Pastoral Letter - Advent, Christmas Play, Christmas Carols

!!!!Christmas Carols Date Change!!!!
Christmas Carols and Picnic now on 19th December.
The band 'Early Edition' has agreed to lead us.
Carols to Start around 7pm; but come and picnic before.
Bring some friends.

Hi Table View Methodists,

Advent Wreath

Last Sunday we lit the candle of Hope.  I've invited you to light candles at home - especially at your meal times to remember what we hope for in Christ.  The coming of his Kingdom, his justice, his reign.  This coming Sunday we light the candle of Love.  (Next week Joy then Peace and finally the Christ candle.)

As we light the second candle, a good verse for you and your family to memorize is John 3:16:

"For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him may not perish but may have eternal life."
- John 3:16
Some things to think about:  Do you believe that God loves you?  Do you believe that God loves 'the world'?  How does that change the way we live?  Can you think of anyone who is difficult to love?
The Advent candles burn against the darkness - how is the light of Jesus a solution to the darkness of this moment?

As I watch the news I hear of two mass shootings in the US, decisions to bomb Syria from the UK; ongoing crime and violence in SA; the devastating fire in Masiphumelele.  I am tempted to give up.  Then I notice all the peacemakers and the light bringers.  I remember - "...the light shines in the darkness and the darkness has not overcome it!"
This Sunday
This Sunday is a communion Sunday, we will be sharing communion at our 8, 930 and 11am services and baptizing at the 930am service.
I will be talking about Saint Nicholas - a bit of the history of who this forth century bishop was - and what he teaches us about following Jesus; and asking the question:  Does he really have anything to do with Christmas?
Christmas Play
On Sunday the 13th December there will be a Christmas Play at the 930am service.  Thank you to the Sunday School for all your preparation!  The 8am service will be a regular service - with a focus on 'Joy'.
Last 11am Service for the Year This Sunday
Don't forget that the 11am service will close for the December holidays and resume when schools open in January.  This Sunday will be our closing communion service.
Youth this Friday 4 December
Junior and senior youth groups will be celebrating the end of the youth program this Friday at 530 for the juniors and 730 for the seniors.
God bless,
Gus

PS - The church office will be closed for the last two weeks of December and the first two weeks of January.