I wonder whether it is co-incidence that November rhymes with remember?  There are three occasions when we ‘remember’ in November.  Today is 5th November and as I have been preparing this email I have heard lots of fireworks going off in the gardens around my house.  The other two occasions are All Saints Day and Remembrance Day/Remembrance Sunday.

1st November is All Saints Day or All Hallows Day (so this is why 31st October is Halloween, really it is All Hallows Eve).  The term ‘hallow’ means a saint or a holy person – but these aren’t people who wander around in long robes with a halo hovering over their heads.  These are all the ordinary people like you, me and the rest of the Messy Church team who try to lead their lives the way God wants them to.  Some churches, including St Mary’s in Kidlington hold a special service on the Sunday nearest to All Saints Day for people to come and remember their loved ones who have passed away.  The All Saints Day activity sheet will help you think a bit more about saints of all kinds and the word search will help you learn the names of some of the traditional saints (why not look them up on the Internet to find out why they are saints?)

11th November is Remembrance Day and the nearest Sunday is Remembrance Sunday.  This is when we remember those who have died in war.  The poppy is a symbol of remembrance.  You might like to show that you are remembering these brave people by colouring in the poppy poster and putting it in your window or making the Remembrance lantern, or doing the Remembrance crossword.  This year there will be none of the traditional services and parades for Remembrance Day but St Mary’s Church have invited people to make a poppy attached to a cross and bring it to the churchyard by 8th November (Remembrance Sunday) where you can plant it in the ground or leave it in the church porch.  I have made mine in memory of my great grandfather who died in France in the first World War.  

An important part of the remembering is to remember that we should also work for peace.  You might like to cut out the peace dove and put that in the window alongside your poppy poster or lantern.  Chris’ prayer reminds us that peace starts with us.  If we are fair and thoughtful towards others we are creating peace in our homes and among our family and friends and that can create ripples to spread peace through our village, our country and the world.