Well, despite the onset of carol fatigue we had a great day yesterday. The morning service was a good time, especially as we welcomed two couples into membership. One couple are already deeply into the life and work of the church but have taken some time to get to this point concerning membership. They are great people, really solid, and an encouragement ever since we got here - in fact they threw in their lot with us at the time we arrived, as did a number of other people; more than a coincidence, I feel.
The other couple are older retired folk who have been in churches all their lives. They described themselves yesterday as being comfortable when they got here but that they were less so as a result of being in the church (!) and that they had both re-dedicated their lives to God since being here. There's a good definition of effective preaching that fits - that the comfortable would be disturbed and that the disturbed would be comforted. The sermon looked at Christmas from a Child's Viewpoint and challenged us to be more like children in order to enter the kingdom. Child-like as opposed to being childish.
The evening service is perhaps our best of the year. We light dozens, perhaps hundreds, of candles and the whole thing has a wonderfully intimate feel to it. We sang favourite carols together with the best of the new ones; Underneath the Shining Star, Joy Has Dawned, and From the Squalor... and read the usual passages plus a couple from the wonderful Jesus Storybook Bible by Sally Lloyd-Jones. And afterwards we all came out of the service to see a light dusting of snow on everything. It was like being in a film. A good day.