Advent

(Excerpt from December’s Parish Chronicle)

Is it possible that in three weeks we will be celebrating Christmas? I expect many of you are caught up in the frenzy of preparation that goes with the season. The shopping, food preparation, and getting ready perhaps to welcome visitors. While others may be more concerned about the forthcoming holiday time because of the disruption in your usual routine or because you will be spending most of it alone.

However you spend Christmas it is not without some stress as indeed it was for Mary and Joseph at that first Christmas. Mary, a very young heavily pregnant girl, who has conceived her baby in strange and wondrous circumstances, having to travel a long arduous journey with Joseph to be registered according to the Emperor’s decree. And when they reach their destination there is nowhere for them to stay. Finally finding a stable to shelter in Mary has her baby with, we assume, only Joseph to help. While still recovering from all of this a group of smelly shepherds arrive directly from the hillsides where they have been with their sheep – sent by angels, they say, to worship her baby. Who would not feel stressed? But you will remember in Luke’s gospel it is written that Mary treasured all that she had heard and “pondered the words in her heart”. (Luke 2:19) She put her trust in God to guide her, whatever the future held.

Christmas is one of the Christian world’s major festivals where we remember God’s amazing gift to us, God made man in Jesus. The Word made flesh to live amongst us and share our human joys and sufferings. To bring the assurance of God’s love and forgiveness for each of us, if we believe and trust in his Word. Something to truly celebrate even if you feel that gift has got lost in the commercialism and gluttony of our age.

If we have tried to keep Advent as a time not just for shopping and eating chocolate, but to draw closer to God through worship, reading and contemplation it will not matter what the rest of the world is celebrating, our hearts and minds will be prepared to receive that gift in the form of a helpless baby needing to be loved and nurtured to survive. God makes himself vulnerable so he can know our vulnerabilities and bring his peace to those things that trouble us and give us stress.

Christmas comes with many expectations: to enjoy time with family and friends, to give and receive presents that will be appreciated, to be happy and free from stress and worry. Not all of these will be met and for some this time will bring more troubles, not less. But if we look into the heart of Christmas and understand fully what God has done for us, however we keep Christmas, we will know the joy and blessings of that first Christmas all over again. We will be able to see beyond the noise and messiness of our lives and look into the eyes of a baby born to bring hope to us and our world. And maybe we can share that joy and hope with those who are not able to find it for themselves. Why not invite them to come to church for one of our services over the Christmas period, where they too can discover God’s love freely given in a very special gift.

Jesus came that we might have life and have it abundantly (John 10:10) I wish you a very happy and peaceful Christmas full of joy and hope.

With love in Christ,

Sandie

Christmas Services at All Saints

Sunday 4th December, 2nd of Advent

4.00pm Christingle

Sunday 11th December, 3rd of Advent

9.30pm Family Praise Toy Service

Sunday 18th December, 4th of Advent

6.00pm CTD Carol Service

Saturday 24th December, Christmas Eve

4.00pm Crib Service

11.15pm Midnight Holy Communion

Sunday 25th December Christmas Day

8.00am Holy Communion

9.30am Family Communion

Excerpt from Parish Chronicle October 2016

Change in the air

One of the challenges faced by children and young people in autumn is the new academic year – now underway. It can be a big thing to start a new class, college, apprenticeship, university or job. It’s not just new things to be learnt, but new routines and, above all, new relationships to begin. How will I get on? Will I like the people I work with? Will they like me?!

As adults we often like things to stay as they are – the status quo. Change brings uncertainty and possible threat to a chosen lifestyle. But nothing alive stands still, and growth and change are inevitable. The invention of printing, the industrial revolution, the advent of steam, the motor car, the aeroplane, medical advance and the digital revolution have radically changed daily life over 150 years – for good in many ways.

So too our church and parish know themselves to be on the brink of change – a change of leadership in a new vicar. Grateful for the best of the past we expect to find new direction, renewed spiritual life and new challenges. For the appointed person and for us all there will surely be change ahead.

For a new vicar nearly everything changes – home, work, neighbours, friends, community and schools, if with children. He or she will need our love, support, encouragement and prayer. For church and parish members there is opportunity to review and renew our contribution to the life of our church and village. What gifts and skills has God given you and me to
use for him in the growth of his kingdom in Denmead?

…nothing alive stands still, and growth and change are inevitable

In a new vicar we rightly look for someone who has living faith in an unchanging God; someone who has discovered God’s unchanging love, able to live it and teach it among us; someone with a vision of a worshipping community living out its faith and hope in Christ in the power of God’s Spirit.

“You are the body of Christ,” wrote Paul to a local church, “and individually members of it” (1 Corinthians 12:27). Everyone, then, who follows Christ has a role to play in his body, his family, the church. It’s not all down to a new vicar! The vicar will want to encourage us all to take a part in Christ’s church. That’s God’s way. An aim for a local church could be “Everybody doing one thing well”. Don’t just expect one person or a few people to do it all while you watch. Football has been described as a game played by 22 people badly in need of a rest watched by 50,000 people badly in need of exercise. Let’s not allow our church to be anything like that!

Will you ask God’s Spirit to strengthen and renew you in your faith in Christ, and so enrich our church and parish for a new day?

In Him,

John Byrne

 

Messy Church

Our next Messy Church takes place on the 15th October when we will celebrating our 5th Birthday.

All families with children, including Grandparents and carers are welcome to this fun filled afternoon of craft, singing and eating together.

We meet in the Church Hall from 3.30pm – 5.30pm. Further information from Rev Sandie Osborne 023 9236 2591.

 

All Saints Church Services

Sunday 2nd OctoberTrinity 19

8.00am Holy Communion 9.30am Parish Communion 6.00pm Healing Service

Sunday 9th OctoberTrinity 20

8.00am Holy Communion 9.30pm Family Praise 6.00pm Evensong

Sunday 16th OctoberTrinity 21

8.00am Holy Communion

9.30am Parish Communion 11.30am Baptism Service 6.00pm Informal Service

Sunday 23rd October Last after Trinity, Bible Sunday 8.00am Holy Communion

9.30am Family Communion 6.00pm Evensong

Sunday 30th October All Saints Day

8.00am Holy Communion 9.30am Parish Communion 6.00pm All Souls

21st August 2016

Thirteenth Sunday after Trinity

Today’s Services

8.00am Holy Communion

9.30am Parish Communion

11.30am Baptsm

6.00pm Taizé Service

Today’s readings

Old Testament:  Isaiah 58: 9b-end

New Testament:  Hebrews 12: 18-end

Gospel: Luke 13: 10-17

GENERAL NOTICES

 

DABS A huge thank you to everyone for their support with DABS. We had an amazing week with over 200 children and more than 70 helpers. I really appreciate everything that people did, from helping set up, in the groups and tea and cake making. We couldn’t have done it without you!

DATES FOR YOUR DIARIES

Sunday 11th September – FREE BBQ BRUNCH. We are having a FREE BBQ Brunch star ng at about 10.30am following the Family Praise Service. Everyone is welcome and we hope that many of you, even if you don’t come to the service, will join us for a sociable chat over bacon rolls, hotdogs and burgers. In the event of wet weather we’ll eat in the Hall!

Saturday 17th September – Retreat Day. Please add your name to the list at the back of the church.

Sunday 18th September – 9.30am HARVEST FESTIVAL SERVICE. All are welcome to this service of praise and thanksgiving for God’s good gi s. Produce and groceries will be distributed to those in need.

Wed 23rd Nov at 7.30pm – RM Band Concert in church – SOLD OUT.

Saturday 26th November – Christmas Bazaar.

SITUATIONS STILL VACANT!

New Church Hall Booking Administrator to manage the Hall bookings from January 2017 onwards. Ideally the new administrator should be iden ed by the end of September 2016 to allow a handover period of 3 months. Anyone interested should contact Mrs Brenda Wright on 02392 233248.

 

Church Maintenance While we are without an incumbent please report any church maintenance issues you may nd to Tina 9226 6924, Samantha 9225 3177 or the church o ce 9226 8757.

The Chalice Rota is at the back of church to be lled in , please.

God bless, Tina.

Next week’s services

Thursday 11.00am Sunday 8.00am

Holy Communion

Next week’s readings

New Testament Gospel

Hebrews 13: 1-8, 15-16 Luke 14:1,7-14

Holy Communion 9.30am Family Communion

11.30am Bap sm 6.00pm No Service

Good News!

Christians throughout the world are still rejoicing at being the Easter people.

What is the ‘Good News’ and why should we be still remembering it? Our chocolate eggs give us a clue; most Easter eggs today are hollow and if taken apart there is nothing inside them. Some might feel cheated that they are hollow rather than being solid. But the empty egg speaks volumes about our risen Lord. The egg can be seen as the tomb that Christ was laid in after his death. To the surprise of the women who went early on the Sunday morning they found the tomb empty. Christ had risen!

Over the three days, Friday to Sunday Christians experience the depths and heights of human emotions. Good Friday the day when Christ was crucified all seems lost and the disciples hide themselves away, broken people. Sunday is the day of joy and some confusion. Jesus is no longer dead but alive. The chains of death have been broken once and for all and, for all of us who believe in him, Christ has won eternal life.

Life on this earth may be often difficult but we can now know that we have Jesus walking alongside through our earthly life and into eternity. The first disciples were amazed but also confused over this miraculous happening and it took a number of appearances by Jesus to the disciples to convince them that he really was risen from the dead.

If we still find it difficult to believe in Jesus Christ, to have a relationship with him, and some do, then to pray to Jesus to enlighten your heart and mind is the way forward. Bible study groups, prayer groups and church services all help to strengthen our faith and show us how we can have a joyful relationship with Jesus.

As April moves into May and summer I pray that for all of us our faith will also grow and blossom during the warm months.

Sandra

Advent

December – a month of anticipation. We celebrate the season of Advent during which we wait and prepare for the birth of our Saviour Jesus Christ.  Preparing for Jesus who is the light of the world to come into our lives and to transform us and the dark world around us. read more