News

The Fourth Week of Advent – Welcoming the Lord

December 19, 2015

Theme for the week - Welcoming the Lord

Prayer for the week

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

Story

The gift 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 anouncement     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.

Recipe

Mistletoe MACAROON TOPPED MINCE PIES Prepare the mince pies with whatever pastry you prefer, fill with mincemeat and make the topping: Macaroon 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

Children's Corner

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. Siân ‘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.

Advent Events

Check out our events page for Advent and Christmas events around the Diocese. If you would like us to advertise any of your Advent events please send the details in to our vision email address: swanbrec.vision@churchinwales.org.uk.

Snow churchyard

Advent Resources

If you would like to send in some of your useful Advent, Christmas or Epiphany resources then please email them to our vision email address: swanbrec.vision@churchinwales.org.uk. 'The Nativity' DVD - first shown on the BBC in December 2010, written by Eastenders scriptwriter Tony Jordan. You can see part of the show on Youtube by following this link. The full DVD can be purchased on Amazon. Posada - The idea of travelling crib sets comes from an old Mexican tradition. Posada was the tradition of young people dressed as Mary and Joseph travelling from house to house asking for a room for the night and telling people about the imminent arrival of Jesus in the weeks leading up to Christmas. On Christmas Eve they would visit the local church to re-enact the nativity and place figures of Mary and Joseph in a crib. Modern day Posada uses nativity figures of Mary and Joseph who travel from place to place. this gives each 'host' the chance to create their own celebration in their home or place in the community, worshipping and reaching out to their communities with the real message of Christmas, making room for Jesus in their lives. Xmas postbox Messy Church - Advent and Christmas: See a range of ideas (Advent Candles, Messy Nativity, Nativity Sheep Trails, The Gingerbread Nativity - and more) by visiting the Messy Church website. 'Talk Talk for Christmas and New Year'  is written by Lucy Moore and Jo Cox and produced by The Ugly Duckling Company. Table Talk is a game to get people talking about the big issues in life; the Christmas and New Year version is an all age resource. It costs £25 and is available from http://www.table-talk.org/ A free download is available for iPads/ phones etc - and you can watch a promotional video here https://vimeo.com/user1053431/tabletalkforchristmasadvert Here’s how to download the game: iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/cg/app/table-talk-for-christmas/id903641900?mt=8 Google Play: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.theuglyducklingcompany.tabletalkforchristmas&hl=en_GB Books Haphazard by Starlight by Janet Morley – an anthology of poetry. http://www.spckpublishing.co.uk/product/haphazard-by-starlight/ Do Nothing… Christmas is Coming: An Advent Calendar with a Difference by Stephen Cottrell http://www.chpublishing.co.uk/authors/stephen-cottrell Love Life Live Advent Make Room for the Manger - An all-age resource to help children and families celebrate the run-up to Christmas. Authors: Paula GooderPeter Babington http://www.chpublishing.co.uk/books/9780715144411/love-life-live-advent-single-copy Poems Advent Calendar – a poem by Rowan Williams: http://www.theguardian.com/books/2005/dec/24/featuresreviews.guardianreview23 BC:AD by U A Fanthorpe: http://www.thesundaytimes.co.uk/sto/newsreview/theweek/poetscorner/article483884.ece Llandrindod 2

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