Every Sunday at 11 am we have a Family Church Service.
At the moment our Services are a hybrid of Church and Zoom, with worship led either from the church or from home (via Zoom) at the discretion of the worship leader of the day. Our hymns are played and sung from home and those of us participating at home via Zoom can sing along. Those in church can see those at home on a TV screen and can follow the parts of the Service that are “Zoomed” on the TV screen as well.
We distribute an Order of Service and the Service Hymns via e-mail and include the Zoom log-in details which change for each service. If you would like to receive the weekly invitation e-mail, please let us know with an e-mail to email@example.com
On the first & third Sunday of the month Holy Communion is celebrated at this service. Participants in church bring their own bread.
An edited video of our weekly Service can be viewed on our Services Page.
May – On behalf of the Elders
It is my turn to write this month and once again it is my personal feelings that I start with.
As we eventually got through 2020 with all the problems we all faced, one way or another, we hoped that 2021 would be much better. However, for our church this did not prove to be the case. We have had no less than five deaths from our church and one lay preacher. Starting with my friend Albert, dying over the course of one day, which was a horrific experience, followed by Mary Cook, Doreen Cameron, and recently our dear friend Joan Knott
Joan & Ken Knott became members of our church in 1979, followed by their son John and daughter-in-law Sharon and then their children Gemma and James. Joan was in her nineties and in our July/August Magazine a picture appeared of her on the telephone as John was helping her to log in to the Zoom Service, looking so well styled as she always did. So the year did not begin well. As a minister once said to me “ If you experience love – for a mother, father, husband, wife, friend – and even the Queen – you will also experience sadness and grief.” Unfortunately this is true.
However, to a brighter future. As things are gradually improving, and lockdown is becoming less strict, we can think ahead, albeit slowly. On Easter Sunday, I went to church for the first time in many months and there were 15 of us, all wearing our masks, all obeying the rules – except perhaps for a little conversation with a friend, at a distance of course, and it was uplifting. We hope to continue to have services in the church from now on and I do hope that many of you will feel able to join us in time. All our visiting Ministers and lay preachers prefer to be in the church and have done so in the past months. However, we cannot thank those people enough who have brought us together on Zoom through the rough times and we are so lucky to have such expertise among our members who have been willing to give their time and energy to do this.
Nevertheless, with God’s help, the Virus cannot halt or change the beauty of the Spring and whichever way you drive out of Potters Bar, you see banks and banks of daffodils, and in our gardens, we have many colours with hyacinth, primulas, pansies, and lowering shrubs. From next Monday, we are excited to hear that we can have our hair cut and have a meal at a restaurant as long as it is outside.
One other piece of good news is that in the absence of Albert and his organisation of the flower rota, Barbara Corfe has agreed to take on this role and for the present while we have few people in the church, we shall have a small arrangement in front of the communion table. As well as the original flower arrangers – who have done beautiful arrangements over the years for which we thank you, (we shall miss Albert’s of course), we have four new ladies to join the team. We four have no expertise but are very willing to learn. We are continuing with Albert’s rota of those people who have given money towards the lowers on special dates in their lives, but this will be given differently to
the Church. (See Barbara’s article in this News – on pages 11/12).
We pray that 2021 will continue to improve and we send our love and prayers to all the families and friends who have lost dear ones recently and those unknown to us who have been taken through this dreadful virus. God bless you all.
on behalf of the Elders
Spirit of the Living God fall afresh on me …!
The events of Easter, when we celebrated the meaning of the Cross and the wonderful resurrection of Jesus, have come and gone and now we are in the Month of May. The Festival of Whitsun, or Whit Sunday, occurs on 23rd May which is at the end of this News month. We are just over half-way through the period Easter to Pentecost – Pentecost means ‘about fifty days after’, in this case after Easter. In our Spiritual lives we are ‘’in Galilee’’ awaiting the return of the risen Lord. For the disciples it was a time of reflection as they were pondering on the monumental events of His Resurrection. They were anxiously waiting for the answer to the question ‘’and what happens next‘’? We too, as 21st Century disciples, are pondering on the revelations of the Easter-time and asking ‘’what does it mean for us”? “Where does Jesus fit into our lives”? ‘’where are we going”?, “what is life really about”?
Intellectually we have to face up to the question – ‘’How can Jesus be dead and yet now alive”? This is truly contrary to our ordinary understanding; People don’t die then come to life again; it is not in our natural experience of things.
Today you would have to say that life doesn’t go like that. It has never been known before. The mathematics of our universe don’t allow for this type of event. The honest answer to this question has to be that there really is a Creator, or God, who has made our world and who can override his own natural laws if it is in his purpose.
The next question then has to be ‘‘what kind of God is he’’? Jesus himself tells us that our God is a loving father – he uses a very tender word, Abba, here – and that he cares for us his children. God, our Father is concerned for us, you and I, and the lives that we lead. John tells us, in Chapter3 v 16, that he loves us too, and dearly.
The other question has to be ‘’what must we do to respond”? Paul gives us the answer namely that we must believe and trust, and must worship him in a right spirit. We are required to confess our sinfulness and ask for forgiveness. Paul says, believe and be baptised and thou shall’t be saved.
By ‘’belief’’ we recognise that Jesus truly is the Son, the only Son, of God, the Creator.
By ‘’be baptised’’ we signify, or show, that we truly do recognise this ‘Son-ship’, it is an outward sign of that belief.
By ‘’being saved’’ we understand that there is an after-life; in that we go to the Father after our earthly life ends – and that through the Cross there is forgiveness for our sins.
At the present time we are half way through to Whitsun when we celebrate Jesus and his coming again. and fulfilling His promise to send us a helper, namely His Spirit to be with us for all time. The disciples were told to go back into Jerusalem ands await that gift. In a sense we are back in our Galilee and Jerusalem pondering on what happened at Easter and what the Resurrection means for us.
Last month I reviewed the Resurrection accounts and we noted how many of them there were, and also how very many disciples and friends met with him during that ‘’fifty’’ days. Clearly some of them did go back to Galilee, their homeland, and then returned to Jerusalem, to await His coming again.
Luke, in his combined account (i.e. Gospel plus Acts) is consistent in that his Gospel ends with Jesus leaving them at Bethany. Jesus goes ‘up into Heaven’ and they, the disciples and friends, go back across the Kidron Brook then walk the two kilometre or so to the upper town. The Acts account then continues with a recall of this event and then the instruction to stay in Jerusalem to await His Holy Spirit, which would descend upon them in strength and Power. Following this gift of His Spirit the commission to ‘’go and tell’ was given to them. Luke then recounts the dramatic effect that the Holy Spirit had on the formerly frightened Disciples and friends. This is evident in the powerful address that Peter gave to the assembled crowd – he shows no fear at all, just strength and conviction.
Have you ever thought about the change brought about in Peter in that period of about 50 days? On Thursday and Good Friday he was frightened beyond measure, and after some days he was back fishing in Galilee, then he and some other disciples meet Jesus on the beach and feast on fish for breakfast. Shortly after Peter is empowered by the Holy Spirit and is preaching, boldly. Toward the end of his life he writes to some of the churches, that he had assisted in setting up, with words of encouragement. Now turn to his (first) letter and read chapter 1 to chapter 2 vs 10 as a guidance for our ‘’preparation for growth’’,
As a body of believers who have just been released from a frightfully long period of restraint and lock down, let us, too, enjoy the period of Pentecost, feel the Holy Spirit ourselves, and take up the same challenge.
To God be the Glory!