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Golders Green Parish Church – Newsletter
26 January 2021
This is my beloved son in whom I am well pleased
Greetings to Everyone: Every week we wish each other well in hope and longing for news that will lift our hearts at least a little bit. We look for the good news in the smallest of things. For me it is every morning, no matter what, a Robin sings outside my study window often accompanied by the gentle, melodic call of a wood pigeon, and it is beautiful. Another uplifting but more huge event, I hope you found it so, was the inauguration of the new President of the USA, Joe Biden, bringing, through his speech, promise, faith and hope for the future and, with his Vice President, Kamala Harris, and staff, we are aware of what a great deal they have to do to develop and change lives for all people. But then, oh my goodness, but then, came the poem of the young woman Amanda Gorman, so full of feeling, wisdom, confidence, and future hope. I just sat there and cried. We saw in front of us a fine example of hope for the future when young women, like her and Kamala Harris, strive to overcome the many obstacles and barriers that exist to develop their God-given gifts. Just imagine, they exist in every country, and what could change if opportunities were grasped and determination existed to achieve in ways that were most appropriate to each person, girl and boy, men, and women, and they were enabled to be fully wherever they were meant to be. At the end of the newsletter is Amanda Gorman’s poem to read, hope and remember as it is so apt for our Covid time too.
We have in the newsletter many varied items again. Thank you to those who have sent them in and please keep them coming. Regarding the Nightshelter , we would appreciate anyone who would volunteer to help on a Friday early evening to give out the food to the guests; also, we welcome any donations you may kindly wish to give. Thank you so much to those who have already donated.
The church account details are:
Sort code: 60-09-05,
Account number: 22798730,
Account name: Golders Green PCC
They will be in the newsletter each week. Tim suggested that it would be helpful if you included with your donation something like “NIGHT S” in the reference to make this clear.
Please contact Nehar if you would like to volunteer to help : email@example.com
A big thank you to the staff of Toprak Ocakbasi Restaurant for cooking the Friday meal for those being accommodated at the local hotel during lockdown.
Finally: if you like the peace of Compline you might like to know that every Monday evening at 9.30pm the Area of Edmonton invites all who would like to join in to say Compline together. You will find it on the Area’s website page: https://www.facebook.com/Edmonton-Episcopal-Area-644254219097579
Love and good wishes - Sally
This week’s edition includes:
A sermon from Charlotte
Covid in Iran from Soheil
Self Portrait from Maia
Holocaust Day reminder and prayer from Jenny
Information for programmes for young children who are being home-schooled.
How We Are
A Repeat Message from Bishop Rob telling us about a video that has been made for the Edmonton Area giving details of events in which we can join in
Inaugural Poem from Amanda Gorman
Links to services, hymns, and broadcasts
Archdeacon John’s Sermon
The Marriage at Cana by Winifred Knight
Being the age I am, I have been to quite a few weddings over the past few years – lots of friends, cousins my age, etc have got married in the past five years or so. I cannot think of a single wedding I have been to that I have not enjoyed, but I have noticed that they do elicit quite a bit of ‘commentary’, shall we call it – guests just cannot help pointing out that they thought the chicken was overcooked or they only got one glass of champagne or the bridesmaid’s dress was a funny colour.
Until the pandemic reversed this trend and forced people to reduce their guest lists to all but their very closest friends and family members, I think most couples would probably admit that their wedding ended up being bigger, more expensive, and having more accoutrements than they ever imagined when they first got engaged. A couple of years ago one of my best friends got married. She and her now husband wanted it to be a simple affair just focusing on celebrating with their family and friends. Her mother offered to do the flowers – great! My friend thought. That will save money and I will not have to enter into lengthy correspondence with a florist. But as the wedding drew nearer, the flowers got bigger, and bigger, and more elaborate, and it was decided that every chair needed an arrangement placed on the back of it, and there should be extra flowers down the side of the room, and little jars of flowers over all the tables, and what my friend had thought would be a cost-saving, time-saving device, ended up with her entire house filled with arrangements, and bits of wire and string everywhere, and her mother and an army of her friends manically tying ‘chair-backs’ until 11pm the night before the wedding.
But in her exasperation, she should spare a thought for 1st century brides and grooms. If we think that wedding parties these days are – or were, until last year, big, in Jesus’ day they were even bigger. They might not have had chair backs and firework displays, but to make up for it, the wedding party lasted several days. It was not uncommon for guests to attend the wedding, go to work during the day and return to the wedding party in the evening, for several evenings after the actual wedding ceremony had taken place. And a wedding was, even more so than today, a sort of status symbol; a test of your wealth and standing in society. Friends and relatives attending a wedding today might make snide remarks about overcooked chicken but at the end of the day that does not really matter – but in the first century it was a major social faux pas to have a wedding party that did not live up to expected standards; and one of the expected standards was that there was wine in abundance.
It is no coincidence that this miracle of Jesus, turning water into wine, took place in the context of a wedding. It could have happened at any gathering of a crowd or even with a group of his closest friends – but there is a reason for it taking place in this situation. This is one of many stories in the Gospels about weddings. There is the story of the wise and the foolish virgins; the guests who fail to turn up to the party of the king who gives a wedding feast for his son; the wedding guest who turns up but is thrown out for not being properly dressed; the master who returns from the wedding banquet to find his servants are not ready and the story of the guests who choose the highest and lowest places at the wedding feast. In the Old Testament and in other Jewish literature, many passages symbolize the messianic days as a wedding feast. It is promised that in the last days Yahweh will ‘marry’ Israel in an unbroken and eternal covenant. And in the book of Revelation, heaven itself is described as the wedding feast of the Lamb, the ultimate union of Christ and his Church.
Not only is this a miracle, but it is also a sign. John refers to signs at several key points in his Gospel: the beginning at Wedding, at the raising of Lazarus and at the end, following Jesus’ crucifixion and resurrection. These signs serve as landmarks in John’s narrative so that readers may come to believe that Jesus is the Messiah, son of God. The whole narrative builds towards Jesus’ ‘hour’, the hour when he is lifted up on the cross and his glory is made known. If we look at the structure of John’s Gospel, it is a climactic story.
In Chapter 1, Jesus is encountered for first time and identified as the Lamb of God. In Chapter 2, in the passage we have just heard, Jesus himself warns that his hour has not yet come. In Chapter 3, Jesus explains to Nicodemus that new life from above is only made possible by lifting up of the Son of Man. In Chapter 4, Jesus refers again to the hour that is coming. And so, it goes on. These signs of John’s Gospel are a foreshadowing of Christ’s glory. And that is why we hear this story at this point in the year, during the season of Epiphany, when we celebrate the signs of Jesus' glory being revealed to the world.
Joyous occasions as weddings usually are, they can also be hugely painful events too. They exacerbate to those present the absence of spouses who have passed from this life, whom as we often say in a wedding service, ‘rejoice with us but on another shore’. They intensify the sorrow of those who might have wished to get married but have not had the opportunity. They can be painful for those whose own marriage has broken down. They can cause hurt for those whose partnerships are not officially sanctioned by the church. But what we can take comfort from is that the real miracle that takes place at Cana is not the marriage of two individual human beings – great an event though that can be – but the reconciling of God and humankind. The marriage that the story really relates is the marriage between God and his people, Christ, and his Church. No one can be excluded from the Wedding Supper of the Lamb of God. At the wedding in Cana, the wine did not simply appear, it was transformed from water.
An ordinary substance turned into something extravagant and extraordinary. This is the way with the incarnation itself; the person of Christ did not simply appear. God became a human; something ordinary made extravagant and extraordinary. Marriage is one of the ways in which human beings can get closest to echoing the kind of love God has for us – the kind of love that is so committed that it will share everything, give up everything, sacrifice everything to care for what it loves. The Book of Common Prayer has in its introduction to the marriage ceremony a beautiful passage which tells us that marriage is “signifying unto us the mystical union that is betwixt Christ and his Church, which holy estate Christ adorned and beautified with his presence”. The kind of love that is echoed in marriage really is what the God revealed in the Holy Trinity is all about; an unending circle of love that we are drawn into.
These days, even for weddings that have taken place in the past year, there is so much build up and anticipation before a wedding takes place. Then the Big Day arrives, and for a few hours we are caught up in the wonderful mystery of two human beings making a commitment to each other that echoes the eternal love of the Trinity. The real test is how, within the everyday ups and downs, the joys and the pains and the monotony of the human lives of everyone – both those who are married and those who are not – we keep that fire burning that we glimpse at a wedding, the fire of the risen Christ’s life and love. The onetime Archbishop of Canterbury Cosmo Lang once wrote “It is not too much to say that the main business of the Christian life is to go through the world turning its water into wine.” I talked a few weeks ago on the Feast of the Epiphany about this year, needing to find God's glory revealed in ordinary, everyday acts in the places we are spending most of our time – our homes, which is why we need to ask for God's blessing on our homes in particular this year.
Look for that which is extraordinary in the everyday and the ordinary in your life. Look for the signs of God’s presence and love, a love that is for better, for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health, a love that will not separate, but unite us to him in death.
COVID - 19 PANDEMIC IN IRAN - from Soheil
There are indications that Iran could be among the worst affected countries in the world by the corona virus pandemic and its associated problems.
Iran reported it first confirmed cases of infection on 19 February 2020 in Qom (city in central of Iran ).The government initially rejected plans to quarantine entire cities and areas.
Despite the increase number of deaths, the Iranian government stated that it had no option but to keep the economy and bazaar open. The economy of Iran was already affected by sanctions.
Official figures show that, until January 2021 corona virus cases is 1,354,520 and total number of deaths are 57,150.Some early outside estimates of numbers of covid deaths are much higher than those from government sources(four times more)and government accused of cover-ups ,censorship and mismanagement.
Despite all the facts, Iran supreme leader bans imports of US and British corona virus vaccines.
Really difficult time and situation. My mum is near one year just stay at home and not going outside and no hope for vaccination. Please pray for them and ask God to help them.
God bless you - Soheil
Self Portrait from Maia and her all-seeing eye
Holocaust Day Reminder from Jenny
Wednesday 27th January is Holocaust Memorial Day, the day when around the world we are particularly encouraged to remember the six million Jews murdered during the Holocaust, alongside the millions of other people killed under Nazi persecution https://www.hmd.org.uk/learn-about-the-holocaust-and-genocides/nazi-persecution
/ and in genocides that followed in Cambodia, Rwanda, Bosnia and Darfur. The significance of 27 January is that it is the anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz-Birkenau, the largest Nazi death camp, in 1945.
The Holocaust threatened the fabric of civilisation, and genocide must still be resisted every day. Our world often feels fragile and vulnerable and we cannot be complacent. Even in the UK, prejudice and the language of hatred must be challenged by us all.
HMD is for everyone. Each year across the UK, thousands of people come together to learn more about the past and take action to create a safer future. They learn more, empathise more and do more. Together we bear witness for those who endured genocide, and honour the survivors and all those whose lives were changed beyond recognition. For more information please see the website of the Holocaust Memorial Day Trust: https://www.hmd.org.uk.
You might like to pray this prayer, offered by Churches Together in Britain and Ireland:
God of the past, present, and future,
We remember today the six million Jews murdered in the Holocaust, the millions of other victims of Nazi persecution, and all those who have been targeted and killed in subsequent genocides.
We remember those who, having survived genocide, share their stories with us:
We give thanks to You for the lessons of human stories, both in their suffering and in their joy.
We remember those who stood up against injustice and saved lives:
We give thanks to You for their example.
Together we acknowledge the sacrifice of those that stood together with those who suffered during the Holocaust and other genocides.
And we affirm that every life is loved by You and sacred.
Yet, during the Holocaust too many failed to stand together with their neighbours. Oppression stains Your world and contradicts Your love.
So we pray that You will inspire us now as we stand together on this day in the love that we know of God in Christ Jesus.
Let us commit to remembering:
And glorify God in our words and actions.
We make these prayers in the name of Christ Jesus who through His life, death, and resurrection, journeys with us into the eternal hope of Your truth and light.
You may also find this confession helpful – and challenging! It comes from the Community of the Cross of Nails (http://www.coventrycathedral.org.uk/ccn/), and is prayed regularly by its members around the world. The Community comprises over 240 churches, charities, peace-building centres, and educational and training organisations, all inspired by the Coventry story of destruction, rebuilding and renewal, and active in reconciliation in different ways.
While framed around the seven deadly sins, it serves as a reminder that when we pray about the problems of the world around us, we need to begin by acknowledging the roots of those problems in our own hearts.
The Coventry Litany of Reconciliation
All have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God.
The hatred which divides nation from nation, race from race, class from class,
The covetous desires of people and nations to possess what is not their own,
The greed which exploits the work of human hands and lays waste the earth,
Our envy of the welfare and happiness of others,
Our indifference to the plight of the imprisoned, the homeless, the refugee,
The lust which dishonours the bodies of men, women and children,
The pride which leads us to trust in ourselves and not in God,
Be kind to one another, tender hearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.
How we are:
: We heard during the week that Jason had sadly passed away in the Whittington Hospital from COVID-19. He was such a lovely, kind-hearted man of faith who served the church in Golders Green for so long. We send our condolences to his daughters, Victoria, and Gloria. Tony is in touch with them and when he hears about the funeral arrangements, he will let everyone know. In the meantime, we pray for Jason now at rest and his family.
: We were very sorry to hear that Senator Onyeabor had passed away from COVID-19 in Nigeria. He always attended Golders Green Church when he was in the UK. He will be missed, and we send our prayers for him and condolences to his family.
Simon’s Mother Sheila
: Unfortunately, Simon has just told us that his mother has been taken back into hospital with COVID-19 symptoms. Please continue to pray for her and the nursing staff who are looking after her.
Daniel and Ezim gave us an update on Florence’s progress. She is still very unwell and in hospital in Nigeria where Ify is with her helping to care for her. We send our prayers and hope she begins to make a good recovery.
: Some good news is that Sheila is very much better and out-and about again. Her hospital appointments for check-ups have been good and she asks to be taken off the prayer list. We give many thanks for her return to health.
A birthday card and fruit were sent from us to Tim’s father last Friday on the occasion of his 96th birthday to wish him a Very Happy Day.
Please continue to pray for Rose O who remains seriously ill in Kenya. She tells us that at present she is about to start her third cycle of chemotherapy. She truly appreciates out prayers and sends her good wishes and thanks to us.
Lots of continuing prayers for all those who are ill, feeling lonely, depressed, and missing human contact at this time.
Please send any messages
you would like to have in the newsletter about friends and relatives who are experiencing good as well as not so good times so we can think about and pray for them. It is one supportive way we can keep in touch with each other.
Websites and Video Programmes for Home Learning
Nehar, Anita and Sally have put together some ideas from friends who are engaged in home learning with their children and grandchildren. These are possible resources you may wish to look into to help your children and keep them enjoying their school-in-school:
https://www.bbc.co.uk/bitesize - free
https://www.thenational.academy - free
https://www.literacyshed.com/home.html - free
https://caribu.com/ - app/fee paying Video Calls for Kids 4+
www.bbc.co.uk > programmes Lockdown Learning
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCQ0JQL4wdQd-Xe5hC4PwTg Maddie Moate - You Tube
this looks to me to be fun and science based. There are many sessions covering a variety of areas.
NatGeokids and Natural History websites have been recommended.
Apparently, Westminster Abbey has activities linked with history. Go to their website www.westminster-abbey.org >learning centre and scroll to “Learning at WestminsterAbbey”
Why Do We Forget? | The Dr. Binocs Show | Best Learning Videos for Kids | Peekaboo Kidz
My friend Eva McIntyre’s book, “Where is Lonely?”, has a good selection at the back for young children.All these look very inviting as well as enjoyable. It is so important that, above all at this time, learning for children must be fun (and for parents/carers of course). Good luck to all
Message from Bishop Rob
Bishop Rob has made a video to all clergy and lay people in Edmonton thanking everyone for all they are doing during the pandemic in keeping people together, supported and recognising the frustrations we are all facing at this time. He acknowledges all the many difficulties so many are going through, such as loneliness, having to shield and/or not seeing our relatives and friends.
His talk was not scripted so the Bishop kindly sent the gist of what he said and urged everyone to look at the full video which contains a great deal more information about events and services onto which you can link. You will find it on: https://vimeo.com/500890272
You may like to know that one of the events taking place every Monday at 9.30pm
will be Compline. If you wish to join in please let me know and I will send you the zoom link when it is sent out: ring and leave a message on the church number: 020 8455 1873
or my home number which I think most of you have.
Bishop Rob sends:
his personal thank you for those kind prayers and messages he and for Helen, his wife, received as they lived with Covid, since being tested in early January.
his personal thank you to the PCCs, wardens and clergy for their heart felt and contextually appropriate responses to the rising levels of transmission, and the impact on whether churches should stay open or not. A note also to encourage churches to speak about the vaccine, and publicly encourage our church members to receive the vaccine when offered.
a notice that he is intending to support churches slightly differently in the Episcopal Area this lockdown. There will be produced a weekly online Edmonton Sermon for churches to use (building upon the well- received provision in August 2020). (Video link given above)
notice that we will produce a weekly good news story of hope from across the Area, and at 9.30pm on Monday evenings, there will be a chance for us to come together to pray together over zoom- for any clergy or lay person that wants to join in.
Zoom link numbers
Please find below the Zoom links for our Sunday Service from the Churchwardens.
“Golders Green Parish Church is inviting you to a scheduled Zoom meeting.
Topic: My Meeting
Every week on Sunday from now until Feb 7, 2021, 7 occurrence(s)
Feb 7, 2021 10:00 AM
Please download and import the following iCalendar (.ics) files to your calendar system.
Join Zoom Meeting
Meeting ID: 856 4255 1099
One tap mobile
+442030512874,,85642551099#,,,,*140906# United Kingdom
+442034815237,,85642551099#,,,,*140906# United Kingdom
Dial by your location
+44 203 051 2874 United Kingdom
+44 203 481 5237 United Kingdom
+44 203 481 5240 United Kingdom
+44 203 901 7895 United Kingdom
+44 131 460 1196 United Kingdom
Meeting ID: 856 4255 1099
Find your local number: https://us02web.zoom.us/u/kMd258lAr”
Please download and import the following iCalendar (.ics) files to your calendar system.
Amanda Gorman – There is Always a Light
When day comes we ask ourselves,
where can we find light in this never-ending shade?
The loss we carry,
a sea we must wade
We've braved the belly of the beast
We've learned that quiet isn't always peace
And the norms and notions
of what just is
Isn’t always just-ice
And yet the dawn is ours
before we knew it
Somehow we do it
Somehow we've weathered and witnessed
a nation that isn’t broken
but simply unfinished
We the successors of a country and a time
Where a skinny Black girl
descended from slaves and raised by a single mother
can dream of becoming president
only to find herself reciting for one
And yes we are far from polished
far from pristine
but that doesn’t mean we are
striving to form a union that is perfect
We are striving to forge a union with purpose
To compose a country committed to all cultures, colors, characters and
conditions of man
And so we lift our gazes not to what stands between us
but what stands before us
We close the divide because we know, to put our future first,
we must first put our differences aside
We lay down our arms
so we can reach out our arms
to one another
We seek harm to none and harmony for all
Let the globe, if nothing else, say this is true:
That even as we grieved, we grew
That even as we hurt, we hoped
That even as we tired, we tried
That we’ll forever be tied together, victorious
Not because we will never again know defeat
but because we will never again sow division
Scripture tells us to envision
that everyone shall sit under their own vine and fig tree
And no one shall make them afraid
If we’re to live up to our own time
Then victory won’t lie in the blade
But in all the bridges we’ve made
That is the promised glade
The hill we climb
If only we dare
It's because being American is more than a pride we inherit,
it’s the past we step into
and how we repair it
We’ve seen a force that would shatter our nation
rather than share it
Would destroy our country if it meant delaying democracy
And this effort very nearly succeeded
But while democracy can be periodically delayed
it can never be permanently defeated
In this truth
in this faith we trust
For while we have our eyes on the future
history has its eyes on us
This is the era of just redemption
We feared at its inception
We did not feel prepared to be the heirs
of such a terrifying hour
but within it we found the power
to author a new chapter
To offer hope and laughter to ourselves
So while once we asked,
how could we possibly prevail over catastrophe?
Now we assert
How could catastrophe possibly prevail over us?
We will not march back to what was
but move to what shall be
A country that is bruised but whole,
benevolent but bold,
fierce and free
We will not be turned around
or interrupted by intimidation
because we know our inaction and inertia
will be the inheritance of the next generation
Our blunders become their burdens
But one thing is certain:
If we merge mercy with might,
and might with right,
then love becomes our legacy
and change our children’s birthright
So let us leave behind a country
better than the one we were left with
Every breath from my bronze-pounded chest,
we will raise this wounded world into a wondrous one
We will rise from the gold-limbed hills of the west,
we will rise from the windswept northeast
where our forefathers first realized revolution
We will rise from the lake-rimmed cities of the midwestern states,
we will rise from the sunbaked south
We will rebuild, reconcile and recover
and every known nook of our nation and
every corner called our country,
our people diverse and beautiful will emerge,
battered and beautiful
When day comes we step out of the shade,
aflame and unafraid
The new dawn blooms as we free it
For there is always light,
if only we’re brave enough to see it
If only we’re brave enough to be it
Please continue to pray for those who have asked us as a community to pray for them
Okey Jnr. O, Margaret M, Yvone S, Anna M, Jason E, Ian K, Eva M, Juliette D, Ivor S, Myfanwy K , Dorothy N, Rose O, Mirela B, Mirela B , Marlies A, Florence O, Judy N, Sheila H, David A and Gideon O.
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.
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/