Many thanks to all who contributed towards the Christmas Services and events. The churches were beautifully decorated, visitors made most welcome, mince pies, cakes and drinks were provided, the sound system and DPO well and professionally done, music very good and orders of service provided. Thanks too to the preachers and service leaders who continually do a great job. These things go alongside lots of hidden and unsung acts of love and kindness that go on throughout the year.
Please keep each other in prayer, as Ephesians 6 v 18 says, ‘.. be alert and always keep on praying for all the saints’ Especially remember James Michelli (aka The Major) who had a fall on 20th December and required a hip operation, Joan (Finn) in the Presentation Sisters Residential Home, Heidi Elkington at Uni and Chris Hird recovering from a hip replacement.
Congratulations to Pat and David (Green) on the arrival of a granddaughter – name to be announced. We thank Jon Cooper for his work, he’s now moved on to pastures new.
We all need to continue to pray for Children and Youth Churches, for the youngsters themselves, their growth in depth and numbers, and of course for the leaders and assistants. We do need to seek to replace Jon Cooper who has moved to a new job.
New Year Sermon Themes: To quote from the C of E website: “The Feast of the Epiphany on the 6th January marks the beginning of the season of Epiphany. Epiphany means manifestation and the traditional observation begins with the celebration of the visit of wise men from the East. It then explores other ways in which Christ reveals himself to be the Son of God: the celebration of the baptism of Christ by John, when the voice from heaven declared Jesus to be God’s beloved Son.” We’ll celebrate the visit of the Magi (Wise Men) on Sunday January 3rd and the Baptism of Christ on Sunday 10th January. From Sunday 17th, with only one break to hear about fasting at the beginning of Lent, we’ll be studying Apostle Paul’s letter to the Ephesians. This idea of Ephesians has come from one of our regular preacher’s meetings.
Sue Sunderland, wife of Philip who was our excellent Treasurer, is training as a Methodist preacher and I have invited her to preach at Holy Trinity on Sunday 10th January. As part of her training last year Sue visited both our churches to hear and review how we do things and the preaching in particular.
The next Church Prayer Meetings are on Wednesday 6th January and February 10th which is Ash Wednesday. There will be No Home Groups in these weeks. At the January one we’ll gave a look at ‘shackles’ as mentioned in my December Nick’s Notes.
Morning Prayer (9.15am) and Open Church will continue on Mondays at Holy Trinity, though as I’m changing my day off to Wednesday for family reasons, the St. Mary’s Morning Prayer and Open Church will move to Thursdays. Please check in the Calendar before coming to either as very occasionally they are cancelled.
Our 2016 Churches Text for 2016 is John 6 v 68:
‘Simon Peter answered him, “Lord, to whom shall we go?’“
The verse continues, ‘You have the words of eternal life. We have come to believe and to know that you are the Holy One of God.”
‘To whom shall we go,’ asks Peter in response to Jesus who had asked the Twelve if they wanted to leave Him too. It was a tough time for Jesus and the Twelve. Jesus teaching was unpalatable (sorry for the pun, see the context!) and many walked away. Peter’s response is so true, there is nothing and nobody that compares to Jesus, even in the toughest of times. He has the words of eternal life, in Him is eternal life. Peter was a man of strengths and weaknesses, capable of blurting things out, passionate yet at times was frightened and unsure, yet fully commuted to His Lord.
In 2016 let’s continually ‘go to Jesus’ to find in Him our all, our wisdom and inspiration.
A happy and healthy New Year to you all.
Pat & David Green celebrate their Golden Wedding Anniversary on New Year’s Day 2016.
On the following Sunday, 3rd January, there will be a short Blessing in Holy Trinity church and a cup of tea and slices of specially prepared cake afterwards.
You are warmly invited from both congregations to share their celebration with them.
The Christmas Table Decorations Workshop
Held at the Temple was very successful with many regulars.
Thanks to all who contributed and especially Mel for hosting so generously, and for the £90 donations which has gone to Tear Fund Syrian Rescue Fund.
Ideas and prayers for future events are most welcome.