We all had heavy hearts at the church members’ meeting, when Don explained why the time had come for him to step aside from preaching and the pastorate. Don has suffered from breathlessness whilst preaching on Sundays over the last 5 years but has received many assurances from listeners that this has not stopped us from hearing the messages that God has given him. In May this year Don explained to the church that if the situation continued, then he would need to step down. Don will be taking up a job in the Rochester area, caring for older folks in their homes, from February 2019. He will be greatly missed at Coldharbour. Please pray for Don and Melody as they adjust to the changes and ask God to provide them with a local church where they can serve and be spiritually supported. Pray that, in time, Don will be able to return to regular teaching and preaching. Pray for the church as we adjust to the new situation, and pray for the elders and others who will have significantly increased responsibilities in a number of areas. We are all trusting in the goodness and sovereignty of God as we look to the future.
The weeks leading up to Christmas present a number of evangelistic opportunities. The ‘Parent and Toddlers’ group are holding their Christmas meal for parents and carers on Saturday 8 December at 7.30pm giving an opportunity for testimonies to be shared with those present. The following Thursday, 13 December, it will be the children’s turn for a time of fun at their Christmas party at 10.00am. Please pray for the team as they chat with the parents and carers.
Senior members of our congregation can enjoy a seasonal quiz followed by a delicious Christmas lunch on Tuesday 11 December - the festivities begin at 11.45am and lunch will be served at 1.15pm. Please note on this occasion the charge will be £4 to enable additional seasonal food to be provided.
As in previous years, around 40 children from Montbelle Primary School Nursery, together with a number of parents and teachers, will visit the church to hear the true significance of the birth of Jesus. This will take place on Tuesday 18 December with two sessions, from 9-10.30am and from 1-2.30pm. Please see Phil if you can help at one or both of these sessions.
The church Christmas card (which includes details of the Christmas services) will be available soon and is to be delivered to every home in the area. Distributors are requested to ensure all cards are delivered in advance of the Carol Service. Anyone who may have difficulty in achieving this should let Geoff know as soon as possible.
On Thursday evening 20 December there will be an opportunity to make contact with those who live in nearby roads as we sing carols and knock to deliver the church card, with a personal invitation to the Carol Service. For this to be effective a good number of singers are needed so please plan to take part if you possibly can, meeting at the church at 5.45pm for a prompt 6pm start. Hot soup will be available back at the church afterwards!
The Carol Service taking place on Sunday 23 December, at the ‘family friendly’ time of 4pm, provides an opportunity to invite many who would not normally attend our services.
The offering at the Christmas morning service will be for Barnabas Fund, towards their relief work regarding the Sulawesi Tsunami in Indonesia.
As the Christmas card season gets underway, remember that a space is made available on the lounge notice board for those who prefer to send one card to the church fellowship collectively rather than to individuals.
Please continue to remember all those known to us who are unwell at the moment, together with those with family caring responsibilities who would appreciate prayer for strength and encouragement.
You will be aware of other situations from your Midweek Groups that need prayer, but we also encourage you to use the prayer diary to pray for others in the church.
Advance Notice: We will be holding a week of prayer from Sunday 6 to Saturday 12 January, so regular midweek studies and outreach activities will start the following week. It is vitally important for us to gather together to pray at the start of a year which will see significant changes. We will meet at 5pm on Sunday, 9:30am and 8pm each weekday, and 9:30am on Saturday to worship God and seek His guidance and blessing in 2019.
The January 2019 newsletter will be available on Sunday 6 January. Please send any Home news/prayer items to Julia D by Thursday 3 January to ensure inclusion.
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, Counsellor, the Mighty God, the Everlasting Father,
the Prince of Peace.