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Sunday 25th December 2016 Christmas Day
9:00am Holy Communion at Isham (Revd Toni Smith)
9:15am Holy Communion at Little Harrowden (Revd John Seaman)
10:00am Family Communion at Pytchley (The Rector)

Sunday 1st January 2017 Christmas 1
10:00am Benefice Holy Communion at Isham (The Rector)
11:00am Café Church & Brunch at Orlingbury (Team)

Sunday 8th January 2017 Christmas 2
9:15am Holy Communion at Pytchley (The Rector)
9:15am Holy Communion & Sunday School at Isham (Revd Toni Smith)
10:30am Family Service at Little Harrowden (Team)
11:00am Holy Communion at Great Harrowden (Revd Toni Smith)
11:00am Holy Communion at Orlingbury (Rector)

Weekday Services
(No mid-week services at Little Harrowden between Christmas and New Year
8.30am Monday Morning Prayer at Great Harrowden.
9:15 am Tuesday, Thursday and Friday, Morning Prayer at Little Harrowden.
9.15 am. Wednesday, Holy Communion at Little Harrowden.

Please forward any items for inclusion in this news sheet to the Rector (01933 678225)
Or email: [email protected]
(underscore between names) by Thursday evening each week.

Future Dates:
Wed 4th Jan: 1:15pm Open the Book rehearsal at Little Harrowden Church
Thurs 5th Jan: 11.00 am Funeral of Valerie Rolfe (67) at Pytchley Cemetery
Mon 9th Jan: 9:30am Little Fishes starts again at Little Harrowden Church
7:00pm Marriage Prep Course begins at The Vicarage
Wed 11th Jan: 7.30pm Churchwardens meeting at The Vicarage

Collect Christmas Day
Lord Jesus Christ, your birth at Bethlehem draws us to kneel in wonder at heaven touching earth: accept our heartfelt praise as we worship you, our Saviour and our eternal God. Amen.

Isaiah 9: 2,6-7 The birth of the Saviour is predicted
The people walking in darkness have seen a great light; on those living in the land of the shadow of death a light has dawned.

For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counsellor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. Of the increase of his government and peace there will be no end. He will reign on David’s throne and over his kingdom, establishing and upholding it with justice and righteousness from that time on and forever.
The zeal of the LORD Almighty will accomplish this.

Luke 2: 1-14
In those days Caesar Augustus issued a decree that a census should be taken of the entire Roman world. (This was the first census that took place while Quirinius was governor of Syria.) And everyone went to their own town to register. So Joseph also went up from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to Judea, to Bethlehem the town of David, because he belonged to the house and line of David. He went there to register with Mary, who was pledged to be married to him and was expecting a child. While they were there, the time came for the baby to be born, and she gave birth to her firstborn, a son. She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger, because there was no guest room available for them.

And there were shepherds living out in the fields near by, keeping watch over their flocks at night. An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. But the angel said to them, ‘Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people. Today in the town of David a Saviour has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord. This will be a sign to you: you will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.’ Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying,
‘Glory to God in the highest heaven, and on earth peace to those on whom his favour rests.’

Collect for New Year’s Day Christmas 1
Almighty God, who wonderfully created us in your own image and yet more wonderfully restored us through your Son Jesus Christ: grant that, as he came to share in our humanity, so we may share the life of his divinity; who is alive and reigns with you, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.

Hebrews 2: 10-18
God, for whom and through whom everything was made, chose to bring many children into glory. And it was only right that he should make Jesus, through his suffering, a perfect leader, fit to bring them into their salvation. So now Jesus and the ones he makes holy have the same Father. That is why Jesus is not ashamed to call them his brothers and sisters. For he said to God,
“I will proclaim your name to my brothers and sisters.
I will praise you among your assembled people.”
He also said,
“I will put my trust in him,”
that is, “I and the children God has given me.”

Because God’s children are human beings – made of flesh and blood – the Son also became flesh and blood. For only as a human being could he die, and only by dying could he break the power of the devil, who had the power of death. Only in this way could he set free all who have lived their lives as slaves to the fear of dying.
We also know that the Son did not come to help angels; he came to help the descendants of Abraham. Therefore, it was necessary for him to be made in every respect like us, his brothers and sisters, so that he could be our merciful and faithful High Priest before God. Then he could offer a sacrifice that would take away the sins of the people. Since he himself has gone through suffering and testing, he is able to help us when we are being tested.

Matthew 2: 13-23
When the wise men had gone, an angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream. “Get up,” he said, “take the child and his mother and escape to Egypt. Stay there until I tell you, for Herod is going to search for the child to kill him.” So he got up, took the child and his mother during the night and left for Egypt, where he stayed until the death of Herod. And so was fulfilled what the Lord had said through the prophet: “Out of Egypt I called my son.”

When Herod realized that he had been outwitted by the wise men, he was furious, and he gave orders to kill all the boys in Bethlehem and its vicinity who were two years old and under, in accordance with the time he had learned from the wise men. Then what was said through the prophet Jeremiah was fulfilled:
“A voice is heard in Ramah, weeping and great mourning, Rachel weeping for her children and refusing to be comforted, because they are no more.”

After Herod died, an angel of the Lord appeared in a dream to Joseph in Egypt and said, “Get up, take the child and his mother and go to the land of Israel, for those who were trying to take the child’s life are dead.” So he got up, took the child and his mother and went to the land of Israel. But when he heard that Archelaus was reigning in Judea in place of his father Herod, he was afraid to go there. Having been warned in a dream, he withdrew to the district of Galilee, and he went and lived in a town called Nazareth. So was fulfilled what was said through the prophets: “He will be called a Nazarene.”

Midweek Services: Morning Prayer WILL take place at Great Harrowden on Monday 26th December at 8.30am but there will be NO midweek services or communion at Little Harrowden in the week between Christmas and New Year.

On January 15th 2017 at the request of Church Wardens there will be a Benefice Café Main Street at St Mary’s Little Harrowden. This is to showcase what we are doing in our Café Church, please support us in this by joining us even if it is not your preferred form of worship. The service will begin at 10.00 am

Isham Christmas Tree Festival raised £1,270.23 – thank you everyone!

New Year Drinks & Nibbles at Coppicemoor Farm, Pytchley from 12.30pm on Sunday 8th January (in aid of Pytchley Church). Tickets £10 from Pauline Middleton 01536 515458, email: [email protected]

HAPPY CHRISTMAS EVERYONE! I hope you all enjoy a good holiday with friends and family – Mary. And thank you so much for all my Christmas cards!

Humour is a gift: At a Theological College it was the custom to vary the canticles and psalms from day to day. Announcing the Te Deum one morning the Principal, who was rather absent minded, began cheerfully:
“We praise Thee, O God,” then added hastily, “Oh no we don’t – it’s Friday.”

Please pray:
• For all in need of healing.
• For the family and friends of Valerie Rolfe (Pyt), those killed or injured in Berlin and Mexico this week, and all who are grieving, lonely or anxious.
• For those facing persecution and violence; and for peacemakers.

Proverb: “People can get many good things by the words they say; the work of their hands also gives them benefits.” Ch12 Vs14

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