Although we have been unable to hold physical services here at Oat Street for several months because of the coronavirus pandemic, Rev Mark has been busy developing a number of regular online events via both Zoom and the Evesham Unitarian Facebook page to help members of the Evesham and wider Cotswold Group congregations and our friends to keep in touch with one another. All are welcome to any of these, as always. This news item is a summary of everything taking place and we will aim to keep it updated as circumstances change.
For Zoom events, please email Rev Mark (firstname.lastname@example.org) and he will add you to his lists of invitees and send you the relevant links.
For Facebook, visit our Facebook page at the relevant time and look for the Live event; or if you already follow or Like our page, we’ll be in Recent Live Videos under the Live option on your Facebook home page. You can also tweak your Facebook settings to be notified every time we go live. Once the event is over you’ll be able to watch a recording of it on our Videos page.
Thursdays 7pm Touching The Sprit (Zoom)
Thursdays 9pm Facebook Live: 20 minute reflection on the week
Fridays 11am Touching The Spirit (Zoom)
Saturdays 11am Heart and Soul (Zoom)
Sundays 7.30pm Heart and Soul (Zoom)
Heart and Soul is a contemplative spiritual gathering in which you can take time to reflect on life in the company of others. Each session follows a regular pattern, including readings and music from an eclectic range of sources, time for guided prayers of gratitude, compassion for others, self-reflection, and silent meditation
Touching The Spirit is made up of the following:
Listening : there are chosen words and phrases and we listen to others as they express how those words relate to or affect them today.
Readings : poetry , reflection or narrative the host reads to the spirit of the gathering.
Discussion : a short period reflecting our experience of the gathering and beyond.
Silent meditation : we finish together in silence.
The gathering will last about an hour and no longer than 75 minutes.
From 7 – 8.15pm on Saturday 1 February all are very welcome to our informal gathering at the Chapel to celebrate Imbolc, the Celtic fire festival of awakening, when we welcome the returning light and clear away the debris of winter, preparing the ground for the first ploughing and sowing.
We welcome the stirrings of Spring as the first green shoots and the snowdrops push through the soil, giving us encouragement and confidence to light the fires of hope and inspiration in our hearts.
In a celebration led by our Minister Rev Mark Hutchinson, we will work with the energies of the season and celebrate with music, meditation, poetry and more. Please feel free to bring poems, songs, stories, movement or other offerings to share with the group.
Building upon the tremendous success of the Transformers Malvern children’s group, Transformers Evesham will be holding the first of its monthly sessions for all children of school-age up to end of year 5 from 1045-1200 on Sunday 12 January at Oat Street Unitarian Chapel. The cost is £1.50 per session. In the first session we will start the first of our themes for the sessions, “Less Plastic Is Fantastic.”
The second session will be on Sunday 9 February.
Rev Mark illustrates the aim of the group with the following story:
“One day a man was walking along the beach when he noticed a boy picking something up and gently throwing it into the ocean. Approaching the boy, he asked, “What are you doing?” The youth re plied, “Throwing starfish back into the ocean. The surf is up and the tide is going out. If I don’t throw them back, they’ll die.”
“Son,” the man said, “don’t you realize there are miles and miles of beach and hundreds of starfish? You can’t make a difference!”
After listening politely, the boy bent down, picked up another starfish,
and threw it back into the surf. Then, smiling at the man, he said…” I
made a difference for that one.”
(Adapted from The Star Thrower, Loren Eiseley, 1969)
Transformers is about making a difference in a small, or big, way.
Searching for truth and meaning. Recognising the inherent worth and dignity of every person.
Striving for justice, equity and compassion in human relations. Accepting others and providing encouragement to spiritual growth.
Transforming the World
Working for peace. Caring for our world. Respecting the interdependent web of all existence.
Do join us….
At 6pm on 22 December, Rev Mark will take us all on Scrooge’s journey of Christmas past present and future via a family reading of an abridged version of Dickens’ classic A Christmas Carol. Experience a live journey of this heartfelt message as portrayed by Dickens.
There may be a mince pie or two, some singing and laughter . Free entry – donations only, all money raised will be shared between the Chapel’s Gatehouse refurbishment fund and Evesham Pride (coming your way on 4 July 2020). Everyone is as always very welcome.
At 7pm on Saturday 21st December, everyone is welcome to Join Rev Mark and Shane Hughes in an informal gathering to celebrate Yule, the festival of reflection and renewal.
At this time we will pause and listen to our inner wisdom in the stillness, becoming aware of the seeds of our future growth waiting for birth. We will welcome the rebirth of the sun at the winter solstice, seeking renewal in our lives by honouring the darkness and the return of the light within.
We will work with the seasonal energies through meditating, singing, chanting and sharing our insights. Please feel free to bring poems, songs, stories or other offerings to share with the group.
After the circle celebration there will be light refreshments .
Every year Oat Street Unitarian Chapel welcomes our friends the early music singing group Musyck Anon for a Christmas concert full of traditional and modern a cappella seasonal music, and a good time is invariably had by all.
This year’s concert is at 7.30pm on Friday 20 December and will be followed by refreshments. Entry is free, as are the refreshments, but there will be a retiring collection in aid of St Richard’s Hospice in Worcester. The regular programme of live music here bears witness to our excellent acoustics, there is free parking next door in the evenings and we would love to welcome as many of you as possible on 20th.
In addition to our regular 11am service on Sunday 1 December, Rev Mark and Shane Hughes will be leading a Service of Remembrance in the afternoon to mark World AIDS Day and commemorate those who have died from an AIDS-related illness in the past year. It will be from 2pm – 3pm and everyone is of course very welcome.
The theme for this year’s World Aids Day campaign is ending the loneliness and stigma that people with HIV suffer with. To quote from the World AIDS Day site: “Last year 4,453 people in the UK were diagnosed with HIV. Not everybody is equipped with the facts on how to protect themselves and others, and stigma and discrimination remain a life-changing reality for people living with HIV.
“We know that 1 in 5 people living with HIV say that they have needed help with loneliness. Nobody should feel isolated or alone because of their HIV status. Peer support services must be made available across the UK so that people can access the help they need, when they need it, and wherever they are.
Three-quarters of people living with HIV who report loneliness and isolation say they haven’t been able to find that help. We want to change that, and we know you do too.
That’s why we’re asking you to Rock the Ribbon Together in 2019 – to stand in solidarity with people living with HIV, raise awareness, challenge stigma, end loneliness and isolation, and insist peer support is available for anyone who needs it.”
On the evening of 21st November Oat Street Unitarian Chapel will be hosting a talk from Extinction Rebellion Evesham branch called “Heading For Extinction.” The organisers have given us the following summary:
“Are you confused about climate science? Do you feel worried about the state of the planet, but don’t know what to do? ‘Heading for Extinction’ is a hard-hitting look at the latest climate science and the very real prospect of climate collapse. We explore why global emissions are continuing to rise in 2019, despite decades of petitions, protests, and increasingly dire scientific warnings. We’ll also share Extinction Rebellion’s vision for bringing about change, in order to save ourselves and the Earth’s fragile ecosystem before it’s too late. “
The event is free, 7pm for a 7.30pm start, and everyone is of course very welcome. The Chapel already hosts the local Extinction Rebellion group’s meetings every other Friday although the 15 November gathering was cancelled due to flooding – which rather proves the campaign’s point!
At 8pm on Wednesday 20 November, Oat Street Unitarians will be holding a special service in honour of Transgender Day of Remembrance, (TDoR), a day marked annually in memory of those who have lost their lives as a result of transphobic violence. TDoR comes at the end of Transgender Awareness Week, during which a number of events take place every year to raise awareness of the transgender community and the issues that it faces. Many other Unitarian congregations worldwide take part in these events as well as marking TDoR. Even if you have never visited the Chapel before, you are more than welcome to join us on 20th for this very special occasion.
Oat Street Unitarian Chapel already supports the popular “Malvern Transformers” after-school children’s group that runs every Friday in term time for children up to Year 5. This is an activity group ideal for all children who want to make a difference in the world, whether big or small.
We are very pleased to announce that Transformers will now be launching in Evesham in January 2020 as a monthly Sunday morning gathering, and we are running a taster/sampler session from 1045-1200 on Sunday 24 November to which everyone is very much welcome.
Transformers is about making a difference in a small, or big, way.
Transforming Ourselves: Searching for truth and meaning. Recognising the inherent worth and dignity of every person.
Transforming Others: Striving for justice, equity and compassion in human relations. Accepting others and providing encouragement to spiritual growth.
Transforming the World: Working for peace. Caring for our world. Respecting the interdependent web of all existence.
Each session comprises: Sharing News, games, videos, crafts, a discussion and, of course fun!
The regular Evesham monthly sessions start on 12th January 2020 and will cost £1.50 per session. For further details, please contact:
Tel: 01684 565708
or our Minister Rev Mark Hutchinson