Car park:  Work will start on resurfacing the car park on Saturday 4 January 2020 and last two weeks.  The funds raised for this signal a great act of faithful generosity by all the church - very many thanks to all who have contributed.  The appeal remains open as we still need £6000 to meet the immediate costs, and there will need to be additional works related to lighting, parking controls and so on.  See 'Our Vision Phase 5' page on this site.

Aid for refugees: Collections have now ceased until mid-January.  Thank you for all donations made to date, much appreciated by those who run the refugee aid scheme at Skelmersdale Ecumenical Centre.

Trinity Fellowship: Come and join our Christmas festivities with mulled wine and the U3A Ukelele Band on Thursday 5 December at 2.00 pm in the Jubilee Hall.  All welcome.

Wreathing: We need as many volunteers as possible please to make the wreaths, on Friday 6 December at 9.00 am in the Parish Hall.

Sing-along carol concert in aid of Queenscourt and Woodlands hospices, Friday 6 December in the Parish Hall.  Tickets will be available at the door: £5 including mince pies and mulled wine.

Book Group: The next meeting will be on Monday 9 December, at 12.15 for 12.30 pm, when we shall be discussing 'The Stone Diaries' by Carol Shields.  All welcome in the church foyer.

The Alpha Course, hosted by Poppy, is running on Tuesday nights at 7.30 pm in church.  The last meeting of the current course will be on 17 December.  A new course will start on 14 January.

Pizza Eaters meet for Bible study and prayer on the second Friday of each month, from 4 to 5.00 pm.  All aged 10 and above are welcome.

Food Bank: Donations of food are very welcome - please bring to church, where there is a collection box in the foyer.  Suggested items: jars of baby food, tinned meat, tinned fruit, tinned vegetables, jars of jam, tinned rice and other puddings, sugar, rice, fruit juice, long-life milk, toilet rolls, miscellaneous treats.

Crisp packet recycling: Our Scout Group has registered for the crisp packet recycling scheme.  Any brand of packet can be brought to church (the box is in the foyer), and once enough are collected they will be sent to Walkers for recycling, for which we will receive payment.  The more we send the more money we make!

Bible Readings

Bible readings for the week from the NIV Bible:

Romans 15.4-13

4 For everything that was written in the past was written to teach us, so that through the endurance taught in the Scriptures and the encouragement they provide we might have hope.

5 May the God who gives endurance and encouragement give you the same attitude of mind toward each other that Christ Jesus had, 6 so that with one mind and one voice you may glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.

7 Accept one another, then, just as Christ accepted you, in order to bring praise to God. 8 For I tell you that Christ has become a servant of the Jews on behalf of God’s truth, so that the promises made to the patriarchs might be confirmed 9 and, moreover, that the Gentiles might glorify God for his mercy. As it is written:

‘Therefore I will praise you among the Gentiles;
    I will sing the praises of your name.’

10 Again, it says,

‘Rejoice, you Gentiles, with his people.’

11 And again,

‘Praise the Lord, all you Gentiles;
    let all the peoples extol him.’

12 And again, Isaiah says,

‘The Root of Jesse will spring up,
    one who will arise to rule over the nations;
    in him the Gentiles will hope.’

13 May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.

Matthew 3.1-12

In those days John the Baptist came, preaching in the wilderness of Judea 2 and saying, ‘Repent, for the kingdom of heaven has come near.’ 3 This is he who was spoken of through the prophet Isaiah:

‘A voice of one calling in the wilderness,
“Prepare the way for the Lord,
    make straight paths for him.”’

4 John’s clothes were made of camel’s hair, and he had a leather belt round his waist. His food was locusts and wild honey. 5 People went out to him from Jerusalem and all Judea and the whole region of the Jordan. 6 Confessing their sins, they were baptised by him in the River Jordan.

7 But when he saw many of the Pharisees and Sadducees coming to where he was baptising, he said to them: ‘You brood of vipers! Who warned you to flee from the coming wrath? 8 Produce fruit in keeping with repentance. 9 And do not think you can say to yourselves, “We have Abraham as our father.” I tell you that out of these stones God can raise up children for Abraham. 10 The axe has been laid to the root of the trees, and every tree that does not produce good fruit will be cut down and thrown into the fire.

11 ‘I baptise you with water for repentance. But after me comes one who is more powerful than I, whose sandals I am not worthy to carry. He will baptise you with the Holy Spirit and fire. 12 His winnowing fork is in his hand, and he will clear his threshing-floor, gathering his wheat into the barn and burning up the chaff with unquenchable fire.’

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