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Update from the Vicar 

11th November 2021

Here's a link to the update 


Hi everyone, can you believe we’re into November already? December doesn’t feel too far off and maybe we’ve already started to try to prepare for Christmas. This would be a good time to think about what might find helpful for your faith during the Advent season. And not just you but also others you care about.

Advent will be a time of waiting, not just any waiting but expectant waiting. A time for looking for the ‘advent’ or appearing and arrival of Jesus. We can look out for him and his leading and plan to be extra attentive in that season, thinking about how in the busy of life we can make time for connection. Wouldn’t it be good to prioritise listening to his Word and Spirit, really focussing on Jesus, growing in knowledge of our Redeemer.

There are many good resources, so now would be a good time to look for some. I’ve read a couple recently so that I could let you know about them. ‘The Dawn of Redeeming Grace’ by Sinclair B. Ferguson offers you a chapter per day in December. It explores the first two chapters of Matthew’s gospel as you draw closer to Christmas  which brings ‘The Dawn of Redeeming Grace’ (a phrase from Silent Night). Each chapter is short, about 5 sides. There were moments when it really touched my heart, and he has a way of putting things that draw you to worship, with some simple phrases that you want to meditate over a bit more. There are the lyrics of hymns in each chapter too, which poetically spoke of the hope we have. The readings showed Jesus’ humility and I appreciated the way it included the real challenges, the shadow that was cast over them, as well as the joy.

Then there’s a book is by Rebecca McLaughlin called ‘Is Christmas Unbelievable?’. I liked how she wrote, with empathy for skepticism whilst rooting things in the reality of their experience, when sometimes Christmas can feel a bit like a made up story. It was grounding things in reality and might be a good book to offer a family member or friend. It’s worth being aware there’s a brief Christmas myth spoiler in there. It asks questions like Was Jesus even a real person? Can we take the Bible seriously? How can you believe in a virgin birth? And Why does it even matter? A short, easy read with plenty of food for thought.
 
I haven’t read it but I am interested to see the title ‘The Weary World Rejoices, daily devotions for Advent’ edited by Melissa Kruger, with a variety of contributers and 25 readings. Perhaps a good book for us if we’re feeling weary as it looks at hope, peace, joy, love and faith.
 
As we start prepare to buy gifts, it might be helpful for you to be reminded that if some of those purchases are online you can raise money for St Mary’s Church very easily at the same time. You can sign up for easyfundraising and amazon smile and there will be automatic donations each time you shop that don’t cost you. It’s very straightforward to set up. On the Amazon app you can set it to always do donations, on the web browser you need to remember to go to smile.amazon.co.uk. With easyfundraising once it’s set up it will remind you to make a donation when you’re on a relevant online shop.  
 
Here are the links you need: https://www.easyfundraising.org.uk/causes/stmarysleamington/
 
The site will send 0.5% to 1.5% of your total bill to St Marys. If you already support a charity this way, you can add St Marys as well.
 
At https://smile.amazon.co.uk – it will give 0.5% of your Amazon purchase price to St Marys.  You just need to go to the website, click on the "Change your charity" button and then search for  "St Marys Leamington" – without the apostrophe in St Marys.
 
Last Sunday there was such a sense of the joy of the Lord and it was so good to begin our teaching on Transforming Lives, the 3rd part of our vision statement: Encountering God, Rooted in Christ and Transforming Lives. We kicked off with a reminder of the central call of Jesus to make disciples and baptise them in the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. To go to all nations making disciple making disciples, who obey Jesus who is always with them. I wonder if you’ve had any opportunities to share your faith this week, if so maybe come ready to encourage others with your stories.
 
This Sunday is Remembrance Sunday, where we’ll be thinking about a soldier who had amazing faith in Jesus (a Bible passage we’re looking at), and we will take time to remember those who gave their lives in conflicts. Sparklers and Rooted are happening on Sunday at 10:30am (for the children up to year 2 and the youth 11-18s), there’ll be activities for children staying in the service too, so come along if you can. In the evening we have our 6:30pm service, come at 6 for refreshments.
 
Don’t forget next Tuesday at 8-9pm we have our First Priority prayer meeting, at the church and on Zoom, come along and pray with expectant faith for the Lord to intervene and bring his healing power and Kingdom purposes.
 
Having done some book reviews, if you have been reading the book Bouncing Forwards by Patrick Regan of Kintsugi Hope you might like a reminder that the Bouncing Forwards tour has begun in November so look out for that if you’d like some encouragement for your mental health.
 
I pray you know God’s blessing this week as you seek his face, that you experience his loving kindness that’s so faithful and steadfast, and I pray that our faith will grow in him.
 

Weclom
Hello! and a warm welcome to St Mary's church.
If you are a new visitor, we have a page for you to get to know us and learn more about planning a visit.
Click here.

Planning your Visit

A Warm Hello 

We hope that you can visit and get to know us better, we would love to meet you!

Our Service

The main service begins at 10.30am with a warm welcome from one of our team members. Then follows a time of sung worship, led by our band. We typically have 2 or 3 songs lasting approximately 20 minutes. Sometimes a person might pray out loud or read a small passage from the bible. Sometimes people share things that they believe God is saying to the whole church family. This might seem strange the first time you hear it but it’s all part of our connecting with God. We then share news and notices, usually about what’s going on in the life of the church. One of our leaders will then give a sermon that is bible-based and that we can apply to our everyday life. We then finish with a final worship song. Sometimes there is an opportunity to receive prayer at the end of the service. If you have any questions please ask!

Accessibility: There is wheelchair access, and a sound loop for anyone who needs it. Please let one of the Welcome Team know on your arrival and they will help you to get set up. There is a disabled toilet in the Church centre.

Newcomers Lunch

We invite everyone to be a guest at a Newcomers Welcome Lunch normally held once a term after the 10.30 Sunday service. The venue is either The Vicarage or in the Church Centre depending on numbers.

As well as an opportunity for us all to get to know one another better, you can hear more about the life and ministry of St Mary’s and how as a committed Christian you may be able to get involved.

Christmas inside church

What about my kids?

Children's groups run on the 2nd, 3rd and 4th Sundays of every month (except school holidays) and your kids are very welcome to join them.

Each group (excluding Crèche) includes, sung worship, Bible reading, prayer, listening to God, games, craft and food! 

All groups are led by wonderful volunteers from within the church family who have completed a DBS check and are safely recruited.

Creche (0 months to 2 years). Parent supervised.
Sparklers (2-4 years)
Flames (5-7 years)
Rockets (8-11 years Junior School)
Youth (Secondary School age) 

Children stay with their parent or grown-up at the start of the service as we worship (sing songs), together for the first part of the morning. At some point someone will announce that it’s time for the younger members to go to their various groups. You will need to go with your children to their groups at first and register them as part of our child safety policy.

For more information about what happens in the children's work please visit the Children's Ministry page. Please pick your children up as soon as the service finishes.

St Mary's has lots of children and families, we love having kids around and try to make them feel welcome and at home. 

Hope kids pic

Getting Connected


Small Groups

While Sundays are a great way to meet new people, it is often in smaller gatherings that you can really get to know someone. Being part of one of our small groups allows you to make new friends, share together and support each other. We have a variety of groups that meet throughout the week, some afternoons and some evenings. Check out Small Groups and see if there’s one that you could join, or we can put you in touch with a small group leader who will be more than happy to invite you along to their group.

Serving and Volunteering

If you want to get involved in the life of the church and help us make Sundays run smoothly, you can sign up to serve on a team. 

Get in touch with us to plan your visit
If you would like to come and visit the church beforehand you are more than welcome! Get in touch and we can arrange a time that suits you.
 
Name:
Telephone:
Email Address:
Comments / Questions or anything you would like to say?

Next, we will contact you by email to say hello and help arrange anything necessary for your visit.
 
Leadership 
bECKY IN HIGH VIS    
Rev'd Becky Jones    
Vicar of St Mary's    
 
We hope that whoever you are, you will feel at home at our church.

Best Wishes

Becky