Hearing the Service
St John’s has an Induction Loop System so if you have a hearing aid, please switch it to the ’T’ setting.
Today is Advent Sunday where we mark the beginning of the season of the preparation for Christmas in a number of ways. Children’s activities will this year be set around the Advent Ring and Mary and Joseph will also be in church to be blessed before beginning their journey to stay with the children of the parish each night until Christmas Eve.
Mary & Joseph’s Parish Promenade
This morning we welcome Mary & Joseph into church before sending them on their journey to stay with the children of the parish during Advent. They arrive back for the crib service on Christmas Eve. If you would like to host Mary and Joseph, please fill in your details in one of the forms at the back and return it to Becky, Robin or Antonio. Alternatively, you can fill in the online form here: https://goo.gl/forms/LDx1JwWe2fWfCkzM2.
Animated Film Songs for Advent
As well as telling many Christian stories, Disney and DreamWorks movies have, over the years, engaged with implicit Christian themes in more subtle ways, such as: to believe in yourself, to chase your dreams, and to have courage and be kind. Each week in Advent the choir will be singing a song from an animated film.
Better Than I is a song from the 2000 DreamWorks Animation film Joseph, King of Dreams. It is performed when Joseph is at his lowest point, almost giving up on his faith. He decides to trust fully in God and acknowledge that he is the master of the universe who has an ultimate plan, even if things seem bad at present and he doesn't fully understand why.
Advent Carols 2016
This evening at 6pm is our Advent carol service - the first of our four carol services reprising the Christian year. This service always features some fantastic music and this year will be no different, with Beethoven’s Moonlight Sonata (1st movement), In the Beginning from Haydn’s Creation, You Are the Light of the World from Godspell, Take That’s Rule the World and pieces by Dove, Vaughan Williams and John Williams. There will be mulled wine and homemade mince pies after.
Christian Basics Explored
Our Advent Course this year runs on Tuesday evenings up to 13th December. This year we look at Christian basics in an open shared conversation around some wintery nibbles. We meet at 7:30pm at the curate’s house. Using Rowan William’s book Being Christian, we will explore our modern understanding[s] of four pillars of Christianity: Baptism, Scripture, the Eucharist and Prayer. For more information and to get a book, please contact one of the clergy.
Give the Gift of a Packed Backpack
This Advent we are participating in the Mary’s Meals Backpack Project. Many children receiving Mary’s Meals don’t have basic learning tools such as pencils and notepads - help them get the most out of their lessons by donating a backpack full of the things they need. Why not do it as an Advent project? If you would be interested, then pack a good-quality backpack with notepad, pens, pencils, crayons, eraser, ruler, sharpener, pencil case, towel, shorts or skirt, t-shirt or dress, flip-flops or sandals, soap, toothbrush, toothpaste, a small ball and a spoon. Bring your packed bags to St John’s no later than 24th December at 4pm. Further information is available on A5 flyers at the back of Church or from Robin or Antonio.
St John’s Book Club
St John’s Book Club is currently reading Eyrie by Tim Winton. They will meet to discuss this book on 28th November. See Michael King for further information.
Bible Book Club
Bible book club meets once a month to read and to discuss the gospel reading for the coming Sunday and concludes with Compline. Meetings take place on the last Tuesday of the month – the next meeting is 29th November. For further information, speak to one of the clergy
Festival of St Nicholas
St John’s is celebrating the Festival of St Nicholas (aka Father Christmas) again this year next Sunday, 4th December, at 4pm. This seasonal all age service begins with the entrance of a boy bishop and ends with the arrival of Father Christmas and in between there will be storytelling and lots of children’s activities interspersed with all kinds of St Nicholas/Father Christmas music from the choir. After the service there will be a seasonal tea.
Sunday, 18th December
This year’s play at the 10am service is a closely kept secret but we have an up-and-coming director cum playwright, Antonio Almodovar García Fuerte, who assures us this year’s script will be hotter than a truckload of jalapeño peppers! There are a couple of dates to keep in mind. Casting will be after church on Sunday 11th December and the dress rehearsal will be in church on Saturday 17th December at 10:30 am. Speak to Antonio or Becky for more information.
Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols
Our traditional carol service takes place Sunday, 18th December, at 6pm. The choir will be accompanied by a multitude of musicians. This year’s service features Vaughan Williams’ Fantasia on Christmas Carols. The service will be followed by a fizz and panettone reception. This is one of the biggest musical treats of the year for all the family. Invite your friends and neighbours to join us for this festive community celebration.
Remember a loved one by making a donation to this year’s Christmas flowers. Complete the slip inside your order of service and leave it with Bryan Sollenberger. A list of those in whose memory donations are given will be displayed in the porch.
Help Robin Get to Church
Robin Plummer lives in Cato Street and needs help getting to and from church. Would you be willing to help him? There is a rota and you would be expected to help Robin approximately one Sunday every other month. Robin is particularly fond of riding in fast cars although he is also very happy to walk to church.
Connaught Street Festivities
To celebrate the festive season, there will be a children’s pop-up for writing letters to Father Christmas. Activities will include: face painting, letters to Father Christmas, dressing-up box and an art station. Opening times are:
3 – 6.30pm on 2nd and 9th Dec
12 – 4pm on 3rd, 4th, 10th and 11th Dec
St James and St John School
This is our school; a school with a proud history and an aspirational future. St. James & St. John School provides both academic and personal development for every child, underpinned by Christian values. To quote Ofsted: "This is a good school. It is strongly supported by parents and carers. The strong provision for development of pupils' spiritual, moral, social and cultural qualities ensures that pupils are kind to new arrivals and respect one another's values. Progress in English and mathematics is good and this reflects the good teaching and curriculum."
Under Five’s Playgroups
An international playgroup aimed at Russian speakers meets in St John’s on Wednesdays at 10am. Other playgroups meet on Wednesdays at 3.45pm and Thursdays at 10am. Suggested donation for all groups: £2.
Children’s Community Choir
On Wednesdays at 4.30pm during term times Robert Greenhill, St John’s Director of Music, is conducting a Children’s Community Choir for children 6 years old and above. Sessions are 30 minutes long and children explore singing with movement and games as they engage with different genres of music. If you are interested in bringing your children along please let Robert, Robin or Antonio know.