I realise that it’s a year since we moved here so I find myself looking forward to my second Christmas at St Francis!
I will write again in the New Year but I wanted to write now to encourage us all to make the most of Christmas. This is a great opportunity to connect with people on our Frontlines and take advantage of the events and services that are being planned around church & parish. If you can offer practical help with any of these it would be very much appreciated.
Our culture has in many ways taken over Christmas, from commercial [e.g. the latest John Lewis advert], to pagan [e.g. ‘winterval’ celebration to cheer us up in the dark of December]. Jesus was born into the middle of our world and managed to live as part of it while also challenging and transforming it. I hope our aim as Christians [‘little Christs’] is to do the same by the way we engage with and celebrate Christmas.
How might you and your household choose to celebrate Christmas with Jesus at the centre? Do you have special ‘traditions’? How might you encourage any on your frontlines to engage more with the real meaning of Christmas? Perhaps you might invite some round socially before a Carol Service or Christingle and encourage them to come along with you?
And do remember that every one of us is a host. Let’s make it a priority to welcome people who come to church over the Christmas season with a warm greeting. As well as the list of Christmas activities we’ve included on this leaflet some of the events in the New Year which we can be inviting people to come along to as well as to our Sunday services. Let’s be prayerful, bold and imaginative!!
Every Blessing - Nick
As you talk with people over Christmas, please make sure you tell them about events happening in the New Year and invite them along with you to any they show interest in. Some details are below but we will have a handout you can give as well so don’t be shy in asking!
Alpha - We plan to start Course In February. It’s an excellent opportunity for people who want to find out more about what it means to follow Jesus. There are weekly talks on different themes and space to talk with others about questions that come up. And there will be cake! We will work out suitable dates and times when we know who wants to come.
Community Café [10.00-11.30am 1st Saturday in Church] - It began as a response when people stopped to talk as we were cutting the grass and the hedge. Now it’s winter and we’ve stopped outdoor work, we’re opening up on the first Saturday of each month. We offer a community space for people to pop in for a coffee with some sort of activity [Jan. 7th we’ll be icing cakes] and a chance for those who want to engage with a particular topic [in Jan. issues around death & dying].
Board Games Evening - January can be a miserable month so why not come along with some friends to our Board Games evening on Saturday 21st . There will be board games there but do bring some of your own and come with all ages so that we can have fun together. There will be Fish & Chip Supper. You’ll need to tell Liz or Louise if you are coming.
Pints of View - We’re planning regular opportunities for men to meet over a drink at the King William IV in Mangrove Green & talk about issues that matter from Science & Religion to why there’s suffering in the world: but the topic each time will be up to those who come, so please give us your ideas. Dates are being arranged so do encourage people to sign up so that we can find the best ones for the most people as well as topics.
A while ago a Scripture Union schools worker began an assembly by saying, ‘I’m going to talk today about King David, the man who killed Goliath’. Suddenly he saw in the eyes of the children that they knew nothing of David & Goliath so he switched his theme to that instead! Date Topic 8th January Adam & Eve 15th January Noah’s Ark 22nd January 10 Commandments 29th January David & Goliath 5th February Daniel & the Lion’s Den 12th February The Feeding of the 5000 19th February The Prodigal Son 26th February The Good Samaritan
Scripture Union then reflected on how few Bible stories are well known in our current society and even in our churches, so they brought out the ’10 Must-Know Stories’ in a series of books for all ages. These pick up 10 key stories and present them in three formats to be read as stories with young children, by older children and by adults.
Starting in January and up to the start of Lent we plan to fit in teaching on 8 of these stories on a Sunday [Christmas & Easter have their own special days]. So the sermons and Sunday Club groups will all focus on the same Bible story.
Our hope is that these stories will enter our wider conversations as a church and in our households so that we get to know them well. To help that happen you might like to buy copies of the SU Storybooks that are appropriate to your household and read them personally or together.
We can offer these books at reduced prices if you buy them through the church and let Louise know which ones you want before January 4th 2017
Adam & Eve
David & Goliath
Daniel & the Lion’s Den
The Feeding of the 5000
The Prodigal Son
The Good Samaritan
St. Francis Parish Church, Carteret Road, Luton. LU2 9JZ. Tel 01582 451132 (Parish Office)
E-mail : [email protected]
Office Opening Hours: Tues & Wed 9.15am-2.30pm, Thurs 9.15am-3.15pm ,Mon & Fri Closed
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