FROM THE U.R.C. INTERIM MODERATOR
The season of Epiphany begins, of course, with the arrival of the Wise Men in Bethlehem, guided by the star in the sky. Who the wise men were exactly will probably always be a mystery. We know that they were not kings but more likely astrologers who had studied the skies. We know also that they came from lands to the East. They were also scholars of philosophy and of the scriptures of what we today call the Middle East. It has been suggested by some scholars that they might have been Zoroastrian priests. Zoroastrianism is one of the oldest continuing religions in the world. It teaches belief in one God, and at one time it was the largest religion in Iran. Today Zoroastrianism, although a very small religion, is found throughout the world in fact its new London centre is not too far away from us at Rayners Lane.
The idea that learned men, from another religion, might have visited our Lord Jesus Christ is an attractive one for us today. This is a world where we are very much aware of the differences between religions, and the strife that this can cause. Epiphany is the season of light we think about the light that guided the magi and the light that Christ brings to the world. The Christmas season may be over, and the Christmas decorations packed away for another year, but the season of light and of joy continues. In a world where the news seems often gloomy or tragic, people of faith must continue to let a light shine in the darkness. As Christians we strive to enable the light to shine, and to continue to be joyous that the Word is made Flesh. We may be surprised to notice that we are joined by others, perhaps people of different faiths, who also desire to see a light shine in our world.
The Revd. Peter Colwell
Letters to the Churches are five Wednesday evening talks at St Giles Church commencing on Ash Wednesday (9th February) and beginning at 8 p.m. The talks will be based on the seven letters to the churches in Revelation chapters 2 and 3. The Ash Wednesday service will include communion and ashing.
On the four subsequent weeks, the ancient and beautiful office of Compline (Night Prayer) will follow the talks.
Life Attitudes small groups are discussion-based home groups looking at the Beatitudes, Jesus sayings about true happiness in Matthew chapter 5. There is a handbook (priced £4) and the course will include a variety of activities over five consecutive weeks. You can sign up for the course by obtaining an information sheet at either St Giles or the United Reformed Church or by ringing Adrian Guthrie on 676092. The groups will meet at the following times:
Monday 8 p.m. to 9.30 p..m. commencing 14th February
Tuesday 8 p.m. to 9.30 p..m. commencing 15th February
Thursday 8 p.m. to 9.30 p..m. commencing 17th February
Tuesday 1.30 p.m. to 3 p.m. commencing 22nd February
Wednesday 10.a.m. -11.30 a,m. commencing 23rd February
(please note that this group could begin and end half an hour earlier if that is more convenient)
DROP-IN FOR THE BEREAVED. Third Monday of each month. St Giles Church Hall, 2 p.m. to 3.30 p.m. A friendly, informal opportunity for a chat, over a cup of tea, with other bereaved people and pastoral visitors. The next meeting is Monday 21st February (also Monday 21st March). Just come along, or ring the Rectory (622970), if you would like to talk to someone first.
ICKENHAM GOOD NEIGHBOUR SCHEME exists to serve the whole of Ickenham. Were here to assist in an emergency. If you need help, the daytime contact numbers are: 01895 633020 or 01895 235061.