& Castle Square URC
16th January 2022
Today is our 20th Anniversary and we will celebrate with reduced numbers as many are still reluctant to return to services in church.
Last year we said: By next year we should be able to celebrate in style, but that is a long way off and as we look to the future Phil has this message for us……
The message mentioned hopes of Easter Services being optimistic and vaccines on their way – but we will continue to meet with God and one another in worship – online, on the phone and in print. All of which we have done.
We are now back in Church every Sunday, with the services being live streamed. Only the second Sunday morning is on Zoom. We look forward to welcoming more people to live services.
Today’s service which will be led by our Minister will include the celebration of the Lord’s Supper.
Link for Live Stream – https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC1ftWuXHexnfFdo1FKwXBZA
Church Family and Pastoral News
We include this in the news sheet to inform our prayers. Please pray for:
- Robert in his concern for his mother who had a CT scan on Friday: they are waiting for the results.
- Loreen: still in Royal Glamorgan Hospital and soon to be moved to Ward 20.
- Gill Miller: looking forward (hopefully) to returning home on Tuesday.
- We are pleased to report that Vena is now much better, we still keep her in our prayers.
- Colleen is still in considerable discomfort and is taking things easy.
- Pam is the latest person we know of who has succumbed to COVID, but thankfully she is on the mend after a tough couple of days.
- Those who have appointments for scans or blood tests this week, and then will await the results.
- We are aware of people who have had falls or are not feeling too well…we hold them in prayer.
There are just two birthdays that we know of this week: Robert James, Monday 17 and Helen O’Callaghan-Williams, Saturday 22 – we send our good wishes and hope you are able to celebrate.
This Monday is ‘Blue Monday’ – a day said to be the most depressing of the whole year. It has a formula and everything!
(C x R x ZZ)
—————— + (P x Pr) > 400
((Tt + D) x St)
where Tt = travel time; D = delays; C = time spent on cultural activities; R = time spent relaxing; ZZ = time spent sleeping; St = time spent in a state of stress; P = time spent packing; Pr = time spent in preparation.
Certainly, it can feel like there is much about which to be depressed right now, including within the life of our churches. However, the angels’ declaration of ‘good news of great joy for all people’ should still be ringing in our ears for – whilst losses must be acknowledged, faced, and lamented – there is much about which to be joyous and thankful. So on Monday, why not commit to making someone else’s day that bit brighter by picking up the ‘phone, dropping off a card, baking them a cake, or some other act of kindness? In the meantime, here are some upcoming events to remind us that our churches are still alive, active and have much going on over the next few months. (All events are dependent on changing circumstances…but that’s always true! More details to come for all.):
- February – The return to services and midweek meetings at Castle Square
- March – The new and improved St David’s Uniting Church Guild starts on Thursday 3rd! We celebrate the unsung heroes of Pontypridd with our Community Saints Awards on Saturday 5th. And there’s a chance to get stuck in to some reflection on our faith and finances in Lent Bible discussion groups led by our wonderful Ray.
- April – In person Holy Week celebrations & the return of Film and Chat Sundays
- May – Trip to the theatre & Christian Aid fundraiser
- June – Jubilee celebrations & the Synod Big Day Out
- July/August – Possible joint church trip to St David’s & Caldey Island
Raising Money for a Family Reunion
At St. David’s Uniting Church, we have been so blessed to have Renda, Majdi & Susan as part of our church family since December 2016. There is now a chance to bring their mother and 3 sisters, Rachid, Rena, and Rosa, to Wales. An application is being made for their mother and siblings to apply for entry clearance to come to the UK to be reunited with them, which now has to be paid for, around £398 each. If they are successful extra costs will include airfares. They have had TB tests, which were all clear, and last for 6 months. Supporting this family reunion would mean so much to Renda, Majdi and Susan, not least because they are afraid for the safety of the family, given the current political climate and uprising in Khartoum.
Please consider donating by giving cash/cheques (payable to St David’s Uniting Church) to Lynda/or in the church letterbox with ‘Renda’ written on the back of the envelope or by giving online at:
Christmas Film Anagrams – the answers!
This week, Phil was impressed by one church member who, with a little help from her friends, got all 10 of the Christmas film anagrams. In case you got stuck, here are the answers:
- SHE PATS EXPLORER – The Polar Express
- YE LOCAL VAULT – Love Actually –
- CHARCOAL ITS ARMS – A Christmas Carol
- HIS WARMEST ITCH- White Christmas
- HIRED AD- Die Hard
- SORE COG- Scrooge
- SULTANA TEACHES – The Santa Clause
- FILE IS AT UNDERFLOW – It’s A Wonderful Life
- EAR ACHE PEG TEST – The Great Escape
- CHAIR SMART HURTS – Arthur Christmas
And seeing as we’re now in awards season, here are 10 anagrams of award-winning films for you to get stuck into! Answers in 30th January Newsletter
- IN ATTIC
- 2 DEAL 8 TRAYS
- HE THAT FORGED
- THAT DEEP RED
- HAM IS THINER
- WHEAT ODOR FIZZ
- HIS DRILL SCENTS
Services next week at St David’s
10:45am – Phil will be in London on study leave as he does work for the URC’s Church Life Review Group and preparation for leading worship at the URC Youth Assembly. As next Sunday marks the start of the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity, we are particularly privileged to welcome friend of the church Revd Aled Edwards, Chief Executive of Cytun (Churches Together in Wales) to lead our morning worship.
6pm – Thanks to the wonders of technology, Phil will be leading our zoom storytelling service from London at 6pm. This month’s theme is ‘new beginnings’ so you’re invited to bring a personal story, poem or anecdote about fresh starts and new births. Stories might be funny, sad, serious, silly or anything in between…or you might just want to come, listen, and share a time of Communion with friends.
Reminder of Restrictions
As we continue to offer in-person services at a time of high Covid rates, legal restrictions, and varied perceptions of risk, the elders of St. David’s Uniting Church felt it was a good time to finesse and remind members of what to expect at in-person services in the short-term:
- Members are encouraged to take a lateral flow test before coming if possible.
- Doors will be open from 10:30am, allowing those who prepare the worship space time to do so.
- Please leave 2 metres/2 chairs between bubbles.
- After the final blessing/grace, please remain seated until the music has finished at which point a steward will invite you to leave.
- Please try to keep conversation to outside.
Thanks for your part in keeping the congregation safe and secure.
Some dates to look forward to!
In a dark and, often, dismal month as January can be, it can be good to get some things in the diary to look forward to. Here are some to get us started:
- March 5th – 10:30am – Gelliwastad Road.Come and celebrate those in our community who ‘do the little things’ to make the world a kinder, more loving place as we give out our Community Saints Awards!
- May 18th– 7:30pm. One of the Guardian’s ‘plays to book in 2022’, Brad Birch’s bold new reimagining of An Enemy of the People – which pits the personal against the political and facts against emotion – is coming to the Sherman Theatre in May. Tickets cost £20 for adults, £18 for concessions. If you’d like to go, please let Phil know by 19th January.
- June 25th– Save the date for the URC Big Day Out on Saturday 25 June at the Royal Welsh Showground – a day of worship, conversations, craft and activities. Westminster College Cambridge will be helping us to explore ‘Being Church in the New Landscape.
- October 1st– On the afternoon of Saturday 1 October 2022, in Methodist Central Hall Westminster, London, where the Uniting Assembly of the URC took place in October 1972, a chance to give thanks and to celebrate the five decades of the United Reformed Church. Several venues, including United Reformed Church House, local URCs and buildings of ecumenical partners, will be available for people to visit during the day, to offer activities, information, workshops, reflection, discussions, singing, catering and other support for visitors before the service. Tickets are free and can be accessed here or by speaking with Phil –https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/50th-anniversary-service-of-thanksgiving-and-celebration-free-event-tickets-163843796205
Used Postage stamps
We are still collecting stamps for Amnesty International, so please check your mail, cut off the stamps – leaving a small border – and take them to church or pass on to Carol.
A Thought for the week
“You have to accept whatever comes, and the only important thing is
that you meet it with the best you have to give.!”