January 2022 - Happy New Year
Services
2nd 10:30am Adrian Watts  
       
9th 10:30am Anne Hayward   (C)
         
16th 10:30am Dr Peter Baines    
         
23rd 10:30am Baptismal Service    
         
30th 10.30am Ian Hayward    
       
(C) denotes communion will be held as part of the worship service

Weekday Meetings
Monday Craft Group 2:00pm 10th and 24th
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       

Baptismal Service - Sunday 23rd
Baptismal services are always a joyous occasion, marking a significant step on an individual's journey of following Jesus Christ as Lord and Saviour. On Sunday 23rd we will join with Derek Carpenter as he takes this step in his walk of faith. This is a great day for Derek and the Church so please be sure to put it in your diaries.


Gardener's Corner    

Winter Weather can be the gardener's friend. The cold kills of the pests and any snow will protect any plants from frost damage. Winter flowering plants can look their best just now with any frost on the berries and flowers. Evergreens will also look lovely with the frost. By the end of the month the days will lengthen and growth will slowly begin again.
A good time to sort out the greenhouse, clean it up in preparation for sewing seed trays in readiness for spring. However, you may well need to keep the greenhouse warm for a while just now, bubble wrap is invaluable for insulation from the cold.
A good time to clean paths and patios of moss and algae in anticipation of warmer days. A good time to take root cuttings of perennials and alpines; remove a few lengths and replace the plant. Half fill a seed tray with free-draining sandy but moist compost, and lay root cuttings in rows on their sides, then cover with more compost and keep in a cool but not cold place until they shoot.
Winter honeysuckle is lovely now if you're lucky enough to have it, very fragrant and can be cut for indoors.
Enjoy what you can in the garden and prepare for the warmer weather to come. Enjoy!


Minister's Musings
Allan's Musings - The New Year's Resolution
When, at the end of December, one of the great days of the Christian year has come and gone, many of us think of that grand old tradition, the New Year's resolution.
Will you actually make any New Year's resolutions this year? The making of New Year's resolutions (and failing to keep them) is for us a long-running tradition that's taken on something of a more jovial tone. So, while we start the 2022 with such good intent, people in some other countries seem to have adopted resolutions in a similar way. The tradition may have actually started as far back as the ancient Babylonians, perhaps 1,000 years before Christ.
The ancient Babylonians celebrated the New Year on the first new moon after the spring equinox. They called it Akitu and it was a major festival that lasted 11 days. During the festival, the Babylonians made New Year's resolutions to keep themselves in good standing with their gods. They may have resolved to get themselves out of debt, to return borrowed farm equipment, or other things important to them in their time. We could recognise these as worthy intentions just as ours are.
We have the Romans to thank for our New Year taking place in the winter when it's usually cold and miserable. The improvement of the old Roman calendar still used Ianuarius (January) where Romans in all occupations offered resolutions to Janus, their god of beginnings, endings and the New Year. In particular farmers in those times were expected to make an "auspicious gesture" by making a start on the tasks they intended to get done throughout the year.
It seems clear that even before the time of our Lord the intention was that people resolved to change their behaviour in ways that would help to make them better citizens. In more modern times, and certainly in Christian, English spoken lands, the New Year's resolution was used to encourage people to be better Christians. In particular to reform themselves in one way or another and to adopt a personal discipline which would enable them to live up to the accepted standards of the day.
As we know, the advance of the secular society has watered down the stricter traditions of the past to the point that the "Top Ten New Year's Resolutions" as analysed by users responses to a Twitter question were:
" Diet, exercise and weight loss
" Read more
" Learn something new
" Save money " Be a nicer human.
" Get a new job
" Give more time and money to charity
" Drink less.
" Sleep more.
" Make new friends.
If we read all these things in a particular way, we can see that this actually means we should practise the good stewardship of the gifts that God has given us all. Good stewardship means good management of our "time, talent, and treasure" for the greater glory of God. As Jesus warned us in His parables, all His servants will be judged on how they used the graces they were given. Do we neglect them and spend them selfishly, or are we generous in building up God's kingdom on earth?
No-one said it would be easy!

 

   

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