Dear all

On this Fourth Sunday of Advent, we celebrate the Annunciation. The angel Gabriel says to Mary, “Greetings, favoured one!” I wonder if you’ve spent some time reflecting on this call on Mary’s life – to bear the Christ-child into the world. How would you have responded if you had received this incredible news?

'The Annunciation' by Paul Woelfel

The image is by Nigerian artist Paul Woelfel and depicts the Annunciation.

In these days of uncertainty, I wonder what “impossible” situation you might be facing? Today’s Gospel passage (Luke 1:26-38) reminds us that with God “all things are possible”. In whatever way God leads us through our season of “impossible”, we do not walk alone. God is with us. He is Immanuel. Jesus, the Lord of our salvation.

Yesterday, at All Saints Church car park we had a socially distanced event where almost fifty people came to sing carols. It was wonderful offering Christ-filled hope while sharing the Christ-child story in the community of Ferndale. It was fabulous to have people from St Barnabas Church come along to join in with this benefice outreach. A massive thank you to Richard and Julie who had this brilliant idea and organised the event. And, many thanks to Revd Barbara, Pam, Henry, Jenny R and others who made this event run smoothly. It was a thoroughly enjoyable time with mulled wine and mince pies on offer!

At our online service, we had our Nine Lessons and Carols which was a lovely service in which many people were involved. Tony Njoroge reminded us in his reflection about the ‘Gift of the Christ-child’ as we have journeyed through Advent. He offered us four gifts: our inner longing for a relationship with God; God’s words of comfort in all circumstances; God’s generous love for us, as we love God and others; and the hope we have in God, giving us the courage to go on. Thank you, Tony! Please note that we have one more Sunday with Tony our placement candidate.

A huge thank you Jaynie for her solos and to all those who read, played the piano, and sang their hearts out this afternoon. It was wonderful having you all join in this service.

Please do stay connected on our website and continue to keep an eye out for David Robinson’s Advent Reflections images.

May I take this opportunity to wish you all a joyful, restful and peaceful Christmas.

Revd Dr Catherine Mark Okoronkwo

The Fourth Sunday in Advent
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