Dear Friends and Parishioners,
It seems rather early to issue the greeting of ‘Merry Christmas and Happy New Year’. As I write this letter we are still in the final days of November and are waiting for Advent to arrive. None-the-less I do hope that you will enjoy all the delights this season holds which for us, as Christians, are manifold.
Heather Paisley is taking over from Sue Sharples as editor of the magazine and she includes a piece about Advent which I am sure you will enjoy reading so I won’t add any more here about this special time in the Church year. As we welcome Heather into this new role we say a huge THANK YOU to Sue who has compiled and printed the magazine for well over ten years; sterling service and dedication which we have greatly appreciated.
It is an apt time of year for such a change as we say goodbye to the past and look to the future. In Church we have the double future vision of watching and waiting for Jesus’ second coming as well as the celebrations of our Saviour’s birth on Christmas Day.
During our Advent study this year (Monday evenings during December – 3rd, 10th and 17th) we will think about the nature of judgement, death, heaven and hell. Christians have a particular understanding of these ideas which help us order our lives as God commands. Judgement is about purification and cleansing; death is a state through which we pass into God’s kingdom; heaven is the eternal realm of God where Jesus reigns as King of Kings; and hell …… well what might that be?
One thing we can be sure of is that God loves us and wants what is best for us, hence, sending Jesus into our world. This is the crux of our faith and of the seasons of Advent and Christmas. I do hope you will be able to attend our various Christmas services to worship our mighty and glorious God and that you will encourage family and friends to accompany you. Details of these services are included in the magazine as usual. May God bless you and all whom you love this Advent and Christmastide.