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Odell Church News - December 2015/ January 2016
Click here to download John Weaver's talk from January 3rd 2016 (Epiphany)
Please note that the dedicated All Saints' Odell parish magazine will stop in February 2016 with a final double-month printed edition.
The Harrold Bridge magazine will include All Saints' Church notices and information from April 2016 onwards.
For this web version, instead of monthly updates, we will update the links on the home page which will cover some of the information previously collated here.
Suggestions welcome to email: letters-at-odellbeds.net
Click here to download John Weaver's talk from November 22nd (Living the Truth)
Click here to download John Weaver's talk from January 3rd 2016 (Epiphany)
Notice to Hymn choosers - click here to see available Hymns
Turkey and mince pies; carols and parties; giving gifts and sending cards: this is the season of food, thanksgiving and festivity. Here in Odell most of us will focus on Christmas Day with family and friends, but in the United States the celebration has already taken place on Thanksgiving Day, Thursday 26th November this year, and in Scotland they will wait for 31st December and 1st January, Hogmanay.
Thanksgiving Day is a national holiday in the United States, which has its historical roots in the early days of the Pilgrim Fathers and a feast and thanksgiving to God prompted by a good harvest at Plymouth, Massachusetts in 1621. This harvest festival became a regular annual event in New England from the late 1660s. During the American Revolution the thanksgiving festival became the occasion for political proclamations, and as President of the United States, George Washington proclaimed the first nationwide thanksgiving celebration in America marking November 26, 1789, ‘as a day of public thanksgiving and prayer to be observed by acknowledging with grateful hearts the many and signal favours of Almighty God’.
Christmas was not generally celebrated as a festival in either the United States or in Scotland possibly as a result of the Protestant Reformation, which saw the celebration of Christmas as ‘too Papist’, with the main emphasis placed on Thanksgiving and Hogmanay. The origins of Hogmany are unclear, but may be derived from Norse and Gaelic observances. Customs vary, but usually include gift-giving and visiting the homes of friends and neighbours, with special attention given to the first-foot, the first guest of the new year. This is the most widespread custom at Hogmanay, the practice of first-footing, which starts immediately after midnight. It involves the first person to cross the threshold of a friend or neighbour’s house, often bringing symbolic gifts such as salt, coal, shortbread, whisky, and black bun (a rich fruit cake) intended to bring different kinds of luck to the householder for the coming year.
Our customs associated with Christmas include gift giving, Advent calendars, Christmas music and carolling, Christmas cards, church services, a special meal, and the display of various Christmas decorations. Of particular interest for children, we also have the figures, known as Santa Claus, Father Christmas, or Saint Nicholas, who bring presents for them.
There are layers of customs built up over the last two thousand years, some of which may obscure the central focus of Christmas, which is God’s gift to humankind of his Son, Jesus. In Jesus, God expresses his understanding of our humanity with all its flaws and achievements, and his desire to restore a relationship of love and peace with each of us and with his world. It is this that we celebrate in our carol services, parties and over our Christmas meals.
Thanksgiving expresses gratitude to God for the year that has passed; Hogmanay expresses our hopes for the year to come; but Christmas focuses our thanksgiving and our hope in Jesus Christ who is God with us and for us, offering us life in all the completeness and satisfaction that God has purposed and promised to us, as we trust in him.
May you know God’s blessing for Christmas and the New Year, John Weaver
What is the Prayer Group? It is made up of members of All Saints’ Church who undertake to pray regularly, on an individual basis, for people who ask us for prayer support.
Who do we pray for? Anyone whom we are asked to remember; these might be people from our church, from our local community or others known to us.
What do we pray about? Anything which you would like brought before God; maybe anxiety due to illness, stress or loneliness. You can also tell us of a special day you wish to be remembered – perhaps for an interview or an exam. Any information will be treated in strictest confidence.
How can you let us know if you would like us to pray for you? You can telephone Madeline Jeeves (720803) and email mgjeeves at yahoo.com.
Churches Together in Harrold and Carlton
Special Events for Advent and Christmas
Saturday 5th 4.30pm Carols on Harrold Green,
Sunday 6th 10.45am Toy service at URC
4.00pm Christingle Service, St mary's Carlton
Christmas Eve 11.30pm Midnight Communion Service, St Peter’s
Sunday 20th 6.00pm Carols by candlelight, All Saints, Odell
Friday 25th 10.30am Christmas Day Holy Communion for all ages, All Saints’, Odell
9th 11.30am Christmas Lunch at Madeline’s , Rivendell,
15 Horsefair Lane, Odell
6th 10.30am at Eileen Nottage’s, Heydown, High Street, Odell
20th 10.30am at Catherine’s, The Stables, Church Walk, Harrold
All Saints’ Church Charitable Giving for the month of December will be to the following Charities:
Places for People – a Bedfordshire charity providing support and care for vulnerable women and children, and
The Bedford Area Schools Christian Support Trust which is affiliated to Scripture Union and provides schools workers offering teaching and support to children, teachers and parents.
Charitable Giving for January and February will be to:
Mission Aviation Fellowship – a Christian airborne mission serving
remote and inaccessible places, transporting Christian workers and
Great Eastern Run
On 11th October, a warm and sunny day, Mark Cheadle took part in the half marathon ‘Perkins Great Eastern Run’ in Peterborough. Mark ran to raise money for Papworth Hospital – a cause close to his heart following his father Brian’s successful heart surgery there earlier this year. Mark (below) completed the course in 2 hrs 1 min 51 sec, and raised £755. He would like to thank everyone very much who supported him.
Coffee Morning at Hobbs Green Farm
Christmas Hamper coffee morning
On Friday 4th December
At Hobbs Green Farm
From 10.30am – noon
In aid of Bedford Women’s Refuge (Places for People)
Admission free Please bring Christmas Fayre
Senior Citizens’ Christmas Lunch
The Senior Citizens’ Christmas Lunch will take place on Wednesday 16th December at 12.30 in the Village Hall.
Please let Jill know (720261) by 6th December if attending.
All Saints’ Church Flower Rota
6th Jane Eshelby
12th Decorating the church for Christmas
20th Carol Service
27th United service at URC, Harrold
2nd All help to clear
Happy Birthday to
Charlotte Lloyd on the 24th January and to anyone else with a birthday in December or January.
3rd 10.30am Health walk, HOCP
4th 10.30am Hamper Coffee Morning, Hobbs Green Farm
5th 4.30pm Carols on Harrold Green,
6th 10.45 am Toy service at URC
4.00pm Christingle Service, Chellington Centre
8th 7.30pm WI Bring and Share Christmas meal at Linden House, High St., Odell
9th 11.30am Meeting Point Christmas Lunch at Madeline’s , Rivendell, 15 Horsefair Lane
16th 12.30pm Senior Citizens’ Christmas Lunch, Village Hall
17th 10.30am Health walk, HOCP
20th 3-4pm The Little Match Girl, Village Hall
20th 6.00pm Carols by candlelight, All Saints’, Odell
24th 11.30pm Midnight Communion Service, St Peter’s
25th 10.30am Holy Communion for all ages, All Saints’, Odell
28th 10.00am Friends’ Tasks Day HOCP
31st 10.30am Health walk, HOCP
6th 10.30am Meeting Point at Eileen Nottage’s, Heydown, High St
12th 2.30pm WI Kurling in the Village Hall
14th 10.30am Health walk, HOCP
18th 7.30pm Parish Council Meeting, Village Hall
20th 10.30am Meeting Point at Catherine’s, The Stables, Church Walk, Harrold
25th 10.00am Friends’ Tasks Day HOCP
28th 10.30am Health walk, HOCP
30th Burns Night, Village Hall
Click here to download John Weaver's talk from July 19th (Building and breaking down walls part1)
(Building and breaking down walls part2)
Click here to download John Weaver's talk from June 21st (Freedom from Fear)
Click here to download John Weaver's talk from May 17th (Witness of the Gospel)
Click here to download John Weaver's talk from April 19th (Being a Christian)
Click here to download John Weaver's talk from March 15th (Mothering Sunday)
Click here to download John Weaver's talk from February 1st (Meditation)
Click here to download John Weaver's talk from January 18th (Simeon)