Church Link News: December 2013

Welcome to the first edition of Alabaré Church Link News  

This different edition is written specifically for the churches that support us.  Here you will find up-to-date news about our work, downloadable posters, literature to share with your parishioners, and links to much more!  We hope you enjoy reading this version of our network news, but if you would prefer to receive the original Network News alongside this email, please get in touch via r.lewis@alabare.co.uk and let us know. On behalf of us all at Alabaré, we wish you joy and blessings over Christmas and into the New Year!   

Advent Message

At the start of the new year we take a deep breath, and allow ourselves to think. Christmas can overwhelms us as the busyness overtakes us…

Advent allows us to pause… It is a time of preparation, fasting, and reflection. We think of prophets, the Christmas story, family, and gradually anticipate the beauty, wonder, and vulnerability of God coming into our world. This is a profound truth, that we should reflect on. We can take the opportunity this Christ mass time and use the discipline of fasting to tame our desires and focus attention on truth. Jesus shows us how to live and die, and in his death demonstrates that love overcomes death. Love triumphs our selfishness, Jesus expresses God’s agenda for our lives as “love God, love thy neighbour, love yourself”. A mandate/mantra that has the power to overcome evil and change the world.

So as long as your health and well-being allow perhaps you could abstain from food, or television, or using the computer from say Thursday evening to Friday evening each week up to Christmas and use this time to reflect on what truly is important to us. What are the values which you would defend? What are the values for which, as Jesus did, you would die? Reflection can be taken in fasting, moments of prayer, and through using poetry, hymns, the Bible. Please read the poem by Sister Mary Charlita at the bottom of this newsletter and take a moment.

Thank you. Peace & Joy this Advent time.
Jonathan, Canon JPM Martin

Spotlight on Chaplaincy

Dear Friends,

It is with great pleasure that I agreed to write this small piece as one of the newly appointed Volunteer Chaplains, based at Alabaré Place. I am a solicitor by profession and spent my earlier years involved in the eviction of tenants and obtaining possession of property for the Corporation of London, and later other commercial clients.  My main aim then was to ensure that I did this role with as few problems for the commercial client as possible and as far as I was concerned it ended there – the local authority would deal with the issue of re-housing the evicted tenants. After meeting my wife Sara, I became a practising Christian and after working within the Church of England at parish level attended theological college and at Michaelmas this year was admitted and licensed as a Lay Minister.  During my time in Salisbury I came to know and work with Alabaré and Morning Star and was really impressed with what these charities were doing for the homeless and felt a strong call to help those whom I had, in some measure, previously persecuted.  Sounds a bit like St. Paul doesn’t it!  Well I don’t pretend to be an apostle but I do realise the grace which we must show to our fellow humans. As the Volunteer Chaplain to Alabaré Place I have found a richness and depth in my ministry which is of real purpose and I have a much better understanding of the issues of homelessness.  It has, been a wonderful blessing to me and I hope I’ll be a blessing to those I serve.

Every Blessing to you All,
Michael  

Can you help?

Do you have a computer that you could donate to Barnabas House? Our residents would be hugely grateful for a computer that will allow them to search for work and keep in touch with their friends and family. Please get in touch with Belinda Chugg on 07876251334 or via b.chugg@alabare.co.uk.

Can you spare a few hours to help with costumes for the 2014 Alabaré Pantomime, 'Snow White and the Seven Hoodies'?  Please contact Alan or Marilyn on 01980 862195 to find out how to help.  

Even your small change can make a big change. We know that Christmas can leave you feeling overstretched, but if you can spare even small change this Christmas it would be massively appreciated. We' can even provide you with a collection box for it. If you think you can help, please click here to download your own money box template, and start collecting today.

Winter appeal

As we wrap up in our warm clothes to combat the dropping winter temperatures please spare a thought for the many homeless people who can’t turn their thermostats up to keep warm. We appreciate any donations of warm clothes you give to our Drop-In Centres this winter; scarves, jumpers, hats, gloves – we’re happy to receive it all.

If you'd like to make a donation to the Alabaré place Drop-In centre, please contact the centre on 01722 334687. Alternatively you can donate to our Trowbridge Drop-In by getting in touch with Kelly Kelly on 01225 776606

Thank you!  

From our eNews

Click here to read more news in our Bumper Christmas Edition eNews

Inspire Awards

A number of people have received Inspire Awards for their achievements recently. Please click here to find out more about our latest Inspire Award winners.

Sleep-out Registration

Why not get ahead of the game with your fundraising by registering support for the 2014 March event now. For more information please click here.

Coming up at Alabaré...

10th December – Alabaré Place Carol Service at 5.30pm - If you’d like to go along tonight, please call 01722 334687 for more info.

12th December – Salisbury Christmas Market – We’ll have a stall at the market, please pop along to have a browse!

21st December – Coffee Morning – 9.30am at St Thomas’ Church, Salisbury – Is there a nicer way to raise money than over a chat with a cup of coffee and a slice of cake? 7th February - Don't miss the 2014 Alabaré Pantomime, 'Snow White and the Seven Hoodies', written and performed by Alabaré Learning Disability clients.  The Pantomime will be performed at St Mark's Church, Salisbury.

Our new website will be launching soon… Keep your eyes peeled for a special message letting you know when it goes live! 

A Poem for this Time of Year

From Mary's sweet silence
Come, Word mutely spoken!
Pledge of our real life,
Come, Bread yet unbroken!

Seed of the Golden Wheat,
In us be sown.
Fullness of true Light,
Through us be known.

Secret held tenderly,
Guarded with Love,
Cradled in purity,
Child of the Dove, Come!

Written by Sister Mary Charlita

We welcome contributions of your own prayers & poems. Please get in touch to see them in a future issue.

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