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Take time to pray

Time spent in prayer is always time well spent

Every first Saturday of the month, people from both our churches gather together for Breathe. Breathe is a chance to pray together about ourselves and our lives, our churches and our world.

Join us on Zoom for Breathe 

As we move through autumn, and as we enter a second lockdown, why not spend some focused time in prayer with our monthly prayer meeting, Breathe?

You can either join on zoom on Saturday 7 November at 8.30am, or use the resources independently at your leisure (link below). At this time, it is more important than ever to hand our burdens over to God and ask Him to guide and inspire us.

If you've not joined Breathe before you are promised a warm welcome, no pressure to pray out loud and some very pretty pictures of autumn to look at!

Those on our mailing list will be sent the Zoom link for Breathe - if you're not on the mailing list already, please contact the church office for details (standrew.hertford@btinternet.com)


November's Breathe

Autumn

(please see the link towards the bottom of the page for a pdf document of all these prayers)

 

Looking up – autumn leaves

Autumn leaves dariusz-borowik-Isaiah 60:13
The glory of Lebanon shall come to you, the cypress, the plane and the pine, to beautify the place of my sanctuary, and I will make the place of my feet glorious.

I cannot think of anything better at helping us to understand God’s glory than His creation. Living where we do, we get to enjoy the drama of autumn, with its incredible changes of colour. For now, let’s not think of the fact this is a sign that winter is coming. Let’s, instead, pause to give thanks for the beauty of autumn, and for all God’s gifts to us.

So, let’s start by saying ‘thank you’.

Thank you, Lord God, for all your gifts and blessings to us…

Open prayer…
Amen
 

Looking in – conkers

Conker georg-eiermann-L9-FQozZJob 14:7
For there is hope for a tree, if it be cut down, that it will sprout again and that its shoots will not cease.

I just love conkers. They are so beautiful. They are also unexpected when you consider their prickly casing. And every time we open a case and see a conker, we are the first person to see that small piece of creation, so full of potential and life.

Is that how God views us – beautiful and full of potential?

Yet, not all conkers become trees. Not all of us are given the chance to become the people God wants us to be. Let’s search now for those things that hold us or others back, and ask God to help us change that. And let’s take comfort from the fact that a tree that is cut down may sprout again.

Silence

Thank you, Lord God, for seeing the potential in our lives. Forgive us the times when we have turned away from you and followed our own paths. Amen
 

Looking back – ferns

Ferns jotaka-kHIneBpi2gM-unsplEzekiel 17:24
And all the trees of the field shall know that I am Lord; I bring low the high tree and make high the low tree, dry up the green tree, and make the dry tree flourish. I am the Lord; I have spoken and I will do it.

When lockdown began in March, I posted pictures of the ferns in my garden, and wrote about them reminding us of the fact that growth comes in unlikely places and unexpected ways.

As my ferns prepare to take on their autumn hues, let’s look back to what has happened in the past month – to things that have flourished and also, perhaps, things that seem to be withering or dying back.

This might be something personal in your life. It may be our current situation as we enter a new lockdown. It might be the disappointment of seeing things begun in church now to be suspended or the anticipation of new things we can attempt through our online presence.

Open prayer…
Amen
 

Looking out – evergreens

Evergreen geran-de-klerk-WJkc3Psalm 1:3
They are like a tree planted by streams of water that yields its fruit in season, and its leaf does not wither. In all that they do, they prosper.

Not all plants are deciduous, of course. The spectacular colours of autumn can blind us to the fact that many plants retain their leaves and green colour all year. They keep on growing throughout all the seasons and some fruit and flower during the winter. We call these evergreens. As we head towards the new seasons of remembrance, Advent and Christmas we need to keep growing – to be evergreen. And I suspect that might feel even harder than usual this winter – as individuals, as a church, as a society.

Lord God, we offer to you our concerns and fears for ourselves and your world…

Open prayer...
Amen
 

Looking forward – buds

Buds art-wall-kittenprint-RuqCDaniel 4: 10-12
The visions of my head as I lay in bed were these: I saw, and behold, a tree in the midst of the earth, and its height was great. The tree grew and became strong, and its top reached to heaven, and it was visible to the end of the earth. Its leaves were beautiful and its fruit abundant, and in it was food for all. The beasts of the field found shade under it, and the birds of the heavens lived in its branches, and all flesh was fed from it.

It never fails to amaze me how prepared nature is. As the leaves fall and we are still in autumn, so the trees and shrubs are already planning the next cycle of growth. You may have to look carefully but the small buds are there already - from which will sprout leaves and flowers. So, we, too, need to look forward to what might lay before us. We need to ask God to share his visions and let us be part of them.

Lord God, we ask your blessings on the coming month and season. Be with us in our planning and help us to dream your dreams…

Open prayer…
Amen

Autumn rin-porter-rBgDvurVSWs-

To end, a prayer from the African Sisters Education Collaborative:

Abba Father,
The trees are ablaze with your glory.
The seasons change, but you never do.
You are always beautiful,
in the green and freshness of spring,
as in the golds and reds and chills of autumn.
Make me like you.
Let my life reflect your beauty, season after season, as the calendar of my life turns and turns.
The trees are letting go of this year’s foliage.
Help me to let go of both blessings and burdens, and surrender them both your loving care.
Fallen leaves pattern the ground with variety.
So, design my own fallings and failings into whatever design will please you most.
In Jesus’ name I pray.
Amen.

Saturday 7 November - Breathe (pdf format)



Prayers

These resources are here for you to use at any time and may be especially helpful now:
The Prayer of Stillness
Prayers for the Journey
Intercessions



BREAD wesual-click-rsWZ-P9FbQ4For prayers used in September's Breathe, please click here:

September's Breathe

by Rev. Wendy Sellers
The Bread of Life


spring-arno-smit-sKJ7zSylUao-uFor the prayers used in May's Breathe, please click here:

May's Breathe

by Rev. Wendy Sellers
Thanking God for His Goodness


On the first Saturday of the month
Take time to pray with Breathe, our monthly prayer gathering on the first Saturday of the month
Dates for 2020: 4 Jan, 1 Feb, 7 March, 4 April, 2 May, 6 June, 4 July, 5 Sept, 3 Oct, 7 Nov, 5 Dec

Glenys
Hello and welcome to St Andrew's. If you are new, we have a page for you to get to know us and learn more about planning a visit.
Click here to see more.

Planning your Visit

A Warm Hello 

The following information is specifically for those planning a visit so that you know, beforehand, what to expect on a Sunday morning. During the period of Covid-19, please see the information at the bottom of this page.

Where and When

We meet at the Church Building (details below) for our main Sunday Service starting at 10.30am. For your first visit, we recommend arriving 10-15 minutes early to ensure you find a parking space and can settle in before the service begins. When you arrive, you should be greeted by someone on our Welcome Team who will be wearing a Welcome Badge.

Plan your journey:
Unfortunately, St Andrew's does not have its own carpark. However, there is a council-run pay and display carpark a short distance along St Andrew Street, to the east of the church - there is no charge for parking in this carpark on Sundays, but please check for charges on other days.

This is a useful East Herts Council website page for full details of parking in Hertford.

There are single yellow lines outside the church with parking restrictions, but some 30-minute parking bays are situated on the opposite side of the road for short stays (longer on Sundays).

Open Google Maps

Accessibility: There is wheelchair access, and a sound loop for anyone who needs it. Please let one of the Welcome Team know on your arrival and they will help you to get set up. There is a disabled toilet towards the back of the church, behind the kitchen.

Our Service

The service will usually begin promptly at 10.30am and will last between 60 and 75 minutes. We enjoy the presence of an excellent choir who help us sing hymns (modern and traditional) as well as provide anthems and special songs through the period of communion. We have a traditional organ but also benefit from music played on the piano and by our band (eg on the Second Sunday of each month when we have an All-Age Service in which our children and young people are fully involved).

Each 10.30am service includes a sermon, prayers and eucharist.

After the service, everyone is invited for coffee and conversation - some like to stay for a  quick chat while others remain in the church for a longer time.

Communion

Children and Young People

We have a great programme lined up for our children. This is organised by our Family, Children and Youth Worker, Tracy Plumpton, who is always delighted to welcome new faces. Those arriving before their first service at St Andrew’s can ask to see Tracy or one of the other leaders.

We really value worshipping God together as a family, so children stay with their parent or grown-up at the start of the service before being invited to leave for the age appropriate activities after the first hymn. You will need to go with your children to their groups and register them as part of our child safety policy.

The children and young people then return to the main service in time to join the eucharist and, if confirmed, take Holy Communion or, if not, receive a blessing.

There is a Children's Corner in church where you can go at any time. You will find books, toys and drawing materials there.

Toilet and baby-change facilities are located at the back of church, behind the kitchen.

Junior Church celebration

Getting Connected


Home Groups

While Sundays are a great way to meet new people, it is often in smaller gatherings that you can really get to know someone. Being part of one of our small groups allows you to make new friends, share together and support each other. We have a variety of groups that meet throughout the week. Check out Home Groups on our website and see if there’s one that you could join. Alternatively, speak to a member of the Welcome Team who will give you the information that you need.

Serving and Volunteering

If you want to get involved in the life of the church and help us make Sundays run smoothly, you can sign up to serve on a team. Please contact Phil in the Church Office.

SPECIAL ARRANGEMENTS DURING COVID-19:
What we describe above reflects our normal practice on Sunday mornings. However, since March 2020 we have had to adopt new ways of organising ourselves. For up-to-date information about current services (in church and online via Zoom), please look at details on our Worship and Prayer Page and note that when we're able to worship inside the church building, we ask you to book places at our 10.30am Sunday Service in church (book here). Everyone entering the church is asked to wear a face covering (don’t worry if you forget, we have a supply by the entrance door!).
 
Get in touch with us
If you have any questions, please do get in touch. You'll find our contact details here.

We hope that you will feel at home at our church.