Print


 

HERTFORD

UNITED REFORMED CHURCH


347th Anniversary year
 

 

OCTOBER 2019

 

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

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.

 

             Please contact your Elder for urgent pastoral needs.

The diary is at the end of this magazine

 

Dear Friends,

John Chapter 14, verse 2 says “There are many rooms in my Father’s house.” It is a verse often used at funeral services. A few years ago, following a holiday in Cornwall with friends, I had used the same passage for Elders’ devotions. During the course of the holiday we visited four different Churches all used in various ways. The fourth, a typical old village Chapel, which we passed each day going out and returning back to our holiday home. The Chapel visit required a few minutes’ walk up the narrow road, typical of Cornish seaside villages. The effort though was rewarded. The front door was unlocked and the central heating on. It was mid-September at the end of the afternoon. As we silently wandered among the pews, stopped or paused before the altar and pulpit, I had remembered how often the eyes seem to be taken upwards. Whatever needed to be seen or read was almost always at a height. Is it not the case that invariably as the Christian or anyone approaches God’s house the sheer height of the building seems to act as a beacon drawing the visitor in. Inside one’s gaze is immediately taken upwards. Both believer and non-believer in any large Church or Cathedral will follow the usual routine. They either sit and gaze around, the eyes drawn ever upwards taken by the beauty or sheer magnificence of what is before them, or they decide on the alternative to wander and look, but invariably the eyes are drawn ever upwards.

A few years ago we had a lady from |Italy as a worshipper at Hertford. Following her return home she invited Megan and me to Verona for a long weekend. She surprised us by suggesting that on the Sunday we would visit Venice. I was further taken aback when as we walked around one of the Churches she said the following “I find it difficult to find God in a place like this.” Surprised as she was a Catholic uttering these words in a Catholic Church. I must admit the Church was very dark, with large sculptured monuments and huge Christian themed paintings along the walls. Now I know some of you will be saying God has a habit of sometimes finding us when we least expect it. I myself am an example of that situation. Again, as we walked around that Church, the eyes were once more drawn upwards.

This ever-ascending theme we also find is used on many occasions in the Bible by the early Church. The Old Testament often talks of people drawn to mountain tops seeking God. Jesus himself is teased by the devil in Luke chapter 4, verses 9 to 11. Again in Acts chapter 1, verse 9 the ascending theme continues. I ask you then to read on, for in verses 10 – 11 the Application Study Bible explains Jesus’ disciples are instructed not to look upwards but instead be prepared for one day Jesus will return in the same way that He had gone, bodily and visibly. Jesus will return to judge and rule over the earth. We too should be ready for His sudden return; not by standing around “staring into heaven” but by working hard to share the Good News so that others will be able to share in God’s great blessing.

John Greenhill

 

 

 

 

We bless you, God of Seed and Harvest,
And we bless each other,
That the beauty of this world,
And the love that created it,
Might be expressed though our lives

And be a blessing to others, Now and always.

Amen

 

HERTFORD UNITED REFORMED CHURCH

2019 DATES

 

CHURCH MEETINGS – SUNDAYS

13th October

 

ELDERS’ MEETINGS – THURSDAYS

 

 

 

 

News from the Foodbank

 

First of all thank you to everyone faithfully putting items into the wheelbarrow or giving money for stock to be purchased. This all helps so much to keep our shelves full.

During August when we expect to be busier because school meals are not available, we were actually 10% down on numbers from last year. However since then numbers have gone up dramatically and we have been very busy, September looks as if it will be one of our busiest months. Hopefully donations will be coming in from local Churches and Schools as they celebrate Harvest thanksgiving.

There is also some more news on the opening of the Ware Foodbank Centre. Due to the generosity of the trustees of ‘The Ware Charities’ our Ware Foodbank team have secured funding of £28,242 to purchase a refurbished shipping container as premises for the Ware Foodbank.  The container will come fitted with kitchen and toilet facilities, heating, lighting and storage space.  It will be situated within the Broadmead car park near Ware station and replace an existing dilapidated building owned by C U Phosco Ltd.  Phosco have agreed to pay for the removal and disposal of the old building and build a new concrete base to take the container.  We are now in the hands of the planning authorities for the necessary approvals.  Once these are obtained the order will be placed and delivery is estimated at 4 to 6 weeks.  We are also incredibly grateful for the generosity of CU Phosco Ltd for clearing the site and offering it at a peppercorn rent of £1 per annum.

 

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 Thursday 18th July from 12 noon to 1.30 pm in the Church Vestibule.

 

CHURCH & SOCIETY EVENT SATURDAY 26TH OCTOBER

Vine URC Ilford 10 am – 4 pm

 

‘INSIDE OUTSIDE’

 

Thank you to those that have said they will be coming along, it really promises to be a very interesting day with several speakers giving Presentations on

  • Climate Change changes everything
  • Celebrating Diversity
  • Justice or Just-us
  • Grappling with Growing Poverty

There will also be workshops on the themes, including an arts & crafts workshop. The Seven Kings Gospel Choir will be with us for a time of worship and to sing to us later. We are hoping that Mike will also sing his song on Climate Change during this session.

We will travel by 3-4 cars and the journey would take about 50 minutes and I will be collecting names and sorting out lifts next week. There is no charge for the day or for the hot meal provided at lunch time.

There is still room to take more people.

Many thanks, Fran

 

What About Halloween?

 

It’s that time of year when the shops are full of pumpkins and youngsters are knocking on our doors to ‘trick or treat’. How should Christians respond to Halloween? Is it simply a fun festival for the children or does it have a dark side that we should avoid?

Firstly, Christians should not respond to Halloween with superstition. The Bible reminds us that evil is a real force at work in our world, as ‘the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour’ (1 Peter 5:8). We shouldn’t underestimate his ability to blind the minds of unbelievers to the reality of spiritual warfare. (2 Corinthians 4:4).

Secondly, we can respond with confidence. While people are often fearful of witches, ghosts, and evil spirits, we mustn’t forget that God is in control, not Satan. Jesus has secured the victory over sin and evil on the cross: ‘having disarmed the powers and authorities, He made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them by the cross.’ (Colossians 2:15).

Finally, we can also offer hope. ‘Christ died and returned to life so that He might be the Lord of both the dead and the living.’ (Romans 14:9). Halloween is an opportunity to share the hope of the gospel. For example, if we offer sweets to children calling to trick and treat, we might include information about the Christian faith or church. Or we could organise an alternative Light Party, celebrating Jesus as the light of the world.

  1. S. Lewis provides a helpful balance for us: ‘There are two equal and opposite errors into which our race can fall into about devils. One is to disbelieve in their existence. The other is to believe, and to feel an excessive and unhealthy interest in them.’(The Screwtape Letters

 

                                                   

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.

 

 

 Harvest Thanksgiving 3.jpg

And Fellowship Lunch

SUNDAY 6th

Our guest speaker is Rev. Dr. V.J. Samkutty, Vice Principal Academic at All Nations Christian College, Easneye.    

Our Harvest Gift offering will be going to Kiwoko Hospital in Uganda and we will also be collecting non-perishable food for the Foodbank.

We look forward to holding our usual Harvest Lunch after the Service and would be grateful if you could please sign the form on the prayer table indicating how many places you would like to reserve. 

Family and friends are all welcome to join us.  A donation towards costs can be made after the meal.  

 

Holy Habit - Prayer

 

Whenever Christians meet together, they pray. Sometimes the words are well loved and have been recited by the church for ages past. Sometimes the words are fresh and raw, gushing from the deep cries of people’s hearts. On other occasions, prayer is silent. Or prayer may arise simply from the shared activity of people who love Jesus Christ ‘living, working in our world’.

Prayer is a conversation with God; it is waiting on God – both in listening and serving. Prayer is sustaining, encouraging, nurturing, exciting and engaging. It is the lifeblood of the church.” (Quoted from the booklet)

A new initiative as part of the “Holy Habit’ of Prayer will be tried out at Hertford.   A white box will be placed in an accessible position for visitors, especially foodbank clients, to use as a ‘prayer request’ box. By the side of it is a small shelf on which there will be a prayer request card. A suitable notice will be put on the front of the box inviting prayer requests. Each Thursday during our reflection and prayer time, this will be opened and the requests prayed for and also put on the Prayer Sheet for following Sunday. We will of course be sensitive to any confidential information mentioned.

It might also be a way of asking friends or family if they would like a prayer for a worrying situation. Perhaps carry a couple of prayer request cards around with you.

 

 

Medicine for the heart  - by David Winter

Over 80 years ago I sat next to my mother at a pantomime –‘Cinderella’, I think. It was alright, if a bit too full of dancing for my taste.  But suddenly we were in a kitchen where the royal supper was being prepared. And wonderfully and gloriously, everything went wrong. Food took to the air, custard pies ended up on heads and faces. Apparently, I laughed so much that I fell off my seat. I had encountered the magic of comedy; the sheer joy of laughter. What we call a ‘sense of humour’ is a priceless and unique gift of our creator to the human race.

The Bible tells us to ‘weep with those who weep’, true – but also to laugh with those who laugh. In modern times that has often meant an experience shared with millions of others on radio or TV.

This month marks the 50th anniversary of the first broadcast of Monty Python’s ‘Flying Circus’ which was a landmark event in broadcasting comedy. It wasn’t situation comedy like ‘Dad’s Army’ or ‘Are You Being Served.’ Monty Python was a true child of the 1960s, a confident, cheeky reflection of contemporary society. No, it wasn’t ‘Dad’s Army’ but it was just as funny in its own way.

Like all of God’s gifts, a sense of humour can be misused. Satire can be cruel and negative. Just as the laughter of seven-year-olds in the playground teasing a boy they claim has got, say, big ears.

Humour should be about or with, but never at people.

 

 

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.

 

 

Prayer spaces in public places

Churches across the UK are to launch Hope Spaces in 2020.

The Talking Jesus research found that 41% of practising Christians say that a spiritual experience or an experience of the love of Jesus was a key influence in their coming to faith. The aim of Hope Spaces is to help people to experience God’s love and presence, so they can come to know Him for themselves.

In 2020, 24-7 Prayer and HOPE Together are inviting churches to unite in their village, town or city, to host a creative, public prayer space.

Rachel Jordan-Wolf, National Mission and Evangelism Advisor to the Church of England, and one of the team behind the projects says, “Invite your community to experience God through talking and listening to Him in prayer. Imagine, all over the country, people meeting the God of hope in schools, work places, high streets, gardens and unexpected public places. Will you offer your community a place they can meet God in prayer?”

HOPE Together and 24-7 Prayer are developing an information pack and resources to give churches everything they need to set up HOPE Spaces in an empty local shop, a gazebo in a park, a beach hut … wherever local people might feel welcome and comfortable to explore prayer for themselves.

To register your interest email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. You will be contacted by 24-7 Prayer and HOPE Together about the project as soon as the information pack is ready.

Our prayer garden is a start – perhaps we ought to register?

 

INSIDE – OUTSIDE

 AN INTER-CULTURAL – INTER-GENERATIONAL EVENT

To be held at

VINE UNITED REFORMED CHURCH

Ilford, IG1 1JH

 

Saturday 26th October 10 am – 4 pm

 

Open to all churches in the North Thames Synod and neighbouring Synods.  The programme will include presentations, videos, and workshops including one run by young people in the Synod, A Gospel Choirs, and resource materials.

 

Organised by the planning group of the Thames North  Church & Society Network and Youth Executive members of the Synod and others

                          

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.

 

HERTFORD & DISTRICT CHURCHES TOGETHER

 

EVENTS we have been asked to advertise

 

  • Wed 2nd Oct - World mission evening with Mike Doragh.

Hear about what God is doing with University Students in New Zealand. Oasis Cafe, Ware Road. (Methodist Church Foyer).

Main presentation 7:30pm – 8:15pm. (tea and biscuits will be served both before and after)

  • Friday 11th October, 7.30pm Hertford Baptist Church,   Fundraising Quiz for Hertford & Ware Street Pastors:

Tables of 8 – We would like to get a team together, please speak to Fran or Megan if you would like to go. Tickets are £10

 

  • 7th November World Mental Health Day event: Catholic Churches on Suicide Prevention  

Please see the poster which gives all the details. There is also a larger poster at the back of the church.

World Mental Health Day

Heaven’s Messengers of Love by Nigel Beeton

Do we know them when we see them?
Heaven’s messengers of love?
Who are there just when we need them,
Sent to help by God above.
Those who help us just by staying,
Those who sit and hold our hand,
Those who hold us up by praying,
Those who simply understand.

When the seas of life are storming
When we’re overwhelmed by pain
We don’t notice them transforming
We don’t feel their love sustain.
When we feel our woes confounding
When we’re stifled by the strain
We don’t see our friends surrounding
Standing by us in the rain.

Yet, despite our bitter blindness
God is there, and always sends
Human angels, who with kindness
Are our true and faithful friends,
Till the time when, sunshine glowing
Come the rainbow and the dove
And the afterlight is showing
Heaven’s messengers of love.

A vampire story for Halloween

Two nuns, Sister Mary Agnes and Sister Mary Vincent, were travelling through Europe in their car, sight-seeing in Transylvania.  As they are stopped at a traffic light, out of nowhere, a small vampire jumped onto the bonnet of their car and hissed at them through the windshield.   “Quick, quick!” shouted Sister Mary Agnes, “What should we do?”

“Turn the windscreen wipers on.  That will get rid of the abomination,” cried Sister Mary Vincent.

Sister Mary Agnes switched on the wipers, which knocked the mini-Dracula around.  But still he hung on and continued hissing at the nuns.  “What shall I do now?” she shouted.

“Try the windscreen washer.  I filled it with holy water before we left the Vatican,” cried Sister Mary Vincent.

Sister Mary Agnes turned on the windscreen washer.  The vampire screamed as the holy water burned his skin, but he hung on and continued hissing at the nuns. “Now what?” shouted Sister Agnes.

“Well, show him your cross,” urged Sister Mary Vincent.

“Now you’re talking,” said Sister Mary Agnes.  She opened the window and shouted: “You stupid vampire!  Get off our car!”

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

 

CHURCH DIARY FOR 

 OCTOBER 2019

        

 

                                          

 

        

 

OCTOBER

 

Wed

2

7.30 pm

Oasis Café Methodist Church Talk by Mike Doragh on World Mission to Students in New Zealand

Thurs

3

10.00 am

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

       

 

Sun

6

10.30 am

Lunch

HARVEST THANKSGIVING Worship led by Rev Dr. V.J. Samkutty, Vice Principal at All Nations College with Communion presided over by Margaret Colville

Follows the Service

Thurs

10

10.00 am

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

Fri

11

7.30 pm

Quiz – Street Pastors Hertford Baptist Church

 

     

 

Sun

13

10.30 am

Morning Worship led by Ian Matthews

Church Meeting follows the Service

Thurs

17

10.00 am

12.00 – 1.30 pm

Open House in Vestibule with time of reflection and prayer at 11.00 am followed by Hot Potato Lunch in Vestibule   - all welcome

       

 

Sun

20

10.30 am

Morning Service led by Janet Bird from All Saints Church

Thurs

24

10.00 am

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

Sat 

26

9.30 am

- 4.00 pm

Synod Church & Society Event at Vine Church Ilford, “Inside Outside”

Details in Magazine

       

 

Sun

27

10.30 am

(Clocks

Back)

Morning Service led by Margaret Coleville

Thurs

31

10.00 am

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

        

 

 

 

 

 

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