Hope you’ve all had good weeks and have known the light of Christ lighting your path.
Before we get into our services for the coming week, we have a brief Covid update: Part of the Government’s Plan B is that face coverings are once again mandatory in churches unless you’re exempt. (You can view a list of exemptions here.) Other protection measures are down to local discretion, and we will be updating various Risk Assessments in line with new guidance as it emerges.
We realise everyone has different levels of comfort with the risks around Covid, so above all, we need to be mindful of this and take care of each other. One way we can do this is to remember the simple ‘hands face space’ guidance – so please make use of the hand sanitiser provided in church and be aware of social distancing. We would also encourage you to complete the track and trace register if you can (or use the QR code on the app) – although this isn’t a ‘must’ it does help with managing transmission, helps us be accountable to each other and creates a sense of safety so that everyone can participate in this festive season as much as they would like to. Thank you That being said, let’s get into what’s coming up…
Services for this Sunday 12th December are:
8.00am – Holy Communion at All Saints - led by Revd Janey, with Mark Simms preaching
10.00am - Holy Communion at St Mary’s led - by Revd Janey, with Mark Simms preaching
10.30am – Nativity rehearsal at All Saints
Here are the Roots At Home and Activity Sheets for the week
At the end of this you will find:
All Saints Family Café poster – looking for donations and volunteer support.
In the week ahead, we have two services:
Wednesday 15th - 9.00am Celtic Morning Prayer at All Saints
Thursday 16th - 10.00am Holy Communion at St Mary’s
Next week, Sunday 19th December, we really start to get into the festive season with the Nativity Service at All Saints and Carols by Candlelight at St Mary’s as well as morning services in each church - details will be on the weekly sheets and in next week’s email. I write this on International Human Rights Day. It’s very apt as we learn and reflect this Sunday on the ministry of John the Baptist, the prophet who challenged so many peoples’ comfort zones as he paved the way for Jesus’ arrival.
Prophets throughout biblical and secular history have said and done things that challenge our norms and have been catalysts for great and positive change across so many areas of human life; changes that have aimed to ensure that the dignity and equality of all people is enshrined in law. It’s good to be reminded of these ‘prophets’ of the human rights movement(s); those who have and do still challenge the way we think and act towards those who are ‘other’ or even those we might consider ‘less’ than us. And we, as God’s people, respond with the same question as those who were confronted by John the Baptist’s message: “What shall we do?” Jean Vanier was a 20th-century Catholic philosopher, monastic and author of ‘Becoming Human’. The book is described by the publisher as a call “on each one of us to open ourselves to those we perceive as different or inferior.” He writes:
“To love someone is not first of all to do things for them, but to reveal to them their beauty and value, to say to them through our attitude: ‘You are beautiful. You are important. I trust you. You can trust yourself.’ We all know well that we can do things for others and in the process crush them, making them feel that they are incapable of doing things by themselves. To love someone is to reveal to them their capacities for life, the light that is shining in them.”
May you be blessed by the giving and receiving of the kind of love that reveals beauty, value, life and dignity in each and every person you encounter this week.