6 December 2020
Carol Service - "The Story of Little Santa"
Things are working a little differently this week, as our actual service is taking place at 6pm on Sunday evening. You will find the video link for this immediately below. We invite you to turn the lights down, light some candles and join in all the singing as we enjoy Christmas stories, songs and a bit of banter for the whole family!
However, today is also the second Sunday in Advent and below the Carol video link are some scriptures and prayers to reflect on for anyone who is joining us earlier.
For any small groups still meeting online or in gardens, Richard has provided a link to thoughts and questions on the song of Zacharaiah (even if you're not in a group, this is worth taking a look at in your own time).
Various congregation members have also drawn our attention to inspirational resources that you will find listed in the notices. Included in these are two free films (see descriptions below):
Carols by Candlelight (video airing 6pm, 6 December)
Today Margaret is leading us in prayer:
“Love never gives up, never loses faith,
is always hopeful and endures through every circumstance.
Love will last forever”
1 Corinthians 13: 7-8
Heavenly Father, we come before you today with our prayers knowing that you hear us, that you will help us and that you will guide us. We want to give you all the glory, all the praise and all the honour that is yours and we thank you that in these turbulent times you, Father, are our ultimate source of strength.
When we are weak, Lord, you are strong and when we are down you lift us up and renew us.
God of Grace and compassion , we thank you for the many blessings that you grant us every day. Thank you for the love of family and friends, for our homes and for our Church. We are very mindful Father of those known and unknown to us who are sick and suffering and for those who are frightened because of illness. Please give them courage, hope, your peace and the knowledge that you are present in their pain and suffering. Touch them Lord with your loving healing hands that they may they be aware of your healing power within them and through them.
We pray also for those who are hurting emotionally. Please give them comfort and the peace that passes all understanding that comes from you alone. Heal them of things that engulf their minds; doubt, bitterness, unforgiveness, anxiety, depression and give them a peaceful spirit.
Thank you Lord for all those healthcare workers who look after and treat those who are sick and we pray for their continued strength and safety to do so.
As we look to the wider world Lord, keep us aware that we are all interconnected. The successes and failures of other countries are our successes and failures and their sufferings and joys are also our sufferings and joys. Make us aware of how we can give help where needed and remind us to uphold them in prayer.
In this time of Advent we remember that Jesus is the Light of the world. A light which no darkness can quench.
God of heaven and earth,
in these times of isolation,
apart from loved ones,
distanced from friends,
away from neighbours,
thank you that there is nothing in all creation, not even COVID, that can separate us from your love.
Be with us Lord in the week ahead as we go out into the world. May the words of our mouths and all our actions be pleasing in your sight.
Garden/Whatsapp Bible Studies
Thank you to those who made us aware of these holiday resources:
(This is hosted on Facebook with puppets.)
2. Adult Advent Series
a) The Insanity of God - the story of Nik & Ruth Ripkin (missionaries in Somalia)
b) Tortured for Christ - the story of Richard Wurmbrand (a Romanian pastor in the underground church)