“In the days when the judges ruled, there was a famine in the land. So a man from Bethlehem in Judah, together with his wife and two sons, went to live for a while in the country of Moab. The man’s name was Elimelek, his wife’s name was Naomi, and the names of his two sons were Mahlon and Kilion. … When Naomi heard in Moab that the Lord had come to the aid of his people by providing food for them, she and her daughters-in-law prepared to return home from there. … So Naomi returned from Moab accompanied by Ruth the Moabite, her daughter-in-law, arriving in Bethlehem as the barley harvest was beginning.” (Ruth 1:1-2, 6, 22, NIV)
In the four weeks of Advent, we’re going to be looking at the four chapters of the book of Ruth. It’s a short book, but one that tells us of love and healing, of God’s promises and care for his people, and of the promise of a rescuer. Ruth also ends with a baby being born in Bethlehem!
I hope that you’ll be able to join us online on Sunday, as we look at the first chapter of Ruth together. Why not spend some time reading the whole of Ruth before we look at it as a church family.
This Sunday we will be livestreaming the service from St Andrew. This Sunday’s service will start at 10:30am, and can be accessed directly, found on our website, and is advertised on our Facebook page.
Because the service is now live, the audio from the 10:30 service will be available (01707 927907) later in the afternoon, once it has been processed. As well as the ‘dial-in’ service, audio recordings of all services are also available through SoundCloud.
Church Family Fellowship
Back to the buildings
With the recent move from ‘lockdown’ to a tiered system (Hertfordshire is currently in Tier 2) on the 2nd of December, we will be able to return to our buildings for gathered worship. There is, currently, no specific guidance in place for churches, but we hope to return to the 8:30am Northaw/10:30am Cuffley pattern as soon as we are able.
Individual Private Prayer
We are permitted to have our buildings open for ‘individual private prayer’. We aim to have St Thomas open from around 9am to around 3pm on Tuesday 31st November, Wednesday 1st, and Thursday December. At the moment, we are not easily able to open St Andrew, but you are welcome to email the vicar (email@example.com) if you would like to try to arrange a time to pray in St Andrew.
The next collection and delivery is Wednesday 2nd December. Please contact us to arrange delivery of donations; if you are unable to make a delivery, we may be able to arrange collection. More details are available on the website.
In preparation for the January collection (6th January), you might consider a ‘Reverse Advent Calendar’: every day in Advent, put one item aside for the foodbank. By the time we get to January, there will be around 25 items ready to take to the foodbank.
Advent and Christmas
It looks as though outdoor singing will be permitted, however, until there is specific guidance in place, we are still working to the outline plan below. All of our plans are subject to change at short notice.
- Online ‘DIY Christingle’ Service, early December
- Online Carol service, 20th December
- Online Children’s Nativity service, 24th December
- Midnight Service (online, or in person), 24th December
- Christmas Day Celebration, 25th December
- Sunday at St Thomas, 27th December
- Morning Prayer for St Thomas Becket, 29th December
Christmas Online Market
We are not able to hold our usual Christmas fair, so this year a number things are being provided online and to order. More details are available on our website.
- A raffle for a Christmas hamper (worth £50.00) at £2.00 a ticket (on sale from Gill Hall, 01707 874872 & Doreen Sheekey, 07838 919829);
- Christmas marmalade (Kathy Shingles, firstname.lastname@example.org, 01707 878860)
- Aran knit crossover scarf, £8 (Barbara Young, email@example.com)
Mission to Seafarers Cards
Because of the lockdown, Audrey Hearn will not be selling Christmas cards on behalf of The Mission to Seafarers this year. She hopes to resume doing so next year. If you would like to make a donation to the Mission, please send it to the charity direct, at: The Mission to Seafarers, St Michael Paternoster Royal, College Hall, London, EC4R 2RL (www.missiontoseafarers.org).
Praying at Noon
Please can I encourage you, when possible, to stop at noon and spend a few minutes praying - we may be physically separate, but we can still pray together; we’ll email out possible areas for prayer each week. If you would like to make any suggestions, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
How to join us live
The website has the information on how to join our live services and virtual coffee. Do feel free to share the links to our services with friends and relatives; everyone is very welcome to join us, no matter where they are in the world.