The Inside Column 23/12

Posted in: The Inside Column- Dec 23, 2018 No Comments

Good morning and welcome to St Barnabas Stoke – if you are visiting today we hope you encounter God’s goodness and love for you as you join us in worshipping Him, please feel free to stick around afterwards for a coffee and a chat.

Only two days until Christmas!

So Joseph also went up from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to Judea, to Bethlehem the town of David, because he belonged to the house and line of David. He went there to register with Mary, who was pledged to be married to him and was expecting a child. While they were there, the time came for the baby to be born, and she gave birth to her firstborn, a son. She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger, because there was no guest room available for them.
 – Luke 2: 4-7 

 

When we think about it the birth of a baby, born a long time ago, born in a land far away, to a peasant girl, you can’t but help to be amazed at how much this event changed the world.

Whether you are a follower of Jesus or not, no-one can argue that this event that happened all those years ago changed the world. The birth of this one baby, Jesus, changed the course of history. And I think at the heart of the birth of Jesus is love, a love that we can all know when we put our faith in him. It really is Good news for the world.

Today is also Luke’s last day with us as our curate. Luke has served his two years and is now heading off on new adventures and we wish him and his family every blessing. Luke and family have been long time members of St Barnabas and they will be greatly missed (we do hope to still see you). We have been blessed with Luke’s worship leading, preaching, and it has been great to see his children developing there skills in the worship team. I am sure you will all pass on your thanks to Luke and family.

The last Sunday service for the year is on 31 December at 9.30am and we will continue to have one Prayer book service at 9.30am through to 20 January. We return to our regular times of 8.30am and 10.00am on Sunday 27 January.

There is no Wednesday Service this week (26 December) or Wednesday 2 January. Wednesday Services resume at 11.00am on 9 January.

From all the team at St Barnabas we wish you all a happy Christmas, we pray you will have a safe and renewing holiday with loads of  family and friends, and we look forward to next year.

The Church office will close at noon on Friday 21 December and reopens at 8.00am Monday 21 January 2019.

 

Yours in Christ

 

Philip

 

The Inside Column 16/12

Posted in: The Inside Column- Dec 16, 2018 No Comments

Good morning and welcome to St Barnabas Stoke – if you are visiting today we hope you encounter God’s goodness and love for you as you join us in worshipping Him, please feel free to stick around afterwards for a coffee and a chat.

The Meaning of Christingle

The story of the Christingle is that there were three children, who were very poor, but wanted to give a gift to Jesus, like the other families at church were doing. The only nice thing they had was an orange, so they decided to give him that.

The top was going slightly green, so the eldest cut it out, and put a candle in the hole. They thought it looked dull, so the youngest girl took her best red ribbon from her hair and attached it round the middle with toothpicks. The middle child had the idea to put a few pieces of dried fruit on the ends of the sticks. They took it to the church for the Christmas mass, and whereas the other children sneered at their meagre gift, the priest took their gift and showed it as an example of true understanding of the meanings of Christmas.

The Christingle consists of:

An orange representing the world God created.

In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. Now the earth was formless and empty, darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters.  - Genesis 1:1-2

A red ribbon around the orange represents the blood of Jesus. Jesus came into this world to pay the price for the things we do wrong, so we may know God through him and know forgiveness, truth, peace, love. Dried fruits on cocktail sticks pushed into the orange, represent the fruits of the earth and the four seasons. Different seasons of life, the many different good things God blesses us with.  A lit candle pushed into the centre of the orange, representing Jesus Christ as the light of the world. Good news of great joy to the world!

At 5.30pm this Thursday 20 December is Shine – Carols  in the Park at Isel Park Twilight Market. This is a great opportunity for us to be part of this amazing weekly market with the Christian message. It would be great to have a great turn out from St Barnabas to represent the church. Come along and grab some dinner, bring some friends and enjoy the carols.

The Church office will  close at noon on Friday 21 December and reopens at 8.00am Monday 21 January 2019.

 

Yours in Christ

 

Philip

 

The Inside Column 9/12

Posted in: The Inside Column- Dec 09, 2018 No Comments

Good morning and welcome to St Barnabas Stoke – if you are visiting today we hope you encounter God’s goodness and love for you as you join us in worshipping Him, please feel free to stick around afterwards for a coffee and a chat.

Advent week two, the Hope of Israel, Eric will be speaking to us about this Hope.

Hope of Israel is a name of God that occurs in both Old and New Testaments. The Hebrew word miqweh means “to wait or look for with eager expectation”. God is the object of our very highest hopes and he never lets us down. The nation of Israel provides a wonderful example of God remaining faithful to imperfect people.

“You who are the hope of Israel, its

Saviour in times of distress.”

- Jeremiah 14:8 

 

“For this reason I have asked to see you and talk with you. It is because of the hope of

Israel that I am bound with this chain.”

- Acts 28:20

 

What are you hoping for this Christmas?

Next week is our combined Christingle service 9.30am start time. I will be needing a couple of volunteers to help make the Christingles. If you are around at 10.00am this Thursday 13 December for an hour or so to help that would be helpful. Meet in the Foyer.

On Thursday 20 December at 5.30pm we have Shine—Carols in the Park, at the Isel Park twilight Market.  This is a great opportunity for us to be part of this amazing weekly market with the Christian message. It would be great to have a great turn out of people from St Barnabas to represent the church. Come along and grab some dinner, bring some friends and enjoy the carols.

As many of you know, Luke is moving on to a new venture and we would love to bless him with a gift. If you would like to donate towards this there is a container marked Luke’s Gift at the back of church or write Luke on your envelope.

We are looking for a couple of volunteers to do some cleaning over the holidays, to keep the church nice and clean. If you are around over the first couple of weeks of January and have a spare couple of hours we would love to hear from you. Call David in the office for details.

 

Yours in Christ

 

Philip

 

The Inside Column 2/12

Posted in: The Inside Column- Dec 02, 2018 No Comments

Good morning and welcome to St Barnabas Stoke – if you are visiting today we hope you encounter God’s goodness and love for you as you join us in worshipping Him, please feel free to stick around afterwards for a coffee and a chat.

The Christmas season is one of the busiest times of the year, everything seems to speed up and we have many nights out and things to go to. But it is also a season of reflection and preparation for that special day when we mark Emmanuel’s coming -the arrival of our eternal God in our own frail humanity.

Today we start the session of Advent. Advent comes from Latin and means “coming;” its purpose is “to look forward to the coming of Christ to earth; it was a season that focused on waiting.”  I don’t know about you but I am not very good at waiting, yet we spend the four weeks before Christmas looking forward, waiting, and contemplating the coming of Jesus. We all have different expectations and experiences of Christmas. For some, Christmas is a time of presents, good food, a couple of drinks and movies. For others it is a time of family and coming together and for holidays. For some Christmas is a hard time.

Maybe not getting on with some of your family members, for some there might be the pressure of spending too much money, the pressure of having no time, working too much. Or for some people Christmas can be a time of loneliness. Given that we all think and see Christmas in different ways, what is Christmas real all about?

C.S Lewis put it like this;

At Christmas we remember the central event in the history of the earth—the very thing the whole story has been about. The point of Christmas is Jesus Christ. At Christmas we celebrate the birthday of the most important person who ever lived, He is the centrepiece of our civilization.

In the birth of Jesus we see true love come into the world, Emmanuel – God is with us and when we put our faith, our hope in him, his love comes and lives in us. As we start the advent season, and in all the busyness let’s keep this thought at the heart of our thinking, Emmanuel – God is with us.

As many of you know, Luke is moving on to a new venture and we would love to bless him with a gift. If you would like to donate towards this there is a container marked Luke’s Gift at the back of church or write Luke on your envelope.

We are looking for a couple of volunteers to do some cleaning over the holidays, to keep the church nice and clean. If you are around over the first couple of weeks of January and have a spare couple of hours we would love to hear from you. Call David in the office for details.

 

Yours in Christ

 

Philip

 

The Inside Column 25/11

Posted in: The Inside Column- Nov 25, 2018 No Comments

Good morning and welcome to St Barnabas Stoke – if you are visiting today we hope you encounter God’s goodness and love for you as you join us in worshipping Him, please feel free to stick around afterwards for a coffee and a chat.

Last week we started to have a look at how God speaks to us, with the first two points being:

  • God wants to speak to you.
  • God speaks to us all in different ways

“In the past God spoke to our ancestors through the prophets at many times and in various ways, but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed heir of all things, and through whom also he made the universe. In these last days God speaks to us through his son”

- Hebrews 1:1,2a

 

Does God speak to you? How does God do this?

There are lots of different ways in which we meet with God and that he speaks to us. Let me suggest seven examples of different pathways to spirituality. This is not necessarily an exhaustive list, but see which one(s) of these best strikes a chord with you.

 

  • Intellectual pathway
  • Contemplative pathway
  • Relational pathway
  • Serving pathway
  • Worship pathway
  • Nature pathway
  • Activist pathway

 

Thinking about this I am sure there are others –  wouldn’t it be good if food was a pathway, or watching movies! These spiritual pathways are the most natural places where we sense Gods presence; we will all have one way in which we more naturally meet with God.  Finding our pathway is like finding the best language in which we can meet with God.

As many of you know, Luke is moving on to a new venture and we would love to bless him with a gift. If you would like to donate towards this there is a container marked Luke’s Gift at the back of church or write Luke on your envelope.

 

We are looking for a couple of volunteers to do some cleaning over the holidays, to keep the church nice and clean. If you are around over the first couple of weeks of January and have a spare couple of hours we would love to hear from you. Call David in the office for details.

 

Jonathan and Lucy Wasley have a new baby! Peter William Wasley was born on Monday. He weighed 81b.10oz. A brother for Jessica. Both Lucy and baby are doing well.

 

 

Yours in Christ

Philip