Have you been enjoying the holidays? Over the new year Chris and I spent time with a couple of friends. We talked about the kind of new year we wanted to see, and each of us brought a word to help focus our intention for the year. Mine was Clarity.
Over the past year I’ve started to see life through a different lens. Part of that process is down to personal experience. Let’s face it, you can’t go through a pandemic without being changed in some way. You can’t learn to accept what it is to live with mental illness without having to reframe the way you see the world. There’s no part of my life that hasn’t been touched in some way. Finding new levels of acceptance has helped me view everything from a different angle. It’s certainly changed the way I connect with my faith.
Christmas is about letting Christ be born anew within you, but in my experience that’s not something that fits neatly into the advent calendar; rather it’s a process that has it’s own timetable. Like Israel’s journey to the promise land – it’s a journey that takes as long as it takes. Like the time Jesus spent in the dessert – we go through a testing that lasts as long as it lasts. It’s not something that happens on queue – you don’t just wake up on Dec 25th and Jesus is born in you – not in my experience anyway. And any birth is, in itself, always messy, wonderful, painful, joyous, and definitely life changing.
If you’re on that journey now then It’s absolutely normal to wonder what on earth is going on. Your view of life changes, and your understanding expands. You love the people around you with a much deeper level of acceptance, and yet the people around you also drive you insane in ways they never used to. Your heart deepens and you have moments when you find yourself loving in ways that are truly unconditional, and yet at the same time your personal boundaries become firmer and you learn to say no. You have a genuine empathy that helps you to relate to others with much more patience, but you also learn to spot the times when someone is asking you to act a part in their drama so that you can choose to step out rather than feel you have to participate.
And what happens next? I have no idea. I’m still searching for clarity! However, although this is less of a walk with God and more like driving a car at 50 miles an hour in the dark and fog, I know that God is in charge. As the psalmist said:
You are—everywhere. You see—everything. You know—my deepest heart. You weigh—every soul with love.*
Wherever you are on your journey this year I pray that you feel God’s presence, are able to trust in God’s timetable, and relax. The truth is, we’re not the ones in control! The good news is, Jesus has walked this path before, and knows exactly where each of us is going. I hope you find that angels have sprinkled blessings in your path, and that you have a very happy new year.
If you’d like to contact me you can do so by emailing me at email@example.com.
* (Rev. Christine Robinson’s doubter psalms: Psalm 11)
Sunday January 9th in-person worship service at
Dorset gardens Methodist Church – 6pm.
Please note that masks are required, and because of Covid levels we will not be serving refreshments. Sorry.
On the Sundays when the church is not meeting in-person,
please join us for ‘Sunday Connection’
on Zoom at 6pm
The event is recorded and then, when available, posted on Facebook.
Recordings are all available on our Facebook page.
Zoom : 504 390 105, code 2020
Multiple Vigils in Various Time Zones
As 2022 begins, all over the world, hearts are longing to see light. MCC invites you to join one or many of our zoom prayer-vigils on January 6th (Epiphany).
They will be held at 7pm in a sequence of time-zones around the world, starting at our 2022 Global General Conference site in Manila, Philippines. And then around the world in different time-zones.
You may choose to attend the time-zone closest to you, or you may join any of them, and as many as you like.
Since Epiphany is a celebration of Revelation-Light of Christ for all people everywhere, we invite you to bring a light — be it a candle, a torch, or a phone.
Elders will available in the meetings to pray for you, and there will be space for you to pray spontaneously for issues on your heart, or to receive ministry.
These are the time zones for the vigils.
Manila 7pm PHST (11am GMT)
Western Africa 7pm WAT/CET (6pm GMT)
Western Europe 7pm WET (7pm GMT)
São Paulo and Latin America online 7pm BST (10pm GMT)
Houston 7pm CST (1am next day GMT)
Los Angeles 7pm Local Time (PST) (3am next day GMT)Need help converting time zones? This will help. WORLD CLOCK
Join Zoom Meeting HERE
Meeting ID: 845 9307 6880 Passcode: 164981
Lord, we lift Wendy as she recovers, and pray that her operation will be sooner rather than later. Please be with her family as they support her.
We lift all those recovering from Cancer, and those who are shielding. Be with us all as we navigate these difficult times.
Many of us are lonely Lord, help us to reach out for comfort and support. Many of us are grieving Lord, help us to not feel alone. Many of us are frightened Lord, be with us as we face our fears. Help us to to help others who may need comfort and support too.
Be with our church as we continue to find ways in which we can be Christ in the world when so many of us are in need ourselves. Help us all to look after ourselves, so we can look after others. Be the Grace that warms our hearts and draws us into your love. In your name Lord. Amen.
If you would like to add a prayer to the newsletter then please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. – Michael x
I was greatly saddened by the news that Archbishop Desmond Tutu had passed away. Kittredge Cherry writes: Archbishop Desmond Tutu was a Nobel Peace Prize-winning South African activist for racial and LGBTQ equality. He died on Dec. 26, 2021 in Cape Town. Tutu is famous for fighting apartheid, but he also worked passionately to support LGBTQ people and all human rights. He can be considered the world’s most prominent religious leader to advocate for LGBTQ rights.
“I would refuse to go to a homophobic heaven,” he said in 2013. “No, I would say, ‘Sorry, I would much rather go to the other place.’ I would not worship a God who is homophobic and that is how deeply I feel about this. I am as passionate about this campaign as I ever was about apartheid. For me, it is at the same level.”
If you’d like to read the rest of her wonderful tribute and see her tribute video you can do so HERE
General Conference 2022
Read about all the wonderful plans for next summer
Keeping up to date with MCC Internationally
Do you receive emails from the MCC denomination? There are updates on the way churches around the world are meeting this crisis, along with prayers, support, and much much more. If you would like check out what newsletters are available then please email:
Sarah Barber is our Lay Delegate, and a link with the denomination. Please contact her at the church email address if you would like to know more about how The ‘Village’ MCC fits into the International Church.
Pastoral Care Team – 07476 667353
Pastoral care continues. Call or text the church mobile and leave a message, and someone will get back to you. When the pandemic first broke we tried to reach out to everybody at least once a month. As time has gone on we have reduced our pastoral care calls to those who have either requested them or are at high risk. Of course we don’t want to miss anybody out so if you would like to connect then please let us know
Would you like to give a gift to aid the work of the Village MCC?
Giving to The Village MCC.
‘The Village MCC’ is self-financing, we do not receive any central funding. If you would like to support the work we do, there are a number of ways to do so.
If you would like to set up a regular monthly Payment to The “Village’ Church, which is the best way for us to budget for our work, Please email the treasurer at; email@example.com, you will then be sent the details of how to do this.
If you wish to make a single donation You can send a direct payment from your bank account using the following details From the UK:
• Lloyds Bank
• sort code 77-91-29
• account number 40361660
• account name The Village MCC
• Please use the reference ‘Collection’
Please also email the Treasurer at firstname.lastname@example.org to let them know to expect a payment. • There is also a donate button on the Church Website at thevillagemcc.org if bank transfer is not possible. If you do not have access to the internet, you can still make a donation with your debit card. Please email the Treasurer at; email@example.com to arrange a phone call to make this payment.