St John's News - 13 December

Dear friends,

O holy Child of Bethlehem,
descend to us, we pray,
cast out our sin and enter in,
be born in us today.
From "O little town of Bethlehem."

I have been greatly encouraged over the last week by our local schoolchildren and school. Last week, I popped in to take 2 assemblies. I was invited to go in early to watch the younger years perform the dress rehearsal of their nativity. It was both very moving and, at times, quite hilarious - especially when the baby arrived in a cardboard box, unceremoniously shoved in from the side of the stage. But the story kept to the traditional Biblical telling, which is not often the case these days. After that, it was time for me to do the assemblies with the rest of the school. With Rupert's help, I made Christingles to communicate the good news of Jesus. All the children were all gripped. And then this morning, years 3 to 6 came to church for their carol service. They sang a number of well-loved carols and read some of the traditional Christmas Bible readings beautifully. We keep on hearing how the next generation are growing up without the knowledge of the Christian faith. I am so pleased this is not the case here in Elmswell.

Thank you again to everybody who helped to make the church look so beautiful and ready for Christmas last week. It really made the Sunday evening carol service particularly special. If you missed either the Sunday morning service or Carols By Candlelight, you can catch up on our YouTube channel:

If you enjoyed the video, "When Santa learned the gospel" that was shown at Carols By Candlelight you can view it here.

At the back of church, by the kitchen, is a table with 2 Christmas cards and a collection box for Tearfund. Rather than sending each other cards this Christmas, please think about signing a greeting to all your friends at St John's in one of the 2 cards on the table and donating the money saved to Tearfund.

Carol Singing at the Tavern takes place on Wednesday 21 December at 7:00pm. The Family Nativity is at St John's on 24 December at 3:30pm, followed by Midnight in Bethlehem (Holy Communion with carols and candlelight) at 8:30pm. Please note that the Christmas Day service is at the earlier time of 10:00am. Looking ahead, there will be no all age service on 1 January. Instead there is a shorter service with Holy Communion.

The weekly church prayer meeting is on Zoom on Saturday at 9:00am for 40 minutes. To join, click or, load Zoom and use Meeting ID: 685 295 1296 and Password: 816262.

In Christ

Wed 14 Dec 2022