Felicityfrom Dr Felicity Mussell...

Christmas in the Bangla language is “Boro Din” which means literally “Big Day” and it will indeed be a big day for us at LAMB, centred on the church which is on the compound.  The church building was extended this year, but it will still be overflowing with children and adults for the Christmas services.

In the week before Christmas, there will be various celebrations in the hospital, including the staff service, but Christmas proper will begin with the Christmas Eve service in the early evening in the church.  The church will have been decorated by the young people, and will look very bright with paper decorations, streamers and probably balloons!

The service will probably mainly follow the usual Lutheran liturgy, but the hymns/carols will be Christmas ones.  Some you would recognise, as they are Bangla translations of traditional Christmas carols such as “O Come all ye faithful” and “Hark the Herald Angels Sing”.

After the service, a group (mainly youngsters but not only the young) will set off on the “kirtoning” which is a special sort of carol-singing which also involves dancing and playing traditional instruments.

They will go from house to house on LAMB compound, and will be treated to Bangla tea and snacks as they go, and then they will probably go to houses off compound, and sometimes even into Parbatipur town.  They have been known to keep going all night! On Christmas Day itself, there will be a family service in the church at 9 a.m.

With the Christmas post arriving this month, may I renew my plea to save the Christmas stamps by cutting them off the envelopes, leaving a quarter-inch border around each one and putting them in the box on the Information Desk.  Used British special issue stamps (but not ordinary first or second class ones) and foreign stamps can be put in this box at any time of year. The Bible Society are able to sell these stamps to collectors and it is a very useful way of raising money.

This is one way in which we can all be involved in making Bibles available and affordable around the world, giving readers a purpose and direction in life. Thank you for your support in this on-going collection. Glenys Sutton-Jones.

OCCBy the time you are reading this, many of you will have filled shoe boxes this year for Operation Christmas Child. I thought it may interest you to know a little about where the boxes go and who they go to. Last Christmas, nearly 1.12 million children received a special shoebox gift thanks to the commitment of supporters and volunteers across the UK. This is more than just an impressive statistic - it is the reality that each of those children will have been filled with joy at receiving a gift of love sent by children and adults. The boxes were received in 14 countries across the world and you can see how many went to the various countries.

The YouthHey everyone! Hope November has treated you well! I’m pretty excited right now because I reckon December and January are amazing months- there are so many cool things happening during them. Mainly, of course, CHRISTMAS!!

I absolutely adore Christmas, what with all the carols, presents, happiness, joy, peace (all that stuff) but most importantly the nativity. You can’t get better than a good old nativity story. But just remember, behind the cute barn animals, shepherds, wise men and the legendary Mary and Joseph, there is a magical story - a magical story that involves our Saviour being born.

Pretty awesome, eh?

I hope you all have a very Happy Christmas and a wonderful New Year!

God bless,

Grace xx

This article is a brief summary of my sermon on 9th October.  If you read it I would encourage you to do so with a Bible in the other hand to read the references as they appear OR click on the Bible references to read the verses online.  My words in the magazine are not important, what God says to you through His word is.

You may like to listen to the 9th October 'Stewardship' podcast which is here

Crash TeamThe Crash Team is Christ Church's answer to an emergency service for those living in Christ Church Parish or attending the church who need practical help where friends or family aren't available.  In the past we have helped provide transport to local or Bristol hospitals, shopping, meals, cleaning, visiting and generally supporting our members. The Christ Church Crash Team has been working beautifully in the background.  A mighty praise for all who have accepted to give time and effort in answer to my phone calls.  I can't thank you enough.