It is hard to believe we are now into the sixth month of no church services in our actual church building. There have been, of course, plenty of services and meetings to join in with on radio, TV, via computers etc, but all of these things have not been available to everyone. It will be so good to actually see our friends sitting in their usual pews, seeing our Minister and our loyal lay preachers in the pulpit, singing our favourite hymns, and hearing sermons and readings etc.
When our Minister returns from his annual leave, we will be discussing if and when Braishfield URC will be allowed to open, if we will be able to social distance and the Risk Assessment etc. Let's hope re-opening won't be too far away and we will be able to "get back to normal".
We send our deepest sympathies to families and friends who have lost relatives at this sad time.
We send our best wishes to those who have been in hospitals and care homes recently and those who are waiting for test results.
Our thoughts and prayers are with you all.
Best wishes to everyone from us all at Braishfield URC.
Don’t forget MAGAZINE DEADLINE: this Sunday!
AGM and Church Meeting arrangements: The Abbey URC AGM and Church Meeting on Wednesday 16 September will be going ahead as planned at 7.30, but not in church. There are technical difficulties surrounding voting and enabling people to contribute from home by Zoom into the church, and at the moment we are not sure how the new restriction to a maximum of six-people meeting together applies to our attending in church (we are still allowed to meet for worship on a Sunday).
The most important thing we need to do at our AGM is vote for people to serve the church as elders. Here you will find a voting slip with names and the term of service each person has agreed to. If you wish to vote secretly, please complete the form and post through the letterbox of the Manse, Derek H, Peter W or Reg P by the afternoon of Monday 21 September. Reg P will then count the votes and the results will be published in the weekly News sheet of 23 September. If you are not able to print the voting-slip please write your own, stating your acceptance of nominees. If you are happy to vote in confidence via Revd Mike please do so by email or phone, again by the afternoon of 21 September. Andy B will send out AGM and Church meeting papers in the usual way. join us via Zoom (HERE, meeting ID: 821 1876 1237, password: business).
Many thanks, we look forward to seeing you on Wednesday evening!
There will be a new Bible Study on Zoom, taking place on the first Sunday evening of the month at 6.30, beginning on 4 October. Details of the Zoom link will be available in next week’s news sheet and in the October monthly newsletter.
IMPORTANT: AGM Voting: we will be using Zoom “Raise hand”. This means we don’t have to scroll through everyone to see if they physically have their hand up. You will need ‘Raise hand’ to vote to accept the accounts, etc and to attract the chair’s attention if you want to address the meeting.
How do I do this?
On laptop/desktop: at the bottom of the screen click bottom centre ”Participants” button and you will see a button called “Raise hand”, press to vote. Press “Lower hand” once votes have been counted.
On tablet, iPad or phone – when you tap the screen there is a series of three dots/MORE. Tap on the dots and select ‘Raise hand’, please tap to “Lower hand” once votes have been counted.
If you wish to practise, please join the meeting early, after 7.15pm. Thank you.
The next Thursday Communion will take place on Zoom this Thursday, 17 September, at 10.30 am. Have your bread and wine ready! The Zoom link is below.
The new Rule of 6 will not affect your worshipping in the church, unless your ‘bubble’ contains more than 6 people. The things to remember are 4 Ds and a V: Distance – 2 metres, Density - not too many people, Duration – not too long, Direction – face the same way, Ventilation – we leave doors and windows open.
THURSDAY MORNING COMMUNION
It has been good to hear how so many of you have found the Sunday morning service so valuable, whether you are able to join together on the Zoom app or by following the paper copy at home at the same time.
The Worship Group recently talked about how we can develop our use of Zoom to enhance our community worship and spiritual life, and have decided to begin holding on Zoom the monthly Thursday morning Communion service that used to be held in the Abbey Hall Lounge.
There will be no paper or email copy of this service distributed in advance, since the prayers surrounding the Communion have been largely unscripted, but you can still join in!
The basic service outline looks like this:
The Psalm for the previous Sunday (see Prayer Meeting)
Remembering the Last Supper (using Matthew 26:26-30 or Mark 14:22-26 or Luke 22:14-20)
Prayer before sharing bread and wine (using 1 Corinthians, 11:23-26, or 10:16 & 17)
Sharing in bread and wine (at around 10.45)
Prayers for the world, the church, concerns and celebrations
The Lord’s Prayer
The sharing in the Grace
The first Thursday Communion will take place at 10.30am on 18 June. The Zoom link to this service will be available on the weekly news sheet the week before.
We look forward to sharing with you!
At this current time, we are communicating much more than usual - please remember to save your stamps on your Royal Mail letters. Chris Stratta, from the Leprosy Mission, was to lead our worship on 21 June so in the meantime it would be good to collect as many stamps as possible so that, when Chris finally comes to Romsey, we can present him with a large bundle of used postage stamps to help with the Leprosy Mission fund raising.
If you were able to be in church on 15 March you would have seen the video of A Rocha (pronounced “aro shar”) International and the videos produced by the children showing why they decided to support this charity. A Rocha is a Christian environmental charity which has many projects worldwide supporting animal conservation, re-forestation and many other environmental issues. Please go to A Rocha website https://www.arocha.org/en/ to see the breadth of work they do worldwide. During the service a video was played illustrating the beliefs and work of the charity, the link to the video shown in church is https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ff2MOVruo3I . Thank you to Val who produced the gorgeous cakes, the donations for tea, coffee and cake after the service began this year’s fundraising.
This year’s World Day of Prayer service was held in our church on Friday, 6th March. It was a lovely and very moving service written by the Christian Women of Zimbabwe with their text “Rise! Take Your Mat and Walk”.
It is amazing to think this same service was held all over the world, at different times, but all on the 6th March. There were a good number of people at the service. We thank Hannah and Gill for organising the service and Joan for organising the refreshments after it.
Thanks also to all who came to the service and to those who did readings, played the music, and the video for us all to see. Next year’s World Day of Prayer service will be at Braishfield URC on Friday, 5th March 2021 so see this as an early note for your diaries!
We reported on our presentation of the church 2019 charity project cheque to Hampshire Search and Rescue in last month’s magazine, but I just wanted to say how nice it was to be able to include a photo of Joan Glister presenting the cheque to Alison Chestnut and Trevor Vidler from the charity in that report. We hope to be able to share more photos from various church events now the magazine has gone to colour!
I would also like to repeat my thanks to everyone who supported the church in its fundraising efforts for Hampshire Search and Rescue. It was so wonderful to be able to give the charity a cheque for £1,408.80, which we understand will be used towards new hand-held microphones, which are much needed in their work. Any money left over from that will be going towards fitting out their new Control Van. What a wonderful job this charity does and we are pleased we have been able to help them a little.
The charity we are supporting in 2020 will be Mercy Ships. We heard more about their work and what they are involved in during our service on 16th February, when we launched the charity as our project for the year. We trust some events towards this will soon be organised. If anyone would like to put on an event for us, please let me know so we can get the date in our diaries.
WESSEX SYNOD YOUTH EXECUTIVE MEETING
This Valentine’s day I made my way to Fleet URC to begin our first Wessex synod youth exec meeting of 2020. I had a super time and alongside the discussions and work it was really nice to catch up with my friends on the exec. We covered all of the agenda by Saturday evening which doesn't happen often and meant that we could elaborate on any previous subjects again if we wanted to.
We planned the layout for the next meeting which takes place in May and is also an open meeting which means young people not on the WSYE can come along and still input their views regarding the topics. Along with planning we wrote out our report of what we have been up to in order for it to be read out at general assembly. I had a really good time and we all look forward to keeping up with what is planned so far for the rest of the year!
On Saturday, 8 February our members and friends gathered to celebrate Burns night in style with good food, a ceilidh and a wee dram. Robert Burns was born on 25 January 1759 and, since soon after his death in 1796, Burns enthusiasts have been celebrating his life and his genius annually with Burns Suppers. The Chair, Derek Hiscocks, called the guests to order and all stood to receive the haggis, piped in by Marcus White. The “beastie” was carried by Richard, the chef, and escorted by Carole Cox with the dram. At the front they met Ian Caldwell, who then addressed the haggis with zest and gusto!
Alfresco Catering prepared and served the delicious meal of salmon mousse, followed by traditional haggis served with a whisky sauce, neeps & tatties. This was followed by 'tipsy laird', a gorgeous raspberry sherry trifle and the meal rounded off with fresh coffee and mints, accompanied by excellent home-made shortbread. During the meal the guests were entertained with recitations of Burns’ work; “Banks o' Doon” by Margaret Caldwell and “Epistle to a Young Friend” by Willie McKenna.
After the meal, John McGhee toasted the Immortal Memory of Robert Burns, the Loyal Toast was proposed by Ian Caldwell and the Chair, Derek Hiscock, proposed toasts to “Oor Guests” and to absent friends. Then Dicey Reilly & Guests had everyone on their feet taking part in the ceilidh; partners were found and dances learnt, thanks to the caller’s patience and enthusiasm. The music was excellent and had those not dancing, tapping their feet and clapping along. During the break, allowing guests and band to catch their breath, the raffle was drawn; the kindness of local businesses was hugely appreciated.
The ceilidh resumed with more fun and laughter; the band and guests could have continued until the early hours, however at 11pm the time had come to wish friends goodnight and Derek gave the closing vote of thanks, congratulating all those who had a helped organise the event. Derek said “heartfelt thanks to the caterers, the food was delicious. The hall looked amazing and the enthusiasm of the band made for a very special event. Special thanks to Photoflair, Romsey for taking the photos and providing lasting mementos of the evening.” The night was rounded off by a rousing rendition of Robert Burns’ most widely known work, 'Auld Lang Syne' before the guests wended their weary, but happy, way home.
Thank you all for your support, we have raised £495.74 for church funds.