Immanuel: God with us

Dear Minster and Friends,

I remember going to a Christian conference and listening to a theology professor speak. To this day I still remember his message; he made the point that one of the most important words within the bible is the word “with” but that often we make the mistake of primarily relating to God with the mindset of “for”;  that is that we do things “for” God and He does things “for” us.   He went on to make the point that our greatest problem as people is not “limitation” but rather, it is “isolation”.

One of Jesus’ many names is Immanuel which means God with us. The whole Christmas narrative demonstrates the truth that the Magnificent, Holy, All-powerful, All-knowing and Creator God desires to be “with us”. To relate to us not in a kind of transactional model of relationship; if you do this than I will do that but rather in an unconditioned, all-accepting, all-giving, not-withholding himself, face to face kind of way. Love himself wants us to truly experience love. It means we are never alone in this life.  We are never abandoned. We are never pushed to one side. We are never forsaken nor left behind. It means that someone greater than us is walking this life with us. Our constant help and our constant friend. Always close and always at hand. It means we are free from fear. Fear of the unknown, fear of getting it all wrong, fear of making the wrong decision, fear of not being enough. We don’t have to fear, because we are loved. God is with us.

For many, Christmas is a wonderful celebration of family and community. But for some, it is one of the most loneliest times of year. Perhaps you yourself as you read this, are dreading Christmas day because of the mere fact that it makes you feel as though you are “without”. Let me encourage you, God is with you. He came into this world for the lonely, he came for the broken, those who had been pushed aside and abandoned. He came for you, and His greatest desire is be with you.

With much love,

Tash

NEWS & EVENTS

Christmas Offering 
Our offerings taken during our Christmas Eve and Christmas Day services will be donated equally between Raymond, Karamoja (Uganda) and Street Kids Direct(Central America)

Uganda (current needs)
Provide Christmas lunch Moroto Prison Community (Cost approx. £1000)
General Needs for ongoing ministry costs (£1000)
Support Moses and his family a minster who now overseas the prison ministry (£1200) this would include buying a boda boda transport.

Update from Uganda – baby Isabel Andrea Ebenezer Bukenya arrived 1st Dec 3.3kg

Street Kids Direct
Project in Guatemala working with children and minors to stop them becoming homeless and mentoring them.
Currently two of the Soden boys are working in this project and Joe will be giving an update on the project during the service on 6th January.

If you would like to give by bank transfer please send it to;

The Minster Fellowship, Barclays Bank, Sort Code:  20-45-45, Account Number:  33007162

If you would like your donation to be split equally then please make the reference: CHRISTMASOFFERING

If you would like your donation to go solely to Raymond in Uganda then please make the reference: UGANDA

If you would like your donation to go solely to Street Kids Direct then please make the reference: STREETKIDS

Christmas events

Live Nativity
Monday 24th December – 3:30pm – 4:30pm

With donkey rides and refreshments from 2:30pm – 3:15pm

Christmas Day
Tuesday 25th December – 10:30am – 11:30am

With communion.

Please be aware we will have no Sunday morning services on 23rd & 30th December.

Newcomers Lunch
If you are new to the Minster we would really encourage you to connect by coming to our Newcomers Lunch on Sunday 13th January at 1:30pm. You will get to meet some of the team and other friendly people, also hear a bit about who we are and what we’re up to.
Email scarlett.sharp@theminster.org for details and to sign up.

Coming up in the New Year

Tuesday 25th December – Monday 7th January: Office shut

Sunday 6th January – 10:30am: Sunday services begin including children’s church
12:30pm: Take decorations down

Friday 11th January – 10am: Minster Munchkins begins back
11am: Eye of the needle begins back

Sunday 13th January – 1:30pm: Newcomers Lunch