In a break with tradition, I have this afternoon been installing a Christmas tree into the front room. The decorations can wait till tomorrow but this is the earliest I have ever reached for the tinsel! Like lots of people the run up to Christmas is already feeling very strange, so I think that's why I have unpacked the Christmas lights already.
However, we shall not hurry the journey to Bethlehem and instead I invite you to enter the season of Advent, a time of waiting and preparation. For the best explanation of Advent I know check out this 2 minute video, it might not apply to advent in 2020 in quite the same way but you'll get the general idea!
This year, with no small children at home to read to any more, I am going to share our family advent tradition of reading The Christmas Mystery by Jostein Gaarder with my church family. Each evening starting on 1st December at 6.45pm I shall read a chapter live on our All Saints Facebook page. Like all good children's stories it can be enjoyed by any age so do please join me for a bit of home grown story telling that I hope will help people of all ages make the journey to Bethlehem in their hearts.
Here are the details for worship and church gathering tomorrow on Advent Sunday
9.00am Morning Prayer on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/allsaintsloughborough
Tune in live and share any prayer requests via the comments if you wish. Emily will be leading tomorrow from her shed, possibly wearing a Christmas Pudding hat if a photo I saw earlier today is anything to go by!
10.30am Parish Communion live streamed from the church building on YouTube https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCNymtzHV8G_EfZprXch9RIg
We shall be lighting the advent wreath at the start of the service so you might like to light a candle at home as part of our worship together. Our preacher tomorrow is Suzanne Hanson who is the Intercultural Mission Enabler for our diocese and has been working with us over this year to help us kick start our journey to becoming an intercultural worshipping community.
After the service Revd Emily will be hosting a social drop in on zoom so do drop by and say hello.
Meeting ID: 928 8035 9820
3.00pm Advent Meditation in music, readings and poetry live streamed on YouTube
Simon Headley our principal organist has once again put together a beautiful service of organ music and readings for the Advent season.
6.00pm Advent Reflection: Waiting for the Light
This weekly evening worship will not be live streamed or recorded but you are invited to gather with others on zoom for a service that will include reflections on the different biblical characters of the advent season with music and readings. Here is the zoom link for those joining via computer or smart phone/tablet:
Meeting ID: 883 6210 2409
Alternatively, you can use your normal telephone to dial in:
020 3901 7895 or 0131 460 1196
Using Meeting ID: 883 6210 2409
Service sheets for all these services can be found on our website
I hope that whether you are putting up lights this weekend or not you will find your own way to keep these days of Advent and be able to connect with others for worship, prayer and fellowship. Christmas will look and feel very different this year but together may we find ourselves able to wait with joyful expectation for the true light that is coming into the world.
Yours in the peace and hope of Christ