& Castle Square URC
Minister: Rev. Dr Phil Wall
Tel: 01443 300345 Mob: 07855090360
Admin email: firstname.lastname@example.org
11th July 2021
This weekend in the life of the URC is the annual General Assembly, and therefore we would have a visiting minister, however this year we are joining the Assembly for our Sunday Service.
For those online, we will meet on zoom at our normal time before joining the Assembly for a Communion service which will be longer in duration than our usual zoom services…so please make yourselves comfy and bring some bread and wine or equivalent. A download of the full order of service can be accessed here https://urc.org.uk/images/General-Assemblies/Assembly2021/GA_2021_Order_of_Service.pdf
Church Family and Pastoral News
We include this in the news sheet to inform our prayers.
- We hold those who are concerned for family members who are in hospital in our prayers as they wait for news.
- We pray for Millie who is in hospital recovering from Sepsis, and also for Del who is looking after the boys.
- We are aware of people who seem to have lost their confidence in going out- especially when some places are very busy. The first step is never easy!
- Doreen is having a cataract operation this week – we wish her well!
- We think of those for whom this week holds painful memories.
- We rejoice with Pauline Robbins and Dianne Davies who have received appointments for long awaited hip replacement operations. We wish them well!
Congratulations to Daniel Davies, Claire’s son, on securing an apprenticeship as a trainee electrician with Associated British Ports in Cardiff. It’s an excellent opportunity for him and he is keen to get started
Hettie ‘A big thank you to everyone for all the telephone calls and cards I received on my birthday. It was lovely hearing from so many friends’
Nathan Munday of Christian Aid. this is part of it….:-
‘I am writing to thank you on behalf of Christian Aid for your recent donations for Christian Aid Week. With your help we can continue to support where the need is greatest and where it will have the greatest impact globally. We can continue to help thousands of people to adapt and thrive, ensuring that the poorest and most vulnerable communities in the world do not continue to suffer because of the climate crisis.’
Birthdays this week
People we know of who have birthdays this are: On Tuesday 13th Valerie Henson and Mary Howells and on Thursday 15th Ron Howells. We wish you all a very Happy Birthday and hope you are able to celebrate with family.
18th 10.45am Live streamed Morning Service in St David’s Uniting https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC1ftWuXHexnfFdo1FKwXBZA
4.00 pm Zoom communion story telling service (see below)
25th 10.45am Zoom service
URC General Assembly
Starting on Friday morning, Phil, Ben & Simon have joined delegates from across the UK who are meeting (online) for this year’s United Reformed Church’s General Assembly. The General Assembly is a four-day meeting held every July, in which ministers, staff and other members of the URC, together with ecumenical representatives, deliberate upon and make serious and far-reaching decisions on the life, work and priorities of the denomination at home and abroad. This year, building on the advances and wider use of technology, all URC congregations, members and friends, have been invited and encouraged to come together for the Sunday morning service. As detailed above.
Stories and sacrament.
Next Sunday afternoon, Phil will be leading the first in a trial of a new kind of Communion service which will sit alongside a more traditional, contemplative one on first Sundays. With the acknowledgement that Jesus was the ultimate storyteller, every 3rd Sunday for the next few months, you are invited to gather on zoom (usual morning link, phone callers of course welcome) where we will have a time of sharing our stories before sharing Christ’s meal together. So for next week, you are invited to sign in by 4pm and bring with you a story on the theme of celebration. It could be the story of a church celebration you’ve been to (baptism, wedding etc), family gathering you’ve attended, oversees adventure you’ve been on. It could be a funny tale or a serious one; a story with a twist or a simple recollection of joy. There’s no right or wrong length or overall feeling – it doesn’t have to have a message or be a masterpiece – just be true to your experience, and if you would rather come and simply listen rather than share, that’s okay too. So 4pm, next Sunday, let’s share and celebrate!
Christian baptism is many things – a following of Jesus, a symbol of God’s grace, a welcome to the Church. In pre-Covid times, at both Castle Square and St. David’s Uniting, we try to arrange all baptisms to happen in a Sunday morning service, so the baptized and their family meet our congregations in our usual act of worship. Due to the ongoing Covid restrictions, the elders of St. David’s Uniting church have allowed for baptisms to take place outside of the Sunday morning service, whilst ensuring that the congregation will be represented at the service. If you would like to represent the church – or even to steward – at an infant baptism at 12 noon next Saturday (17th), please let Lynda know. In the meantime, please keep Evie Webb and her family in your prayers, along with Rosie Gallagher and Gavin Clement, who will be getting married at Castle Square next Sunday.
Space needed to rent or buy!
When Pontypridd foodbank first started in 2012/13, we distributed 712 food parcels, helping 1441 people with 12969 meals. We were able to work in small spaces and did not need much room to store the food we were generously donated from the public.
However, from April 1st 2020, to March 31st, 2021, we distributed a staggering 2425 food parcels helping 5274 people in our local area by providing them with a total of 66129 meals, distributing approximately 65313Kg of food. We have been so very blessed, firstly St Lukes Church in Rhydyfelin allowed us to use the whole church during the first wave of the pandemic, with RCT Council allowing us the use of the Ilan Centre since September. Without their help and generosity, we would not have been able to help all that needed us.
We know that this is not a temporary increase in need and have already helped over 1000 people since April 1st, and the Ilan Centre and the Churches are both looking to reopen for the public, so we are looking for a new home. However, we are now of a size that we will not be able to fit back in those small spaces that we used to fit in.
Simple you may think! But no, We have been looking at industrial units, but as we would need one of around 2000 sq. ft (185 sq. m), they seem to be the most popular and are signed up almost as soon as they become available. We have spoken with the council, and they do not have any spaces that they can fit us into at present.
So our ask is do you either own or know someone who owns a suitable space to rent or even sell in Pontypridd area (but not in the centre of town), we could use? We are hoping that by sharing this we will find someone with the unused space to help us going forward. If you are able to help, please do contact us on email@example.com.
The reflection last Wednesday was recorded as Phil was walking to the Castle Square outdoor Elders meeting.
“I know that alongside some difficult discussions and challenging decisions we have to make we will enjoy each other’s company and hospitality; hence I’ve brought along some luxury chocolates! so we will gather and have cups of tea and slices of cake and all sorts if I know Vena!
In normal times that’s something that Castle Sq and St David’s does very well, whether that’s Bring and Share meals, Fish and Chip lunches, Guild Dinners or After Service Teas and Coffees – all sorts of hospitality. I know we are still living under the COVID shadow but things are beginning to open up and we are able to gather in groups and enjoy hospitality with each other. The St David’s Park Ramblers are meeting for their coffee – in groups of 6, after walking!
Many are going to restaurants to meet each other and share that time with food and drink which is really important.
I think that sharing of food and drink is a rather sacred thing, that’s why Jesus was such a foodie and shared so many meals and so much of his teaching was about food and drink and who we invite to our table.
If only there was some way of enjoying hospitality with each other and changing the world? I hear you ask.
Well, seeing as you’ve asked, there is – because we’re asking you to make a cuppa and save the world! NO small ask for a Midweek reflection.
As you know, this November in Glasgow the UK Government is hosting COP 26, the UN Climate Change Conference
We, as churches are encouraged to raise our voice and play our part in holding our leaders to account, to say we want you to make decisions which will benefit the planet and therefore all the creatures on it because we know already across the world people are suffering from the effects of the climate crisis as are many of God’s creatures and the earth itself.
So, we are asking, when you have made your cup of tea or coffee, when you’ve used up your milk, if it’s a green lidded one, please keep the top – because in September – the season of creation – we will have all sorts of services and events looking at the climate crisis and our responsibility as stewards of God’s creation and what we can do about it. As part of this we are going to be creating some massive green hearts outside our church buildings along with some explanation about what they are and how they relate to the COP26 Conference. SO for now over the summer save your green tops. If you don’t want the clutter in your house – please wash and bag them and put in Phil’s bench, the church letter box, or give to your courier if they are willing to accept them!”
A Thought for the Week
What the mind can conceive and believe, and the heart desire, you can achieve. Norman Vincent Peale
ZOOM SERVICES: Log in opens at 10.30 for pre service chat. Services will start at 10.45 or as advertised. Zoom service link – https://us02web.zoom.us/j/89461145366?pwd=S3ExNTVjdGVGdXlGVlNQc2k3eldudz09
To join by phone (call 0203 901 7895. then, when asked, type in the meeting ID – 894 6114 5366; followed – when asked – by the passcode – 8453605) Calls are charged at standard UK call rates.