Dec 2017

First Thoughts: Canon Ann

Looking through the current issue of Shoreline, I am struck by the variety of activities on offer through the church: social (look out for the Tea Dance photos!), charitable or community-focussed, not least the Annual Christmas Beach Clean on 27th December. There is an Advent Quiet Day on 16th December offering spiritual renewal, and of course all this is underpinned by regular worship.

It is, indeed, all this activity (including the many things I haven’t space to mention) that makes us a community, a family together. This belonging and engaging with those around us is a fundamental part of being Christian.

At this time of year, our thoughts turn to a particular family, Mary and Joseph preparing for the birth of Jesus; a family who became refugees. As we read in Matthew’s Gospel (Matthew 2:13-16), Joseph took Mary and the infant Jesus into Egypt and stayed there until the death of King Herod. That account brings home the importance of supporting each other - I imagine this family received help along the way as they fled from great danger and made a new home in Egypt until it was safe to return. Never was that more relevant than today when we witness so many people fleeing from their own countries, with harrowing stories to tell; families needing our help and support as Joseph, Mary and Jesus did 2000 years ago.

An angel appeared to Joseph to warn him to flee to Egypt, and you will find some children’s views on angels in this magazine. They are very funny, and for me, the children’s explanations reveal the creative way adults explain to children phenomena we find difficult to express!

We may find it difficult to talk about angels, but we have a very definite message of love to share with our children this Christmas:

“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.

Or, a saying that you might find in a Christmas cracker joke,the origin of which is unknown: “God so loved the world that he didn’t send a committee!”

I wish you all a blessed, peaceful and happy Christmas and New Year, and as ever, look forward to our Christian journey in 2018.

With love and prayers,


Monthly Letter
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