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After the Christmas C(h)ord last year, Dai Woolridge has produced another brilliant spoken word video for Christmas. One for your church or youth group? This is the preview – you can download a copy for use from Spoken Truth.

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We’re home after a few days in London doing Londony things (art galleries, museums, the Tube, queues). The hallway is full of half emptied suitcases, books and random hairbrushes and the Queen is padding around in her cat onesie singing loudly and failing to organise herself for Guide camp. We were back in time for our Light Party at church last night – about 35 kids and a similar number of adults making things with paper and glue and felttips and then singing and thinking about the light of Christ before consuming plenty of chocolates and mini eclairs. Lots of fun to see so many families out together and lovely to be able to chat with many of them. We think we may need to prepare extra oranges for the Messy Christingle this year…

I came home to a couple of responses to my book in the actual proper post – a lovely encouraging letter from a Twitter friend but also a completely off topic response from a reader of the Express and Star, asking me about a tricky passage in 1 Samuel. I’m still working out if and how to respond to the latter.

And Lichfield Diocese have made the video of me public, so I can post it on here. The island in the kitchen isn’t looking any better today:

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I know we’re all thinking about Back to Church Sunday and Harvest and everything (gosh, it’s a busy term – and we’ve got a confirmation to factor in too), but before you know it, it will be Halloween. And the brilliant Glen Scrivener (of Anti Santy Ranty fame) has produced a great new video to get your congregation or youth group thinking. A great reminder that the light triumphs over the darkness.

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I’m sure you’re all super-prepared for all the Advent happenings in your parish. But just in case you aren’t (or want to be extra-super-prepared for next year) I thought I’d share this brilliant alt.Advent series from Scripture Union that I just came across. They are posting a 2-3 minute daily animation of part of the Christmas story every day of Advent. The full animation, combining all the clips, is 47 minutes long – perhaps something to have on hand for early risers on Christmas Day…

These would be great for family devotions or to show in a service or school assembly. I might even show a few to the kids over tea this week. SU have posted a good number of other videos on their YouTube channel that would be useful for services or family bible times.

Here’s today’s lovely section of the story:

[youtube:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ePB5LiRETkQ%5D

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Great clip from Rico Tice that challenges us about the true meaning of Christmas. Advent is a time to remember that truth and think about the wait for the Saviour at his first coming and anticipate his return in glory.

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I’ve been reminded of another couple of lovely songs for Advent. This is taking away a lot of the stress of service planning for the next few weeks!

This is quite zippy, tho’ guitar might not be my first choice for accompaniment for Hail to the Lord’s Anointed (YouTube is, as usual, full of WRONG TUNE versions):

And I love Maggi Dawn’s haunting song, Into the Darkness, but it’s hard to find. There is just this one YouTube clip, and I don’t think we’ve got it in our extensive cd collection so haven’t been able to sing it in church (we don’t have a music team just now).

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Monday morning brainfreeze made me forget a couple of other excellent Advent songs. Here’s a good version of O Come O Come Emmanuel by Sixpence None the Richer:

And here’s the best version I could find of Come, Thou Long Expected Jesus. Almost all the others were to the WRONG TUNE. Again.

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