Worship

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 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.

June – On behalf of the Elders

Dear friends

Will you, won’t you?

For the last couple of months, we have experienced the cautious re-opening of our church for Sunday Worship and the restarting of some of the community activities in our church halls. Our Church Nursery has operated throughout the lockdown period (as far as Covid regulations and periods of self-isolation have allowed) and we give thanks for the creativity and dedication shown by the staff.

Though the numbers in church on a Sunday are creeping up, we still continue with our hybrid Church/Zoom model, streaming our Services to those who cannot join us. As a congregation, we can’t sing in church and this keeps some of our members away, but we hope to have music and singing by a small number of people back in the church soon. We are looking forward to our first choral concert by the City Chamber Choir on the 7th July.

We’ve started a Bible Reading session on Thursdays in the church (also streamed on Zoom) and have recently begun to discuss the content of the readings and the issues they throw up. We hope to combine these sessions with a book exchange club and a coffee morning when regulations on socialising allow.

So will you, won’t you – join us?

In recent weeks our sermons & addresses have looked at our understanding of God in the vastness of the Universe, with the billions of galaxies each containing billions of stars that we now know it to contain – so far removed from the biblical story. We’ve been invited to revisit our vision of God, to contemplate something that is Mysterious, Momentous and Miraculous, like the growth of the mustard seed from the parable – and to recognise that from big to small, that a God for the vastness of our Universe is also able to deal with the smallness of each of us.

Experiencing the presence of God in our lives as a real thing (whoever and wherever we are) is the promise of God’s Kingdom.

Covid and the many other bad things we experience or learn about going on in our world are sometimes hard to reconcile with a loving God who can intervene if He chooses to. We’ve reflected on Jesus’ four main miracles and the drama of Jairus’ daughter and the woman who touched his cloak and heard of parallels in a recent true-life story of Jesus responding to prayer and intervening to redeem a situation. We accept that Jesus will not always intervene to redeem situations: people of faith still have bad things happen to them.

We believe that Jesus loves us – in good times and bad – and is with us and helps us. That help comes in many ways. Sometimes it is the gift of the grace to live well in spite of life’s hardship.

So we are also continuing our faith journey. Will you, won’t you – join us?

Robert Hillyard

On behalf of the Elders.

Crown Him with many Crowns !

This is our July and August Church News and there will not be another until the Autumn, so this is a two month-item!    In the meantime Government tells us that we shall shortly be free to enjoy life again and to go about and do normal things without restraint. The crisis of a pandemic is now behind us – yet we must not forget social distancing – just in case. It is a sobering thought that the population – that is a total of about 60 million of us – have been mostly immunised, and so are not at risk of infection, yet the infection rate is rising again. The  actual figure is about 85% so the virus is seemingly feasting only on about 15% of us  yet the daily rate of infection is still alarmingly high which suggests to me that the virus is still dangerously infectious.

In our church life we recently celebrated Pentecost and Trinity and now there is nothing scheduled, in the national church calendar, until Advent when the cycle starts again. Truly it is ‘’end of term’’ and the ‘’hols’’ are upon us.     At Pentecost we were assured that ‘’He lives’’ and that ‘’His Spirit’’ is with us as our friend and support; and then at Trinity we looked back to remember and enjoy all that we have learned over the period since God came among us at Christmas time.

’Crown Him with many Crowns’ is a hymn in our hymnbooks that tells us the story in both a majestic yet wonderful way; I like it very much and it sticks in my mind because of its wonderful way of using words. It is an old hymn – being written in the 1800’s – and carries some ‘old ideas’. It is in my mental folder as rather like Jerusalem in that it is written to great a   tune. ‘’Crown Him with many Crowns’’ goes to the tune ‘Diademata’ rather like Jerusalem and its tune ‘Jerusalem’; however I like the words of the first song but not the second! There is something great about being a Brit and living in the best democracy in the world, what a privilege we have been given!

‘’Crown Him with many Crowns ‘’ was written in 1851, and has two writers and 22 verses, however the accepted song has just 5 verses. It appears in most of our free church song books and ‘’Songs and Hymns of Fellowship’’ and the ‘’Billy Graham Song Book’’ (yes, I remember those times !)

The verses are nicely progressive, with the first containing the thought ‘’Crown Him with many Crowns’’

… awake my soul and sing
 of Him who died for thee
 and hail Him as your matchless king
 through all eternity.

The second vs has the structure ‘’Crown Him the Lord of life’’,

who triumphed over the grave,
and rose victorious in the strife
for those he came to save. 

The third verse tells us to ‘’ Crown Him the Lord of love’’

behold his hands and side,
those wounds yet visible above
in beauty glorified

the next tell us to ‘’Crown Him the Lord of peace’’

from pole to pole
that wars may cease
and all be prayer and praise

and in the final verse to ‘’Crown him the Lord of years’’, comes those powerful words that I talked about, earlier.

the Potentate of time
Creator of the rolling spheres,
ineffably sublime
all hail redeemer hail,
for thou has died for me
thy praise shall never, never fail
throughout eternity .

I invite you to ponder and savour the words and enjoy them! Maybe they are old words, old ideas, but they contain a modern truth that we can all understand, the truth of the Trinity.  The truths too, namely that there is a God and that God cares very, very much for you as a person (John Ch 1 vs 1 to 15).  He sent his Son, Jesus to tell us this truth (John 14, 8 – 12).

Then, His instruction to love one another (John 13); and to believe in Him who sent me, ie Jesus (John 14 vs 11 to 12).

The reference material above comes from the Gospel of John, and you may remember that I noted that it had been written many years after the events and so John had had time to reflect on much that Jesus had taught them some 50 or so years previously. The story about the raising of Lazarus is also in that Gospel. Jesus is told that Lazarus is seriously ill yet tarries for some days before he tells his friends that he is going to visit his friend Lazarus. On questioning Jesus about the timing, he gives a strange and somewhat oblique answer about the day and the night for such a visit. John sees this as an answer with a profound depth of meaning.  ‘’Are there not twelve hours in the day. If a man walks in the daytime, then….’’ What did He mean?

The Roman and Jewish day at that time was divided into twelve hours, sunrise to sunset, and in the light one can work and live; then comes twelve hours when we are unable to work . The meaning being that time itself, and our time, is limited. Our time for belief, commitment, and following him is limited too – because we are human with a life span of who knows what. The message is clear to us today; namely that our choice of life in Him or no life at all means that we should gladly accept His love now, ‘whilst it is light’, in other words while we can. You will find the story of Lazarus in the Gospel of John chapter 11 et seq, do make time to read it, and ponder.

Crown him with many Crowns

 Crown him with many crowns,
the Lamb upon his throne
Hark! How the heavenly anthem drowns
all music but its own.
Awake, my soul, and sing
of him who died for thee,
and hail him as thy matchless King
through all eternity.

Crown him the Lord of life,
who triumphed over the grave,
and rose victorious in the strife
for those he came to save.
His glories now we sing,
who died, and rose on high,
who died eternal life to bring,
and lives that death may die.
 

Crown him the Lord of love,
behold his hands and side,
those wounds, yet visible above,
in beauty glorified.
No angel in the sky
can fully bear that sight,
but downward bends his burning eye
at mysteries so bright.

Crown him the Lord of peace,
whose power a sceptre sways
from pole to pole, that wars may cease,
and all be prayer and praise.
his reign shall know no end,
and round his piercèd feet
fair flowers of paradise extend
their fragrance ever sweet.

Crown him the Lord of years,
the Potentate of time,
Creator of the rolling spheres
ineffably sublime!
all hail, Redeemer, hail!
for thou has died for me;
thy praise shall never, never fail
throughout eternity.

Words by Martin Bridges & Godfrey Thring, tune by George J  Elvey

 I wish you a joyous July and August,

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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