The Rev. Peggy Trendell-Jensen
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We are introducing a new twist to our long tradition of shepherding the Holy Couple and their faithful steed(s) through the parish in the weeks leading to Christmas.

What we want to keep is the fun of sharing hospitality with our fellow parishioners along with offering hospitality to the woolen nativity dolls. This takes the form of hosting the dolls under your roof for a day or two before passing them along to the next home, while having a chat or a dinner or a meet up in the Village for a quick coffee. 

What we want to get away from are some of the scheduling challenges that this has sometimes entailed! Rather than wrestling with our calendars and commitments at coffee hour in an attempt to find a feasible place on the rota, this year we are going to try a different, more flexible route.

Everyone who is interested in participating in the Las Posadas tradition and enjoying the social time that comes with it is asked to sign the sheet at the back of the church by Sunday, November 30. The following Sunday, Advent One, the Holy Couple will be sent home with one of the names on the sheet, as will the list of participant names. Once the first person has hosted the dolls, they will get in touch with any of the other names on the list to arrange a festive meet-up to transfer the dolls into that person's care and keeping. For example:

Phone: Ring ring

Jeanette: Hi, Ian, this is Jeanette. Would you like to meet up for coffee at Delany's in the next day or two so Larry and I can give you the Holy Couple whilst enjoying your fine company?

Ian: That would be delightful, Jeanette. The pleasure would be mine. Wednesday at 2?

Jeanette: See you then!

Later that week...

Phone: Ring ring

Ian: Hi, Wilna, I see you are one of the names on the Las Posadas list! Do you and Dave want to go see Downton Abbey at the new Park Royal cinema? I will bring Las Posadas and send them home with you!

Wilna: I'm not even going to check with Dave because I KNOW he would love that. How about the Saturday matinee showing?

Monday morning...

Phone: Ring ring

Wilna: Hi Sally! It's Wilna. I've just baked some Christmas cookies. Would you like to come over for an Advent tea this afternoon? You are one of the names on the Las Posadas list, so you can take the Holy Couple home afterwards.

Sally: Thank you for the invitation, but Robin and I have just won the lottery and are leaving on a two-week cruise. I'm terribly sorry.

Wilna: Well, congratulations and bon voyage! I'll just phone one of the other names on the list instead, and make a note that you might be available later in the month. In fact, this is a good chance to call someone who is newer to the parish so I can get to know them better.

Sally: (silence, as she has already rung off in her rush to go bathing-suit shopping)

 ***

In all seriousness, we hope these get-togethers will be a meaningful way in which to offer each other the blessing of companionship over the course of the Advent journey. Hope to see you on the way!