Letter from Ian 12th December
I have found this to be a very strange Advent, with none of the usual busyness of school concerts and services in church. I would like to say that I have made it more like a "proper" Advent, a time to think, reflect and pray, BEFORE the festivities of Christmas. But it seems that one type of busyness has been swapped for another, and the extra administration involved in organising services has filled the time not spent telling school children about the true meaning of Christmas!
Perhaps we should all take some time out this Advent, even if it is only long enough to drink a cup of coffee (and on the subject of coffee please see the TRAIDCRAFT notice below). If you do find that time, you might ponder on the question: What does Christmas mean to you? The old song tells us its about seeing folks and friends, well we won't be doing so much of that this year; it also tells of a spirit of goodwill - is that what Christmas means, surely as followers of Jesus we should have a spirit of goodwill at all times, not just Christmas? The song goes on to mention sleigh bells, but because of what we read about climate change we won't be hearing many of them in the future, at any time never mind Christmas, so I hope that's not your answer, although it is worth reflecting on how we can do our bit to help the environment, at Christmas and all through the year. The song mentions singing and greeting neighbours, which is exactly what the DOORSTEP CAROLS initiative is all about, and it is not too late to invite some of your neighbours to join you on your doorsteps to sing along with BBC Radio Northampton, this Wednesday at 6pm (more details below). I do like the way the song tells of "stockings filled with toys for all the lonely little girls and boys" which reminds me to say a big THANK YOU to everyone who has thought of girls and boys around the world who will not receive much at Christmas and packed a SHOEBOX. The song concludes with a reference to praying "for all eternity to see the star of peace shine overhead", suggesting that Christmas is not about a day, or even a few days break from some Covid restrictions, but is connected to a much wider reality, as God comes to earth as a frail human baby to make peace with us, so that we might go to heaven as the glorious children of God; and that is something worth reflecting on, and also something that will make us want to celebrate Christmas, even with all our restrictions, so do take note of our CHRISTMAS SERVICES detailed below.
Kate had a kidney biopsy on Thursday and is waiting for the results. Please pray the results come on time and that a clear and appropriate treatment plan can be implemented quickly. Thank you.
If anyone needs any last minute gifts or fairtrade supplies please contact Miriam by Monday 14th please. There are a couple of bags of Christmas Blend ground coffee available at £4.49 (with free delivery) - first come first served.
As mentioned above this is happening on Wednesday 16th December at 6pm and all you need do is invite (using the INVITE or by word of mouth) your neighbours to join you on your doorstep and tune in to BBC Radio Northampton on 103.6 or 104.2 FM and sing along using the carol SHEET (print some off for your neighbours or contact us and we can print them for you).
On Sunday 20th December at 9am, 10.30am and 5pm we have the world premiere of our 2020 Energize Nativity along with a sketch from Get Closer, both filmed at home. Then on Christmas Eve we have a special Covid safe, family friendly, Pop Up Nativity Service at both 3.30 and 5pm; and on Christmas morning a Family Communion service at 10.30am. If you have not received invites to Sunday services, or indicated you would like to attend on Christmas Eve/Day, then please reply to this email saying which services you would like to go to. You will then receive an invitation to the services.
We have just received our supply of 2021 Church Diaries. If you would like one, either for yourself or as a gift, they will be on sale in church from tomorrow, or can be ordered by replying to this email. They cost £2 each with ALL that money going to St Columba's, so please come prepared, ideally with the exact money.
This week's ENERGIZE children's resources are here, as usual they will be available in church for any children coming along tomorrow. There will be a printed copy of SCANS available for everyone in church tomorrow, so no Puzzles are attached this week. There is a PDF version of the service attached and the link for the youtube version, with a full range of songs is here:
With love and best wishes to you all this Advent season,