HERTFORD

UNITED REFORMED CHURCH

Hertford URC

 

344th Anniversary year

 

February 2018

 

MISSION STATEMENT

We aim to be an active Christian Church open to all, meeting together for worship, teaching and prayer and offering loving care and support to all.   We work alongside other Christian Churches reaching out into the community with love.

 

 

MINISTER             REV DAVID BRADBURN

                                      6 Tudor Rise

                               Broxbourne EN10 7HB      Tel: 01992 443218

SUNDAY WORSHIP

10.30 am                Family Worship, followed by coffee/tea

                               Communion is usually celebrated on the

                               First Sunday of the month

WEEKDAY WORSHIP

11.00 am                Thursday there is time of Reflection and Prayer during our "Open House" Coffee Morning

                                       runs from 10.00 - 12.00 noon.

                              

HOT POTATO LUNCH

12 Noon - 2.00pm  Monthly lunch on 3rd Thursday for alll - encouraging visitors.

 

          The Minister’s day-off is Tuesday.   Please contact your Elder for urgent pastoral needs on that day

The diary is at the end of this magazine

 

Davids head


Dear Friends,

February already, and this year it brings in Lent absolutely in the middle: 14th!  Ash Wednesday and St. Valentine’s Day coincide and the countdown to Easter starts. There will be the usual Area Ash Wednesday service at Broxbourne at 8.00pm on Ash Wednesday.

 

Death and suffering are things that our generation associates with illness or age, rather than violent action. By and large these hard things of life are shielded away from view. They were very real for St Valentine, and exceptionally real for Jesus. We never see such suffering, but doubtless it goes on in hidden places of torture and oppression. Because we don’t see, perhaps our imaginations are not as acute as they might be.

 

A few years ago the National Gallery ran an exhibition entitled ‘Seeing Salvation’. The art that was produced in the violent times of history was violent art: here were artists trying to work out the horror of what was around them.  Looking today we may think it was horror for horror’s sake, but probably not: it was a way that people were able both to come to terms with and to cope with what they saw around them.  The visual enabled the outworking of emotion, and sanity to be grasped again.  When seen in the face of Jesus painted upon a canvas, comfort was found in realising he suffered on our behalf and strength was found to go on living.  Something of an off-loading was enabled: the symbol was an important aid to life.

 

The two special days at the start of Lent, Shrove Tuesday and Ash Wednesday, are full of symbolism that should help us in the way we live.  They are, as it were, the start of a spiritual spring-clean.  Shrove Tuesday gives the opportunity to have a final fling: the traditional using up of rich foods before the more austere Lent period. The Tuesday makes the Wednesday starker, with its destruction of last year’s Palm Crosses in the fire, and the blackening of hands or forehead as a symbol of all that is wrong in our lives, all that we want God to cleanse us from, all that we want to off-load.  Then the time of Lent should allow us (and we should indeed take the opportunity) to find a new focus on Jesus, ‘the author and perfecter of our faith’ (Hebrews 12), a new honesty before him of what our lives are like, and so to arrive at Good Friday and Easter Day in a new relationship with God, having off-loaded the things we’d rather God didn’t know about (but he does, of course!) and so be able to have a deeply meaningful Easter celebration.

 

The grey, often damp and depressing days, of February encourage us to look ahead to the bright days of full spring and summer, so too the season of Lent encourages us to look ahead to the brightness of Easter and the new life that God shows to us at the empty tomb.

 

Every Blessing!

 

   

 davids

 

           

 

HERTFORD UNITED REFORMED CHURCH

2018 DATES

 

CHURCH MEETINGS – SUNDAYS

4 March,  1 July,   16 September,  4 November

 

CHURCH ANNIVERSARY AND GIFT DAY – Sunday 3rd June

 

ELDERS’ MEETINGS – THURSDAYS

8 February,  8 March,  19 April, 10 May,  14 June,

12 July,  13 September,  11 October,  8 November,  13 December

 

 

 

Coffee Mornings

Church Meeting agreed to hold at least one Charity Coffee Morning this year.  This will be on Saturday 12th May to coincide with the Hertford Art Society’s Annual Selling Exhibition in the Cowbridge Halls from Sunday 6th May to Saturday 19th.  There will only be cakes on sale and the usual tea, coffee and scones and cakes to buy.

Please put this date in your diaries!

 

 

 

 

Hot Potato Lunch

(3rd Thursday every month)

Our first Lunch was held on Thursday 18th January.  Several of the Fellowship also enjoyed jacket potatoes, beans and cheese and we were glad to welcome one visitor. 

The whole point of this lunch is to welcome those who might feel a bit lonely or isolated and encourage them to join with us as a group of welcoming and understanding people.   

We look forward to the number of visitors growing in the near future.  The next lunch is on Thursday 15th February from 12 noon to 2.00 pm in the Church Vestibule, all are welcome.

 

HERTFORD & DISTRICT CHURCHES TOGETHER

LENT EVENTS 2018

As happened last year, instead of the Christian Aid Lent Lunches, Churches in Hertford and the surrounding Villages are holding individual events and encouraging everyone from different Churches to attend.

 

There is a varied and interesting programme of activities – something for everyone to participate in - and in so doing raise funds for Christian Aid.

 

You will see the list overleaf and that the first event starts on Ash Wednesday 14th February with a “Soundbites” Concert at All Saints Church, with lunch available, followed by prayers.

 

The Events carry on right through Lent and are listed in our Church Diary at the back of the  Magazine.  Please try to attend as many as possible.

                                                   

Lent Events 2018 

 

 

URC LENT EVENT

QUIZ NIGHT SATURDAY 10TH MARCH

6.30 pm for a PROMPT start at 7.00 pm

We look forward to hosting this event, which promises to be a varied and interesting fun occasion as we have invited 10 local Churches to participate.

 

Each Church will be organizing a Round of questions from their table.   There will be 10/11 tables of 8 and 8 questions to each Round.

  

A Ploughman’s Supper will be provided half-way through the Quiz.   All proceeds will be going to Hertford & District Churches Together Lent Appeal for Christian Aid.

  

Please put the date in your diaries.

 

Quiz organisers: David, John, Cheryl, Shirley and Fran

 

 

Prayer Request Book

 

 The Prayer Request Book is always available on the table at the back of the church for any prayers for people and situations you would like to be included in our Prayers of intercession.   Please ask a Steward if you are not sure where it is.

 

 

 

CHRISTIAN AID WALK 2018

 

The 2018 Christian Aid Walk will be taking place on Saturday, 12th May. This year's event will cover a similar route to the 2017 Walk and funds will support projects linked to the theme of Christian Aid Week 2018 (13th-20th May). This year's event raised over £6000 and, with a full field of walkers, we expect to improve on that figure.

Put the date in your diary, enjoy a beautiful walk through nearby Hertfordshire countryside and support a great organisation!

 

 

Jan Carter starts our 2018 magazines off with some wise thoughts:  many thanks Jan

 

There are three things you can do today to help you take stock of your life and face up to whatever challenges are presented to you..

 

     a. Think back with thankfulness for the life you have enjoyed.

     b. Think forward with hope in your heart.

     c. Look heavenward and feel the self-confidence within you.

 

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If you feel that you are struggling,

And your daily trials grow,

Don't fear to hold a hand out- 

Look around - you're not alone.

There are those that long to help you,

Who are happy to give aid,

Don't be too proud to let them,

too reserved or too afraid.

For giving and accepting

Are both blessed in equal part

And neither could exist without

An open, loving heart.

 

                                Margaret Ingall.

 

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Aged fifty-one and feeling really ill, John Wesley wrote his own epitaph. It was short and the main thrust of it was that, after paying his debts , he would only have ten pounds to leave behind. He described himself as " unprofitable".

Thirty-five years later Wesley went to meet his beloved Saviour, leaving behind a life that has inspired generations. The moral of this ?

Never write yourself off just because the going gets tough. God can turn a profit from life in the most unexpected ways.

 

 

 

WOMEN’S WORLD DAY OF PRAYER -  All God’s Creation is Very Good

prepared by Ladies from Suriname

 

 

This year’s Service will be held on FRIDAY 2ND FEBRUARY AT

HERTFORD BAPTIST CHURCH starting at 2.00 pm.   

 

All local Churches will be participating and the Service is opened to everyone.  There will be refreshments after the Service.

  

Hertford & Ware Street Pastors in Crisis

In a recent survey of people under 30, two of the questions asked were “What do you think of Christians?” and “Why do you think this?”   A significant responses was: “fun and caring,” which may be surprising, until you read the answer to the second question: “Because I met a Street Pastor.”

Street Pastors is an amazing ministry, it is the Church on the Street, caring for those who are most vulnerable in the night-time economy, and primarily those in the age group that would never set foot in church.

Many of the young people know us, either from Hertford and Ware or from their University towns. They stop and chat and say Hi, they can’t wait to tell us stories of how we saved their friend who’d had too much to drink or how we got them home when they’d lost contact with their friends or how we’d sat and listened when they had huge problem in their lives, or a million other things.  But even after nine years we still get asked ten times a night, what is a Street Pastor? so we tell them who we are and what we are about, and then another person learns that the church cares.

However, now we are facing difficulties more serious than any we have faced before. We no longer receive financial support from the police or local government, and now rely almost entirely on donations from the churches who support us.  We only have enough funds to continue operating until March next year.

We are also shorter on volunteers than at any previous time in the past nine years. It is getting harder and harder to send out a team each week.

The three trustees are now looking to step aside, and find others to take our place if the organisation is to carry on. We recently held an extraordinary meeting to discuss our position, and resolved to contact all our friends and supporters with the following plea.

Trustees

We ask you seriously to consider being a Trustee, without this important role we cannot exist, and the existing trustees will offer all the support and help that they can.

Street Pastors

We ask you to offer one weekend a month, and you can choose your own dates. You can be any age, from 20 to 80, all are welcome, all have a role. In fact, our older Pastors are absolutely adored, they’re like Nana’s and Grandads to the youngsters. Especially though, we need more men. You won’t go out unprepared as all training is given.

Finances: 

We need around £10,000 per year to keep Street Pastors running in its present form. So, if you feel you can help this very worthy ministry, then please donate generously.

Unless our needs are met, we will have no alternative but to recognise that our race is run, to be thankful to God for all that has been achieved over the years, and to wind up our activities in an orderly fashion.

Street Pastors have been sowing the seed, we are the front line. We have been taking down barriers and breaking the stereotypes that exist about Christians.  We have no idea how many people will get married in Church, or get their children baptised or just walk into a church on a Sunday morning because they’d met a Street Pastor who cared about them.

Please, if you want this work to continue, join us and support us.  Nick Sharp  (on behalf of Hertford & Ware Street Pastors, Trustees and Prayer Pastors)

 

 

The Oldest Bible comes back to the UK

 

The world’s oldest surviving complete Latin Bible returns to the UK this autumn. It left these shores for Rome 1302 years ago, when monks in the northeast of England sent it as a gift to Pope Gregory II.

The Codex Amiatinus was one of only three produced at the twin monasteries of Wearmouth and Jarrow. (One has since got lost, and the other survives in fragments.) It was kept safe for centuries at the Abbey of the Saviour in Monte Amiata, in Tuscany. Then in the 18th century it was sent to the Biblioteca Medicea Laurenziana, in Florence.
It is the Laurenziana which has now agreed to send it back to the UK, alongside the Lindisfarne Gospels, for its exhibition ‘Anglo-Saxon Kingdoms’, which begins in October.


The Bible is 12 inches thick, and weighs 35kg. It contains both Old and New Testaments, and was written on 1030 leaves made from the skins of at least 515 sheep. It has been called one
of the greatest treasures of Anglo-Saxon times.

 

 

 

 

HERTFORD & DISTRICT FOODBANK

Report H&DCT Meeting 31 January 2018

 

Unfortunately we do not have the final up to date figures as our much-valued Stores Manager is away on a well-deserved month’s holiday to Australia.   We know however it really was one of the busiest times we have experienced in nearly 5 years of operation.  Not only were we busy with more Clients but also with the amount of food and toiletries donated over the Christmas period by churches, schools, local businesses and private individuals; all helping to keep our stocks high and seeing us through the next couple of months.  Over 2000 kg of stock was donated and one of the most successful ideas was the “Reverse Advent Calendar” when individuals donated a gift instead of receiving one.

 

We found ourselves helping more families this Christmas, especially larger ones.   We introduced our own ‘Fuel Poverty Scheme’ as there were no Charitable Grants available this year.   We had allocated £250 from Foodbank funds (five grants of £50 each) to go to those individuals and families who were struggling to pay for electricity/gas to heat and use their cooking facilities.  However, we had more demands for this help through CAB and a Housing Association and were grateful to the URC for a further 5 donations made through an individual donation.

 

We can’t stress enough about the amazing resource the Foodbank is to our Community in Hertford and how incredibly grateful we are to everyone involved, whether it’s putting a few items in a collecting box, helping to transport this, picking up from supermarkets, working in the stockroom weighing, sorting and recording, and of course very importantly, helping all those Clients that come through our doors.  Thank you to everyone concerned and especially this winter when jobs have needed to be covered through family commitments and ill health.

 

China opens its arms to the Bible – with 30 years help from Bible Society

Just over 40 years ago, the Bible was a banned book in China. But today, in this largely atheist country, the Bible is a best seller. In China today, you will find churches so full that their congregants spill out on the pavement. Those in rural areas often walk for hours just to attend a service, while more and more city-dwellers can be found in churches – both underground and state-run – on a Sunday morning.

What’s more, copies of the Bible – once a banned book in China – are now within reach through local churches and specially-licensed bookshops. And those Bibles are desperately needed. As one Chinese Christian explains: 'The fire of revival has been burning in China for 30 years. But if we want it to keep burning, we need to feed it with God’s word.'

It’s a remarkable story. And over the last 30 years, the Bible Society has been at the heart of it. Over decades, through working with the registered Church, they have carved out a unique ministry in China. For it was back in 1987, in response to requests from Chinese church leaders, that Bible Society helped to establish the Amity Printing Company. In 2008, it moved to a larger, upgraded facility, the size of 12 football pitches and with the capacity to print 20 million Bibles a year. It’s now the world’s biggest Bible printing factory!

Bible Society is still hard at work, printing and distributing Bibles across the country, helping to strengthen the roots of the Chinese Church, and to help new believers grow into mature followers of Jesus.

Here are just some of the numbers that describe the Bible Society’s work in China:
68 million Chinese Bibles printed from its press since 1987.
55,000 local churches with whom it is connected.
77 distribution centres from which it bases itself.
48 Bible vans taking Bibles wherever they need to go

 

                          

Used Stamps

 Shirley Sloan is still collecting used stamps in the plastic container on the church desk in the Vestibule. Shirley now takes them to the Isobel Hospice Shop that will take all used stamps.

 

 

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CHURCH DIARY FOR 

FEBRUARY 2018

 

             

 

FEBRUARY 2018

 

Thurs

1

10.00 am

12.15 pm

 

Open House in Vestibule with time for reflection and prayer at 11.00

Fabric Committee

Sun

4

10.30 am

Morning Worship with Holy Communion led by Rev. David Bradburn

Thurs

8

10.00 am

12.30 pm

  2.00 pm

  4.00 pm

Open House in Vestibule with time of reflection and prayer at 11.00

Foodbank Volunteers’ ‘Bring & Share’ Lunch, Speaker Lea Leonis from Trussell Trust

Foodbank Management Meeting

Elders’ Meeting

Sat 10 10.00 am

Synod Treasurers’ Conference – Potters Bar URC

Sun

11

10.30 am

Morning Worship led by the Elders

Wed 14 12.30 pm Lent Event – All Saints Lunch & Soundbites Concert followed by prayers
Thurs 15

10.00 am

12 – 2

Open House in Vestibule with time of reflection and prayer at 11.00 followed by ‘Hot Potato’ Lunch in Vestibule

       

Sun

18

10.30 am

3.00 –

4.30 pm

Morning Service led by Margaret Colville

Lent Event – ‘Hymns & Cake’ at Hertford Methodist Church

Thurs 22

10.00 am

Open House in Vestibule with time of reflection and prayer at 11.00

Sat 24

3.00 –

4.30 pm

Lent Event – ‘Sanctuary’ Talk and Reflection followed by tea at The Friends’ Meeting House

Sun

25

10.30 am

Morning Worship led by Geoffrey Williams, Hertford Baptist Church

Tues 27 12.15 pm

Lent Event – Mass followed by a light lunch at St. Joseph’s Church

 

 

Hertford & District Foodbank is open every weekday from

4.00 pm to 5.00 pm.  For queries please contact 07851 708470 or Cheryl or Fran