When I first saw mince pies in the shops in September, I ignored them thinking “How ridiculous. It is three and a half months away”. Even though I won’t be eating or buying any just yet, I now must recognise that Christmas is beginning to loom close in the Christian calendar.
This year, we are holding Gift Services on Sunday 1st December at both Ruyton in the morning and Great Ness in the evening, in aid of teenagers who frequent the Children’s Society drop-in centre in Shrewsbury. Rachel Thomas, the Lichfield diocese representative will be with us in the morning, talking about what the charity now offers in this area. I would like to encourage you to come along or, if you are unable to join us, leave a gift at the Vicarage or Cafe Eleven – presents for boys and girls aged 10-18 (marking which they are for). Some of these young people will not get any other gifts and it would be lovely to be able to bless them.
That service will also be the beginning of a year-long sermon series entitled 2020 Vision. During Advent you will get one or two tasters and then it will start in earnest on January 5th. The idea is that we will look at the Bible from beginning to end and see how Jesus is in evidence everywhere. Sometimes it will be thematic and sometimes consecutive but I am keen to help us all understand the story of God in one big sweep rather than just the tiny segments that are often hard to piece together. We will also be holding monthly sessions to discuss some of the topics where I hope we can explore some of the tricky questions of faith.
Finally, I would like to invite those of you who do not consider yourself regular church goers to come and join us at any of our carol services – one at every church – or Christmas services where we have a wide selection from a Family Crib Service at Great Ness to Midnight Communion at Little Ness, with special Christmas morning communion services at both Great Ness and Ruyton. My prayer is that you will begin to realise that the God who made heaven and earth really wants to be in relationship with you and that He sent his only Son Jesus to earth to make it possible.
Merry Christmas Blessings, Lucinda