The Revd Susan Myatt (above) was commissioned as our Diocesan Advisor to the Deaf Church in September.
Susan's appointment has come about in a unique partnership between the Church of England and the Baptist Association in the Midlands in a move to encourage deaf people to play a leading role in local worship. Deaf Church brings deaf and hearing Christians together through services that use British Sign Language (BSL) as the main means of communicating.
Here's an Advent reflection in BSL featuring Susan and Steven Leece. The transcript is below the video.
Are you ready for Christmas?
Yes! I am excited about putting up the tree and decorations, and thinking about what food to get. My boys have lots of ideas for their Christmas lists that they keep telling me about, but they wont be getting all of them!
Hi! My name is Susan Myatt, and I am a Baptist Minister.
My name is Steven Leece, and I am Susans friend.
We are both enjoying chatting over our tea and coffee!
Its December again, but what does Christmas really mean?
We all know Christmas is an exciting time, theres the Christmas tree, lights, presents, shopping, turkey, food, drink, and its so important being with family and having friends getting together.
But for some its a difficult, sad time - people who are homeless, hungry, with no money, maybe they have lost a loved one or friend and many many people are alone.
We celebrate the birth of a baby called Jesus, who brought joy into all our lives, that same joy the shepherds, wise men and angels experienced in the bible story.
(pointing to Steven) - would you like to sign the Bible reading?
Look at this (shows Bible passage)
STEVEN INTRODUCES BIBLE PASSAGE
Why did God send his son Jesus to this cruel, difficult world?
He did this because he loves us so much.
Jesus was born, and spent his life teaching us, sharing stories, healing and performing miracles. There are many stories of Jesuss work on Earth until his death by crucifixion on the cross. He died because of our sins. We have all sinned. Jesus himself never sinned, he was perfect.
In the Old Testament, God wanted a relationship with his people, but they ignored him, and continued to sin. Everyone had sinned, but how could their sins be removed? Through Jesus Christs death on the cross, our sin can now be removed. Jesus has forgiven us all. Invite Jesus into your hearts, and then you will have a very merry Christmas!
Ah! Now I understand the true meaning of Christmas through the story and your explanation. Thats wonderful!
STEVE BIBLE PASSAGE SHEPHERDS
Thank you very much for signing the Bible passages. Shall we pray?
Can you light the candle please?
The candle looks beautiful!
Let us pray.
Thank you for the wonderful story that helps us to understand the true meaning of Christmas. In the glorious night, Jesus was born, and lived as a perfect man until his death on the cross. Jesus died because we all sin, but now we have been forgiven. This is amazing.
Open our minds and hearts to your spirt and words, enter into our hearts so that we can have a relationship with you, our God who is so loving and such a wonderful friend. You invite everyone to accept you into their hearts.
We thank you for loving each and every one of us. You are precious.
In the name of Jesus. Amen.