Bertie here- beginning to feel quite excited. The Holt and Emmbrook Seniors are coming into Church for their carol services, and there are loads of concerts happening- and concerts always mean refreshments, and refreshments always mean cheese and pineapple on a stick. Good concerts have that anyway- and if you end up with a stick with only pineapple on then you will know that I have beaten you to it. Add in the number of primary Schools Cara has signed me up for as security, to guard the raisins, and you will see how jolly excited I am. “Little mousey, little mousey, on the dusty road…” I can’t stop singing it. Here is the news.
This Coming Sunday
Advent 3, as we focus on John the Baptist and his vital role in preparing the way for Jesus. The readings at St Paul’s are Zepheniah 3.14-end and Luke 3.7-18. There are services at 8, 9.30, 10 and 11 and the 9.30 and 10 will be Livestreamed as ever.
There is no evening service, but a gathering of Baptism Visitors is happening at 3pm, and Emmbrook Community Carols are happening at the Dog and Duck at 4pm, if anyone would like to go along and be friendly. Last time I went I bought a cheeseburger and then gave the burger back, which somewhat confused the waiter.
somebody coming in blackness
like a star
and the world be a great bush
on his head
and his eyes be fire
in the city
and his mouth be true as time
he be calling the people brother
even in the prison
even in the jail
i’m just only a baptist preacher
somebody bigger than me coming
in blackness like a star
Christmas at St Paul’s and St Nick’s
Do please print it out and give it to a neighbour, or copy it for a friend.
Dates in the diary
The Choir are singing Carols this Saturday at 10.30 in Peach Place and then at 11.30 at Elms Field. Do come along to support and to join in- you will be most welcome.
Don’t forget the Wokingham Choral Society’s Concert at St Paul’s on Saturday night at 6.30pm.
The Group we have always called 6s and 7s is, by popular demand, being relabelled- 5,6, 7, 8- think the band Steps for the inspiration behind the name, but don’t look up the song because it is really annoying and annoyingly catchy. If you would like a Zoom invite then please let Richard know- we are meeting for the last time before Christmas at 4.30 on the 20th of December. Christmas jumpers welcome.
The Service we are calling Pure Christmas on Tues the 21st at 6.15pm is a brand new service for the parish- it will last about 45 minutes to an hour and focus on the heart of Christmas. We are going to lay aside the tinsel and the glitter and just spend some time in wonder at what we are able to witness in the birth of Jesus. It is especially designed for those who need some space in the run-up to Christmas and those who find Christmas difficult for a whole range of reasons. Do invite your friends and do come along as well. It should be very beautiful and very moving.
St Paul’s is one of two services being advertised by the Diocese on Sunday the 26th of December at 9.30am, for those who prefer to Livestream or can’t get to Church. It is obviously Boxing Day– but do come along if you are able to because it would be good to welcome those who join on the Livestream with a lively, reflective and warm service.
Requests and Queries
We are planning to spend a reasonable amount of money over the Christmas period, buying refreshments for the Christmas Eve services and hiring a sound system, and also buying the sweets and sticks and ribbon for over 1,000 Christingles which we will be making in local Primary Schools. If you would like to make a donation to help cover the costs of these ideas, which is part of our mission as a parish, then please do send it to Lyn Austen or put it in the collection plate marked as being for Christmas costs. Thanks. It is really exciting to have the chance to share the Good News of Jesus with so many people!
We also need some volunteers to help on Christmas Eve particularly- one person to make 25 Christingles (speak to Richard) and lots of people to help with the Services in the playground at 3 and 5- setting things up, serving drinks, welcoming people, doing a reading, holding a torch etc- please let Louise Cole know when you would be free and what you would be willing to do.
Teri would love to hear from anyone who might be free on a Saturday morning or lunchtime to help serve refreshments to the Payback Team who come along and do such a great job on the churchyard? Thanks. Training on making tea offered if required. And there is a new dishwasher in the Rooms kitchen which you can play with too.
Mary Cassidy sent in this inspiring reflection on ways of recognising God– enjoy!
A Sonnet on Churches, sent in by Susanna Allen