Christ Church Free Church of England

Pastor's Pen...

From the pastor’s pen....            December, 2017

This Christmas letter from our family to yours is to assure you once again at this special family time of the year that our thoughts and prayers are with you and by the grace of the Lord into and through the new year about to dawn. And what a year it promises to be – what are your hopes and fears? The Wray family have the joy of a new addition – Emily & Steve are expecting their third we have just been informed.  Our son in South Africa, Adam and Andrea are seeking the Lord for his next assignment for them, as Ad feels his days of youth pastoring are nearing the end. Tim & Noemi are excitedly seeking to encourage their new pastor in their church & to build a great working relationship with his family as they reach out to a very needy community of young people. Our Dave is at long last into actual farming having spent some time since his college training days doing gardening and landscaping jobs. The challenge for him in our little church is to try and help us build bridges to the younger set – please pray God will use him to help us do this. Cols and Will seem to be settling in Canada for the time being. We were very glad to see them both briefly this year, though on separate visits.

A milestone for our church this year was the calling home of one of our beloved founder members, Mrs Sarah Pellow. Not a moment too soon for her though we suspect – she was very impatient with the Lord’s timing of this but when the time came was heard to sound forth her theme song: “Keep right on to the end of the road...” and she certainly did in her simple, down to earth faith in the Lord.

Let us also remember especially this Christmas time our dear members who are battling with challenging health issues in their families: Irene & Kev Fairchild getting their home sorted and the help needed there to provide for Kev’s needs. Likewise Terry & Marion Fletcher similarly needing lots of support at home now.

One is very conscious that much of the scriptures prepare God’s people for what can only be described as the worst this life can throw at us but always as the dark before the dawn – and what a dawn! The darker and gloomier the picture – the more gloriously that light at the end of the tunnel shines forth. Matthew quoting Isaiah speaks of Jesus’ coming like this: The people who sat in darkness have seen a great light, And upon those who sat in the region and shadow of death Light has dawned." (Mat 4:16) This very positive outlook on life has been dismissed by sceptics as pie in the sky when you die but the coming into the world of God’s son in the baby Jesus is a pledge or promise that the Christian faith is indeed light dispelling the deepest darkness. As we track his perfect life, what it achieved, how he triumphed over the deepest darkness we could possibly imagine, we are assured that if he is indeed our Light – we too shall triumph in the end , just as he did. May this be your conviction as you enter 2018 and as we celebrate his coming again this Christmas.

Thanks for all the support and encouragement from you all this past year, in your prayers, gifts to the Lord’s work, contributions to services, all the behind the scenes things you do to help our witness in this community, not least of which is your regular joining together to worship together each week. May you all know the Lord’s rich blessings poured out through his Son this Christmas and throughout 2018.

With our love,                        Debbie & Grahame & all the Wray family.

 

Advent calendar:

6:30pm Caroling in the Manston Park returning to Christ Church for refreshments afterwards.

10:30am Saturday 23rd Dec – joining the Cross Gates Methodist Church – singing carols on the steps of the Cross Gates Methodist Church

Mon 10:30am Christmas Day – All Age worship with exchange of "Secret Santa" gifts of no more than £2 and shortened communion for those who want to stay.

 

There will be an Offerings box at all special services over Advent for TEAR Fund. All donations matched by U.K. Government.