O Dduw, nad oes modd dy adnabod,
cyhoeddir dy bresenoldeb
nid ymhlith y mawrion
ond ymhlith y distadl;
tryd nawr a chysgoda trosom,
a llefara wrth y mannau cuddy nom:
fel y cawn wrth fentro i’r tywyllwch mewn llawenydd
ddewis cydweithio ô thi,
trwy Isu Grist.
Cyf. Enid Morgan
O unknown God,
whose presence is announced
not among the impressive
but in obscurity;
come, overshadow us now,
and speak to our hidden places;
that entering your darkness with joy,
we may choose to co-operate with you,
through Jesus Christ.
This prayer is taken from All Desires Known by Janet Morley with kind permission of SPCK All Desires Known, SPCK/Christian Aid
Our ‘Christmas Experience’ was an amazing experience! All ten classes from the local primary school visited St Barnabas, Waunarlwydd over 3 weeks to experience the Christmas story.
Many of today’s children simply haven’t heard the Christmas Story. So, adapting slightly the material provided by Diocese of Gloucester’s ‘Jumping Fish Resources’, we put together six displays –‘stations’- around the church, each one the setting for a different part of the Christmas Story. A DVD of the Christmas Poem (based on a Bible Society resource) introduced the event and set the scene.
It is the policy of St B’s not to photograph children so the attached show the displays right at the beginning, before the first visit.
The classes, in groups of 5 or 6 visited each of the 5 stations in turn, coming together again to visit the final station ‘The Gift’.
The response from the school – children, teachers, parents and some grandparents, who came along was overwhelmingly positive; but the wholehearted commitment of everyone from the church who took part, bore fruit of a different kind. There’s no denying that it was hard work but we had lots of support from the whole congregation and we so enjoyed it. Without exception, we all benefitted from working together and being part of something really special. It’s given everybody confidence to explore new ways of reaching out.
An added extra!– our Mothers’ Union reverted to childhood and enjoyed the ‘Experience’ before their Carol Service and Christmas Tea. They loved it and one lady commented that ‘it brought the story to life in a way they hadn’t heard it told in 95 years’
St Barnabas is a small church – two of the five displays had to be on window ledges, but this worked well. With some thought all the displays can be adapted – as can the scripts that accompany them!
Two other parishes around Swansea have used these resources very successfully and we would definitely recommend it to others.
Finally – the message from the head teacher is ‘it was fantastic, amazing, the children and the teachers are still talking about how much they enjoyed it and how helpful it was’.
The Revd. Julie Wagstaff
Advent Carol for the week
The Coventry Carol is a lullaby whose bittersweet words and music describe the pain of persecution. This recording from Alison Moyet is reproduced by permission.
MACAROON TOPPED MINCE PIES
Prepare the mince pies with whatever pastry you prefer, fill with mincemeat and make the topping:
2 egg whites
6 oz caster sugar
4 oz ground almonds,
level teaspoon cornflour
2 teaspoons cold water
1/4 teaspoon vanilla essence
1 oz flaked or halved almonds
Lightly mix egg whites, stir in sugar and ground almonds, blend cornflour with water and stir in vanilla essence. Spoon over the top of the mincemeat to cover, place almonds on top.
Bake at 375 (190 deg C for about 20 minutes until golden.
From the Mothers’ Union
The Christmas Poem
It's very easy to get swept up in the hustle, bustle and economic side of Christmas. Comparing how much others spend on their children and wondering if you have spent too much/too little on your friends and family. It's so simple to be distracted from the real reason for Christmas, the one thing we are all celebrating, the birth of Jesus.
I think it is even more important for children to realise that Christmas isn't just about presents. It's about giving, sharing and celebrating together. We found this poem online and watched it together. It's a lovely poem with a cute illustration and a fantastic message for children, to turn sad into glad again.
‘The Christmas Poem’, produced by Bible Society was part of the Christmas Experience in Waunarlwydd. It’s based on Bible Society’s 2015 free children’s booklet ‘The Christmas Poem’ which can be ordered here.