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Out with the old, in with the New!

baby-star-clip-artAs the year draws to a close it is natural to look back over the past 12 months and look forward to the changes that a New Year brings. Recently our leaders have been evaluating the life of our church and prayerfully seeking God’s will for the next year or so. Please join us in praying for the work among God’s people here in Primrose.

We held our last Celebration Breakfast on the 22nd of November, which marked the birthdays of October, November and December. It was a record turnout and a real community celebration. For two years our team of Breakfast Ladies have given us a wonderful way of joining together as a family each month and they did us proud with this last bumper edition!

Renovations have begun to our church buildings – the bathrooms have been tiled and work has started on the rooves. Soon the the walls will be given a fresh coat of paint and then we will look at renewing some of the furnishings and fittings inside the sanctuary and office block. It is thanks to the generosity and involvement of the congregation that this is possible, so thank you.

There is a great sense of excitement as we look forward to The Well – more than 100 people have signed up for these monthly fellowship meetings which will begin in February 2009. Time set aside to be in God’s presence is difficult to come by in the rush of the everyday and these meetings will help us develop a discipline and cultivate our relationship with Jesus.

The biggest change for 2009 is going to be in our morning service times which will be moving a little later as from Sunday January 4 to 08h30 and 09h45. For some this means a bit more of a lie in, and for others it will mean a half hour delay in getting on with the business of the day! For a while now the 08h00 service has been shrinking, especially over the winter months, while the 09h30 service has been growing so that occasionally it is difficult to seat everyone especially at special services like baptisms. Sharing the love of God with others is our main concern as Christ-followers, but how do we do this when there is no space to invite others in? Several solutions to this problem were explored by the leadership – expand the church buildings (too expensive); add in a third morning service (too early or too late and not enough man-power to make this possible) – and the most feasible was changing the service times of the existing services. The two services will follow the same pattern, in that the same songs and hymns will be sung at both, and in this way it is hoped that people who enjoy the contemporary style of the present 09h30 service might consider worshipping a bit earlier, at the new 08h30 service! Children’s Church and YPC will still run at 09h45 during school terms, so that service will naturally cater for those with children.

Advent begins at the end of November, along with the winding up of the school and working year. ‘Advent’ means ‘coming’ or ‘arrival’ and our focus is on the most amazing mystery: God coming down to earth to be with us, not as a flaming judge wielding a hefty rule book, but as a tiny baby, who goes on to demonstrate the wonder of God’s love for us. It is a time of hope and excitement, and the Christmas lights, the gifts secretly bought and wrapped, the anticipation’ of seeing loved ones from far away, should all encourage us to worship our real Hope – God, the Creator and Redeemer of all things!

As part of your ‘countdown to the big day’ why not take time out to prepare your spirit for the coming of Jesus? worshiptrench is offering a free series of Advent devotionals that you can download in pdf format by following the link on their blog.
Each day centers on a Biblical character from the Christmas story and includes a Scripture reading, a reflection paragraph, and two application questions. The first question is geared towards both children and adults, while the second question more deeply challenges our obedience and faith. After answering the questions, spend time in prayer.

Our Advent and Christmas service programme will celebrate the birth of Jesus in our hearts and in our world – invite those you care about to share it with you.

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One Response

  1. Angela, thanks. The involvement is intentional because all the processes and curriculum we write at NorthWood are intentionally highly participative-obedience geared. We have learned that from the Church in Asia.

    We are currently working on New Testament book study curriculum which are obedience-transformation centered. We have beta-tested them through some of our groups and they have worked very well. I’ll post them on worshiptrench soon as well.

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