Following new guidelines, we regret that church will once again be closed for worship until Sunday December 6th at the earliest. When it reopens, numbers will continue to be strictly limited in accordance with Covid-secure mitigations.
In the light of the current COVID-19 (Corona Virus) outbreak, we regret that non-worship activities at the church continue to be temporarily suspended.
Please check with activity organisers / check the church website for updates via the NEWS page [for Covid-19 community support updates], the diary and the COVID-19 AND CHURCH page [for church-related information].
The COMMUNITY page contains suggestions for activities and educational links to support families during periods of social isolation (‘Lockdown’) or if quarantine is required.
Bill produces a weekly podcast which can be accessed HERE: https://revdbill.uk/worship-material
Debbie hosts a regular Sunday phone-in act of worship at 4pm. Call 0330 606 0403. You will be asked for an access code, which is 442786#. To improve the sound quality for all, where possible, please mute your phone except during times of greeting and other shared sections.
A link to the URC’s daily reflection webpage can be found near the bottom of this page.
A reading from those set for 29/11/2020
24 ‘But in those days, following that distress,
‘“the sun will be darkened,
and the moon will not give its light;
25 the stars will fall from the sky,
and the heavenly bodies will be shaken.”[a]
26 ‘At that time people will see the Son of Man coming in clouds with great power and glory. 27 And he will send his angels and gather his elect from the four winds, from the ends of the earth to the ends of the heavens.
28 ‘Now learn this lesson from the fig-tree: as soon as its twigs get tender and its leaves come out, you know that summer is near. 29 Even so, when you see these things happening, you know that it[b] is near, right at the door. 30 Truly I tell you, this generation will certainly not pass away until all these things have happened. 31 Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will never pass away.
The day and hour unknown
32 ‘But about that day or hour no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father. 33 Be on guard! Be alert[c]! You do not know when that time will come. 34 It’s like a man going away: he leaves his house and puts his servants in charge, each with their assigned task, and tells the one at the door to keep watch.
35 ‘Therefore keep watch because you do not know when the owner of the house will come back – whether in the evening, or at midnight, or when the cock crows, or at dawn. 36 If he comes suddenly, do not let him find you sleeping. 37 What I say to you, I say to everyone: “Watch!”’
What is this passage telling us?
Really, we’ve lost Advent. Society at large doesn’t even consider “Advent,” if society at large has even heard of it. Society at large is shopping, and wrapping, and decking the halls with boughs of holly…quite frankly, most years they’ve been doing those things to the tune of “I’m dreaming of a White Christmas” piped above the din of the shopping mall since Halloween.
And, sadly, churchgoers have no room to gloat, because most pew-occupiers are right there with them.
But Advent isn’t really about preparing for Christmas. It’s about preparing for the coming of Christ. And, yes, in a few weeks Advent will shift to the coming of Christ in a manger in Bethlehem, but Advent always begins with preparing and waiting for Christ to come again.
This reading reminds us that, just as the first coming was an event of cosmic proportion, so will the second coming be. Just as the first coming was heralded by a star, when Christ comes again the stars won’t travel, so much as they will fall. The sun and moon will darken. And the angels will come to gather Christ’s own into the Kingdom.
Our role in the whole thing isn’t to shop. Or wrap. Or deck.
It’s to be alert. We’re to be anticipating this coming—this Advent.
The generation of Christians who lived through the crucifixion and resurrection were waiting with bated breath. And the Christians who lived in their wake did the same. They assumed Christ was coming any minute. The early, New Testament church experienced an intense urgency, which withered over time. Christ didn’t come as expected. They moved on to other concerns.
But, being alert doesn’t mean that we have to be disappointed. Each night we learn that the stars are in the same place we saw them the night before. It seems as if nothing has changed, but it doesn’t stop us looking at them in awe.
Being alert is a spiritual posture. When we’re alert we see things, and notice things that we wouldn’t notice otherwise. If we live spiritually alert, waiting for Christ to come, how much better might we see him when he enters our room? When he feeds us in the Eucharist? When he shuffles by us on the street?
We’re meant to be Advent people. Waiting. Watching.
This year while we all shop, and wrap, and deck…let us be alert. Watching the stars, and the sun, and the moon. Waiting for Christ to come around the corner, and be manifest in ways we wouldn’t even dare to imagine.
Adapted from a reflection by Rick Morley at: star gazing – a reflection on Mark 13:24-37 | rick morley
If you are self-isolating, or
in any way affected by the closure (weddings, baptisms), please let one of the elders (or our ministers, Debbie and Bill) know, so that the church can keep in touch.
Looking for some quiet reflection? Try the link below!
It will take you to a page which presents bible readings with gentle music accompanying.
Welcome to our church website
Through these pages we hope to give you an insight into our church community. If you would like to come along in person, we’d love to meet you!
We have a Sunday morning service every week, at 10.30am. Everyone is welcome, and if it’s your first visit – do please introduce yourself.
There is an evening Communion service at 6.30pm on the third Sunday in the month, which is organised by a small group of our members and often based around music and words from the Iona Community. More details of these services and other activities are available in the Services and Diary sections of our website.
Please click on the links to find out more about us, and to see what’s going on, visit our Diary section! Building access information is available here. You can also contact us via email, details are on the Contact Us section of our website.
Our Facebook page can be found at: http://www.facebook.com/Holyhead-Road-United-Reformed-Church-151789941574498/
Where are we?
Use this link to Google maps for location and directions:
Looking for ready-made daily devotions each day? https://devotions.urc.org.uk/
A prayer for those visiting our website
Almighty and eternal God,
who created us in your own image and gave us the will to seek after all that is good, true and beautiful, especially in the person of Our Lord Jesus Christ,
we give you thanks for the freedom of communication.
Grant, we pray you, that through our journeys in this website we may be led to charity, prayer, patience and greater understanding of each other and that we may discern more closely your will for your pilgrims here on earth.
To the glory of the Word made flesh,