‘Come, let us walk in the light of the LORD.’
Advent Sunday MALMESBURY ABBEY
SEEK HIM THAT MAKETH THE SEVEN STARS
Advent Carol Service by candlelight Malmesbury Abbey Sunday 1st December at 6.30pm. Admission Free.
Vicarâ€™s blog: hope The year begins. Almost unnoticed by the high street, the school, the work place, and even the church â€“ our church year begins today; Advent Sunday. At the abbey we have moved all the chairs so we can celebrate the new church year by falling over each other. The everlasting beauty of the Church of England is that even when we completely change the seating arrangement, everybody still finds their normal place to sit in. Advent Sunday at 6.30pm the light will come into the middle of the darkness, beauty arrives in the silence, the divine word in the chaos of the world. Advent is a season of hope. What is it that will remain with us after our Advent Carol Service? For some it will be the beauty of choral worship as it echoes around the 12th century walls of the Abbey, drawing us a little closer to heaven and the song of the angels. For others it will be the stillness, as we stop and sit in silence and listen to the timeless word of God written 2,000 years ago or more. For me it will
probably be the Advent carols themselves, the richness of the harmonies on the organ and the depth of the longing for God in the texts. But perhaps for many it will simply be the candles, the light shining in the darkness. Most of us have seen a candle before, but not all of us will have stood with 300 others and held candles symbolising the light of God, shining in the darkness of humanity. It is a powerful image. As 2 billion Christians worldwide mark Advent Sunday today, it is easy to imagine the tangible darkness of the church in the Philippines, or in Egypt, or in Syria; yet they meet in hope today. And as the year ends in the UK each of us knows somebody for whom the darkness is also very real, and it looks like personal debt or job vulnerability or relational breakdown or sickness or loneliness or spiritual searching. But Advent is not a festival of darkness; it is a reminder that whatever shape or shadow the darkness takes in our lives, God is there, and we, the church, will always be a people of hope. The Light shines.
Abbey Diary SERVICES TODAY: ADVENT SUNDAY 8am 10.30am 4pm 6.30pm EACH DAY MON 2nd
WED 4th THUR 5th
BCP Communion Holy Communion Informal Worship, Junior Church & Trax Advent Carol Service 9am Morning Prayer 9.30am Soft Play for carer’s and toddlers 2.30pm Small Group Taster in St Aldhelm's Chapel 7pm Hearts, Hands & Voices 10.30am Holy Communion 7pm NO Pipeline 4pm Evening Prayer 7pm Choir Practice 8pm Men’s Basketball 10am Healing in the Streets 7.30am Messiah
NEXT SUNDAY 8am BCP Communion 10.30am Holy Communion 4pm Informal Worship, Junior Church & Trax ADVANCE ABBEY DIARY
Our advent texts proclaim again that ‘the people walking in darkness have seen a great light.’ Jesus Christ is that light. May you, and those you love, seek and know His holy presence in the days and weeks of Advent.
DEC 10th DEC 13th DEC 21-24 DEC 22nd
Wiltshire Carol Service Sir James Galway The Malmesbury Nativity 6.30pm 9 Lessons & Carols
2014 JAN 5th FEB 19-21
Pool Baptisms Abbey Skate 2014
Isaiah 2:1-5 This is what Isaiah son of Amoz saw concerning Judah and Jerusalem: 2 In the last days the mountain of the LORD’s temple will be established as the highest of the mountains; it will be exalted above the hills, and all nations will stream to it. 3 Many peoples will come and say, ‘Come, let us go up to the mountain of the LORD, to the temple of the God of Jacob. He will teach us his ways, so that we may walk in his paths.’ The law will go out from Zion, the word of the LORD from Jerusalem. 4 He will judge between the nations and will settle disputes for many peoples. They will beat their swords into ploughshares and their spears into pruning hooks. Nation will not take up sword against nation, nor will they train for war any more. 5 Come, descendants of Jacob, let us walk in the light of the LORD.
Additional Reading: Matthew 24:36-44 36
‘But about that day or hour no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father. 37 As it was in the days of Noah, so it will be at the coming of the Son of Man. 38 For in the days before the flood, people were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, up to the day Noah entered the ark; 39 and they knew nothing about
what would happen until the flood came and took them all away. That is how it will be at the coming of the Son of Man. 40 Two men will be in the field; one will be taken and the other left. 41 Two women will be grinding with a hand mill; one will be taken and the other left. 42
‘Therefore keep watch, because you do not know on what day your Lord will come. 43 But understand this: if the owner of the house had known at what time of night the thief was coming, he would have kept watch and would not have let his house be broken into. 44 So you also must be ready, because the Son of Man will come at an hour when you do not expect him.
small group resource + 1. 2.
3. 4. 5. 6. 7.
What is it that most remains with you from last Sunday’s teaching and worship together? Which themes does the church hold together in the season of Lent? What is the point of Christmas—what does the word mean? Who is speaking in Matthew 24? Which verses specifically encourage holiness, and evangelism? What does it mean in practice to ‘keep watch?’ Read Isaiah 2:1-5 together. You must agree just one word, no more, to summarise each verse. How might you pray now in the spirit of the prophet Isaiah?
daily readings MONDAY Isaiah 25:1-9 Matt 12:1-21
TUESDAY Isaiah 26:1-13 Matt 12:22-37
WEDNESDAY THURSDAY FRIDAY Isaiah 28:1-13 Isaiah 8:14-end Isaiah 29:1-14 Matt 12:38-end Matt 13:1-23 Matt 13:24-43
Baptisms in the Pool—Jan 5th 2014 On Sunday January 5th 2014 at 4pm we will be holding our annual service of Baptism at the Activity Zone. Worship, testimony and prayer in the sports hall at 4pm, baptisms in the pool at 5pm, followed by our Junior Church pool party and food and drinks together. If you would like to be baptised in the pool, or possibly reaffirm an earlier baptism, please contact Neill or John and e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org. Baptism preparation will take place on December 16th at 8pm in the Parish Office. (Those wishing to be baptised later in the year should put Saturday 13th September into their diary when it is looking likely that the Archbishop of Canterbury will be baptising in a local river.)
Mission Giving 2013 As we look back on the year, our thanks to you all for your financial commitment to the Abbey. As well as funding our local mission and ministry, the PCC designates funds from our annual budget for mission, and this year that included: £3,300 supporting Janet Parke’s teaching ministry in Zambia with SIM; £2,200 supporting Dave Bankhead’s worship ministry in Africa with WeAreOne Ministries; £500 to Menorah Ministries’ work with Jewish People in Eastern Europe; £300 for Open Doors work with the Persecuted Church; and £300 to FEBA Christian Radio working right now in the Philippines. We also collected £2,770 for the Tearfund Kigezi Water Project and £2,485 for the African’s Children’s Choir. Additionally £35,000 is committed to the Diocese of Bristol to sustain mission and ministry in areas of Bristol & Swindon where this wouldn’t be possible otherwise. Thank you for playing your part in this. Love from the PCC.
Prayer for the Persecuted Church Praying for those who share our faith but not our freedom. We next meet at 18 West Street on Monday 9 December at 7.45pm. This month please we would ask you bring news on an individual who has recently been through a difficult experience so that we can pray for them specifically. More information from Mike Langtree on 823982. www.opendoorsuk.com
Noticeboard Christian Aid Appeal A cheque for £ 682.75 has been sent to Christian Aid for the Typhoon Appeal, with £510 being raised at the Soup Lunch and the rest through envelopes in the Abbey. The Soup Lunch was an unqualified success, with there being standing room only at one point! Thanks for all that gave
We are one Ministries Dave Bankhead leaves on a ministry trip to Bethlehem on Dec 2nd. He will be staying with a missionary couple and trying to bring Jewish and Palestinian worship leaders and songwriters together to write prophetic songs of hope and healing for the region. Please pray for the building of new relationships, for safety, for Jean and the family, and that God will build unity among a core of creative believers in the region.
Handel’s Messiah The Orchestra of St John The Voices of St John John Lubbock (conductor) Alice Privett (soprano) Roderick Morris (counter-tenor) Christopher Turner (tenor) Bozidar Smiljanic (bass) Malmesbury Abbey Saturday 7th December at 7.30pm Tickets £30 & £25 (under 18s half price) from the Abbey Bookshop or 01666 824339
Contact ABBEY OFFICE Mon &Tues (9.30am-12noon) Weds, Thurs ,Fri, (9.30am-2.30pm) 01666 826666 www.malmesburyabbey.com email@example.com Staff members can be contacted by firstname.lastname@example.org NORMAL CAFÉ HOURS Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday: 9am-3pm Wednesday and Sunday: Closed all day email@example.com
Daytime Small Group Taster Peter & Gillian Yacomeni are running a four week Bible study in Advent to help you discover whether becoming a member of a new Abbey Small Group is for you. They plan to lead a group in the Abbey on the four Monday afternoons in Advent, starting on Monday 2nd December. After coffee or tea together at 2pm, we move into the St Aldhelm’s Chapel for an hour or so of study and prayer, ending by 3.30pm. If you are interested, call us on 826628.
Christmas Seniors Pop-In All are welcome to join us at our Informal Christmas Pop-In on Thursday 12th December at 10.30am in Le Flambé. For more information please contact Mandy on 824416.
12th CENTURY BEAUTY 21st CENTURY CHURCH