Update for Forest Row for Whitsunday, 19th May, 2024

How we behold each other

There is a wonderful story, The Rabbi’s Gift, quoted by Scott Peck in his book A Different Drum, about the abbot and the rabbi, two old friends who have known each other for many years. When the abbot visits the rabbi in despair because his monastery is about to be closed for lack of numbers, he asks the rabbi if he has any advice for him. The rabbi is a humble man, but he does say one thing before they part: ‘The only thing I can tell you is that the Messiah is among you’. The abbot can make no sense of this and leaves in despair. However, he happens to mention the rabbi’s enigmatic words to his prior, and they spend some time discussing what they might mean. In their minds, they run through the ranks of the other monks, wondering how they could possibly tell whom God had chosen. Some are devout, perhaps obvious candidates, but they can also be quite irritating. Others are humble men from the surrounding countryside. Surely God wouldn’t choose an uneducated man to bring his kingdom to earth! Yet these are the ones to whom the younger monks turn for comfort when they are lonely. Try as they might, the mystery they have been pondering in secret gets out, and soon all the monks are looking at each other with the question: ‘Could it be him?’

A year later, the abbot and the rabbi meet again. The rabbi asks the abbot how things are going. He can hardly sit down, so overjoyed is he at what has happened. ‘It was just after our last meeting,’ he says. ‘Something quite miraculous happened. Where before the brothers had all been depressed about the fate of the monastery if it were to close, they became interested in each other. Each began to give his best, not his worst. Soon the young men sent by the bishop began to ask to do their novitiate here, instead of running away as soon as they were allowed to, as they had done before. Now we have so many novices that we don’t know how to accommodate them all! Such a thing has never been heard of – it is a miracle! No one can say how such a change could happen.’ The rabbi looks at him with loving understanding and agrees: ‘Truly, no one can say how such a miracle could happen!’
– Tom Ravetz

The Whitsun festival in The Christian Community is concentrated into the space of three days. On Whitsunday, 19th May at 11.30am there will be a Whitsun Celebration: ‘Movements of the Word’ with Eurythmy, music and a Whitsun contemplation. On Whitmonday, 20th May, the Act of Consecration will be celebrated in Ukrainian at 10am. On Whittuesday, 21st May, the final Whitsun service will be held (in English) at 10am. There will be no conversation group on 21st May.

Please note the talk by Peter Selg at the unusual time of 7pm on Friday, 24th May. Peter will speak on Christ and the Disciples – The Spiritual Community. Please help us to spread the word about this talk, which will be on interest to people beyond the congregation.

The Bible Study sessions on Thursday mornings will continue on 16th and 23rd May. We will turn to the Book of Proverbs.

We would be grateful for any offers of accommodation for the weekend retreat on the Spiritual Hierarchies, which will be held from 21st-23rd June. Please let Tom know if you would be able to help with this.

We are looking for new bedding for our guest bed. If anyone has a good quality single mattress that they no longer need, as well as a single duvet, please let Nataliia know.

Tom will be in Ringwood 17-18 May.

Tom Ravetz and Nataliia Shatna

More information is available in the leaflet below.


Support The Christian Community

To make a one off donation or to set up a monthly standing order, please use the account details below

Account Name: The Christian Community in Forest Row
Sort Code 30-92-92
Account Number: 00012363
Lloyds TSB, 1/3 London Road, East Grinstead
West Sussex RH19 1AH

If you are a UK Taxpayer, we can claim tax back on your donation if you fill in a gift aid form. You will find one here, which you can download and return to us (signed and scanned is fine)

You can also donate using PayPal, using a credit or debit card.

Find us

School Lane / Hartfield Road
Forest Row
East Sussex
RH18 5DZ

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Priests of the community: Tom Ravetz and Nataliia Shatna. Contact us on the church email or using the form below.

Gospel readings for 2023-24

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