Thank you to everyone who contributed to Harvest. Produce has been taken to the Salvation Army Centre in Wrexham and tins and packets have gone to the Foodbank. It was a kind gesture of the ladies to dedicate the harvest flowers in memory of Megan Shone who for many years decorated the North chancel window in the church. The younger ones clearly enjoyed making the scarecrows! £280 was collected in Hope for the Caribbean Islands and close to £100 in Emmanuel for the South Sudanese refugees.
We now enter the Remembrance Season. Our new Reader, Mrs Pam Attree, has been a great help to me this year in sharing the funeral ministry, and I am delighted that Pam will give the address in this years’ memorial service.
For Remembrance, on Armistice Day (Saturday 11th November) there will be a gathering at the Caergwrle Cenotaph at 10:50am for the annual Act of Remembrance followed by refreshments in Caergwrle Methodist Church.
On Remembrance Sunday in Hope, Rev Richard Parkes, the new minister at Caergwrle Methodist will give the address at the 10:45am service. Rev Robert Balfour of Trinity Chapel will lead the 3pm Institute service in Penyffordd.
Then thinking ahead to Advent and Christmas, Emmanuel will host our annual Christmas Coffee and Craft morning on 18th November and Hope Church’s Christmas Fayre complete with visit from Santa will be on the 25th.
Serving our families & young people: I have been asked recently what has happened to Messy Church? Given the busy Sunday schedule that we have across Hope and Emmanuel and our resources being close to their limit (time, people and money), we took the decision at our last church committee (a combined Hope and Emmanuel meeting) to put Messy Church on hold for a term in order to review our Sunday worship and give further consideration to how we can best serve our families and young people on a Sunday. TiddleTots in Emmanuel continues, as do our fortnightly All Age morning services across both churches, as will the special services (such as ‘Christmas Starts’, A Toddler Christmas, The Christingle Services and Mega Nativity et al). We are consulting with parents and volunteers, and our worship leaders will meet soon and our church committee will discuss this further when we meet later this month.
We have also made some new introductions to our principal Sunday morning services. On a Sunday we have for a while now used one of the 2004 Holy Communion service, 2009 Morning Prayer rite or a simpler ‘Word and Worship’ liturgy. With The Church in Wales 2020 Vision encouraging us to be more creative in our worship and try out new ideas as a means to encourage ‘lost generations back to church’, it is only sensible for us to make use of the newer modern day language services in our principal Sunday worship. In Hope, the green book service will no doubt remain well received at 8am and 6pm. With the introduction of our new hymn books and making regular use of the projector screen in our all age services we are now introducing a increasing amount of newer music too. I am very grateful to our in-house organists/ pianists and church choir for your willingness to take this on.
I know that these changes do not suit everyone; thank you for those of you who have been honest enough to share your thoughts with me too. It is difficult to always tread the right path, but I am delighted that on the whole the reception to these changes has been very positive and I would like to thank you for your encouragement. If you’ve not been to church in a while then please do come and see what we’re doing! Our aim is to be a 21st century church that keeps Jesus Christ at the centre and is welcoming and inviting to all generations, and we recognise that we must be constantly praying, reviewing and criticising both our worship and ourselves in order to keep this happening. Exciting times are ahead for us!
Finally, Sunday 3rd December is Advent Sunday. The Bishop’s Advent Address – his pastoral message to the diocese for the new church year – will be presented in all morning services. Also at 11am – I am keeping my promise – there will be a 1662 Holy Communion Service. At 4pm we look forward again to the annual ‘Christmas Starts’ service with Christmas Lights Switch On in Hope Village. We were packed out last year with some even standing – arrive in good time for a seat! The Roman Centurion will be back, as will Mary and Joseph and we look forward again to live music accompanying us as we sing the first carols of the season and remember that Christmas Starts with Christ!
In Christ, Adam