We are preparing a range of Advent activities to help us ‘let every heart prepare Him room‘, in the words of the carol ‘O Little Town of Bethlehem’. Many of these will be online, but some will be in person.

Dearne Churches Together will be giving out gift bags to local families on Saturday 28th November. The bags will include Christmas craft activities, books, snacks and surprises and if you can help prepare these bags, we will be at GPCC on Tuesday 24th November from 1 p.m. getting these ready. If you can help with that or with distributing the bags on Saturday 28 November, please let Julie know. Distribution will be from the Salvation Army in Goldthorpe (between 9.15 a.m. and 3.30 p.m. – pick a time slot to help!), from Furlong Road Methodist Church in Bolton-on-Dearne (between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m.) and St Helen’s Church Hall in Thurnscoe (between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m.) Please pray that these gifts will bless local families and bring home to people the message of hope which the angels brought.

Every weekday from 1 to 24 December, Julie will be reading the Christmas story from Scripture on Facebook live at 10 a.m. Take the opportunity to have a cuppa and sit down just for a few minutes to absorb again the wonder of what God has done for us in Jesus Christ. As Casting Crowns sing in their haunting song ‘While You Were Sleeping’ (listen here), the Christmas story reminds us that people were busy with their lives that first Christmas and, by and large, missed the fact that God had entered the world. We are waiting for Christ’s return and need to be alert and fully sober as we wait:

“United States of America
Looks like another silent night

As we’re sung to sleep by philosophies
That save the trees and kill the children

And while we’re lying in the dark
There’s a shout heard cross the eastern sky
For the bridegroom has returned
And has carried his bride away in the night, in the night

America, what will we miss
While we are sleeping?
Will Jesus come again
And leave us slumbering where we lay?

America, will we go down in history
As a nation with no room for its king?
Will we be sleeping?Will we be sleeping?” (‘While You Were Sleeping’, Casting Crowns)

In addition, we will be featuring an Advent slot for children in each of our evening services from 29 November. The first will be online, but we hope we will be meeting in person again from 6 December. On Fridays at 10.45 a.m. on Facebook live, Julie will also be talking about the Christmas story for our Parent & Toddler group in particular and will be making a ‘Jesse Tree’ which will be in church reminding us of the Christmas story in all its Scriptural fulness. Do join her for this short slot which helps us to keep Christ at the centre of Christmas.

On Saturday 20th December  at 6 p.m. we will be holding a carol service and in that will feature a pre-recorded Nativity performance by people from church. This hopefully will be a great way of joining together through the wonders of technology to remind us of the Christmas story and will allow both children and adults to engage with the Christmas story. This will be shown online, so whether we are allowed to meet in person or not, we can still share the ‘Good News Nativity’ with each other and the wider world. Please do let your friends know about this!