There seems to be a widespread fear that Christmas will be cancelled this year or truncated to the point that it loses much of its value. The gift of the birth of Jesus Christ cannot be cancelled by the presence of a virus even if it has the capacity to cause mayhem and misery – but Christmas can be ignored or relegated to a level of minimal importance somewhere below that of the crackers and Christmas Tree by our own actions and priorities.
The second lockdown seems to have hit many people worse than the first. Maybe this is because the weather outside is not as nice as it was in the spring and early summer or perhaps it all seems never-ending.
On TV there seem to be all sorts of people featured giving advice about how to cope with loneliness and depression through this pandemic and the suggested remedy often involves communicating with other people and/or helping them out. The Church, as a community of people, has been doing this for millennia and continues to do so now. But beyond and above this, there is a God who we can know – One who is more than able to lift our spirits and hold us in His love if we let Him.
How can we know God? It is through getting to know His Son Jesus and Christmas is a good place to start but it cannot stop there. It is necessary to hear and read and comprehend the whole story.
The Gospel of John starts:
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God. All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made. In him was life; and the life was the light of men. And the light shineth in darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not. (King James Version)
If you would like to become a comprehender, why not get in touch and let us show you The Way.
SO WHAT IS HAPPENING THIS CHRISTMAS?
At this time of year we are usually in a position to publicise our Christmas events programme with some confidence that it will happen as expected. That is not so easy this year.
The 5th November second COVID-19 lockdown forced the closure of our Youth Club meetings and our services reverted to using Zoom again. The latter does have the advantage of enabling those taking part to have a jolly good sing worshipping God which is something that has not been permitted in physical church services due to the regulations. Meeting online is not quite the same as being able to meet up together but it Is a lot better than nothing and we give thanks for it.
In theory, the lockdown is supposed to be lifted on 2nd December and if it is possible to do so, we will then resume our services within the building and be able to run Youth Club again (we will send out an email to those we have contact with to confirm this).
Because it falls within an exemption, we have been able to continue running the Toddlers Group on Monday mornings in a modified and COVID-19 secure way. If you would like to attend, please contact us in advance to ensure a place.
Meanwhile, back to Christmas, and subject to the regulations allowing them:-
All Age Christmas Services – Sunday 6th and 20th December at 11am at the Church. The one on the 6th will be taken by our minister, Rev Phil Summers, who is very skilled in the performing arts.
Messy Christmas – Tuesday 22nd December 10:30am – noon. We are unable to run this in the usual way with 50+ people crowded into the building so pre-booking will be essential to enable us to manage the numbers; please contact Roz, our Youth & Families Worker (contact details below).
Christmas Day – Friday 25th December at 10:30am. An opportunity to worship and experience the true meaning of Christmas together. This will be at the church which will have socially distanced seating and, unless the regulations are changed, we will have to listen to carols rather than sing them.
Christmas Messy Moss – These are outdoor bookable free family sessions for 5 to 11 year olds and their families. They will have a Christmas theme involving the natural world and be subject to a maximum of 5 people taking part plus Roz as leader. These will be run in Brownings orchard, the local Snakey Park (OHMG) or in your own garden and run for approximately one to one and a half hours at an agreed time over the course of the
Christmas School holidays. There will be a range of activities from simple games, to crafts related to the outdoors, wildlife spotting and quiet contemplation. Messy Moss is expected to remain available by arrangement beyond the holiday period exploring other themes and can be booked for after school or on a Saturday. All COVID-19 requirements will be followed appropriate to outdoor activities. Again please contact Roz, our Youth & Families Worker (contact details below).
For those attending any events in the building: masks must be worn (except by young children and those who are exempt), hand sanitisation facilities are provided and other COVID-19 precautions apply.
As one might expect, Youth Club will not be running on Christmas Day or New Year’s Day.
Roz on roz@EastingtonMethodists.org.uk or tel: 07761902249
Ken & Rebecca Burgin info@EastingtonMethodists.org.uk or tel: 01453 827414