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'Maureen's Musings'



November 2011

Before I forget.... There is a lovely Advent tradition which we have the chance to join in this year and which might add something extra to your Christmas preparations. The custom of Posada originated in Mexico where two young people were chosen to dress up as Mary and Joseph. They used to travel from house to house in their village telling people about the imminent arrival of Jesus and asking them if they would give him a room. On
Christmas Eve they would re-enact a community play and bring figures of Mary and Joseph to be placed in the crib.

The modern day equivalent is based on this concept but encourages Churches to enable people to give a home to their nativity figures for a night. This will symbolise making room for Jesus in their hearts, homes and communities. Each night during Advent the figures travel around the parish from home to home arriving in Church on Christmas Eve in time for the arrival of our Lord.

The journey encourages people to think about the meaning of Christmas and to share the message with others. On Christmas Eve when the figures arrive back in Church the crib scene is built up during a service in preparation for Christmas Day.
We have the offer of a Posada nativity available within our congregation, and elsewhere in this magazine you will find examples of prayers to use. There is no cost involved - just your willingness to take part. - Please sign up in church to host Mary & Joseph this year. Oh, and just to remind us all - Advent begins this year on November 27th.

On another subject entirely, Paul and I recently attended the annual Selwyn lecture in the Cathedral. This year it was given by Prof. John Lennox, a distinguished Mathematician and Christian who has on several occasions entered into debate with some of the prominent Atheists of our day - Richard Dawkins, Christopher Hitchens and others. He was both entertaining and thought provoking, reminding us all that there need be no conflict between science and religion and that the God we worship is not the "God of the gaps" as is sometimes claimed, but God of the whole of creation - science included! The more we understand about the natural world and the laws that govern science, the more wonder and respect we can have for the God who orders it all to happen that way.

Next year's Selwyn Lecture - which is open to all, but obligatory for ordained clergy, will be held on Wed. 24 Oct 2012.

WE have all had our minds on matters financial recently …. This is also a good month to remind those kind folk in all our churches who make a regular contribution through the Envelope Schemes or by Direct Debit, that costs continue to rise for the Church, as for us all. Thank you all so much for your support and if there is any possibility that you could increase your giving - even by a little - it would save our Treasurer from some sleepless nights…. Those who pay tax and have completed the 'gift aid' forms have helped enormously too. The amount we re-claim from the Inland Revenue on your behalf makes a real difference in our church.

The more we can pay each month or as regularly as possible, the less the Diocese will incur in interest charges - I am sure you can see the logic.

The Lord bless you and keep you!

Maureen




POSADA PRAYERS

A PRAYER TO WELCOME THE POSADA FIGURES INTO OUR HOMES
Eternal God, Father Son and Holy Spirit You are always present in our home unseen and often not acknowledged. Help us to experience the joy of looking forward this Advent and make it a time of new beginnings. We welcome these figures from the nativity and pray that you will bless this house and all of us who live here. Amen.

A PRAYER FOR OTHERS WHO WILL BE WELCOMING THE FIGURES AND TAKING PART IN THE POSADA
Lord God our Father, as we have welcomed these Posada figures into our homes, we pray that other people will open their homes and their lives to you at this Advent time. Help all who will be involved in the Posada by welcoming these figures to celebrate with expectation the waiting time between now and Christmas. Through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.