DECEMBER NEWSLETTER 2023
Advent is designed to show that the meaning of Christmas is diminished to the vanishing point if we are not willing to take
a fearless inventory of the darkness. (Fleming Rutledge)
Advent begins in the dark, and looking into the depths of darkness requires bravery – not least because we might just
glimpse the ugly side of ourselves there. As Isaiah points out, even our best is like a filthy rag. The genuinely hopeful
Christmas disposition doesn’t look away from the dark, but peers into it. The true Christmas disposition does not shy
away from death, but looks directly at it. Else, the gospel is fake. Advent begins in the dark.
Philipp Nicolai knew something of darkness; whilst serving as a pastor in Westphalia the plague struck, taking 1300 lives
during 1597, 170 in a week.
To comfort his parishioners in the midst of their darkness, Philipp wrote some meditations which he entitled “Mirror of Joy.”
Wow! “Joy?” Yes! The apostle Paul would write to the Church in Rome, “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.” (Romans 15: 13). The connection is
clear; “Joy”, of the Christmas kind, isn’t about our circumstances – but our disposition – are we truly trusting Jesus, and
putting our faith in him.
Philipp’s pamphlet included the hymn, "Sleepers Awake”, but perhaps you will know better its adaption by Bach: his Cantata
140. The first line of the hymn reads: “Sleepers, wake! A voice astounds us!” And astounding it is, after 400 long years of
prophetic, agonizing silence a voice is heard in the wilderness “Prepare ye the way of the Lord.” The one who is “joy”
personified is on his way and will return to wipe away every tear from our eye.
Fleming Rutledge again ‘To be a Christian is to live every day of our lives in solidarity with those who sit in darkness and in
the shadow of death, but to live in the unshakeable hope of those who expect the dawn.’
And as we confess the darkness in our own lives and pray and work for those whose lives are shrouded in places of darkness.
’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’ this Christmas.
You can find Bach’s Cantata here:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DqZE54i-muE
Matthew King, Assistant Headteacher at Trinity St Peter’s Primary School has been announced as the gold winner of the
Award for Teacher of the Year, in the 2023 Pearson National Teaching Awards.
I will send my messenger ahead of you, who will prepare your way’ –‘a voice of one calling in the wilderness, “Prepare the
way for the Lord, make straight paths for him.” ’ Mark 1:2
We enter Advent with great expectation and wonderment, as we not only celebrate the coming of Jesus as a baby, but also
looking forward to His coming in glory, to renew the earth. We pray that we will be ready for His coming, and that the gospel
will have reached all parts of the world, in response to Jesus final instructions to preach to the ends of the earth.
We pray for all those who have nowhere to lay their heads, and are exposed to the cold and rain, as well as being vulnerable
to attack, especially the children and young women, who are so frequently too frightened to stay in one place all night. We
pray for the food banks and pantries, and for the volunteers who give of their time and love, to serve the poor of our society.
We pray for the village nativity performance, and all the special services that will, hopefully, attract those who are curious
about Jesus, but have yet to meet Him. We pray for the churches of Formby as they welcome all into their midst.
We pray for the town of David, Bethlehem, and all the lands of Israel and Palestine, that they may learn to love one another,
and work for peace, reconciliation and working together for the common good. And we ask for peace this Christmas
throughout the world, with love, justice and mercy breaking out.
Today in the town of David a Saviour has been born to you; He is the Messiah, the Lord. Luke 2:11
EVENTS IN THE CALENDAR DECEMBER & JANUARY
‘The Loft’, Men’s Event 9.00 am – 11.00 am
Meeting Every Friday morning in the Church Foyer. All men welcome
Prayer Club meeting every Thursday 7.00 pm -8.00 pm will be held in members’ homes.
During the winter months. Everyone is very welcome, and to find out who is being the host each week, please ring
Sylvia on 07827314103 We apologise for not being in the Prayer Room, but it really is too cold.
Saturday 2nd December 10.00am -12.30 pm
Christmas Carol Annual sing-a- long with Maggie.
All proceeds will go to Queenscourt Hospice and Woodlands Hospice, Fazakerly.
Come and enjoy having Bacon Butties, Toasted Teacakes, mince pies and hot and cold drinks in our beautifully
Come and sing Carols or just listen and enjoy festive readings.
Come and see the beautiful window displays designed by many of our groups of all ages.
All welcome to join in the sing along on the Big Day.
Friday 8th December
Wreath Making in the Workshop -9.00 am
Join in the fun and help us to make the wreaths for the wreathing service.
Whether you are an expert or would like to learn the art of wreath making you are very welcome. This is for a
unique and special service.
Saturday 9th December
Make Noise Choir Christmas Concert in Holy Trinity Church.
2.30 pm. Tickets available online
5.00 pm concert is sold out.
Tickets available to book on line using the link below.
Pizza Eaters Next Meeting is -Wednesday 10th January 6.00 pm – 8.00 pm
Held in the Church Foyer.
All young people from year 6 and above are very welcome.
Any youngster can just turn up, but if you would like to know more, please call.
Sylvia on 07872314103
Sunday 10th December
Wreathing Service in Holy Trinity Church 3pm
Friday 15th December 8.00 pm -9.30 pm
Sweet Friday ‘Cosy Christmas Night in Jubilee Hall.
Christmas readings, mince pie tasting, Angel Drive, Pass the Parcel.
Bring a friend and your own drinks & nibbles.
Saturday 16th December
Formby Choral Society, Carols with Brass concert
Sunday 17th December
Holy Trinity Carol Service 5pm
St Michael & All Angels Carol Service 3pm
Friday 22nd December 11.00 am-12.00 noon at Tesco
Saturday 23rd December 100.00 am – 12.00 noon at Waitrose
You are welcome to join Churches Together for Carol singing to raise money for local hospices and homeless.
Churches Together invite you to look out for all the beautiful Christmas window displays in our village shops and
businesses. Each one has an accompanying Bible verse putting the Christian message of the birth of Jesus in the
centre of Formby
Christingle Making in the workshop
Saturday 23rd December from 9.00am
We have 150 Christingles to make so help from children and parent welcome
It's enjoyable and fun to do, so please come along.
Christmas Day Lunch Formby Hub
Please don’t spend Christmas Day on your own.
Come and join us for lunch at
Formby Luncheon Club,
At 68 Rosemary Lane, Formby
From 11.45am to 3.25 pm
To book please contact: Catie Page on 01704 832 207
GOOD NEWS CLUB
This club is an after-school Bible club for children in years 4 -6 in Trinity St Peter’s school. We are delighted to partner with
St Peter’s Church in running the club.
There will be a varied programme and each Club begins with a drink, chocolate and games followed by an interactive session.
We would like to encourage children from all primary schools to join us as they would be very welcome. We meet
immediately after school on a Wednesday finishing at 4pm. Children in Trinity St Peter’s School will be accompanied by a
leader after school and can be collected from the hall. Children in Clubhouse in School will be escorted back.
Come and enjoy the fun.
4th,11th & 18th October
15th,22nd & 29th November
Volunteers -we do need some help, either with the sessions or with the refreshments. If you are interested, please let me
know Mark Stanford 368464 office:firstname.lastname@example.org