Saint David’s Uniting Church
& Castle Square URC
Minister: Rev. Dr Phil Wall
Tel: 01443 300345 Mob: 07855090360
Admin email: firstname.lastname@example.org
14th February 2021
Phil is leading our Zoom worship today at 10.45. Joining details are at the end of this newsletter.
It is almost a year since Storm Dennis hit the UK and caused so much damage locally, we know that many people are still trying to get back to some sort of normality while some have yet to return to their homes.
Then Covid hit us, thankfully the cases in Wales are declining which is great news and a large percentage of our congregations are feeling happier now that they have received their vaccinations, but we still need to take care, wear our masks and keep our distance. Our Churches will remain closed until it is safe to meet again.
We look forward to that day, it may be different, it will probably feel strange, but we will have a joyful celebration!
In the meantime, Phil has many exciting things planned and we are doing our best to make sure everyone can be involved, we encourage you to participate as you are able.
Church Family and Pastoral News
- We continue to hold Chris’s Son, David, (Cockburn) Vicki, Owen and the extended family in our prayers. The Funeral will be held on Wednesday 24th February at 10.30 and will be streamed. The family have asked for Donations in lieu of flowers be sent to The Alzheimer’s Society. Post to Alzheimer’s Society, Scott Road, Plymouth. PL2 3DU or on line at www.alzheimers.org.uk
- We will gather to say a final farewell to Brenda Jones on Tuesday at 12 o’clock. Simon will lead the service.
- We pray for those who are finding life difficult due to poor health and for people waiting for test results.
- We think of those who live alone and are longing for the warmer weather so they can take a walk outside!
- We remember those who are working from home, especially if they have young children who would be in school.
- We give thanks for ALL who work in hospitals and care homes and pray that they may receive all the support and help they need to carry out their work in these difficult times.
Sharing Good News
From Claire. I would like to thank everyone for their love and support both through Rob’s illness and since his passing. I’m now feeling able to face the world again and will shortly be returning to my employment with Cwm Taf Morgannwg Health Board, part-time, which will allow me to also pursue my calling as a Funeral Celebrant, in which I’ve recently completed my training. I think Rob would be pleased!
…and Sheila. THANK YOU to everyone for your prayers. – my son is home! We all rejoice with Sheila.
Birthdays this week
There are two birthdays that we know of this week! Catherine on Thursday 18th and Simon (London) Saturday 20th.
We wish them a Happy Birthday and hope they are able to celebrate!
to everyone who phoned and sent me cards on my birthday. I had a good day and was pleased to get a mention on ‘Beverley’s World of Music’ from Rev.Dr.Phil Wall and all my friends from St David’s Uniting Church’. Beverley played the song by Mario Lanza’s ‘Because you come to me’ –which was played at my wedding. Cyril.
Lent 2021 ~ Getting lost….and found….with God
some of the children connected to our congregations will be following the URC’s ‘Walking Towards Easter Together’ in which recipes, stickers, maps and prayers all help to enable a fun and thoughtful journey to Easter. We can all learn from the pack’s reminder that:
‘Lent represents the 40 days that Jesus spent time in the desert before he began his work on earth. He spent time with God, the Father, preparing for all he would need to do. In the same way, Lent encourages us to take time to go slower, take deep breaths, reflect on our faith, spend time with God and prepare our hearts for Easter’. During this time, you might choose to give something up, take something on, or perhaps engage some of the following:
In other years, both Castle Square and St. David’s Uniting have joined other churches in the area in raising money for Christian Aid by attending simple Lent Lunches in different churches every Friday in Lent. Obviously, this can’t happen this year but we are still encouraged to enjoy a lunch of soup and bread on Fridays in Lent; to pray for those who are hungry even for bread; and to donate money to Christian Aid. As we have just raised over £500 to Christian Aid and will be fundraising again for their week in May, you may wish to donate the money to other charities, such as Pontypridd Food bank.
Hold on to your Easter bonnets (now that’s an idea…!). For the 6 Sundays of Lent, we’re going to be doing something a little different in our online services and printed material. All revealed next week (you have been warned!). At best, it will encourage us to bring the world of The Bible and our world of today into a deeper dialogue in which one can critique the other. At worst, it will mean awkward, shoe-shuffling conversation…but just for 6 weeks! We can all suffer that! As part of this 6-week series, we will include the following week’s Bible passage in the newsletter with some questions that you are encouraged to consider. So, for next week, please read Exodus 1:8-22 – perhaps different translations and read in different places – and reflect upon the following questions:
- What is going on in the passage? Who are the main players?
- Did you see any echoes of the story or its themes in your life/the world this week?
- With which character(s)/situations(s) do you resonate?
Lent discussion groups
As part of our Lenten reflections, we will touch upon the work of Richard Rohr as found in his excellent book ‘Falling Upward’. Questions and activities inspired by the book will appear in future newsletters and midweek reflections up till Easter. Some of you might want to go further and purchase the book to read for yourself. Please speak to your courier or elder if you have any problem with this. From next Sunday, Phil will be facilitating discussion of the book on zoom every Sunday, 5-6pm. Remember – those not online can join in with these by phone. Please use normal Sunday morning zoom details for this. For those wanting to do this, please read chapters 1 & 2 for next week’s discussion.
Racial Justice Sunday
Alongside it being Valentine’s Day, Transfiguration Sunday, and the last Sunday of the Epiphany season and first of the Chinese New Year, it is also Racial Justice Sunday and Karen Campbell, Secretary of the URC’s Global and Intercultural Ministries team, have produced some poems and other resources for reflection. (https://urc.org.uk/intercultural-worship.html) inviting all of us to consider the following questions:
- What kind of love does God call us to embody and demonstrate?
- What kind of love does the Church embody, preach, and enact?
- What kind of love enables injustice to continue and even flourish?
- What kind of love can engender change?
- What kind of love do oppressed and marginalised communities strive for?
Double Vision Discussion
For this month’s discussion evening we are looking at the issues of humour, free speech and religion – a sometimes toxic, often funny mix! Come join the discussion live as Welsh comedian Sion Owens and Anglican theologian Andrea Russell, lead our reflections. Monday – 7:30 – 9pm. Online –https://us02web.zoom.us/j/82229587377 By phone – 0203 481 5240; Meeting ID: 822 2958 7377
The reflection opened with: ‘One of the challenges of lockdown is, it’s having a negative effect on our memory because most days are the same and we know what day of the week it is!’ Phil gave some things to remember or do!
- A reminder of our on-going lockdown challenge, to send in a photo depicting your new norm, what sums up the lockdown to you, plus a photo of yourself. Hopefully we will be gently and gradually getting out of it soon.
- Climate coalition -We are challenged to create green hearts out of re-used or recycled materials. see below!
As it was Chinese New Year on February 12, Le-Suan, from Castle Sq shared some interesting facts with us. You can watch the video on https://wp.me/p3X2bt-2JI
UN Climate Change Conference
The conference will be taking place in Glasgow in November this year and the Climate Coalition, wants people, through their ‘Show the Love’ campaign (1st – 21st Feb) from across the UK use the power of green hearts to join together and ask decision makers to tackle the climate crisis. How can we do it?
The Climate Coalition website has plenty of ideas and resources you can use https://www.theclimatecoalition.org/resource
- You can send a card to your MP and/or MS. The download link is Download a card to send to your MP (https://www.theclimatecoalition.org/s/Show-The-Love-2021-Print-At-Home-Postcard.pdf)
- If you don’t have access to the internet or would like to do something ‘crafty’, then we are challenged to create green hearts out of re-used or recycled materials and display them in our windows, take a photo and send it in to Phil or Marcia.
The Dar ul-Isa mosque in Cardiff welcomes us along to an evening’s talk on this horrific event took place in the 90’s on European soil. We will talk about the events and causes that led to the war. Our keynote speakers are Abi Carter, Forensic Scientist and Co-Chair of Remembering Srebrenica Wales and Major Peter Harrison, British Army Staff Officer who served on the ground in Bosnia. This event is being sponsored by Muslim Council of Wales. Tuesday Feb 16th; 6pm – 7:30pm; Online registration https://bit.ly/3cshulF
Thought for the week
‘One of the secrets in life is to make stepping stones out of stumbling blocks.’ Jack Penn
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.