Advent

Urmston’s Favourite Carol

Hello, it’s me again – long time, no blog!

We at Greenfield Church want to end the Christmas season with a bang, not a whimper.  So we want as many people in Urmston as possible to help us find Urmston’s Favourite Carol!

Throughout December, we want you to nominate your top 3 Christmas carols.  Over Christmas itself, we’ll collate all the results.  Then, at our special service on Sunday 5 January, we’ll announce the top 5 and reveal what Urmston’s Favourite Carol is.

Here’s how you can vote for your favourite:

  1. By post: Write down your top 3 and post them to Greenfield Church, Primrose Avenue, Urmston, M41 0TY, marking your envelope “Urmston’s Favourite Carol”;
  2. By email: Send your top 3 in an email to  info@greenfieldchurch.co.uk, putting “Urmston’s Favourite Carol” in the subject line.

Your vote needs to be with us by Christmas Eve to be counted.

So what will it be?  Hark The Herald Angels Sing?  Away In a Manger?  Silent Night?  Vote now and join us on January 5th to discover Urmston’s Favourite Carol and give this Christmas a special send-off.

PS Don’t forget Greenfield Church is now on Twitter!  Follow us using @GfieldChurch.  Can you fit your vote for Urmston’s Favourite Carol into one tweet?

Posted by Stephen in events, Greenfield Events, 1 comment

Strange Sunday…

This Sunday feels a bit strange.

Why?

Well, on the one hand Christmas Day will only be 9 days away.  My mind is already switching over to Christmas services, carols, readings etc.  We went to see Amy’s school nativity play today (very good it was, too), which makes the “pull” of Christmas even stronger.  It’s like we’re approaching the top of a rollercoaster, teetering on the edge, about to go hurtling down.  Bring on the manger, donkey, angels, stars, shepherds and Magi!

But this week’s readings from the Lectionary (and I need to state quite clearly here I’m not claiming any Lectionary expertise here) are firmly rooted in Advent.  They want to pull us back away from the manger, from Mary and Joseph and the Christmas stories.  They want us to focus, not on baby Jesus in the manger, but on Jesus the one who’s “winnowing is in His hand”, the picture John the Baptist paints for us of one who’s come not to give us an “aaah” moment, but to challenge and upset things.

This doesn’t sound especially “Christmassy”.  We want to go over the edge and everything around us seems to be pulling us in that direction.  Part of me really wants to preach a “Aaaah, Christmas!” sermon.  But we need to hold on – just one more week – to allow ourselves to hear and see this very different (and, if we’re honest, very difficult) picture of Jesus and allow that, in turn, to complete and shape the picture we’ll draw and the story we’ll tell over Christmas.

Humbugs not allowed…

Posted by Stephen in Preaching, Thoughts and musings, 0 comments

Sermon, 9 December 2012

Here’s my sermon from yesterday, based on Malachi 3:1-4 and Luke 3:1-6.  Not an easy set of passages to preach from, or a particularly easy theme (especially when it’s the church Christmas lunch afterwards!).

Anyway, right-click on the link below and choose “Save target as…” or the equivalent in your browser if you want to have a look at it.  There’s also a PDF of the background/reflection leaflet for last week if you want to have a read of that as well (with the added bonus of the deliberate mistake on the original being corrected!)

By the way, if you do read these then please comment on them using the box below (or e-mail me if you’d prefer) – all (constructive) feedback would be gratefully received!

wrong_way_sermon

advent_leaflet2.pdf (approx 1.1mb)

Posted by Stephen in Yesterday's sermon, 0 comments

Online Advent resources

OK, this is about 5 days too late.  But, there’s tons of stuff that’s being blogged and generally published online during Advent.  Here’s four that might be of interest to people (anyone?) reading this blog:

  • 25thingsforadvent is a blog written by various Baptist writers.  There’ll be an entry each day with “25 things to do to mark the season of advent”.
  • The Congregational Federation are having an “Advent Adventure“.  There’s a whole series of ideas here, from an Advent Twitter feed, to ideas posted on the social site pintrest to a weekly reflection.
  • Catriona Gorton (who spent time with us as a student minister (I think!) at Greenfield) is blogging a reflection every day throughout Advent.
  • Finally, Richard Kidd, newly-retired co-principal of Northern Baptist Learning Community and former minister of Greenfield Church is also blogging a daily reflection at his blog.

Click on the links in that lot and hopefully there’ll be something to help guide you through the rest of Advent and prepare you for the wonder of Christmas.

Posted by Stephen in Web links, 0 comments

Sermon for Advent Sunday, 2 December 2012

Hmmm…

It’s been a long time since I lasted posted one of my sermons (or even since I lasted posted here and enjoyed a brief moment of post-Baptist Assembly popularity).  But since it’s Advent and, therefore, technically the start of a new church and Lectionary year, I thought this was a good time to get into the habit once more.

So, here’s the sermon from Advent Sunday, which is based on Jeremiah 33:14-16 and Luke 21:25-36.  There’s also a leaflet with some reflections and questions on it about the two passages.

(From memory, you have to right click on the links and then choose the equivalent of “Save target as…” from the menu that appears in order to download them – please let me know if there’s another way.  I’m going to look to find a better of way of linking to documents etc., all suggestions gratefully received!).

Enjoy!

Posted by Stephen in Yesterday's sermon, 0 comments