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A Christmas Message and More, 2021
We help to make a brighter Christmas
During the weeks leading up to Christmas we, as members of the Anglican Church of Paphos, have brought Christmas cheer to many individuals. From clothes-filled shoe boxes for seamen to presents for children of needy local families and of refugees.
For Seafarers who were far from home this Christmas, members of St Luke’s Church, Prodromi, donated the contents for 25 gift-wrapped Christmas boxes for The Mission To Seafarers Centre in Limassol, to join those from other Parishes on the island. The Mission’s Chaplain, Ken Wiseman, and volunteers visited many ships in Port this Christmas distributing the gifts to Seafarers who each received a box containing a wool hat, gloves or socks and a selection of toiletries and sweets.
The congregation of Ayia Kyriaki, Kato Paphos responded promptly and very generously for the seventh year when asked to join with other churches in the Island to give 100+ children in the refugee camp at Kofinou a beautiful Christmas experience. Over 90 individual gift items were donated by the congregation and distributed among children ranging in age from up to one year old and from 8-11 years of age.
80 Christmas gifts were provided by members of the St Stephen’s congregation Tala through their “Giving (Christmas) Tree” project. The gifts were presented to the Department of Social Services in Paphos and were distributed by its staff to the children of needy families in Paphos. The Department had previously provided a list of the ages, ranging from new born to 16 years old and genders (but not names) of the recipient children to enable the presents to be matched accordingly.
CHRISTMAS is coming! He’s nearly here!
A Christmas message from our Parish Priest
Of course, I’m talking about Jesus and our celebration of his birth. Obviously, there will be Christmas decorations, Santa Claus and all the usual things that go on around this time of year; BUT it’s good to remember the reason we celebrate.
That baby born in such poor circumstances (a stable) to unmarried parents, who then had to travel to a foreign country (becoming immigrants) to avoid the baby being killed by a worried king and couldn’t return to their home until that king had died. That baby was to grow up and become our saviour. He told us we could pray directly to God and even call him Abba (Father). He was then brutally killed around the age of 33 on a cross. But he rose from the dead and left us with a promise of eternal life. Not a bad legacy for such a life and what a gift.
At Christmas we will exchange gifts with those we love. In this we reflect God’s love for us in the love we have for our families and friends. Gift invites gift. Jesus gives us himself – what then is our response? I think of the words in Christina Rosetti’s poem ‘In the bleak mid winter’ usually sung as a Carol to the tune written by Gustav Holst:
What can I give Him, poor as I am?
If I were a shepherd, I would bring a lamb;
If I were a Wise Man, I would do my part;
Yet what I can I give Him: give my heart.
Enjoy Christmas and all the fun and festivities; but do spare a thought for the reason we are celebrating. Maybe by even coming to one of our services just to say THANK YOU for the greatest gift of all. MERRY CHRISTMAS AND A HAPPY NEW YEAR for 2022. God Bless,
Reverend Ken Waters
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