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THE MAGAZINE OF PETERSFIELD AND LISS UNITED REFORMED CHURCH
WE WISH ALL OUR READERS A VERY HAPPY CHRISTMAS AND GOD'S RICHEST BLESSINGS FOR 2019
December 2018 / January 2019 No 675
From the Minister ... ‘So, this is Christmas and what have you done? Another year over and a new one just begun.’ We all recognise these words of course made famous by the late, great John Lennon. It seems a good Christmas song, like the Christmas turkey seems to go on and on and on, just as we will be eating turkey curry for weeks, we will carry on singing the same tunes year after year! I have no doubt that we will be hearing these words on repeat for the next month or so up until the big day itself. I love Christmas, not so much the glitter and tinsel side of things that my wife seems to enjoy, but I love the message of Christmas. It is about family, firstly that family in Bethlehem and their epic journey leading up to the birth of Jesus, to nowadays when families sit around eating Christmas dinner together passing on the story of Christ’s birth to future generations. Back in a previous church, the manse was right next door to the church building itself and we used to use the manse garage once a year to recreate a tableau of the nativity scene. It was always incredible to hear parents and grandparents passing on the story of Jesus’ birth to the children they were with. I hope and pray that throughout this month of December you will feel the warmth of your church family surrounding you as we gather to remember this familiar story and celebrate Jesus’ coming into the world to save each one of us. John Lennon’s words challenge us to think beyond Christmas and on into a new year. We look back at all that we have achieved or perhaps, not achieved and we thank God for the year, put it behind us and move forward into a new year and a fresh start. As a church, we will be focussing on the second Sunday of the month on the book ‘Holy Habits’ by Andrew Roberts. In this book he lists 10 different ways of living as a Christian community which help to enhance our discipleship journeys. None of it is rocket science, in fact it is all pretty simple and based on Acts 2 and the life of the early church, but it is good to remind ourselves of these simple principles and think about how we can be better disciples both individually and collectively. On Sunday 13th January we are going to start this by thinking about prayer. And so, I want to take this opportunity to set you all a new year’s challenge. Prayer is a conversation with God, we all do it either consciously or unconsciously and yet every week the minister stands at the front to lead this. I want to encourage us as a congregation that we are all capable of praying, just because I have a degree, it doesn’t make me any more able than any of you! I would really love to challenge you through this article, to consider leading our prayers of intercession on a Sunday morning. We are all given gifts from God
and my style and yours may well be very different, but that is part of the richness of the kingdom. Someone may get far more from your style of leading prayers and worship than they do mine. Ideally what would be great would be for someone different to be leading these prayers every week! Let’s commit to being a people of prayer this new year! Do speak to me if you think this is something you could be a part of and don’t forget, we pray together as a church on a first and third Monday of a month at 8pm. It would be fantastic to see this group grow as prayer is so central to our call as Christians. I pray that you have a peaceful and love filled Christmas and a blessed new year. With every good wish and blessing to you and those you love. Josh.
God’s Special Gift For those of us about to spend Christmas with a new child or grandchild, we will know how very special the arrival of a baby is! This Christmas we celebrate again God’s gift of Jesus: ‘Thanks be to God for His indescribable gift!’ (2 Corinthians 9:15). What can we say about this baby? He is God Himself: The unthinkable has happened: God has become a human being! The eternal, creator God enters the world of time and space, both fully human and fully divine. This divine baby can bring hope to our messy world, because He has fully become part of it. He doesn’t stand apart, but demonstrates a commitment to be with us and on our side in the midst of sin and suffering. He is human like us: Jesus fully engaged with the jungle of human experience. By His cross and resurrection, He can release us from the power of wrong, hurt and shame to secure for us a life of love, peace and forgiveness. Remember, the crib and cross are made of the same wood! He is one with us: In the coming of Jesus, God doesn’t draw us simply into a cosmic event, but into a relationship. Just as you or I can hold and hug our children and grandchildren, so we have a God who wants to be intimately involved in our lives. As Emmanuel, ‘God is with us’ (Matt 1:23). Therefore, the question is: Are we with Him? Are we ready to make space for Him at the centre of our Christmas Celebrations this year? ‘At Christmas time, when we receive presents we don’t really need, God offers us a gift we cannot do without.’ (J John).
Hello everyone, This time last year we were just at the point of asking Josh to come and be our new minister and thankfully he said yes! I have enjoyed my first 6 months of working alongside Josh very much and look forward to great things in the future. We will be looking at where we are now and what we would like to aim for in the future for Petersfield and Liss URC at our Elders’ Away Day on Saturday January 19th. We are holding this at Liss. This is open to serving and non-serving elders. Please can you let me know as soon as possible if you are able to join us. We will be going into Liss village for lunch at Turtle Bean and I have menus for you to preorder lunch. Mary Thomas, our interim moderator, will be leading the discussions that day. I am delighted that Alan Jones has been nominated to be convener of the Synod South East Pastoral committee. This will be ratified at the March Synod meeting. I also want to thank Alan for taking over the role of Synod Rep for our church which I have been doing during the vacancy years. Don’t forget that on December 2nd it is our Gift service at Petersfield for the work of Two Saints. Recommended gifts are luxuries such as toiletries, chocolates, nice biscuits, new clothes such as socks, scarves, gloves etc. and vouchers for shops so that their clients are able to go and choose things for themselves. I wish you all a very blessed Christmas and a happy and healthy 2019. Here is a reminder of the December dates and a couple for January. Dates for your diaries for Petersfield and Liss 2nd December, Sunday – Gift Service at Petersfield at 11am 2nd December, Sunday- Communion at Petersfield in the CFC, 6.30pm 9th December, Sunday – Liss Band Carol Service at Petersfield 16th December, Sunday - Communion Service at Liss at 9.30am 16th December, Sunday – JFC service at Petersfield at 11am 23rd December, Sunday – Service of favourite carols chosen by the congregation – in advance! 24th December, Monday- Carols by candlelight at Liss 25th December, Tuesday – Christmas Day service at Petersfield at 10.00am 19th January, Saturday – Elders’ Away Day at Liss 27th January, Sunday – Church Meeting following a shared lunch at Petersfield God bless you all. Carol (Tubbs)
November has been a busy month with several special occasions. Over the next few pages there are photos and descriptions to remind us of these events.
Remembrance Day Sunday 11 November was a busy day. Our minister, Josh, spent the morning at Liss, taking the 9.30am service at St Paul's, then attending and participating in the combined service at St Mary's Church, Liss. At Petersfield, Carol represented our church at the PACT service in the Square and Alan Jones led a beautiful service focussing on the lives of individual young men who fought in World War 1. These young men were either associated with the church itself or were ancestors of current members of the congregation. The church was beautifully decorated, and the ladies of Connie's Handicraft group had knitted 200 poppies, of which 150 were used to produce the stunning cross shown below.
Liss Churches Working Together Prayer Breakfast 10 November Thanks go to Tony Phillips who sent the photos below of the November LCWT Prayer Breakfast
Tearfund Quiz Night Over 50 people attended this event, which was one of many Tearfund quizzes taking place throughout the country on 17 November. A tasty ploughman's meal and some tricky questions kept us occupied, and great fun was had by all. The evening raised well in excess of £400 for the work of Tearfund.
Jonathan's Baptism ... and welcoming of four new church members On Sunday 18 November we were thrilled to see Jonathan Oru go through the waters of baptism. Jonathan gave a brief testimony before being baptised by Josh, supported by Jonathan's father, Isaac. Following this very moving service in the CFC, we enjoyed some delicious pastries before the 11 am Communion Service, during which Jonathan together with Laura Bibb, Dora Maczek and Hannah Thomas were received into church membership. Later, members of Forward in Faith arrived and several of their young people were also baptised by total immersion.
A message from Julie ... As we approach Christmas and a new year it seems appropriate to reflect on 2018. I feel it has been a good year, with many more ups than downs. There is a rhythm to the church year that I really like - Advent, Christmas, Epiphany, Lent, Easter, Pentecost - and of course this year we welcomed our new minister Josh, which was definitely the year’s highlight. The third Holiday at Home ran successfully in August, and now it is time to think about the next event, which will happening early in 2019. Games Through the Ages Do you have plans for Thursday 3rd January 2019? When most of the celebrations of Christmas and New Year are over, would you like to join in with a fun sociable activity? ‘Games through the Ages’ is a day for teenagers and older people to spend together playing traditional and not-so traditional games. I really love sitting down with family and friends to play a board game or cards. It tends to be an activity we reserve for Christmas or holidays, but I am not sure why we limit it to those times, as everyone without exception enjoys it so much. As a child I remember playing Monopoly, Cluedo, and Scrabble, and lots of card games including Rummy, Gin Rummy, Beggar my Neighbour and Cheat. When I had children of my own I tried to teach them to play those same games, to create some shared memories. Now at Christmas our favourites are Pass the Bomb, Balderdash, Cranium and Pictionary, as well as the traditional card games. We enjoy playing games that my mother and step father can join in with easily; they prefer games that do not go on for too long, so Monopoly is out of the question! There is no expectation of falling asleep in front of the television after Christmas dinner in my house; we clear the table, set out a couple of games and play for an hour or so. Then everyone has permission to fall asleep if they wish! Board games are a perfect opportunity to get together with friends or family. As well as being great fun and engaging social experiences, they can be exciting, encouraging and they wake up parts of your brain that may have been dormant for a while. We live in a time when many leisure activities are isolating such as watching TV, going online or playing a game on a digital device, so it is good to have an alternative that is appropriate for all ages and all abilities.
That is not to say that games using new technology cannot be sociable, and they are definitely not only for the younger generation. Anyone who has played virtual bowls or golf will know that these games are suitable for almost any age. So ‘Games through the Ages’ will be a mixture of traditional games and a taste of some new technology for those who would like to try it. You can play games you are familiar with or try something new. There will also be a quiet area with books and magazines if you want to break away from the activity and read or chat quietly for a little while. I am sure we will get to know each other a lot better and have a great day. Josh and I are still working out the details, but we have definitely decided on a fish and chip lunch, which perhaps is the best incentive of all to book a place! The day will start at 10 am and we will finish at 2.30pm so that everyone can get home before it gets dark. Places are limited, and I have to pre-order the fish and chips before Christmas so please let me know by Thursday 20th December if you would like to come. We just ask for £3 from each participant to help cover our costs. A Christmas Poem While out Christmas shopping I was dismayed to see the greeting in so-called Christmas cards in a well known shop was ’Winter Wishes’. Needless to say, I did not buy them. I think Christmas cards should at very least mention the word ‘Christmas’, so I was pleased to come across this poem, which was apparently printed in an American Christmas card. I have not been able to find out the poet’s name (perhaps you know differently). I think the words are lovely and show the true blessing of Christmas. If you look for me at Christmas If you look for me at Christmas you won't need a special star I'm no longer just in Bethlehem, I'm right there where you are.
But if you take a moment from your list of things to do And listen to your heart, you'll find I'm waiting there for you.
You may not be aware of me amid the celebrations You'll have to look beyond the stores and all the decorations.
You're the one I want to be with, you're the reason that I came, And you'll find me in the stillness As I'm whispering your name.
Plans for 2019 We have a guest speaker coming to Tea on the Terrace on Friday 11th January. Diane, the manager of the new East Hampshire Live at Home Scheme, run by MHA Care Group, will give a short talk about the services available from that Christian organisation , as well as providing an enjoyable afternoon activity which I understand will have a reminiscence theme. We will meet at 2.30 pm as usual. The first meeting of Friday Fellowship will be on 18th January, at 10 am. I will be organising some more social events during the first half of the year, which I will let you know about in plenty of time, so watch this space! It has been lovely to share 2018 with everyone. I wish you all a peaceful and joyous Christmas and New Year. In His and your service Julie Pejnovic
Hampshire and The Islands Historic Churches Trust Ride and Stride 2018 Thank you to all our sponsors and to seven people who gave of their time on the Saturday 8th September to welcome the 39 participants to our Church and to refresh them with drinks and the wonderful cakes made so diligently by Val once more. Acknowledgment to the four commendable entrants from our College Street Church, Doreen Lewis, Eric Skipper, Robin Ive and Robin Hart, who cycled to benefit both HIHCT and our own treasury. Between these riders, donations reached £2020, another record, with a considerable amount agreeing to gift aid declarations adding a further £435 direct to the Trust. We can expect a payment of £1010 coming to our Treasurer in due course, through the special efforts of our riders. In October's Messenger you had reports from two riders, which was impressive enough and need not to embellish any further. I will just add that my co-rider, Philip, and I do enjoy the countryside to the west into Hampshire by way of the quiet lanes and often have our lunch break in the gardens of NT Hinton Ampner as an enjoyable rest spot. Robin Hart
What is Christmas all about? What is Christmas all about? Is it about trees, all lit up and glowing? A beautiful village when the weather is snowing? Is it about food ready for feasting? Or friends and relations all ready for greeting? It must be about presents from Mum and from Dad But why with all that am I feeling sad? Is it about shopping and choosing and spending? About cleaning and cooking and work never ending? I know it's about loving and giving and sharing About parties and fun with lots of preparing About carols and candles and church bells ringing But why, with all that, is my heart not singing? It all seems so good but something's still missing Then over the clamour of two thousand years Comes the cry of a baby still calming our fears My heart lifts with joy, my voice will cry out That's what Christmas is all about. Shirley Wing
Books of the Bible This is a series outlining all the books of the Bible, the word of God, which is central to our Christian faith. This month we are focusing on ... Daniel What type of book is it? Narrative and prophecy Who wrote it? Daniel When was it written? about 535BC Daniel had been taken captive and deported to Babylon by Nebuchadnezzar, and he and his friends, Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego, served in government there for many years, during the reigns of Belshazzar, Darius and Cyrus. The first part of this book gives an account of various events in this time, many of which are very well known. These show that Daniel and his friends stayed faithful to God, regardless of the trials they experienced. The latter part of the book is a description of various visions that Daniel experienced. These visions showed that God was in control and that He had plans for his people throughout the future.
A message from Emsworth ... Sing and make music from your heart to the Lord, always giving thanks to God the Father for everything, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ. Ephesians 5: verse 20 Wednesday 14th November and the Liss Band began rehearsing Christmas music! For me Christmas starts when that happens and this will be my seventyfifth Christmas on planet earth. For well over fifty of those years I have played in Brass Bands, orchestras and sung in choirs. There is a real joy in making music in the company of others. Although the Christmas music in the form of Carols has not changed that much in the last seventy-five years, I always try when playing a Carol to make it as though it was the first time the Carol had ever been heard. When I conducted the Liss Band I would sometimes say “we will play verse three” of this or that Carol to be met with blank stares from the players. The players would argue that the music for each verse was exactly the same. It is more obvious for members of a choir that that is not the case. Each verse should be sung or played to give meaning to the words. The Carol: “O Little town of Bethlehem” needs; “We hear the Christmas angels the great glad tidings tell”, to be sung or played quite loudly but you could not possibly play or sing “How silently, how silently, the wondrous gift is given” as loudly. It is not only how loudly or softly we sing or play; you could hardly sing or play “Hark the glad sound the Saviour comes” mournfully. Each note you produce should be in tune with all the other notes you produce and if that is not difficult enough each note you produce should be in tune with everybody else’s notes. Just when you thought it could not get any harder, each note you produce, unless written otherwise, should start and finish at exactly the same time and be in exactly the same style as every other member of the group. There is a lot of hard work involved in even getting close to collectively producing the perfect sound but there is a great sense of achievement in trying. There is a great deal of enjoyment in playing or singing in a group, but it should never be forgotten that ultimately that emotion, that enjoyment only gains fulfilment when it is given to others.
I sometimes feel our Church can be a bit like a musical group. For a start some Churches are not even “singing from the same hymn-sheet” collectively and what a discordant sound that makes! Sometimes there are people in the Church who like the sound of their own voices over those of others, which is fine if you have a solo, but not if you should be in harmony. Paul puts this nicely in his letter to the Roman Church. In Chapter 12 and verse 15 we read “Rejoice with those who rejoice; mourn with those who mourn. Live in harmony with one another. Do not be proud, but be willing to associate with people of low position. Do not be conceited.” It should never feel that the Church is in a rut unless that rut points directly towards the Lord Jesus Christ. The Carols we shall sing are maybe the same carols we have sung for the last umpteen number of years but the message they contain is as relevant if not more relevant now than ever before. The world is crying out for peace and we in the Church of Jesus Christ have the ultimate key to that peace but if we make discordant sounds that message of peace will never get through. I feel so privileged to belong to such a lovely Church of really caring people, long may it be so. So let us, not just at Christmas time, “ Sing and make music from your heart to the Lord, always giving thanks to God the Father for everything, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.” A very happy Christmas to everyone, Love, Alan and Cora Jones
This is perfectly true ... Our eldest son, john, when a very young boy, was being particularly naughty. Dee chastised him and said, "Don't do that, God is watching you and will be cross." To which John replied, "He can't see me, the curtains are drawn!!" Peter & Dee Crane
The Advent Wreath Each year, we enjoy the lighting of the Advent candles in the Advent Wreath, which Jean Collins so beautifully prepares for us. The wreath was first introduced in the days of Martin Luther and the wreath and candles symbolise different aspects of God's character which help to prepare us for Christmas . The circular wreath indicates God's eternity, and the candles for each of the four Advent Sundays represent hope, peace, joy and love. The Christmas Day candle is the candle of Christ, symbolising that Christ is the Light of the World.
A Kindergarten teacher was observing her classroom of children while they were drawing. She would occasionally walk around to see each child's work. As she got to one little girl who was working diligently, she asked what the drawing was. The girl replied, "I'm drawing God." The teacher paused and said, "But no one knows what God looks like." Without missing a beat, or looking up from her drawing, the girl replied, "They will in a minute!" (Supplied by Peter Crane)
From the editors ... Welcome to the December/January edition of the Messenger. We hope you enjoy the reports on several recent events as well as the articles on Christmas and the New Year. We would like to thank you for your continued support over the year, in sending us articles and pictures. Please keep them coming! We do wish you all a very happy Christmas and every blessing for 2019. Keith and Mary
Petersfield Rotas December 2018 Sunday
December December 16 23
Maureen Gilbert & Doreen Lewis (am) Robin Ive (pm) Di Lugger
Janet Clemmy & David Darling Elizabeth Phillips Rosemary Ward
Mandy Martin & Kitty Rohrbach Tony Phillips Joy Hanna
Communion Servers AV Flowers
Wendy Cassar (am) Peter Jolly (pm) Peter Jolly Jonathan Oru
Sylvia Ron Wing & Bressey & Eric Skipper Gwen Peake David Mandy Barton Martin Mike Carolyn Pennicotte Barton -Henrie
Keith Evans John Lewis
Carolyn Barton Christmas
Petersfield Rotas January 2019 Sunday
Maureen Gilbert & Doreen Lewis (am) Peter Crane (pm) Peter Smith
Janet Clemmy & David Darling Jean Collins
Welcomer Elder Communion Servers AV
Mandy Martin Sylvia Bressey & Kitty & Gwen Rohrbach Peake Jonathan Oru Robin Hart
To be advised Keith Evans
Petersfield Church Calendar – December 2018 Saturday Sunday
12 13 14 16 17 18 20 21 23 25
8 am 11 am 6.30 pm 1 pm 8pm 9.30 am 7.30 pm 8 pm 11 am 1 pm 7.30 pm 9.30 am 7.30 pm 7.15 pm 8 pm 2.30 pm 11 am 1 pm 2 pm 7 pm 10 am 11 am 10 am*
Menunited Men's Breakfast Hurst Barn Gift Service for Two Saints The Minister (Holy Communion) Ladies Bible Study CFC Prayer Time CFC Little Fishes Toddler Group CFC Elders' Meeting CFC Home Fellowship Group 12 Geddes Way Liss Band Ladies Bible Study CFC Fabric Committee Meeting CFC Little Fishes Toddler Group CFC Women's Fellowship CFC Home Fellowship Group Cremorne Place Home Fellowship Group 9 Bowen Lane Tea on the Terrace CFC JFC Service Ladies Bible Study CFC Connie's Handicraft Group CFC PACT Carol Service in the Square Friday Fellowship CFC Celebration of Carols Christmas Day Family Service
Liss Church Calendar – December 2018 Saturday Sunday Monday
1 8 am 2 3 9.30 am 7.00 pm
Menunited Men's Breakfast Hurst Barn There will be NO Morning Service at Liss Little Fishes Church & Church Hall Forward in Faith Church
4 9.30 am
5 10 am & 1.30 pm 6 pm Saturday 8 8.30 am Sunday 9 Monday 10 9.30 am 7.00 pm Tuesday 11 9.30 am Wednesday 12 10 am & 1.30 pm 6 pm Sunday 16 9.30 am Monday 17 9.30 am 7.00 pm
Church Hall Church & Church Hall
Liss Band LCWT Prayer Breakfast To be advised There will be NO Morning Service at Liss Little Fishes Church & Church Hall Forward in Faith Church Fiddlesticks Church Hall NCT Meeting Church & Church Hall Liss Band Holy Communion Little Fishes Forward in Faith
The Minister Church & Church Hall Church
Tuesday 18 9.30 am Fiddlesticks Church Hall Wednesday 19 10 am & NCT Meeting Church & Church Hall 1.30 pm 6 pm Liss Band Sunday 23 There will be NO Morning Service at Liss Monday 24 6.30 pm Carols by Candlelight Christmas 25 10 am Christmas Day Family Service at Petersfield Day Sunday 30 There will be NO Morning Service at Liss
Petersfield Church Calendar – January 2019 Thursday
10 am Games through the Ages 8 pm Home Fellowship Group 12 Geddes Way 8 am Menunited Men's Breakfast Hurst Barn 11 am The Minister - All Age Worship 6.30 pm The Minister (Holy Communion) Commencement of Building Contract for Gallery 1 pm Ladies Bible Study CFC 8pm Prayer Time CFC 7.30 pm Elders' Meeting CFC 7.15 pm Home Fellowship Group Cremorne Place 8 pm Home Fellowship Group 9 Bowen Lane 2.30 pm Tea on the Terrace CFC 11 am The Minister 1 pm Ladies Bible Study CFC 9.30 am Little Fishes Toddler Group CFC 2 pm Connie's Handicraft Group CFC 7.30 pm Women's Fellowship CFC 8 pm Home Fellowship Group 12 Geddes Way 10 am Friday Fellowship CFC Elders' Away Day at Liss 11 am The Minister (Holy Communion and Induction of new Elders) 1 pm Ladies Bible Study CFC 8pm Prayer Time CFC 9.30 am Little Fishes Toddler Group CFC 7.15 pm Home Fellowship Group Cremorne Place 8 pm Home Fellowship Group 9 Bowen Lane 11 am Alan Jones & team followed by shared lunch and Church Meeting 7.30 pm Walk the Talk 1 pm Ladies Bible Study CFC 9.30 am Little Fishes Toddler Group CFC 8 pm Home Fellowship Group 12 Geddes Way
Liss Church Calendar – January 2019 Saturday Sunday Monday
5 8 am 6 7 9.30 am 7.00 pm
Menunited Men's Breakfast Hurst Barn There will be NO Morning Service at Liss Little Fishes Church & Church Hall Forward in Faith Church
8 9.30 am 9 10 am & 1.30 pm 6 pm Saturday 12 8.30 am Sunday 13 9.30 am Monday 14 9.30 am 7.00 pm Tuesday 15 9.30 am Wednesday 16 10 am & 1.30 pm 6 pm Saturday 19 Sunday 20 Monday 21 9.30 am 7.00 pm
Fiddlesticks NCT Meeting
Church Hall Church & Church Hall
Liss Band LCWT Prayer Breakfast Morning Worship Little Fishes Forward in Faith Fiddlesticks NCT Meeting
To be advised The Minister Church & Church Hall Church Church Hall Church & Church Hall
Tuesday 22 9.30 am Wednesday 23 10 am & 1.30 pm 6 pm Sunday 27 Monday 28 9.30 am 7.00 pm Tuesday 29 9.30 am Wednesday 30 10 am & 1.30 pm 6 pm
Fiddlesticks NCT Meeting
Liss Band Elders' Away Day at Liss There will be NO Morning Service at Liss Little Fishes Church & Church Hall Forward in Faith Church Church Hall Church & Church Hall
Liss Band There will be NO Morning Service at Liss Little Fishes Church & Church Hall Forward in Faith Church Fiddlesticks Church Hall NCT Meeting Church & Church Hall Liss Band
God’s New Year’s Honours' list We are all familiar with the Queen's New Year’s honours' list, celebrating those who have made a significant contribution to public life. In 2018 famous names included Barry Gibb, Ringo Starr and Darcey Bussell. However, what would God's New Year’s honours' list look like? In 1 Sam. 2:30 God says, ‘Those who honour me I will honour’. In this New Year, how can we honour God in our lives? Honouring God means giving Him reverence, submission, and obedience; the complete surrender of our entire lives to His glory and loving service: ‘in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God – this is your true and proper worship.’ (Romans 12:1). So, we might honour God this year in five key areas: My Time: how can I use my time to glorify God (Colossians 4:5)? My Gifts: how am I using my God-given gifts and abilities in His service (Matthew 25:14-30)? My Body: in what ways do I honour God in my body (1 Corinthians 6:1820)? My Treasure: who is in charge of my finances (Matthew 6:24)? My Heart: how do I honour God not just outwardly, but from my heart: ‘These people come near to me with their mouth and honour me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me’ (Isaiah 29:13)? Here's a challenge for 2019: When we wake up each day, let’s ask God: ‘How can I honour you today? Please help me to honour you with the time, gifts, body, finance, and heart that you have given me.’ Jesus Christ gave His life for us, and promises to give us the Holy Spirit to help us to serve Him. ‘When the worship is over, let the service begin.’
Lights of the world Our Christmas celebrations are over. As we tidy up and restore our homes to what they were like before Christmas, we might look back at our festivities and ponder on what was so special about it.
Jesus made clear that He came as light for the world. He came to give life in all its fullness. He came to show God’s character—full of love, compassion, forgiveness and mercy. So if, as we put away our Christmas decorations, we think there is no more to be said until next Christmas, we have missed out on a vital part of the Christian message. For Jesus also said that we, His followers, were to be the light of the world…...’let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven’. (Matthew 5:14-16). We are now involved! Jesus calls us, as His disciples, to be like Him this coming year - lights of hope, love, joy, healing and peace in a world that badly needs it. A song by Graham Kendrick, ‘Do Something Beautiful’, urges us to: ‘Do something beautiful in the name of Jesus’, and ‘Go do something Jesus would’. Now that’s a challenge for 2019!
Know-go or no-go? When the Magi arrived in Jerusalem and asked for the Messiah, a troubled Herod turned to the chief priests and teachers of the law. He had one question: ‘Where is the Messiah to be born?’ They didn’t even have to research it. Bethlehem. 700 years earlier the prophet Micah had predicted it. But neither prophetic confirmation, the unusual star, nor the surprise arrival of the Magi, moved the High Priest and Jewish leaders to any positive response. There is no record that they even objected when Herod slaughtered all the baby boys of Bethlehem. By contrast, the Magi, now knowing where to go, went. Jerusalem, with all its attractions and comforts, was not their destination. God had something far better for them, and He had a vital role for them in His plan: their presence confirming Gabriel’s words to Mary, and their presents both affirming Christ’s identity and financing the flight to Egypt.
For our younger readers ...
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News from the United Reformed Church NEWS AND ITEMS FROM THE NOVEMBER/DECEMBER EDITION OF 'SHARE THE VISION' - THE WESSEX SYNOD NEWSLETTER Safeguarding Officer appointment We are delighted to announce the appointment of the new Safeguarding Officer for the Synod with immediate effect. Sharon Barr has a social care background of 20+yrs, is a qualified social worker and is safeguarding lead for a national charity. Sharon’s contact details are: [email protected] and telephone 07776 178246. Hymns for a Progressive Faith Guildford United Reformed Church 83 Portsmouth Road GU2 4BS Saturday January 19th 2019 1.30-4.30pm Parking available; easy access to public transport £5 (under 25s: £2) Moderator’s Christmas Challenge – closing date 9th January The Moderator’s Christmas Challenge has been a great success, so we are sending out the challenge again to find the design for Clare’s 2019 Christmas Letter. Open to anyone aged 0-26. Please take a look at the for the rules of the challenge and download the which should be attached to any drawings submitted. God is with us: fresh responses to the good news Looking to be challenged and inspired this autumn? Well, now you can be – for a mere £7! God is with us: fresh responses to the good news is an edited collection of fifty of Reform’s ‘Chapter and verse’ is the latest book to be published by the URC and a valuable addition to any thinking Christian’s library! Not convinced? Here’s what the Revd Dr Peggy Kabonde, General Secretary of the United Church of Zambia said: ‘An amazing and awesome piece of work … I encourage you, whether Christian or not, to read through this book and you will never be the same again.’ Buy it now – only from the United Reformed Church shop. Bridge Builders course in 2019 at Fleet URC Bridge Builders: changing how we handle conflict, useful for lay people and Ministers. Participants should plan to attend all sessions. At Fleet URC, 10.30am – 2.30pm. Saturday 2 March – ‘Let’s Talk About Conflict’ and ‘Our Theology and Attitudes’. Saturday 6 April – ‘Communicating Better’ and ‘Getting Unstuck’. Saturday 11 May – ‘Beyond Default Mode’ and ‘Recognising Emotional Process’. Saturday 1 June – ‘Changing How We Do Conflict’ and ‘Becoming Bridge Builders’
TRIO Resource Pack available on loan for local churches in Wessex. Please contact the Synod Office to request a pack. New – TASTER DAY at Youth Assembly 2019 for younger people BREAKING NEWS !!! For young people in school year 7 to 16 years old. In response to the excellent resolution brought by some young people to youth assembly this year as to whether the age range of Youth Assembly should be broadened to include the younger part of URC YOUTH, we have decided to run a “taster day” on Saturday 19 January from 10.15 am to 5.30 pm to run alongside the main event. Upcoming Synod events Bookings for all events and training courses to Ruth Heine at the Synod Office Email: [email protected] Tel: 023 8067 4513 New Date – one day First Aid Training ‘Public First Aid for URC’ Red Cross training course at Havant URC on Saturday 23 February 2019. 10am – 4pm. Booking is essential. See poster on page New Date – 2 day Paediatric First Aid Training This two-day course will be held on two consecutive Saturdays, participants must attend both days to complete the course and gain a certificate. At Grange URC, Reading on 23rd and 30th March 2019. Booking is essential. Exciting changes - Wessex Summer Camp 2019 Date: 19 – 21 July 2019. Wessex Summer Camp is moving to a fantastic new venue in the north of Hampshire – Runways End Activity Centre, near Farnborough. There will be all the best bits of camp that everyone has come to love, plus some new opportunities to look forward to. The theme this year is ‘One Body’. New for 2019 … Junior Camp for those in school years 4, 5 and 6. This event will run parallel to the youth camp and will explore the same theme. Junior Camp will enjoy the excellent indoor accommodation at the venue. The Big Speak Out 2019 Advance notice of the date: 12 – 14 July 2019. URC Youth Event for all young people age 11 – 18 years. Youth Assembly 2019 One Body: We’re all in this together 18 - 20 January 2019 at Whitemoor Lakes, Alreswas, Staffordshire. A weekend to focus on Jesus, to share in community with other young people, and to explore what it means to be church together. Wessex Synod will help with both the cost and transport to enable young people to attend. Age: Year 10/S3 to 25yrs (inclusive) Book online or contact [email protected]
December Prayer Calendar 2 Dorchester; Isle of Wight: Freshwater 9 Guildford: Normandy; Christchurch: Burton Green 16 Weybridge; Winchester; Three Legged Cross 23 Twyford (Berks); Rowlands Castle 30 The Moderator & Synod Staff; Channel Islands: Guernsey
Petersfield Area Churches Together (PACT) Items from the November PACT Newsletter Wanted – New editor for the PACT Newsletter for 2019 (Message from Susanne) I feel called to take a sabbatical and lay down what I have routinely been doing for a season. This includes editing the PACT newsletter, a role I took over in 2006. Putting together the newsletter takes about 1 hour per month and is published 11 times a year. Please e-mail me at the address below if you can help. Offered – Old postcards Does anybody collect old greetings cards, either for their own use or for a charity? If so, please let us know on 01730 266421, as one of our parishioners has been accumulating them at home and will put them in the recycling if nobody wants them. Support Traidcraftshop.co.uk: It is likely that Traidcraft's trading operation will cease trading at the end of 2018, due to falling sales. Traidcraft are hoping to make the 2018 season the best ever and to find another model that will help them to continue making the case for just trade. NB Traidcraft Exchange will continue to work with farmers, workers and artisans in Africa and South Asia to help them get a better deal from trade, and to lobby in the UK for better trade rules. For Traidcraft Exchange's regular updates, please e-mail [email protected] Coach Holiday in South Devon – Staying at Christian Guild hotel Sidholme Hotel 15th-22nd July 2019 (7 nights dinner, bed, & breakfast): Prices start at £665. All rooms are en suite with tea/coffee. Annexe rooms do not have a TV. NO SINGLE SUPPLEMENT. The coach starts from the Methodist Church in Petersfield and picks up at Liss, Alton, Basingstoke, and Dorchester. Inside the resplendent hotel is a stunning music room with magnificent chandeliers and recently restored organ. There is a heated indoor swimming pool and the spacious grounds contain many species of tropical plants and trees. The five full day excursions will include Coleton Fishacre, Knighthayes Court, the Lynton & Barnstable Railway, Brixham, Dawlish, Powderham Castle, and Exeter. Although a coach holiday, there will be opportunities for some optional walking. Bookings must be made direct with the hotel on 01395 515104 stating your preferred pickup point. For more info, please call Gordon Churchill, who has been leading these coach holidays since 2006, on 01730 260454.
Lectionary Bible Readings for December and January December 2 Jeremiah 33:14-16; Psalm 25:1-10; 1 Thessalonians 3:9-13; Luke 21:25-36 December 9 Malachi 3:1-4; Luke 1:68-79; Philippians 1:3-11; Luke 3:1-6 December 16 December 23 December 30 January 6 January 13 January 20 January 27
Zephaniah 3:14-20; Isaiah 12:2-6; Philippians 4:4-7; Luke 3:7-18 Micah 5:2-5a; Luke 1:46b-55; Psalm 80:1-7; Hebrews 10:5-10; Luke 1:39-45, (46-55) 1 Samuel 2:18-20, 26; Psalm 148; Colossians 3:12-17; Luke 2:4152 Isaiah 60:1-6; Psalm 72:1-7, 10-14; Ephesians 3:1-12; Matthew 2:1-12 Isaiah 43:1-7; Psalm 29; Acts 8:14-17; Luke 3:15-17, 21-22 Isaiah 62:1-5; Psalm 36:5-10; 1 Corinthians 12:1-11; John 2:1-11 Nehemiah 8:1-3, 5-6, 8-10; Psalm 19; 1 Corinthians 12:12-31a; Luke 4:14-21
The articles contained in this magazine do not necessarily represent the views of Petersfield and Liss URC leadership.
Important - Sensitive issues As the Messenger is included in the Church Website, it is important that all the content is suitable for public exposure. When composing an article, if there is anything at all that you consider should be removed before publishing on the website, please inform the editors, Keith and Mary Evans.
Deadline for the February Messenger is Sunday 13 January 2019. Please e-mail, post or hand deliver articles to Messenger Editors, Keith & Mary Evans, 12 Geddes Way, Petersfield GU31 4DJ tel 01730 235922 e-mail [email protected]
Church Contact Details Church Minister
Petersfield : College Street, Liss : Hillbrow Road, Petersfield GU31 4AG Liss GU33 7PX Rev Joshua Thomas Tel 07734 254983
Mornings at 9.30am (usually 2nd and 4th Sundays in the month only, but see Liss calendar inside for full details) No evening Services
Evening Worship at 6.30pm (1st Sunday in the month only) Mrs Carol Tubbs 39 Rotherbank Farm Lane Liss Forest GU33 7BJ Tel 01730 893489 Mobile 07766 412160. Mr Jim Cleverly, 4 Crundles, Petersfield GU31 4PJ Tel 01730 300558
Petersfield United Reformed Church Mission Statement “As a congregation worshipping God: we seek to reach out with the love of Jesus; to worship God in our daily lives; to draw others into the knowledge and love of Christ; and to make disciples” Printed at Petersfield United Reformed Church Office