The United Reformed Church Chesham

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December 2007/January 2008 Newsletter

Dear Friends

It's that time of year again for:-

Christmas CelebrationsorChristmas Crisis
Festive Christmas Fareor'Fed up to the teeth' with Christmas
Party FunorAlone with the telly.

Christmas means something different to each individual adult or child. What is the real meaning - the reason for the season? Take away all the razzmatazz, materialistic hype and human complications and we will find the true message that God wants us to hear, as we remember Jesus' birth at Bethlehem. God's coming to earth as a baby son, bringing love and hope for a troubled world. Not a cosy, gentle story, as often is depicted by Nativity plays and carols, but a baby born away from home, in an occupied country and his family having to take flight as refugees, to avoid being killed by Herod's 'heavies'. What a difficult start to life, yet because of all Jesus Christ's life experiences, we know that God is aware of all our difficulties and suffering. God, through Christ, has suffered as much and more than most us will ever endure.

An amazing expression of God's love, that he did this for us. Let's keep focused on the central meaning of Christmas; it is all about God's love and the hope for the world and each of us that comes with Christ's birth. A light coming to lighten our darkness.
Hope for Christmas; hope for the New Year.
Next year the HOPE 2008 dream will come into action and churches will be encouraged to spread the message of the hope that comes from God. We are starting by giving out candles of hope - the light of Christ - during Advent and at our Christmas Eve Christingle service. In 2008, we will be holding evening discussion groups looking at where God touches our lives (the morning house group have already started these discussions.) and in February there will be a day to explore God's healing today. Through these activities and others during the year, we will speak of our hope in God.

Also in 2008, the United Reformed Church is initiating a Vision4Life process. This involves focusing on the central place of the Bible, the importance of prayer and talking about our faith. Essential elements of Church life, which I hope we will continue to engage in and find new ways to develop.
Further details of all these activities appear later in this newsletter!
HOPE 2008; Vision4Life; not just catchy titles, but good New Year resolutions! Why not make your New Year's resolution to come and join in some of these activities.

I wish you all a great Christmas with Christ's love and hope bringing light to your homes.

Martin and I wish you all a peaceful and happy Christmas and New Year.

With love,