Christmas 2011 newsletter

This item was posted a while ago, on 16 December 2011.

For unto Us a Child is born: Unto us a son is given; and the government shall be upon his shoulder. Isaiah 9:6
Jehovah God himself! ..………………………………..……..……. ……………. .. There is no greater glory!
A Perfect Baby. Every young mother thinks her baby is the most perfect and unusual baby in the world. Mary must have thought so too; but unlike all other mothers in the world, she was right! Her baby was the only perfect baby ever born; and the most unusual baby—the only-begotten Son of the Most High God! Before – Mary had “pondered in her heart” the words of the Angel Gabriel to her, when he had announced the forthcoming birth of Jesus – saying that her son would be called “the Son of the Highest, the Son of God.” Now – she had heard the testimony of the shepherds saying that the angel had called her child, “A Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.” How beautiful and how natural that she ponders in her heart these things about her precious baby. Before – I, (John) remember my dad asking me “So what have you been doing with yourself today?” Now – I ask my Heavenly Father “what have you been doing through me today?”
Our days of community are never the same, the four of us meet together daily to pray using the Called by God booklet. We also receive prayer lists from Lee Abbey Devon; The Lee Abbey Students Club in London; and from the Aston Household Birmingham. On a Monday morning at 9.00 Val and John go to the Filwood Hope Centre to meet for prayers with leaders from the Salvation Army, the Anglican Church, the Catholic Church, the Sisters from the convent and some of the staff of the Filwood Hope centre.
We take it in turns each week to lead a time of prayer and maybe some words of scripture, using whatever format we choose. Prayer is our foundation from where we begin our day, praying that God will fill us afresh with His Holy Spirit, so that who or whatever comes our way, we can respond in the love of our Lord Jesus Christ. It has been an exciting year with lots going on in Knowle West.
The most exciting news of all is that Aggy and Ed are expecting a baby who should arrive in late January 2012 – the first community member to be born in the household! This will make us five for prayers each day.

Through the summer months, we were all involved with a large Alpha Group of about 30-50 people. This was organised by our local Christian doctors and held at the Health Centre. Many folk from the churches, both in Knowle West and Holy Trinity in Nailsea supported it. As a direct result of Alpha, we have seen a big increase in the congregation of Holy Cross, and the 4pm service held there has taken on its own style of worship within the Anglican/Baptist Partnership. There is a great sense of caring and belonging within that fellowship. Also, our weekly Café Church, held at St. Barnabas Church, has grown in numbers again a direct result of Alpha.

The Monthly Men’s Breakfast has seen some wonderful changes! It still meets at the Baptist Centre, but now is a Family Breakfast with an open invitation. Sally, Alsiter’s wife, started this off by inviting the people off the street to come along. These folk would spend all day on Melvin Square drinking, but they now turn up at the breakfast sharing the food and lots of good relationships are being formed, it has a very good feel to it. Someone says grace before we eat, and afterwards there is lots of laughter and good conversations. There have been times when we sing a few songs of worship at one of the breakfasts, someone got out his mouth organ and Andy rushed home to fetch his guitar. Due to the fact that we are serving food to so many of the general public it was decided that we should all have ‘Food Hygiene’ training, So with the help of the Mede Centre 13 of us including Ed, Val and John had a days training followed by a test paper, we all passed and received a Food Safety Certificate

We continue to have very good relationships with our immediate neighbours and have been able to support an elderly friend, recently taking her to the Eye Hospital for tests. We do a lot of practical work
for this lady, what the Salvation Army call ‘Christianity with your sleeves rolled up’. We continue to take
her out on trips such as Chew Valley Lake for a gentle stroll followed by a cup of tea and a cake!

There are several Christian events taking place during December which is very exciting.
We had the Family Breakfast which took place on the 3rd some 65 people arrived. Then in the evening
we had a bring and share meal at the Mede Centre to celebrate the 15th Anniversary of the Filwood Hope Centre. The Churches in Knowle West, that’s Anglican/Baptist, The Salvation Army, The Catholic Church.
and the Church of Prophecy all contributed to this event.

Then on the 12th there is the Christmas Carol Concert held at The Parks Community Centre in Daventry Road. On the 16th at the Mede Centre there is the Christmas Fete, John has been called in to be Santa in the Grotto! And Val will be ‘Santa’s Little Helper. Then in the evening there will be a Carol Concert held at Holy Cross Church.

Next year we are celebrating the 20th Anniversary of the Lee Abbey Household!
Being a place of prayer and welcome in Knowle West So please put this date in your diary Saturday April 21st 2012
This will be held at St. Barnabas Church Daventry Road Knowle West BS4 1DQ
Starting at 2pm. Light refreshments will be served afterwards. If you do intend to come and join us will you please let us know so that we have some idea of numbers, please reply with a card or via e-mail.

With kind regards from John, Val, Ed and Aggy