As we head out of October into November we head into a month of transition, full of dates and events that remind us of change and flow. The weather is the first thing that we notice change. These days October is still generally pleasant, it can feel as much like late summer as early autumn, but November can be cold and wet and feels like the start of winter.
Then there are the special days that remind us of death and change: All Saints (1st), Bonfire Night (5th), Armistice/Remembrance (11th), and for those with an American connection there is Thanksgiving (26th). These days all teach us to value life, to treasure memories of the past, and remind us of what is important to hold on to and fight for.
Toward the end of the month faith organisations in Hillingdon have another opportunity to value, treasure and consider what is important in their own tradition and that of other people during Hillingdon Inter Faith Week (23rd-29th November). At Christ Church we are planning to invite members of other faith communities to our church over the weekend of Friday (27th) to Sunday (29th). It would be good if we all help to welcome any visitors who come, whether it is to the exhibition that will be up on Friday and Saturday or to worship on the Sunday. Please look out for more details nearer the time.
Sunday 29th is also the first Sunday in Advent, the Sunday in which the cycle of the Church calendar restarts. Advent is a season of anticipation and preparation for Christmas (oh dear, have I mentioned the ‘C’ word already?). But what does Advent (and Christmas) mean for us? To help us reflect on that question, this year our Advent theme will be “If Uxbridge were Bethlehem, where would Jesus be born?” As part of that we will be thinking about Jesus born a migrant, becoming a refugee and how we might respond to the current situation locally in Uxbridge and further away.
To get us started in our thinking there will be a film night on Wednesday 25th where you can watch the film ‘Whistle Down the Wind’; there will be opportunity to discuss the film the following Wednesday (2nd Dec).
And finally, as part of our Christmas preparation and church decoration this year we are holding a ‘Cardboard Christmas’. You will be familiar with flower festivals and Christmas tree festivals where people prepare a floral decoration or decorate a Christmas tree on a particular theme. Well, the idea of a Cardboard Christmas is similar. Everyone is invited to take a cardboard box (any size large or small) and put in it item(s) that represent something of what the Christmas message means or says to you. For example, you could build a nativity scene in the box, or put in it a picture of a Christmas dinner (please no actual perishable goods!), you could fill it with stars or straw (no cowpats, they would come under the banned perishable goods act). These are just illustrations, please use your own imagination. Completed boxes should be brought to the church by the weekend 4th-6th December so that they can be arranged in time for the parade service on 13th December.
This article was first published in the November 2015 issue of Look-In, our monthly church magazine. To download the full issue, please click here: Look-In Nov 2015