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The Third Week of Advent – Wonder

December 13, 2013

Theme for the week - Wonder

Advent is the name of the season where we get ready to celebrate Christmas. As well as buying presents and decorating our homes, Christians use this time to wonder at the mystery of Jesus' birth and at his renewing presence in the world today.

Prayer for lighting the Advent Candle

(This prayer can be used either in church or at home for lighting your candle)

Renewing God, you restore light and life to all creation; open our eyes to signs of your presence in our daily lives and lead us by your spirit to make disciples of others. (The candle is lit) God our healer, be our vision and our light.

Dduw sy’n adnewyddu, Rwyt yn adfer goleuni a bywyd i’r holl greadigaeth; Agor ein llygaid i arwyddion dy bresenoldeb Yn ein bywydau beunyddiol Ac arwain ni trwy dy Ysbryd I wneud disgyblion o eraill. (Goleuir y gannwyll) Dduw ein Hiachäwr, Bydd ein gweledigaeth a’n goleuni.

Advent Carol for the week

I wonder as I wander by the Cambridge Singers

Children's Corner

The Christmas Journey The Wise Men's Story A special bright star shone in the East.  The wise men guided by this star started a long journey to visit Jesus.   They brought gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh. Advent Activity Star biscuits Shortbread-Stars As you think about the wise men you might like to make some star biscuits to share among your family and friends. They are very easy but you must get a grown up to help as the oven will be hot. Wash your hands and have the oven set to 170c or gas mark 3.5 You will need: A couple of large flat baking tins lightly greased, a large bowl, a fork, a rolling pin, a knife, a pallet knife or turner a cup and a star cutter, a plastic freezer bag, oven cloth or gloves

Shortbread-Stars-500

Ingredients: 10 oz plain flour 1 teaspoon baking powder 3 oz caster sugar 3 oz butter cut up small 2 teaspoons golden syrup or honey Half a teaspoon vanilla extract 1 small egg. Here is what you do:
  • Put flour, baking powder and sugar into a bowl, rub the butter into the dry ingredients using the tips of your fingers until it looks like damp sand. It may take a few minutes.
  • Break the egg into a cup or small bowl and add vanilla and golden syrup, mix well and add to the rubbed in ingredients, mix well again.
  • Place in plastic bag in fridge for at least half an hour ( you can leave it overnight)
  • Dust work surface and rolling pin with a little flour and roll your mixture out till it is nearly as thin as a 50p coin. Cut out stars and carefully lift them on to the tray.
  • Bake for 15-20 mins, remove from oven and leave them on the tin to harden then carefully remove them to a rack to cool.

Star biscuits 3

If you like you could decorate them with icing (the ready made kind in tubes is ideal for this) or small sweets. If you want to hang them on your Christmas tree make a hole in one of the points before you bake the biscuits and when cold thread bright coloured ribbon through to make a loop. As you hand out your biscuits you can tell everyone about the Christmas star.

Advent events around the Diocese

St Gwynno's, Vaynor St Gwynno's Choir 1 Eucharist and Christingle – 11.00am Sunday 22nd December. Nine Lessons and Carols – 6.00pm Sunday 22nd December in the Memorial Hall. Family Eucharist – 9.30am Christmas Day To reach a wider congregation St Gwynno’s is switching its Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols  on the Sunday before Christmas from the church to the Memorial Hall in the centre of Vaynor. Mince pies and tea or coffee will still be available in the new surroundings, always  a welcome addition to midwinter services. For more information about these events please visit the St Gwynno's Events page here. Pontardawe Christmas Tree Festival St Peters Pontardawe St Peter’s Church in Pontardawe is holding a Christmas Tree Festival this year which will be running from Saturday 14th December through to Sunday 22nd December with a Festival concert on Friday 20th given by Morriston RFC choir in aid of the Restoration Appeal. Admission to the Christmas Tree festival is free everyday with all of the trees decorated by local charities, schools and voluntary groups to raise funds for their group. There will also be a 12 foot high memorial tree where visitors can place the name of a loved one on a bauble. Tickets for the Festival Concert cost £5.00 which includes sherry and mince pies in the interval! For more information on these events visit their webpage here or contact Sue James on 07970 992 373 or by email at suejames60@gmail.com.

Advent Resources

Our previous Advent pages can be found here: The First Week of Advent - Stillness The Second Week of Advent - Growing 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. We would also love to hear about any of your Advent or Christmas events. Prayers for lighting the Advent candle can be downloaded here for the whole of Advent in both English and Welsh. '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. 'The Bible' on Channel 5 - Click here to visit the Channel 5 website. You can see a preview of the first episode here (NB there are some adverts). For additional, free resources for churches see the Bible Society website. 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. 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. 'Table 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 £25.00 and is available from their website. Books Do Nothing . . . Christmas is Coming: An Advent Calendar with a Difference by Stephen Cottrell in 2007. 'Do Nothing to Change Your Life' encouraged us to nurture our inner slob. Now 'Do Nothing . . . Christmas is Coming' turns to what, for many, is the busiest time of year. Published by CHP, you can see more about this here. Unapologetic by Francis Spufford - A great book for your Christmas stocking! Published by Faber and Faber, read more about it on their website including a video of the author talking about the book.

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