Farnham & St. John's
Torrence's Weekly Message
A Meditation on the Blessing of Light in the Night
It was just a sliver of light at twilight, that space, maybe only moments between the light and the dark. A liminal time, a threshold time, a betwixt and between time bridging what was before and the yet to come. A new moon just beginning to show up in this twilight time. A sliver of light emerging, crescent shaped to outline that side of the moon facing the sun. A sliver of light cradling the dark side of the moon. As darkness fell over the land upon which I stood, that sliver of light held me too.

A tiny curve of light that seemed to be a melting together of silver and gold flowing into its crescent shape. A new moon. I was mesmerized. It called to me, touched my heart, whispered to my soul in a way more powerful now than any full moon could at this time.

I have always loved the beginning again moon, newly in its moonth cycle. In this time its image is especially powerful. It is, for me, light piercing the darkness when light is most needed. It is a symbol of hope, of grace, of new beginnings. It promises of newly emerging light from a body that is designed to reflect light and spill it out into the universe. 

A new moon is visionary – seeing things, including light, that is beyond us after the sun seems to have sunk beneath our earthly horizon. But the sunlight is not beyond the moon’s horizon as our side of the earth is enfolded in darkness and in the moon’s beginning phase it is a symbol of newness, of light to come and to be reflected in increasing fullness. 

I believe many of us are feeling the need for light in what has seemed such a dark time. A time of profound unrest. Dark because deep within us fear and anxiety and unknowingness are stalking the light, prowling in a darkness that only light can calm and tame.  

I do not fear night; it is the absence of light that most frightens me. So, the vision of a new moon rising brings a sliver of light to my inner being. I open the door of my little home to the falling night that has turned the surface of the river to what seems an unfathomable blackness. As the new moon rises, a shining pathway, narrow but shimmering appears before me. The path along the river’s surface is very much alive and light filled as the river responding to the new moon light, reflects the moon’s sliver of light. I am drawn to it, this pathway of living light. The light reaches out to a yearning within me. The light touches my heart, mind, and soul which become one in a yearning to walk that pathway to new light.

Before heading to bed, I am drawn to a reading from Sounds of the Eternal, a slender little “Celtic Psalter” of morning and night prayers by John Philip Newell. I read the closing night prayer for this night of a new moon and find peace. I turn out the lights in my little house and head to bed, to sleep, perchance to dream, feeling cradled in the promise that light shines in the darkness and the darkness cannot overcome it. I drift off to sleep with a deep desire to wake to a new day when, turning to the light, we can reflect light on a path to new beginnings.  

May this be so, 

A Closing Night Prayer
by John Philip Newell

In the great lights of the night sky
and its unbounded stretches of space
I glimpse the shinings of your presence, O God,
In the universe of my soul
and its boundless depths
I look for emanations of your light.
In the silence of sleep
and the dreams of the night
I watch for jewels of infinity.
In the silence of sleep
and the dreams of the night
I watch for the shinings of your presence.
Photo at top of page by Stephen Walker. Photo insert in message by McKayla Crump. It was cropped and filtered. . Background photo is by Paul Volkmer. All downloaded from Unsplash. No permissions required.
A Celtic Service of Grace

Once a month Grace Church in Kilmarnock offers an audio Celtic Service. Simple - some music in the Celtic way, a few prayers in the Celtic way and a reflection from someone in their or the larger community. The reflection is supposed to have some Celtic "light" about it, reflecting a liminal (threshold) kind of experience. So it is with the reflection in this month's Celtic service which is linked here. A reflection I remembered, offering it from a time that seems so long ago and yet still so fresh for me. A Celtic kind of soul friend emailed me after hearing the Celtic service and her comments are really, I believe, what stirred my Epistle meditation this week, since each of us was a gazer at the same sliver of a moon at twilight last night. How mysterious, how strange each of us, at the time unknown to the other used the words "sliver of a moon" at "twilight." Here's what my soul friend shared about her experience as she and her husband shared evening twilight time listening to the Celtic service from Grace.  

"We sat on the porch as the sun disappeared behind the trees across the creek as we listened to the story of Charlotte. How familiar and how beautiful that story was. Thank you for sharing this with those of us who need to hear it again and again . . . all about showing up. Following the reflection, a sliver of a moon appeared between the clouds. We just sat and savored the words." 

As you listen to the service, I hope you will savor the experience too. And I hope you will find a sliver of light for you within the beautiful music, soulful prayers and my remembered moments with "Charlotte." Torrence

Link to the audio of Grace's Celtic service with Torrence's reflection.
Sharing the blessings
A Note about Stewardship

You should be receiving your stewardship letter and pledge card shortly. Our Stewardship theme this year is "One Together, Sharing the Blessings." Please prayerfully consider your commitment to share your blessings and return your card as soon as possible by mail, since we are not gathering for services.
Our Sunday services going forward are e-mailed videos which will be sent on Saturdays.

October 25th

November 1st

Special Video Service for
All Saints' Day

November 8th

The Parish Prayer List
Courtenay Altaffer
John Barber
Martha Berger
Randall Bone
Sue Bowie
Nancy Allin Bush
Mary Claycomb
Constance Edwards
Bob File
David Gallagher
The Clyde Gibson Family
Regina Griggs
Barbara & Harry Grander
The Rev. Howard Hanchey
Weir Harman
Mary Hertling
Billy Hooper
Rebecca Hubert
Marcia Jenkins
Stephanie, Nick & Donovan Kaywork
Mary Douglas Lawton
The Rt. Rev. Peter Lee
Susan Lewis
Frank Lynch
Susannah Marais
Tommy Neuman
Judi Newman
Kirsten Palubinski
George Patrick
Ed Rynd
James Rynd
Bennie Shepherd
Debbie Belfield Stacks
Scott Strickler
Waldy Sulik
Billy Tennyson
Roclyn Tennyson
Connie Thompson
Matthew Yates
and Rose Mary Zellner
Please e-mail any updates to the prayer list to parishchurchnews@gmail.com Replying to this e-mail will send it to Torrence.
Upcoming Birthdays and Anniversaries
October 24th - Mercer O'Hara
November 7th - Becky & Ed Marks
November 9th – Lynn Elliott 
Nov. 10th – David & Vanelia Gallagher
There are no in person services this coming Sunday. We will e-mail a video service on Saturday and subsequently post it to our youtube and facebook pages.
Farnham Church
St. John's Church