COI Gazette – December 2019

Dec CoverEditorial

A ROLE FOR EVERY CHILD

Like most families, we have our Christmas traditions, including re- watching our favourite festive films, Polar Express and Love Actually, and the more recent additions, Frozen and Nativity. Not all focus on the Christmas story itself, but still leave me warmly reassured.

Love Actually does feature the Nativity. In one scene, presented with a list of costume requirements, Emma Thompson’s character gasps: “There was more than one lobster present at the birth of Jesus?” – an exclamation greeted with a “Duh!” from said first lobster-to-be.

Well, we all know there weren’t any lobsters in the stable that night, but is there any harm in stretching the facts a teeny bit, just to ensure that every child has a ‘part’ to
play in the school production of the greatest story ever told? After all, in the Rev Elizabeth Hanna’s devotional on page 32, we read of clergy, mobility scooters and camels – words not often used in the same sentence, but indicative of a little
improvisation to ensure the story of the birth of Christ is portrayed in as engaging a way possible.

The film Nativity features beleaguered schoolteacher,
Mr Maddens, and the legendary
Mr Poppy, who together have to create a Nativity production that will woo Hollywood.

All the girls want to be Mary, all the boys want to be Joseph. What to do? Not everyone can have
a lead role, and just how many shepherds, wise men and sheep can you gather onto one stage? Mr Poppy and Mr Maddens come up with an innovative solution and, as in the case of the lobster, every child is included.

Like the babe in the manger, children are at the heart of Christmas. In many schools and church halls, the magic of the birth of Jesus is being re-enacted and if introducing a lobster into the cast ensures that each child has a role, brilliant!

We must include all our children  and celebrate their different gifts. Exclusion is one of the most common forms of bullying, yet it can go under the radar. To ensure that the quietest child, the one with the disability, the one who struggles to read or the one who is either a little ‘rotund’ or ‘slender’ has a role to play alongside the high-achieving, popular kid is vital for their mental health today and in the future.

When my daughter was 10, she announced she required a grey wig, as she had the role of ‘Granny’ in the P6 Nativity – needless to say, my reaction was similar to that of Emma Thompson’s character. It turned out Granny was the narrator of the Nativity – and so was born new confidence and a love of all things theatrical in my daughter’s life.

If some little person you know has been given the part of a lobster, tortoise or even a lion – rejoice and applaud.

Have a very blessed Christmas.


 

Home News

MARKING WORLD DAY OF THE POOR

PRIMATE TO RETIRE NEXT FEBRUARY

‘NO BORDER EXISTS IN THE MIND OF GOD’

INTERNATIONAL REPRESENTATIVES AT ENNISKILLEN REMEMBRANCE

FINDING GRACE AT 4 CORNERS FESTIVAL

LAUNCH OF IRISH ANGLICANISM, 1969-2019

SAYING THANKS FOR 60 YEARS


People

QUIZ WHICH IS NOW A FESTIVE FAVOURITE

A TALE OF TWO SANTAS – WE FIND OUT WHAT IT IS REALLY LIKE TO BE BLACK SANTA!

BISHOP-DESIGNATE ‘HUMBLED’

LAURA PLOUGHS AHEAD!

TOP LOLLIPOP MAN!

PARISH NURSE FIRST IN AGHERTON

 


 

Heritage

BEE THANKFUL SERVICE


 

Interview

SOURCES WHICH CAN OPEN A WINDOW TO THE PAST
RCB LIBRARIAN AND ARCHIVIST

DR SUSAN HOOD HELPS TO BRING THE CHURCH’S HISTORY TO LIFE

A DIOCESAN LEAP OF FAITH


Diocesan Focus

CORK, CLOYNE AND ROSS DIOCESE: A YEAR IN REVIEW


 

Diocesan Synod

‘YOU HAVE A PLACE IN OUR HEARTS’ – Armagh Diocesan Synod

OPTIMISM DESPITE UNCERTAINTY AHEAD – Derry & Raphoe Diocesan Synod

ISSUES FRAMED IN CONTEXT OF ST JAMES – Diocese of Cashel, Ferns and Ossory Synod


 

Life in Focus

WHEN IT IS TIME TO CARE FOR CLERGY

A NEW GROUP RECOGNISES THAT CLERGY NEED SUPPORT – AND NOT JUST AT CHRISTMAS. LYNNE GIBSON EXPLAINS WHY CARE4CLERGY CAME ABOUT, AND WHAT THE GROUP HOPES TO ACHIEVE


 

Mission

MISSION PARTNERS AROUND THE WORLD TELL US HOW THEY WILL CELEBRATE CHRISTMAS THIS YEAR

TRANSFORMING LIVES IN BURUNDI

IRENE’S GIFTS OF JOY AT CHRISTMAS

A NEW LIFE OF DIGNITY FOR RANJITA


 

Young People

FESTIVE CHEER – AFTER A BUSY YEAR


Music

ADVENT IS A BUSY TIME FOR THE OPEN CHOIR


 

Children

FAMILY FUN AT CONNOR EVENT

LEARNING ABOUT ‘THE BARE NECESSITIES!’


World News

JOINT VISIT TO SOUTH SUDAN

CALL TO PRAYER HAS WORLDWIDE IMPACT

‘HOMELESS JESUS’ FOCUS ON POVERTY

PRAYER TO FIGHT LONELINESS

COMMISSION TALKS ABOUT AUTHORITY


Devotional

LECTIONARY NOTES

NATIVITY


 

Heritage

LAST CLERIC BEFORE DISESTABLISHMENT

BORDER PARISH MARKS ITS 175TH ANNIVERSARY

PAST BROUGHT TO LIFE IN HOLYWOOD


 

MOTHERS’ UNION

WEARING BLACK TO SEND A MESSAGE

STUDENTS HEAR ABOUT GENDER-BASED VIOLENCE


 

Reviews

ADVENT BOOK REVIEWS

FREEDOM IS COMING: FROM ADVENT TO EPIPHANY WITH THE PROPHET ISAIAH Author: Nick Baines Publisher: SPCK

ADVENT FOR EVERYONE:
A JOURNEY THROUGH LUKE Author: NT Wright Publisher: SPCK 2018


 

Environment

BOYS CREATE ‘BEE FRIENDLY WALL’


 

Central Church News

STANDING COMMITTEE NEWS

SEMINAR ON GENDER JUSTICE

CELEBRATING LAY READER MINISTRY