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16 December 2006

Christmas is getting closer....

Well here we are with just over a week to go til Christmas Day. I have 4 more days of work then its our works meal out then we're off down south to my mum's for a week. But it also means there aren't many opportunities for carolling left. Yes, I love Christmas Carolling. I'm not a huge "bando" but love this time of year and playing carols in a Salvation Army band is a great privilege that I don't take lightly. Many people's Christmas is not complete unless they hear a Salvation Army band so we really could be making people's Christmas special. And hopefully, more than that, we will help them to remember the real meaning of Christmas. Its not about bands and carols. As Thomas reminded us at SNAC last week, its about that special baby born to be King - Jesus Himself.

So last night, it was Glenrothes Salvation Army's first venture into a Community Carol Concert. We made use of a local school hall and filled it. I didn't count but there were around 300 people there. Church members, parents, supporters, colleagues, friends..... you name it, so many people groups were represented. I hadn't had the best of days and this continued right up until getting to the school (thanks again Edward for your help) so my mind really wasn't in a good place when we arrived. However, I soon got into the swing of things and the evening went really well. All who took part really did well and were well received by the gathered audience. I just want to take this public chance to thank our officers, Chris and Dawn, for all their work in putting this carol concert on. I know others had a hand in things (Jan, Edward, Chic, Babs and probably loads more) but they had the vision and headed things up so thanks to them for taking the risk. I've already chatted with Chris about the potential ahead in terms of putting on larger events using a school hall again so, watch this space.

Today, we were out in the cold for some proper carolling - well almost! We headed off to St Andrews which, although about 25 miles from our hall, is sort of our patch! Its a lovely town and we have some thoughts towards future work there so it was a great opportunity to go and play some Christmas Carols to the people there. Now, when I say proper carolling, I mean out standing in the street in the bitter cold. (Carolling in Glenrothes is in an indoor shopping centre!) So we were outside, the temperature was 4 degrees but the North Sea wind made that a tad chillier! However, we were sat down. Still, it was great. As Chris said, if you haven't caught pneumonia by Boxing Day then you haven't been carolling properly!! I thoroughly enjoyed the 2 hours of playing and the response we got from the people was really positive. Its a real encouragement to us and really opens our minds to the future. Again, watch this space!

So its the Corps Carol Service in the morning. Loads of people due to be crammed in our hall including about 4 million children (that might be an exageration) and we're really looking forward to it. At least I'm guaranteed a seat seeing as I'm the pianist! Then I think we're carolling on the streets in the afternoon. More carolling on Tuesday and Wednesday evenings then thats it for me as we travel next Saturday when the band is back in the warm of the shopping centre!

My hope is that as we have played some well known Christmas Carols and Songs, that people have seen the Salvation Army and more than that, that they have been reminded of Jesus. The bigger hope is that we will see them through our doors in the future and see them coming closer to Jesus in 2007. I know its a big hope but I believe in an amazing God who can and will do these things - and more. Thanks and praise to Him.

(Just a wee Christmas piccy of Kathryn for you to finish with!)

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