Sunday 8 December 2013
Second Sunday of Advent
10.30 am Family Eucharist
10.30 am Sunday Club for children age 5-12
3 pm Royal British Legion ‘A Group’ Christmas Carol Service
6 pm Sung Evensong
7.30 pm Sunday Night Forum (Formerly: Young Adults Group) at the Rectory
7Past7 midweek 15-minute reflective service, every Wednesday at 7.07 pm
Sunday 8 December 2013
St Mary’s Advent on-line calendar has been added to the church website.
The advantage of the on-line calendar over a traditional physical one is: you cannot open the doors ahead of time!
Of course no-one has ever lifted the corner of that tempting 25th door ahead of time- just a little bit… of course not!
It would be, as the Rector explained in the ALL AGE worship service this morning, like preparing a meal for an expected guest and then sitting down and begin to eat and drink before he has arrived. It would spoil the occasion, and be RUDE too- as a small voice helpfully suggested.
Advent is a time of preparation and waiting, not for jumping straight into the main event.
For adults, that preparation may include reflection on redemption and the second coming; slightly confusing perhaps for children whose minds are focused on a baby in a manger as the endpoint of Advent preparations.
So how can you fill the waiting time with your children and turn it into a proper preparation?
Our Advent calendar tells the story of Christmas, not from the beginning of Advent but from Genesis onwards.
In bite-size pieces, it covers the Old and New Testament stories that signpost the coming of the Messiah; happenings in the long history of God’s relationship with people down the ages.
Try it with your child.
A wonderfully atmospheric start of the Advent season was made at the Christingle Service and that sense of wonder and expectation can be made to last.
From a Tweet seen this morning:
Sunday Club are going to perform a Nativity Play during the morning service on Sunday 15 December.
A preparatory workshop will be held on Saturday 16 December, from 10.30 am till 12 noon, at St Mary’s church.
Please encourage children, grandchildren, neighbours’ children etc to come if you think they might like to take part.
Ages approximately 5 up to 13/14 though it’s at the leaders’ discretion.
No casting has yet been done; we need sheep, shepherds, shepherdesses, angels, kings, Mary, Joseph, inn keepers etc.
Please spread the word.
Unapologetically repeating Malcolm Guite’s beautiful and comforting sonnet for All Saints day, with thanks.
Though Satan breaks our dark glass into shards
Each shard still shines with Christ’s reflected light,
It glances from the eyes, kindles the words
Of all his unknown saints. The dark is bright
With quiet lives and steady lights undimmed,
The witness of the ones we shunned and shamed.
Plain in our sight and far beyond our seeing
He weaves them with us in the web of being
They stand beside us even as we grieve,
The lone and left behind whom no one claimed,
Unnumbered multitudes, he lifts above
The shadow of the gibbet and the grave,
To triumph where all saints are known and named;
The gathered glories of His wounded love.
Circumstance without the pomp. The focus of today’s annual civic service was a little different from usual- but the tab-nabs afterwards were still splendid!
The full service recording is unfortunately no longer available on the Sermon Recordings page (but can be made available on request).
As part of the WivWords literary festival last weekend, Sunday Club children were invited to write poetry in their session during the morning service. Here is Mieke’s contribution.
Why can I hear the rain thundering down on the roof
Why can I hear the wind crashing against the door
Why can I hear the thunder drumming down on the earth
and the lightning soaring in the sky – why?
Why does it stop all of a sudden
Why does the sun come beaming out
Why can I hear laughter and happiness – you know why?
Because He made it all possible
High up in the sky.
There’s forthcoming upheaval in the Chelmsford Diocese or, rather, for the churches in the Diocese.
It’s to do with the ‘merging’ of Parishes into larger units as an exercise in rationalisation of resources- or in other words: the solution that has suggested itself to diocesan thinking as the best possible in the face of a projected shortage of priests.
The news, when the PCC first heard of it, was not exactly received with shouts of acclamation and general rejoicing- far from it. Feelings of dismay were expressed; mutterings of incompatible darkened the air at the suggested combination of parishes.
Then, on Monday evening 7 October, Archbishop Justin addressed the Churches Together in England‘s Annual National Church Leaders Meeting.
An edited transcript of the Archbishop’s speech appears below:
I want to say four things about graciousness and respect in disagreement.
The first one is that disagreement is a reality; and when we deny that, ignore it, avoid it, pretend it’s not true, everything goes badly wrong. We all know that in a household or a community or a marriage if someone is looking sulky or saying very little, and you know there’s something wrong and they won’t tell you, it doesn’t help. When we look at the New Continue reading