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We are a lively congregation in the heart of the town. We were formerly called the Free Church but after we re-united with Woodhall Lane URC we are now known as Welwyn Garden City URC. We have a wide range of worship and community activities based in and around our building.
Our Church is part of the United Reformed Church, one of Britain's national Christian Churches. We believe worship should be about excitement, laughter and awe as well as thoughtful reflection. Our worship blends informality with traditional and contemporary preaching from the Bible in a way that is powerful and relevant.
Our Church is a busy and vibrant with many opportunities for involvement.
An Easter Message from our minister - Rev Jane Weedon
Last Tuesday was a beautiful morning, the sun was shining and it felt quite warm. I had decided to give my Achilles a trial on a longer walk and Roger and I set out with the dogs for my first walk in the woods since last November! The dogs loved it and I felt as if I had emerged from a dark winter!!! It was wonderful to hear the cacophony of birdsong (almost drowning out the traffic on the A1M!) and there were signs of spring everywhere.
Bare branches on the trees are beginning to change colour as the sap rises to encourage leaves to bud. Catkins are already in evidence and pussy willow is also just coming into flower. Spring bulbs are blooming in gardens with snowdrops and daffodils flowering at the same time along with crocus and primroses in sunny corners.
Without a doubt spring is on its way, the mornings and nights are lighter and there is some real warmth in the sun. The Remembrance Garden is ablaze with colour, there are lambs in the fields and I have even heard an early cuckoo already arrived from its long flight after spending the winter in Africa.
Signs of new life are everywhere encouraging us on our journey as Lent will soon give way to Easter and the time of preparation will reach its conclusion as the drama of Holy Week unfolds. Can I encourage you to read through the week with me? And what a week!
The triumphant entry into Jerusalem on Palm Sunday (Matthew 21:1-11); the day that Jesus rode into Jerusalem on a young donkey colt. The people lined the way, waving palm branches and crying, Hosanna! Blessed is He who comes in the name of the LORD!
Waving palm branches was a Roman custom that was used to welcome a ruler or king. The significance of the Palm branch lies in the fact that the people were welcoming Jesus as they would a new political leader. Jesus' message to them was symbolized in the animal that he rode. A ruler would have been riding on a horse. Jesus chose to come in a humble way.
Then there was the turning over of the tables in the Temple on Monday (Matthew 21:12-17) when Jesus became very angry and said, ‘It is written, 'My house will be called a house of prayer.' but you have made it a den of thieves.’ Jesus made a whip and drove out the vendors and their animals. He overturned their stalls and buckets of money.
On Tuesday we remember that every day Jesus came to teach at the temple Matthew 21:23-46). One of the teachers of the law asked Jesus, Of all the commandments which one is the most important?
Jesus replied, Hear, O Israel, the Lord our God, the Lord is one. Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength. The second is this: Love your neighbour as yourself. There is no commandment greater than these. Mark 12:28-34
On Wednesday we are at the home of Mary and Martha John 12:1-7. Martha and Mary were friends of Jesus. Their brother Lazarus was the man that Jesus raised from the dead. They wanted to give Jesus a special dinner to celebrate and give thanks. The dinner was held at the home of Simon, a leper that Jesus had healed. This was a night for celebration. Lazarus was alive! Simon was healed! What the guests did not realize was that in just a few short days Jesus would die. The story tells about one woman who gave of the best that she had.
On Thursday we read the story of the Last Supper from John 13:1-11. We remember Jesus washing the disciples’ feet and reading on we discover all he shared with them, preparing them for what was to come.
And then the prayers in the garden (Matthew 26:26-36), the arrest (Matthew 26:37-46), Peters denial; Jesus trial (Matthew 26:57- 27:26) through the darkness of Saturday to the glorious realisation on Easter Day that Christ is indeed risen just as he told them he would. (Matthew 28).
What a journey! Jesus gave everything he had, emptying himself that we might be filled, becoming the only thing the people of Israel could understand- the sacrificial Lamb of God who took away the sins of the world. Here Temple life and eternity bump into each other; many understand but the majority don’t get it.
Thank goodness that we do. And even if we don’t understand it all, the knowledge that Christ is risen and is alive and present with us today is more glorious than emerging from a dark winter!
The dawn has come and the glory of the Lord blazes all around us not just on Easter morning but every day of our lives so we can say on Easter Day:
Christ is risen, he is risen indeed! Halleluiah!
With love and prayers for the joy of this season to transform your hearts and renew your minds.