Ministry Team Letter

A Star in the Heart

Advent: the arrival time,

The waiting time,

The expectation time,

The preparing for wonders time,

The time for seeing anew,

The daring time,

The adventure time,

The sounding time,

The revealing time,

The entering light time,

The promised time,

The transformation time,

The God arriving time,

The God within us all time.

And this time, this year, what will we do?

What will we say to ourselves?

What will we say to others?

What doors will we open?

What strangers will we greet?

What wonders will we explore?

What will change in us?

What will we exchange?

What will be born in us?

David Grubb ~ editor of ‘An anthology of words and images for Advent and Christmas and Epiphany – A Star in the Heart.

Advent Sunday is the beginning of the Church’s year when the lectionary readings revert back to Year A.  As the poem says, it is a time of waiting, a time of expectation and of preparing, and I don’t mean just buying presents and ordering the turkey (important though that is).  Advent is a mini-Lent – a slightly lighter-touch penitential season when we prepare for the birth of the baby Jesus but also the return of Jesus at the Second Coming.  The word ‘advent’ is a version of the Latin word meaning “coming”.

So that I don’t fall prey to ‘Christmas fatigue’ before the 25th (there are only so many carols, mince pies, Christingles, present-choosing shopping trips I can cope with), I try to spend just a few minutes each day reading something devotional.  I have just bought a copy of In the Bleak Midwinter – Through

Advent and Christmas with Christina Rossetti by Rachel Mann.  It’s an anthology of poems with commentary. I will be reading one poem a day.

The Reading Café’s choice of book for Advent is Joseph and the Three Gifts ~ An Angel’s Story by Brian Sibley

If poetry and prose doesn’t appeal to you, it’s not too late to join the Talking Faith group (see separate flier) which is watching and discussing the classic 1950s film A Christmas Carol starring Alastair Sim.  Over the four weeks of Advent we are going to be thinking about:

Þ The Chains of Life – living through difficult times and personal circumstances;

Þ In the Past – things from the past that hold us back today;

Þ Living Now – being aware of God’s call for us in the present;

Þ Future … Perfect? – understanding God’s plan for our whole life: yesterday, today and tomorrow.

It would be great if you could join us for all four sessions, but if you can only manage one, that’s fine.  There is always tea and cake!

By the time you read this, we will know the name of our new Vicar.  Do pray for them as they prepare to celebrate Christmas with their benefice for the last time.  They will be experiencing such mixed emotions.  And please pray for our own churches of All Hallows and All Saints as we continue to work together to ensure that we are ready for whatever 2020 has in store.

Stephen and I would like to take this opportunity to wish you all a Christ-filled Christmas.

Love and blessings

Revd Christine