This is Advent Sunday (four Sundays before Christmas). Advent is the season in which we re-live the anticipation of God’s ancient people as they awaited the coming of the Messiah, the promised King who would redeem Israel and the whole world. Our Advent sermons this year will be on Luke chapter 1, which recounts the angelic visitations announcing the miraculous births of both John the Baptist and Jesus.
Thank you to everyone who completed our survey during the week. In light of your comments, and in consultation with the wardens, we feel it is best to stay with one 9 am service until February. This is because most Sundays in December have special events in the afternoon and evening. During January, attendances are often lower, and the choir takes its yearly break. Also, we do not have many new volunteers for morning tea and COVID duty at the moment.
I am sorry that this decision is contrary to the message I gave through November, but I feel it is the right call at this time. Personally, I really want to have both our morning services back. Many of you clearly feel the same way. God willing, and with a few more volunteers, we can definitely do that in February. I’ll be very glad when COVID decision fatigue is over!!
Meanwhile, there is Christmas! Here is what is coming up:
- Next Sunday, our Christmas Pageant is on in the afternoon, 4 pm, with many children from our Kids’ Club getting involved.
- On Sunday the 12th it’s the Carols Picnic. Please plan to come, and sign up to help with set-up, pack-up, on the gate, or on a stall.
- Sunday 19th Lessons and Carols at 7.30 pm.
In the lead-up to all this Christmas activity:
- Please come to the Working Bee next Saturday (4th December), when we will set up the nativity scene, as well as gardening and cleaning in the church.
- Take a bundle of letterbox drop postcards and invite Randwick to St Jude’s this Christmas!
At the time of writing it appears, sadly, that the NSW Assisted Dying legislation is about to pass the Lower House. Almost all Christian leaders (and other faith leaders also) are opposed to this. I am still praying that the bill will fail in the Upper House. Our Coogee MP, Dr Marjorie O’Neill, kindly spoke to me during the week. It was pleasing to hear that she has moved amendments to tighten the conditions under which assisted dying could be accessed. Even if the bill does go through, we can still pray that NSW does not become like the Netherlands, where 1 in 25 deaths are of “euthanasia”.
The psalmist today prays, “Show me your ways, O Lord, and teach me your paths” (Psalm 25:3). Is this our honest, humble prayer today, and are we confident that through the Holy Scriptures, God will answer this prayer? May it be so.