Christmas

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

Hello, it’s me

… I’m back.  Many apologies for not having blogged here in agggeeesss, but hoping to correct that now with a sort of quick summary of stuff that you might want to know (mainly/especially if you’re a Greenfield church member – a Greenfielder?)

Firstly, Northern Baptist Learning Community (formerly Northern Baptist College, where I study) are posting throughout Advent some readings and prayers.  The idea of this is to encourage all those linked with the Learning Community to be praying together throughout Advent.  The prayers and readings are on the front page of the site, and there are links to the readings from the New Revised Standard Version.

Secondly, did you know that the UK is the only country in Europe to lock up the children of asylum seekers?  Most of these are under 5s and none have committed any crime.  A group of MPs recently criticised the government for this and the lack of definite figures or information on the children’s welfare.

The Joint Public Issues Team, a group set up jointly by the Baptist Union, Methodist Church and United Reformed Church to campaign and bring a Christian voice to issues such as this, is calling on all those who feel strongly about this to send One More Christmas Card to Phil Woolas MP, the minister for immigration.  These cards are to wish him a happy Christmas but also to call on him to end this practice.  Full details of what to do are on the website.

Thirdly, as I mentioned on Sunday, our Carol Service this year is going to be on Saturday 19th December.  The idea behind this is to make it possible for as many people as possible to come to the service.  As part of this, could you think of someone you’d like to invite?  If you invited someone to Back To Church Sunday in September, why not invite them to the Carol Service?  I hope there’ll be some invitations available from Sunday for you to take, so please do take one (or more!) and help make this a really special, community event.

Finally, you may have been expecting me to be preaching on Sunday, particularly if you’ve a copy of the rota.  However, it’s not; Ralph has very, very kindly offered to take the service so that I can get on with the essay that’s looming large on the horizon and also begin getting the Christmas services I’m taking ready.  So that’s why it won’t be more; I’m not shirking – honest!!

Posted by Stephen in events, Greenfield Events, 0 comments