December 2010

Christmas Around the World

Nativity scenes from around the world.
Christmas around the world 2Christmas around the world 2
Christmas Around the worldChristmas Around the world
Christmas Around the World 3Christmas Around the World 3Audrey Bolton being presented with a Long Service Certificate on her retirement as Junior Church LeaderAudrey Bolton being presented with a Long Service Certificate on her retirement as Junior Church Leader
A Gingerbread Nativity SceneA Gingerbread Nativity Scene

Celebrating Christmas Around the World

Exploring how Christmas is celebrated in different parts of the world, was the theme of the morning service on December 19th. The congregation were taken on a whistle-stop tour of all continents and told of the special Christmas customs of a country from each one.
Around the church there were displays of nativity scenes and other Christmas items.
A nativity scene was built up using model figures from some of the stories from the differing traditions.
A Nativity Scene from all the worldA Nativity Scene from all the world

Fishing Boat for Burma

Author: 
Leslie Brown

At the December Church Meeting, it was agreed that the profits from the sale of Traidcraft goods should be used to purchase a fishing boat from the Christian Aid ‘Present Aid’ catalogue. For those who are not familiar with this catalogue, please read the exert below which describes the fishing boat we have purchased.
Fishing BoatFishing Boat

Please remember that buying Fairtrade goods from any shop or supermarket is something we should be endeavouring to do whenever possible as it ensures that the workers, whether farmers, labourers or growers, receive a fair wage for their work. Some of the Fairtrade companies (such as Traidcraft) do go that little bit further in providing facilities which greatly improve the lives of all those associated with producing the goods. The profits from any goods bought from our church stall after Sunday morning service (second and fourth Sundays) are donated to Christian Aid to further help those who need it most.

Christingle Service

Over forty people of all ages gathered to make Christingles to take to the special service led by Mrs Gill Bailey.

Deft fingers are not the perogative of the very youngDeft fingers are not the perogative of the very young

Christingles: Lighting the candles as part of the serviceChristingles: Lighting the candles as part of the service

ChristingleChristingle

Advent and Christmas at Fareham United Reformed Church

Advent and Christmas at Fareham United Reformed ChurchAdvent and Christmas at Fareham United Reformed Church

Liss and that

Author: 
Nicky Gilbert

Well, the good people of Petersfield survived my preaching three times in one day and the Bright Party was fine, we even managed to set off a sky lantern without setting light to the trees! As for that road (Moggs Mead) it has remained a bit of a problem, but as most people seem to live there, I have had to master it. I have found that if you keep turning clockwise you eventually come to the main road and then only have the ’one way’ system to negotiate! Petersfield church has a sister church in Liss with a membership of about twenty. They are friendly people and hold a weekly children’s club called ‘Little Fishes’; songs, stories, games and craft, not unlike FFUFs. The church began in a tin tabernacle in the early 1900’s,but is now a clean and tidy brick building ,tucked into the side of a hill above the village. This consists of a few shops, a couple of pubs and several churches, with some very nice houses and a old fashioned community feel to the place. Many people keep chickens and there is a brass band which is very popular.
At Christmas there are carols by candlelight in the church.
Sadly, the future of this little church is uncertain, but they are determined to be a force for good in their community. Like many churches they would value your prayers as they look for ways of being relevant to the people around them. Christmas blessings Nicky

The Smile Train

Author: 
Geoff Moore

The Smile Train is an International charity focused on solving the problem of cleft lip and palette in developing countries where millions of children with this predicament aren’t allowed to attend school, or hold a job and face lives filled with shame, isolation, pain and heartache. In fact every baby born in Uganda with a cleft is given the name ‘Ajok’ meaning ‘cursed by God’. No one knows how many newborns like this, are killed or abandoned at birth.
Angelica Joy is two years old, the youngest of four children, born to a poor, hardworking and loving family. Her parents placed her in the care of a local mission that will treat the condition, but because she was under weight they would not operate. AJ’s parents had to find help elsewhere. Then a local council official told Aj’s parents about the Smile Train and today Aj is a healthy happy two year old who can eat and talk normally.
The good news is that it costs just £150 and takes only about 45mins to put these problem right. Over the past ten years The Smile Train has operated on thousands of children whose parents are too poor to afford surgery.
You may remember at this years Easter breakfast, the buying of left over food, plus added donations, meant that we contributed £168 pounds to this good cause.
Admittedly most of the money was given in a desperate attempt to stop Meryl’s increasingly violent attempts at feeding folk more cindered sausages, but thank you. You see it wasn’t heartburn —just a warm glow!

The Great South Run

Author: 
John Saunders

The Great South Run is a 10 mile gallop around Portsmouth and is now the most popular run in Europe. Apart from the flat course, which is obviously always popular, the tremendous support given by the people of Portsmouth is much appreciated by the runners.
So, let’s try to visualise ten miles! If you were to leave our church, run through Fareham to Newgate Lane then, on to the front at Lee-on-Solent. Turn right along the promenade to the Shack tea shop and then back to the church, you would have run ten miles, assuming of course that you have survived the traffic in Newgate Lane!
The race actually begins at the Pyramids in Southsea and is organised in three waves, with 6000 runners in each wave, which means it’s sometimes a while before you get started!
Off we go towards the fun fair where a Samba drum band is pounding out a great beat. Then on through old Portsmouth feeling fresh and inspired by the crowds. Put on a bit of a spurt, thinking ’I can always slow down when there’s less spectators’!
Then into the dockyard and up the cobbled street to HMS Victory, easing off, until I see a TV camera! Must put on a bit of a show and remember to smile! Back into Southsea and past the THREE MILE mark ! You must be joking! Water station at four miles and lots of people along Winston Churchill Avenue. (Was that Marylin Monroe next to that chap, or am I losing it? ) Val at five miles, shouting encouragement, (she claims,) then out to Eastney. I hurt! At six miles I’m overtaken by a rhino, (I’m really losing it!) Being overtaken by a rhino is just not going to happen, dig in...faster! Through the back streets passed Eastney barracks; children holding hands out for ‘high fives’ takes your mind off the pain.. Eight miles and turning onto the front towards the Pyramids. Runners dropping out.! Must keep going and smile because Val is at the finish. Sea of faces; lots of noise. Over the line; feeling indescribable!
Why do it? The crowd support; the feeling of goodwill that pervades the finish line ;a sense of achievement; because I’m lucky enough to be able to put in a respectable time and £202 towards Leukaemia research. God willing I’ll be back next year.

Challenge or Chore

Author: 
G Bailey

When someone asks you to do something you have never done before, what is your first response? Do you think ‘Oh, I couldn’t do that’ or do you think ‘I’ don’t know how well I can do it, but I’ll give it a go?’ None of us can do everything, but we’ll never know what we can do and even may be good at, until and unless, we try. I had a stormy relationship with my father, but I’m grateful to him for teaching me two sayings; ’Never say ‘I can’t’ if you could say ‘I’ll try’ and ‘If at first you don’t succeed, try, try, try again.’’.
So many folk ,it seems, miss out on some of the joys in life through fear of failure, but surely we cannot be successful if we always think 'I can't.'

The same is true for the church. If we never try something new ,we may well be missing out on something good. Not every idea will be a good one of course and those that don’t work we need not repeat, but some things, even those the success of which we are unsure, may well turn out to be a blessing.

As we move into the new year with our new Minister, let’s try to see new ideas and initiatives as challenges to welcome, rather than changes to resist. God is a God of surprises, so let’s be prepared to be surprised about what he will help us do, both personally and collectively. With our hand is his, we have nothing to fear.

Induction of Revd Paul Bedford

The Induction of the Reverend Paul Bedford as Minister of Fareham and Sarisbury Green United Reformed churches, will take place on Saturday 29th January 2011 at Fareham URC at 2pm. The service will be followed by a celebratory tea and a chance to greet Paul and Susan and welcome them to the pastorate.