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CHURCH NEWS - December 2009/ January 2010
It’s hard to believe that we are already at the end of the first decade of the ‘noughties’. It doesn’t seem that long ago since we were celebrating the turn of the century, full of hope and anticipation of a better world to come. There is much for which we can give thanks - the advances made in the fields of medicine and technology, and a greater awareness of our inter-dependence upon one another and with the world around us. It has been good to see the expansion of fairtrade and a deeper appreciation of our natural environment giving rise to more determined efforts to care for the created world and those who live in it.
Yet it is also sobering to reflect that the world is now a more dangerous place, and human lives appear more vulnerable than ever in the face of climate changes, the actions of terrorists and the effects of a world recession. Many feel that we are experiencing a universal wake-up call, not just to live for ourselves, amassing possessions and wealth without a care for others, pursuing self-indulgence and our own pleasure to the exclusion of all else. Of course, if the atheists are right that there is no God and human beings are merely the result of random chance, then there is a strong argument for always putting self first! But do we really want to live in that sort of a world?
The message of Christmas offers another way. Beneath the layers of tradition, glitter and sentimentality, a message of startling truth and incredible wonder reaches out to us all, seeking a home in our hearts, resonating with our deepest instincts that despite the chaos and confusion, the pain and tragedy that mars our human existence, we are not alone in the struggle. The God who created us and sent his Son to live amongst us as one of us, holds out to us the possibility that things can be different. Jesus showed us by the life he lived, the things he said and did, the Father God he invites us to believe in – a God who loves each one of us, and the world he created, with a love so deep and wide that we can never exhaust it. Through miracles of healing, through the nature miracles, through the stories he told, the many people whose lives he touched in far-reaching ways, and supremely through his sacrificial death and victorious resurrection, he showed that disease, hunger, fear of danger, disregard for others, even death itself - have no place in the kingdom of God. Rather we are to place our trust in God and love others as he has loved us.
As we celebrate Jesus’ birth once again, let’s find courage to dare to hope again, and renew our prayers for that kingdom of love, peace, forgiveness and reconciliation to take root and grow in all our lives.
With love and prayers, Christine.
Christine and David wish you all a very happy and joyful Christmas and New Year. We hope to see you at one or other of the Christmas Services when once again we shall take time out to reflect on the mystery and wonder of God's gift to us in his Son, Jesus. Thank you all once again for your support and encouragement for All Saints’ Church and for us personally throughout 2009. It has been a very enjoyable year, and we look forward to continuing to serve you in 2010.
What is the Prayer Group? It is made up of members of All Saints’ Church who undertake to pray regularly, on an individual basis, for people who ask us for prayer support.
Who do we pray for? Anyone whom we are asked to remember; these might be people from our church, from our local community or others known to us.
What do we pray about? Anything which you would like brought before God; maybe anxiety due to illness, stress or loneliness. You can also tell us of a special day you wish to be remembered – perhaps for an interview or an exam. Any information will be treated in strictest confidence.
How can you let us know if you would like us to pray for you? You can either telephone Christine (720234), or drop a note through the Rectory door, or complete a card (anonymously if you wish) and place it in a box kept near the church door. Prayer requests will be collected from the box each Sunday morning after the 10.00am service.
All Saints’ Amblers
Get some healthy exercise after the Christmas excesses, and enjoy the company of others – join us on New Year’s Day for a walk in the country followed by a pub lunch. Meet outside The Bell at 9.45am – transport provided to start of walk if needed. Everyone welcome, including children and dogs on leads!
Saturday December 19th
Carol Singing around the village
“Ding dong merrily on high …”
Will the hand bells ring out again in Odell?
Join us for traditional carol singing around the village in aid of Shelter, the charity for the homeless. Pile on plenty of warm clothes and boots, bring a torch – or even better, a lantern.
Proposed route – timings are approximate!:
6.30pm Meet outside The Bell – proceed down the High Street to Little Odell.
7.15 pm Return (via footpath) to Horsefair Lane, and Mill Lane.
8.00pm Proceed to Tannery Lane
9.00pm Adjourn to The Bell
Darkness to Light St Albans Abbey
Lock-in, Friday 30th—Saturday 31st October
Churches Together in Harrold and Carlton Crib Festival
Saturday 12 December 12 noon – 5.00 pm
Sunday 13 December 1.-00 pm – 5.00 pm
St Mary’s Church, Carlton
Crib figures and nativity models in pottery, wood, glass, wool and metal will be on display.
Seasonal refreshments available
Donations in aid of BECHAR and Churches Together in Harrold and Carlton
2nd 10.30am at Jane Eshelby’s, Newton House, Avenue Rd., Rushden.
13th 10.30am at Eileen Shakespeare’s, 24 Church Hall Road, Rushden.
27th 10.30am at Jill’s, Rectory Farm, Odell.
Christian Family Care Christmas Hamper Coffee Morning
In support of Christian Family Care
Friday 11th December
Hobbs Green Farm
Church Lane, Odell
From 10.30am to noon.
Senior Citizens’ Christmas Lunch
Odell Senior Citizens’ Lunch Club invites you to the
Wednesday December 16th
In Odell Village Hall
Please RSVP Jill Cheadle 720261 by Sunday 6th December
Christmas 2009 – Greetings from
Rev’d David Payne
I’ve had to ‘prune’ my Christmas mailings (it was nearly 300), since my dear Anne died, nearly 6 years ago. Please accept this as ‘Blanket Cover’ for any whom I may omit this year.
Warm Greetings this Christmastide. David Payne
Our Giving in December will be to the following Charities:
The National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children
Christian Family Care and The Bedford Area Schools Christian Support Trust (SU)
A Christmas Celebration (a Christmas with a difference!)
Some time ago I had occasion to visit The British Virgin Islands. It was a Christmas break to celebrate my daughter’s special birthday on 25th December. After flying to Antigua on a very long 8 hour flight we got off the 747 Jumbo to wait in the airport for a ‘Liat’ plane , which is a small craft for which you just queue up, like getting on a bus. Time was slipping past nicely; we had a few beers whilst beginning to wonder what was happening to our connection. Finally, after a few hours and a few excuses we boarded the Liat bound for the British Virgin Island of Tortola.
The craft touched down on several islands on the way to exchange passengers. We finally arrived in Tortola and touched down in Beef Island. Our son-in-law, Fergus, met us, and amidst the excitement one of us left a handbag on the Liat – needless to say, the one with all our currency and passports inside! Fortunately we realised just in time and ran back across the runway, waving our arms to stop the plane taking off: we managed to retrieve the bag!
Fergus was staying in Tortola, managing the legal site of the Hong Kong and Shanghai Bank. We were privileged to stay in the bank house situated way up in the mountains; we also had the use of the bank vehicle, which didn’t have very good brakes! On the roads, it was rare to see another vehicle, only chickens, children and dogs, none of whom was very streetwise, so you had to drive very carefully. We did have one casualty: a black Labrador, which caused quite a stir as the residents associated black dogs with bad superstitions.
However, we soon accepted our situation and began to enjoy the beauty of the island. Needless to say, the sun was relentless and many dips in the pool and sea were valued. We were amazed that everywhere we went the locals played gospel music.
We spent Christmas Day at Frenchman’s Quay, and ate a sumptuous lunch. After spending long hours enjoying the beautiful white beach at Long Bay, we made our way back to the house to cook a supper of exotic fruit and fish. Sitting happily around the dining table outside with the children tucked up in bed, we were suddenly alerted to some rumblings around us, only to realise we were in the midst of an earthquake. Fergus rushed to check that the children were alright whilst we watched some large boulders moving about around us. Fortunately the earthquake didn’t last long, but when Fergus tried to phone for assurances that we were out of danger he found the lines were jammed with callers.
Fortunately, he was able to run up the mountain to check that we were safe enough and that nothing disastrous had happened. We were comforted and went on to enjoy three weeks of holiday with the family.
By the New Year we were ready to go home and made our way back to the airport, to begin our journey back to wintry England. However, our adventure did not end there: as our plane approached Gatwick, slowly making its descent, it suddenly started to ascend again. You could have heard a pin drop as fear gripped us. It was a long time before an explanation came from the captain: the plane was circling as it was unsafe to land with so much fuel on board. Finally, after another half an hour we descended again and landed safely, thankful that we had lived to tell the story of a truly eventful Christmas! Sarah Bennett
All Saints’ Flower Rota
6th Lynette Hall
13th Church decorating for Christmas19th
28th All help to clear
Thank you very much to Karen Fulford who hosted a sale of jewellery and Christmas cards and paper, and gave 10% of the proceeds to the All Saints’ Tea Point and Toilet Block Appeal. The donation of £60.60p was very much appreciated!
Left: On Friday 30th October a group of young people from ‘Teenage Get-Together’, including Olivia from Odell (left), joined many others from churches all over Beds, Herts and Bucks, for a night camping in St Albans Abbey.. ‘Throughout the night a diverse range of activities and workshops were on offer, covering such subjects as our future and our relationship with God, but also First Aid and there was even a beauty workshop for girls, and the chance to indulge in a little pampering. Toast and hot drinks were available all night, followed by breakfast. Not much sleep was had, but plenty of fun in a very relaxed and friendly atmosphere’. Olivia
Happy birthday to Charlotte Lloyd whose birthday is on the 24th January
And to everyone else with a birthday in December or January.
Visit to Mission Aviation Fellowship airfield, Sywell.
A group of us from Odell Church went to Sywell in Northamptonshire to view the new ‘Kodiak’ plane that the Missionary Aviation Fellowship have recently purchased. We had heard about this plane just a few weeks before in church. It needs only a small landing strip and is able to fly to very remote places to help people in need of supplies and medical help. First we visited the MAF trailer to see a short film and to have a go on the flight simulator. My take off was very good, but my flight was short – I CRASHED! When we went over to the plane I was lucky because I got to go up to the front of the plane. Due to my performance on the simulator I was not allowed to fly the real thing. Shortly after the plane was started and made its way to the end of the runway. The rain stopped and the sun came out so people were able to take photos. The plane turned and sped down the runway and up into the air. It
circled around and then flew over our heads to say goodbye.
Elizabeth Hulatt-Richardson (aged 7)
Left: Elizabeth and friend at Sywell
Airfield in front of the MAF poster..
The new plane will be flown to Indonesia where it will be used for getting essential supplies and medical teams to remote areas and also evacuating the more serious cases to hospitals.
2nd 10.30am Meeting Point at Jane Eshelby’s, Newton House, Avenue Rd., Rushden.
2nd 7.00pm Wode Hill Jazz Band at The Bell.
6th 10.00am Worship for Advent and handbell practice, All Saints’.
8th 7.30pm W.I. Bring and share Christmas meal at Jill’s.
10th 10.30am Health Walk, H.O.C.P.
11th 10.30am Christian Family Care Christmas Hamper Coffee Morning, Hobbs Green Farm.
12th 10.00am Church and tree decorating, All Saints’ .
12th 12noon Crib Festival, St. Mary’s, Carlton.
13th 1.00pm Crib Festival, St. Mary’s, Carlton.
14th 10.00am HOCP Conservation Tasks.
16th 12.30pm Senior Citizens’ Christmas Lunch, Village Hall.
19th 6.30pm Carol singing around village, meet at The Bell.
20th 6.00pm Carols by Candlight, All Saints’ Church.
24th 10.30am Health Walk H.O.C.P.
25th 10.00am Holy Communion for all ages, All Saints’.
1st 9.45am All Saints’ Amblers meet at The Bell.
1st 12noon HOCP Health Walk.
6th 7.00pm Wode Hill Jazz Band at The Bell.
12th 7.30pm W.I. Village Hall.
13th 10.30am Meeting Point at Eileen Shakespeare’s, 24 Church Hall Road, Rushden.
15th 8.00pm Sharnbrook Wildlife Trust, Methodist Church Hall, Sharnbrook.
18th 7.30pm Parish Council Meeting, Village Hall.
23rd 7.30pm Burn’s Night Supper, Village Hall.
25th 10.00am HOCP Conservation tasks.
27th 10.30am Meeting Point at Jill’s, Rectory Farm.
Please send all entries for the February 2010 magazine to Tricia Hudson (mag1 at odellbeds.net) or Catherine Corkery by January 12th 2009 at the latest. May we remind you that the editorial team exercises the right to edit, shorten or alter any items that are submitted. Also, the opinions expressed in the articles are those of the contributors and are not the responsibility of the editorial team.