& Castle Square URC
Minister: Rev. Dr Phil Wall
Tel: 01443 300345 Mob: 07855090360
Admin email: email@example.com
17th January 2021
Today is the beginning of the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity. Churches Together in Britain and Ireland have an online daily reflection. The introduction by Bob Fyffe, the General Secretary included these words;
Our spiritual well-being is as important as our physical well-being. In the past year both of these have been seriously challenged: The period of lockdown that we have lived through has caused us to take a step back to think again about our priorities and the things and people that we value, that make our lives whole.
Each day during this week, CTBI are providing a starting point, reflection, questions and a prayer based on the theme, for us to consider. These can be accessed here – https://ctbi.org.uk/go-and-do-week-of-prayer-for-christian-unity-2021/
Next week our service will reflect this celebration as Gethin Rhys, former minister of our friends at Porth and Castle Square, and Fiona Liddell, former St. David’s Uniting Church member, will join us for this.
As we venture forth into this new year, it’s an opportune time to take on something new. Maybe try out joining a Sunday service on the 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).
Perhaps you might want to sign up to the URC’s daily devotions email (https://devotions.urc.org.uk/). You might even like to start or engage with a new initiative – like a monthly book club or a regular contemplative practice. Why not spend some time in prayer thinking about this with the God of new beginnings?
Church Family and Pastoral News
We include this in the news sheet to inform our prayers.
- We are sad to announce that Brenda Jones passed away at Ty Eirin Care Home on 11 January. Brenda had been a member of the Pontypridd United Church having worshiped at both Carmel Baptist and English Congregational Church with her parents in the years before they united in 1969. Funeral details to follow.
- We think of David, Sue, Simon, Bethan and Ben as they prepare for the funeral of Ann, which will take place at 2.15 on Monday January 18th. https://www.wesleymedia.co.uk/webcast-view To join the service, follow the link – Order ID: 65044 Password: edtxcwgs Agree to terms and conditions, then Login.The family have asked that donations in lieu of flowers be sent to British Heart Foundation and Guide Dogs for the Blind. this can be done online or sent to Sue Walkling.
- We hold Helen and the family in our prayers as they prepare for Ceinwen’s funeral on Tuesday 19th January. As we are unable to attend, we suggest you pause at 1.15pm when Gethin will be leading the service, or at 2pm when Ceinwen will be laid to rest at Trealaw Cemetery. Phil and John will be representing the church.
- Sheila’s Son is now breathing unaided. we pray for his continued improvement.
- We ask your prayers for Chris as she adapts to life at home. Cyril, who spent a few hours in hospital this week, there was concern about his legs. John and Valerie as they face daily challenges.
- We pray for Marilyn(C.Sq), Stephanie, Janet Butler & Colleen in these early days following their bereavements
- Bernice is hoping to return home soon! We pray for her and Sue Salmon, who are in Ysbyty Cwm Rhondda
Sharing Good News ~
Ray Vincent has a wonderful new website that we’re invited to check out and engage with. It can be found here – https://freetoloveandbelieve.com/
Brian is very pleased to say that his latest scan results are good and he will continue his three weekly treatment and says thanks for the support he continues to receive from his ‘church’ friends..
Birthdays this week …..
There are two birthdays this week, Robert James today!(17th) and Helen O’Callaghan Williams on Friday 22nd
Sheila…..I would like to thank each and every person who has been praying for my son he is very slowly recovering; he can now breathe on his own. He was woken up for a few hours, and that is a good sign. I hope you are all keeping well and safe, and please God, it won’t be long in the future before we can all meet again.
Caroline…..Says ‘Thank you to those who take the time to send me the Newsletter and Reflections every week. I will receive my Vaccination this week, I hope you will have yours soon. Take care! Caroline.
AND …..Marilyn and family would like to thank Phil for his wonderful service for Peter also his support. Thank you to all our friends at our two churches for all their prayers, love, cards, flowers and phone calls. We were truly overwhelmed by the people who attended the service and those who stood outside. We will never forget the kindness you have all shown us. Hope to see you all soon, until then take care and stay safe. Marilyn
At Monday’s Double Vision, we discussed our hopes and resolutions for a post-Covid Wales with Pontypridd MP, Alex Davies-Jones, and Cytun Policy Officer, Revd Gethin Rhys. It was a fascinating discussion which covered everything from local regeneration to climate emergencies. You can watch on YouTube now at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cGcRqcKuKxo
Phil opened with this question – ‘If a tree falls in the woods and there’s no one around to hear it, does it make a sound? The answer is YES, of course the tree makes a sound. Just because there’s no one there to hear it, it is going to make a sound. – whether or not you like this kind of question what it does and help to emphasise is there can sometimes be a difference between the world as we believe it to be and the world as it is. Richard Rohr, the Franciscan friar, one of Phil’s heroes, in one of his reflections said, ‘problems begin when we fight reality, push it away, or insist that the way I see reality, from my own limited perspective is the only valid reality. We’re seeing the results of that in America as Trump supporters refuse to accept that he lost the election fairly in spite of all the proof to the contrary. Their faith in the false beliefs they’ve been taught is so strong that they simply won’t accept evidence to the contrary. Their way of seeing the world is the only valid way! Whilst we should absolutely condemn their actions, we might want to take a breath before we judge them, not least of course because Jesus isn’t so keen on judgement.
We might have more in common with some of Trump supporters in the way that they see the world than we might initially like to think, we’re going to look at this more on Sunday. it’s very hard to change the mind of a believer. One reason people who have strong views on anything find it hard to change their minds is because our ego finds it scary, humiliating, if it has to come to terms with us being wrong. What do you do?
Actually, while the church has not always embraced the idea of changes in belief over the years, at other times it very much embodies that idea. Jesus said this to his followers, there’s more to tell you but you’re not ready now, when the time comes the spirit will help you with that.
So, the invitation for this week is to do something which helps us realise that changing our mind doesn’t have to threaten our ego or humiliate us, quite the contrary it can sometimes be liberating, honest, so, what I’d like you to do is to write down (just for your own personal use) the times in your life when you’ve changed your mind about something. It could be something small like the way you thought of someone, but something happened to make you change your beliefs. It could be something big, about a religious or political belief, perhaps you were brought up with certain prejudices which you actually believed at the time, but now believe differently. What ever it is make a list.
A Thought for the week
“Since there is nothing so well worth having as friends, never lose a chance to make them.”
= = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = =
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