Golders Green Parish Church – Newsletter
04 August 2021
All are Welcome, all are Welcome, all are Welcome in this Place
Greetings to Everyone
How good and joyous to hear on Sunday Tony announce that we have a new incumbent who will be starting in September. It was not surprising that everyone in church, and I expect on zoom, all clapped at the news we have been waiting for. In his article below Tony will give you all the information. It has been quite a wait and lots of prayers have been said by all of us, so now we give thanks that our wait is over. Thank you too to Tony, Pam, Bishop Rob, Archdeacon John and Area Dean Julie, for all your work and time you put into the long appointment process.
How good it was that Nigel T was with us again this week. We thank him for his sermon which is printed below.
The newsletter contains a message about the Climate Change Conference taking place in Glasgow in October with a request to us to hold a Climate Change Service along with other churches round about that time.
My granddaughter, has written about her summer job, caring for Horses and Donkeys, in a sanctuary near her home. Most of the animals she looks after have been cruelly treated and neglected. She writes of how it takes a long time to gain their confidence but when they do their different personalities start to come through and some can be very cheeky. She loves the animals but gets very sad when she tells us about their histories- and so do we. What makes people treat animals in such a way, with much cruelty, is an important question that needs to be considered. Animals are a vital part of creation as much worthy of love and care as we are. Perhaps part of the answer is that those who treat animals with cruelty lack the love and care that should have been shown to them. What do you think?
The book recommendation this week, “What is God Like”, is for our children. You can obtain it from any good book seller. I am quite sure they will love it. There is plenty to talk about in its pages.
Love and good wishes – Sally
This week’s edition includes:
Update from Tony;
Sermon from the Revd Nigel T;
Message from A Rocha - Climate Emergency;
Working at a Horse Sanctuary;
Book Recommendation for Children – “What is God Like?”
How We Are;
Prayers, hymns, and broadcasts;
Update from Tony
So, Pamela O and I, as your parish representatives, are please to let you know that a new incumbent is on his way to us. I made the announcement in person on Sunday, but here is the Bishop’s statement to myself and Pamela:
I am delighted to say that The Rev’d Kamran B has accepted the position of Parish Priest of Golders Green. Kamran himself states “I was ordained as a Priest in 2015 and I am currently licenced as a Missionary Priest in the Diocese of Blackburn. The role of the Missionary priest is involved engaging with other cultures and religions within the Preston Deanery and beyond. Currently, I am working with Iranian and South Asian communities; it is my passion to encourage people to worship in their own languages and cultures and invite them to integrate and work together with the wider church in UK. Mentoring for me is about relationship, trust, prayerful listening, providing a non-judgemental and friendly environment and encouraging the mentee to discern God’s will and direction. I am a musician and enjoy Indian classical music, reading and traveling. I enjoy spending time with my family, going out for meals and movies and playing pool with my children.”
Kamran looks forward to being licensed in Golders Green, and he hopes to move to London during August. The licensing has been set for the 14th of September.
Please pray for Kamran as he prepares to move with his family.
I will be asking Kamran to do us a note about himself. I am not sure what we will do about the 14th as yet as space is limited. I am looking into this to see how many we can reasonably have in the main building so watch this space. Also, we will need to look at how we welcome Kamran into the family in Golders Green, so again watch this space.
A note on the music below - Purify My Heart and Hiding Place. Most of you will know the first and I hope this is something we can pray for ourselves and each other. The second is relatively new: I heard it first the other day and wanted to share this with you all - Jesus is where we go to hide, where we go to find a haven, a safe place.
YouTube - Worship Videos of the week:
"Christ in the House of Mary and Martha"
depicting Jesus and companions as Chinese by an unknown artist
JESUS: THE BREAD OF LIFE
One of the abiding images from the early stages of lockdown – but still in use - was portrayed in the BBC1 theme before their programmes – it was the hands kneading bread. It seems that last year one of the most popular pastimes in lockdown was making sourdough bread - and I can vouch for how good it was because my son became a weekly maker of such bread; production has tailed off more recently, but it is delicious when he does it! There is nothing quite like fresh bread; think of the smell as you pass a bakery early in the morning.
It is not surprising since bread is one of the essentials of life! In John’s gospel chapter 6 Jesus has already miraculously fed the five thousand, and walked on water, and the next day when crowds find him on the other side they ask him, “When did you come here?” Jesus turns the question round by looking at their motives for coming to him, “You are looking for me not because you saw signs, but because you ate your fill of the loaves.” Their stomachs had been filled, but Jesus wants them to understand more deeply what he is about. “Do not work for the food that perishes, but for the food that endures to eternal life.”
The bread had filled their stomachs, but Jesus is saying there is something that can satisfy more deeply. He is not belittling working for a living, to put food on the table, but he wants them to go beyond the merely material things of the world, and he is doing it by subtly pointing out that they are hungering for something, otherwise they wouldn’t have been pursuing Jesus!
But what is the work they should be doing? “This is the work of God, that you believe in him whom he has sent.” Belief in the Bible is more than just head assent to certain truths; it involves commitment and action.
There is the well-known story of the great tightrope-walker Blondin, who entertained crowds by crossing the Niagara Falls on a tightrope. One time he took a wheelbarrow across. When he reached the other side, he asked the assembled crowd. “Do you believe I can wheel someone across in the wheelbarrow?” “Yes, of course!” was their enthusiastic response, excited to see what would happen. “Then get in!” he challenged them. None of them would. They believed in their heads he could wheel someone across, but no one was willing to put their money where their mouth was, to commit themselves to trusting this man! That is what the crowd were doing, and we often do with Jesus; we put our trust in our own experience, our own wisdom or plans, rather than in the one who comes from the Father, and who has died and conquered death. That’s why at the end of every day we should pray, as we do in compline each night – “Into Your hands O Lord I commend my spirit.” It will make us ready for our final day when we entrust ourselves in life -and in death - into God’s hands.
And though the crowd wanted to see a sign of Jesus’ authority they were blind to the fact they had already seen him feed 5000.
And there were three facets about the bread that Jesus highlights. The first is that the bread is a gift. “It was not Moses who gave you the bread from heaven – the manna in the wilderness – but it was my Father who gives you the true bread from heaven.” The manna from heaven was not something Moses magically concocted, but it was a gift from God that appeared every morning six days out of seven. Even more so, the bread that Jesus talks about is a gift; it cannot be earned by hard work, it cannot be bought with money, it cannot be earned by attempting moral perfection. It is God’s gift to us. So often religion is portrayed in the media, and sometimes in the back of our minds, as a list of things we have to do; all of them may be good and help nurture our faith and develop our discipleship, but at its heart the bread of heaven is God’s gift to us. Have we received it?
Because secondly the bread is a person, not just a blessing. Jesus is not talking primarily about the Eucharist here, though the Eucharist is the sacrament which embodies the gift. But to those who were listening to him he was challenging them about looking for food, but not coming to him, or putting their trust in him, or listening to him, or believing on him. They just wanted the next fix, their stomachs to be filled. In our journey of faith do we sometimes get caught up in the externals, rather than come to the person of Jesus? The test is whether we still believe in Jesus when life is hard; will we still trust him when the other props are taken away? The externals of faith can be a means, but they can never replace the importance of feasting on Jesus, the bread of life.
Thirdly this bread truly satisfies. “Whoever comes to me will never be hungry, and whoever believes in me will never be thirsty” Jesus is the answer to our deepest needs. People invest their lives hungering for something that satisfies – it may be seeking fame, or popularity, material prosperity and comfort, it may be in relationships or status, in substance abuse, retail therapy or leisure, but at the heart of our universe Jesus says these astonishing claims about himself. Whoever comes to me, will never be hungry, and whoever believes in me will never be thirsty.
This challenges me. Is my life showing signs of looking for satisfaction in the wrong places? Do I know deep down that Jesus is God’s gift to me, and is all I really need; or does my lifestyle reveal that I am still running after other things as my source of satisfaction, and that there is more of Jesus that I still need to discover, know, and experience?
Lord Jesus Christ, you are the Bread of life; forgive us where we look for satisfaction elsewhere, in things that won’t last; we thank you that you are God’s gift to us, and ask that our lives might grow in seeking you, hungering for you, and delighting in you, and making you known to others who have not yet found you, for we ask it for the honour and glory of your name. Amen
Reminder: Wednesday Evening Prayer Time
Please join us on Wednesday evening for our time of prayer at 7.30pm. This Wednesday, being the first one in the month, will be a more social time when we can come together to talk and share our news as well as to pray. It will be especially good to come together to give thanks for the appointment of our new incumbent and look forward to welcoming him and his family.
Looking forward to seeing you.
Please see the zoom link below which is for the Wednesday evening prayer group, and also the link for Sunday.
Church Wardens is inviting you to a scheduled Zoom meeting.
Topic: Church Wardens's Personal Meeting Room
Join Zoom Meeting
Meeting ID: 858 554 5365
One tap mobile
+442034815240,,8585545365#,,,,*400416# United Kingdom
+442039017895,,8585545365#,,,,*400416# United Kingdom
Dial by your location
+44 203 481 5240 United Kingdom
+44 203 901 7895 United Kingdom
+44 208 080 6591 United Kingdom
+44 208 080 6592 United Kingdom
+44 330 088 5830 United Kingdom
+44 131 460 1196 United Kingdom
+44 203 481 5237 United Kingdom
Meeting ID: 858 554 5365
Find your local number: https://zoom.us/u/aemYT2p1YY
Join the Climate Sunday call to act ahead of COP26 – From A Rocha UK (Eco Church News)
We have been asked a question by A Rocha UK from whom we get a regular newsletter on Climate and Environmental issues. It is for us to consider. “Could your church host a Climate Sunday service and join over 1700 churches that have already committed to taking effective climate action via the Climate Sunday initiative?”
There is deep concern among climate specialists within the churches and charities, that the UK government is undermining its influence to deliver a successful COP26 outcome by failing to implement policies to achieve the UK’s own emissions targets and by slashing the UK’s overseas aid budget. A Rocha UK CEO Andy Atkins, who also chairs the Climate Sunday Initiative, said: “At present the government is in danger of ‘building back worse’. So, there has never been a more crucial time for UK churches to come together to pray, act locally and speak up nationally on the climate crisis and on the need to ‘build back greener’”.
With less than 100 days until the UN climate negotiations (aka COP26) in Glasgow, the coalition is calling on every church in the country to hold a Climate Sunday before COP, and at that service, to commit to ongoing climate action itself (such as going to the next stage of Eco Church within a year) and to sign the “Time is Now” declaration. The latter calls upon Prime Minister Boris Johnson to bring out domestic policies to get the UK back on track with its own emissions targets and, at COP26, to seek faster and deeper global emissions cuts and the delivery of long-promised finance to help poorer countries adapt to climate change.
The Season of Creation (1 September - 4 October) is an ideal time to host a Climate Sunday service, coming as it does just weeks before the critical climate summit. More details on Climate Sunday are to come, including a full range of free resources, that can be found below.
The Climate Sunday initiative is calling on all local churches across Great Britain & Ireland to hold a climate-focused service on any Sunday before COP26 (November 2021). At this service, congregations are encouraged to make a commitment to greater action to address climate change in their own place of worship and community and to use their voice to tell politicians we want a cleaner, greener, fairer future at the heart of plans agreed during COP26.
A selection of service materials are available below to help you plan your Climate Sunday. Please remember to register before 5th September 2021 so we can count you in!
And for inspiration, you can watch a selection of services that have already taken place.
Music & Hymns
Working at a Horse Sanctuary – Francesca
A month ago, I started volunteering at a horse sanctuary in Elstree. I had come across it during a walk, and since I was looking for something to do over the summer, and I adore ponies, I decided to look it up, hoping they might have a position for me. I was delighted to find that Cecil’s Horse Sanctuary is always looking for volunteers, so I applied right away. On that same day, I was accepted, and I couldn’t wait to attend my induction day the next week.
Cecil’s is a sanctuary for any unwanted, old, mistreated and ill horses. Not only do they care for horses and ponies, but they run open days in which visitors can help groom our Shetlands, take them for a walk and learn about the ponies that live there. Every pony has their own story, which are both heart-breaking and uplifting. Here are just some of them;
Remi is a sleepy-looking Shetland, and a particular favourite of our more shy visitors. He is so gentle; he had been known to drift off to sleep when being groomed. It is unthinkable that he was almost sent to an abattoir, and for no reason other than the previous owner no longer wanted him. It was very lucky that the person who came to collect him and take him to the abattoir thought he was so cute and couldn’t imagine putting this perfectly healthy horse down. He asked Julie, the founder of Cecil’s, if she would take him, and of course she said yes. He now lives with a herd of very cute Shetland ponies, playing about in his paddock and snoring away while our visitors groom him on our open days.
Bramble’s story is a heart-breaking one. He was found in a brambles bush with a terrible infection called red worm. This parasite is very dangerous to horses and threatened to do lasting damage. It took a long course of treatment to rid him of it, only to find out that he also had liver damage. He was very sick for months and no one was sure if he would make it, but Cecil’s never gives up on horses like him. He is now a healthy, majestic-looking horse, the leader of the main herd of ponies, and loves to bring all his friends down to see the visitors when he knows it’s open day.
At the top of Cecil’s Horse Sanctuary is a paddock lovingly nicknamed ‘The Hospital.’ This houses many of the ponies who cannot be in the bigger field due to their conditions, but rather than this area being a sad one to see, anyone who sets foot in it will instantly fall in love with the characters who live there.
Noodles is one of them. Not only is his name just adorable, but he has a soft, stunningly white coat (if he hasn’t been rolling in mud that is) and a very gentle personality. He was taken in by the owner and founder of Cecil’s when he was just a foal, having been deemed useless by his breeder on account of him being totally blind. Had Cecil’s not taken him in, it is more than likely he would have been put down. Thankfully, he has had a great life, having spent it being ridden and playing with his friends. He has unfortunately had to undergo surgery to remove one of his eyes, but since it was only causing him pain and he couldn’t see out of it anyway, he is much better since. He also made one very important friend. Cecil’s is home not only to many rescued horses and ponies, but to a donkey called Lily Dee. Known also to some of the volunteers as ‘The Princess’ Lily loves to be pampered as much as she loves rolling in the mud and looking after the other ponies in her paddock. She lives in stables next door to Noodles and leads him around the paddock if he gets lost. There is no cuter sight than Lily coming to Noodles’ rescue when he can’t find his way back to the stables.
Along with Lily and Noodles, there is the baby of the hospital herd that every volunteer looks forward to meeting. Moli was brought to Cecil’s, just a foal and terrified of humans. He was born blind in one eye and partially blind in the other. He would cower in the corner of his stable when food was brought to him, and he rarely let anyone near him. When I was told this, I couldn’t believe they were talking about the same pony I was cuddling. I had my arm around his neck, stroking his soft mane, and any time I stopped and tried to get back to work, he would walk up to me and get in the way, telling me he wants more attention and more cuddles. He really is the most friendly pony I have ever met.
I have helped look after these ponies for a month now, and it is so rewarding. The cuddles I get with Moli, the nuzzles I get from Remi and the thanks I get when I put Brambles’ feed out, makes me feel like I am really making a difference to these horses’ lives. Cecil’s runs off volunteers like me, but we all do it to ensure these horses, ponies, and donkey feel wanted.
Noodles a nd Lilly
How We Are
: Just to let you know that Margaret’s brother has sent a message saying she is making progress but is still in hospital. It is thought she might be out next week but will only be able to come home when a suitable care package has been arranged for her. We keep her in our prayers.
Afi, Rose’s son, is out of hospital and feeling a little better. We hope he too makes good progress and becomes his fit self again.
We continue to pray for all those in our community who are unwell and maybe struggling in different ways. We think and pray for you all frequently and look forward to a time when we can all be with each other and take part in the services together.
What is God Like?
By Rachel Held Evans and Matthew Paul Turner
I was sitting quietly at the weekend, wishing I had another book for children I could recommend that they would enjoy, when a package unexpectedly came through my door. I opened it and inside was this beautiful book sent to me by my great niece, Sarah, from America. What is God Like?
Written by Rachel Held-Evans and Matthew Paul Turner, with illustrations by Ying Hui Tan. Rachel was a young Christian writer of deep faith, a columnist, blogger and poet, who became very well-known, especially in the States for her spiritual writings and insights that were so infused with love. She had two children, one who was three years old and the other just a few months, when she caught an infection and had a fatal reaction to the medication she was given. There was a great deal of grief expressed at her passing right across America, as well as in the UK for those who knew her here, but especially for her young family. This was her last book. Her husband Dan wrote these words. “We are all fellow travelers through this life. Together we learn to care for one another. Join me in these pages to discover ancient imagery, history, love, dedication to what is good and acceptance of all people. Together, we wonder how we are simultaneously insignificant and grand in this vast universe. Together let us explore the question - What is God Like?”. I think adults as well as children will love it and ponder much on the question and the text.
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 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 by emailing email@example.com
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/