Family communion Service – 16th August – led by Mike Findley – 10.40 for chat, 10.57 for Service start.
Family Zoom Service – 9th August – led by Anne Walton.
Anne’s Service this week focused on Matthew 14:22-33, “Jesus walks on the Water”. Life was not without risks – as we found trying to integrate “Virtual Stephen” into the day’s live Service.
Being a Christian brought its own risks, but was a life without risk a life worth living? A strong faith and leaning into God in times of difficulty would see us through our lives of living and sharing Jesus’s message with others.
A realist, as ever, Anne noted that for those of us without the faith and belief of Peter, if we were going to try to walk on water it was good to know where the steppingstones were!
Family Zoom Communion Service – 2nd August – led by Anne Walton.
Another enjoyable Communion Service from Anne.
Her Sermon focused on Compassion and Jesus teaching his disciples – learning on the job – about their (and our) responsibilities to look after other people. The sharing of a meal also looked forward to the last supper – something we were to remember in the Eucharist that was to follow.
It was later suggested that Anne (who now misses her Sunday morning breakfast on the way to Potters Bar from Milton Keynes) might have used a croissant for Communion.
In a similar vein we can observe from last week that Tony Alderman is still on track to get his wish granted – just one more match (The Bees will play Fulham at Wembley on Tuesday for a place in the Premier League).
We were also able to sing (if sing is the right word?) Happy Birthday to Noah in Zambia, who was celebrating his 38th birthday.
Family Zoom Service – 26th July – led by Tony Alderman
A bittersweet morning.
Tony Alderman led our worship, but against the backdrop of the news that our Church Secretary had become ill and needed to step back from his role. Tony assured us of support and good wishes from the Synod Executive as well as other friends and told us to take courage and find some hidden treasures amongst our membership to continue to take us forward.
It being Tony, his chat on “dreams” had to include the fortunes of Brentford – relegated 73 years ago – now on the cusp of promotion back to the Premiership, but needing just a few more points. In the case of Solomon (1 Kings 3 vv 5-12), when God offered him anything in the world, he chose wisdom and that Tony felt was the challenge for us – what would we do.
(Listening to Tony again, I got the feeling that he just might opt for seeing Brentford in the Premiership over the gift of wisdom – he seemed to have plenty of that anyway!)
In his sermon he started with the words from the first hymn “Don’t worry what you have to say, don’t worry because on that day, God’s spirit will speak in your heart, will speak in your heart.
The readings from Matthew were the parables about the Kingdom. “Cometh the need, cometh the hour” and we should be looking for those hidden talents in our community. We had a responsibility to carry on as an Eldership, not necessarily always to agree but to take care to understand the other persons’ points of view as we moved forward.
We also received words of encouragement from friends who have shared recent Zoom Services with us.
Zoom Communion Service – 19th July – led by Revd. John Steele
A big thankyou to John, leading his first Zoom Service with us – and Communion too!
The theme was dreams (Abba, not the Rolling Stones this week), something we experience each in our unique way.
The readings from Genesis covered Jacob acquiring Esau’s rights as firstborn in exchange for a bowl of soup (perhaps not a very nice brother?), missing out the deceit of his father to get Esau’s final blessing and being forced to flee, but going forward to Jacob’s Dream at Bethel.
John saw some similarities between Jacob and us: we also try to flee from God at times, we have a promise from God and the responsibilities that go with it.
During the Covid-19 Lockdown, our Bethel has been our own homes and we’ve seen the work of “two footed angels” – all our health and caring services – around us. As we slowly come out of Lockdown, John hoped we would see other examples of the stairway, examples of Gods direct workings amongst us and rejoice.
Family zoom Service – 12th July – led by our Elders
This Sunday was another opportunity for our Elders to provide “team worship”, with Tony Corfe as team leader. I think they passed the test.
Tony took the New Testament reading Matthew 12 vv 1-9, 18-23, “The Parable of the Sower” for his message. He took us through a variety of possible interpretations about farming methods and soil quality – what kind of ground are we? – before taking us back to the title of the passage.
In his view it is all about the Sower – God – and the seed – his Word. Unlike a farmer, because of his love for us he sows the seed on all types of ground – and Tony felt there was a bit of all types of ground in all of our hearts – as a gesture of his wildly extravagant love for us. And if some of the seed finds even the smallest portion of good soil within our hearts, he nurtures the Kingdom within us.
Family Zoom Communion Service – 5th July, led by Revd. David Aplin
David certainly offered us some food for thought.
If you can get away from daytime TV (a bit of a struggle for David, based on his comments), Lockdown can be a time for introspection and getting rid of some of the “baggage” of our lives. We need to be challenged and to grow from the challenge; be willing to accept change and have an understanding relevant “for now”.
Arrogance and conceit are a barrier to God: we should be thankful for his love. If there is a gulf to God, there is often a gulf to other people in our lives. So it’s time for us to examine who we are and what really matters to us; to ask “Lord, what will you have me do?”
Jesus says, “Come to me and I will give you rest”.
In Lockdown many of us are dependent on others and feel a lack of “wholeness” because we cannot do many of the things we used to. We give ourselves to the generosity of those who offer to help us, giving up some of that desire to be independent – and so it can be with God.
This is not to be totally dependent, but to know He’s here for us. And maybe by depending on others during Lockdown we’ve learnt a little more about our relationship with God and how to “lean on him”.
Family Zoom Service – 28th June, led by Tony Alderman
A great pleasure to have Tony Alderman to lead our worship – broadcasting from the BBC (Barnet Broom Cupboard), after a spell “at Her Majesty’s Pleasure” in the Royal Free Hospital.
Tony returned home with all body parts and his sense of humour intact and functioning. He enjoyed his first meal at home of lamb and mint sauce, reflecting that he’d been looked after by a Mr Lamb and a Ms Myint – taking us into “What’s in a name?”.
In answer to “What is a Christian?”, his theme was welcome. Hospitality, however small, was a sign of God’s presence. It’s the welcome you give that marks you out as a Christian and sometimes we in our churches forget the importance of making people welcome.
Family Zoom Service and Holy Communion – 21st June, led by Anne Walton
Anne’s service confronted us with a very difficult Bible passage – Matthew 10, vv 24 to 39. Taking us into it gently, Anne started with triangles and plenty of visual aids, before we heard the Bible reading and Anne’s thoughts on it, latter using the theme of Love Triangles. Mostly used in the context of two people in competition for the love of a third, who loves both, it was more difficult to visualise in the context of love for Jesus and for one’s family. From Matthew, Jesus appears to be demanding that we prioritise love for him above all others. Anne believes that our love for Jesus (and God) enrichens our love for our families and friends. A priority yes, but not a competition.
Family Zoom Service – 14th June, led by Canon Richard Osborn
Richard talked to us about life during “Lockdown”.
The Bible reading Matthew 9 v 35 to Matthew 10 v 8 sparked a comment on the difference between pity (GNB) and compassion (in Richard’s version) which he felt was a more appropriate word. Jesus whilst controversial, stood out by being a teacher, a prophet and a healer and for his compassion for the crowds that followed him.
When Jesus called together his Disciples and sent them out as his Apostles it was with the same motivation – something that he felt carries over to us today as we share his message with others.
Holy Trinity Service – 7th June, led by Revd. David Aplin
Another enjoyable service with up to 29 “log-ins”.
In David’s talk and Sermon he shared with us his understanding and conception of the Trinity (it being Trinity Sunday). Although he was inclined to see all three elements as distinct persons, there was no hierarchy involved. David has experienced the working of the Holy Spirit on numerous occasions.
Nice to have Paula Jones slightly more into the field of view this week – and the little vocal excursions were delightful!
Pentecost Service – 31st May, led by Tony Alderman
We welcomed Tony back to his second Zoom Service with us. He chatted about Lockdown, with the inevitable (golfing) joke.
It being Pentecost, the reading and the Sermon dealt with the coming of the Holy Spirit – something Tony felt was as true for us today as for the disciples at that time. Tony is involved with education and a care home charity. He highlighted some inequalities and encouraged us to do what we can to help address failings or gaps in provision – covid-19 testing in a care home being an example of a successful intervention.
We welcomed two newcomers to our Service and the Chat session – Nkosingibhile Dlamini, who we met some years ago when he visited Potters Bar for a Scout Jamboree,
and Katherine (Kate) Arnold a former member of the church now living in the New Forest. Kate said “It was nice to be able to put faces to names. Also being able to see Margaret Barton again and Paula and Steven. By the way, can you tell Paula, I love her ginger cat”.
Meanwhile John Knott was in telephone contact with his mother Joan, to help her log in and activate her sound – which she finally did. We sang her a typically chaotic Happy Birthday at the end of the service in case she had missed the professional version (Stephen Jones) at the start.
Ascencion Service – 24th May, led by Anne Walton
Another good day with 30 “log-ins” this time – church members and friends near and far. We’d hoped to have Revd. Kenneth Bamuleke from Uganda giving us the prayers, but he could not get internet access and so Tony Corfe read his prayers for him.
Anne’s Theme for Ascension Sunday was Goodbyes and New Beginnings – for the Disciples and for us. Lots to be joyful for and tell people about! The card says ‘Let your faith be bigger than your fear’.
We managed to ambush Stephen Jones trying to sneak a birthday past us so he was forced to play and sing “Happy birthday to ME!”
The edited Service follows:
Family Zoom Service with Holy Communion – 17th May, led by Revd. John Mackerness
Some problems with Zoom software for this Sunday Service, with a number of people unable to join or left without microphone or video stream. Hopefully Zoom will have solved this by next weekend. A number of other churches had problems with their Services.
This said we pushed on and John Mackrness led our worship and Holy Communion. The reading from Acts had Paul in Athens taking his mission to the Athenians. John felt Paul was giving us a masterclass in outreach, noting that our current situation with Covid-19 should not stop our mission to share the Christian message of hope in these troubled times.
We were pleased to see some new (to Zoom) faces, but were frustrated that some who had really persevered were not able to enjoy the full experience of a Zoom Service.
We wished David Morris a very Happy Birthday – in church?
Our usual duet for hymns gained a third voice?
The edited Service follows:
Family Zoom Service – 10th May, led by Revd. David Aplin
An enjoyable Service from David, with plenty of chat before and after the Service and some close friends of David joining us to experience a Zoom service. Although the live Service was fine, the recording had big problems with synchronisation of sound and video streams, so the video stream in the recording below has a few gaps.
Zoom Service including Holy Communion – 3rd May 2020, led by John Wainright
Twenty five people logged in, of which four (Audrey Ward, Jean Morse, Marion Poulton & Pam Perrot) phoned in. We were probably over thirty in total – and that’s not counting all Noah’s family, who joined us from Zambia!
Margaret Barton and Mary Deller logged in without assistance – and celebrated their success.
Lots of chat before and after the service as usual but this time edited out!
You can view and edited version of the Service below.
Third Zoom Service – 26th April 2020, led by Tony Alderman.
Our third Zoom Service led by Tony Alderman was well attended. We welcomed Jennifer Cameron (now living in Ware) to her first Zoom Service. We also had Jean Morse joining us by telephone – the first of our members without internet access to do so. She was very pleased to hear the Service and the sound was clear as a bell! Hopefully others of our members without internet access will join us in the coming weeks.
The reading and Tony’s sermon was based on Luke 24, vv 13-35, The Walk to Emmaus. “Moments of Revelation” linked to a vignette in Tony’s past and his experience of many discrete moments of revelation in his faith journey that came together to build his belief.
As usual, Stephen Jones provided the music and he and his wife Paula sang he hymns for us. We are so grateful to all who produced the service for us.
Second Zoom Service 19th April 2020
Our second Sunday Service on Zoom was notable for the number of new members joining in but it was not as ‘slick’ as the first service, with a few unplanned insertions and some lapses in microphone protocols. These are largely cut from the edited video below.
We all have to learn to keep our microphone muted unless we are asked to make a specific contribution during the service. Also even during the chat sessions before and after the Service, we have to take care not to talk over others. Zoom tends to prioritise he or she who speaks loudest and cut the video and audio from anyone else – sometimes mid-sentence!
A thing that is really great is the interactions – seeing the faces and following the questions and answers about how other members and friends are doing, keeping us all up to date. We even had a member of our sister church in Katombora, Zambia and his family join us!
Easter Sunday Service 12th April 2020
Our first attempt at a Sunday Service on Zoom went better than expected, though there were a few glitches – like Janet Green’s Internet going down as she was about to present the Intercessionary Prayers – but we came through it to have a thoroughly enjoyable time of worship. Anne Walton was our worship leader and Holy Communion was led by Tony Corfe (we all had bread and wine ready at home).
As you’ll see it was a genuine community effort with many individual contributions. We are particularly luck to have Stephen & Paula Jones providing live music and vocals. We did try community singing in a dry run, but because of synchronising difficulties it was utter chaos. Also everyone has to remember to mute their microphones during he service, so they don’t intrude on the video stream.
The video clip below gives you a flavour of the service, also of the personal interactions as we prepared for the service and chatted after it. No coffee unless you had made it at home however!
You’ll see that Zoom sometimes loses synchronisation between sound and picture, which occasionally leaves gaps in the video footage – but it’s something we can live with – I hope?
We had lots of congratulatory e-mails from those who logged in to Zoom and could participate in the service.
We hope many more members and friends with Internet access will join us in the services we intend to hold in the coming weeks.
Sunday 22nd March – A “Last Hurrah”
This was the last Sunday service to be held in our church for some time as we take measures to slow the spread of the Covid-19 virus.
Our planned worship leader Nick Alexander and our Director of Music Stephen Jones were both unable to be present at the service as their partners are at a higher risk from infection. Stephen recorded the hymn music for us at home (and it was perhaps good that he wasn’t there to hear the singing!).
With many of our church members in the 70+ cohort, most decided not to come to the service, so we were a small group, well spaced out. The service itself was pretty ad-hoc, with our Church Secretary, David Ramsay, leading worship. It was nonetheless an enjoyable worship experience for those who attended.
We concluded that holding services in the church was not a sensible way forward. We are going to look at developing an on-line form of service using Zoom software. Once we have something up and running we’ll let everyone know.
Sunday 15th March – Communion Service led by Fredwyn Hosier
As usual, Fredwyn had a surprise for us. She shared the running of the Service with her Grandson Luca. And Luca was to tell us about the Gruffalo, and later, the Gruffalo’s Child.
The theme was about fear and facing fear with God’s help – most appropriate for a day when many of us may be looking forward to a long period of self-isolation and uncertainty.
Mary Cook also had a story to tell about the importance of an emergency call unit if you are living alone.
And Tony had a prayer from the minister of the Church in Canada where he and Barbara worship when they are over there.
We don’t know yet when (or if) we may need to close the church for Sunday Services. It appears churches in some countries are doing this. We await Government advice. This week’s video clip is longer than usual because for the first time it includes Holy Communion.
Our Organist this week was Jonathan Gregory.
If you were unable to come to church today, you may want to watch the video clip – and Luca, a little star!
Sunday 8th March – Family Service led by Canon Richard Osborn.
Another memorable Sunday.
If Richard Osborn thought he could sneak a secret birthday past us – he had another think coming. Our spies are everywhere. And he’s still just a ‘stripling’, with a couple of years to go before he gets his bus pass!
Richard read us Psalm 121 whose writer’s message is about God as provider of help and comfort. The importance of help and care for one another, in church and in our community, was particularly relevant for a day when we were to dedicate our defibrillator after the service.
Geoff Peterson read John 3, vv 1-17 which tells us about Jesus and Nicodemus – the latter a “fleeting actor”, a Pharisee who wanted to know more, who came to understand that “believing is seeing” – seeing life in a completely different way – is to be born again.
Hertfordshire County Councillor John Graham and his wife attended the service as did Teresa Travell from the Potters Bar Society and Mark Herbert.
John Graham had given us a contribution of £569 from his Locality Budget towards the Defibrillator – facilitated by the Potters Bar Society – and Mark had installed it for us at his own expense.
We were joined for the Dedication by Arline and David Hursey, founders of the charity Defibrillators in Public Places (DIPPs), who had provided the Defirillator.
After the dedication by Richard, our church Secretary, David Ramsay, presented Arline with a cheque for £1200, raised by the church through donations at charity lunches and a number of events, including the very successful Quorum Singers pre-Christmas Concert “On Christmas Night” on 14th December.
We were pleased to know that the contribution from County and the monies we raised had covered the cost of the defibrillator, with a surplus going towards funding another unit elsewhere.
Sunday 1st March – Family Service led by John Wainright
John’s theme was Lent, the “testing” of Jesus in the desert – Matthew 4, vv 1-11 (read by Frank Palmer) – and some ideas for us as we go through the Lent period.
Sunday 23rd February – Family Service led by Revd. John Steele
John’s Themes were about transformation and transfiguration – 2 Corinthians 4, vv 3-6 and Matthew 17, vv 1-9 (read by Janet O’Connor).
We started with the “Ugly Duckling” , then God’s Glory as seen in Jesus (1) – as seen by us and through us (2) – and as seeing our world through different eyes (3).
Sunday 16th February – Family Service and Holy Communion, led by Revd. Carole Elphick
A new chuch layout for Communion and an old friend back to lead our worship.
Carole’s reflections were on the decisions we must make – not the least of which was the colour of scarf to wear!
The real meat of her reflections on the readings from Deuteronomy 30, vv 15-20 and Matthew 5, vv 21-37 (read by Jean Morse) is in the video clip below.
Sunday 9th February – Family Service led by Tony Alderman – 11.00.
It was really great to have Tony back to lead our worship after his latest brush with the NHS. Their attempts to lose him in the system (somewhere between UCH and Royal Free) would be a fine “Patient Story” for our NHS Commissioners to reflect on. For us, as “Patient, patient Mark 2” , they were great comedy – vintage Tony!
Having, as usual, found a message for us in his experiences, Tony went on to share with us his thoughts – “Taught by the spirit” – on the three Bible readings. Kathy Howe read Isaiah 58, vv 1-12, Tony 1 Corinthians 2, vv 1-16 and then Kathy finished up with Matthew 5, vv 13-20,
With Storm Ciara in full flow we were a little light on attendance. If you would like to hear or re-live Tony’s gems, click on the video clip below.
Sunday 2nd February – Family Service led by Dr Geoffrey Peterson
Geoff continued his recounting of Jesus’s early life and Baptism in this 4th week of Epiphany. His insights on the Beatitudes (Matthew 5) formed the second part of his address.
Christine Emanuel was in church today – a very welcome visit, but tinged with sadness as her Moravian church has recently had a fire and they are currently worshipping in a hall.
Mike Findley – 26th January
Mike gave us his thoughts on Jesus’scalling of his first disciples (Matthew 4) and “The wisdom of the Cross” (1 Corinthians 1).
Fredwyn Hosier – 15-12-19
An inspirational pre-Christmas message from Fredwyn.
Anne Walton – 8-12-19
Tony Alderman – 1-12-19
David Aplin – 24-11-19
Mike Findley – 17-11-19
Remembrance Sunday 10-11-19
my world, my universe.
Fredwyn Hosier – 3-11-19
Fredwyn shared her thoughts on the lectionary readings of Habakkuk and Luke 19 (The Tax Collector) – which were read by Marion Poulton.
Baptism of Isabella Ford 13-10-19
We were delighted to have a very full church again for Isabella’s Baptism Service, led by Anne Walton. Anne did her “magic water” demonstration and children demonstrated their faith in Anne by passing under the upturned glass. The address reflected on Jesus’s Baptism, in preparation for Isabella’s.
To see scenes from the Service, click below.
Esther Krakue comes into Membership 18-8-19
Today we welcomed Esther into membership of our church at a Communion Service led by Revd Dr Nick Brindley.
We were joined by our friends from Brookmans Park URC and were also very pleased to have Rosemary Sargeant and members of her family with us.
Nick and David Ramsay, our Church Secretary, welcome Esther.
Sunday 28th July 2019
A very special Sunday, with the return of (Revd) Jeanne Ennals – looking as sprightly as ever after her hip operation – to lead worship.
We were also so pleased to see Rosemary Sargeant, brought in by her relations for some spiritual food, before going off to the Admiral Byng to feed the body.
There was a lot to catch up on, both before and after the service – so much so that we ran out of coffee. And that’s something we never do!
With so many people to talk to, Jeanne was (almost) the last person to leave – with our duty officer waving her keys (a put-up job of course).
Jeanne will be back with us on the 15th September.
It was a very moving service, so if you’d like to relive it, please click on the triangle in the image below.
Sunday 16th June 2019
Today we welcomed Ali Araghi into membership following his recent Baptism.
Nick’s sermon was about the Holy Trinity.
Sunday 9th June
A bittersweet moment this week as our Minister Nick told us that he could no longer sustain the full-time workload of serving two churches and would focus his reduced working hours on our sister Church in Brookmans Park.
Following Nick’s serious illness, he and his wife Pam showed amazing courage and perseverance in the recovery period and we followed with joy each new step along that journey. We now know that the ambition to return to full-time leadership of our two churches has placed a heavy load on them both and is now negatively affecting Nick’s health. In short, he is exhausted.
We pray that this move will provide a rewarding and sustainable future for them both.
Sunday 2nd June.
We were doubly blessed this Sunday. Our choir could postpone their rendering of “Oh for a closer walk with God” no longer – despite their misgivings – and it turned out fine!
We welcomed back Carole Elphick a long-time friend and the day’s worship leader. Carol’s sermons always have those quirky bits – her children describing Jesus’s ascension as the “blast off”……….
………. and those feet up in the ceiling of some churches, reminding those below that he’s up there somewhere.
The choral piece and Carole’s sermon are to be enjoyed (again?) below.
Baptism Service for Ali Araghe – Sunday 26th May 2019
A very special Sunday evening.
Ali Araghe – probably better known to us as Mosayeb Areghi’s nephew – who had supported his Uncle as he came into membership, had asked for a full Baptism before he too came into membership of our Church.
A full immersion is Baptism is not on offer at our church, but fortunately our Minister Nick and his good friends Joel Mercer and Roger Taylor had a solution. We could all attend the evening service at the Potters Bar Baptist Church and Ali could have a full immersion Baptism – and so it was on Sunday the 26th May.
Unfortunately, Joel was ill that evening, so Roger agreed to do what he called the “wet part”, leaving Nick to conduct the joint Service with our friends at Potters Bar Baptist Church. For those of us who had never experienced a full immersion Baptism this was a great new experience as well as a very moving Service.
Ali was supported by Tony Corfe, one of our Elders, who also did the “wet part” – probably a “first” for Tony as well.
We are now looking forward to welcoming Ali into membership in a second Service at our Church.
If you’d like to see more, please click on the triangle below to see highlights of the Service.