Highlights of the Week

Below are a few interesting news items from the weekly Bulletins for next four weeks.  To download the full version of our latest Bulletin,  please go to our Bulletin pageThank you.

THOUGHT for the Second Sunday of Advent Year C      

John the Baptist, Orthodox & Subversive!

Out in the wilderness, like the Hebrews in their earliest days; hearing the Word of God, as the Hebrews did at Sinai; preparing for a new age, a promise being fulfilled, as the Hebrews did journeying to the Promised Land.

And yet he was challenging corruption in the religious and political state of Israel. Calling them to repentance so that the winding ways of our shallow hearts and devious minds would be straightened that the Lord might enter the human heart and the Kingdom might come.

True orthodoxy is truly radical, truly reforming and renewing. Authentic ‘traditionalism’ is ever-changing to be faithful to the Word of God in our time – never a mindless preservation of a nostalgic past! This Wild Man of God who ushers in a radically new era is the true Orthodox, is the authentic Tradition! Are we?

DIOCESAN YEAR OF PRAYER Having focussed in the past 12 months on ‘Mission’, the diocese now turns to the well-spring that gives us the energy and vision for Mission – to utter necessity of Prayer. Luke’s Gospel gives us particular insights into Jesus as the Man of Prayer, constantly turning to His Father, finding quiet spaces on hillsides (often in the dark hours of night) during which He would pray, enter afresh into His Divine Communion with Abba, Father through the bond of love that is the Holy Spirit within Him and between Him and the Father. He is our model of Prayer – a prayer that that drives us (inspires us) to action (mission) a prayer that is shaped by that action/mission! Let us deepen our prayer, our contemplative union with Father, Son and Holy Spirit this coming year.

ADVENT – THE VISION OF MISSION Advent is a time for ‘people with far-seeing eyes’ – awakened to the reality of our world, ready to listen and to gaze: in order to recognise where, when and how Jesus comes in the 21st century (in the poverty, among the oppressed, disguised as an addict or as homeless, crying out for acceptance and freedom in the asylum-seeker, yearning for peace among the women and children who are the greatest victims of our wars). But you have to have courage to see and to hear – and more courage to speak and to act! The Spirit of God unfolds a vision of Mission – to transform the deserts and wastelands of our world into places of hope, rich and fertile in humanity and justice, healing and freedom. Our Mission is world-challenging and world-changing. Let our prayer and worship empower our mission, as we gaze upon bread from the fields and wine from the hills being transformed utterly in Christ by the Spirit and the Word through the ministry of the Church!

JOURNEY OF FAITH    We continue the Journey of Faith meetings each Friday at 6.30pm Who will you encourage to come and see what being a Catholic Christian means? Or come for a renewal of faith? Or seek Baptism and/or Confirmation?

 FROM COMMITTEE 170 1) The 170 Committee wants to thank our community for the extraordinary contribution (in so many different ways!) to the Multi-cultural Concert on 23rd November. We raised around  £900 towards our building fund, and especially we celebrated our mission and our strong sense of togetherness in the most joyful way. We hope to repeat the experience next year!2) The 170 Committee is looking for volunteers to organise a family-fun event on Saturday 2nd March (working name ‘Pancakes day’).  We are looking for ideas from all our different cultures who celebrate the last days before Lent in different ways. What do you do in your country for Shrove Tuesday (or Mardi Gras)? Do you have any ideas about what we could organise for children and their families on the last Saturday before Lent? Let us know!

PARENTS BAPTISM PREPARATION COURSES FOR 2019   Parents seeking the baptism of their children this year are asked to inform Eustace Tameh or Christopher and Epiphania Chipato or Fr Richard as soon as possible. Next Baptismal Sunday is:
13th JANUARY at 10am Mass;  With the Rite of Catechumen on Sunday 6th January. The 2 parents Preparation sessions are to be arranged. The next Baptismal Sunday will be Easter Sunday, April 21st during the 10.00am Mass

CALLING ALL EU (European Union) CITIZENS – ALL WHO HAVE EU PASSPORTS    At a meeting in London this past week of Catholic Migrant Officers (and European national chaplains) from around England and Wales (sponsored by the Bishops’ Conference), we examined the arrangements for all EU citizens (those holding EU passports, including their children born in UK) after ‘Brexit’. Although clearly there is now doubt about ‘Brexit’, nevertheless it is vitally important that those concerned (which includes for instance people from Latin America holding Spanish passport and from Angola, East Timor etc holding Portuguese passports) understand the steps they need to take if they wish to remain in UK after 31st December 2020. It is relatively simple in most cases, but you must apply to the ‘EU Settlement Scheme’ from April 2019 and before end of June 2021. We are going to explore how our parish community can support our sisters and brothers in applying for Permanent Settled Status. Meanwhile, for more information visit:  www.gov.uk/eu-settled-status

BRISTOL CHURCHES WINTER NIGHT SHELTER AT ST NICKS

So far we have only 7 volunteers from our parish to support this important part of our Mission – WE NEED MORE! We are hosting our homeless sisters and brothers each Wednesday from 20th Feb to 27th March. There are three shifts each night: Evening 5.30-10pm / Overnight 9.30pm – 7.00am / Morning 6.30-9.30am. For those volunteering for a shift, it is very important that you attend training – you cannot volunteer without this training – for your own good as well as that of our guests! PLEASE CONTACT ASHLEY TARDIVO (07584375049) or ashleytardivo@gmail.com There will be an extra training session here at St Nicks after Mass on Sunday 13th January, finishing at 3.30pm
If you cannot volunteer to do a shift There are also other ways you can support:
[1]  volunteer to cook food for both guests and volunteers – see Patience Bird (07411406411)
[2]  donate toiletries, male/female underwear and socks, hats, gloves, scarves, towels, duvet covers, pillowcases.
[3]  do the laundry of duvet covers, pillowcases and towels (once a week for 6 weeks or a rota).
[4]  become part of prayer circle to pray during the course of project.

CAFOD WORLD GIFTS AS CHRISTMAS PRESENTS As we draw near Christmas, can we think again about giving friends and family the gift of a CAFOD WORLD GIFT – and so our giving helps the poorest of the Earth? Leaflets available in the porch today. Our Children’s Liturgy Group will be collecting once more for World gifts this Advent!

SUPPORT St NICKS 170 FUNDRAISING THIS CHRISTMAS!       Please support your parish community by also including our 170 T-shirts and mugs in your Christmas gift shopping. There will also be our special calendars also! All will help us repair the church and redecorate it in this 170th Year!

ARE YOU STRUGGLING AFTER AN ABORTION EXPERIENCE?  Do you know where to turn – who could help you? I hope as a parish community we are open and caring and healing in a way that you could entrust your pain to us. But also (and very importantly) there is an organisation that could help you – British Victims of Abortion. Call them on their helpline 0845-603-8501 between 7pm and 10pm seven evenings a week.