Highlights of the Week

Below are a few interesting news items from this week’s Bulletin.  To download the full version of our latest Bulletin,  please go to our Bulletin pageThank you.

THOUGHT FOR FIRST SUNDAY OF ADVENT YEAR A   

                    SECOND COMING – IMPOSSIBLE!?
We cry out with the earliest Christians: ‘Maranatha! Come Lord Jesus Come!’ But does it make sense in our modern scientific world to think that one day Jesus will come ‘on the clouds of Heaven’ and transform all creation into His Glory?
Our world, our Universe has been evolving for billions of years. From this gradual evolution the amazing creation we call man and woman has emerged. Now we too shape the course of evolution, by our science and engineering, but our research and exploration. And that is what God always intended – He invites us to be ‘co-creators’ with Him of this evolving Universe, caring for His creation.
And what is the goal of this Evolution? Annihilation in another ‘Big Bang’ (or ‘Cosmic Crunch’?) Emphatically NO! We are to fill the world with the Spirit of Christ, so that evolution takes a new direction towards its truest destiny – utter integration into the reality of the Cosmic Christ! Jesus will come again – not on the clouds of heaven like some astronaut, but emerging in all creation clothed in the Glory of God’s Love! We do not wait – we work for the Coming of the Kingdom by building a world of Justice, a world of compassion, an era of Peace!

 

JOURNEY OF FAITH    The next Journey of Faith is Friday 13th December at 6.30pm in the Assisi Centre. Who will you encourage to come and discover more about Christ Jesus? 

FUND RAISING CONCERT FOR PROJECT 170    All are invited to take part in‘The Many Voices of Justice and Love’- cultural concert, Friday 6th December at 6pm. Please put this date in your diary, and invite as many friends as possible. We are aiming to replicate the success of last year’s entertainment, food and conviviality to raise much needed funds for our building. If you would like to contribute with a performance, talk with Sherrie or Caroline; if you would like to contribute with food, talk with Ashley; if you would like to contribute in any other way, talk with Marta or Patience. There will be food available from 6.00pm and concert proper will start about 7.00pm.THIS EVENT IS FOR ALL THE PARISH FAMILY AND OUR MANY FRIENDSServite domino in laetitia [serve God in joy]

BAPTISMAL COURSE FOR PARENTS
NEXT BAPTISMAL SUNDAY WILL BE JANUARY 12th – the Feast of the Baptism of the Lord. The First Parents Session will be on Friday 27th Dec at 6.30pm, with the Rite of Child Catechumen on Sunday 29th Dec (Feast of the Holy Family). The Second Parents Session will be on Friday 3rd January at 6.30pm (both sessions in the Assisi Centre). The Baptisms will be celebrated on the Feast of the Baptism of the Lord – 12th January at 10am. Mass Please register your child for Baptism with Eustace Tameh or Christopher Chipato – thank you

ADVENT AND CAFOD WORLD GIFTS The CAFOD World Gifts catalogue has arrived and our children in the Children Liturgy group will be collecting money to buy gifts for the poor of the world. Please support them – and please incorporate CAOD World Gifts among the gifts you give to family and friends this Christmas. 

 

PRE-CHRISTMAS SERVICE OF RECONCILIATION (CONFESSION)   Advent is a tine when the Church strongly encourages us to prepare to make room of Jesus in our hearts and lives by ‘clearing out the junk’ ‘de-cluttering our lives’ so that there is plenty of ‘Room in the Inn’ of our hearts. The Sacrament of Reconciliation is an encounter with the God of Love, the God of Mercy. He yearns that we grow in awareness of His Infinite love and that we grow in the freedom of love. Reconciliation is about growing in Christ by the Holy Spirit. So we are holding a Parish Service of Reconciliation on Thursday 19th December at 7.00pm. I hope we will all make it a priority in our Christmas Preparation to make space and time to meet our Saviour, the Mercy of God made Flesh among us in this beautiful Sacrament of Peace.

OUR PARISH COVENANT WITH THE POOR – OUR FOOD BANK AND ‘CARITAS FUND’ We are a parish to be ‘in covenant with the poor’. This is expressed now very especially the Borderlands Charity and our Caritas Fund and Food Bank helping those being punished by government decreed destitution, and benefit cuts. Our Monthly Covenant with the Poor (First Sunday of the month) helps us be ‘Good News to the Poor’. Thank you. Please continue to support with money (Caritas Fund) and gifts of non-perishable food and appropriate toiletries (Food Bank). At the moment we are in need of almost everything! 1 kilo bags of rice and pasta, cereals, tins of meat and fish (esp tuna), tins and packets of soup, tinned vegetables (eg peas, carrots, potatoes etc) and chopped tomatoes, 1 kilo bags of sugar, small/medium jars of coffee and hot chocolate, tea bags, tins of fruit and packets of biscuits and 1 litre bottles of cooking oil etc etc. MANY THANKS!   

OFFERTORY ENVELOPES AND GIFTAID       We would like to encourage all UK tax payers to give their weekly donation to the church in Gift Aid envelopes. For every £1 you give, we can claim an additional 25p from Inland Revenue – your £1 is then worth £1.25 and costing you not a penny more! If every tax payer signed a GiftAid form, the parish would benefit by about £3000 per year! You can also pay by monthly Standing Order from your bank. Again, all you need do is fill in the form. We must increase our income! Please see Debo or Richard for information & forms. REMEMBER … IT COSTS £350 PER DAY TO RUN OUR PARISH AND MISSION!

PARISH ADVENT RETREAT DAY – ‘GROWING IN THE LIGHT’     For those who could not attend this Day of Prayer and Retreat, the reflections and teaching offered  can be found under ‘Reflections’ on this website. You may like to use them as a ‘home retreat’ during Advent.

YOUTH MINISTRY TRAINING COURSE ‘Called to a Noble Adventure’   Would you consider committing yourself to serving our young people in Youth Ministry? We have long wanted to expand our provision for the young people of our parish community (and perhaps beyond to young people in the area). Is God calling you to this much-needed ministry in our parish? Then talk to Richard and register for our Diocesan Youth Ministry Training Course for 10 Thursdays evenings in 2020 from January 13th to July 23rd 7.00-9.00pm at Alexander House, Pennywell Road. More info form Richard.  

SCRIPTURE SHARING GROUP I would like to encourage regular participation in this group so that we can deepen our love for and understanding of the Sacred Scriptures. It would be ideal for all Lay Readers and Lay Ministers of the Eucharist, as well as Children’s Liturgy leaders. In this Year 170 this would be an excellent way of sharing together and deepening our faith, rooted in the Bible. In the Diocesan Year of Prayer – come and discover the Bible as our first and greatest ‘prayer book’! Every Tuesday after 6.00pm Mass.

CALL TO ACTION ON CLIMATE CHANGE
The teenager Greta Thunberg said: “It is still not too late to act. It will take a far-reaching vision, it will take courage, it will take fierce, fierce determination to act now, to lay the foundations where we may not know all the details about how to shape the ceiling. In other words, it will take cathedral thinking. I ask you to please wake up and make change possible.”
David Attenborough said “ We need to fall in love again with the earth”
Pope Francis said “ God of Love, show us our place in this world as channels of your love for all the creatures of this earth” and “teach us to care for our common home.”
Our children and young people took to the streets of Bristol to demonstrate and challenge our generation to not just speak, BUT ALSO TO ACT – DECISIVELY – NOW!

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.