White Church Alternative Notices Week 38 12.12.20
Dear Church Friends,
How are you feeling this week? Vaccination against Covid has begun and although the roll out may take some time, it brings much needed hope that there is definitely light at the end of the tunnel. Thanks be to God. Christmas 2020 will be like no other. Some of us will feel confident to meet family and friends between 23rd and 27th December as permitted, whereas others will prefer to remain in their own bubble and continue to be cautious. Whichever group you belong to, rest assured that the Lord will be with you every step of the way.
Last Sunday we reopened for Worship again and we pleased to welcome 25 people to the service. There was a special atmosphere in Church created by the Christmas Tree and its lights; the Advent candles; the illuminated Memory tree and the tea lights along the sides where there would have normally been greenery and decorations. These lights remind us that the birth of Jesus brought light to the world.
Christingles would normally have been distributed at Church this Sunday. Unfortunately, it is not possible to do this this year, so I thought some of you might like to be reminded of the symbolism and maybe make your own Christingle.
The orange represents the symbol of the world.
The red ribbon or red masking tape around the middle of your orange symbolises the blood of Christ, shed for the world on the cross.The four cocktail sticks with a few raisins or soft sweets on each stick symbolises the four seasons; the fruits of the world and the harvest of goods and gifts with which we are blessed.
The small candle in the top of the orange symbolises the Light of the World that is Jesus Christ, the Light that shines in the darkness and which the darkness can never overcome.
A class of six-year-olds was preparing a scene for their Nativity play one Christmas. To get them thinking the teacher asked them to draw some ideas of what the scene should represent. One boy drew Joseph as a carpenter surrounded by lots of tools, including an electric drill. When the teacher saw the picture she exclaimed, “It’s a good picture but there was no electricity in those days!” Quick as a flash came the reply, “but this is a cordless one!”
Appeal for Christmas Toys
There may be many children in our area for whom Christmas will be a dire time with a shortage of presents due to no fault of their own or their parents. Can you help? As part of our Church’s Outreach we could donate Christmas gifts for these young people. Jan has spoken to
Rev Jim and he informed her that there is a great need along the Fylde (particularly around Fleetwood) for Christmas Gifts for children…..the obvious toys, but particularly gifts for Teenage Children. Anything suitable you can provide would be much appreciated. Suggestions are:
- WH Smith vouchers (£5 denominations)
- Makeup, “smellies” for late junior early teenage girls
Please bring any gifts, unwrapped, to Church on Sunday 13th or Sunday 20th December and place on a Table, as we did at Harvest, then we will ensure that they will go to where the need is greatest. Thank you.
The Memory Tree is in place where you can have a card, written for you with the words of your choice to commemorate a person or event that you wish to be remembered. This card will then be tied to the tree.
Val will write the cards out on your behalf because of COVID procedures. She will then hang your card upon the tree.
Donations can be left in the basket by the tree in envelopes, if possible.
All monies will go to the Hospice.
A Message from Janet S
“Once again I coordinated the purchasing and distribution of the Meaningful Chocolate Company Real Advent Calendar.
This is the only Fairtrade chocolate Advent calendar which includes a book for children which tells of the real meaning of Christmas.
With the profit from selling the Advent calendars and donations I was able to arrange 103 calendars to be delivered thanks to your wonderful kindness at The White Church. Other members of the Fylde Fairtrade Steering Group who attend churches across the Fylde also sold the calendars; Fairhaven, Church Road and Kirkham Methodists and St. Cuthbert’s C of E.
Our 3 chosen charities; Fylde Coast Women’s Aid received 33, the Children’s Centre at Sydney Street and Blackpool, Fylde & Wyre Home Start based at Blackpool Football Club each received 35.
Due to the pandemic we weren’t able to promote them in our churches in our usual way. Consequently, we were down on sales but monetary donations compensated to a great extent [120 in 2019 were donated to 4 charities]
They all expressed their thanks and were grateful for our donations.
I also gave each of them a Christmas card on behalf of our congregations and Fylde Fairtrade Steering Group. Janet S “
Janice D has been sent this by a friend from Norway and although the translation may not be accurate you can get the idea. We all need the fourth candle.
The legend of the four lights!
Four candles burned on the advent wreath. It was completely quiet, so quiet that you could hear the lights talking to each other.
The first light sighed and said:
′′ My name is peace. I shine brightly, but the people don’t want peace, they don’t want me “.
The light got smaller and smaller, and eventually it turned out completely.
The other light said:
′′ My name is faith. But I have become redundant. Humans don’t want to know of God anymore. It’s pointless that I’m on fire “. Then the other candle turned off.
Subtle and in a low voice the third light said:
My name is love. I no longer own the power to burn. Humans overlook me. They only see themselves and not the others they would love “. Also the third light turned out.
A child came into the room, looked at the lights, and with his eyes full of tears, the child said:
′′ You shall then light and not extinguish “. Then suddenly the voice of the fourth light sounded: “Do not be afraid! As long as I’m on fire, we can light the other candles again. My name is hope “.
And the child took a match, and with the flame from the light of hope, she turned all the other candles back on.
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.
Even if you use the NHS App when entering the building outside Sunday Worship time, please also remember to sign the book in the hall.
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 20th December will be led by Rev Terry Hudson
If you are intending to come, please will you let me know by 6pm on Saturday 19th December.
Our Christmas Worship will be held on Christmas Day Friday 25th December at 10.30am when Val Atkinson will lead us.
Bookings will be required in the usual way by 4pm on Christmas Eve Thursday 24th December.
There will be no service on Sunday 27th December
Lancashire West Missional Partnership Zoom Coffee Morning on Tuesday 15th December @ 10am
The link for this has already been sent to you.
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.
Used Stamps for The Leprosy Mission
Please cut the stamps off your Christmas envelopes leaving a small margin around the edge, put them in a spare envelope and save them until you are able to return to church. For those of you who attend church please put the envelope of used stamps in the designated basket. Thank you.
Some lighter moments
Technically, Moses was the first person with a tablet downloading data from the cloud.
This notice might be seen in a public library at present: “We’ve moved a few things around. Travel books are in the Fantasy section; Politics are in Sci-Fi and Epidemiology are in Self-Help.”
Seen in a cartoon: the Nativity Stable showing the three Kings visiting the baby Jesus with their gifts of Milk, Pasta and Toilet Rolls which had to be purchased from ‘essential shops’ as non-essential shops were closed during lockdown.
Let us pray
We thank you for the reduction in the numbers of covid cases in many areas of the country. We pray for people to exercise caution during Christmas, while still being able to meet up with loved ones. We pray for children who are finding it difficult to cope with life during coronavirus, with all its interruptions and changes to the way they usually find things. May the Christmas story come alive for them and bring them hope and joy. We ask Your Blessings on the White Church Family and give them your love and peace. 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