In our final Advent bible study last night, we were considering some of the difficulties that the Old Testament presents us. It is the story of God and God’s people. God knows best and the authors of the Bible know this, but the people they write about forget it on a regular basis. I think we are meant to say to ourselves: “how stupid are they, with their violence and running after false idols” and then reflect long enough to recognize that we might not be that different. Certainly, Christmas offers us a surfeit of false idols. Who has the brightest Christmas lights, the biggest inflatable Santa in their front garden, the most presents piled up under the Christmas tree? Who can eat and drink the most over a five-day period? The first Christmas doesn’t offer us any of those things. The stable wasn’t glowing; the Holy Family had clearly been rejected by their earthly family, so no family Christmas; not even the NHS to ensure a safe childbirth. Instead, we are offered a baby. We are meant to stare into his eyes and worship.
We will continue to distribute intincted wafers at communion. Please offer just one hand if you would prefer to receive the bread only.
Please don’t be disappointed that we are still in Tier 3. This will save lives in Coventry. If you are visiting elderly relatives over Christmas, you may like to have a lateral flow test in advance. These are available 9-5 in Priory Street in the City Centre. No appointment is necessary. This week the process has taken only 25 minutes from start to finish, although demand may be greater as Christmas approaches. Volunteers are being sought from anyone able to offer 8 hours a week for the first two full weeks of the new year. Volunteers will be giving support, not administering tests. Please contact Greg if you wish to know more.
We are offering the following services over the Christmas period.
Sunday Dec 20th at 6 p.m. Carol Service online
Xmas Eve at 2 p.m. Crib Service online
Xmas Eve at 8 p.m. Midnight Mass at St Oswald’s presided by Phil
Xmas Eve at 11.30 p.m. Midnight Mass at St Oswald’s presided by Greg
Xmas Day at 10 a.m. Online from 8 p.m. on the 24th and in person
Sunday Dec 27th at 10 a.m. In person and online
Anyone wishing to attend an in-person service at St Oswald’s or St Andrew’s should now book via Greg as Julie is on holiday. Note that the 10 a.m. services on the 20th and 27th are now fully booked. Please also note that the Midnight Mass services are under subscribed, so it should be possible to turn up on the day and have a place.
St Andrew’s Church have organised a Christmas trail starting on Friday 18th December till Tuesday 29th December.
Find the posters with QR Codes on at the 4 trail points:
1. Sutton Avenue shops
2. Eastern Green Junior School
3. Eastern Green Village Hall
4. St Andrew’s Church
Scan the codes to discover the reason of the season!
And have a Merry Christmas from all at St Andrew’s Church.
Online Services Appeal – Enabling your church to offer online services
Coronavirus has required St Andrew’s to be innovative in the way it reaches out and supports our community. We have recorded Sunday services each week and posted them on our website for people to feel connected with our church and to worship God.
This has been really well received by members of the church community, the parish and yes, across the country (we have received some lovely feedback from people who have watched the services who don’t live in Eastern Green, or even Coventry).
We are planning some exciting services to celebrate Christmas, from our Carol Service to an interactive Crib Service for young families, please look out for them on our webpage.
However, although this has been great, it does have some limitations, especially in these times when numbers allowed in church are so restricted. With your help we want to expand and improve our service to the community. We are launching an appeal to raise £8,000 to install equipment to allow us to live stream our services. This will give us the capability and opportunity to live stream Sunday Services. It will also give us the opportunity, when appropriate and possible, to live stream other important services, for example funerals. We can all understand how difficult it is for families and friends not to be together to celebrate someone’s life. An online service, streamed to a person’s home can help both support the family and those not able to attend.
We are applying to organisations for grants to secure half the cost, but need to meet the other half from donations. If you feel that this is something you can support please make a donation via the link below. Thank you……….
The next Book Club meeting is on Monday 4th January 2021 at 7.30pm on Zoom. The book we will be reading and discussing is THE RUTHLESS ELIMINATION OF HURRY, by John Mark Comer. The book’s focus is ‘How to stay emotionally healthy and spiritually alive’ and addresses ‘the compelling emotional and spiritual case against hurry in favour of a slower, simpler way of life. Whether or not you have been thinking about this over the last year the book may help to focus on this.
We will meet on 4th to share our views on the book and to discuss some of the questions it raises for us. The group is open to all; if you have never been part of a book club this might be the time to give it a try. If you are interested in being part of the group please contact Sue Masters (07958 322026) or Greg Smith.
If you are a church volunteer, member of the PCC or have any role within the church, please ensure that you complete course C0 (mandatory) and C1 (depending on your role) which are both now available online at http://www.dioceseofcoventry.org/SafeguardingTraining. Please send Julie a copy of the completion certificate once you have completed a course. If you have any queries please contact Julie on 07756 918847 or firstname.lastname@example.org
An appeal has been put out by our local foodbank for men’s toiletries. These can be brought to church this coming Thursday or Sunday, after which they will be taken directly to the foodbank at St Oswald’s.
Thanks to those who have already made pledges or gifts to our livestreaming appeal. The running total is now £700. We have a way to go, but this is a good start. You can now visit a website and donate directly by clicking on the giving button.
This will be shown at the end of the Sunday morning service, after which it will be available on our website and facebook page. Do share it with friends and family
There will be a Children’s Service with an Epiphany theme on Sunday Jan 3rd at 10 a.m. Please contact Hilary at email@example.com if you want to reserve a place. Our customary service will be broadcast online at the same time.
To Jeremy Thomas whose birthday falls tomorrow.
We are delighted to announce that Mike Lynch has been given the all clear after a long battle with cancer. Thanks to all those who have prayed for him over the last 12 months.
Please pray for Marilyn Starr whose condition is now terminal but is hoping to come home on Christmas Day to spend it with her family; for Ann Dove recovering from a knee replacement yesterday. Give thanks that Austin Wildman’s operation seems to have been a success.