Dear Church Friends,
I wish you all a very Happy, Healthy and Blessed New Year.
2021 is behind us and we welcome 2022 with fresh eyes and minds, with love and hope for the year to come. The days are starting to grow longer and I have seen green buds appearing on several shrubs. Soon snowdrops will be making an appearance, lifting their shy heads above the ground and we know that something more cheerful and full of hope is on the way… Spring is only around the corner…. A prayer by Edward Hayes sums this up.
“O God, my Father, Creator of the sun which makes the seasons, I rejoice in the gift of ever-growing light. With joyfulness I greet this new spring that rises from a grey winter of long nights. Great and generous are You, my God, who has given us the rich variety of ever-changing seasons. For this I thank You.”
I should like to thank Val for leading our Christmas Day Worship and providing an uplifting service full of light, love and hope with its beautiful music and carols. About 30 people attended including friends from St Annes URC and several visitors. It was good to be able to celebrate the birth of Christ together in this way.
I hope you have had an enjoyable Christmas and hope to see you at church during 2022. With the rapid increase in the numbers of people contracting covid, I should like to remind you of the following guidelines
· At all services, please would you sit socially distanced in your bubbles as before, using alternate pews. Please do not attend any service if you have any Covid symptoms. If anyone who visits our Church is unfortunate to receive a positive test result shortly after their visit, please would you let me know.
· Subject to change at short notice, we hope to serve coffee after morning worship on Sunday 2nd January and also hold a coffee morning next Thursday 6th January.
· Those who go into the Hall for coffee are asked to maintain Social Distancing on the way and go straight to sit at a table with no more than 4 to 6 at a table. Please do not move around from table to table.
· Hand sanitisers should be used whenever possible.
· People should only remove their face covering while eating and drinking and wear one at all other times when entering /leaving the hall and going to the toilets.
Please do everything possible to minimise risks to yourselves and to others. Thank you.
Our Worship on Sunday 2nd January at 10.45am will be led by Rev Janet Calderley and will include communion. We are delighted to welcome Kevin Morgan who will be playing
the organ. If you are worried about receiving communion from the servers, please bring your own elements with you and take them at the same time as everyone else.
Bible Readings: Psalm 72: 1 – 14 and Matthew 2: 1 – 12
Our Worship on Sunday 9th January at 10.45am will be led by Val Atkinson
Our Worship on Sunday 16th January at 10.45am will be led by Stuart Gay
Some years ago a group of students was asked to list what they thought were the Seven Wonders of the World. Most suggested: Egypt’s Great Pyramids; the Taj Mahal; the Grand Canyon; the Panama Canal; the Empire State Building; St Peter’s Basilica; the Great Wall of China. One quiet student didn’t hand in a list and when the teacher asked why, replied “ I couldn’t make up my mind as there are so many, but I think the Seven Wonders of the World are – to touch; to taste; to see; to hear; to feel; to laugh and to love.” The student’s choices remind us of the things we tend to take for granted, but it is so important to remember the riches and blessings we have in our lives, especially during any troubled periods. God will be there for us, carrying us if need be when times are tough.
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 bring them on your next visit to church.
World Day of Prayer 2022
Are you able to help?
For many years Ann Bucklow has represented our church at the World Day of Prayer Service which is usually held on the first Friday in March. Ann recently received a phone call from Eileen Beadle from The Drive Methodist Church. They are doing next year’s World Day of Prayer and there is a meeting about this on January 20th at 2pm at the Drive. Ann would like to retire from this role, so if you feel you could take it on, please contact either Ann or me.
Let us pray
As we enter a New Year, we pray that 2022 will see a solution to all the suffering and hardship being caused by the coronavirus throughout the world. We pray that the vaccines will continue to provide protection from serious illness. We pray for those who are ill, either in hospital or at home, 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