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LOCKDOWN NEWS - APRIL 2021

Posted on 21 April, 2021

Welcome to the (combined) April 2021 issue of Stanborough Park Church’s newsletter. In this issue you will find:

  • Prayer Corner
  • Gratitude Corner
  • Hello and Goodbye
  • News in Brief
  • News from One Vision
  • Lockdown: One Year On – how the church has responded to the problems created by church closure during the past year: AV, Youth, Cradle Roll, Welfare Departments 

 

  • Prayer Corner

Pastor Ron Davey, who worked for the SEC up until the 1990’s when he retired, died mid-April.  Let us keep his wife, Iris, and family in our prayers as well as all who have been bereaved recently, including Her Majesty the Queen and the Royal Family. 

  • Gratitude Corner

Lilies for Easter - a message from Audrey Balderstone: “A very big THANK YOU to all those who dedicated ‘Lilies for Easter’ to give thanks, beautify the church and raise funds for ADRA. 120 dedications were made and because of the generosity of many members, £790.00 was raised. To God be the glory!”

  • Hello and Goodbye

Transfers in:
1. Mr Graham Barham from SEC to Stanborough Park Church 
2. Mrs Inez Barham from SEC to Stanborough Park Church
3. Mr Frederic Shone from SEC to Stanborough Park Church 
4. Ms Bibi Farozia Mungui from SEC to Stanborough Park 
5. Mrs Yvonne Ishida from Nara SDA Church, Japan, to Stanborough Park Church 
6. Mr Thanreingam Ramrar from Phungreitung SDA Church, Manipur, India to Stanborough Park Church. 

Transfers out: 
1. Mr Luca Zagara from Stanborough Park to Welsh Mission 
2. Mrs Caroline Zagara from Stanborough Park to Welsh Mission 
This is the second reading


Profession of Faith 
The Church Board are recommending that the names of Josif & Elena Turturica be voted into the church on profession of faith. Their membership records have been lost between the SEC and Watford Romanian Church and the SEC recommends that we accept them on the profession of faith. This is the second reading of their names.

  • News in Brief

Ø  Church Re-opening: Plans for April and May - The first two services in April will be live and the last two will be pre-recorded. In May the first three Sabbaths will be live and the last two pre-recorded. The limit for the number who can attend the live services is 50 persons. If you wish to attend the services please contact Audrey Balderstone (abalderstone@btconnect.com) or Roger Murphy (rt.murphy@hotmail.com).

Ø  Dave Burgess and Bernell Bussue have been proposed to replace departing elders Luca Zagara and Lynette Allcock.

Ø  ADRA Fundraising - As we will not be able to collect door to door for ADRA again this year, Audrey Balderstone has come up with a fundraising idea. She plans to give a donation to ADRA for the birthday of each of her friends and relatives during the year. If you would like to swell the fund for ADRA you could donate in honour of a friend or family member - or as a 'thank you' present for God's blessings.

To donate please go to Audrey's ‘Just Giving' page: https:justgiving.com/fundraising/Audrey-Balderstone1

Ø  MESSENGER - The editor reminds us that sending a paper copy direct to homes will cease unless you have requested one.  To continue to receive a copy by post contact msubs@stanboroughpress.org.uk. Or call Sarah Jarvis on: 01476-591700. The aim of this campaign is to ensure that all the UK and Ireland church family have the opportunity to connect with each other - and stay connected.

Ø  Teens Plant a Tree of Hope - A tree-planting ceremony took place at the beginning of April. Purchased and planted by the Teens Department for Global Youth Day the tree was intended to commemorate those who had passed away during the pandemic. The Ayo-Ipaye and Bright families, who recently lost a family member to COVID-19, were present as they have a teenager and a Teen team member amongst their number. The tree is a symbol of hope for the Teens and as it grows over the years so may the Teens grow in their faith too. Current Teens Leader, Paula Yunuen Carrillo, led out at the ceremony.

               

  • News from One Vision

Ø  The Lord Lieutenant of Hertfordshire contributed to One Vision’s pre-Census webinar.

Ø  A message from CEO Enoch Kanagaraj: “I am delighted to inform you that One Vision and Watford Interfaith Association are partnering with the Watford Football Club and FA to host the Ramadan 7-A-Side Football Tournament at their training ground on 1 May at 10pm.” The event is held after sunset under floodlights in the London Colney area. As Enoch is our Community Liaison Officer he is asking if there are any keen footballers who would like to form a team (of 10) to take part in the event and engage with our local community.  https://stanboroughpark.adventistchurch.org.uk/announcements

Ø  The demand for One Vision’s services during the pandemic has meant that it has outgrown the church’s facilities and plans to move venues. One has been found but is lacking one vital element – a working kitchen. Enoch has opened a Crowdfunding page to raise the necessary £30,000https://www.crowdfunder.co.uk/one-vision-raise-to-refit-project

Ø  OV is hosting a webinar on the subject of Long Covid at 7pm on 26th April. Key speakers include experts and sufferers and there is a question and answer session.  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p_tAVzX5foo 

  • Lockdown: one year on – what have we been doing in the meantime?

Ø  Normal Service(s) will be resumed as soon as possible

More than a year has passed since the message from the SEC President recommending the closure of churches during the pandemic. In this action he anticipated that of the government. Probably nobody realised at the time that the church would still be experiencing restrictions on worship a year later. During this time we have experienced a mixture of total and partial closures affecting the function of many departments whilst others have struggled on finding ways to adapt to meet continuing need.

The MESSENGER has been featuring how various churches have maintained contact with members, more often than not featuring Worship by Zoom. From the start SPC’s AV Department decided to be more ambitious and provide us with a virtual service following the traditional format at closely as possible – whilst maintaining their normal full-time jobs. It took a lot of effort and teamwork but between the AV team and the Worship Committee they have been very successful. With the format for each week planned by a member of the Committee who finds participants willing to film their contributions and working from a back catalogue of hymns with Carl Swain’s nature shots superimposed each programme has been put together by Carl (see later) and broadcast by the team. Parallel ran a similar regime put together by Lucas. An article on this topic was published on the church web site last summer.   {https://stanboroughpark.adventistchurch.org.uk/news_entries/5872 orhttps://stanboroughpark.adventistchurch.org.uk/news_entries/5871 (abridged version) https://stanboroughpark-adventistchurch-org-uk.adventist.eu/news_entries/5870 (Auntie Alison’s story-telling experience)}

Since then we have had a mixture of live and pre-recorded services and services with a mixture of both and this will continue for the foreseeable future for the Traditional Service – watch the eBulletin for information and how to apply to attend the live services -  whilst Parallel has resorted to Zoom meetings. Team members are able to stream the services from their homes and even work the cameras remotely whilst Beatrice Cooper has managed to piece together the efforts made by the members of her virtual choir and others who have performed from their homes. We must give special thanks to those who opened their homes for all to view and especially those brave souls who were prepared to allow others to view their ‘lockdown hair’ which will be available for all to view in internet perpetuity!

Here some speak of the challenges faced and how they attempted to overcome them. Lucas and Carol, our student missionaries, spoke of their experiences in Lockdown News 12.

Ø  A Young Person’s Perspective on Working During the Pandemic - submitted by Lynette Alcock

Sheena Murphy is a Senior Science Technician for a secondary school. After returning to work from furlough, she found it was instantly busy. There was a huge number of new regulations. It was frustrating and exhausting, but the reality of living during a pandemic hit even closer when she lost a colleague to Covid in February.

In adapting to pandemic life, Sheena found strength in Proverbs. She says, “When all this began, I longed for everything to go back to how it had been. As the weeks turned into months and the restrictions persisted, I felt very weary. I came across Proverbs 13:12 – ‘Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but a dream fulfilled is a tree of life.’ That resonated so much. I started to shift my focus to dreams that could be fulfilled now instead of all the things I couldn’t do that were making my heart sick. I could organise things around the house, I could read books that I didn’t have time for before. Yes, they were small dreams to fulfil, but even accomplishing those small tasks provided satisfaction. Life is still not normal. But I have much to be grateful for, and even though there’s a lot I can’t do, I’m going to try to keep focussing on what I can.”   

The photo shows Sheena holding the bag of goodies ‘for a homeless person’ donated by her colleagues for the 2020 Toy Service.

Ø  Cradle of Love – and Talent

For Charlotte Fidelia, the enforced closing down of her beloved Cradle Roll Sabbath School was too much to tolerate. Unable to bear letting the little ones down she was determined to provide them with a virtual service. Sticking as closely as possible to the regular format Charlotte set about producing a weekly programme for the little ones to watch that was as close as possible to the real thing. Performing everything herself, including providing the music and singing and leaving just the story-telling to others her weekly offerings on YouTube have proved immensely popular and gone global. Charlotte told how she went about this labour of love in an article on the church web site last year which appeared in a shorter version in the Messenger. https://stanboroughpark-adventistchurch-org-uk.adventist.eu/news_entries/5903



Serving up a Treat

Charlotte hasn’t been the only one demonstrating video-production skills. For over a year now Carl Swain has been the master of the video screen and handheld camera. It is he who puts together the virtual services for ‘Traditional’ viewers and his steady hand and a good eye for composition that compiles the nature shots broadcast during hymns.

When the idea of virtual services was first suggested suitable hymns were selected from the back catalogue of previous broadcasts. However, it was felt that showing the congregation singing would inevitably feature those members no longer with us so an alternative was sought and nature shots taken around Stanborough Park were decided upon. At first, with travel restrictions, the shots were taken by Carol and Lucas but later Carl took over. He regularly shoots new footage to indicate the passing of the seasons and his shots of the late winter snow falling around the Park and the church were superb and showed dedication to the cause! He has also incorporated Pastor Dejan’s drone footage into his selection. His videos continue to be needed even with a live service as with a small dispersed congregation the singing would be sparse even if it was permitted!



Carl’s videos are appreciated by his viewing audience, bringing back a feeling of nostalgia in those who have moved away and a wish to visit to see for themselves by those who have not had the privilege. It is a time consuming weekly labour of love so thank you, Carl, we appreciate your efforts.

THANK YOU CARL - KEEP UP THE GOOD WORK

Ø  No reduction in demand for the Welfare Department’s Services - submitted by Peter Walton

The picture is of a child’s garment found by archaeologists south of Cairo. It was woven from coloured wools as a single piece of cloth folded over at the shoulders. It appears to have been darned for recycling. Clothing like this was made by Tabitha and her circle of friends and given to the poor. The name Tabatha means gazelle; she must have been a beautiful woman. We know her as Dorcas*.

Jump forward 2000 years and who darns their clothes now? There are so many cast-off clothes that disposing of them is a problem. And yet even in our affluent society, there are still many people without sufficient clothing and other basic needs.  

Dorcas was a woman who made garments for the poor and gave her name to countless Dorcas societies over many centuries. Some of these societies and clubs became embedded carriers of knowledge exchange and culture in textiles most recently in the Caribbean. Since the Christian Revolution charity, as it was then called, became established as one of those essential, incomprehensible, Christian virtues that still survive in our secular society as modern ideas of Welfare and Wellbeing.

So how has the Stanborough Welfare Service survived the Covid-19 Lockdown? Because it is classed as an essential service it has continued to operate within prescribed Covid-safe precautions. The most conspicuous evidence of the changes required is the large ten feet square green gazebo stationed outside the Welfare Centre on Monday and Tuesday mornings. The gazebo has been a huge success enabling far greater flexibility in the selection and collection of items. It also alleviates the congestion that existed in the storage room making it popular with the volunteers and customers. That’s definitely going to stay after Covid restrictions are lifted! Other precautions put in place are a holding area for arriving donations to be isolated for at least a week and the usual face coverings and hand sanitizer.

The Welfare Service distributes clothing and linen but also a bewildering variety of small items. For example, items recently given include the following: clothing for all ages and both genders, kitchenalia, toasters, kettles, china plates, mugs, glasses and saucepans; cots, Moses baskets, beds, bunk beds, mattresses, buggies single/double, pushchairs, car seats, bedding, towels shoes, boots, slippers for all ages and both genders, school uniform, swim wear, toys, children’s books, bikes, scooters. Most items can be kept at the Welfare Centre but some are collected from the donor and delivered directly. Occasionally items are purchased to meet a particular need.

People come to the Welfare Centre through many different agencies such as Social Workers, Health visitors, Children’s Centres, School Family support workers, Council Offices and the Watford and Three Rivers Refugee Association. Many who need help are refugees and community people with young children or babies and no one else to turn to.

The Covid-19 crisis has stopped many fundraising activities of the Welfare Service which also includes the Soup Run and the charities MacMillan Nurses, the Peace Hospice (Watford), ADRA, STOP-International. The Welfare Service and the Soup Rup depend entirely on local donations and have both been able to carry on as usual. The Soup Run requires the most funding to pay for the vehicle upkeep and fuel, fruit and sandwiches, the London Congestion Charge and the ULEZ (Ultra Low Emission Zone) Charge which together comes to £27.50 per trip into central London.

With the enthusiastic help of the volunteers and generous gifts of clothes, goods and money the Welfare Service is looking forward to continuing a lively service to those who need it.

*Bible: Acts chapter 9, verses 36-42

The Last Word: 

There are times when the only thing to be done is to endure. While doing so it is best to fill one’s mind and time as far as possible with the concerns of other people. It doesn’t bring immediate peace, but it brings the dawn nearer.  ‘Weeping may go on all night, but joy comes with the morning.’ Psalm 30:5 NLT.

(David Marshall: ‘God’s Little Book of Encouragement)