The Christmas season is in full swing now at Ferndale, although I did manage to avoid the decorations going up until last week! Christmas for me this year seemed to start at the end of November with the Girls Brigade Christmas parties – 2 parties in one evening, and it was suprisingly enjoyable! Last week however, felt more Christmassy with the start of the many carol services I shall be attending this year!
The first was the Women’s Institute Carol Service & Christmas Party, hosted by Ferndale WI and for WI’s in Southend. I was speaking at the service and was strangely calm until I saw the 50 women piling into the church – there was a lot more than I had thought in my head and suddenly got very scared about preaching the gospel to all these women – most of whom I had never met before. Especially as I had decided not to go with the traditional talk relating to the Nativity but to go for Romans 6:23: “For the wages of sin is death but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord”. It was linked to Christmas as you’d expect – by a cracker with the verse inside it which we pulled at the start. I think it was the first time I’ve ever given a talk and seen peoples face change from just listening to being really offended which I found quite hard!
I also ended up redoing the talk at a youth group in Basildon that evening which was a very dfferent experience! I’d never given a talk to such a large group of youth before which was quite scary as I really didn’t expect them to start answering rhetorical questions during my talk!!
My second talk was for Gold Club (the over 50’s group) for which I rewrote a talk (Isaiah 9:6-7) I had given at my first BEC (Biblical Evangelism Conference) way back in my 2nd year of Uni. It was a real encouragement for me to go back to that talk and be able to make changes to it and see how my understanding has grown in the past three years! As well as the fact that I remember thinking that I would never be able to actually give a talk in a real life context! I really do love Gold Club as well – so encouraging to see such a varied group of people! (see pictured right with us playing Christmas music for them)
We’ve also had the mums and tots christmas party (above) and the Womens Fellowship christmas party both of which have been amazing. It’s great to see how much I have gotten to know people in the past four months.
The only Christmas events I have left are the nativity (which I will be glad when it’s over!), Girls Brigade Christmas Play, YMCA Christingle Service, Carols on Cluny Square and carols by candlelight which I am really looking forward, then 6.40am on Monday it’s off home for a rest! So exciting!