Tuesday, 31 December 2013

The Donkey's return

Paul returned from University and so did the Donkey.
He made his first return in the advent crib. Many saw the crib in church but not the three wise donkeys making there way across the church.
The crib was just 24hrs old when it was displayed

 Paul was very kind to Jenny at the Donkeys second appearance at the Nativity service. Paul thoughtfully put out a copy of the Nativity sheet on the pulpit for Jenny.
This was not quite the same as the copies held by the rest of the congregation. All the music was changed to Jenny's favourite Little Donkey with a few little known versions of other traditional carols such as Silent Donkey Holy Donkey.
There were many such changes to Jenny's sheet. Fortunately Jenny spotted Pauls name on the sheet in time.

The Donkey made his last appearance on  Christmas day in the Sermon slot starring as himself in the form this time of a glove puppet in the crossing.
We we very proud to see that one of the other little girls in the sermon slot came dressed as a Donkey. Such is the effect of the Donkey.

Thought for the week First week of Christmas

Lovely in your littleness,
longing for our lowliness,
searching for our meekness…..
Held in Mary's tenderness,
tiny hands are raised to bless,
touching us with God's caress.
Joy then in God's graciousness,
peace comes with gentleness,
filling hearts with gladness.
Margaret Rizza

Tuesday, 24 December 2013

Thought for the Week Christmas Eve

At this time of the year I am often reminded of the words from the sermon given at the end of that wonderful 1940’s Hollywood movie called The Bishop’s Wife. 
Dudley, who is played by Cary Grant is an Angel who has been assigned to Bishop Henry Brougham, played by David Niven. His task is to assist Henry by answering his prayer for help. Amongst the many things that he does, including using a wonderful word processor is that Dudley re-writes the Bishop’s Christmas Eve sermon. 
“Tonight I want to tell you the story of an empty stocking. Once upon a midnight clear, there was a child's cry. A blazing star hung over a stable and wise men came with birthday gifts. We haven't forgotten that night down the centuries; we celebrate it with stars on Christmas trees, the sound of bells and with gifts. But especially with gifts. You give me a book; I give you a tie. Aunt Martha has always wanted an orange squeezer, and Uncle Henry could do with a new pipe. We forget nobody, adult or child. All the stockings are filled -- all that is, except one. And we have even forgotten to hang it up. The stocking for the child born in a manger. It's his birthday we are celebrating. Don't ever let us forget that. Let us ask ourselves what he would wish for most, and then let each put in his share. Loving kindness, warm hearts and the stretched out hand of tolerance. All the shining gifts that make peace on earth.”
A Happy Christmas to one and all.

Thursday, 19 December 2013

Thought for the Week Fourth Sunday of Advent

Once again, we welcome you bending so low to creep among us, not forcing, not shouting, too gentle to even flicker our candle flames. Make your home among us again, we pray; be our guest, in heart and home and city, in the empty, howling wastelands of our times, and light up your world once again with the new hope and the new life that faith in you still brings.
John Harvey,
from Going Home Another Way.

Thought for the week Third Sunday of Advent

Maybe it is in the waiting for God,
not in the wandering from store to store,
that we find our way.
Maybe it is in the friendship of God,
not in the frenzy of the crowds,
that we are led to the manger.
Maybe it is in the steadfast love of God,
and not in the pile of stuff under the tree,
that we find what we have been
searching for all our lives.
Maybe, just maybe, God of Advent,
this year will be different.
Maybe, just maybe,
we will let you lead us to Bethlehem.
Thom Shuman

Friday, 6 December 2013

Thought for the week Second Sunday in Advent

God help us to hear your voice
through the babble of this world
where words are used to confuse,
distract, manipulate, sell illusion,
buy power;
help us to be still and receptive
to your healing,
life giving
Neil Paynter