At the time of writing, it’s difficult to think of anything except the Christmas Fayre! This is a huge effort, on which we depend every year to pay the bills. This is not just undertaken as a chore. It’s a celebration of all that St Matthew’s and its community means to us. More than this, it’s an expression of our love of God. So let us pray for blessings on our efforts, and especially on all from the wider community who will come through our doors. Let’s especially enjoy serving those we do not see often, or do not recognize, and give them a really warm welcome. Of course we shall be eager to tot up the takings at the end of the day. But God will be taking more notice of the quality of the human interactions, especially our welcome of those we do not know.
Please may I commend to you our course for Advent? The time will not be convenient for all, but it will be possible for some and well worth fitting in to your schedule. People are always complaining that we forget the real meaning of Christmas. How much more the real meaning of Advent. The course is based on Handel’s Messiah and in the one-hour sessions we reflect on the Scripture texts, link them to our experience, and try to allow God to speak to us through the music. The remaining sessions (even if you can only make one, it’s worth it) are at 5pm on Wednesdays 28 Nov. (at St John’s Church), 5 Dec. (St Matthew’s Lady Chapel), and 12 Dec. (at St John’s).
This coming Sunday (25 November) we are having another of our “Reflective Evensongs” to pray for the growth of the church, at 4pm. (NB The first one was at 5pm, but this one is at 4pm.) The idea is to do some serious prayerful listening, as we try to discern God’s will for St Matthew’s. Please may I appeal to you to come if you can? We will have a very short, said Evensong in the Lady Chapel. Then a few minutes of shared silence. Then a longer time of silence when people can find their own space in church to be quiet for a longer time. We conclude with a brief opportunity to share what we think God may have been saying to us.
Stir up, O Lord, the wills of your faithful people Stir us up in mind, heart and soul So we may bear rich fruit And receive the rich rewards you have in store for us through Jesus Amen!