HERTFORD

UNITED REFORMED CHURCH


348th Anniversary year
 

 

June 2020

 

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             This is currently vacant.

                                     

                               

SUNDAY WORSHIP  Currently Suspended

10.30 am                Family Worship, followed by coffee/tea

                               Communion is usually celebrated on the

                               First Sunday of the month

WEEKDAY WORSHIP  Currently Suspended

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 Currently Suspended 

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

 

             Please contact your Elder for urgent pastoral needs.

The diary is at the end of this magazine

 

Gardens

Have you got a garden? Do you enjoy gardening? Perhaps you are having a go at it now because, in the present situation, you actually have extra time on your hands?

Being out in green spaces is good for our well-being but I actually like to think it’s good for God as well. Gardening can be on a large scale of course. There are many beautiful gardens that open to visitors and they can be inspirational as well as filling us with awe. In a garden I visited in Yorkshire recently I discovered that the incredible patterns and colours of the flower arrangements depend on the replanting, twice a year, of 8000 bulbs and 24000 young plants!

Our gardens are probably a lot less demanding but can be just as beautiful. Whatever their size, they are a part of God’s creation and we need to care for them just as much as we care for natural environments anywhere. I recently purchased a ‘garden quiz book’ which is full of facts about gardens and plants – lots to learn if you can’t answer the questions! But we don’t need to know a lot about gardens and plants in order to take care of our own patch. Caring for a garden tends to come naturally. After all we, too, are a part of God’s creation.

Gardens feature a lot in the Bible. There are the well known gardens, such as Eden and Gethsemane, but there are many smaller less well- known gardens too. In particular there are many references to gardens in the Old Testament, possibly because people cultivated small areas of land for fruit and vegetables. Sometimes they grew flowers as well. Significantly in that country they needed a supply of water. And often they needed a keeper, someone to watch over the produce at harvest times. Gardens were also used for family events, much as they are today, and for relaxation.

Gardens are mentioned in the New Testament too. Often these gardens are linked to the life of Jesus. In Jerusalem it is possible to visit a special garden - the Garden Tomb. It is a pretty garden, located near to the city walls. It contains an ancient tomb, thought by some to be the tomb used for the body of Jesus after his crucifixion and also the place of his resurrection. Many visitors find in the garden a sense of holiness and some, having heard the story of Jesus, find the living Christ.

The Quiet Garden Movement, a Christian initiative, encourages people to open up green spaces for contemplation and relaxation. Sometimes these are attached to churches, but also schools, homes and hospitals. Visitors enjoy somewhere quiet where they can rest in nature. They can be people of any faith or none – their common quest is to experience a little part of God’s creation. If you are able, visit the website. It not only lists the gardens but also has resources to promote well-being, such as meditative exercises, photographs and prayers.

How then do you come close to God in a garden? Perhaps in all ways – working in it, sitting in it, watching and listening to the wildlife in it. Someone said recently ‘I’ve actually seen things grow this spring!’. With extra time on our hands we can observe God’s creativity in action in our gardens. As we spend time tending our gardens and observing what is happening in our gardens we can quite easily come close to God. And God can come close to us too.

Jill Nugent

 

 

 

We are all keeping in touch by telephone or by email so please if anyone needs any help or contact, please phone your Elder or any other Elder or church member.  We are all here for each other through this challenging time.

For those that can we hope that some of the suggested ways of worshipping on line are useful to you.  From Mark & Melanie’s letter circulated 27th March “The URC Daily Devotions (devotions.urc.org.uk) are proving a valuable resource, too, and are available now as audio tracks as well as the written word.  For those who’d like to use this as an opportunity to ‘virtually visit’ other churches, this week we are highlighting the Methodist resources (enfieldmethodistcircuit.co.uk) and for children and young people the Roots materials are all available online:  www.rootsontheweb.com.

There is always BBC 1 Sunday Worship 11.30 am

Radio 4 Sunday Worship 8.10 am

Premier Radio  On MW 1305, 1332, 1413 & 1566  and DAB 

Front Mag cover June20 2

COME FOLLOW ME

(front cover)

For a long time I have wanted to make a wall hanging for our Church, based on a photo on the front of a hymn book we used to use.

The book was Songs & Hymns of Fellowship and the picture on the front was of a sunset with a bird in black flying across.

Last year Chris Hall came to our Church and her sermon was about geese and for those who were not there below is the gist of what she told us. So as I have not been out of my house for at least 6 weeks due to lockdown, I decided to finally make my sunset but with geese as I thought it quite appropriate as the geese are following their leader.   In Mark 1: 16 – 20 Jesus called his first disciples and said to them “Come Follow Me”.

Chris’s talk

“In the autumn you see geese heading south for the winter, flying along in their “V” formation.   Scientists have made an amazing discovery about why they fly that way.

As each goose flaps its wings, it creates uplift for the bird immediately following.   By flying in a “V” formation, the whole flock adds at lest 71% greater flying range than if each bird flew on its own.

In the same way, people who are part of a team that shares a common direction get where they are going quicker and easier because they travel on the trust of one another and lift each other up along the way

Whenever a goose falls out of formation, it suddenly feels the drag and resistance of trying to go through it alone and quickly gets back into formation to take advantage of the power of the flock.   If we have as much sense as a goose we will stay in formation with those who are headed the same way that we are going.

When the lead goose gets tired, he rotates back in the wings, and another goose takes over.   It pays to share leadership and take turns doing hard jobs.

The geese honk from behind to encourage those up front to keep their speed.   Words of support and inspiration help energise those on the front line, helping them to keep pace in spite of the day-to-day pressures and fatigue.   Of course, our honking should be encouraging. Otherwise, it’s just - well – honking!

Finally, when a goose gets sick or is wounded and falls out, two geese drop out of the formation and follow the injured one to help and protect him.   They stay with him until he is either able to fly or until he is dead.   Then, they launch out with another formation to catch up with their group.   When one of us is down, it’s up to the others to stand by us in our time of trouble.

If we have the sense of a goose, we will standby each other when things get rough. We will stay in formation with those headed where we want to go.

The next time you see a formation of geese, remember their message that “it is indeed a reward, a challenge, and a privilege to be a contributing member of a team”.

Chris

                 

________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________   

Coronavirus –

On 11th March 2020, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared the coronavirus to be a global pandemic. Since its outbreak in January in Wuhan, China, the world has been slowly engulfed by fear of this invisible but deadly threat.

As the virus has spread, so have the efforts of our Governments to slow the virus. Countries are on lock down, and hundreds of millions of people have been told to stay at home. Normal life has shut down for most of us. Businesses, schools, industries, restaurants, sports, theatres and even churches have all been shut.

Every community must now deal with the crisis, in one way or another.

We members at Hertford United Reformed Church wish to express our deep concern and sympathy for all who live in our community at this time. We want them to know that we have committed to praying for you, and that we are looking into ways of showing our care and regard for you through the Foodbank. And in our prayers. This is especially true if you are among the elderly and most vulnerable in our community.

 

We are all keeping in touch by telephone or by email so please if anyone needs any help or contact, please phone your Elder or any other Elder or church member. We are all here for each other through this challenging time.

 

Beryl Tyser

For those who knew Beryl Tyser, I attended Beryl's burial service on Tuesday 19th May officiated by David Bradburn.  It was a very peaceful and beautiful time and although there could only be a very small amount of people present it seemed very suitable.  It was such a glorious day, blue skies, a pleasant breeze, birds singing and just a few interesting clouds which Judith said Beryl was always fascinated with - and she would always be able to give the names to.    Beryl’s son David, daughter in law Judith, grandson Richard with his wife Emma and their 11-week old daughter Isobel were there along with Beryl’s younger sister.  Peter Ruffles, also like me, was standing in the sidelines - even so I think we were in the legal limits of how many could attend.  It was a wonderful opportunity to remember Beryl and all she contributed to the life and witness of our Church and the service she gave both to us and the community. Rest in peace Beryl.

Vera Oakes

Sadly we have also lost another dear member of our Fellowship in the past few weeks after a fall at home and a few days in hospital. Vera was a member of Hertford Congregational Church from 1979 and with Eric her husband, they were a very vital and energetic part of this congregation. Vera served as an Elder for many years and participated in many home groups. Vera and had a strong faith and was very much part of Derek Newton’s prayer fellowship group in the late 80’s visiting other URC churches to talk about our faith and our prayer group.  

 

Tribute to Vera from Megan and John Greenhill

 

John and I were privileged to go to see the Passion Play in Oberammergau in 2000 and 2010 and Vera and Ron Andrews were in the same party.

Following Vera’s heart surgery I helped Vera on a Wednesday morning with her housework. At about 11 o’clock Vera would make a cup of tea and often we had a slice of her homemade cake and we would sit and chat for a little while. I remember her delicious Christmas cake. It was certainly one of the best Christmas cakes I have ever tasted.

Perhaps some of you know that Vera was a British Legion Beauty Queen. She showed me a photograph of herself in her white dress and her crown on her head. She looked beautiful.

There were two occasions when John and I went to South Wales to visit one of my cousins and her husband. We took Vera with us so she could visit her son, Philip, and his family in Portishead.

It was a privilege for me to be her Elder for the past eighteen months.

We look forward to a time when we will be able to have a service in our church to celebrate the lives of both Beryl and Vera

_________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

From Jan...

There’s a ledge on a rock- face in Yosemite National Park called the Thank God Ledge.

Some say it’s so named because the forty–foot long ledge is the only way across the mountain. Others suggest that if you have the courage to stand up on the two-foot-wide ledge you can see God’s beautiful creation laid out in front of you and you can’t help but thank Him. A third opinion is that everyone who makes it across the ledge without falling 1800 feet automatically thanks God!

Me? I can thank God for a clear route ahead, the wonders of creation, and a safe journey right here at sea level, thank you very much!               Anon.

*******

 Smiles, “the cynic  might say,  ” they are fleeting , cost nothing, what good can they possibly do?”

At first glance Joseph Addison, the 18th - century poet and playwright, might agree.

“ These are trifles, to be sure,” he said, referring to those happy expressions, “ but scattered along life’s pathway the good they do is inconceivable”.

******

Durham Cathedral has an ancient tradition of sanctuary. In times gone by a monk would sit in  a window above the door, looking out. 

Anyone being pursued by enemies, or creditors, and who grabbed hold of the iron of the door knock, would be granted four weeks to sort things out, or leave the country peacefully.

In a world where we can sometimes feel under all sorts of pressures the idea of sanctuary might seem an attractive one. But the tradition has no legal standing any more.   So, should the whole concept of sanctuary simply be relegated to history?

I would suggest not; not while each of us might take the place of the monk in the window, looking out for someone in need of respite, a helping hand, and a little timeout from their troubles.

******

You want to find friends,

But they seem all too rare?

Whenever you need one,

There’s nobody there?

Perhaps you are starting

The wrong way around,

For I know a way

They’ll be easily found-

Just first be a friend;

Show you’re caring and kind,

And suddenly – look-

They’re easy to find!

                                                            Margaret Ingall

_______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

From Margaret

The story of my life seems to consist of fruitlessly searching for lost articles, usually bits of paper with writing on them or articles  which I have copied or typed out on to the computer and then forgotten where I had saved  them. However, more often than not I will then have the joy of rediscovering something totally different that I had completely forgotten about which will then bring joy  or which then  has a specific message for the times.  One such event happened yesterday morning as I looked back over a diary type notebook and discovered something I had copied out and highlighted way back in February. I looked back to the small devotional booklet that I had copied it from on February 15th and discovered that on three   consecutive days in that same booklet there were three little verses that seemed to have a particular relevance to today. Remembering your plea for articles for the magazine  I thought I would see if any of these were any good   The first one touched  on my almost life long belief in Life as being in the nature of a pilgrimage. Here it is.

On Feb 15th

Come children, let us go!

We travel hand in hand;

Each in his brother finds his joy

In this wild stranger land.

The strong be quick to raise

The weaker when they fall;

Let love and peace and patience bloom

In ready help for all.        

  1.   Tersteegen

 

On the 17th I got

For patience when the rough winds blow

For patience when our hopes are fading, -

When visible things all backward go,

And nowhere seems the power of aiding! 

God still enfolds thee with His viewless hand,

And leads thee surely to the Fatherland.

                   N.L.Frothingham, (translated from the German)

 

 . . .and  then just four lines from Feb 16th

And if some things I do not ask,

In my cup of blessing be,

I would have my spirit filled the more

With grateful love to Thee, -                           

  1. Anstice

*********

Plus a little offering from me that I wrote  in early March,

 

“Pilgrimage”, (with its focus on heaven) 09-03-2020

There is but one dream that will open up heaven

And that’s the impossible one.

It’s the dream of the Man of La Mancha

To right every last thing that’s gone wrong.

To fight for the right  -  To battle for peace,

To show courage in face of dangerTo love when confronted with agression and hate

With a love that can overcome anger.And, Yes! The dream’s an impossible oneWhen we try to go it alone,But with help from the Spirit of Love from above,

We still seek to journey on. 

How's this for a 12 year old's perspective? She's the daughter of my lovely estate agent..

Lock down 2020

Doors shut, theatres closed

Not allowed in playgrounds

Feeling trapped and afraid

No more school or work.

Lock 2020 is getting us all down

Coronavirus is on a world tour

This pandemic has caused it all

Can’t see my friends and family

Just stuck within these walls.

Been keeping up with schoolwork

Parents working from home

Video calls and quizzes

Trying to stay in touch.

Overworked doctors

And brave, noble nurses

Patients in and out

Trying to stay six feet apart. 

Feel like I’m on an iceberg

Slowly drifting further and further away

Confused scared, angry, sad

So many emotions flying around In my head.

Grades. health, school, work,

Family, friends, sickness, exercise

So many things to think about

So many things to do.

Things will never be the same again

But thank you, Covid-19

For bringing families closer together.

                                Molly Gravenor

 

 

 

The Church has had a lovely card from Ross, Jess and their children Rita and Reuben (born 3 weeks ago) as they leave the George Street Property for their own house in Windsor Drive, Hertford.

“Dear URC Friends

We are so grateful for the blessing the George Street house has been to us over the past 8+ years! We have been so blessed to have you as our landlords as well!

As excited as we are for our new adventures in our new home (with our new family!) we will miss the George Street house and community. It will always hold a special place in our hearts. We hope and pray that the future tenants find as much joy and blessing in it as we have.

Best wishes, Ross, Jess, Rita and Reuban

 

Hot Potato Lunch

(3rd Thursday every month)

Our Hot Potato Lunches continue to be a great success with all who attend, church members and our regular visitors.

Come and join us for this great outreach to the town every third Thursday in the month.

Our next lunch is on the in ( Currently suspended untill further notice ) the Church Vestibule.

A Prayer for these times:

Keep us, good Lord,
under the shadow of your mercy
in this time of uncertainty and distress.
Sustain and support the anxious and fearful,
and lift up all who are brought low;
that we may rejoice in your comfort
knowing that nothing can separate us from your love
in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Amen.

Barbara Glasson, 


Kiwoko Hospital

 

I just want to highlight an article I saw in the last Newsletter from Kiwoko which Megan kindly circulated.   If you are placing an order from Amazon UK, the hospital can get commission!! Visit www.kiwokohospital.org and on the bottom right there is a link, which if you click will take you to the usual Amazon website.   Anything you buy could earn up to 10% commissison!!

 

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.

 

 

 

A ‘Zoom” gathering for Sunday Morning Worship

Following the Enfield Churches Service – some attendees are not in this screenshot – please join us!

Zoom Meeting

There is also a Zoom prayer meeting on Wednesday evenings at 8.00 pm. Even if you cannot join us – please send us any prayer requests on anything you would like us to pray for. Telephone or email to Fran or Brenda or Margaret.

 

 

The Revd Paul Hardingham on future hope – after coronavirus

 

The Valley of Dry Bones has a future hope

‘A dem bones, dem bones, dem dry bones. An’ I hear the word of the Lord!’ 

At this time of global pandemic, we live with stark reality of death and life. Ezekiel’s vision of the valley of dry bones (37:1-14) was given when God’s people were in exile in Babylon. They felt dead, being separated from home and God! The vision answers God’s question: ‘can these bones live?

We can also feel cut off from God, facing the loss of job, business, home or health, with churches unable to meet on Sundays. This vision assures us that God has power over death and can breathe new life into what is hopeless.

When Ezekiel is told to ‘prophesy to the bones’ (4), God brings them back to life: the bones come together and are covered with muscles and skin, and then filled with God’s breath to bring new life, by the life of His Spirit.

The Covid-19 virus robs people of their life by suffocation, so that they can’t breathe. Our hope beyond the pandemic is that the gift of God’s Spirit will bring new life to our lives, churches and world. Life will certainly look very different in the future, but we can be assured that God is with us and that we are safe in his hands.

 

‘I will put my Spirit in you, and you will live, and I will settle you in your own land. Then you will know that I the Lord have spoken, and I have done it, declares the Lord.’ (14).

 

 

Hertford URC ‘s History

 

As David has mentioned in his opening letter of this edition of the magazine, we look forward to the launch of an historical booklet giving a brief overview of the amazing history of our church from its very beginnings in the seventeenth century.

 

This is available at the back of the Church, and to cover the printing costs we hope a donation of £2.00 could be made for each copy.  You will find it fascinating and inspiring to know how our church roots have been established not only by the leadership of ministers but by so many church members that have gone before us.

 

 

                          

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.

 

Citizen’s Advice – East Herts

We’re still here to help!

If you need advice during the coronavirus outbreak, we’re still here to help. Whilst we’ve had to temporarily close our face to face service you can still contact us in a number of ways if you are an East Herts or Uttlesford resident:

For advice by email go to www.citizensadviceeastherts.org.uk/webadvice

For phone advice please call 03444 111444 10am-4pm Monday to Friday (you may have to wait in a queue but we will get to you as soon as we can). Or call 01920 459944 and leave a message. One of our advisers will get back to you as soon as possible.

You can also access information online at citizensadviceeastherts.org.uk

For medical advice - www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/

  1. We will do our very best to answer all calls and emails but, due to a reduction in the number of staff and volunteers we have available, please bear with us at this difficult time. It may be that we have to offer to call you back with more advice at a later time.

 

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CHURCH DIARY FOR 

 JUNE 2020

Not Currently Available        

 

 

Hertford & District Foodbank is open every weekday afternoon from 4.00 to 5.00. 

For any queries please contact 07851 708470 of Cheryl or Fran.