WELCOME TO 2017

I wonder how you feel at the beginning of this new year. It looks as if it is going to be a year of continuing changes on the political level with many unknowns; on a personal note many of us again cannot predict what the year will hold.

One of my friends last year said she had a feeling that 2016 was not going to be a good year for her, sadly she was right with a hospital visit and a barrage of tests being just part of her year. But even amidst the hard parts she made some good memories as well. If you had a year like hers I am sure you are glad to see the back of 2016. Maybe some of you have had the opposite experience and are slightly sad to see 2016 end.

One of the things she said is that after all that happened this year she wanted to simplify her life. I remember reading a magazine article once which said we should all un-clutter our lives; in their case it meant reducing their life to less than 100 possessions. Now for some of you that may seem very do-able but it is all a bit beyond me – maybe I’ll aim for 1000, well maybe a few thousand! I also wonder who actually has time to count how many possessions they own (and does a pair of socks count as one or two items?).

Having said that I do believe there is something important here about simplifying our lives, to work out what is important and what holds us back – to give up some clutter, material and emotional, and to live simpler lives.

Sometimes we need to stop and take a look at our lives. Is there so much going on that we don’t have any time, as the poem says, to ‘stand and stare’? Or is the converse true, do we need to find a new hobby or project to put our energies into.

We need to hold onto what is important to us but maybe there is a time to let go of what is not. Many of us have things in our lives that hold us back and stop us being who we were created to be. I suspect getting rid of them will be easier said than done. Maybe in 2017 we can each take small steps with God’s help and with good friends alongside us to encourage us to aim for that simpler life.

Thank you. A big thank you to everyone who helped at the Christmas services especially to the Croscombe and Dinder Choir; those who read at the carol services; decorated the Churches so beautifully or provided refreshments after the services.

Rev. Chris

THE CHILDREN’S FESTIVAL

THE CHILDREN’S FESTIVAL is being held on Saturday 21st January at Wells Cathedral and the theme this year is Camels and Candles. The Festival is aimed at Primary School aged children, with lots of different workshops including craft, singing and meeting animals. If you are interested in coming along please contact Sandra Kirkham on 01749 342221.

YOS

Hope you all had a fantastic Christmas and New Year and are looking forward to a new school term. We won’t be meeting in January as the 1st Sunday is New Year’s Day. February’s meeting will be a trip to see some of our members in the Croscombe pantomime.

YOS is open to children of all parishes in year 6 upwards. We meet in Dinder Village Hall on the 1st Sunday of each month 6pm-7.30pm. For further information please contact Sandra Kirkham 342221 or Becky Gilbert 676739.

CHANGE AND PROMISE

As we draw near the end of 2016 I think we can all agree it has been a strange year in many ways. The vote to leave Europe back in the summer and the new USA President Elect may have caught some of us by surprise. Both events have led to a level of uncertainty and seem to capture the disillusionment with the status quo being experienced by many people. It

indicates a yearning for change. Time will tell what that change will look like, it is certainly leading to a period of uncertainty. If the main experts can’t agree, what chance do we have of predicting what will happen.

As many people have said, despite these events, what we do know is that the sun is still rising each morning and life goes on. But for many of us the hope is that life will do more than go on, that people can flourish. For me that is what the Christmas story is all about, it is also a story of change of the status quo but one that leads to hope. Beginning with the birth of a baby in Bethlehem, and ending with the ultimate sacrifice leading to new hope. The story of Jesus brings us promise; it is a promise and a hope of everyone mattering and being loved and valued. It is a hope of ‘life in all its fullness’, of each individual being treasured and loved but not at the expense of others. So come along and join us as our community comes together over the Christmas period to hear again the angels bringing us ‘tidings of comfort and joy’ to a world that needs to hear again that promise.

Full details of all the services are in this magazine or on our website, see you there.
A Merry Christmas to you all.

Rev Chris

YOS

November saw us decorating glass jars to light the way to our December Christmas services!

December meeting will be Sunday 4th we will be looking at the Christmas services as well as having a party. Please can you all bring something to share? We will provide drinks and games!

YOS is open to children of all parishes in year 6 upwards on the 1st Sunday of each month 6.00pm-7.30pm. For further information please contact Sandra Kirkham 342221 or Becky Gilbert 676739.

THE REVERSE ADVENT CALENDAR

Do join us in taking part in the reverse Advent calendar

challenge (see last month’s magazine for details). Please bring your boxes to one of our churches on 18th December. Boxes will be available in all churches for individual donations. The usual tins and packets will be welcome together with seasonal goods such as mince pies, Christmas puddings, gloves, hats and scarves.

ADVENT

Time and space to think.
Through Advent we will be creating time and space in our Churches for you to just come and be, or to pray. Each week a new activity (suitable for children and adults) will appear to help you. Do come along whenever you can and just take time out.

Children of all ages, their families and everyone else are invited to
a CHRISTINGLE SERVICE on Sunday 4th December in Pilton Parish Church at 4.00pm or the following week on Sunday 11th December in Dinder Church at 4.00pm.

Helping to make the Christingles is fun and tasty and the lighted ones look lovely, however young or old you are. We are supporting the work of the Children’s Society.