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Christmas Pastoral Letter.


Bloomfield Methodist Church Christmas Pastoral Letter 2023

from Reverend Nigel Murphy 

'When Jesus spoke again to the people, he said, "I am the light of the world.  Whoever follows Me will never walk in darkness but will have the light of life." ' John 8:12


The new series of 'All Creatures Great and Small' is a popular one for Reah and I to watch. It is undoubtedly for many others. The Christian values of community, friendship, and kindness warms our hearts amidst the beautiful countryside of the Yorkshire Dales. It can serve as a momentary relief from the stresses and strains that we can feel in our lives. However, if we watch closely, we will see that it is only a television show with actors that portray the almost perfect hairstyle, clothes, cars, and the well-prepared scenes with much hard work. Behind the scenes there is probably much aggravation involved in the creating of the almost perfect drama for its viewers!


Christmas is like this also, one that can be a haven where we live our lives in the warm predictability of the festive routine. The events surrounding the first Christmas were anything but safe or kind for the people who lived through them. As we meditate upon the Christmas story in 2023 let's remember this. The festive routine for Reah and I will hopefully include watching the Christmas special of 'All Creatures Great and Small' but we should remember that beyond the show it is only a drama intended to make us feel good in the celebration of Christmas by supressing the imperfections of the world for which Jesus Christ had to die! In the season of Christmas, we are called to remember the Lord Jesus Christ who had no friends. One of them betrayed him and the rest fled when he was put on trial and tortured. He was finally executed even though he was found innocent of all charges brought against him! Jesus once said, 'I am the light of the world whoever follows me will never walk in darkness.' He is the God who knows what it is like to live in an unkind world with uncertainty. He is the one who lights up the way ahead when we trust in him. He is the one who promises, 'I am with you always.' He is the God who walked out of his tomb three days after his execution bringing back rock solid certainty in this uncertain world!

When we trust in the Lord Jesus Christ we are never alone. The revelation that the story of Jesus Christ is not an acted-out drama but is truth means that we can know true happiness and joy in Jesus Christ who, gives us hope in this uncertain world. Let's all continue to participate in the narrative of Jesus Christ and be perfected into his likeness this Christmas and in the New Year through the Holy Spirit.


Reah and I would like to take this opportunity to wish everyone a happy Christmas and a blessed new year.


The manse telephone number is 028 90 651 810 and mobile number is 079 888 07803. For the online services go to Bloomfield Methodist Church Facebook or Bloomfield Methodist Church You Tube. If you would like your pastoral letter emailed in the future, please send your email address to bloomfield.methodist@gmail.com 


Peace be with you, your friend and minister, Reverend Nigel Murphy 


Announcements 

All Age Christmas Service - Sunday 10th December 2023, 11am - Led by Ethna Cummings. On 17th December there will be a short morning worship service 11-11:30am and the Carol Service will be at 4pm followed by mince pies and shortbread in the main hall.

Christmas Morning Service - Monday 25th December 2023, 9:30am.

Sunday 31st December, 11am - Worship Service. More details on a late evening Watchnight Service, 31st December 2023 will come via the announcements and website.

Covenant Communion Worship Service - Sunday 7th January 2024, 11am. 

There will be no Tuesday Tea and Chat in December and will resume on Tuesday 30th January 2024, 2pm.

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Hospital Visits - If you have a family member, loved one or know of a member of the congregation who has been admitted to hospital for treatment, please let the minister/society steward know as soon as possible so a visit can be arranged. The minister can be contacted via email nigel.murphy@irishmethodist.org or manse telephone 028 90 651 810 or mobile 079 888 07803. Please leave a message if the minister does not answer immediately. If you would like a house call, please speak with the minister/society steward. 

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