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What s Your Favourite Christmas Carol? December January December 2012 & January 2013 Page 1

What s Your Favourite Christmas Carol? December January 2013 December 2012 & January 2013 Page 1 December 2012 & January 2013 For this edition, Intouch asked some people in the church about their
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What s Your Favourite Christmas Carol? December January 2013 December 2012 & January 2013 Page 1 December 2012 & January 2013 For this edition, Intouch asked some people in the church about their favourite Christmas carol. Their answers are scattered through the magazine, and tell us about the memories and meanings that traditional carols hold for all of us. If you have a favourite, the magazine and tell us why and we ll try to include it in the December 2013 edition. As you sing carols this Christmas, take time to think again about the messages contained in familiar words, and pray that Jesus will speak to you afresh. Happy Christmas! Contents Page 3 From the Ministry Team: Walking in Darkness? Page 5 Around the Church Page 14 News from Italy Page 16 Baptists In Transition for Mission Page 18 From the Diary of... two BMS Workers Page 20 Christmas Spectacular Page 21 Prayer Diary Page 25 The Golden Carol Page 26 Gems from the Archives Page 28 Gnanakan News: Finding the Babe of Bethlehem Page 30 Questions: Dulce et decorum est pro patria mori? Page 32 Second Chance: A Study on Jonah, Part 1 Page 35 Come Prepared: Preaching Themes and Readings Page 36 Church Actually Page 37 Churches Together in Headingley Page 38 Christmas Highlights Page 39 Christmas Quiz Page 40 The A-Z of South Parade: Part 8 Page 42 Horsforth Churches Together Matthew Newman Editor Informed, Involved, Inspired... Intouch! Contributions to: or to the Church Office Deadline for contributions: 18 January 2013 Next edition published: 3 February 2013 Page 2 December 2012 & January 2013 From the Ministry Team Walking in Darkness? Let s go to Bethlehem and see this thing which has come to pass, which the Lord has told us about (Luke 2.15) T hat Christmas I lost a contact lens. As usual the dog was blamed but such false accusations didn t help much. The village Christmas Day service was scheduled for the Parish Church, and my friend the Vicar had decided that we would act out Leo Tolstoy s fable of Papa Panov. He was to be the narrator and I would mime the events of the story as he told them. We had no rehearsal time, so instead I posted stage directions at various points around the front of the church. In the dim light of the Victorian building I missed most of them my eyes weren t focussing and my Papa Panov turned into Popeye the Purblind. I don t know whether anyone else noticed, but it certainly spoilt my morning. This made me think recently about the shepherds and what they expected to see, and whether they saw it clearly. Would any of them catch the clues of Messiahship woven into this thing which had come to pass? Would they turn up 30 years later among the crowds, eager to hear the preacher from Galilee? Would any of them be around on Palm Sunday, or at the crucifixion, or among the 120 faithful believers gathered on the Day of Pentecost when the Church was born? I invite you to go and see this thing which the Lord has told us about, not in some half-sighted way, but with the eyes of faith December 2012 & January 2013 Page 3 I ve already met many people this year whose only vision of Christmas is a commercial one. Then there are those who have half a tale of peace and goodwill, to be acted out among their closest families and friends, but having no transforming outcomes for the world around them. Others are already battening down the hatches to avoid what for them is a lonely and disappointing season full of sad memories. And there are still a few who imagine the Christian message to be a damaging, offensive one which will upset sensible people and frighten the camels. R e-reading the narratives of the birth of Jesus Christ I ve noticed many references to people who saw the clues God had set before them Mary, Joseph, Elizabeth, Zechariah, Shepherds, Wise Men, Simeon and Anna each had to take a risk, a step of faith in seeing the Mystery of the Ages unfolding before them. Each had decisions to make a sense of urgency woven through their encounters with God, each in their own way hurrying to find what God had promised. I d like to invite you to do the same to go and see this thing that has come to pass, which the Lord has told us about, not in some halfsighted way, but with the eyes of faith. Alternatively you could continue to stumble through life and blame it on the dog. But that gets you nowhere. Happy Christmas and a great New Year Brian On behalf of the whole Ministry Team My Favourite Christmas Carol is O Little Town of Bethlehem as it reminds me how both the hopes and fears of all the years were met in the Christ child, there that night! Chris Gnanakan Page 4 December 2012 & January 2013 Around the Church News from Adel After the baptisms of Madge and Audrey in the summer we were thrilled again in November to watch Dulcie Bullock and Vivienne Kelly go through the waters of baptism. Dulcie started worshipping with us at Adel about 17 years ago and both her children, Rochelle and Jonathan were dedicated at Adel. She has recently transferred to Headingley but we still consider Dulcie to be one of us. Vivienne moved to Holt Park just over a year ago and has been worshipping with us at Adel ever since. So their baptism was another exciting event and a great encouragement to us all at Adel. Cassie has recently returned from a very successful week s visit to our link missionary, Jane Waites in Albania. Jane is headmistress of the lower school at GDQ school in Tirana and she worshipped with us at Adel prior to going out to Albania with BMS over 12 years ago. Madge Davey is currently in Burma, visiting the refugee camp at Nupo, which is a refugee camp for 16,000 displaced Karen Christians on the Thai/Burmese border, so we are currently praying for her and for her safety and a successful trip. We continue to serve our community in the ABC Coffee Shop at Holt Park and we recently held a Beetle Drive on the Saturday evening which was very enjoyable. The Café Church continues to attract new members and we are looking forward to our Annual Christmas Dinner at the Café Church on 2 December. Meanwhile at the Adel School we are busy preparing for Christmas with a Christmas leaflet distribution and our Annual Christingle Service on 24 December at 5pm December 2012 & January 2013 Page 5 which is one of the highlights every year. Andrew Bedingham Adel Leadership Team Open the Book Assemblies in Horsforth Horsforth Churches Together have started offering assemblies to primary schools. We have eight primary schools in Horsforth and so asking how we can serve, enrich and share God s message in schools has been a focus of much prayer over this last year. Page 6 We are helping children enjoy Bible stories by presenting them in dramatic form using a wonderful array of costumes and props Using the Open the Book assembly scheme we are now helping children enjoy Bible stories, and their messages, by presenting them in dramatic form using the wonderful array of costumes and props. We started doing four assemblies in the summer term in St Margaret s and this autumn term Westbrook Lane primary invited us to come to lead assemblies there. We have now been asked by Newlaithes if we can do a Christmas assembly. We are looking for more volunteers to join us with the hope that we can develop as team for each school. The assemblies are very easy to do, a lot of fun and take an hour and a half of your time approximately every four weeks. St Margaret s assemblies take place on Fridays and we meet at pm to plan and then deliver. Westbrook Lane s are on a Tuesday when we meet at am. Duncan Stow Contact Duncan if you would be interested in knowing more Green House Grant Update Dateline 17 November Breaking News - John Pelham reports: Yesterday I had an and today I have received written confirmation that we have been granted 20,000 towards the cost of the Green House project. Hallelujah! Thanks to the efforts of our Grant Application Team (Adrian Howe, December 2012 & January 2013 Brian Nicholls, David Faraday, Gemma Eastwood, Geoff Greer, Mike Burkett, Sharon Thresher, and our Architect Tony Pringle) and much prayer, the National Churches Trust made the allocation under their Community Grant scheme which recognises projects such as ours in non-anglican churches. We committed to the main scheme in faith and God has been pleased to reward that faith. With this great news to embolden us, we may be confident that the Lord will lead us in the right direction to enable us to raise the remaining funds needed to cover our costs on the project, be the means corporate or personal. John Pelham Elder From Birmingham and almost Beyond! Thank you for all of your prayers, s and letters supporting me in my training here with BMS World Mission in preparation for going to North Africa next year to train people in palliative care in the home. I have been bowled over by your response, thank you so much. Irene West Headingley: Increased Visibility Ahead Over the past few months we have been exploring some new activities to improve the visibility of the things that go on outside the Sunday morning meetings and to encourage people to become more involved in what happens within the mission community: Different readers doing the Bible reading during the service Inspire a Congregation a series of short interviews with people involved in a wide range of activities from coffee rota to Men Behaving Godly. The series of interviews will conclude with a Commitment Fayre where people will have an opportunity to volunteer to get more involved in one or more of the inspiring activities. New people being invited to do the all age talks Welcome badges for the welcome team Prayer breakfast meetings (all Mission Communities welcome) December 2012 & January 2013 Page 7 Outreach Following last year s successful ceilidh we have another one planned for March. We re keen to host other musical events to provide opportunities for members to bring guests into Church and for fellowship. With the start of the new term we have restarted student lunches. While we have not attracted as many students as we would like we do have a small contingent of students who attend regularly. We want to encourage people to become more involved in what happens within the mission community Music The youth band is severely depleted as members have moved on to University. Planning is underway to have an open music event to identify musicians who might want to join the group and help support worship on a Sunday morning. The music group will always welcome new instrumentalists and singers but really need a new drummer and a regular guitarist. Romania Some of the youth spent a week in Romania at the end of October to help on a community building project. They took responsibility for raising funds for the trip. The youth had a great time but found the experience challenging both physically and emotionally (see pictures page 10-11). Harvest At our Harvest Festival we had a collection for Water Aid which raised around 200 for the charity. Adam Clayton Elder, Headingley Morning Mission Community Mattress Appeal Liz Crathern is raising funds to replace the mattresses of boys at the Rukungiri modern primary school, Uganda who have a bed wetting problem. Each mattress, with a mackintosh, will cost appropriately and will be life changing for those boys who need it. If you feel you can support this, then please donate whatever you can - with donations already received I have just put an order in for the first 20 - and these will be purchased by the team going out there at Christmas. Page 8 December 2012 & January 2013 You can also me if you would like further information. Liz Crathern Christians in Science Leeds Local Branch A recently formed group, CiS Leeds aims to provide a forum for discussion of science and faith issues in the Leeds region. We meet together regularly at South Parade, Headingley. For information about future events please me at On Tuesday 15 January we have an event entitled If Evolution is True, What Hope for Christianity? with Professor Simon Conway Morris FRS. Refreshments will be served from 7.30pm, with the talk beginning at 8pm. Simon is a deeply original thinker, and a first rate lecturer. He is Professor of Evolutionary Palaeobiology at Cambridge University. He presented the Royal Institution Christmas lectures in He has worked and published widely on the Burgess Shale and the rise of animals. He is now thinking about the question are humans alone in the universe? Having spent four centuries taking the world to bits and trying to find out what makes it tick, in the twenty-first century scientists are now trying to fit the pieces together and understand why the whole is greater than the sum of its parts. Simon is one of the leading workers in this field. Many people consider that his book Life s Solution: Inevitable Humans in a Lonely Universe is essential reading for everyone who has wondered about why we are here in a universe that seems tailor-made for life. Simon argues that the general features of our bodies and minds are indeed written into the laws of the Universe. Humans do not exist by accident. To find out more come to his talk in January. John Lockwood Cragg Mission Community December 2012 & January 2013 Page 9 Mission in Romania In the October half-term Dave Bartram and Heather McLeen went with a group of young people from the church to Romania to work on practical projects with the Smiles Foundation. Taking out our first food parcels This is the home this family have in the bushes Here s the tent we put up for them The charity had a great idea and built a container village where some of the homeless now live. They re warm and dry. Page 10 December 2012 & January 2013 A homeless woman we visited, who was very friendly. Not sure how she will manage in the winter, though when temperatures drop to minus 28 degrees. Visiting the homeless Church on our last day. It s gone so quickly... Heather McLeen December 2012 & January 2013 Page 11 A Big all my friends at SPBC for all your prayer support, cards, visits and flowers received over recent weeks and months. The surgery was successful and I have just been informed no further treatment is necessary, praise God. Pat Dalgleish Headingley Morning Mission Community The Narnia Experience Step through the wardrobe, follow the wintery trail and meet Mr Tumnus, Mrs Beaver and the White Witch! Do you want to get involved in an exciting production of the Narnia story here in Leeds in November 2013? We re looking for performers and volunteers for the event and anyone who can help with: acting, set Page 12 dressing, props, production, casting, costume, stage management, front of house, lighting design, sound design or construction! Please come to our open meeting to find out more: Monday 21January 2013, pm at the Cardigan Centre, Cardigan Road, LS6 1LJ, or Lynsey Jones November Church Meeting The church meeting on 22 November was preceded by a time rededicating the newly refurbished Green House, and consuming food prepared in the enhanced kitchen! It was also thrilling to hear that our grant application to the National Churches Trust had been successful (see John Pelham s item on page 6). The meeting: re-elected Barbara Crosse as a mission community leader. accepted a joint proposal from the leaders of New City of David and the elders that NCD cease to be a mission community of South Parade but that our relationship continue on a more informal basis of mutual support. heard that Trinity Café had now closed ahead of refurbishment December 2012 & January 2013 work. heard that Gaynor Hammond would be retiring next Easter. heard that a minister would be preaching with a view at both services at Headingley on 9 December and meeting members informally the previous evening. There would be a special church meeting to consider whether to call him on 13 December. agreed a revised specification for a second appointment which would include a focus on youth and young adults. agreed to support Geoff King s exploration of his sense of call to ministry. heard an update on church finances and the work undertaken by the deacons. Geoff Greer Church Secretary News from Fance Following our last newsletter (see the October Intouch) we received some gifts or pledges for our mission trip to Madagascar on February We are really thankful for that! There is only around 500 euros left to find in order to buy our flight tickets, which is quite encouraging. Other news: Tim has been admitted as a PhD student in Strasbourg. That is good news but also a challenge because Tim will be away from home a week each month. Thank you for your support! Thank you for your prayers! Greetings from the 4 of us Tim and Eve Minard (and Eve & Ethan)...informed... Share news from Around the Church, from your Mission Community, homegroup, cell group, project or meeting by ing My Favourite Christmas Carol is Thou Who Wast Rich Beyond All Splendour because I love the opening line - Thou who wast rich beyond all splendour all for love s sake becamest poor! Irene West December 2012 & January 2013 Page 13 News from Italy Ann and David MacFarlane are our link missionaries with BMS World Mission in Italy. They recently sent this prayer letter: W e had a great mission with our July team from Britain and we had many contacts during the two week period. The church was greatly encouraged by the visit of the team and we saw a lot of people coming to support us when we went out into the streets. Many people from our church gave their testimony for the first time in the open air and there were many conversations with passers-by in the street and also in the church. We thank all who came out here and for all of you at home who prayed and gave financial support towards putting the team up in the centre. We also had a lot of preparation work for the visit of the Kedron Singers from the most beautiful city in Europe (Glasgow, if you did not know it before) who were coming to Reggio for ten days and were booked to sing at our church on the Sunday morning and the Many people from our church gave their testimony for the first time and there were many conversations with passers-by Page 14 December 2012 & January 2013 Waldesian church the same evening. Both concerts went well and at the Waldesian concert the church was full and there were people standing outside the front doors. With rehearsals and day trips we all were kept very busy. O ur Action Team arrived the day after the choir and it was great getting them here at last. They have already settled in as if they have been here for months. What a brilliant Action Team they are we are so encouraged by them and we thank God that these four young people have decided to serve God here alongside us in Reggio. Pray for them that they will have a good time and that God will use them. The Italian church has been blessed by the arrival of two young Italian families. The Reggio football team who play in Seria B has appointed a new manager and he and his assistant are evangelicals and so are their wives. They were advised by their pastor in Puglia (where we were) to come to our church. This is an answer to prayer and we praise the Lord for this. They each have two children and so our evergrowing Sunday school continues to grow. Prayer points: Rosarno and Lucia. Food Bank. Harvey. No change from the last newsletter. He is still waiting for surgery. Biancamaria who has cancer. She had a little setback but is making progress again. Please pray for Antonetta who is in hospital just now with some viral problem in her heart. Eva has been to the church twice only but we continue to pray and hope that she will come back for good. Ann and David MacFarlane To read the whole letter go to My Favourite Christmas Carol is Joy to the World - a great tune by Handel and a call to everyone to worship the Saviour, from the shepherds, the angels, people down the ages to us today and including the created world.
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