Borderlands Mission Area
Ardal Genhadaeth Y Gororau
\r\n\r\nIt is December. Advent. Christmas is coming! Christ is on the way!\r\n\r\nThank you to all who came along on Advent Sunday… ‘Christmas Starts Sunday’… to get us off on the right foot reminding us what this fast approaching, often silly-busy, season is all about… ‘Christmas Starts with Christ’! Thank you too to all who’ve helped to make the service come together so well… to Cllr Ian & Liz Sumpter, David Ellis, David G Hughes, churchwardens, bellringers, Paul Harston of Park in the Past, our local schools and uniform groups, PCSO Andrea Ellis and our local innkeepers/landlords of the Red and White Lion Inn! Great effort!\r\n\r\nWatch out for the new star on the tower switched on each Sunday in Advent.\r\n\r\nWe’re delighted to include in the magazine this month the CHRISTMAS FLYER OF EVENTS. There’s a lot happening: We trust something for all. In addition to the traditional and well established events, The Stable Trail (Nativity Grotto) will be back again inside Hope Church, alongside in Emmanuel: A Toddler Christmas, M.M.M. Night with band Full Circle (ticketed), and The Christmas Eve Mega Nativity (arrive early). Plus for New Years’ Day this year in Hope there will be a 1662 Traditional Holy Communion.\r\n\r\nColour copies of the Christmas flyer and flyers for some individual events will be available very soon to help you invite friends along too. A big thank you too to graphic designer Laura Goble, who has designed much of our Christmas Publicity for us this year; very much appreciated. We think it’s great.\r\n\r\nThis Advent too, I’d like to welcome Mrs Pam Attree. Pam, originally from Hope Parish, is a trained Reader (assists with preaching and pastoral ministry) and has been with us on a Sunday morning for a few months now. Of late Pam has been praying and thinking through her calling and I’m delighted to announce that Pam is to be licensed very soon as a Reader in the Borderlands Mission Area. We look forward to Pam’s first sermon with us on 4th December at the principal services in Emmanuel and Hope. Please keep Pam in your prayers. I know you will make her very welcome.\r\n\r\nAs we celebrate ‘Christmas Starts with Christ’, the question has been put to me recently, so why does ‘Christmas End with Mass’? I thought canny question!\r\nThe Mass of course is the central act of worship for the Roman Catholic Church… the act of worship that we as Anglicans refer to commonly as The Holy Eucharist, Holy Communion, or if you prefer your 1662 Book of Common Prayer, ‘The Lord’s Supper’. (Aside, please read the Bishops letter inside that explains new changes now in place on WHO can receive Holy Communion).\r\n‘Mass’ however is not a word directly linked to the New Testament events of the Last Supper; moreover ‘Mass’ is the English word for the Latin, ‘Missa’. In the Latin rite of the Mass, ‘Mass’ comes from the closing words of the service, ‘Ite missa est’… meaning, ‘Go, it is dismissed’. It is also a word linked to the Latin, ‘missio’… from where we get our word, ‘mission’…‘to send out’.\r\n\r\nSo why do we call Christmas, ‘Christmas’? Why does Christmas End with Mass and Why does Christmas Start with Christ?\r\n\r\nWe call Christmas, ‘Christmas’ because we celebrate the ‘Dismissal of Christ’ or ‘The Sending of Christ’ – from heaven to earth.\r\nAt Christmas, we celebrate the coming of Christ (Greek), the coming of the Messiah (Hebrew), the coming of the Anointed One, who as the child conceived by the Holy Spirit in the virgin Mary, comes as both the ‘Son of God’ and the ‘Son of Man’… the ‘Word become Flesh’, God become human, the God-man… who being perfectly both human and divine is therefore able to rescue us as imperfect people from our sins, take away our fear of death, protect us from evil, give us life in all its fullness for today and bring us into heaven.\r\n\r\n“She will give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins”, Gabriel to Joseph in Matthew 1:21.\r\n\r\n“Today in this town of David, a Saviour has been born to you; he is Christ the Lord.” The Angels to the Shepherds in Luke 2:11.\r\nAs you, ‘Come and Celebrate Christmas with Hope and Emmanuel Churches’ this December, may you know and trust Jesus Christ as your Lord for through life and your Saviour from your sins.\r\n\r\nIn Christ, Adam.\r\n\r\n
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