Worship

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.

December – On behalf of the Elders

“I don’t do Christmas”

Twenty-eight years ago, I met the elders of St Andrew’s URC, Borehamwood. They were shepherded by their Interim Moderator, Hamish Hamilton, minister of PBURC at that time. Everything was going well until I said “I don’t do Christmas ………but I do do Easter!” A pause, then I explained that our family went away for Christmas and New Year – we went home to Cardiff! There we enjoyed a lovely family holiday as both our families lived in Cardiff and my family is especially large. What’s more we could enjoy walking the dog alongside the River Taff. How I miss having a river near in Harrow. Of course, we went to church, to Windsor Place URC (as was), where Maren and I were married. Halcyon days.

Necessity is the mother of invention. Or to put it another way “the Lord works in mysterious ways”. The elders of St Andrew’s took the Christmas services especially Alan Myers who is now a URC Lay Preacher. Even when our holidays in Cardiff ceased Alan still took a wonderful, fun-filled Christmas Day service whilst I just floated around chatting and eating. I always assumed that the extra people attended because it was Christmas. Surely it couldn’t be the different service leader?

My thinking was that the Death and Resurrection of our Lord, which we celebrate at Easter, is the very heart of our faith. Easter Day services were definitely mine throughout my 27 years of ministry at St. Andrew’s. Church tradition has always been that the Easter Sunday service is the most important in the church’s year. Just one Easter Sunday missed at St Andrew’s in 2012. That was when I, with some St Andrew’s elders, celebrated Easter Sunday in the Garden of the Tomb in Jerusalem. A never to be forgotten joy.

But what about the importance of Christmas? Almost submerged in secular delights of parties, booze, grub and presents. Have we lost the meaning of Christmas?

I have always loved the Advent hymn “Oh come, oh come, Emmanuel”. One of the advantages of preaching in four different churches in Advent is that I can choose it week after week without boring the congregations witless! Great tune, great words. And what does it mean. God with us, our God coming as a Man. This is not God in human form but God born humbly as a human babe. Our God as a man is unique to Christianity. He lived as one of us; not surrounded by an army of angels (they are too busy singing!!!). It is the old question of the chicken and the egg answered: Christ the babe had to come first.

Now for the adverts:

  1. While preparing the schedule for the Bible Reading Group I was struck by how little the Gospels tell us of the birth of Christ (one chapter in each of Matthew, Luke and John with nothing at all in Mark). But there are plenty of late Old Testament prophecies and we can learn a lot by studying them. Join us in person or on Zoom
  2. This year we are restarting all our Christmas activities including a Carol service, a Watchnight service on Christmas Eve, and a Christmas Day service. If you are around it would be lovely if you can come. If not, how about joining us on Zoom?

bells_002Revd. David Aplin

On behalf of the Eldership

 

 

 

Love came down at Christmas. Love all lovely, love divine, – and why Bethlehem?

We are fast approaching Christmas time – the time of year when we celebrate the Gift from God our Father of his Son – born as a baby, like we all have been. Currently we are progressing from the Equinox to the winter Solstice. I feel that it is the miserable time of the year as we move onward to the coldest and dampest  part of the year with so little bright sky to cheer us !.

      Our sun is almost at its farthest from our Earth, and our dear old planet is the farthest it gets out into deep space. From now we shall soon turn the corner and progress toward our sun again, to warmth and to the growing, once again, of new life. We trust that we shall follow the old path as we have done for millennia and not crash into our sun!  Johannes Kepler’s law predicts that we follow the same path year after year – until we are perturbed by another force! It is a sobering thought that collision with something else in the universe is unlikely, but whatever you set the odds at, since time is infinite, it is going to happen.  We just trust that it ‘’won’t be any time soon’’.

     This year has been a strange year with lots of concern about the virus and its ability to change its nature and strike again. We have had continual lock-downs and this has meant that our elderly folk were forced into isolation. We really do need the cheery-ness of the Christmas season to cheer us up again on this our celestial journey.

     For this December News I have chosen to be inspired by that lovely song by Christina Rossetti – she lived in the mid 1800’s – its only three verses long but they carry such exciting News and thoughts about what happened at that first Christmas.

I am sure that you know the song and are probably singing it already, so let us enjoy it verse by verse. The first verse is

 Love came down at Christmas
Love all lovely, Love divine;
Love was born at Christmas;
star and angels gave the sign
.

The whole of Jesus’ ministry was love in action; just think of blind Bartimaeus who was just a quiet, needy, voice in a big crowd, or the lady with the blood issue who merely touched his clothing. These were both crowd scenes, yet Jesus heard their cries for help and in his love for people responded.   

     Stars and angels gave the sign of His coming.  First Mary had a visit from an angel to tell her was about to happen [Luke 1 vs 26 to 38] and that the child was very special being the Son of God. An angel visited Joseph when he was perturbed about his newly espoused wife to be, the visitor told him that the Baby was to be called Jesus. The third appearance of angels was to the shepherds in the fields around Bethlehem. They were told that the Christ the Lord the Saviour to be of the world had just been born, and in the city of David as predicted by the prophets, both ‘’big’’ and ‘’small’’, Isaiah and Micah and Hosea among them. What of the star? Well that account comes from Matthew’s account when ‘’men from the east’’ visited Jerusalem proclaiming ‘’where is the baby born to be the King of the Jews?’’ and ‘’we saw his star when it came up in the east, and we have come to worship him’’ [Matt ch 2 vs 1,2 ].

The next verse of the song continues:-

Worship we the Godhead,
Love incarnate, Love divine;
worship we our Jesus,
but wherewith for sacred sign?

This verse affirms that we ‘’shall worship ’the Godhead’;’ the godhead being both bodily amongst us and yet divine.   God the Father, Son and the Holy Spirit is the Trinity of which I have been writing these last three months. The sacred signs are in the birth accounts too, in the three synoptic Gospels. The Angels from the Father, and the Holy Spirit who talked with Mary, and Joseph. A  Virgin with child as told us by the prophet Micah, he was a contemporary of Isaiah. Isaiah himself tells of the sign given to Ahaz, who had asked of God, a sign that Israel would be saved from the onslaught of the two great empires encircling him. The sign confirmed that the world would one day be given God’s Son who would be born in the City of David, and would save all mankind The Son was indeed born in the city of David as told us by Luke and his account of the census which caused the Holy Family to move down south from Nazareth to Bethlehem.

Now, just look at the second line of each stanza

 Love all lovely, Love divine

Love incarnate, love divine

And the third:-

Love be yours and love be mine

Which together resonate in verse three

Love shall be our token;
Love be yours and love be mine;
Love to God and all men,
Love for plea and gift and sign.

For God loved the world so much that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him may not die but have eternal life. 

For God did not send his Son into the world to be its judge, but to be its Saviour

So, here is my story this month of the love of God, the Father, a story of true love in action. The story of a God who really cares for us, his children. The real Christmas story.

I wish you a great Christmas time in spite of the constraints laid upon us by the viral infection.

And now a blessing:-
‘’In the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit’’

May you be blessed as we begin to prepare for the gift of the baby Jesus, and then enter the birth of a New Year.

I wish you a great and blessed 2022.

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.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: