We hope you had a very Happy Christmas and will enjoy a peaceful New Year.
We’ve had a great time over the Christmas period, particularly thinking about the real reason that we celebrate Christmas – that of the birth of the Lord Jesus at Bethlehem.
Our December Family Service was followed by an excellent Christmas lunch which proved to be very enjoyable. We also had over 80 people along for our Carols by Candlelight service on Christmas Eve, which was brilliant.
We had good numbers for our two BBQs in the summer and Mother’s Day Tea in March.
Our young people had a great weekend away at Swindon, where they studied the Seven Churches mentioned in Revelation, as well as at the annual camp in Romsey.
2013 also saw the commencement of our ‘Men’s Night’ and ‘Ladies Night’ activities. The men enjoyed a meal and also had a walk and BBQ evenings.
It’s also been a sad time in some ways as we said goodbye to Karla Cordell, back in January who had been suffering ill health for some years. Later in the year, we also bid farewell to Mike Wells who passed away after a period of illness. We had an excellent Thanksgiving Service for his life, with over 150 attending.
We’re thankful that both Karla and Mike are free from their discomfort and are with their Lord and Saviour. We continue to remember their families in prayer.
In practical matters, 2013 has also seen changes to the outside of the building. We put up a new sign on the front and also resurfaced the car park and created additional parking.
In 2014 we’re making some changes, as we begin our new discover service on 5 January.
This will be a combination of our monthly Family Services, our weekly Sunday Club and The Link Coffee Bar and will contain activities for all ages. We’ll begin with talks for the adults from the popular Christianity Explored course, for the first six weeks in January.
As a consequence of the changes on Sunday mornings, our Evening Service at 5.30pm on Sundays will no longer take place. Instead, we’ll be moving our Bible Teaching from Tuesday evenings to Sundays, beginning at 6pm. Our Prayer Meeting will also be moving from Thursday night to Wednesday night at 8pm.
We’re excited with the plans that lie ahead for 2014 and go into them all with an air of expectation and faith.
We don’t know what the Lord has in store for us at Parkside during the next year, but we look forward to every opportunity that we’ll have to tell others about our Saviour and what He has done for us.
Below are a few tweets from 2013:
I do not know what lies ahead, the way I cannot see; yet One stands near to be my guide, He’ll show the way to me:
After spending most of yesterday morning clearing up the hall following the recent painting and laying of the new carpet, everything was in place in time for our opening carol service this evening.
Like last year, the series is being hosted by Phil Bray and each of the four weeks consists of a similar format with a mixture of carols, a quiz and a short talk.
Tonight the carols were ‘O little town of Bethlehem’, ‘Away in a manger’, ‘See Him a-lying on a bed of straw’ and ‘Unto us a child is born’. We also enjoyed a debut performance from the Parkside Voices with Paul, Rachel and Judith singing their version of ‘Mary, did you know’? The accompaniment was a mixture of piano playing from Paul mingling with guitars from Jon and Judith.
Had a good time at our first carol service, today. An excellent debut from the 'Parkside Voices'. Week 2, #Joseph, is next Sunday at 4.30pm.
This year’s quiz consists of two teams – the Turkeys and the Crackers – each taking it in turns to remove a layer from a big parcel. This reveals an envelope containing a number between 1 and 24 which then gives a question for the team. The quiz will run over the four weeks with the final prize being revealed on 23rd December.
The speaker for the opening service was Alan, who had the subject of Mary and spoke bringing out her blessed nature.
The service was followed by a selection of mince pies and other festive treats as well as a hot drink.
The second in the series takes place next Sunday at 4.30pm, when we’ll be looking at the story through the eyes of Joseph, told by Paul.
We enjoyed a great Family Service this morning, hosted by Phil and ably assisted by Brian.
The service opened with In Christ Alone followed by prayer, after which Phil ran through some of the upcoming activities at Parkside including Toddlers, The Link Coffee Bar and the various Christmas services which are planned.
With the help of Kerry and Judith we were able to learn a new song – There is a Hope, by Stuart Townend:
After singing some of the kids choruses from Sunday Club, led by Brian, we had a slightly chaotic ‘pairs quiz’ which was followed by two readings (the parables of the Wedding Feast and the Great Supper) and singing Majesty, before Dave came up to speak using the two readings as a basis for his talk.
Dave used the idea of receiving an invitation from various people and how we would react, finishing with receiving the offer of salvation from God and whether would choose to accept or reject his invitation.
The service was followed by soup, bread and other refreshments, organised by Lesley.
We now look forward to our first Christmas Carol Service in two weeks time.
Alan chaired the evening and, after tea, some of the children from Sunday Club came to the front to help him run through the Ten Commandments, a subject that they’ve been learning about recently on Sunday mornings.
They also enjoyed singing some of the choruses from Sunday Club, before Daniel Rudge came to speak over the tea table.
In a short, powerful message he told the story (from Numbers 20) of Moses striking the rock in the wilderness to bring forth water finishing with linking to 1 Corinthians 4:10 – ‘that rock was Christ’.
With the new ‘The Link Coffee Bar’, the upcoming baptism, the planned Light Night and the forthcoming Christmas activities we’re really looking forward to the weeks ahead.
Our next regular Family Service is on 18th November at 11.30am.