Greetings from Patsy
Thank you so much for everyone who was involved in the Christmas Fayre I know it is hard work and needs a lot of preparation and planning but it was wonderful to see the Church full of people from our community groups coming in it is great to get so much support from friends and family and those who live around the church. It is amazing what you can do and the money you can raise when everyone pulls together, so thank you again to everyone.
I am excited to celebrate my first Christmas at Dukinfield, thanks again for all your prayers help and support I couldn’t do any of this without my Church family behind me. We do keep in our prayers those who are unwell and those who find Christmas difficult as they are on their own away from family and friends.
As we move towards Christmas while many gifts under the tree are wrapped in beautiful paper and topped with elegant bows, on Christmas day the gifts are opened and the paper and bows are then discarded. No matter how exquisite the packaging the best part of the gift naturally lies inside the packaging. To begin to get to know the Lord is like suddenly being surrounded with dozens of gifts, each one lovely and inviting and marked especially for you. His attributes amaze you, and you might spend some time looking at them and wondering what His holiness means or pondering the depth of His compassion. If you were to stop there, however, it would be like leaving a sack of gorgeous gifts unopened, you would be missing the best part. So this Christmas take time to savour God and his gifts for us and especially the greatest gift of all Jesus.
God bless Patsy
The Christingle Service will take place on Christmas Eve, 24th December at 6 p.m., but we would ask that you come early as, once all the seats are filled, we will regretfully have to close the doors, to avoid overcrowding. Our Christmas morning worship will be held at 10.30 a.m. and this always is a lovely way to start celebrating the birthday of the Baby Jesus, the Saviour of the World.
The Minister and members of the Church Committee wish everyone a very happy Christmas and a joyful New Year.
|Christian Aid Urgent appeal for the people of Gaza
Thousands of people have been killed and over a million displaced after the recent escalation of violence in Israel and the occupied Palestinian territory. In Gaza, a humanitarian crisis is unfolding. 7,028 Palestinians have been killed and 18,482 injured. Over 1.4 million have been displaced from their homes; supplies of water and food are fast running out. We’re urging all parties to abide by international law to protect innocent civilians and agree to an immediate de-escalation of this unprecedented violence. In Gaza, our medical partner is providing mobile medical and psychological care, which ranges from access to a doctor, nurse, social worker or physiotherapist. In southern Gaza, our partner is responding to those most recently displaced to southern Gaza as a result of the war. They’re providing mattresses, medicines, and emergency food items. We’re also actively exploring ways in which we might also support Israeli civilians who’ve been directly impacted by the violence. Your donations can make a huge difference to the current conditions of all those affected. Please go to: https://give.christianaid.org.uk
We’re at that time of year again! But is Christmas just about the shopping, tree or presents? At its heart Christmas is all about a God who has showed up on earth. The Creator of the universe, whose hands flung stars into space, cared enough to come to earth as a tiny baby. ‘The Word became flesh and made His dwelling among us.’ (John 1:14)
Every year we sing carols and retell the same story of the donkey, innkeeper, stable, angels, shepherds, star, wise men, gifts and Mary and Joseph with baby! Why do we do all this? It’s to remind us that God deals with the mess of our world by sending His Son to die in our place. This makes it possible for us to have a relationship with Himself:
When the time came, He “did not consider equality with God something to be used to His own advantage; rather, He made himself nothing by taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to death – even death on a cross! (Philippians 2:6-8)
Reflecting on Jesus in the manger is a great place to start understanding the heart of the Christmas message. However, it’s so much more than simply a cute baby lying in the bed of straw:
If our greatest need had been information, God would have sent us an educator;
If our greatest need had been technology, God would have sent us a scientist;
If our greatest need had been money, God would have sent us an economist;
If our greatest need had been pleasure, God would have sent us an entertainer;
But our greatest need was forgiveness, so God sent us a Saviour.
by the Revd Jo White
|THE SON OF GOD by Jeffrey Archer
He was born in a barn, his father a carpenter, and his mother a decent woman, but they were of no significance and certainly couldn’t have afforded to give the boy a private education. And yet, as a teenager, he was arguing the toss with his elders and betters in the council chambers.
He never got a proper job, just roamed around the countryside, unshaven, and living off bread and water and the occasional fish, while offering his opinions to those who cared to listen.
He became the manager of a football team known as The Disciples, not one of them a star, in fact the twelfth man rather let the side down by accepting a transfer fee of thirty pieces of silver to play for the opposition.
The authorities eventually arrested him as a rabble-rouser, but couldn’t decide what to charge him with, other than the fact that he claimed he was the Son of God.
They strung him up with a couple of criminals, and when he finally gave up the ghost, rather assumed that would be the last they’d hear of him.
The Disciples were relegated at the end of the season, in fact the captain claimed on more than one occasion that he’d never been a member of his team.
When he died at the age of thirty-three, there were no obituaries in the local press reporting his achievements, no glossy supplements highlighting his colourful career, no radio programmes to discuss his legacy, and no box set recording any of his miracles.
But then, He’d never relied on focus groups to advise him on current trends, or advertising gurus to spend millions promoting his brand, or spin doctors to sharpen his image, and He didn’t require social media to keep his followers up to date, so you could be forgiven for assuming he’d be forgotten in a few days.
So how can you explain that over two thousand years later, Jesus Christ is still the best-known celebrity on earth?
Could it just be that He was the Son of God?
NATIVITY QUIZ IN 20 QUESTIONS
1. Where did Mary and Joseph live before Jesus was born?
a) Nazareth b) Bethlehem c) Jerusalem
2. What was the name of the angel who told Mary she would have a child?
3. What did Joseph do for a living?
4. Who was the Roman ruler when Jesus was born?
5. Why did Mary and Joseph go to Bethlehem?
6. How did Mary and Joseph travel to Bethlehem?
7. Why couldn’t Mary and Joseph find a place to stay?
8. Where does the Bible say Jesus was born?
a) In a stable b) In hay c) In a manger
9. According to the Bible, which animals were specifically mentioned as being present in the stable when Jesus was born? a) sheep and a donkey b) cattle and a donkey c) donkey, sheep and cattle d) None
10. What does the angel say to the shepherds when they tell them to go to Bethlehem?
11. The wise men travelled …… to Jerusalem. a) northward b) southward c) eastward d) westward
12. What did the Wise Men follow to find Jesus?
13. How many Wise Men visited baby Jesus?
14. What gifts did the wise men bring for Jesus?
15. Who spread the news about baby Jesus throughout Bethlehem?
16. What is the City of David also known as in the bible?
17. Which of the gospels tell the story of the Nativity?
18. What does Jesus’ other name, “Immanuel”, mean? a) God with us b) Son of God c) He who is God
d) Chosen One
19. How many days after the birth of Christ did Joseph and Mary give him the name Jesus?
20. Jesus was born on the 25th of December. True or false?
(Answers in the January 2024 edition)
Christmas Prayer 2023
Almighty Father, Thank you for your indescribable gift of Jesus – the Light of the world. Thank you that He brought light and life to all who received Him during His life on earth and that He still brings light and life to all who receive Him.
Lord, how this broken world needs your light today. As we rejoice and give thanks for Christmas, we pray that the light of Jesus will pierce the darkness of self-interest and hatred – and change the hearts of those who do not love you or their neighbours.
We pray that by the power of your Holy Spirit you will deliver your people from evil, and that Your kingdom will come on earth as in heaven. Thank you, Father, that because of Jesus, light will always shine in the darkness and the darkness will never be able to extinguish it.
Glory and thanks and praise to You Father God, this Christmas and always.
In Jesus’ saving and powerful name. Amen. By Daphne Kitching