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Golders Green Parish Church – Newsletter
13th May 2020
Our guest editor this week is Sheila
When we moved to our home over 20 years ago the local park two minutes away was just used by Peter, my husband, and I as a convenient walk to the doctor's surgery. In one corner the unkempt paddling pool only had water when the stream it was sited over flooded and we were pleased that our children were now too old to want to play on the unsafe play equipment. On Saturdays the grass area was used for adult football matches, the dressing rooms permanently locked and the toilets not in a good state. Benches along the paths were broken. Dog owners were pleased with the space and this wasn't an area where we wanted to linger.
Move forward to the present day when we are allowed an hour's daily exercise and how different we feel about this open space. Several years ago an open meeting was held attended by about 20 local residents. Ideas were given on what could be done with the area to make the park a safe and pleasant space for all to enjoy, an area surrounded by a mix of housing including flats in tall blocks and converted houses. Today as we walk around the half-mile circuit is evidence of what can be done by a group of volunteers.
A water garden with gravel paths and suitable plants is now on the site of the paddling pool, the waters still leaving pools when it rains. The two wooden benches are carved dragonflies and carved mole, frog, fox and newt can be seen too. The fenced-in play equipment is safe and varied for all ages plus outside a zip wire and large equipment. For adults two sets of outdoor gym equipment are in place. An orchard of fruit trees has been recently planted between the play area and tennis courts where untorn netting has been hung. The locked bowling green, once regularly mown, is now a wild area of long grass close to the club's unused building. Perhaps there are future plans here for a specific wildlife garden or allotments. Old broken benches have been replaced and a new area with benches and planting has just been introduced. An outdoor table tennis table is situated close to the old changing rooms, now a family run cafe, open all and every day during the year. The toilets are open and clean. Parents can sit outside the cafe and watch their children's football matches and other provided activities at weekends and during the school holidays. In the cold of winter men gather inside to play backgammon and chess. Pots of flowers border the cafe.
When Peter and I started our daily walks the daffodils were in bloom. Tulips began to appear below the shrubs turning into pink and white fluffy heads. The May trees, shrubs and fruit trees are in blossom. Birds fly between the branches. On one walk amongst other birds I saw a parakeet, a goldfinch and a flock of starlings, once common but not often seen. Soon the butterflies will be fluttering amongst the greenery. Specific trees are named with brass plaques. The roses planted with lavender around a bench under a wooden arbour are now returning to life as the leaves and buds form.
What a lot can be achieved by volunteers willing to give their time, energy and expertise. During this pandemic crisis so many have volunteered, people who probably thought in the past that they didn't have the time to spare, the knowledge needed for different tasks or they weren't 'team players'. There are many volunteers working in hospitals, homes and for charities but for now are on 'hold'. Everything has changed since the beginning of the year and for most our lives won't return to what we considered 'normal' but there will still be much to be done.
As Janet Grundy, a long standing member of the congregation and a very busy volunteer, used to say "If you want something done ask a busy person, they can always find the extra time." Can you?
Thank you Sheila
On Sunday May 10th, Bishop Sarah Mullally took part in a national on-line service celebrating the work of nurses and healthcare workers. The service was also to mark the 200th Anniversary of Florence Nightingale’s birth. In her sermon Bishop Sarah, who was a former Chief Nursing Officer for England, paid tribute to the work and service of nurses and midwives and all who work in the frontline tackling the corona virus. She emphasised our need to support them now and in the long term and how we as a nation are enormously grateful for their work.
In her sermon +Sarah talked of Florence Nightingale’s life, strong Christian faith and the importance she gave to prayer. Because of her experiences of the dreadful illnesses and sufferings she had witnessed in the Crimea and the Cholera rife in this country too she believed that God wanted to change the world. But she believed that we should not only pray for deliverance but it is we who should work to bring about deliverance. She wrote that she had felt it odd that sometimes we would pray to be delivered from things like pestilence, plague and cholera when the all the sewers ran into the Thames. She had thought that cholera came that we might remove the causes and not that God would remove the cholera.
Listening to + Sarah talking of Florence’s thoughts on prayer I could not help think what a wise and apt message she was conveying to us on how to pray in the situation we face today, as she did in her day. We pray to God, not just to take the virus away but for all of us to use our God-given gifts, knowledge, strength, skills, expertise and disciplines we have, in cooperation, to defeat it and deliver us all. In doing this we pray for each other and, that what we do within God’s love, will make a very big difference.
Nursing leaders are asking the public to ‘shine a light’ to mark International Nurses Day on Tuesday (12 May) and recognise the extraordinary work that their colleagues are doing in the fight against coronavirus.
The day also marks on the 200th anniversary of the birth of Florence Nightingale, who founded modern nursing and pioneered infection control, but is also famous for her lamp.
Time for singing and Praise
Walking down the road, it's rare to see a smiling or happy face, partly because most of us are behind face masks or we wear faces that reflect the gloomy atmosphere of the times. The news, and government briefings remind us of the killing fields and the dangerous times still ahead of us. The lockdown gives us no room for relief through interaction with others. Is it any wonder that people are miserable, and worried wondering when this will end?
This lockdown, which caused Churches to close, has taken away a precious part of my weekly activity. Going to Church, is my time of refreshment in God's presence with much needed spiritual oxygen. I also enjoy the singing. I thank God that there are various online services and worship on offer.
In Romans 12:12 St Paul said to "be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer." St Paul could have been writing to us now, at this time of Covid-19 pandemic. Constant bad news wears one down and steals our joy. I worry about staying healthy, about what the future holds. I'm anxious for the welfare of the family abroad. But l know one can't and shouldn't live this way.
Our reaction and mood at such a time is, for the most part, up to us.
In time of despair, I find that singing, especially hymns and choruses, are therapeutic. This is the chorus l sing a lot, it reminds me to cast my anxieties on the Lord for He cares for us"
"Because He lives, l can face tomorrow,
Because He lives, all fear is gone,
Because l know, Jesus holds my future
My life is worth the living just because He lives."
Let's sing and be joyful at this time when everything is so uncertain. As we sing through our fears and insecurities, there is a resurgence of faith. Hope is revived, we are strengthened.
Psa 47:1-2 says "Clap your hands for joy, all peoples! Praises God with loud songs! ...." Why? because when we worship and sing, our focus is removed from us and our circumstances. We are enabled to lift up our hearts to heaven where our God is seated on the throne. Singing helps us cope with our emotions, whether expressing feelings of despair, disappointment, grief, fear, or of gratitude and thanksgiving.
In Luke 12:24- Jesus encouraged us to look at the birds and compared their dependence on God with ours. Birds are noted for their singing, twittering, and cooing. They have no cares and they trust their maker for their needs. Jesus affirms His care for us by showing how much more valuable we are than birds. Is this not a compelling reason for us to praises and sing every day? I love to hear birds sing, they cheer me up. Our God is also delighted and pleased with our praises, for they are sweet melodies to Him. The Bible tell us that "He resides in the praises of His children."
Let us not focus only on the difficulties of this time, but rekindle hope with singing and praises to God. It is also for our benefit.
We are people of hope. Things will change for good, "weeping will endure for the night, but joy comes in the morning," Those who have lost loved ones can come together as a family again to grieve and be comforted, birds will continue to sing, businesses and shops will be reopened, families will be reunited, Churches will reopen, and we will all meet again, by the grace of God.
Daily Hope - The Church of England Phone line church service - is available 24 hours a day on 0800 804 8044 – has been set up particularly with those unable to join online church services during the period of restrictions in mind.
We, at Golders Green Parish, have received an updated email appeal from HAB, the organisers of the Night Shelter Project. We have been sent the following update with, most importantly, an appeal for essential provision and other kinds of help.
We are so glad that the night shelter guests have been found accommodation by HAB and others working with them. It was a cause for concern that we could no longer accommodate them in our church from the beginning of the lock-down and it is so good to know they are all being cared for at other venues.
Please read their appeal and see if you or anyone you know can help in any way. It would be so welcomed.
NIGHTSHELTER APPEAL FROM AMANDA and TEAM at HAB:
Please read their appeal and see if you or anyone you know can help in any way. It would be so welcomed.
"I have a few updates on volunteering roles and donations we need:
Just a reminder of the food donations we need regularly to include in our bi-weekly care parcels:
Tinned meat (not pork)
Butter/marg small tubs
Tinned veg; peas and carrots (not chickpeas and kidney beans, lentils etc)
Jars of sauces, bolognese, Carbonara etc
Super Noodles with flavourings (Pot Noodles etc)
Individual cooking oils
Sachets of salt and pepper
Long life puddings: Tinned rice pudding/Tinned fruit
Small washing up liquid
Please kindly bring the donations to Homeless Action in Barnet, 36b Woodhouse Road, N12 0RG between 9am and 3pm Monday-Friday.
We also have various non-food items that can be donated by visiting our Amazon Wishlist at: https://amzn.eu/5DT7ICj
Please ensure to put HAB's opening hours (as above) in the delivery notes!
We also have a wonderful HAB volunteer who is beautifying the garden at HAB who has requested donations of pots and plants and nice garden furniture e.g. garden bench.
Lonelineness packs - We are looking for donations of easily accessible fiction books and puzzles (with all their pieces!). If you have any books in Polish, Romanian, Arabic and Farsi that would be amazing!
Volunteer roles needed:
As a result of the build up of food supplies and the lifting and carrying involved we are looking for a strong and fit person to help out at HAB:
Carrying in donations
Carrying out food deliveries to cars
Helping with sorting
Washing up sometimes (we all muck in)
Disposing of rubbish to our bins
Delivery drivers - Clients have been placed in accommodation across Barnet, Brent, Enfield, Hackney, Haringey, Islington, Camden and Harlesden.
Volunteers to pick up clients' medication from pharmacies and deliver to HAB to then be put in the food parcels. If you would like to help with any of these roles, please e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org Please include the following information in your e-mail if you have not previously given it to me:
1. First Name:
3. Mobile number (landline if no mobile):
4. Email address:
5. Which Shelter venue or volunteer community are you associated with:
6. Consent to be added to the Together in Barnet database:
7. Consent for your information to be passed to Homeless Action in Barnet who are coordinating logistics"
Lectio Divina with your family
Resources for families from the Diocese of London
Christian Aid Week begins on Sunday, 10th May. Because of the Coronavirus it’s going to be nothing like any Christian Aid Week you’ve ever seen, but that doesn’t mean it’s not happening! The need among the poorest people in the world is as great as it was before the virus appeared, so we’re moving Christian Aid Week online. There are lots of ways in which you can get involved, through our daily live-streamed worship, fun quizzes, and prayers and other worship materials, and by giving. You can find everything you need here: https://www.christianaid.org.uk/news/coronavirus-guidance-christian-aid-week-events-and-activities.
Coronavirus has shown us that our futures are tightly connected. It threatens the health and livelihoods of our neighbours whether they’re in our street or on another continent. People in poverty are at the greatest risk - they already lack water, food and healthcare, and they will feel the impacts of the virus most severely. Please help Christian Aid help them. We're working together with partners and faith leaders to inform people about the risks, offering hygiene and hand washing sessions, providing supplies to health facilities and training frontline aid workers. We're making sure food packages reach some of the most marginalised families, and ensuring protection for women affected by domestic violence. Thank you for everything you do, and give, to make this Christian Aid Week work for the poorest people in the world.
Please continue to pray for those who have asked us as a community to pray for them
Okey Jnr, Margaret, Yvone, Anna, Jason, Ian, Eva, Juliette, Ivor, Myfanwy, Tim and Dorothy
We at Golders Green Church will continue to offer a number of ways we can and will keep in contact though emailing and phoning each other, the use of Facebook and the website, sending out updates by supporting those who need shopping, prescriptions fetched, letters posted and anything else you may need if you are isolated at home, whether you are in the over 70-year-old age group, or, have underlying health conditions.
The important thing is, PLEASE LET US KNOW. We are drawing up a list of volunteers we can call on to help. If anyone wants to add their names to this, please email Rex email@example.com
A Rocha newsletter is now available
Radio, Television and Online Worship
You may wish to join in worship during this time through television and radio.
Check online, in the Radio Times and elsewhere for details:
Songs of Praise BBC 1, Sunday afternoon, variable times
Sunday Worship BBC Radio 4, Sunday, 8.10am Choral Evensong BBC
Radio 3, Wednesday Daily Service
BBC Radio 4 (Longwave only), weekdays, 9.45am
Big Sunday Service Premier Christian Radio, Sunday, 7am, 8am, 10am Easter Sunday Eucharist A service is usually broadcast on the BBC on Easter morning
Free 24 hour telephone church service 0800 804 8044
Online resources Church of England Daily Prayer https://www.churchofengland.org/prayer-and-worship/join-us-service-dailyprayer
https://mailchi.mp/b9d86a4acdc7/coming-up-from-st-pauls-cathedral-1274047?e=377e26b1db St Paul’s Cathedral have a number of resources available for us to use.
Church of England Online Resources during this time https://www.churchofengland.org/more/media-centre/coronaviruscovid-19-liturgy-and-prayer-resources
Go On-line to " ps://www.achurchnearyou.com", put in Area or post code and find a local church that broadcasts Worship.
Prayers from Christian Aid https://www.christianaid.org.uk/pray/churches/coronavirus-prayers
https://pray-as-you-go.org/ Pray as you Go (a short service each day in the Jesuit Tradition)
LICC have some great resources on their website https://www.licc.org.uk/
Especially on Covid-19 https://www.licc.org.uk/ourresources/prayer-journeys/presence-pressure-purpose/
YouTube - Worship Videos
The UK Blessing https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=PUtll3mNj5U
Be Thou My Vision | Celtic Worship https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XiukM6WHQEQ
How Great Thou Art Celtic Worshiphttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uKGf06YM7rQ
Stand Amazed | Celtic Worship https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zmt5VNnrJIMI
Songs of Praise, My Favourite Hymn | BBC https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dkx9VRqzVCE
May our attitude be as that of christhttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mUn1lbf2rwQ
Fire of Your Spirit - Sarah Libermanhttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eOYJr6lF_Bc
Oseh Shalom (He who makes peace) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2TBDrq2vHxs
Messianic Jewish Alliance (You are Holy) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P86tfWZWwoo
MJA Dance with me/Glory come down https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TEt6pEYKvbE
Heartcry of David Jesus Only You - Martin Smith https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nI7N1JMvtnE
Alternatively, try and tune into Premier Praise.
Do you have favourite worship songs? Please email them to Rex