Dear All,

We find ourselves in the midst of a week marked by uncertainty and anxiety as the highly-contagious Omicron variant puts plans for Christmas gatherings into various states of disarray. It is in times like these that we can draw on the resources of our faith to make meaning of the continuing sense of loss and disruption to our daily lives.

Here are the first two stanzas from Christina Rossetti’s achingly beautiful Christmas-themed poem, ‘In the Bleak Midwinter’ which was set to music by Gustav Holst after her death.

In the bleak midwinter, frosty wind made moan,
Earth stood hard as iron, water like a stone;
Snow had fallen, snow on snow on snow,
In the bleak midwinter,
Long, long ago.

Our God, heaven cannot hold Him, nor earth sustain;
Heaven and earth shall flee away when He comes to reign.
In the bleak midwinter a stable place sufficed
The Lord God Almighty,
Jesus Christ.

In the final stanza, Rossetti reflects on what meaningful response we might make to one who couldn’t be held in heaven nor sustained on earth, and offers us some spiritual consolation in our own time and place. For me, it’s all about heartfelt intentions, even if they cannot be realized at this time; and invitations offered, even if they are declined with heavy hearts, due to current concerns about indoor gatherings.

Poor as I am?
If I were a shepherd, I would bring a lamb;
If I were a wise man,I would do my part,
Yet what I can, I give Him,
Give my heart.

As you might appreciate, current plans for Christmas services are being evaluated on a day-to-day basis. Please find the schedule below and check your email for updates before setting out for church.

Sincerely yours,