December Magazine

PASTON ALL SAINTS CHURCH   … December Magazine

“Sharing the fun, friendship and peace of knowing God’s love with everyone”

WAITING!

God’s word, which we hear on the First Sunday of Advent, suggests that, at this time of the year, we are waiting for more than Christmas. We are waiting for the Day of the Lord. We are waiting for God to set things straight. We are waiting for God to clean up the messes we have made and to demonstrate what love and mercy are really like. We are waiting for an end to the epidemic that has overshadowed 2020 and, at this present time, we are anxiously awaiting the arrival of a new Rector here at All Saints.

 

Waiting can be tedious. Waiting can be exciting. Waiting can make us nervous. 

So, what are we really waiting for during Advent?

 

Of course, small children are probably waiting for the arrival of Santa. I am sure we all remember that excitement from when we were children - lying in bed, listening for the sleigh bells and trying not to fall asleep. It is only later that we realise the importance of the season and know that we are waiting for much more than this. We are waiting for the greatest Christmas Present of all time – the Baby Jesus! Jesus the Light of the World! The light that will show us the real way. The light that will really help us to see clearly and plan the way ahead.

 

There is something warm and comfortable about light. It gives us security. It makes our path clearer. It helps us to see. It is worth waiting for!              After the darkness of the night, day dawns. In the dark cold Winter, we wait for the Summer sun. 

 

In the reading for Advent Sunday, Saint Paul expresses the hope of this season—the joyful waiting in anticipation. He reminds us that,despite us being in the middle of a global pandemic, and despite the mess that we can all manage to make, God is faithful! God will keep us firm to the end. God will light our way.

The birth of the baby in Bethlehem is well-worth the long wait.

 

So, this Christmas time, pray that we may all “Walk in the Light of the Lord.”

 

                                                                          - Steve

 

DIOCESAN NEWS

 

The Church of St James in the Northamptonshire village of Hollowell will be part of Christmas for millions of people this year, as one of their stained-glass windows is featuring as part of Royal Mail’s Christmas stamp collection for 2020. Six stained-glass Nativity scenes from churches around England have been chosen for the special collection, covering a range of eras, styles and techniques, and showcasing the extraordinary detail and craftmanship of this highly-specialised decorative art.

 

 Reverend Allison Twigg, Associate Priest for The Uplands Group of Parishes (including St James’) said: “I am thrilled that the Nativity window from our little church here in Hollowell has been selected to be a part of Royal Mail’s Christmas stamp collection. It is indeed an honour and will bring much-needed joy to our village community in 2020. I look forward to seeing the stained-glass window from Hollowell, which is featured on the stamp that costs £1.45”.

AN INVITATION FROM COMPASSION

Compassion is the charity organisation through which we, as a church, support our “adopted” child Emmanuella. This week, Donna received this letter ……..                                                               

Dear Donna, 

God bless you for supporting Compassion during an unexpected year. As we face a Christmas like never before, we’d like to thank you for your faithful support of Emmanuella.

As a sign of our appreciation we have partnered with TBN – the World’s largest Christian Network to create Carols with Compassion. It’s a Christmas Concert to celebrate our amazing God. Airing on Sunday 6th December at 8,00pm…. on TBN.UK (Freeview Channel 65 and Sky 582.)

It will also be screened from Compassion’s Facebook page and You Tube Channel.

Featuring music from Graham Kendrik, Phillipa Hanna, Noel Robinson, London Community Gospel Choir and others. There will also be readings and performances from Compassion-sponsored children around the World.

We hope this uplifting concert will encourage and delight as we celebrate the birth of Jesus together.

Thank you so much for your love and care for children living in great need around the World.

May God bless you and your family richly during this Christmas season.

 

                                        Justin Dowds. Chief executive of Compassion UK

 

MOTHERS UNION CAROL SERVICE  

Sadly, our Mother’s Union Carol Service for the PE4 area will not be taking place in our church this year due to covid restrictions. This is usually a highlight of the year at All Saints Church when we welcome visitors from across the whole area – Paston, Werrington, Walton, Gunthorpe, Brookside and St Oswald’s RC Church. Please pray for these Mothers’ Union organisations as we move through this first week of December.

 

PARISH GIVING SCHEME

All those on the current monthly scheme should now have received a form to complete and send off.  You can either send this yourself or pass it back to the Treasurer (Katherine) who will send it on your behalf.

The current scheme closes on 31st December 2020 so the forms need to be completed and sent off as soon as possible and remember to cancel your current standing order once your existing December payment has gone out of your bank.

If you would like to join the new scheme then please contact our treasurer, Katherine, for further details

 

INTERVIEWS  

We are now able to announce that interviews for our new Rector will take place on the 11th December. Please pray for the parish, the candidates and all those involved in the interview process.

 

SACRISTAN RETIRES AFTER MANY YEARS FAITHFUL SERVICE.

We were sad to hear this week that our long-serving sacristan, Ron Wright, is retiring due to health concerns. Ron has served the Church faithfully over many years. The sacristan role involves changing the altar cloths as appropriate to the church season, checking the candles - including ordering candle oil as appropriate – and dealing with Pascal Candles, Advent Candles, and purchasing Omega and Alpha stickers as appropriate. Ron has said that he is willing to support and work alongside a new sacristan during the first few months to ensure a smooth transition and he is happy to chat to anyone who is interested. 

Ron says, “I find it is beneficial to be able to work with and assist the Priest. The role is not too time consuming and can be fitted in with your current routine. I hope this helps to give you an insight into what I believe is required. I will still be around and available for any future advice that might be required.”   

If anyone (male or female) may be interested in taking on this important role, please have a word with Ron, Yvonne or either of the church wardens.

ALTERNATIVE PLANS TO CELEBRATE CHRISTINGLE

Due to us being unable to raise money for the Children’s Society as we would normally do through the Christingle service, Sunday School leaders are planning to utilise the resources made available this year via the charity. Fiona has ordered the resources needed to make Christingles and hopes to offer these out on Christmas Eve from the church porch. These resources include candles - red ribbon - instructions on how to make a Christingle, and an activity page for children. People would need to buy their own orange.

There should be enough to make up 50 packs and these will be put together 3 days before so that they are covid-secure for collection on Christmas Eve. 

Please keep your eyes on the weekly pew sheet for more details.

CHURCH CLEANING TEAMS … can you spare time to help?

Since the covid-lockdown began, a dedicated team of volunteers has been keeping our church clean between services. At the present time, theChurch needs to be cleaned after every service. Sometimes (though rarely) it needs to be cleaned twice in one day – for example if there is a wedding or baptism.

Unfortunately, a couple of members have had to step down recently, so the small team is now working extra hard to cover these gaps and more volunteers are needed. It isn’t usually too time-consuming. If any member of the congregation feels they may be able to offer help, please contact Fiona or one of the churchwardens. Your Church Needs You!

 

A LETTER FROM BISHOP JOHN

I love the ‘not-yet’ seasons of the year, Advent and Lent, when we look forward (sometimes patiently) to the celebrations of Christmas and Easter. Many of us can sympathise with the child who prayed “Lord, please give me patience and give it to me right now!” 

Waiting is unpopular. We desperately try to guess which checkout queue is moving fastest. We begrudge the extra time spent waiting for late buses, trains or people. We loathe being told to “just hold” on the telephone.

Yet God’s people are frequently encouraged to wait upon God, to look for the signs of his work in the world, to hope and pray and strive for this world to be more like his Kingdom. Indeed, Jesus himself was acclaimed as the Christ, “the one we’ve been waiting for”, the fulfilment of centuries of longing.

In Lent and Advent, I always try to read at least one more reflective book, sometimes as part of a group. This year, please let me commend two in particular – The Glorious Journey by Liam Kelly, based upon the film The Two Popes, and Frequencies of God, written by one of our own clergy, Carys Walsh, based on the poems of R S Thomas.

Carys is Assistant Priest at Saints Peter and Paul, St Michael’s and All Saints’ Churches in Kettering, and our Curate Training Officer. The Church Times has said her book “should become a classic” while Mark Oakley (Dean of St John’s College, Cambridge) has commended it for being “infectious, poignant and inspiriting”. I agree with them both – it’s a mind-enlarging and soul-refreshing read. 

The book offers five weeks of daily poem-based reflections focused on waiting, accepting, journeying, birthing and seeing, which lead us through the anticipation of Advent to the celebration of Christmas.

In one helpful passage, Carys reflects that in waiting upon God “we may find ourselves discovering that there is a tightrope of desire and longing to be walked, which calls out from us a depth of yearning for God, and demands focus and surrender as we teeter between longing for God to speak and knowing that as we wait, we know God more”. 

As we prepare to celebrate Jesus first coming into our world, and meet him in our daily lives, may we all come to know God more this Advent.

With my prayers and best wishes for a holy and inspiring Advent.

 

                                                                       + John – Bishop of Blixworth

 

PUZZLE CORNER

There is a word hidden in each of these sentences. All the words you find are the names of thing that you may see on a Christmas card. Can you find them?

1. Members of the committee were divided on key issues.

2. The false alarm angered members of the office staff.

3. There was no white Christmas in London during the nineteen-sixties.  

4. Tom went to visit The Magic Kingdom inDisney Land.

5. Autumn came later than expected that year.

6. Sadly, the Queen of Hearts tarts burnt it the hot oven.

7. Mrs Brown’s table was laden with tempting festive food.

8. Bob the Builder was a man of small ambition.

9. Michelangelo painted many priceless masterpieces. 

10. Sleeping Beauty fell head over heels in love.


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