Family Service – 18th November 2012

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.

Annual Outing to Henley – 18th August 2012

With the prospect of a rare sunny afternoon ahead of us, a number of us gathered at Parkside ready to enjoy an afternoon over at Henley.

Unfortunately, the date chosen for our outing clashed with the increasingly popular Rewind Festival which added some time to the short journey.

The sunny afternoon also boosted the crowds over at Henley, but once we’d managed to find somewhere to park, we were able to establish our traditional patch on the grass beside the river.

Older ones sat and chatted the afternoon away while some of the youngsters opted for a game of Kubb before settling down for tea and an ice cream.

It was an excellent afternoon and plans are already being made for 2013 – at least to avoid 17th August when the next Rewind Festival is on!

Below are a few photos from the afternoon:

Our ‘camp’ on the riverside grass
A game of Kubb in full swing
Some of the gang
Robert with some shady chap behind
Not sure what Paul was doing here…
Magnum time!

Family Service and BBQ – 17th June 2012

We had around 55 people for the latest in our series of Family Services on ‘Celebrations’ in the Bible.

This month included Victor chairing, a quiz from Alan and David Hedges speaking briefly on the story of the Lost Son.

Afterwards, everyone trooped out into the sunshine to enjoy freshly cooked burgers and sausages, followed by a range of desserts.

Following this, there were games in the park, including the ubiquitous Kubb!

Desserts are served in the shade of the marquee

Family Service – 15th January 2012

We had a good turnout of around 40 people at our opening Family Service of the year – the first in a series on the subject of Celebrations in the Bible.

This month it was hosted by David Hedges and began with the singing of I will sing the wondrous story and prayer.

Afterwards, he briefly explained about the series of Family Services throughout 2012 and showed the dates for the next couple of them.

Following this, we had a Memory Verse for the month to learn:
Seek the LORD while he may be found; call on him while he is near.
Isaiah 55 vs. 6

This was followed by a ‘Battleships’ type quiz entitled The Lost Coins.

The 'Lost Coins' Quiz

After the quiz the children enjoyed a number of their favourite choruse from Sunday Club before Paul Cogger came up to speak using the story of the Lost Coin as his guide.

Paul spoke simply and used examples of different things that we can lose – money, toys and keys.

He brought along a model tractor which was one of his prized possessions and talked about how we would search high and low if we lost something of real value to us.  This linked into the story of the lost coin which would also have been something very valuable in Jesus’ day.

Paul finished by pointing out that we are also ‘lost’ if we don’t know the Lord Jesus as our personal Saviour, before closing in prayer.

Soup and crusty bread was served in the back room following the service.

Our next planned Family Service will be on 19th February 2012.

Carols by Candlelight – 24th December 2011

This morning a group of us met up for prayer before we headed off to the High Street to hand out invitations for our Carols by Candlelight, held today at 5pm.  We had a good time in the town and handed out well over 500 invite cards in less than half an hour.

Invitation for this year's Carols by Candlelight

Afterwards we regrouped and shared a coffee in Costa Coffee before heading home.

This is the first time that we have held a carol service on Christmas Eve and we were delighted with the response.  Earlier in the week a group of us had gone carol singing, also for the first time, around the local roads and had handed out mince pies and sweets.  This had also been very positive and well received. 

Some 80 people gathered with us this evening for our Carols by Candlelight service to enjoy a tradition mixture of the Christmas favourites and listen to something about the real meaning of Christmas.

A few of the crowd at today's Carols by Candlelight service

The service was led by Alan Michael and began with the singing of Hark the herald angels sing, followed by prayer and a welcome to all.

The second carol was Silent Night, which was followed by a reading from Jeremy, based around the first subject in our ‘Step into Christmas’ series – Christmas: The Plan.

Some of the younger children from Sunday Club came up to sing Away in a manger.  This was followed by our second reading, read by Phil Bray and set around verses to highlight Christmas: The Person.

Our fourth carol was Once in royal David’s city.  After the carol, poems that the children had written about Christmas were displayed on the screen in the form of video clips showing them being read by their authors.

This was followed by our final readings which highlighted Christmas: The Purpose and were read by David Angell.

Our fifth carol was O little town of Bethlehem.  After this, David Hedges came up to speak.  He highlighted God’s present at Christmas – the sending of the Lord Jesus Christ into the world – and how easy it was to lose sight of this in among the distractions of Christmas.

Our final carol was O come all ye faithful which was followed by prayer.

Alan and David handed out presents for those who attend Sunday Club and explained that there was something for everyone to take away with the refreshments offered after the carol service.

Among other giveaways was a Parkside fridge magnet for 2012, which also proved somewhat popular.

2012 fridge magnet calendar

Overall, it was a tremendous evening and really encouraging for us all to see the hall full.  It’s definitely something that we’ll look to repeat next year.