Weekly Update – Friday 20th November 2020
from Revd Emma.
Well, I do hope you are all keeping well and safe during this Lockdown. Here are a few things to share with you this week.
Christ the King
This Sunday is the last Sunday in the current church year – yes, next week is Advent! We will be marking Christ the King in our online worship available on our Facebook page and website at 10am. (www.facebook.com/allsaintsdenmead and www.allsaintsdenmead.org.uk ) You may also like to tune into the national service from the Church of England available at www.facebook.com/thechurchofengland/videos/789568211602718
Next Sunday 29th November is the start of Advent. It is disappointing not to be able to gather in church for a service at this special time, however we will be marking the start of this season in our online worship and lighting our Advent wreath. So please do join in online at 10am.
Advent has always been the season of expectation and anticipation as the church prepares to celebrate the coming of Christ in his incarnation, and also looks ahead to his final advent as judge and Saviour at the end of time. This year I think Advent is particularly poignant as we celebrate the coming of Christ’s light amidst the chaos and darkness that we presently face.
Here are two things you might like to engage with as we move into this season:
- First, every day during Advent, we will provide a 4-5-minute Advent Reflection on our Facebook page and website – more information will follow next week, ready for you to join in.
- Second, you might like to follow through an Advent book.
There are all sorts available, but as a staff team these are our top two recommendations.
- Paula Gooder back in 2008 wrote The Meaning is in the Waiting – the Spirit of Advent which is still very relevant today, exploring how we wait and hope through good and bad times.
- Michael and Rosemary Green wrote In Touch with God – Advent Meditation on Biblical Prayers. This book explores some of the greatest prayers in the Bible and the people who prayed them. It helps us to understand how we can turn to God in times of trouble, and in times of joy and celebration.
Both books are excellent – and well worth a read (just a couple of short pages each day). Both are available through the online Christian bookshop Eden: www.eden.co.uk or of course you could use some other bookselling giant!
Jesus, Light Up Denmead
A message from Lewis Jones, our Youth and Families Community Leader.
As we move into Advent and then Christmas, we have planned several activities for our local children and their families to engage with.
- First, we’re encouraging local children to decorate some Christmas rocks (a bit like the COVID-19 snake during the summer) and to bring them to the front church garden and place them around our lit-up Christmas tree from Saturday 5th December.
- Second, we’re encouraging families to take Christmas photos that capture the hope and light of the season and share on the Light Up Denmead Facebook page.
- And finally, we are creating some fun, exciting Comfort and Joy bags which will be full of activities, treats, nativity resources for them to use at home during the Christmas holidays. Families need to book their pack and collect on Saturday 19th December.
Already we have had many local families expressing interest and registering for Comfort and Joy bags. We’re hoping that these activities will keep us connected with local families (whom we cannot see through Little Stars or Messy Church etc. at this time) and share with them the true message and hope of Christmas.
To find out more please visit: www.facebook.com/LightUpDenmead or see the posters on the church porch and noticeboards.
Gifts for the Southern Domestic Abuse Service
In recent years we have collected gifts (toys for children, but especially gifts for the mums, who often get overlooked). Now this year, because of Covid, SDAS are not accepting physical gifts but would instead love to receive gift cards/vouchers. These can be given to the families they work with, allowing them to buy exactly what they need. Ideally, they want gifts cards for Tesco, Asda, Boots or Superdrug. They will also very happily receive the gifts cards for ONE4ALL (these can be spent at Argos, M&S, WHSmith, Clarks and many more) These gift cards can be bought here in the village at our Post Office.
So, please can I encourage you to buy a gift card – any value £5 - £50 would be greatly appreciated and then either drop off to church when the office is open (sadly you won’t be allowed to enter, but knock the glass door and Claire will receive your gift cards). Or, if we can return to church services, the plan is to also receive them as part of our worship on Sunday 13th December – but more info will follow. If you have already purchased a physical gift (toys or for mums) please give me a ring and we will work out a plan, thank you.
Angels and Stars for a Christmas Display!
Having created the Big Poppy Display and seeing how it gave people a focus during the first lockdown, and how well the community have engaged with it now it is in situ we thought it would be nice to have a similar project for this second lockdown!
So, we are asking all knitters to create some simple 3 - 4inch sized angels or stars. We plan to suspend them across the porchway. Our hope is to catch people’s eyes as they pass – and we will have the reminder that God is with us - Emmanuel. Now we do not need anywhere near the same number as for the poppies, but if we could make 50 to 60 angels or stars it would create a beautiful display and help remind us all of the true meaning of Christmas.
Here is the link for the angel pattern:
Here is a video link for the star pattern: www.youtube.com/watch?v=brF49yBPjnA&ab_channel=EdieEckman
You are welcome to use these, or you may have your own pattern you would like to use. Ideally, we want the angels and stars to be white, golden, cream, and yellow!
When you have completed your angels or stars please bring them to the church hall/office door where you will find a waterproof box to leave them in safely. This box will be emptied regularly.
Please can we have all angels and stars to us by Friday 4th December.
Feel free to share this idea, the patterns with any friends or neighbours who you think might like to join in.
Office Hours during the November Lockdown
The office will be closed to all face-to-face enquiries; however, we will still access email and phone enquiries during these hours:
Our Website: www.allsaintsdenmead.org.uk
This is just a reminder that you may find it useful to regularly check our website, especially as we cannot meet in person now. We are working hard to keep it up to date with links to our online services (both Sunday worship and weekday Morning Prayer), our updates and other reflections, plus information about extra events/activities as they arise.
We have now also updated our recommended resources that you might like to use at home to support, sustain and encourage your faith. These are a mixture of resources, many digital, such as Apps and websites etc., but also TV, Radio and Books. We will regularly update and keep the list short!
Well, that is all for now, take care and stay safe – and if at any point you would like a chat just call the Vicarage on 9226 2647. If I am out, please do leave a message and I will return your call. I cannot visit you at home, but I am very happy to meet in a public place for a walk, chat and pray.
God bless you richly,
Revd. Emma Racklyeft - Vicar at All Saints Denmead email@example.com 023 9226 2647