St Andrews Aysgarth-Christmas 2005

St Andrews Parish Church Aysgarth
Incorporating the parishes of Aysgarth, Bolton-cum-Redmire, Preston-under-Scar, Thornton Rust, Wensley & West Witton

  • The Revd. Canon Sue Whitehouse, The Vicarage, Carperby. Tel: 663235
  • The Revd. Curate Margaret Rimmer, Swan Bungalow Redmire. Tel: 625031

December 2005

Dear Friends,
Again the church’s season of Advent is in danger of being subsumed in a flurry of busy-ness. In the commercial rush we are in peril of losing sight of what our Christmas celebrations are all about.

Our prayer list suggestions for December are taken from those suggested by ALTERnativity It is also suggested that we might consider our Christmas tree decorations and among the family favourites to add something new which contributes to our understanding of Jesus, the person whose birth we celebrate.

This year each church in the benefice is making an Advent Tree. All the decorations on this tree tell something of the life and nature of Jesus. Instead of including all the symbols on one tree, each church has taken one symbol so that it is possible for us to follow a path of Advent Reflections and take a few minutes out to stop and think.

  • The Star (West Witton) guided The Wisemen.
    • Their journey reminds us of our journey through life. ‘Which star are you following in
      your life today?’
  • Candles (Aysgarth)
    • These remind us that `Jesus is the Light of the World’ and he calls us to be lights in the
      world too. In what ways do our lives bring the warmth and light of Christ to other
  • The Cross (Thornton Rust Mission Room)
    • A sign that the Christmas story does not end at the crib scene. Through the forgiveness
      and love of Jesus dying on the cross we can move on to the light of the
      resurrection and take hold of the new opportunities, the new beginnings that God offers us.
  • The Crown (Castle Bolton)
    • The child born in poor surroundings is the King of Kings. Christ’s majesty asks us
      “Whom do you serve in your life?”
  • The Angel (Redmire)
    • Angels are, of course, essential messengers in the Christmas
      story. To whom are you called to be an angel today? Who in your life
      is being an angel to you?
  • The Crook (Preston-under-Scar)
    • This has two immediate meanings: firstly, the reminder of the shepherds who responded to the message of the angels and secondly that Jesus calls himself `The Good Shepherd’. God calls each one of us and the choice of response is ours.
  • Gifts (Wensley)
    • How do we receive and respond to God’s gift to us of His Son?

With God’s love and blessing for your Advent Preparations and for a joyful Christmas celebration

What Christmas Means To God

What if this year at Christmastime we concentrated less,
on the parties and the shopping, that brings headaches, strain and stress?
What if this year we’d cut back on our lights and decorations,
and spend more of our energy on faithful celebrations?

What if we took some time this year to travel back in thought,
to a Holy Night in Bethlehem and the peace our Saviour brought?
What if we listen carefully for the angels’ song at night,
and contemplate the shining star that gave the world new light?
And what if we all followed the path the wise men trod?
Perhaps we’d start to understand
What Christmas Means to God.’’
from Sue
the Vicar

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