Dear Church Friends,
We are now into the season of Advent with the lighting of the third Advent Candle this week. The candles for Hope and Peace have already been lit and this week we shall light the candle for Joy.
We all need a bit of joy in our lives now, as the news of the arrival of the Omicron variant of Covid is putting a dampener on our preparations to welcome the Christ Child into our midst. This Sunday is our Christingle service when we share the light of the Christingle candle to symbolise the Light of the World that is Jesus Christ, the Light that shines in the darkness and which the darkness can never overcome.
The government has re-introduced some coronavirus regulations and new guidelines. The wearing of face coverings in Places of Worship became mandatory on 10th December, except for those who are medically exempt. If you stay for coffee after worship, please continue to wear a face covering whilst moving around the church, hall and toilets and only remove it when until you are sitting at a table. Synod has also issued some updated guidance in the light of “Plan B” being introduced. As this was only released late on Thursday afternoon, the elders will need time to discuss the contents of this document and any ramifications from it, but I will keep you in the picture about any decisions made to change anything. Please do everything possible to minimise risks to yourselves and to others.
Our Worship on Sunday 12th December at 10.45am is our Christingle and Toy Service and will be led by Richard Golding.
Christingles will be distributed during worship and to make it easier to do this, please would you sit in alternate pews.
Bible Reading: Luke 3: 10 – 18
Our Worship on Sunday 19th December at 10.45am is our Nativity Service and will be led by Stuart Gay.
The planned Advent Retreat at Elswick URC on Tuesday 21st December 2021 has been cancelled because of low numbers.
Appeal for Christmas Toys. As we did last year, we are appealing for toys for disadvantaged children in our area.
Please bring any gifts, unwrapped, to our Christingle Service/Toy Service on Sunday 12th December, or Sunday 19th December and place them on a table, as we did at Harvest. We will ensure that they will go to where the need is greatest. Thank you.
Christmas 2021 Services
Sunday 19th December Nativity 10.45 am Stuart Gay
Carol Service 4pm Organist Kevin Morgan
Friday 24th December Christmas Communion 11pm Val Atkinson
Saturday 25th December Christmas Day 10.30am Val Atkinson
There will be no church service on Sunday 26th December.
Our Worship on Sunday 2nd January at 10.45am will be led by Rev Janet Calderley and will include communion.
The Leprosy Mission
Linda would like to say a massive thank to everyone who has supported the Leprosy Mission appeals during the year. The Leprosy box contents and donations for the last few months totalled £535. Added to money that was transferred from the TLM account at the beginning of the year, plus the Unconditional Love Appeal in the spring, the White Church Family has donated £1483.15 during this financial year. Since the Unconditional Love appeal was fund matched by the government, the grand total for the year actually amounts to £2155.15. Simply fantastic.
World Day of Prayer 2022
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.
Some thoughts worth remembering
To those who have hurt you – forgiveness.
To those who try your patience – tolerance.
To a friend – your heart.
To all men – charity.
To a child – a good example.
To yourself – respect.
Let us pray
We pray for your guiding light during these darkening times. We pray for those of our congregation who are unwell, in hospital or facing difficult times this Christmas. We pray for the bereaved, the lonely, the anxious and those with difficult decisions to make. Lord, please shine your light upon them, give them hope and bring some sunshine into their lives again. We pray for people to exercise caution during Christmas, while still being able to meet up with loved ones. May the Christmas story come alive for them and bring them hope and joy. We ask that You Bless the White Church Family. May we know Your love as never before. In Jesus’ name. 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