Monthly Magazine ~ February 2013

February Magazine Article

Dear Friends,

Firstly, as the first magazine written in 2013, I want to wish you again a Happy New Year, and to say thank you for all you Christmas good wishes and all the cards we received. This year, Caroline and I discussed whether we should give Christmas Cards to all the church members, and then thought again, what if we missed someone! So we took the brave decision not to send any Christmas cards, and just to display one at church. We hope you can understand this.

Christmas was a flurry of church services, and it was good to see so many in church. Hopefully our stall at the Christmas Light switch on, helped to raise the profile of the church. We all will continue to work on raising our profile in the community.

Have you noticed though, that as soon as the Christmas stuff came off the shelves in the shops, Easter eggs and hot cross buns seem to have appeared. I saw the first Hot Cross Buns in a shop in Swansea on the day after Dydd Gwyl San Steffan (Boxing Day – or St Stevens day in Wales). In fact by the time you read this article Lent will soon be upon us, and it is a timely reminder of our Christian Calendar, and the dates that we celebrate throughout the year.

Personally, I always look forward to Jiff Lemon Pancake Day, or Shrove Tuesday, when by tradition, we remember the day before Jesus went off into the wilderness to Fast. The idea was, that you used up all the good things in the house, eggs, milk, sugar, in preparation for fasting over lent. How do we chose to remember this no, well by eating pancakes, which we buy ingredients in for!

This lent, I am urging you to consider what you give up. By all means give up chocolate, wine, Brussels sprouts, tripe and onions, or whatever you normally chose. But this year, please also consider the commodity of time, how about giving up some time? How about, once a week over lent, perhaps giving up TV or the internet for a day, how about having a car free day to help the environment. On your day without TV, or the Car, or the internet, how about reading a good book, or doing a bible study. If you’ve just given up one TV programme, why not have a prayer meeting, invite someone to join you (Even if your prayer meeting consists of 55 minutes of conversation, 4 minutes for a cup of coffee and 1 minute of prayer, it will still be worthwhile). Be creative, allow yourself some time.

As we look forward to Easter and all the special Sundays, I have been looking through the list of special Sundays for 2013, and I decided that I would come up with some on my own:-

Invite someone to Lunch Sunday – this is a special Sunday that recurs throughout the year, and it is an opportunity to invite someone to your house for lunch. This does not have to be a gourmet meal! You do not need to tidy up! This is an opportunity to have fellowship, to get to know another church member, or another family. You decide the Sundays you hold this. Please think about who you can invite.

Frugal Sunday – the challenge is to prepare a 2 course Sunday lunch meal as cheaply as you can. Use this as an opportunity to think of those who are struggling financially. Consider then, donating the difference between the cost of your meal, and what you would normally have spent on Sunday lunch to Hopeworx, the Night Shelter, Harp or any other charity that helps folk that are struggling. Use the opportunity also to pray for those who are struggling financially – whatever the reasons may be.

Half Car Sunday – have a think as to whether we can halve the number of cars in our car park one Sunday, who can you give a lift to? I know that taking a few cars off the road, will not make much difference to global warming, but it gives us an opportunity to think about it. Use the opportunity also to pray for the environment.

I’m offering a small prize for anyone who can dream up any other special Sundays.

Wishing you every blessing – Phil.