Wednesday, 29 December 2010

Reverent Chaos

No not the preacher, the atmosphere at the Christingle Service on Christmas Eve. 113 adults and children came and Hugh arranged for them to make their own Christingles. Firstly everyone took part in a census of where they were born, they visited one of the four corners of the church to be registered and then, following the Christingle story everyone gathered the bits and made a Christingle. The picture shows how a sense of awe gripped those who braved the awful weather to be at the service. A lot of work went into all the planning and the teams on the day were very busy. Thanks to you all.

Wednesday, 15 December 2010

The Trip

The Old Vicarage at Whetstone was the scene of a very pleasant and friendly coming together. The tribes from Coffeepot gathered for their annual Christmas lunch. You will see from the photograph that conversation was at its loudest and best as three courses of Christmas Fayre were placed before the waiting multitudes (well 40 of us to be exact). Our thanks go to Jenny and Jill for all the work and preparation over several months. I didn’t see one unhappy face, but I did hear some appalling jokes from the crackers and you should have seen the dreadful hat I had to wear!

Monday, 13 December 2010

Sunday 12th December was another landmark for St Paul’s as we began our Christmas celebrations for 2010. Our parade service included the chance to give a Christmas gift to someone with a greater need than ourselves. Angela and Liz from the Bethany Project came to take part in our Toy service and take away the gifts our congregation had brought in. The Bethany Project provides temporary housing to victims of domestic violence and has quite a few youngsters living in its accommodation. Vivien gave out cards with a few clues as to the age and sex of the individuals we were buying for: We could then buy a gift for a specific child. It actually needed two of Santa’s sleighs to take the beautifully wrapped presents away! Thanks to everyone who took part in the service and special thanks to Colin for leading it and to the Rainbows and Brownies for their reading and prayers.

There's lots going on at Christmas!

Each year at Christmas (and at Easter too) the churches in Oadby combine to distribute a card with details of the services taking place in all the churches. The task of distributing these cards to every house in Oadby is shared between the churches.

This year, there is a poignant picture on the front of the card as, like Mary, a young mother kisses her newborn baby. The verse, by Mark Lowry, contemplates all that the future would hold for the baby Jesus -- the Christ child -- Emmanuel -- God with us.

At St Paul's, our Christmas services are:
Sunday 19 December 7.00 p.m. Carols by Candlelight
Friday 24 December 4.00 p.m. Christingle service
(Christmas Eve) 11.30 p.m. Midnight Communion
Saturday 25 December 10.00 a.m. Family Communion
(Christmas Day)
Sunday 26 December 10.00 a.m. Holy Communion
In case you can't read the writing, Mark Lowry's poem is:
Mary did you know
That your baby boy
Will give sight to the blind man?
Mary did you know
That your baby boy
Will calm the storm with his hand?
Did you know that your baby boy
Has walked where angels trod?
When you kiss your little baby
You've kissed the face of God.

Saturday, 11 December 2010

Frost and Fire

Like much of the country, St Paul’s has been affected by the recent cold snap. In particular, the freezing fog resulted in the most spectacular hoarfrost, as depicted in this photograph taken by our churchwarden, Paul Webster.

By contrast, the sermon on 5 December had been about the Holy Spirit who Isaiah had predicted would fall upon the Messiah, as fulfilled by Jesus. However, John the Baptist had prophesied that Jesus would baptise the disciples with the Holy Spirit and with fire -- as came true on the day of Pentecost. What a contrast! The freezing temperatures outside and the fire of God's Spirit within us!

Monday, 6 December 2010

First Sunday.

Archbishop William Temple is quoted as saying: "When I pray, coincidences happen. When I stop praying, coincidences stop happening." At St Paul's we believe that God is concerned about our everyday matters. Of particular concern at present is the appointment of our new Team Vicar as the closing date for applications from the advertisement is this week. We pray during the services and we pray in our House Groups but we also have an extended time of informal prayer on the first Sunday evening of each month. We call it "First Sunday."

We look forward to discovering God's answer to our prayers. Do come and join us.