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Memories and Remembrance

Memory is central to human life. Without the capacity to build up a store of sense experiences and later conscious event memories, we cannot construct ourselves as human beings who can relate to the world and each other. Our earliest memories, whether or not we can bring them to mind readily, come from infancy and early childhood. These early experiences continue to be active in our lives as the bedrock ofthe way in which we relate to others. If our infancy was troubled or if we experienced neglect, then we can find we have difficulty with our relationships in the present. If we were fortunate enough to receive love and responsive care in our early years, we will probably find relationships are less troubled.

Memory is fundamental to our identity as Christians, too. Through the events of Jesus’ life, which we recall and celebrate week by week, and through sharing the Eucharist together, we become, through the reliving of these memories, Christ’s body in the world. We are shaped and made who we are by those events and their continuing power.

During November, we reflect as communities and as a nation on our collective memory. Remembrance Sunday is a time for us to remember all those who have given their lives for others in war. For many of us, as we go about daily life, war seems a distant concern. Either it was a long time ago, or it is happening far away in places utterly ‘other’ than our own context. It’s hard to imagine what life is like in the deserts of Afghanistan or the urban destruction of Syria if you live in peaceful Dorset.

It’s easy to forget that people willingly risk their lives for a cause they don’t necessarily support or even fully understand. War is always a huge failure of imagination and creativity, and more besides. When it is inevitable we are thankful that someone else does the job, and we don’t have personally to face the consequences of that failure. Individuals take risks and sacrifice their own well-being to promote the safety and security of others.

It is important for us as individuals and for society as a whole that we reflect on this sacrificial way of living and dying, in an age when any kind of sacrifice is a difficult concept for us to grasp. It seems as life has got easier we find it much harder than our parents and grandparents did to give up what is precious to us for the good of others. Yet it is a theme that is central to the Christian faith. Christians follow one who gave his life so that we might live. We embody this truth in our worship and we try to live it in our lives. Perhaps in this season of remembrance we might reflect on the ways in which sacrificial living has got ever more counter-cultural, meaning that our acts of remembrance are not less but even more important. 

Rev'd Claire McClelland  Team Vicar of St Peter's Church

 

Alpha Course at St George's

Everyone has questions

We believe that everyone should have the chance to explore the Christian faith, ask questions and share their point of view.

 Alpha is a series of sessions exploring the Christian faith. Each talk looks at a different question around faith and is designed to create conversation. Alpha is run all around the globe, and everyone's welcome. It runs in cafés, churches, universities, homes—you name it. No two Alphas look the same, but generally they have three key things in common: food, a talk and good conversation.

In Dorchester we are running an Alpha course at St George's Church starting on the 17th January 2018 at 7.30pm, we will start each session with a pudding, then listening to a talk before getting into smaller groups where each person will have the chance to ask questions. You may be interested to view the Alpha website

If you are interested in exploring faith and would like to join us please phone the Parish office 01305 250719.

Dates are 17 January - 14 March. More details to follow - Watch this Space!

Our message to you

You are welcome, whatever your beliefs, even if you find organised religion irrelevant.
You are welcome, whatever your lifestyle.
You are welcome, wherever you may be on your faith journey; believer or agnostic, conventional Christian, or questioning sceptic.
We look forward to receiving the ideas and experiences you can bring.
We welcome the infinite variety of human beings and hope that our shared witness to Christian faith will not leave anyone feeling unwanted or unloved.
We think that the way we treat each other is even more important than the dogmas we hold.
e think it is vital to take seriously the intellectual and emotional problems many people have with the Christian faith.
We think Christians must be concerned with global issues of injustice and suffering.
We recognise that our ignorance far outstrips our understanding and that there is great value just in asking questions as well as in finding answers.
We recognise that our faith involves discipleship and a consciousness of all that is bad and promotion of all that is good.
Our hope is that anybody visiting our churches will feel welcome.

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