Christmas At St. C’s – 2016

 

p1220315p1220234This week (December 13-18th) has been all about schools. On Monday Natalie and I visited Low Ash to present the winners of the Sheep Trail with their sheep. Then it was Christmas Dinner at BlakeHill. Tuesday Low Ash rehearsed their Carols by Candlelight in church. Wednesday and Thursday saw Blakehill come to church to perform their Christingle Service.  Two events raised over £200 pounds for the Children’s Society thanks to the generosity of the Blakehill parents. The church was also full again on Thursday evening with the children and parents of Low Ash for their Carols by Candlelight. Finally on Friday it was back to Blakehill for another Sheep Trail presentation. Our relationships with these two schools is exceptional but here’s a thought – there are two more schools in Wrose – Swain House and Poplar’s Farm with whom we interact very little – if we had more people willing to volunteer to go into schools we could do so much more. Perhaps God might be calling you to this exciting ministry – no previous experience necessary – training provided. Wouldn’t it be great if this time next year we could have built a deeper relationship with all our schools.

On Wednesday the annual Coffee & Carol event took place at Costa Coffee in Shipley. This year the place was full to bursting. There was music from David, Yvonne and Mark, not to mention the Sarah Burton All Stars. Alex Jones told us movingly of the work of Christian Aid and in response £200 was raised for that organisation.

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On Saturday we transferred our carol singing to the Wrose Bull. Our gallant band sang our hearts out for two hours much to the enjoyment of the customers. We raised even more money for the Children’s Society – although the amount has yet to come to my attention.

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Sunday dawned on our Nativity. At the 9.15am Steve taught us about the connection between John the Baptist and Jesus which began whilst they were still in their mother’s wombs. I have attached his message for your consideration. At 10.30am Julie Wilkinson led us through a delightfully raucous version of the Nativity story seen from the point of view of the innkeeper (a cockney by all accounts) It was a wonderful service and greatly enjoyed by everyone.

That evening CIA met for their traditional Christmas party complete with silly games and curly quizzes. And then a new week dawned. There were sheep to be rounded up and the funeral of Sheila Empson to be attended. It was great to see so many come along to support Bernard and the family at this sad time.

In the last week before Christmas (19th-25th December)

On Wednesday we held a special Messy Church for all the families with which we have regular contact. It was an excellent occasion superbly created and led by Natalie and Victoria. There were about 40 people in attendance and some wonderful crafts were created.

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So the weekend began with Christingle making on the Friday morning. A noble band of volunteers boldly took oranges, candles, red tape, cocktail sticks, raisins and dolly mixture and turned them into 100 finished Christingles.  On Christmas Eve the Christingles came into their own as well over 100 people turned up to build the crib and discover the meaning of the Christingle. This was followed by our late night Communion service at which Stewart gave a wonderful message and we sang our hearts out to the familiar carols. Then finally Christmas morning dawned and our family communion celebration was very well attended and received with carols, a special Christmas talk from Colin & Katy and an explosion of party poppers to finish. After the service we were delighted to have a meal with 3 visitors from the East – how very Biblical.

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The New Year began on a Sunday and we celebrated with a service based around the Methodist Covenant Service. I have attached the qwords of the service for your prayerful consideration. We learned some new things about the Magi, Wise Men or Kings – whatever you like to call them, as we traced their history through the Old Testament. I have also attached the message that I gave for your edification.

The Covenant

As we begin our journey through 2017 our prayer for this week helps us to thank God for 2016 and to put ourselves at his disposal for the coming year.

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Weekly Update – 10th November 2016

Hi Everyone

The week began with Natalie and I visited Blakehill School to lead their assembly. We talked about the support that friends can give us, using the story of the four friends and the lame man that they lowered through the roof to see Jesus. We had a great time.

On Wednesday Noah’s Ark welcomed 42 children – this may be a record. Well done to Victoria, Natalie, Pat, Shirley and Iris for making it such a success. This was followed by our Place of Welcome which opened its doors to a good number of people. Some came to craft, some to chat – it was lovely. I think we have something really good developing. The day was rounded off by a trip to Costa to sample their Christmas range with carols from David Wilkinson.

On Thursday we held the second of our ‘Can I Just Say’ evenings. This time will focussed on the theme of Belonging. We had a really interesting evening sharing our experiences of what belonging means. Yashar and Camiar spoke to us about their sense of belonging as refugees and asylum seekers. It was lovely to hear them refer to St. C’s as being like heaven.

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On Saturday the pyrotechnic crew were hard at work early doors building the bonfire for the evening party. It was a great evening with about 100 people attending. We were entertained with some marvellous fire swinging by Natasha Glew. This was followed by an excellent barbecue and a splendid bonfire. It was a fabulous occasion.

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This Sunday were thinking about the passage in Matthew in which Jesus commends those who help the poor, the lonely, the homeless etc and those who have helped him. Steve preached a great message at the 9.15am Communion service the text of which I have attached to this email.

Cafe Church went on to consider this question further. We opened with the question – if you were sat on a bus next to a world leader, who would you choose and what would be your question? Vladimir Putin was the most questioned leader, closely followed by Barak Obama.

Finally there was another trip to Costa for our Live @ Costa event with music from local band ‘Strid’ which apparently is a village in Yorkshire and come from the anglo-saxon for Battle. It was another good evening.

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Our prayer in this week of the US Elections is for our politicians. Maybe you aren’t fired up for changing the nation. Maybe, you would be, if you thought you could make a difference. But you’re convinced you can’t. Or, just maybe, you’ve looked at our political parties, and the people who represent them, and not one of them seems worthy of your trust, let alone your vote. Perhaps you don’t believe our system even works, you wonder if some businesses, organisations, or shady characters, secretly run the show in the background.

So why pray about politics, then? Because the truth is that despite all the potential problems, you and I can make a difference. We can stand tall in the face of that doubt, that negativity, and say ‘Yeah, I’ve heard all of that, but still, I’m going to take this opportunity to get involved, to stand up to change what I see around me, for God.’

PRAYER OF THE WEEK

Father God, thank You, we praise You, for our country.

Thank you that we live with relative peace and security,

and that we have the freedom to speak out against injustice when we see it.

Thank You for all of the good gifts that You’ve given us, for all that we have around us, especially those things we take for granted.

To change our nation, I first ask Lord, that You change my heart towards it.

 

Father we pray that You would give us a government that loves justice, honesty and truth.

A government that loves to bring healing to those in need,

has compassion on those who are broken,

and acts in our nation the way You would if You were walking around it.

Father we pray that you would give us politicians who have clarity, integrity,

and passion for what is right.

Give them great intelligence to solve problems, but please give them great strength of character, to stay away from anything corrupt,or sinful, as well.

Finally, Father, we pray that you would bring great healing to our nation where it needs it,

bring about a generation who will stand against the tide of cynicism,

to act justly, to love kindness, and to walk humbly with You.

In Jesus’ name, for His sake, and for His glory, we pray.

Amen.

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Weekly Update – 31st October 2016

Hi Everyone

The week began with the big machines rolling into and then ripping up the car park. It was slow process but gradually the old was removed and the new replaced it, until on Saturday the work was completed. Now we have a brand new car park with which to welcome people into our church. Our thanks go to everyone who helped raise the money for this project. On another matter we now have a new and working cooker in the kitchen – just in time for our Christmas Meal.

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On Thursday Carol, Lorraine and I went out visiting local businesses to enlist their support for our Sheep Trail. As you may know people in the church and the community have been knitting sheep for some time. These will find themselves in local shops and businesses during December and the children from Low Ash and Blakehill Schools will be searching for them in the hope of completing our Sheep Trail and possibly win a sheep for themselves.

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This Sunday we welcomed Alice and her husband Joseph from CAP (Christians Against Poverty) to our joint Holy Communion. Alice shared some of her experiences and the changes in the lives of those who had been helped by CAP. She used the idea of God being the same yesterday, today and forever and applied it to the lives of people. We all have a yesterday, some of it bad. Cap offers people a new start today and the hope of a future with God.

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CIA met in church with Steven Harvey and they began to paint the huge nativity figures which will become a part of our Nativity Tableau which will be situated on top of the office/kitchen block as a reminder of the true meaning of Christmas.

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It being All Saints Day tomorrow (November 1st) our prayer for us to share in this week thanks God for all those who have lifted up the name of Jesus throughout history. Both those known to us and those unknown. Take time to be quiet when you say this prayer – give God time to speak to you through these words and may the Lord hear our prayers.

PRAYER OF THE WEEK

We give you thanks, O God, for all the saints who ever worshipped you
Whether in stone cells or cathedrals,
Weathered wooden churches or crumbling cement meeting houses
Where your name was lifted and adored.

We give you thanks, O God, for hands lifted in praise:
Manicured hands and hands stained with grease or soil,
Strong hands and those gnarled with age
Holy hands
Used as wave offerings across the land.

We thank you, God, for hardworking saints;
Whether hard-hatted or steel-booted,
Head ragged or aproned,
Blue-collared or three-piece-suited
They left their mark on the earth for you, for us, for our children to come.

Thank you, God, for the tremendous sacrifices made by those who have gone before us.
Bless the memories of your saints, God.
May we learn how to walk wisely from their examples of faith, dedication, worship, and love.

Amen.

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Weekly Update – 24th October 2016

Hi Everyone

This week at St. C’s the PCC met and as well as covering all the usual practical business, there was an interesting discussion on the role of the Life Groups within the development of the church. It was felt that we should do more promote these groups and encourage more people to join them. It was suggested that we might create a Facebook page especially for those who could not attend the current groups – follow this link to join in:

https://www.facebook.com/groups/1858316881053746/

It was also suggested that we enquire to see if people would like a daytime group. If you would be interested why not speak to Colin about it.

This Sunday we nehemiah-4-14continued the story of Nehemiah moving in to Chapter 4. The writer has been laying a trail of breadcrumbs since Chapter 2 alerting us to the fact that some of those who lived in Jerusalem were against the work of rebuilding the wall. Now this opposition comes to head and forces Nehemiah to deal with it. His response is to combine practicality with spirituality. He turns first to prayer and then to equipping his workers to be ready for an attack. This combination proves to be effective in thwarting the plans of his enemies. I am attaching David Slaney’s message from the 10.30am service for you to consider.

Our morning service was also marked by the baptism of Kamiar Ahmadi one of our Iranian friends. It was a truly joyful occasion and to hear him speak in praise of God was very inspiring.

On Sunday afternoon we held our annual service of thanksgiving for those who had lost loved ones during the past year. It proved to be a very moving occasion and was appreciated by those who attended.

Our prayer for us to share in this week asks God to help us with some of our less comfortable experiences. He promises to be with us in everything and to provide us with all that we need no matter what the circumstance. Take time to be quiet when you say this prayer – give God time to speak to you through these words and may the Lord hear our prayers.

PRAYER OF THE WEEK

May the Lord give us

calmness for every confusion,

Relief for every stress,

Comfort for every sickness,

Strength for every weakness,

And love, joy and hope,

for every waking moment.

Amen.

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Live @ Costa – Sunday 6th November

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After our excursion to Durham for October musical offering we are now coming back closer to home for November with local band Strid on Sunday 6th November at 7.30pm

Strid are a woman, a man and a guitar. Jennie Kiff, Simon Allan and a Lowden F12. This Yorkshire based acoustic duet perform unique versions of songs by Richard Thompson, Paul Simon, Lennon and McCartney, Tom Waits and many others.

They have been playing folk clubs, festivals and acoustic sessions for several years as a duet featuring Jennie on vocals and Simon on vocals and guitar. Jennie comes from a folk background but is equally at home with blues and jazz material. Simon played guitar and bass in a number of bands, has worked as a session musician and also plays lead guitar in Rock Steady, a classic rock and blues band.

They have recorded a CD, appeared on BBC radio and built up a reputation as an entertaining and musically accomplished act.

So there you have it. Loads to look forward to next month. Everyone Welcome.

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Weekly Update – 17th October 2016

Hi Everyone

Another good week here at St. C’s, with the building being particularly busy. The range of activities which take place each week is staggering – from Baby Ballet to Tae Kwon Do. Our own Noah’s Ark and Moses Basket are proving increasingly popular and it only two weeks until we launch our Place of Welcome enterprise.

This Sunday we were thinking about the story of the wise and foolish builders from Luke 6:46-49. This passage is essentially the same as the one found in Matthew. However it differs in that Matthew focuses on where a person build’s their life, Luke talks about wisdom coming from our putting down deep foundations in Jesus. We shared this in our Explore Together Worship in a variety of ways. We were also given Galatians 6 as a word from God – please read it and see if it speaks to you.

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This Sunday our young people (C.I.A) made the journey to the Church of the Holy Nativity in Mixenden for their latest ‘Rock Mass’ event. We were greeted by smoke, incense and the sound of the Lenny Kravitz song – ‘Are You Gonna Go My Way?’ The evening centred on the story of the Good Samaritan; this was presented in some very interesting ways. It was an interesting experience for all of us.

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A simple prayer for us to share this week. Every day we are faced with many choices – decisions great and small. I can help if we ask God to help us in our decision making, because the more our thoughts echo his the ways the better disciples will we be. Take time to be quiet when you say this prayer – give God time to speak to you through these words and may the Lord hear our prayers.

PRAYER OF THE WEEK

Dear Lord,

give us the strength to make the right choices throughout the day.

Help us to appreciate all the people with whom you have gifted us.

Give us the strength to say sorry when we are in the wrong

and to be prepared to forgive those who have hurt us

 so we can come to the end of the day with no regrets. Amen

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Weekly Update 10th October 2016

This has been an amazing week when there seems to have been something happening every single day. It began with an assembly on ‘Respect’ at Low Ash, led by Natalie and I. The same afternoon the Bible Times Exhibition arrived in all its glory for its annual visit (more at that later).

On Tuesday we gathered to discuss our response to the PCC’s decision to proceed with the Places of Welcome initiative. After a short presentation we discussed the practical details and took the names of those were prepared to support it by volunteering. It looks as though we will be launching within the next couple of weeks and there is now a strong possibility that we will be hosting a Lunch Club after half term.

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On Thursday we took advantage of the Bible Times Exhibition to enjoy an evening with Nehemiah ably led by John Froud. It was an entertaining and informative occasion and helped to fill in the background to the book we are studying in church and in the life groups. A special moment came when John told us that several books donated by Harry Lycett, now had pride of place in the exhibition – we felt that Harry would be pleased.

Saturday dawned on our Church Vision Day. In the morning the PCC gathered for two sessions of teaching during which we discovered how Paul went from being a man with a mission to the founder of a movement that would enable Christianity to spread throughout the world. In the afternoon w were joined by many more of the church family and we spent some time exploring the values of our church that are expressed using an acronym of WROSE

Worshipping – Reaching Out – Serving – Encouraging

There was a lot of discussion and some useful suggestions which ended with an overwhelming agreement to adopt these values and also our strapline as representing what we see as the being the purpose of our church.

Real People + Real Faith = Real Life

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My thanks go to everyone who supported the day and worked hard to make it so successful.

It was our Communion Sunday at both services and we returned to our teaching on Nehemiah. This week it was excerpts from chapter 3 which largely consist of a list of names of those who worked on the walls of Jerusalem. Both George and Lorraine received rounds of applause for their efforts to pronounce all the words and they read the passage at both services. The theme of the services focussed on the need for team work in any enterprise that we are called to undertake for God.

Our Sunday evening Ikon was taken from the liturgies of the Northumbrian Community. It was the Cuthbert Compline which seemed very appropriate for a weekend which included our vision day. It centred on God’s words of protection from Psalm 91.

Late in the evening YG met at the home of Amy Beaumont for a Bible Study and pancakes – the only way to study! During the evening a name change was agreed. From now on YG will be known as Christians In Action or the CIA) – you have been warned! We enjoyed learning some of the material shared by the PCC and as a reward Julie filled us up with pancakes. Next week we are going to Mixenden for a Rock Mass.

Our prayer of the week reminds us that October is the month in which the International Week of Peace is celebrated. So I have chosen two prayers that reflect our hopes for peace in this troubled world.  The first is one that is used in schools when peace is prayed about. The second is internationally recognised and used in the week of peace. Take time to be quiet when you say this prayer – give God time to speak to you through these words and may the Lord hear our prayers and bring us his peace.

PRAYER OF THE WEEK

Father God

Our globe is nothing but a little star in the great universe.
It is our duty to turn this globe into a planet
whose creatures are not tormented by wars,
nor tortured by hunger and fear,
nor torn apart in senseless divisions
according to race, colour or creed.
Give us courage and foresight to begin this work today,
so that adults and children may take pride
in being called human.

In Jesus’ name. Amen.

Lead me…
from death to life
from falsehood to truth
from despair to hope
from fear to trust
from hate to love
from war to peace

Let peace fill…
our heart
our world
our universe. Amen

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Bonfire & Barbecue – Saturday 5th November 2016

Wrap up warmly & join us in the vicarage garden for a bonfire social. BBQ food available to buy on the night. Don’t forget your sparklers!

Saturday 5th November – 18.00pm -21.00pm

Everyone Welcome

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Harvest Ceilidh – Saturday 1st October 2016

Grab your dancing shoes and join us for a Ceilidh! Includes supper, but bring your own drinks.
Tickets available from the office. £5 (Under 11s £2.50)

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Harvest Sunday – Sunday 18th September 2016

Once again this year we will be supporting https://bradfordnorth.foodbank.org.uk/

with donations from our harvest services. Please add an extra item to your trolley this week if you can.

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