Prayer walk

In praying “come Holy Spirit” not only do we invite God to have his way in his world, more crucially we invite God to have his way in us.
Calvin T Samuel BA MBA PhD
Principal, London School of Theology
 
On Saturday 27 May, Epiphany parishoners met at the Church to walk prayerfully around the wonderful place that we live in. This was our part of "lighting up the North Island with prayer" as part of the Diocesan week of prayer, and our way of participating in the global community of Anglicanism with the Archbishop of Canterbury "Thy Kingdom Come 2017". To celebrate, in groups we walked around our Church, having been given great maps by Paul that showed us the hidden nature spots, and together we walked and prayed.
 
We prayed for the parishoners we knew, and those we did not. We prayed for those who had beautiful gardens, acknowledging the joy they brought us as we peered at the natives and birdlife, and we prayed for the houses and gardens where they were less tidy. We prayed for the health and well being of those inside and their families. We prayed for the kindergarten, the school and the dental clinic, the other churches we passed, and those members of Masterton community who grew and developed the streets and parks over the past hundreds of years. We were fortified by afternoon tea and joined by Elaine and Pam. It was lovely to spend time together as a church community, and hope this will be the first of more prayerful walks around our town.

Kids Song and Story

Epiphany Church Hall
 
Kids Song and Story operates every Friday morning during the School Term from 9.30 until 10.30
 
We provide a caring Christian environment for Pre-schoolers (new born – six) and their Parents/Caregivers During our session we sing, move to music, enjoy finger play and stories. Our team of helpers provide morning tea. Children can play with toys inside and enjoy the outdoor play area while Parents/Caregivers can chat and make new friends.
 
A coin donation can be made if desired.
 
More information? Phone Pam 3786740 or turn up on the day.
All Welcome.

Vicar’s Choice 18th December 2016

Well it’s nearly here, but not quite. For fans of the Two Ronnies you will notice that we light fork handles (four candles) on the Advent wreath. On Wednesday Handley and I will go to collect the tree (ordered a month ago) and on Saturday at 10.00am there will be a working bee here at church to put it up and dress it with decorations made by the members of Mothers’ Union and children of Hadlow School. The nativity scene will be placed in the altar and everywhere and everything will be swept, dusted and polished. If you want to help either by wielding a vacuum cleaner, decorating the tree or making tea for the rest of us, you are encouraged to come and join the fun!

One of the great strengths of following Advent properly, as we have tried to do here at Epiphany, is that it reminds us that all this preparation serves as a metaphor for the preparation of ourselves as we get ready to re-accept the incarnate God into our lives, to refresh our faith and to rejoice in God’s love for us.

I hope to see as many as possible at Carols in the Square on Friday 7.00.pm. Over the last couple of years people have responded most positively to our idea of an hour of traditional carols. Now it is up to us, and the other Christian groups, to ensure that this effort continues to bring something of the real Christmas to the people of our town.  Also it gives us a rare chance to be there and be square!

Now, let us leap forward a week or two to the Epiphany. This celebration of the arrival of the Magi to see Jesus is also our Parish patronal feast and therefor very special to us as a community.

The date of the feast is normally the 6th January (Twelfth Night) but it is moved for purposes of celebration to the nearest Sunday.

So, on Sunday 8th January we will have one whole-Parish service at 10.30.am when we can all come together to thank God for our church community, past and present, and pray for its future. And afterwards we will have a lunch together in Hadlow School.

I hope you have signed up!

For Trish and me this will bring to a close five years of real joy serving this very special and, by any measurement, successful Parish.

But, before all that… Christmas! Have a holy one!

Peter

Jim Ball, our beloved People’s Warden and Office Manager offers a profound “thank you” to all those who have served in the office this year. The office will now be closed until Monday 9th January.  

Vicar’s Choice 11th December 2016

Here we are at Gaudete Sunday, the Third Sunday of Advent, the season that announces the Church’s New Year and leads us to Christmas.
Our wreath is in place, our colour is generally purple for Advent, but today we change to rose both for the candle we light and for the chasuble I wear. This vestment was presented by our Mothers’ Union two years ago and is only worn twice in the year… today and Mothering Sunday in the middle of Lent.
We will be singing music particular to this special season of waiting and preparing for Christmas. Note that we do not sing the Eucharist setting (i.e., Lord Have Mercy; Holy, holy holy; Lamb of God) and there is no Gloria during this season.
On the topic of music, Not A Choir are taking a break until Monday 19th December at 5.00pm when we will be hosting the singers from our neighbouring churches to rehearse for Carols In The Square. Please make an effort to attend both this rehearsal and the event itself at 7.00pm on the evening of Friday 23rd December. Please remember it was our Parish that started this event for the whole town three years ago so a good  turnout from us would be good. And it’s very enjoyable and a perfect way to welcome Christmas.
As with last year, members of Hadlow’s Chapel Team, will be adding readings to go alongside the carols.
Advent is a season of waiting. Just because the commercial world hijacks Christmas and brings it forward for their own pecuniary purpose does not mean that we have to. In fact it is all the more reason for us to be firm in our resolve not to fall into the ways of the secular world. The people of the Old Testament waited many generations for the coming of the Messiah; surely we can set a modern-day example and wait four weeks!
In this spirit of waiting, our church Christmas tree and nativity scene will not be erected until Christmas Eve. (10.00am, if you would like to come and give a hand making our church even more beautiful for Christmas.) In the meantime we will use our Advent wreath to mark our time of waiting and preparation. And the same should be true of our own homes. Don’t do Christmas before Christmas… it ruins it!
Have you put your name(s) down for the Parish Lunch on the Feast of The Epiphany? The sign-up sheet is at the back of church. Please do not wait too long and end up disappointed [seventy-three folk signed up on the first day the sheet was put out!]. This will be the final Parish event for Trish and me so we really would like to have the company of the whole Parish. Also, I note the Vestry are offering a very good deal on price!
Mothers’ Union had a marvellous end-of-year service and party last Tuesday. What a wonderful bunch they are. A “Mad Hatter’s Tea Party”! Prayer, food and frolics and all in daft hats… no wonder the group is so well supported, and growing… fifty-five people attended!
Have a happy and prayerful week,
Peter