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CHURCH NEWS - December 2005/ January 2006
Christmas Week in Odell
Church Decorating will take place on Saturday 17th December from 10.00 am. Everyone invited to join in the fun.
Carol Singing round the village: Saturday 17th. Singers meet at 6.00 pm outside The Bell. Everyone welcome. Refreshments to follow at Rectory Farm.
Carols by Candlelight: Sunday 18th at 6.00 pm at All Saints’.
Christmas Day: Morning Worship and short Holy Communion, 10.00 am.
At the time of going to press we heard the good news that Christine Clarke will be installed as our new minister on March 20th 2006
Once again we are approaching Christmas and no doubt for many the number of shopping days will play a prominent part in their thinking as celebrations are prepared. Of course, for some the idea of Christmas is discounted because of the secular celebrations but the Bible itself is clear that good wholesome celebrations of such events are not to be
discouraged. Others may go too far in what they spend and others in what they eat, or drink but the abuse of God’s good gifts is no reason for others to turn away altogether.
We are to celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ because it was the
beginning of the most profound act of God towards a fallen human race. We call it the Incarnation, when the divine Son of God took upon Himself a human body which was born just like the rest of us, sinfulness excepted. We say it was the beginning for the reason that God’s mercy started there but it did not finish there.
The incarnation led to the Lord’s obedience to all God’s Laws and then to the Cross where He died bearing our sins (breaches of God’s Law and rebellion against God). His death led to His burial and from His burial there came the resurrection of His human body, His ascension into heaven where at the right hand of God, He prays for His people and the final act yet to be revealed is that He will return in Glory to judge all peoples.
No wonder we celebrate Christmas by coming to the House of God and giving thanks for all God’s mercies to us and then as the New Year begins we trace God’s glorious acts of mercy and grace culminating in our remembrance of the coming of the Holy Spirit at Whitsun.
We have lived through a tumultuous year with the Tsunami on last Boxing Day, the tragic events of the London bombings and the Pakistan earthquake. Many are now afraid of the threatening pandemic of Bird Flu. The Iraq War continues and casualties rise and there seems to be no end. How good it is to know that in spite of all appearances our God is still in control through our Lord Jesus Christ and that He both hears and answers prayer made to Him.
The prayer that is always answered when it is made sincerely is "God be merciful to me a sinner." When that prayer is made from the heart and we meet with our Saviour and Mediator then Christmas is a time for thanksgiving to God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit, and then we celebrate wisely.
May you all have a very happy Christmas with God’s blessings upon you in the New Year whatever it may bring.
Sincerely, David, your friend and former Rector.
The Prayer Chain
The Prayer Chain is there if you need prayer for yourself, for others or for members of your family. Please don’t ask for prayer outside your own family without people’s permission. To have a number of people pray just
telephone Dennis (822992).
e-Round News from the Diocese of St. Albans
Sleep out 2005. This year's Sleep out takes place on 2nd December at St Albans Cathedral. The charities that will benefit are: the Kings Arms Project, Bedford, Watford New Hope Trust and Emmaus in St Albans. You can help by either sleeping out and raising money through sponsorship or by giving a donation. For more information visit: http://www.stalbans.anglican.org/news/2005/sleepout05.htm
Songs of Praise from Luton. Tune in to BBC Songs of Praise on 11th December where the show comes from St Mary's Church, Luton.
St. Paul’s Church Bedford
Christmas tree & crib festival.St Paul’s Church, Bedford, Annual Christmas Tree Festival with over 40 trees! December 1st-4th (inc), 10-6pm Thurs to Sat, 2-4.30pm Sun. Adults £2 entrance; in aid of St Paul’s and Bedford
Concert. Ensemble of London present Christmas Classics Concert (Fri) 7.30pm. Programme includes Haydn’s Cello Concerto in C and traditional carols. Tickets £12 (£10 concessions) from Central Box Office 01234 269519. Details: 01234 340163.
Talks & courses
Getting to Grips with Mark’s Gospel - a day course with speaker The Very Revd Dr Jeffrey John, January 28th, 10am-4pm, St Andrew’s Church, Bedford. Cost: £15; bring your own lunch. Details/booking forms from 01234 342613.
Bishop’s Day Conference for diocesan clergy and Readers, July 4th 2006, Shuttleworth College, Old Warden Park, Nr Biggleswade, 10am-6pm.
Asian Earthquake response. In a month where natural disasters hit the headlines across the globe, the Church of England website reflected the concern of people across the nation with additions to the popular ‘Prayer’ section of the site, and by providing weblinks to the main aid agencies. The Archbishop of Canterbury also sent a message to church leaders in Pakistan and India following the earthquake in their region, where he spoke of his distress on hearing of the devastation and assuring them of the Church’s prayers as they tackle the work of rescue and recovery. See the Prayer section of the website at http://www.cofe.anglican.org/prayers/ Read the Archbishop of Canterbury’s full message at www.cofe.anglican.org/news/prquakeabc.html
Anna McCrum, Communications Officer, Diocese of St. Albans.
Wednesday 14th Christmas lunch. Meet at 11.30am at Doris’s, lunch at 1.30pm.
Wednesday 11th 10.30am at Catherine’s, Manor Cottage, Harrold.
Wednesday 25th 10.30am at Jane’s, Newton House, Avenue Rd., Rushden.
PCC Meeting, Wednesday November 16th
Hymnbooks to Rwanda. Ann Hudson reported that we have arranged for our surplus smaller Mission Praise hymnbooks to be donated to Rwanda. It was agreed to order more hymnbooks to make it up to 60 total, which Ann will organize.
Pakistan Earthquake fund. It was agreed to ask the bishop if the church could direct the £169 Harvest money to a direct Earthquake relief activity supported by the diocese.
Vision for Action. Carol Ormond reported that she had contacted Jean Burrows regarding the dates offered by the Bishop for him to host a combined ‘Vision for Action’ weekend event late in 2006.
Services. Note, there will be no morning service on 18th December.
Christmas church decorating will be Saturday 17th December. Carol singing round the village will also be the 17th December starting at the Bell at 6pm. Jill is offering cheese and biscuits for singers at Rectory Farm.
Pastoral visiting – We noted with sadness the death of Emily Groves. We welcome Sarah Bennett as a regular new church member.
New Minister. The Reverend Christine Clark was interviewed on Thursday 17th November with regard to the post of Minister of All Saints’ Church. The PCC is awaiting a decision by the Bishop.
Our Giving in Decemberwill be to the following Charities:
The National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children
Christian Family Care
The Bedford Area Schools Christian Support Trust (SU)
In January our giving will be to Mission Aviation Fellowship. This is an airborne mission, which takes the Word and much-needed help to many remote and inaccessible places – a very worthy cause.
Looking to Jesus
"…Unto them that look for Him shall He appear…" Hebrews 9:28
It is hard to imagine humbler circumstances than those surrounding the birth of Jesus. Max Lucado paints this picture:
The stable stinks, the ground is hard, the hay scarce. Cobwebs cling to the ceiling and a mouse scurries across the floor. Mary looks into the face of her son. Her Lord. His Majesty. At this point the human being who best understands who God is and what He is doing, is a teenage girl in a smelly stable. She remembers the angel’s words, ‘His Kingdom will never end.’ Majesty in the midst of the mundane. Holiness in the filth of manure and sweat. Divinity entering the world on the floor of a stable.
This baby had once overlooked the universe. His robes of eternity were exchanged for the rags keeping Him warm. His golden throne room abandoned in favour of a dirty sheep pen. Worshipping angels replaced with shepherds. Meanwhile the city hummed, unaware that God had visited their planet. The innkeeper would never believe that he had just sent God into the cold. And people would scoff at anyone who told them the Messiah lay in the arms of a teenager on the outskirts of the village. They were all too busy to consider the possibility.
But those who missed His Majesty’s arrival that night missed it not because of evil acts or malice. No, they had missed it because they were not looking for Him. Little has changed in the last 2000 years, has it?
The Bible says, ‘…unto them that look for him shall he appear the second time without sin unto salvation.’ This Christmas – look for Him!
Taken from 'Word for Today' with kind permission of United Christian Broadcaster Ltd PO Box 225 Stoke on Trent ST4 8YY
Father God, what a wonderful time of year as we celebrate ‘Christmas time’, the birthday of Jesus Christ Your son. Today we come to You with special thanks, praise and adoration of Jesus Christ our Lord.
May the spirit of Jesus touch every heart this special time, from the homeless and alcoholics sleeping rough to the Royal family and those living in palatial houses. Everyone needs You Lord but sadly some do not realize that. We pray for a revival across the country and especially in our own church.
Come Holy Spirit, come to every soul and anoint them with Your love, peace, joy and healing. We pray for all the sick, homeless and needy and ask that through Your grace we may see miracles taking place in 2006 that will open people’s eyes to Your greatness. Praise Your wonderful name. Amen.
At this moment I am lying in bed on the ninth floor of ‘Addenbrookes’, once again relying on the expertise, compassion and knowledge of the wonderful doctors and nursing staff.
Thank You Father for those who have taken me out on twelve hour trips for Chemotherapy, doctors appointments, scans, bone checks and all the other appointments and emergency calls and not forgetting those who walk my border collie. Also for the ‘phone calls, cards, e-mails and house visits, thank you. You have blessed me Lord with such very special people, hand picked by You. I feel so humbled and say thank you Lord for each and every one. Please shower Your abundant blessings on them in return. It hasn’t been an easy year but these special angels and the power of prayer have made it so much better.
I pray that all our readers will be blessed with a very happy, healthy and peaceful 2006.
Christmas Hamper Coffee Morning
In support of Christian Family Care
Friday 9th December
Hobbs Green Farm
Church Lane, Odell
From 10.30am to noon.
The Shakespeare Ladies’ Club
On Saturday Oct 22nd Alison Neil returned to Odell Village Hall to
entertain an audience of around eighty people with her latest dramatic monologue, "The Shakespeare Ladies Club". Written and performed by Alison herself, the scene was set in Georgian England, 1760, when King George III had just acceded to the throne of England. The first
monologue followed the life of "Mary", a rich young lady whose passion for the works of Shakespeare helped to bring about the revival of
Shakespeare’s plays on the stage. The second half of the evening centred on "Kate", a poor young girl in London whose life showed a different side of Georgian England and whose fate was to be affected by the kindness of the same "Mary". The performance of Alison Neil as both ladies was absolutely captivating – both funny and moving – and full of energy, colour and wit. Thanks to Caroline Scott who organised the event, and to Helen Chapman, Alison Fowler, Liz Andrews and everyone else who helped to make the evening such a success. I am sure we will be asking Alison Neil back to Odell to entertain us yet again some time in the
future! All profits went to the All Saints’ Appeal Fund.
9th 10.30am Christian Family Care Hamper Coffee Morning, Hobbs Green Farm.
13th 7.30pm W.I. Christmas supper at Rachel Halton’s.
14th 11.30am Meeting Point at Doris’s, Goodly Heritage, The Bury, Pavenham. Christmas lunch at 1.30pm.
14th 12.30 for Senior Citizens Christmas lunch, Village Hall. 1.00pm
16th 11.00am Friends of HOCP Christmas Social Event.
17th 10.00am Church Decorating.
17th 6.00pm Carol singing, starting at The Bell.
18th 10.00am Winter bird watching, HOCP
18th 6.00pm Carols by Candlelight, All Saints’.
20th Children’s party in Village Hall.
25th 10.00am Morning Prayer and short Holy Communion, All Saints’.
1st 10.00am Circular Walk from the Country Park.
11th 10.30am Meeting Point, Catherine’s, Manor Cottage, Harrold.
21st 7.30 Burns Night celebrations, Village Hall.
25th 10.30am Meeting Point, Jane’s, Newton House, Avenue Rd., Rushden.
30th 10.00am HOCP first conservation task of the New Year.
Please send all entries for the February magazine to Tricia Hudson (patriciahudson at kbnet.co.uk), Anne Turner or Catherine Corkery by January 12th 2006 at the latest. May we remind you that the editorial team exercises the right to edit, shorten or alter any items that are submitted. Also, the opinions expressed in the articles are those of the contributors and are not the responsibility of the editorial team.
The editorial team would like to wish all the readers a very Happy Christmas and New Year!
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