Dear Church member
Epiphany (meaning ‘manifestation’ or ‘appearance’), which began on 6th January, is a season which recognizes Jesus to be the Son of God, the Light come into the world. Beginning with the recognition of the newborn Jesus by the world, last Sunday we remembered the Baptism of Christ by John, when a voice from heaven declares Jesus to be God’s beloved Son. The season of Epiphany ends on 2nd February with the Feast of the Presentation of Jesus at the Temple ('Candlemas') when he is recognized by Simeon to be ‘a light to lighten the Gentiles and the glory of God’s people Israel.’ On the Sundays in between we focus on episodes in John's gospel when Jesus calls his first disciples and does his first miracle.
How can we benefit from that Light, knowing the reassurance and guidance of God, and grow our faith in Jesus in challenging circumstances? We are to hear the words passed down to "come and see" (John 1:46) and see and heed the signs of his glory (John 2:11). Some ways that we might do that are detailed below.
For the time being all our services are online and over the phone every Sunday:
Please also consider joining in over the coming weeks with at least one of the following - everyone welcome!
From 9am for a pre-recorded online service found here, with the opportunities to interact via Zoom - details/dates to follow
At 10.30am for a Zoom-based family service - details from Sarah or Melanie
At 6pm via the telephone for services of Evening and Night Prayer - details here
The Prayer Course which will be starting on Thursday evenings from this coming Thursday, 21st January. The Prayer Course is an eight week journey that will help us to grow and deepen our prayer life. Each week of the course is made up of a video, discussion questions and practical prayer activities. For further information and to register your interest, please click here.
Homegroups continue online, and new people are always welcome to join or visit. Homegroups read the Bible together, pray together, and support one another in the Christian life. More information from Jean Barton.
Some Zoom Connect groups from before Christmas continue, and are open to new members, and other groups can be formed as needed. These small groups meet weekly for 40 minutes at various times of the week via Zoom, to enable us to connect with one another, our local churches, and with God. Please be in touch if you are interested.
We are also looking to run another online Alpha Course, but no day/time has yet been set. Alpha is a low-pressure, fun and informative course, in which to share thoughts and explore the meaning of life. Please be in touch if you are interested or know of someone else who might be.
All Saints' and St Matthew's continue to be open during the day for private prayer, though St Matthew's will not be accessible Monday 18th to Friday 22nd January whilst some work is going on. Our churches are also bases for dropping off donations for Didcot Emergency Foodbank, whose services are in great demand at present. Please note that Vale of White Horse District Council are able to help people who are struggling to afford food and stay warm this winter through the Winter Support Grant scheme in the form of advice, supermarket and fuel vouchers or through the direct payment of energy or water bills. Call 0300 3309042 for further guidance, or if you know of someone who is struggling please tell them to get in touch.
in Christ you make all things new:
transform the poverty of our nature
by the riches of your grace,
and in the renewal of our lives
make known your heavenly glory;
through Jesus Christ your Son our Lord,
who is alive and reigns with you,
in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, now and for ever.
Yours, in Christ,
Revd Dr Jonathan Mobey
Rector of Harwell with Chilton