Alternative Notices Week 37
Dear Church Friends,
I hope you are all feeling happier this week on hearing the welcome news that a vaccine has been approved for use in the UK. Although we are still in Tier 3, at least our church is able to reopen this Sunday and we shall welcome those who feel ready to attend worship at this time. We may not be able to mingle outside our bubbles but we can all be together in spirit through our thoughts and prayers. Those of you with children will recall the question “ are we nearly there?” when on a long journey. It’s natural for children to be impatient as they can’t envisage the passage of time and find it difficult to wait for things to happen. As people grow older they realise that they can’t always have things right now. Or do they? Sometimes adults get impatient. I’m sure we have all been hoping for a speedy outcome to the coronavirus pandemic – a situation over which we have no control. Elisabeth Elliot said: “ Restlessness and impatience change nothing except our peace and joy. Peace does not dwell in outward things, but in the heart prepared to wait trustfully and quietly on Him who has all things safely in His hands.” God’s reassurance leads us to believe that whatever time we get there, it will be the right time. We pray for those involved with any part of the new vaccine and pray to the Lord that the time may soon be right.
As I wrote last week, usually there is a facility for Christmas cards to be exchanged at church, or for those of you who don’t send individual cards, an opportunity to send one card to all Church Friends. Unfortunately we will be unable to use the church for that purpose this year. Some of you will no doubt hand deliver cards to your friends but for anyone unable to do this or anyone who would like to send greetings via a newsletter, I will compile an extra pre-Christmas congregational newsletter containing any Christmas greeting/wishes people would like to communicate to the Church Family. Please send me details of what you would like to be included and I will use your own words in the greeting.
White Church Christmas Tree 2020
The decorations in Church this year will be minimalist, but the Elders felt that a real Christmas tree would be a welcome addition to the church. I should like to thank Marion and Peter for sourcing, erecting and dressing this year’s tree with lights and a star. The cost of the 7ft tree has been paid for from donations given specifically to the Christmas Tree Fund. It may not be as large as usual; it may not have all the myriad decorations but it is a symbol of things to come and a light and hope for the future.
The hymn numbers on the board remind us of the last time there was a normal service in church on 15th March. For those who are wondering what the first lines of the hymns were: 391 Stand up and bless the Lord; 583 The Church is wherever God’s people are praising; 526 Hushed was the evening hymn; 606 Where cross the crowded ways of life; 573 God is working his purpose out. I feel these lines have a relevance to the last 9 months. We have needed to ‘stand up and bless the Lord’ whilst realizing that ‘the church is wherever God’s people are praising’. The evening hymn has certainly been hushed this year, because of the crossing of the crowded ways of life, but through it all we know that ‘God is working his purpose out’ as the dedication, skill and care and concern for others shines out of people all over the country. We must always have hope. The light will never be extinguished.
Fylde Christmas Dinner Delivery
As mentioned last week there will be a free Christmas meal delivery for isolated individuals or needy families. Here is some further information including contact details of the organisers. They are also looking for volunteers to deliver the meal.
In this time of pandemic, Christmas will be different for everyone. We are sure you will share the concern of many that there may be people living in the Borough of Fylde who, for whatever reason, could be in a position where, on Christmas Day, they will not receive any visitors or be able to access a hot Christmas meal.
The Borough Council and various church-based and other local charities have come together to fund and staff a Christmas meal delivery service with volunteers. For anyone in that position, we will be providing a delivery service on Christmas day of a hot, 2 course turkey dinner and a goody-bag with things like mince pies and chocs. The service will be completely free of charge.
We feel that people in that position are unlikely to come forward and nominate themselves and may lack the resources to find and/or access the service. This is why we are contacting churches in the Fylde via the churches together network.
We are hoping that you and/or members of your congregation will be able to nominate people you are aware of (parishioners or anyone else).
There are 2 ways to nominate – via the website https://iwell.org,uk/community where there is a nomination form (scroll down to it) or via the dedicated nomination hotline – speak to Liz or Roy on 7549 760056 (10:00am – 6:00pm up to December 18th). Ideally, please check that it is OK with the person(s) you are nominating before you tell us.
We will contact the person who nominates in the first instance so that we can get some necessary health and safety and safeguarding information, after which we can either deal with the nominee or the nominator, whichever works best. The nominator and/or the nominee will receive a written confirmation that their meal has been scheduled (by email or post) which will give them a 2-hour time window and the name of the person scheduled to deliver. They may also call the nomination line at any time.
All food preparation and delivery will be carried out under qualified supervision, following risk assessments which are available to anyone who would like to see them. Data will be used ONLY for the purpose of the safe and effective operation of the service, will only be disclosed to NHS track and trace if necessary and will be destroyed after 6 weeks.
A brief description of the months of the year.
Snowy; Flowy; Blowy; Showery; Flowery; Bowery
Moppy; Croppy; Droppy; Breezy; Sneezy; Freezy
Notification of Intention to attend a Sunday Service.
As there is a limit on numbers attending and in order to avoid any confusion, please contact me every week by email or phone if you intend to come to the next Sunday service.
If anyone who visits our Church is unfortunate to receive a positive test result at any time, please would you let me know.
Our Worship on Sunday 6th December will be led by Richard Golding and will include Communion. If possible, please bring your own individual portion of bread and wine (squash or water) for communion services. There will be some individual prepacked cups with wafers available for anyone who forgets, so no one will miss out.
If you are intending to come, please will you let me know by 6pm on Saturday 5th December.
Our Worship on 13th December will be led by Rev Terry Hudson
Our Worship on 20th December will be led by Rev Terry Hudson
Our Christmas Worship will be held on Christmas Day Friday 25th December at 10.30am
when Val Atkinson will lead us.
I should like to thank those who indicated a preference. Bookings will be required in the usual way.
There will be no service on Sunday 27th December
Lancashire West Missional Partnership Zoom Coffee Morning on Tuesday 15th December @ 10am
You are invited to an online Advent Coffee morning for your Partnership. Please join me for a brief act of devotion and fellowship around the coffee table. If you fancy popping in, all you have to do is send an email telling me that you want an invite, if you are not on regular Coffee morning contact list. Don’t forget to bring your coffee/tea in your favourite cup. Looking forward to see you all for a time of fellowship and faith sharing.
Sunday Communion Services
Rev Jim and Rev Janet conduct a regular Communion service on Sundays at 7pm. This can be accessed on Zoom and by phone. People should ring Jim – 01253 896371 or Janet – 01253 896056 for details and access.
Let us pray
We give thanks for the arrival of a vaccine against Covid-19 and all those who have been involved in developing any part of the process. We pray for all those who will be involved in administering it during the coming months and hope that in due course life will become more normal. We remember and pray for those who are still suffering from the virus and its after effects in any way. We pray for those who are ill, those who have been bereaved, those who are lonely or feeling unwanted and those who are anxious or depressed. Please give them your strength, encouragement, love and peace and the faith to get through difficult times. We pray for your Blessing on the White Church Family and ask for Your abiding love. Amen
Please join me in saying the Grace together.
May the Grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the Love of God and the Fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with us all, now and evermore. Amen
God Bless you all