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Sunday 19th November 2017 11:00
Sung Eucharist for the Second Sunday before Advent with parallel Children's Ministry followed by Coffee Hour
Celebrant and Preacher: Rev'd Nathanial

Sunday 26th November 2017 11:00
Sung Eucharist celebrating Christ the King with parallel Children's Ministry followed by Cool Drinks and Refreshments
Celebrant and Preacher: Rev'd Ricky Yates

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24th November 2011

Dear People & Friends of St. Clements,

To all Americans reading this message, may I say “Happy Thanksgiving!” And to everyone reading this message, may I say “Happy New Year!” for this coming Sunday. Before you start writing back telling me that I’m five weeks ahead of myself, I am of course referring to the new Church Liturgical Year which starts on Sunday 27th November – Advent Sunday.

Despite what many people think, especially the manufacturers of Advent Calendars, Advent only occasionally begins on 1st December. As I explained last Tuesday evening when I spoke about the Church Liturgical Year, Advent begins four Sundays before Christmas Day. This means that Advent Sunday can be as early as 27th November as it is this year, or as late as 3rd December.

Advent is also not solely, a countdown to Christmas. It should be a time of quiet, reflection and preparation, before we celebrate the coming of Jesus into world as the babe born in Bethlehem. We do this by first focussing on Christ’s promised second advent or coming, before we turn to consider those who prepared the way for his first coming, in particular John the Baptist and then his mother, the Blessed Virgin Mary. The season should also have a penitential feel to it, hence we use purple as the liturgical colour, just as we do in Lent. Therefore….

Advent Sunday – 27th November

Sung Eucharist at 11.00am for Advent Sunday. There will be parallel Children’s Ministry and the service will be followed by Coffee Hour in the hall on the third floor of Klimentská 18. The Bible Readings set for this Sunday are Isaiah 64. 1-9, 1 Corinthians 1. 3-9 and Mark 13. 24-37. This also reminds me to say that, as well as entering a new Church Liturgical Year, we also move from Year A to Year B in our three-year cycle of lectionary readings. This means that for the next twelve months, the Gospel Reading each Sunday will normally come from Mark’s Gospel. However, because Mark is the shortest of the four Gospels, you will also get a bit of John and occasionally Luke, especially around the major festivals of Christmas and Easter.

If the latter half of the last paragraph has left you scratching your head, not fully understanding what I’m on about, why not come along next Tuesday evening where I hope to be able to offer more detailed words of explanation.

Tuesday 29th November

On Tuesday 29th November, between 6.30-8.00pm in the small meeting room on the first floor of Klimentská 18, I shall try and give an explanation as to the origin of the Revised Common Lectionary, the three year cycle of Bible Readings that we use each Sunday, the thinking that lies behind it and how it works Sunday by Sunday. Whilst it does tie in and follow on from our session last Tuesday evening, it isn’t a problem if you couldn’t come last Tuesday – you can still attend this coming Tuesday. As always, there will be the opportunity for questions and discussion &, when we finish at 8.00pm, a number of us go on to a nearby bar-restaurant for a meal together to continue the fellowship. Please come and join us if you are able to do so.

Thursday 1st December

How to Read the Bible‘ – the second session of a course being led by David Hellam between 7.00 – 8.30pm at his home, Námesti Interbrigády 949/3, Prague 6. Having first looked at how we should Read it, which is the first session this evening, the session on Thursday 1st December will address the question of how we Study it.

The evening will follow the same format as the Christian Basics course in September & October with a shared meal, followed by a talk, followed by discussion. If you want to know more, contact David david(at)hellam(dot)net or 722 223 097. If the Bible is a closed book to you or you don’t really know where to start, I strongly encourage you to come along to this and the third session on Thursday 8th December when David will consider how we Apply it.

Ethics at Lunchtime

Our next joint event in conjunction with the British Chamber of Commerce in the Czech Republic will also be on Thursday 1st December – 12.30-14.00 Bellevue Restaurant, Smetanovo nábřeží 18, Prague 1.

In the light of the coming Christmas season putting a spotlight on charity – and the ongoing questions about certain Eurozone countries subsidizing others – the question for discussion will be “Overseas versus Local Aid – Should charity begin at home?”

The cost of a two course lunch including a non-alcoholic drink is CZK 390 & to register to attend go to here where you will also find full details of the menu! You do need to register at least by Tuesday 29th November so the restaurant know the correct numbers for catering purposes.

Our Anglican Diocesan Bishop is coming!

One member of your Church Council (who shall be nameless) wrote to me last week saying that I ought to really ‘encourage the flock’ and enthuse them to be there for the forthcoming visit of Bishop Geoffrey Rowell on Sunday 4th December. Well I certainly do want to do that! We are an Anglican Episcopal Church and not a congregational Church. Therefore when our bishop comes to visit, all of us should every effort to be there, especially as we are part of a very scattered diocese that covers about one sixth of the land surface of the earth and we don’t get to see him very often!

I will write in more detail in my next Weekly Message about his visit, but please make sure now that you are planning to be in Church on Sunday 4th December at 11am. Likewise, on the day before, Bishop Geoffrey will be meeting with your Church Council, the Churchwardens and with me & we would all value your prayers for those meetings.

Services and Events for Advent & Christmas

Many thanks to several people who in turn have thanked me for the list of dates and events to the year end that I circulated last week. I hope you’ve used it to update your diaries. In case it slipped by you, it’s here in a very slightly updated form. I’m particularly thrilled about holding a Carol Service in Brno on the evening of Sunday 18th December and for what might result from it in 2012. One of the reasons I’m trying to get this Weekly Message finished early on Thursday evening, is because I’m off to Brno tomorrow to finalise arrangements.

Once again, I’ll write in much greater detail all about our various Carol Services in next week’s message, once we’re into both Advent and the month of December. But please do give serious thought as to whether you could join a group of us going down & back to Brno on the afternoon/evening of Sunday 18th December, to really make this event the success that I hope under God, it will be.

And finally for this week…..

Don’t forget that our St. Clement’s Christmas Cards will once more be available for sale in Church this Sunday. And if you are about to do some Christmas shopping, don’t forget our Amazon.co.uk & Amazon.com links on our website or by clicking here.

Best wishes

Ricky