‘The true light, which gives light to everyone, was coming into the world. He was in the world, and the world was made through Him, yet the world did not know Him’. John 1 v 9- 10 (ESV)
Welcome to this December newsletter, and may I take this opportunity to wish you a blessed and happy Christmas, as we celebrate the birth of our Saviour. As ever, if there is any content you would like to see in our newsletters that is currently missing, then do get in touch– and please do invite others to sign up to receive our news. We hope you enjoy reading this month’s newsletter.
This time of year is one of deep joy for Christians but can also be a very difficult time for many older people, Christian or otherwise, for whom missing a loved one is felt much more at this time. A recent Age UK survey found that 750,000 widowed people often feel more lonely over Christmas than at any other time of year; and of course there are many other reasons for loneliness too. Maybe you know an older person who would welcome a visit, or an invitation for a cup of tea or meal. Or maybe you have a care home nearby, where there are residents with no family, who would welcome a visit. For more on visiting an older person this Christmas, do click here to read this month’s blog on our website.
As we did last year, we have again partnered with Premier Christian Radio to point to churches that are reaching out to older people in their wider communities, for whom this time of year can be quite difficult. Is your church holding a Christmas day lunch or something similar over the Christmas period? For more about this subject or to see what is on near you, do click here to visit the Christmas section of our website.
Our newsletter Bible verse this month reminds us that the Lord Jesus is the light of the world. As we celebrate and worship Him afresh this Christmas, how can we share the light of the Lord Jesus with older, possibly lonely people in our communities, on our street? Often a smile in the street, a brief “good morning”, or even commenting on the weather, can lead to conversation and friendship. And by God’s grace, and in His timing, can lead to someone seeing the light of the Lord Jesus, shining through us, as we intentionally engage with our older neighbours.
Prayers for Parliament
None of us in the UK can have escaped the recent General Election coverage and results; and whether we are happy, unhappy, or of no particular view, we are called to pray for our leaders. We pray that our leaders will lead well and with integrity, and that Christians everywhere will lift up their leaders in prayer, as we seek God’s Kingdom, on earth as it is in heaven. And we take comfort that even in turbulent times, the Lord is the same yesterday, today and forever.
As I mentioned last month, we are delighted to have a book being published next year (Finishing Well: A God’s eye view of ageing, by Revd Ian Knox). We now have a number of the free taster booklets I mentioned, which give a flavour of the forthcoming book, so if you would like one do get in touch.
I am delighted to be able to announce that we recently received “charitable status” from the Charity Commission, which was the next critical stage in the growth of our work. Thank you for all your prayers. Please do continue bearing us up in prayer as we plan and think about how we fund our continued work supporting and resourcing churches and individual Christians.
And this month with radio interviews on Premier Christian Radio and UCB radio, as well as BBC Radio Berkshire, BBC Radio Cambridgeshire and BBC Radio Cornwall, please pray for our work in raising the profile of the importance of reaching older people in the wider community. For recordings of much of our media work, please click here to go to our website.
Thank you for your continued interest, prayers and partnership in our ministry- we thank God for you. Happy Christmas!
Yours in Christ,