Monday, 7 November 2011

In Between

    I was puzzling about what to call the post this week and came to the conclusion that this title just about sums things up !
   Last Friday I emailed all our Clergy and  Coordinators from summer 2011( and some new contacts too) reminding them that now is  great time to send in Church Applications for 2012 .

 We are "in between"

      With All Hallow's Eve and All Saints Day behind us , our minds are now turning toward Advent and Christmas and ,at least for myself,  I am feeling the  excited quickening in my heart as I look  to the promise of the coming seasons.

    These past couple of weeks I have been raking and raking  many maple leaves that pour down  on my lawns. I always associate raking with All Saints since I just love the hymn "For All the Saints" and sing it heartily  (all 7 verses!!) as I rake , the imagery is so beautiful and Fall  is  time to give Thanks for all those amazing people who have gone before us and shown  us the way to walk in the path of Christ.
 
    I am always amazed to recall that the reason those leaves are pouring down is because the new buds are being "set" on  the branches ready for Spring!!.
      Isn't God awesome?  I think it is just so cool , that even  as we experience the "death'"of Fall we can also, already be looking forward to  the new life of Spring.

     For Christians, the New Year  does not begin  in January but with the first Sunday in  Advent .

 I  love the old Prayer Book  Collect for the first Sunday in  Advent which begins with..."Stir up our hearts oh Lord..." Advent 1 used to be nicknamed  "stir up Sunday". Cooks  would stir up their Christmas puddings in preparation for the coming feast.

    I  think this analogy  can help us connect with Mary 's feelings as she began  to experience  the stirring of the child within her. So we also, can feel  that sense of mystery and  anticipation, even as we see the old year waning around us.

    I am excited to  look at every aspect of the coming  Season in light of our 2012 program  "One of Us." We will be delving into Luke's narrative, from the Annunciation to the story of the 12 year old Jesus in the Temple.And I want to make sure I suck up every teaching on those passages, this Advent and Christmas, so I will be ready for the coming Summer!

      One great  Advent resource that was sent to  me a couple of years ago includes a retelling of the Christmas story. You can check it out  here: www.paperlesschristmas.org.uk

      I really hope you will watch the movie it is way cool!


       And to keep you contentedly fed  after all your raking, I offer a delicious Fall "Comfort Food" casserole with a touch of the  Middle East, suitable to thinking about  life in 1st Century Bethlehem.

note: Haloumi is a Middle Eastern goat cheese. It is worth hunting for it as it really "makes'"the dish!

                                                                  

                                      Haloumi Bake

2 large potatoes
2 large sweet potatoes
1 red onion
1 bulb garlic
1 each of 3 different coloured peppers, eg- red, yellow, orange
4 oz. Haloumi, sliced
olive oil
ground black pepper

Wash potatoes (no need to peel) and cut int chunks 1+1/2 inch for sweet potato, 1inch for regular potatoes as they bake faster).Cut onion into wedges and separate the layers. Separate garlic into cloves and peel cloves. Take the seeds out of the peppers and cut into roughly 1inch squares. Place all vegs in a casserole. Coat generously with olive oil (about 3-4 Tbsp) and sprinkle with black pepper.
Bake at 400degrees, stirring once or twice, for approx 40 mins. Remove from oven and lay haloumi slices over top of roasted vegs,
 Return to oven for about 10mins. or until haloumi is melted and starting to brown.
Serves 4

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