Every Sunday at 11 am we have a Family Church Service.

We are continuing with a hybrid Church/Zoom Service, with worship led mainly from the church, but occasionally from home (via Zoom) at the discretion of the worship leader of the day. Most of our congregation is now back in Church – as is our organist!

Hymns are played and sung in church (from behind masks) and those 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 pottersbarurc@googlemail.com

On the first & third Sunday of the month Holy Communion is celebrated at this service. Participants in church no longer need to bring their own bread.

An edited video of our weekly Service can be viewed on our Services Page.

March – On behalf of the Elders

“ I have a dream that one day every valley shall be exalted, every hill and mountain shall be made low, the rough places will be made plain, and the crooked places will be made straight, and the glory of the Lord shall be revealed, and all flesh shall see it together. This is our hope. This is the faith that I go back to the South with. With this faith, we will be able to hew out of the mountain of despair a stone of hope”.

“ We must accept finite disappointment, but never lose infinite hope “.

Both these quotations come from Martin Luther King.

The first from his very famous speech at the rally “March on Washington “ focusing on his dream of a society where black people and white people live together in harmony.  Hope and faith go hand in hand. The second less well known, but giving a very positive message, came from his address in Washington in February 1968, just two months before he was assassinated in Memphis.

Hopelessness can come to all of us at times causing despair and lack of motivation. The triggers can be traumatic events in our lives or mental health issues. We can experience very powerful emotions affecting how we see ourselves and others, changing our behaviour. We cannot see how to continue in our lives. However no feeling can be sustained forever whatever it may be, sadness, disappointment, excitement or joy, they all pass.

Dr King believed that hope is the single exception to that rule. His positive message from the second quote is that:

Today’s challenges should never stop us from imagining a better tomorrow.

In this time of Lent we look forward to the celebration of the resurrection at Easter.

We pray for the Church throughout the world: that she may be a sign of God’s love for all people and a beacon of hope for all who are in need.  Amen.

Janet Green

on behalf of the Elders


The Church prepares for Eastertime! – the Voice in the Cloud

     In my study article last month we began the preparation for Eastertime. The season of Epiphany ends during February, and the period of Lent follows; the first Sunday in Lent is 26th February. Be assured that the Spring is coming, although February did turn out to be a cold month! Slowly and almost imperceptibly you will have noticed that the length of the daytime is increasing as we move away from the Winter Solstice, and whether you feel it or not, the earth is gradually warming. When this March issue of The PBURC News is published we shall be about three weeks away from the Equinox –equal amounts of day and night – which occurs on 20th March.

 The traditional start of Lent is Ash Wednesday (22nd February) so we will be in the Lent period when you read this magazine.

     My first item in preparation for Easter was in the February magazine, so you possibly have read it and started your personal plan in preparation for the biggest event in human history.  Easter week starts with Palm Sunday – on 2nd April – so Easter will be celebrated in the April News, this month we shall look at our second preparation for Eastertime.

      From last month you may remember that Jesus and his friends were up in the northern territories  near Caesarea Philippi. Jesus was on the way to Jerusalem, however on the way he had gathered up quite a large group of disciples and admirers. The walk became a time of teaching of the crowds that gathered, and in addition he always had time for the sick, the infirm, and the afflicted. Much of his teaching was about the God who loved his creation so very much. This God, the Father, was a God of love and Jesus taught ‘’love thy neighbour as thy self’’ whereas the Jewish religious leaders saw God as a God of Legalism, and so this brought Jesus into conflict with the organised religion of the Rabbis and the Synagogue. Jesus taught a lot about these first two, and greatest, Commandments which God had given the Jewish people through Moses and as a result there were some interesting happenings during His ministry. For example at one time Jesus had fed a multitude of 4000 or 5000 people with a meagre supply of food (two loaves and five fishes), then the religious leaders asked Jesus for a miracle to prove who he was!

     There were times when Jesus wanted to be alone with God the Father and pray; there were times when he felt the need to instruct his group of disciples about His, and God the Fathers’, work that He was carrying out. A time came when Jesus needed to prepare for his reception in Jerusalem and to test the loyalty of his three closest friends. Last month we followed that first testing and time of preparation for what was to come; when He took Peter, James and John away to a quiet place to pray and to test them and their commitment to Him and his purpose. Peter knew who Jesus was and made the bold statement that Jesus was none other than the ‘’Son of God’’.

      This month we stay near to Caesarea Philippi and Jesus takes the same three away to a mountain top to pray in a silent place, this time up a mountain and in real seclusion. The mountain was probably Mount Hermon which is a big, majestic, mountain with mists on its top. It is not a craggy peak but is more of a meadow-covered mountain with a big round top. Mount Hermon is in the hills up near the border bordering on the earthquake area at the top of the rift valley that stretches from Syria down to Kenya, and only about 17miles from Caesarea Philippi.

     Jesus probably had two reasons for choosing this time of preparation for his inner circle of three friends, he wanted to make sure of the support of Peter, James and John for His forthcoming suffering and death, but also to commune with God the Father to be assured that he, Jesus, was doing the will of the Father and ask for his support in what was about to happen. I think that we often forget that Jesus was human and felt pain and disappointments and trials just as we do – there is no ‘magic’ ahead for Him. He was an earthly man and about to suffer and this was a terrible ordeal that was to end in his death in horrible circumstances, yes and for you and me. Let’s follow the story in some detail. Remember that last month we followed Jesus as the great revelation of ‘’who do you say that I am’’ took place.  Peter says outright ‘’you are the Messiah’. This month we do our second preparation for Eastertime by following the event called ‘’the Transfiguration’’.

     The details are in the three synoptic Gospels, in date order they are:-

Mark Chapter 9 verses 2 to 9

Matthew Chapter 17, verses 1 to 8

Luke Chapter 9 verses 28 to 36.

      Mark records that six days later (i.e. after Peters’ confession). Jesus takes Peter, James and John up the mountain to pray, Matthew says the same, Luke differs (in about 8 days) and Luke states that the group is Peter, John and James. You might like to recall that later, and in the fullness of time and after He rose again, that Peter was the first to lead the group and preach the fact of the Resurrection; James leads the Church in Jerusalem; and John goes to Ephesus and becomes a spiritual and thinking leader and lives to a ripe old age

     Mark notes that Jesus’ face and clothes changed in appearance, his face glowed like the sun, his clothes became dazzling white – He was transfigured before them. We remember that Mosses glowed, too, when he came down from Mount Sinaii with the stone tablets of the law – he too had been with God the Father.

      Next, Moses and Elijah appear to Jesus and the disciples see Jesus talking with them; and presumably affirming to Jesus that he was doing the task that God the Father had appointed him to do.

      Peter is so overcome and excited that he makes the trivial suggestion that all three need accommodating in tents.

     The vision continues as a cloud envelopes them all.  It was a shining cloud, it had a shadow and they were frightened what would happen next. We remember that God appeared to the people at the Law giving at Mount Sinaii in a cloud. We remember that God led them out of Egypt from within a cloud to hide his presence. God was in the cloud at the establishment of the travelling temple or Ark used in the desert and at the completion of the Temple at Jerusalem.

Our three Disciples must have known that they were in the presence of God.

      Then the voice:- 

‘’This is my own dear Son – listen to Him!’’  (Mark)

‘’This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.

Hear Him!‘’                                                  (Matthew)

‘’This is my beloved Son, my chosen one!

Hear Him! ‘’                                                   (Luke)

Thus affirmation to Jesus that He was indeed doing the will of God the Father, and that the journey to Jerusalem and Calvary were both necessary and required of Him.

     Some of the Gospel accounts note that they were all tired and at some point ‘’fell asleep’’. The climb up the mountain will have wearied them and then this momentous vision was a lot to understand – so this is not surprising – and it likely occurred in the evening because it was the next day that they came down from Mt Hermon. On the way down Jesus charged them not to tell anyone what had happened ‘’until the Son of Man has risen from death’’

     To conclude our preparation for Eastertime this month, Jesus has shown Peter, James and John that He is truly:-

 The Messiah, the Son of God, the promised Saviour of the world.

Now ponder a while on the words spoken by the Voice in the cloud, which are above in italic type.

     Next month we shall conclude ‘’preparation for Eastertime’’ with that triumphant entry to Jerusalem of Jesus the Messiah, the Saviour of the world, the triumphant Man of Sorrows.

     A song seems to be the fitting way to close this study so I choose a song written by Philip Bliss (1838-76), based on Isaiah 53, for a  meditation – now read that chapter of Isaiah – it is almost explosive!    

Man of Sorrows! What a name
For the Son of God, who came
ruined sinners to reclaim.
Hallelujah! What a Saviour!

 Bearing shame and scoffing rude,
in my place condemned he stood,
sealed my pardon with his blood:
Hallelujah, what a Saviour!

 Guilty, helpless, lost were we;
blameless Lamb of God was he,
sacrificed to set us free:
Hallelujah, what a Saviour.

     I wish you God’s blessing this coming month as we prepare to welcome our Risen Lord,


Geoff Peterson 24-10-21 (5).Movie_Snapshot          Geoffrey Peterson


One thought on “Worship

  1. Mairianna 19/02/2019 at 11:26 pm Reply

    Really great to hear from you Nick. Wishing you all the best for 2019 and may your recovery continue.

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