There was a Church Service on 24 December 2016 

The Service was held in St. Peter’s as usual at 11am. 

The Opening Prayer was given by John Stettaford

Announcements were given by George Henderson and included:
*Joe Tkach’s update in on the notice board
*Prayers are requested by Pastor Joseph Franklin for Haiti threatened with civil war
*Sadly GCI Pastor John Bailey has died

Today we had a special Carol Service led by Geoff Sole. The Service was based on the Kings College annual Carol Service, which takes 9 scriptures and illustrates them with hymns or carols, leading us through the story of man’s creation, fall into sin, the prophecies of and finally, the birth of Jesus as Redeemer and Saviour

The King’s College Service uses different hymns each year, with one being a new carol written especially for the event, although the scriptures are always the same and the first song is always Once In Royal David’s City. Geoff played the song for us with the King’s College Choir and the traditional chorister solo on the first verse. This hymn accompanied the first ‘lesson’ using the scripture in Genesis 3:8-19, read by Jo Esom. Chloe was supposed to read some of the scriptures but took ill this morning and Jo filled in for her. This scripture speaks of Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden and the serpent bruising the heel of the ‘seed’.

We then sang Angels From The Realms Of Glory which sings of angels, shepherds, sages and saints—us. The second ‘lesson’ was from Genesis 22:15-18, read again by Jo and tells of all nations blessed through the seed of Abraham.

We thrilled to the strains of Handel’s Messiah chorus, For Unto Us A Child Is Born, taken from Isaiah 9, foretelling the coming of a Saviour, with the next ‘lesson’, which was from Isaiah 9:2, 6-7, also read by Jo. 

We sang O Come, O come, Emmanuel to accompany the ‘lesson’ about the root of Jesse and the Lion & the Lamb read from Isaiah 11:1-9 by Jean Sole.

We listened to King’s College choir singing ‘Gabriel’s Message’ with Shannon Esom reading Luke 1:30-31 for the fifth ‘lesson’.

The sixth ‘lesson’ came from Luke 2:1-7 read by Jean Sole regarding the birth of Jesus, and a small choir sang Away In A Manger 

Intercessory Prayer was offered by Sue Ann Henderson and included:
*We are thankful for those events so long ago and wonder if perhaps the shepherds were watching over the sheep destined for sacrifice just as the lamb of God came into the world as the sacrifice for all mankind!
*We thank you for all you have done for us and we long for the time when Jesus returns
*We remember the people of Germany at this time, enduring attacks on Christmas preparations—comfort those who hurt, heal the hearts of hatred and protect worshippers at this important time of year
*We remember the people of syria, thanking you for the evacuation at Aleppo
*The people of Yemen are also suffering and we ask for you to help them and lead them to the Prince of Peace
*The people of Haiti are facing civil war and we pray your help and protection upon your people there to stay the hand of the evil one and let Christians be a shining light of peace and kindness
*Thank you for hearing our prayers. We praise you that Nancy’s sister has made a speecy recovery from surgery and then pneumonia, through your compassion and healing. Help her to recognize your hand of mercy and love
*We remember those suffering illness in our congregation—please send your healing power
*guide and lead your people and bring unity, purpose and peace. Give them the hope that this time of year represents
*Guide us, bless us, lead us as we follow you. Heal us, inspire us and help us shine your light to the world

The seventh ‘lesson’ was from Luke 2:8-14, read by Caroline Gentil before we sang the story in the carol While Shepherds Watched Their Flocks By Night

Shannon Esom read Matthew 2:9-11 for the eighth ‘lesson’ regarding the Magi coming to worship Jesus. We sang As With Gladness Men Of Old.

David Silcox gave a short inspirational message, reading Deuteronomy 18:18 that a prophet would be raised up with God’s words in His mouth. We can rely on God’s words—they are the hope of peace and eternal life. As he has spoken, so shall it be!

The final ‘lesson’ was from a reading of John 1:1-14 read by Linda Halford—the Word was with God, the Word was God and became flesh to dwell among us as the light of the world. After we sand the final hymn/carol, Hark! The Herald Angels Sing, Geoff Sole closed the Service in Prayer.

Fellowship continued over Refreshments in the Church Hall.

 

 

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The last Bible Study of the year tool place as usual in the upstairs room of the St. Stephens Parish Centre in Bricket Wood on Friday 23rd December 2016 at 7:30pm. John Stettaford delved deeply into the history and culture that led to the writing of the book of John, which will be a good grounding as we study the book and its meaning and application for the world today. We really, actually, begin the book of John at the next Bible Study, which is to be on 6th January 2017! Please join us. We finished for the year with mulled wine and mince pies.

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