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CARRIGROHANE UNION OF PARISHES NEW Parish Newsletter!

St Peter’s, Carrigrohane St Senan’s, Inniscarra The Church of the Resurrection, Blarney www.carrigrohaneunionofparishes.ie 021-4877260

December 2011 Christmas 2011 Saturday 10th December:

Carol Singing at Rosenalee Nursing Home, 3pm (planned by LG/MU—all welcome!) Sunday 11th December:

Christingle Lighthouse—Blarney, 3.30pm Inniscarra Community Carol Service —St Senan’s, 7pm Wednesday 14th December:

Seniors’ Christmas Lunch—(following 12 noon Holy Communion) - Parish Centre, 1pm Sunday 18th December:

Sunday PM lunch, Parish Centre Parish Carol Service, St Peter’s, 4pm followed by refreshments, Parish Centre Monday 19th December:

Blarney Community Carol Service - the Church of the Resurrection, 7.30pm Saturday 24th December:

Holy Communion for Christmas Eve - St Senan’s Inniscarra, 11pm Christmas Day:

Holy Communion, St Peter’s, 10am Holy Communion, Blarney, 11.15am Sunday 1st January:

Holy Communion, St Peter’s, 9am United Celebration, Parish Centre—3pm Followed by bring & share tea and a movie— The Voyage of the Dawn Treader

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Connecting with the Real Christmas? “And it came to pass that Mary’s labour pains intensified and Joseph found himself acting as a desperate midwife, while outside the stable, the snow lay deep and crisp and even, when from the heavens came, the sound of voices singing; “Holiday’s are a coming...watch out...something’s coming, something magic in the night, can’t you see it shining bright? It is the season. It is always the real thing… always Coca Cola”! Sorting the real thing from the fiction at Christmas can be a challenge. But then it is for many today all year round, and so one of the aims of Connect 2012 is help that process of sorting out, to get to the very essence of Christ coming as a baby. We look forward to February 11th - the pro gramme will be out in De cembe r. In the meantime may everyone know the peace and joy of Christmas. Ian

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Ordinary People— Sharing our Stories… Mary & Dean Venables —chatting with Fiona McAuliffe Q. How did you become a Christian? Dean: In my case my father has a sincere faith, so we went to church regularly. It seemed God was always there in some sense. During my late teenage years I began questioning my faith. There were those conversion stories from evangelical churches and they didn’t match my experience. The issue resolved itself by university as I figured that was just the way it was. Mary: My story is similar. I grew up in a Christian family and my parents were fairly involved in the church. But there came a point in my late teens when I had to claim my faith and believe because I wanted to, not because it was expected of me. Q. In what ways does being a Christian affect your daily life? Mary: I think it played a big role in my decision to stay at home with the kids rather than pursuing a job; giving that up was part of living as a Christian for me. I think it takes you out of yourself and helps you have more concern for others. Dean: I would agree. It’s easy to do the dog-eat-dog thing professionally but I think the gospel says we should love others. However imperfectly we do that, it establishes a good standard for us to follow. Q. Can you pinpoint a moment when you felt God particularly helped you? Mary: When we were looking to buy a house and were bidding on one for the second time, which then went out of our range. We were in a one bedroom apartment with our daughter sleeping in the hallway and getting really frustrated. Then we found the Coach House in Carrigrohane and I think that move was an important step in getting settled in Cork. We made friends and became more rooted. Q. What aspects of Christianity do you struggle with? Dean: I think as a scientist there are issues about Christianity that I grapple with. You have that tension between the scientific and theological understanding of the world like between evolution and the fall. Also faith is not really encouraged within the science community itself. Mary: Sometimes faith seems to become just one more chore. It can be hard to engage with things emotionally when you’re tired and busy. Dean: Like concentrating on a service when you’re minding kids. Mary: In some ways that has made us less consumerist of religious services. We don’t go to church to make us feel better, we go to worship God. Q. What role does being a part of a church play in your lives? Mary: It’s sort of foundational for our faith. Most Sundays we don’t think whether or not we will go to church. We hope it’s a habit we can pass on to our kids. Dean: More than that, it’s a real community where we know people and they know us. That’s really important as our families live a long way away. Q. What do you think is the most important part of being a Christian and demonstrating your faith? Mary: I think Jesus summarised it in the command to love God and love your neighbours as yourselves. I think we can do that wherever we are and in all our activities. Dean: I’d second that. Loving each other and expressing our own personal belief is the most powerful testimony.

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As we prepare for Connect 2012, Ivan summarises Chapter 1 from

‘Breaking the News—Sharing Faith without Fear’ by J John

The author begins the book by arguing that for many Christians today, evangelism is almost a “dirty word” but he goes on to show that it is an essential part of the Gospel, not an optional extra, being mentioned 52 times in the NT. It should be a natural part of our Christian lives. He defines evangelism as simply the “practice of sharing the Gospel of Jesus Christ” or as handing out “ invitations to a free party that is ‘out of this world’”. He goes on to discuss the interaction between “works” and “words” in relation to sharing the good news. He argues that the bible makes it clear that “evangelistic conversations without godly actions is hypocrisy”, and looks in detail about what the bible says about evangelism. 1 The command of Christ. He reminds his readers that from Matt 28:19-20 we are told to: make disciples; mark disciples (by baptism); help disciples mature (by helping them grow in wisdom and faith). 2 The role of the church. Readers are reminded that the local church has no option but be actively involved in evangelism. Otherwise they are guilty of the sin of omission. He goes on to say that the local church should be: Looking up- worship. Local church must be involved in true worship which is “inwardly transforming and outwardly focused”; Looking in - well being. Local church should provide the place where the biblical concept of shalom is evident through relationships that are accepting, affirming, accountable and transforming; Looking out- witness. Witness should be seen as our first hand testimony through words and works to what God has done for us. The healthy church should have an equal balance between worship, well being and witness. 3 The compassion of Christ. At the heart of true evangelism is a genuine compassion for people which the bible sees as a very strong word, “full of deep, gut-level feeling and emotion”. This is the type of compassion that Jesus displayed when he saw the needs of the crowd in Matt 9:36-38. 4 The conviction of Christ. Christ was committed to the growth of his church both numerically as well as in the depth of the transformation of his followers so that they could be make a difference in their communities. 5 The consummation of Christ’s Kingdom. The Bible makes clear that one of the conditions that have to be realised before Christ’s second coming is that everybody in the world must have heard the gospel (Matt 24:14). We all have a responsibility to make this a reality. Is Jesus Our Most Precious Treasure? J John reminds us that it’s tough to share the Good News if we have lost our first love for Christ. Consequently we should be looking for a fresh outpouring of love and gratitude for all he has done for us. The Bigger Picture - In order to communicate effectively the Gospel we should be able to paint the bigger picture of God’s dealings with humanity. He argues that Eph1:3-2:13 provides a helpful summary of the seven main sections of that history ie: creation; chaos; covenant; Christ the mediator; Christ the conqueror; certainty; completion. What are our Fears? We all have fears and it is important that we recognise them. According to J John there are four common fears that prevent people from sharing the Good News. A Fear of being inadequate - We don’t have to wait until we know everything about the Christian faith. We should be prepared to share our story, what we do know. continued...

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...continued B Fear of damaging our reputation - We shoudn’t be concerned about our reputation as Jesus on the cross showed us he was prepared to give up everything for us, even his reputation. This doesn’t mean that we have permission to share the gospel without grace and sensitivity! C Fear of appearing hypocritical - If there is inconsistency between our beliefs and lifestyles then this can lead us to believing that we are not good enough or inadequate to share our faith with others. We should remember that we are never going to be good enough but if we feel inadequate we should repent, change and start being used by God. God uses broken tools just like you and me. D Fear of rejection - While we all have an inherent need for love and acceptance this can lead us to a fear of being rejected if we share our faith. The bible makes clear that not everybody who hears the good news will respond and that in the process we may find ourselves being rejected or indeed persecuted. J John argues that this does not mean we should be aggressive in how we present our faith and make sure that if we are rejected it is because of the message and not because of the way in which we have shared it. Ivan McMahon

Connect 2012… AN OPPORTUNITY TO SERVE in an EXCELLENT TEAM

And we don’t just mean our invited speakers and drama group! Everyone one of us is a vital part of the excellent team that is crucial for Connect 2012 to be effective. The sign up to serve sheets are still around! - anything from being a steward with a warm greeting, to baking, street witness, hosting and praying etc…

AN OPPORTUNITY TO GIVE

The aim of Connect 2012 is to witness to Christ and the Kingdom of God through our community life. We have built up much respect over the years, but many don’t know us - and to cross the door of church buildings is a big ask. So Connect 2012 will: • As much as possible take place outside of church venues

Use publicity to reach up to 10,000 homes. While being faithful to the timeless message of Christ, the Good News will be presented in creative and imaginative ways through our speakers and one of Britain’s leading drama groups, the Saltmine Theatre Company. This is an investment which prayerfully will have an impact for years to come. Like all investments it requires funding and the Select Vestry have agreed a maximum budget of €12,000 and invites contributions towards the costs. Please catch the vision and give what you can. Contributions can be sent to the Parish office or put in an envelope on the collection plate - marked for Connect 2012. If you put your name on the envelope we can claim tax back!

Parish Contacts:

Rector: Canon Ian Jonas – 4871106 email: rector@carrigrohaneunionofparishes.ie Parish Office: 4877260 (Mon-Fri mornings) email: parishoffice@carrigrohaneunionofparishes.ie Youth Workers: Matt Gould: 085 1080067 & Katie Gould: 085 1080030) email: mattandkatiegould@yahoo.co.uk Parish website: www.carrigrohaneunionofparishes.ie We change the answer machine message at the beginning of each week— and include the times of the services for the following Sunday.

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The Refresh Weekend with Ken and Helen Clarke (Recordings of Ken’s Talks are available—ask in the Parish Office or Bill Lane!)

Ruth Hockey wrote to the Connect 2012 steering group to say thank you for the refresh Weekend...here’s why.

“The Refresh Weekend was special in lots of ways. One of those was simply the being together, gathering as church family for more than a Sunday service. I re-connected with some people I had only greeted in passing in recent months and remembered that it was the family feeling that drew me to Carrigrohane Union twenty something years ago. The evening in Blarney was fab, such a joy to worship like that (with a touch of nostalgia for the days of Blarney evening services, but things move on and change I know!) and helpful to hear Bill's input on plans for the shopping centre during the week. I could sit and listen to Ken and Helen for hours, because what they say is so good and full of fun and grace and wisdom, but also because just sitting with them, I can feel God's love and presence. It's reassuring to know that they are the people we are inviting friends to come and hear at Connect 2012 events, as I know there is no danger of them offending or being judgmental or pressurising. For me the more I know about what I am asking people to come to, the more confident I feel to do so. It helped me to realise that the week is set in the context of what we do daily, rather than being this big splash out of nowhere, which I had kind of perceived it to be up till now. I can get my head around that more easily. I also found the idea of bringing friends rather than inviting strangers a helpful one which I can work on in the weeks ahead. The 'beautiful feet people' was a very helpful session for me. I have been able to thank a few of my beautiful feet people, which has been lovely and I can connect with wanting to bless others in similar ways, more than with a vague 'let's reach the strangers in Ballincollig' concept. Leading on from the ‘strangers in Ballincollig’ thought, the other thing that helped me was to think of people 'coming home' to God as a result of the week. I think I had somehow felt we were being told that our current church family didn't really matter any more, but that we were to focus on these strangers instead, rather than realising that I can still cherish my church family whom I know and love already, and prepare to welcome others who belong too, but just don't know it yet! I will be praying for God to give me compassion and to help me know how to pray as I walk through Ballincollig on my daily business!”

Other December Dates & reminders: Glow Max—7.30-9.30 pm on Friday 2 December Glow—7-9 pm on Friday 9 December Book Club—Wednesday evening, 14 December in Bacco’s, Ballincollig: Hard Times by Charles Dickens The ADVENT COLLECTION OF NON-PERISHABLE FOODS in aid of Simon and Cuanlee will start 4 Dec and continue each week in all churches until 18 Dec. The final TODDLERS of the term will be Tuesday 13 December in Blarney and Friday 16 December in the Parish Centre

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An Update…

You may remember hearing that Reg Bailey, the Chief Executive of the Mothers’ Union, was asked by the British government to head up an independent review of the commericalisation and premature sexualisation of children. The Bailey Review—Letting Children be Children was published in June. You can download a copy from the UK Department of Education website—and hear Reg talking about his findings on YouTube. On 11th October, representatives & regulators from the media, marketing & retail industries attended a summit in 10 Downing Street to update the Prime Minister on their progress on implementing the Bailey Review recommendations. Some of the results so far: • A new website, ParentPort, was launched. Very straightforward to use, it directs people to the relevant bodies to make complaints about advertising, marketing & retailing to children. (www.parentport.org.uk) • The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) has produced a ‘statement on sexual imagery in outoor advertising’ which outlines what it will find acceptable, nor not, on billboards, bus stops or other outdoor adverts—especially those locations particularly relevant to children. • The ASA is also launching a schools engagement programme in 2012, to provide educational materials to help parents & children understand advertising rules. • Ofcom has produced a new guidance note, ‘Protecting the under-eighteens: observing the watershed on television and music videos’, and will be reviewing all codes of guidance in late 2011/early 2012. • The Department for Culture, Media and Sport will be consulting on age rating for music videos in January 2012. • BT, Sky, TalkTalk & Virgin will offer new internet customers an automatic ‘active choice’ of whether or not to activate parental controls for their internet line—within the next 12 months (already begun and making a difference!). • In June the British Retail Consortium launched ‘Responsible Retailing:BRC Childrenswear Guidelines’ which offers good practice guidance to members on retail ing clothes to the under 12s. • The Advertising Association has produced a ‘best practice principle on the use of under 16s in brand ambassador and peer-to-peer marketing’, stating that children under the age of 16 should NOT be employed to actively promote brands and products to their peers. The Bailey Review came about because the government knew of the Bye Buy Childhood Campaign, and chose Reg to lead the Review. In turn, the Bye Buy Childhood Campaign began because of the concern expressed by parents (Mothers’ Union members and others) of their experience of the pressures of commercialisation on family life and the premature sexualisation of our children. ‘Ordinary’ people having a voice! So far so good! For ideas on how to get involved with the Bye Buy Childhood Campaign to continue improving society for children, look at www.byebuychildhood.org. Here in Ireland a postcard campaign was launched in March. This is particularly aimed at sending comments/complaints to OfCom (UK) and the Broadcasting Authority of Ireland about programmes and advertisements that cause you concern. You can go to their websites directly—or obtain postcards from marketing@mothersunion.ie (or from Patsy!).

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New Wine Sligo Summer 2012

Christmas crackers! What does a cat on a beach have in common with Christmas?

8-13 July—with Bishop Ken Clarke as the morning Bible Teacher! Sessions for all ages, workshops, fellowship— Sandy Claws! and beaches nearby! Booking forms from the Parish What kind of candle burns longer—a red canOffice or www.newwineireland.org dle or a green candle? Super early bird rate ends 19th Dec, Neither—a candle always burns shorter! early bird rate ends 30th April!

Freely, freely we have received... Every year it’s good for us all to review our financial commitment to God’s work. The Parish Giving Leaflet 2011 (available on-line or in the churches) is helpful, explaining the principles of Biblical Giving—and setting out the different ways we can give. It is because the parish has, over many years, followed such principles that we have been able to be adventurous with the way we respond to God’s call on our lives—for instance the appointment of the Blarney Minister and the support of local Christian initiatives, like The Haven and the YMCA PAKT programme, as well support for mission overseas. So we look forward to the next stages of our adventure together—being hopeful that the Blarney post will be filled in the coming year and reaching out into the wider community with Connect 2012. Stewardship Envelopes for the new year will be available in the churches during December. If you choose to use these, please sign on the sheet so the office staff can track your giving for tax reclaim purposes. We appreciate that these are difficult times financially for many people. With that in mind I would draw your attention to a fund that the Select Vestry has designated to help with small grants for individuals and families in need. Please feel free to talk to me with the assurance of complete confidentiality. Indeed, please be assured of complete confidentiality in all matters relating to the way you support financially the work of CUP. Ian

Bishops' Appeal

gift envelopes will be in our service sheets for Christmas services. Bishops’ Appeal is the Church's World Aid and Development Programme, set up by the Bishops of the Church in response to the commands in the Bible to bring good news to the poor and relief to the suffering. It aims: • to educate the Church at home about the needs and concerns of people in the less developed world and the causes of poverty; • to encourage Church members to examine the reasons for the problems facing the less fortunate in the world and to consider what we can do to change conditions; • to reach out in God's name to those who need our help; • to encourage informed prayer and prayerful action aimed at strengthening the poor; • to raise the funds needed to allow Bishops' Appeal to support development projects and alleviate the suffering caused by disasters, both natural and man-made. Bishops' Appeal channels funds through development agencies who are already in place in areas of need (i.e. Christian Aid; CMS Ireland; Tearfund; USPG; South Americal Mission Society; The Leprosy Mission Ireland; Fields of Life; S.A.F.E., Feed the Minds; Trocaire.)

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News from Helen Lane…

Hi everyone, I’ve been hearing reports that it’s properly dark and November-ish back home... have to say I’m quite enjoying the all year round shorts-weather and the lack of cold hands and feet! I’ve seen some tinsel in the shops here but it seems a bit out of place! It’s been lovely to hear from many of you; thanks for keeping me in the loop. The big news is that James told me he’s coming over for Christmas for 10 days which is an amazing surprise. It was great to have him in October and we had a nice mix of hanging around Freetown and a few expeditions to beaches and an inland island. Work is very busy but generally interesting. We're about to go on a working retreat today til Saturday about 3 hours away with other UN agencies to review this year and plan next year. It'll be nice to get out of Freetown for a while, though unfortunately no opportunity to see much apart from the conference centre. I’ve been invited to a Muslim wedding by one of the office security guards. At first, when I read inside the invitation envelope, I thought he was proposing to me (it wouldn’t be the first time that has happened to me here!) as the card said “I’ve been looking for someone special and I believe I have found the right person...”. Luckily, the other side of the card confirmed I was wrong! There’s lots of talk of the elections here next year. Sierra Leoneans are a very animated people; in the shared taxis you can hear lots of heated debates about the candidates and every other topic under the sun too. I’m always amazed at how they can be completely incredulous and sound angry at each other one minute, then the next minute they arrive to their stop, hand over the fare, say “ok, Bo” (meaning ok dude), and get out of the car cool as a cucumber. I’ve finished my Krio lessons and enjoy speaking it, though badly. I like the expression, “life de” (meaning “I’m alive”/life’s there) when you ask how people are. It’s appropriate I guess in a country where life teeters on the brink more frequently for people than back home. So, that’s all for now. Hope the rain isn’t too heavy and there are not too many colds etc. Please pray for me (if you are of the praying variety) as I get down to the job hunting business again, for good priorities and clarity in determining next steps. Love Helen

Women’s conference in Rosscarbery

More than 70 women relaxed in the Celtic Ross Hotel, Rosscarbery from 18-21 November with Mary Good as a key note speaker, workshops, time to relax (including the leisure centre and spa) & have fun. A few comments from those who went from Carrigrohane, some for the first time: ‘Welcoming, relaxing, up-building & fun! Blessed by God and by the people I met.’ ‘Most enjoyable, stimulating, great fellowship, good food, challenging—definitely back next year!’ ‘I had a tremendous feeling of well-being; there was variety; a high caliber of addresses; spoke to me in a spiritual way. It was a welcome opportunity to take stock.’ ‘Well balanced input of good teaching, thought provoking workshops and togetherness in the free times.’ ‘Weekend was really well organized, in a beautiful location. excellent and the craic was mighty!’

The speakers were

It will definitely be on again next year!

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connect december 2011