'Time to accelerate'

Vicar’s Letter Advent 2014

 

‘Time to Accelerate’

 

Dear friends

Last weekend Lewis Hamilton became world racing car champion for the second time. His achievements on the Gran Prix circuit happen only because he knows the exact time and speed with which to accelerate in order to win the race and not spin off at one of the bends on the track.

There are times in our lives when we may feel stuck and unable to move forward at any pace. At other times openings begin to appear and it is time to accelerate.

Acceleration is both exciting and challenging. I love the surge of power and speed you experience when a plane is about to take off.

Christmas – a time to accelerate

In the life and ministry of our church, Christmas presents a time to accelerate. More people welcome an invitation to attend a service at this season than at any other time of year. So it is our job to extend the welcome and deliver the invitation.

Building Bridges

Our intent as a church is to reach out to all in our community so as to share the love of God with everyone. What better time than Christmas to do this? The vast majority of folk within our community would never darken the doors of our church from one year to the next. We manage a connection with some through our funeral contacts, school visits, and occasional outreach activities such as the Mop Fair but I am sure this merely scratches the surface.

Invitation leaflets

This year we are going to be taking invitation leaflets to every door in the parish and to the communities around which we live. Sam Eedle has done a brilliant job of designing a leaflet that highlights the main theme of our Carol Service this year.

We are hoping and praying this will make a strong connection with the community. I have ordered enough leaflets for us to distribute them around the town, to our neighbours, our colleagues at work, in our places of sport and recreation and wherever we meet with others. We do not want anyone to be excluded from the invitation of God to celebrate the wonder of the Christmas event with us. Everyone is welcome.

Furthermore, at a time when the Christian voiced is consistently being silenced we want to reclaim Christmas for Christ. We want everyone to hear and learn and be reminded of the true meaning of Christmas. Whether people respond to the invites or not is their choice, but at least they have the choice!

Operation: Christmas Invite

To enable these invites to be delivered to every house in our parish and beyond, we all need to play a part and decide on a street for which we will pray as we post the leaflet through the letter box. I certainly cannot deliver all these on my own, so I am calling on each of you to take a pack, or more than a pack, and ensure they all get out to the community. We don’t want anyone to feel they did not receive an invite to celebrate the good news of a Saviour’s birth, with us.

Cell Prayer Walk and Invitation Drop

The other week I shared this vision with the cell leaders and they all agreed to support it. It may be that you pick the Cell Night of Wednesday/Thursday 10/11th December (depending in which night you meet) and decide to use that occasion to meet and worship and pray together and then go out in twos delivering a leaflet to each house and praying for that home as you post it through the letter box. You could then meet up when each of you has finished your street for hot chocolate (!) and more worship and prayer.

Time to Accelerate

Friends, its time to accelerate! Lets put our foot to the pedal in prayer and action and pray that this Christmas will reap a great harvest for the Kingdom.

Wishing you all the hopeful anticipation of Advent,

                                                                            Stephen