Letter from Kevin 28th November
Dear Church Family
It’s either one of those things that seems to take forever coming or it’s here before you know it. That’s right – this Sunday is the first Sunday of Advent, our period of reflection and anticipation before we celebrate the birth of Jesus at Christmas.
How many of you I wonder have already got the Christmas Tree and the decorations up? I think a lot of people have already done so looking to bring a little joy into their lives after all of the strange times that we’ve had in 2020. The joy for us of course is that we look forward to celebrating the birth of our saviour, who has brought light and hope and joy into the world. As we encounter God in this advent season we can be excited for Christmas but also take time to remember those who have had hard times this year, those who have known loss of family and friends, loved ones who are no longer with us, those who have lost jobs and had so much upheaval because of the current pandemic.
In all of this though, we look to God, who loves and cares for us. If you have any prayer needs at this time please do share them with Ian or myself and we will make sure to pray for you and with you.
We had the funeral of Christine Kettridge this week, although I didn’t know Christine that well it was obvious how well loved she was by many, and her funeral reflected that, I know some of you who weren’t there will have watched the livestream of the service, although unable to hear the music due to copyright restrictions you may have noticed that the song “All God’s Creatures have a place in the choir” was played out. It’s a great fun song, that I’m told Christine took great delight in, but it’s message is so reassuring – we who love God have a place reserved for us in his heavenly choir, of which Christine is now a part and though she will be missed now we have assurance that we will see her and others that have gone before again as we sing and worship God together. Please pray for all of the Kettridge family and friends of Christine who I know will be missing her now.
There’s lots to report on this week;
THIS WEEK’S ONLINE SERVICE
We have our 1st Sunday of Advent service available online here https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLIkVUkfx667ZZtWRgNjQtokL07ZEyZmKV Thanks to William, Rosie and Linda for putting this together this week. A printed copy is here.
CHURCH SERVICES AT ST COLUMBA
You may well have heard the news that Church services are allowed to restart once the lockdown ends and that Northamptonshire is in a Tier 2 area – keep an eye out for an update and invitations from Ian to a service soon!
We are having a doorstep carol concert on the 16th December at 6pm. Along with other churches and organisations up and down the country local radio stations – in this case BBC Radio Northampton – will be playing out a great selection of carols. What we would love you to do is organise the street where you live to sing along with us as a church – there’s a copy of an invitation, you can either print this or get in touch and we’ll print some for you. And here is a copy of the carol sheet from BBC Radio Northampton, again we’re happy to print copies for you – just get in touch. We’ve also put together a short video explaining this – it’s part of the online service and will also be on our Facebook page.
We’re going to try and keep people a bit more up to date on all that’s going on at St Columba’s using our FaceBook page – https://facebook.com/stcolumbascorby - if you haven’t already can I ask you to give it a like and share it with anyone you know who might be interested in hearing from us.
Please find an Advent Adventure Activity from Open Doors, one of the charities that St Columba's have supported and who in turn support our Christian brothers and sisters around the world who are persecuted for their faith in Jesus. These activities are divided into four, one for each week in Advent. Some of them need parental supervision (including this first week when you make your own Advent Wreath - just like the one we have in church that you will be able to see in this week's online service) and some material parents may like to read/watch in advance to make sure it is suitable for their children (this applies particularly for week 3 and we will remind you that week).
We have included this in place of the ENERGIZE resources this week.
HOPE INTO ACTION
This is a new charity that we are thinking about supporting and who will be speaking to our January PCC meeting. Hope into Action are based in Peterborough but work nationally with local churches to provide housing for people who have previously been homeless. Churches provide practical support (cakes, DIY and listening ears) but not professional support which is provided by Hope into Action. There is an opportunity for people from St Columba's to join some online training that is being organised by Hope into Action, which Paul Millen and John Lynch will be attending. Details are in the "Franchise Induction Programme" and if this is something that might interest you do contact Ian who can arrange for you to log in to the sessions that interest you.
We have another set of puzzles from Steve Scholes, with great amusement I noticed that the first one is guess whether or not the Cheese or the Potato brand is real – my darling wife can probably do the cheeses – I’ll stick to the potatoes!
I hope you have a good week, seeking God and anticipating celebrating the birth of Jesus this Christmas. Looking forward to seeing many of you again soon!