MBC’s virtual Carol Service was a wonderful mix of innovation, musical excellence and superb production. The hour long programme blended traditional and modern carols, bible readings, dramatic soliloquies, dance, a mini sermon and prayer.Huge thanks to all who took part but we must give a special mention to Abi and Sam Tilley who besides playing an enormous part musically brought all the video and audio elements together. If you missed it on the night or if you would like to watch the Carol Service again you can by simply clicking anywhere on the image below.
I know from personal experience that even under normal circumstances casting, rehearsing and performing a Nativity play can be quiet stressful. However, broadcasting one live on Zoom must take that stress level to new heights. So huge thanks to Shelley, Nathan, Rowan and Daisy for hosting and narrating, to all our characters, in particular to inn-keeper Jonathan for his wonderful performance of Away in a Manger and of course to everyone who joined us.
To say Sunday December 20th is going to be busy is something of an under statement. The day begins at 9.30am with an online Nativity Service, this is followed with our regular Church at Home playlist and then from 5.30pm onwards we have an exciting hybrid blend of Zoom chat and Youtube carols. In more detail the day plays out as follows:9.30am Shelley and Nathan host a Zoom Nativity Service, invitations and links to which have already been dispatched. However, if you thought you would be able to get away with sitting there in your dressing gown with your video off and gently easing yourself into the day you’d be wrong because young or old (and for that matter everyone in between) is invited to dress up and come as their favourite nativity character!
After that, at 10.45am there will be no live welcome but instead our Facebook page, and a post here on the MBC website will direct you to a link via which you can share in our Church at Home Service. Again, though, this will be slightly different in that our speaker this week is Sam Corley from Leeds Minster, or to give him his full title: The Reverend Canon Sam Corley, The Rector of Leeds. The Service will also include Communion, carols, prayer and of course the lighting of the fourth Advent candle.
Then after a free afternoon it will be time to go back to MBC for 5.30pm when through the wonders of modern technology this year’s virtual Carol Service will be brought to you by an easy to follow mix of live Zoom chat and on Youtube a traditional programme of readings and carols.
If all this sounds a bit daunting don’t worry because by Sunday morning there will be new posts both here on the website and on our Facebook page giving you all the info you need to join in with all these different events.
Today, on what had to be one of the wettest afternoons of the year Carole Smith and her team of Lunch Club volunteers bravely took to the streets of north Leeds (one or two quite literally on foot) to hand deliver some welcome Christmas cheer.
Forty five gift wrapped hampers containing Christmas puddings, mince pies, crackers, chocolates and biscuits and each accompanied by a DIY Christingle kit were distributed to both Lunch Club regulars and to a number of other folk that Carole as MBC’s Senior’s Worker, our ministers and members of the pastoral team keep in regular touch with.
With Covid-19 restrictions limited attendance to just thirty people Arthur’s family asked if we could stream the Service live on Facebook. This we were delighted to do.
You can watch a full re run of the Service by following the link below.
This includes: a series of special Advent Services, a Big Breakfast Nativity, a drive thru Gift Service, an interactive Carol Service and even a Christmas party at which Santa has promised to Zoom into.
You’ll find the full details of this exciting programme above; I just hope we all have the stamina to keep up with it. And if you would like to download a slightly clearer copy just click HERE
Moortown Baptist Church has direct links with the Baptist Missionary Society (now BMS World Mission) that stretch back to the mid 1950’s. Indeed, during that time several of our members have served both overseas and here at home.
Our current Mission Partners are medics Andrea and Mark Hotchkin who are based in Chad, and Sue and John Wilson who work in Paris. There’s a Christmas greeting below from both these lovely couple which you can access by simply clicking on their individual links.
Also hot off the press is the latest edition of BMS World Mission’s ENGAGE magazine and its Prayer Guide. In the mag there is a special feature on Operation Chad, a report on the aftermath of the Beirut chemical blast and a piece that looks into what’s called “the strange blessing of zoom”. Both ENGAGE and the Prayer Guide are published three times a year and are available free of charge either through the post or online. To subscribe simply go to https://www.bmsworldmission.org/get-involved/stay-informed/engage/
With all our usual children, family, youth and senior’s groups physically grounded it will be great this coming Sunday for the whole church, via Youtube, to be able to come together for an online Christingle Service. As far as children, youth and seniors are concerned, like so much else these days organising this Service has involved an enormous amount of extra work for Shelley, Kate, Diane and Karen who over the last few days have been busy putting together over 100 individual bags each containing everything required to make your very own Christingle. And then of course for a dozen or so delivery drivers to make doorstep deliveries in and around north Leeds.
In addition, early next week and fully aware that not everyone is hooked up to the internet Carole and some members of her Senior’s Team will then make sure that all their Lunch Club regulars, and a few more besides are also able to get involved by again hand delivering bespoke packs to everyone on their register.
The history of the Christingle is really interesting and can be traced back to Moravian Bishop Johannes de Watteville, who started the tradition in Germany in 1747. At that time it was just a red ruff wrapped around a candle. In the intervening years, the Moravian Church spread the tradition of Christingle through their early role in the Protestant missionary movement. It was popularized in the United Kingdom by John Pensom in 1968. He was raising funds for the charity . In the 2000s over 5,000 Christingle services were being held in the UK every year. In 2018, over 6,000 services were held for The Children’s society. Each year Christingle raises over £1.2million to help vulnerable young people.
In 2018, The Children’s Society launched its #Christingle50 campaign, which included festive services in schools and churches for the 50th year.
A Christingle usually consists of: An orange, representing the world. A candle pushed into the centre of the orange, then lit, representing Jesus Christ as Light of the World. A red ribbon wrapped around the orange or a paper frill around the candle, representing the blood of Christ. Dried fruits and/or sweets skewered on cocktail sticks pushed into the orange, representing the fruits of the earth and the four seasons.
We were hoping that each of our packs would also contain an envelope in which you could make a donation to the Children’s Society. Sadly these haven’t arrived yet but all is not lost because if you follow this link https://www.childrenssociety.org.uk/how-you-can-help/donate you can arrange to make a donation to this amazing organisation either by post or online.
And don’t forget that this year our Christingle is just one of our many family focused pre – Christmas events. Already Shelley has hosted an After School Christmas Special, next Thursday at 11am we have our Santa zoom and Christmas party (incl. a nativity scavenger hunt) for our under 5’s, and then at 9.30am on Sunday 20th and ahead of our evening Carol Service we have courtesy of Zoom a breakfast Nativity.
The direct link to our Christingle Service is here
If you would like to join us for any (or all) of these events please leave a message for Shelley or Kate on 0113 2693750 (email: Admin@moortownbaptistchurch.onmicrosoft.com) and we’ll make sure you receive the Zoom invitation.