Church Service on 20 December 2014 at 11am 

George Henderson leads WorshipThe Service was held in St. Peter’s as usual at 11am. 

The Opening Prayer was given by Irene Wilson

Hymns were led by George Henderson, who told us that the Church Across Watford Carol singing at Asda went very well: Hymn 1.  Hark The Herald Angels Sing Hymn 2.  Once In Royal David’s City

David Silcox gives announcementsAnnouncements were given by David Silcox who commented that the last Hymn, Once in royal David’s City was written by a relative of Pat Newton!  The announcements included a few words about his trip to Ireland where he spoke at the House Church held at Tuckamine, the Leonard’s farm in Tullow.: *Mike & Joy Barlow have a new telephone number—ask them for it or see George. *There is a card to sign congratulating Brigitte McGarvey *Luton’s Quiz Night will be held in 2015 on 28 February

James Esom gives Intercessory PrayerIntercessory Prayer was offered by James Esom and included: *After a week of shocking news we thank you that we can come before you in peace and safety each week at church *Thank you for the Churches Across Watford and the difference they make in their communities *Thank you for our Prayer Table Ministry and we ask your blessing on those who pass by.  Thank you that the ladies eye operation was successful *Please bless the international work of our Church, such as John Biswas efforts in Bangladesh.  Be with our church leaders and the outreaches like Gary Glenister runs in Wales *Please bless Children’s Church and their play they will present today.  Be with the leaders and teachers who work with the young people.  We pray also for the success of Messy Church that St. Peter’s holds once a month in the afternoon on Saturdays. *Bless the various Services being held around the world during this Christmas week and we pray for the peace that this season teaches about *If there are any here suffering in silence, you know them and we pray that you will be with them, help, heal and encourage them.  Give them peace and hope. *Be with those mourning children lost in the Packistan atrocity.  Strengthen and help those who are in fear or pain. *We pray for wisdom of our leaders as they try to lead and govern the nations across the world.  We appreciate their committment to the nation.  Where would we be without the National Health Service and the various charities and societies, who are very active especially at this time of the year. *We pray for those who are ill and the elderly in our congregation, such as Valerie.

Hymn 4.  It Came Upon A Midnight Clear Hymn 5.  O Little Town Of Bethlehem
2014-12-20 Children's Presentation collage
The Children presented a Nativity Play based on a book by Charles Dickens, The Life Of Our Lord.  Geoff Sole read an introduction to the book and then Michael and Jessica took turns narrating the play, with Shannon as the Angel Gabriel on the other side of the screen from which the younger children held up the various puppets and buildings, such as Mary, Herod, sheep, etc., to illustrate the narration.  Several times ‘angels’ and ‘stars’ appears from behind the curtain to say their piece.  It was charming, enjoyed by all and shared a profound message that is the focus of the Christmas Season.

Linda Halford reads a poemLinda Halford read from a Poem, Impulses of Deeper Birth before James Henderson gave the Message today.

The Message about the birth that lasts and changes everything.  At this time when many peoples minds are on gifts, we often receive gifts that we do not really want.  The gift that everyone wants is peace, joy and everlasting life and this gift was given by God in the form of a child—the greatest gift imaginable.  This year has seen much in the news about abuse and crimes against children, ending the year with the massacre of children in James Henderson gives the SermonPeshawar.  The birth of Jesus is not just for Christmas and this time of year but for every day.  Philippians 1:27 says let your way of life be worthy of the Gospel.  The Incarnation is the pattern of daily  Christian behaviour.  If we say we are Christians then this affects the way you live, and should impact every aspect and moment of our lives. This time of year is about joy, but not just our joy.  In Hebrews 12 it says that Jesus suffered crucifixion for the joy set before him.  He comes to us because of this joy.  In Philippians 2, verse 3 speaks of vain, or empty, glory and in verse 7 we read that Jesus emptied himself of His glory to become poor and live a human lifetime of incarnation.  He was laid in a manger, then laid in a tomb.  Christ’s birth changes everything—it should change YOU.  Participate in the Incarnation and every day walk the walk in incarnation—Christ in you.

The final Hymn was O Come All Ye Faithful after which the Closing Prayer was led by Mike Barlow

Fellowship continued over refreshments in the church hall.

On Saturday the 20th of December six young people of the Watford Church presented a nativity play for the congregation. The play was based on parts of Matthew chapter 2, Luke chapter 2 and on the first chapter of a book by Charles Dickens called The Life of Our Lord. It was written between 1846 and 1849 and was published about 85 years later when permission was given by the Dickens family. After the play the children made three nativity scenes and coloured in some nativity scene Christmas cards. They then all went to the Moor Mill restaurant as a thank you for their participation.

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Bricket Wood Bible Study 21 Nov 2014The bi-weekly Bricket Wood Bible Study held it’s last study of the year on Friday 19th December as usual in the upstairs room of the St. Stephens Parish Centre.  The study was followed by mulled wine & mince pies.  The next study will be on January 9th as we continue looking through the book of Psalms with an eye out for Messianic passages.  Next study will see us finish Psalm 119, so we are nearly finished with Psalms and will begin a new book after that.  You are all welcome to join us at any time.  We meet at 7:30pm every other week.

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