November Update and Advent

Wow, 2014 has soon disappeared! Especially November and December, what with all the plans for Christmas coming together, but I want to take you all back to mid-November when I joined two other young people in representing the URC Youth at Mission Council. This trip to The Hayes, Swanwick was one of mixed emotions; particularly as it was my last Mission Council as FURY Moderator. In fact, it was my last meeting representing the URC Youth in my term as Moderator, and it was a great meeting to start the end of my post.

I have always looked forward to going to Mission Council as not only is it’s an opportunity to represent the young people in discussions and decisions that impact the whole URC, but also an opportunity to network with so many people from so many different areas of the church, both in location and in their roles. Despite this being my final meeting, I will still hold special memories of it and will miss this opportunity to discuss issues that the whole URC are facing.

Now we are in December and half way through advent I turn my focus from Mission Council and my time as Moderator to advent and Christmas. As December began, many shops were already stocked up with Christmas displays, and people were beginning to buy presents for loved ones. For me as December beginThis advent, what is it we're to be excited about?s I become very busy with work but also very grumpy. It seems to me that advent has become a time of sales, frantic buying and novelty jumpers, and the real reason of advent has disappeared.

Once I get past all the commercialisation, I discover the reason why I love Christmas. It is an opportunity to remember those you love and hold dear, a time of peace and hope, and above all a time of joy in the run up to the celebration of the birth of our Lord Jesus Christ.

As we continue in the countdown to Christmas, let us not forget those that we love and hold dear. For those who will not find Christmas a joyful time of year, we pray that they feel a sense of peace and comfort in their time of unease and anxiety. Above all else, let us remember that advent is the period of waiting for the celebration of the birth of the most wonderful baby born.

God Bless, and may your advent and Christmas be one of peace, hope, and joy.

Matthew Barkley

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