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!
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.
We have other fundraising events planned. Thank you to those who have donated eggs for the Easter Eggs raffle and bought tickets. We will draw the raffle and hope to deliver the eggs to you by Easter. If you want to buy tickets but have not been able to do so, then please let Wai or Carole know and we will organise that for you.
The Bingo evening planned for 6 June may have to be rescheduled – watch this space. We are planning to continue with the skittles evening on 19 October. Please find a jar to save your coins for us, as in past years, as this does mount up and boosts the final total considerably.
Thank you for supporting the Easter Egg raffle. We had 21 eggs and raised £65. if you have won one, it is safe in church. The Bingo Evening and Skittles are on hold at present and we will update you when we have more information.
Sadly, our Easter Fun Club could not take place. We had lots of craft prepared but hopefully we will be able to use the ideas later in the year.
Our Pioneers have been telling us how they are coping with the lockdown and you will find this elsewhere in the magazine. It has been good to see them, via Zoom, at Sunday morning worship.
On the A Rocha website is the following which might be of interest:
- https://www.arocha.org.nz/news/coronavirus-and-gods-creation/ Richard talks of his experience of being in lockdown in Nepal; how it has made him aware of how many countries are involved in supplying his food; how the sounds in his life have changed - bird song replacing the buzz of motorbikes and delivery trucks. His last thought "looking down the row of shuttered shop fronts from my roof this morning, was how quickly and drastically new realities can change our lives."
- https://www.arocha.org.nz/news/projects-you-can-do-at-home/ Among the projects they list for doing at home, is taking part in a penguin watch. Volunteers are needed to help identify the penguins (adults, chicks, eggs) in photographs taken automatically near their colonies.
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.
Our journey through lent, holy week and on to Easter was slightly different this year. However, our cross went up outside the church and was appreciated by all those who passed by.
Amazing news! The Covid vaccine is now being offered to all those aged 23 and above. This is well above the target of July and will, hopefully, mean that all over 18s will have been offered their first vaccine before the start of July! We are extremely grateful for the efforts of the teams of volunteers around the country to reach this target – thank you!
It was lovely to welcome so many people in church last Sunday. Some we haven’t seen in person for a while – it was a pleasure to greet you, face to face. We look forward to when we can not only see you and share worship in church, but when we can sing praises and enjoy coffee afterwards! We are slowly getting there; I think patience is a virtue we have all learnt since March 2020. Sarah
Vacancies: there are still vacancies that need to be filled at the AGM – you just have a few more weeks to decide which one you would like to volunteer for! Some of the vacancies are:
Finance Group [for further details contact Peter]:
Fabric Group [for further details contact Sarah]:
Cleaning co-ordinator: new role, to be the contact for any queries with the newly appointed cleaning company.
Join us each week via Zoom for:
Kettle’s On social time on Wednesdays from 2pm-3pm (click HEREto join, or meeting ID: 970 815 266, password: 079294)
Sunday Service - please join us for home worship on Sundays from 10.45am-11.15am, with a short social time from 10.35am (click HERE to join in, meeting ID 880 6118 0122, password Heiswithus)
Mid-week Communion - join us at 10.30am on the third Thursday each month by clicking HERE (Meeting ID: 852 4443 7619 and Password: bread). We will be sharing in bread and wine at around 10.45am. Don’t forget your bread and wine.
Monthly Bible Study - first Sunday evening of the month. We will look more closely at the verses we reflected upon at the morning service (join on Zoom: Meeting ID: 864 1780 6994, Passcode: learning).
It was great to refresh our link with Fryers House by nominating them as our charity for our Community Awareness Weekend. We opened the church on Saturday 8 February for refreshments. Thirteen people visited between 10am–2pm and looked at the display about Fryers House and its work. Interesting chats were held with the visitors, 6 of whom were visiting Romsey from Dorset for the day!
On Sunday we welcomed Trish Moody, the Volunteer Co-ordinator for Fryers House. Trish told us how the Leonard Cheshire Homes were founded and the work they now undertake with their severely disabled residents. Trish co-ordinates the volunteers at Fryers House and organises much of their activities within the community. For her, this is a two-way street with the community helping them, whilst they also offer their skills and gifts back into the community.
One such offering has been the purchase and maintenance of a defibrillator for use by the local community. Fryers House will also be opening their very own Sensory Garden later this year and hope to make this available to other community groups.
We often make the mistake of looking at ourselves as the “abled” whilst people like the residents of Fryers House are labelled “disabled”. Mike, in his sermon for the Community Awareness service, spoke of the Japanese tradition of Kintsugi. This is the tradition whereby broken pottery is repaired with a seam of lacquer and gold. Instead of a broken pot the new vessel therefore becomes more beautiful and valuable than its original.
Each one of us is created in the image of God; perhaps we need to look more closely at our 'labels', to see that we are all disabled in some way and that the gold holding us together is God’s image showing through, everyone different in the pattern the gold creates within us.
We look forward to forging stronger links with Fryers House. Start by booking Saturday 25 July in your diary to support the Fryers House Summer Fete in Abbey Hall. Hopefully, Trish will be returning back later in the year to update us on how Fryers House residents have been working within our community.
Saturday, 31 January saw us raising a glass to toast Robert Burns at our annual Burns Supper. Although unable to meet in person, we gathered on Zoom; the bottles were suitably kilted, the raffle tickets were at the ready as we gathered together for an evening full of fun, laughter, music and all things Scottish.
The Chair, Derek Hiscocks, took control of the evening and we joined in the Selkirk Grace prior to Marcus White piping Ian Caldwell to the table carrying the “beastie”. As always, Ian gave the address to the haggis with enthusiasm and zeal – then we raised a glass together for the toast “slainte mhath!” before the haggis was piped out.
We tested our brains with famous Scots, a picture tour of Scotland and 10 tunes hidden within a medley, played by Kirsty; this was followed by the famous Burns’ piece, “To a mouse”, read by Carole. Kirsty had us all singing along (whilst on mute!) to various Scottish tunes and we all scratched our heads over the picture quiz – “Whose knees are these?”!
There was laughter and confusion as we tried to pinpoint on the map those Scottish places we have heard of so often, but are unsure of where they actually are. An origami challenge proved slightly harder than anticipated – however the majority ended up with a Scottie dog.
The raffle was well supported, there was a great many sighs as Peter won the Dundee cake which had been home-baked by Margaret – many were hoping to provide it with a home! Thanks to Richard for leading the Loyal Toast and another sing-along-a-Kirsty, before Derek encouraged us to raise our glasses “tae oor Guests” and absent friends, followed by the toast of thanks.
The evening was rounded off, with hands clasped, with a rendition of Auld Lang Syne. It was different to our usual Burns Supper; however, a great time was had by all and thanks to all who supported and helped along the way; it was a highlight of a very dark January – thank you for joining us and see you again next year!
On Saturday, 14 November, Daniel Symes and I attended the Wessex Synod Youth Executive open meeting, with the theme 'Shine'. It was a super fun day full of getting to know each other, learning about Diwali, thoughts about light and dark, guided meditation and games!
It was run by the members of the WSYE, at the meeting two guests were welcomed onto the exec which was absolutely amazing! We finished the day off with a scavenger hunt, music quiz and glowsticktionary (Pictionary with glowsticks), meaning I now have a whole load of glowsticks all around the house!
The quote for the Synod day was from Harry Potter since the theme was shine and I believe it’s very apt for this time...
"Happiness can be found even in the darkest of times, if only you remember to turn on the light.”
It is now a year this month since we last met in Braishfield United Reformed Church for Sunday worship.
It was also in this month a year ago we discovered that we had two visitors join us in the church (the mice!). There is no sign of them now as Rusty has called in to make sure all is well in the church. We hope our visiting mice have found a new home elsewhere.
The Minister has a date in mind – the first week in May – when we may re-open Braishfield United Reformed Church for Sunday worship.
Naturally we have to wait for any restrictions to be lifted by then. We will let everyone know as soon as possible when we can re-open. We have missed everyone!
The good news is that all of our congregation seem to be well and are still coping with the recent lockdown.
Sadly though, there have been a few people in the village who have had or have Covid-19. We send our love, best wishes, and prayers to all who have been affected with this horrible virus.
We look forward to getting together again before too long. Meanwhile, we hope everyone keeps safe and well.