Weekly Email w/b 5th December 2022
Clearly suffering the effect of too many nativity plays, I’ve been thinking today about tinsel and glitter. The tinsel on angels’ wings or worn as a halo. Glitter on hand-made crowns, or lovingly placed on the front of specially made cards. It’s all part of Christmas, at least if you’re five years old.
And yet – at least if you’re a parent – it can be your worse nightmare. There’s the uncanny ability of tinsel to drop strands which last a lifetime on the carpet, or for those tiny bits of glitter to end up down the sofa or under the fridge. After four nativity plays at church already this week – and more to come – let’s just say we’re going to need to find the hoover!
How is it that something so small can sparkle so brightly? And something so ‘ordinary’ can shine for what seems not quite like eternity but certainly a long time. When it comes to ‘sparkling’ and ‘shining’ sometimes the most mundane and small things really do make a difference.
What might make that difference in your life to allow God’s love to sparkle and shine through you? A kind word to a neighbour? A loving action to a colleague? The gift of “I’m sorry” in a Christmas letter, or patience for the relative who is coming to stay. It might not always be the big gestures or obvious things which ‘sparkle’ most brightly, but rather those everyday ordinary actions which can shine with the light and the love of God.
Read on for just some of the ways we might shine together this year. Whilst there is so much more to Christmas than “come to church”, we do have an amazing opportunity to invite people to unwrap for themselves the story of light and love this year. And don’t forget our “Cost of Living” fund, one of the really helpful ways in which we can be equipping each other to be a gracious and generous community. More below.
Grace and peace
Phil Cansdale, Vicar
This Sunday sees our Christmas Nativity at the 11am service. Come and take part in the greatest story ever told! Adults and children of all ages are invited to come dressed as either MARY, JOSEPH, ANIMALS, ANGELS, SHEPHERDS or STARWATCHERS. There’ll be something for everyone to join in with, lots of fun, plenty of singing and that special moment around the crib. We have a few spare costumes available for anyone that would like to borrow one so come early and get the best seats in the house!
Meanwhile Neville Willerton will be speaking at the 9am service at Holy Trinity and at the 10.30am gathering at Christ the King, and Alistair Magowan is our speaker at Belle Vue. In the evening Phil Cansdale will be hosting a Christmas celebration for the 6.30pm congregation.
Our 2022 Advent and Christmas website is now up and running. You’ll find there details of all of our gatherings and events across our Trinity family. There’s our usual mix of toddler celebrations and Trinity Table, as well as carols by candlelight celebrations on Saturday 17th and Sunday 18th December. This year sees the return of “carols by carlight” and “carols on the Green”, as well as two crib services, midnight, and four celebrations on Christmas day. And, of course, the joys of Soul Purpose Christmas taking place in the Trinity Centre. More details of all of these on the website.
Our theme this year – along with churches all over the UK – is “the great invitation.” This is our longing over these next weeks. Please will you be praying with us, and being active together, in extending to many others this amazing invitation to love, life, peace and joy.
We’ve had our first few enquiries for the Cost of Living Fund which we have set up as part of Blessed to be a Blessing.
Are you in particular need? Or do you know someone who might benefit from practical help or limited financial support? Alongside other Shropshire organisations we want to be able to offer help and support where we can. The generosity of many people at Trinity means that we can offer support to individuals, families and specific projects at church and across the local community. We know we can’t do everything or help everyone, but we want to respond practically where we can.
We are thrilled that Jonathan Veira is going to be with us on Saturday 28th January at 7.30pm. He is an amazingly talented and versatile international singer and musician. His last visit here was January in 2020, and we are so excited that he’s coming back to Meole Brace for his latest tour.
JV has established a reputation over the last 35 years – entertaining and singing to millions across the UK and the rest of the world. His ability as a musical chameleon, singing songs of great diversity to an incredibly high standard, continues to wow audiences. He engages everyone and his captivating storytelling has people rocking with laughter at the strangest of things. Jonathan’s easy, natural conversational style of sharing his faith journey combined with superb music and riotous anecdotes is enthralling, engaging and inspiring.
Tickets are £10 from the Church Office or website. All profits from the concert will go towards our “Cost of Living” fund supporting individuals, households and dedicated projects at church and across the local community.
An evening with Jonathan Veira – 28th Jan 2023
We’re gearing up for our two “Carols by Candlelight” services, this year taking place on Saturday 17th and Sunday 18th December at 7pm. After freezing conditions outdoors last year (thanks to COVID) we are looking forward to a warm welcome in more ways than one this year as hundreds of people respond to the “great invitation” of Christmas.
We’re looking for people to join in with our choir, and our orchestra. The choir of angels will be learning two lovely choir pieces, as well as joining in with everyone else with the main carols. And the orchestra is for people of all ages and all stages, and will be accompanying the congregation in the usual well known carols.
There are practices for both the choir and the orchestra coming up over the next few weeks. Find out more by clicking below, or chat to Judith Clarkson (orchestra) or Elly Hughes and Valerie Pitt (choir).
We reported back recently about progress on “Blessed to be a Blessing”, with Advent Sunday the first ‘deadline’ by which we were asking people to consider their response. Thank you so much to all those who have offered gifts of time, gifts and money. This is already beginning to have an impact with warm spaces starting up on the Meole Estate, and some trials in the Trinity Centre in December. If you have been thinking about “getting round to responding” then here’s your gentle reminder. You can do so on paper via the Church Office, or perhaps easier online at www.trinitychurches.org/blessed.
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