CCSM during lockdown

Just to let the wider community know that we have been ‘meeting’ over WhatsApp for our regular Sunday morning service over the past weeks. Restrictions on church meetings are easing and this coming Sunday we are meeting at the church (10am) but with numbers restricted. We can only have 10 + 2 leaders in the building. Last week we had room for a couple more. Email us if you would like to come on 31 May.

Christmas Day Service

Join us for a short Christmas Day service of readings and carols on Wednesday 25 December – 10am – at the church. All Welcome.

Here is the order of service, in case you can’t make it. Enjoy.

 

Christmas Day 2019 Community Church of St Mark

Welcome

For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counseller, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.

Isaiah 9:6 (King James Version)

ADVENT SONG: O, COME, EMMANUEL

Lighting the Advent candles

(a wreath of four candles symbolising hope, peace, joy and love – and the ‘Christ candle’ to be lit on Christmas morning)

We light our first candle, a single light that the deepest darkness cannot conquer.
Small, insignificant; but a sign of hope.

Let it speak to us of the tiny flame of hope buried within us.
The stubborn little light that refuses to be extinguished by all that life has thrown at it.

We light our second candle – a companion to the first – equally small,
but witnessing to the hope that another light brings.

Let it speak to us of the lights of companionship, of our families and our friends, of community, of strangers
and peace and kindness found in unexpected ways and places.

3. We light our third candle, recalling nights of watching and waiting, when dawn seemed to ebb further from the horizon
and hope seemed forlorn.

Let it speak to us of the promise of morning, of the passing of darkness, of suffering,
and the joy of an eternal sunrise.

4. We light our fourth candle, marking the closing of the Advent season and the immediacy of Christmas
a time of peace and joy we may not ourselves feel able to welcome,

But a sign of the love about to burst forth.

Hope, peace, joy, and love. Four candles, four promises continually offered to us by God, and all of them manifest in this one we light today: the Christ candle.

The Christ candle is lit.

In Christ we find light and life, and the courage to be like him;
Answering his call and following in his footsteps.

In Christ we find the hope of transformation, and the peace that follows justice;
In Christ we find the joy of self-fulfillment in community.

In Christ we find the love that encompasses us in all our diversity;
empowering us to make our own unique contribution to this world.

We rejoice in God’s steadfast presence in our lives, and in God’s unique presence in the life of Jesus of Nazareth, growing through childhood into an adult ministry, in all his life showing the peace, love, and justice of God; his voice undimmed by the centuries, his call and his promise still clear to us.

Come to us, Lord Jesus,
Be born in us this day, in our hearts, our minds, our lives.
May the light of your life be kindled in us,
And lead us to the shining truth,
of God with us, God for us, God in us.
Amen.

Carol: O come all you faithful

Carol: See, amid the winter’ snow

Passing the Peace

Jesus Christ came into the world as it was, in all its human-ness.
So in every generation, love will come again.

God comes to us in human form, born in a manger.
His Spirit is with us.

The peace of the Christ child be with you
And also with you.

As Christ shares his peace with us, let us share peace with one another.

Readings: Titus 2:11-14
Luke 2:1-14

Carol: See the little baby in the straw

1. See the little baby in the straw
See the shepherds by the stable door
See the way the stars begin to glow
How we love him so, How we love him so.

2. See the way the past rests in his eyes
See the way his future paints the skies
The powerful are high, but he is low
How we love him so, How we love him so.

3. See the way the wise men fade to grey
See the way the soldiers steal the day
He will walk the path that we must go
How we love him so, How we love him so.

Repeat 1.

Words: G Thompson; tune Nkosi Sikelel’ iAfrika

Story – The Happy Prince by Oscar Wilde

CAROL: We three kings

Prayers of intercession

On this day, the day of gladness, there are many people who feel, even more deeply, the lack of love around them.
God of love, we remember before you those who are lonely, who feel unloved and rejected, who on this day see their world as a place of sadness and despair.

Prince of peace, we remember before you, those who have no peace.

God of justice, we remember before you those who are oppressed,
those who find it hard to believe that you have come to free the captives and to lift up those brought low.

We pray for those who are not free, held in indefinite detention, for those abandoned by government.

Prince of peace, we remember before you, those who have no peace.

We pray for those who have lost homes and loved ones in the fires. We pray that a greener world will be restored.

Dear God, the God in the vulnerable Child of Bethlehem, we pray to you in hope. Amen.

CAROL: The Huron Carol

Benediction (Luke 2: 25-32)

Now there was a man in Jerusalem called Simeon, who was righteous and devout. He was waiting for the consolation of Israel, and the Holy Spirit was on him. It had been revealed to him by the Holy Spirit that he would not die before he had seen the Lord’s Messiah. Moved by the Spirit, he went into the temple courts. When Mary and Joseph brought in the child Jesus to do for him what the custom of the Law required, Simeon took him in his arms and praised God, saying:

“Sovereign Lord, as you have promised, you may now dismiss your servant in peace. For my eyes have seen your salvation, which you have prepared in the sight of all nations: a light for revelation to the Gentiles, and the glory of your people Israel.”

Recessional: Final verse of O come all you faithful

Yes, Lord, we greet you,
born this happy morning;
Jesus to you be glory given!
Word of the Father,
now in flesh appearing:

O come, let us adore him, Christ the Lord!

Carols

The Living Out Loud choir performance at Community Church of St Mark Christmas Carols on 22 December (inc. Love Just Bubbles Over, All You Need is Love).

We also sang some climate-change related carols – here are the words to the 12 Fossil-Fuel-Free Days of Christmas (words. G Thompson & P Barson; music. Trad. – Creative Commons licence – sing to you heart’s content).

The Fossil-Fuel Free 12 Days of Christmas

On the FIRST day of Christmas the Government decreed:
A future that’s fossil-fuel free.

On the SECOND day of Christmas the Government decreed:
More solar cells for a future that’s fossil-fuel free.

On the THIRD day of Christmas the Government decreed:
Wind energy, More solar cells for a future that’s fossil-fuel free.

On the FOURTH day of Christmas the Government decreed:
More pink batts, wind energy, more solar cells for a future that’s fossil-fuel free

On the FIFTH day of Christmas the Government decreed:
No more hot wind!

More pink batts, wind energy, more solar cells for a future that’s fossil-fuel free.

On the SIXTH day of Christmas the Government decreed:
No more delaying
No more hot wind!

More pink batts, wind energy, more solar cells for a future that’s fossil-fuel free.

On the SEVENTH day of Christmas the Government decreed:
Base-load with solar
No more delaying / No more hot wind!

More pink batts, wind energy, more solar cells for a future that’s fossil-fuel free.

On the EIGHTH day of Christmas the Government decreed:

Geothermal research
Base-load with solar / No more delaying / No more hot wind!

More pink batts, wind energy, more solar cells for a future that’s fossil-fuel free.

On the NINTH day of Christmas the Government decreed:

No deforestation
Geothermal research / Base-load with solar / No more delaying / No more hot wind!

More pink batts, wind energy, more solar cells for a future that’s fossil-fuel free.

On the TENTH day of Christmas the Government decreed:

No fudging figures
No deforestation / Geothermal research / Base-load with solar / No more delaying / No more hot wind!

More pink batts, wind energy, more solar cells for a future that’s fossil-fuel free.

On the ELEVENTH day of Christmas the Government decreed:

Land restoration
No fudging figures / No deforestation / Geothermal research / Base-load with solar / No more delaying / No more hot wind!

More pink batts, wind energy, more solar cells for a future that’s fossil-fuel free.

On the TWELFTH day of Christmas the Government decreed:

An end to the stalling
Subsidies appalling
Paying the polluters
(Planetary Looters)
Fudging the figures
(Kyoto credit riggers)
Ignoring the triggers …
No more hot wind!

Better get a move on! Base-load solar power NOW for a future that’s fossil-fuel free.

Blessing of the Animals

On Sunday 13 October the Community Church of St Mark held its annual Blessing of the Animals service. The liturgy (see below) focused on the kinship between animals and humans, ecological issues and the need to see ourselves as leaves on the tree of life, rather than lords of creation.

One notable incident amidst the happy chaos of the service was that the hens Maggie and Hope both laid an egg.