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Church Matters
 CHURCH MATTERS in Elham Newsletter 

Dear Friends,

As we journey toward Christmas we remember that the Christmas story did not start with the voice of God, not with the song of angels, but with the order of an Emperor to be counted in a census. It did not matter that Mary was nine months pregnant and that their journey from Nazareth to Bethlehem was a two hundred mile bumpy one, on a donkey, in the rainy season. What physical discomfort, anxiety about the baby’s safety!  Joseph must have been frustrated and angry about being forced to obey the Emperor at the risk of endangering his wife and child.

Even though Emperor Augustus had the first word he did not have the last. How did Mary and Joseph manage on that difficult journey? They managed because as the Angel Gabriel said to Mary in the very beginning; ‘With God everything is possible.’

God was with them throughout their journey hidden in the swell and curves of Mary’s womb. God was with them as Heidi Neumark puts it; Bound to her flesh with a cord of love.’

God is with us too when the road is hard and bumpy. God is hidden in the curves and turns of our lives, as close as a baby snuggling into one’s neck, as close as bread and wine in our mouths;

‘Bound to us with a cord of love that cannot be broken.’  (Heidi Neumark)

Our names are written in the book of life, we are inheritors of a wealth beyond our wildest dreams; a love that will not let us go, a hope that will not let us down and a life that will not let us die.

The one who knew us in our mother’s womb is on the road with us and will give us the strength, grace and hope to face the bumps ahead. This Christmas we celebrate because we can count on that! 

Services for DECEMBER

St. Mary’s:                                             

3rd     8am Eucharist BCP   9.30am Sung Eucharist                                

10th   8am Eucharist BCP   3pm Carol Service

17th   8am Eucharist BCP   11am-2pm Christmas Market in Church

24th   5pm Crib Service       11pm Midnight Eucharist   

25th   9.30am Christmas Family Sung Eucharist (shortened)

31st   8am Eucharist BCP   10.30am Elham Valley Farewell Eucharist Service

 for Rev’d. Peter Ashman at Lyminge.

Methodist Church: 

Services at 9.30 a.m. unless stated    

3rd    Rev’d Sam Funnell (Holy Communion)

10th3.30pm Elham Valley Tea Service at Rhodes Minnis

17th   Rev’d.Derek Hancock

24th Mr Dudley Shipton

25th No service

31st Mrs Pam Couchman


Services for JANUARY

St. Mary’s:

7th   8am Eucharist BCP 9.30am Sung Eucharist

14th8am Eucharist BCP 9.30am Cafe Church

21st8am Eucharist BCP 9.30am Unity Service at the Methodist Church

28th8am Eucharist BCP 9.30am Sung Eucharist

Methodist Church: 

Services at 9.30 a.m. unless stated    

7th10.15am Elham Valley Service Lyminge

14th Rev’d John Lines

21st Unity Service

28th Rev’d Dr. Paul Glass