reservoirs are full, they are having difficulty purifying water quickly enough to meet demand! It brings to mind those lines from the Rime of the Ancient Mariner by Samuel Taylor-Coleridge, “water, water everywhere, and all the boards did shrink: water, water everywhere, nor any drop to drink.”
Perhaps one of the most significant happenings of the past month was the 50th International Eucharistic Congress which took place here in Dublin from 10th to 17th June. Inevitably, there was much media speculation during the preparation phase about whether it would be a success or not. However, general consensus would suggest that it exceeded many expectations and those who participated and attended found much about which to be positive. Certainly from an ecumenical perspective, it was a most definite success as it sought and received the input of different Christian denominations. In an unprecedented programme move, the second day of the congress was devoted to ecumenical matters with the principal liturgy of the day being an ecumenical Liturgy of Word and Water. May it be our hope and prayer that the many positives which have come from the Congress will form the basis of a Christian revival and renewal in this country.
As we look forward to the months of July and August, school runs are forgotten for the moment and all those who undertook state examinations are taking a well-earned rest. Those who commute to work are finding traffic easier and with bright evenings, things can just be that little bit easier. As is traditional, many will use the opportunity to take a break from normal routine and are looking forward to a holiday either at home or abroad. However, we should not forget that the difficult economic situation continues and for those who find themselves unemployed, holidays are a luxury they often cannot afford, yet need the most. I would appeal to those who are in this position to contact me as I am aware of a charity which may be able to give limited assistance in such circumstances.
Finally, wherever you may find yourself this summer, please remember you can be assured of the warmest of welcomes if you join a local worshipping community for their Services. In return, we look forward to welcoming any visitors who may be passing or visiting friends or relatives in our area. May I take this opportunity to wish you all a pleasant and restful summer, and let us hope we get plenty of seasonal weather.
With every blessing,
Rev’d John Tanner. Tel: 01-289 3154 / 086 302 1376