& Castle Square URC
1st August 2021
Normally on a first Sunday Phil would be leading worship in Castle Square, but these aren’t normal times!
Until we find our new normal, it has been agreed that we continue to welcome guest preachers for first Sunday services so to hear different voices and welcome different perspectives, thus keeping Phil free to lead worship at Castle Square when they return to on-site worship.
We are very pleased that today we are able to welcome Revd Malcolm Shapland, a retired URC Minister from Caerphilly. We look forward to what he’s got to share with us.
Phil will be leading this afternoon’s short Communion service on-site at St. David’s Uniting at 4pm. If attending in person, please bring your own bread and wine or an alternative. Those wanting to join online are advised to go to our YouTube channel at 4pm where the link will be made available: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC1ftWuXHexnfFdo1FKwXBZA or can participate when uploaded later.
Whether you’re coming to the Communion service in person, online, or through the printed word, you are invited to print out the order of service (which will remain the same for all afternoon Communion services) and can be sent to those we have email addresses for. Please contact the Admin email address if you require a copy.
Church Family and Pastoral News
We include this in the news sheet to inform our prayers.
- We continue to hold Mair, Graham and the rest of the Healy family in our prayers as they prepare for Mark’s Funeral service which will be held at 11am on Saturday 7th August at Bethany Chapel, Pwllgwaun, to which all are welcome. A private burial will take place in Mid Wales the day before.
- Cerys has received her treatment and is now back at home and taking it easy! We think of her and Stephen as he cares for her at a distance while she is radioactive! We send them our love and good wishes.
- Chris Morris will finally have his operation on Monday, after 5 postponements. We wish him well.
- Hilary Grinter has finally received the results of the endoscopy she had over two months ago. All is OK.
- Jayne Bright has a severe chest infection which is being treated with steroids.
- We think of Pauline Robbins who will have her hip operation on Thursday. She has waited a long time.
- Please remember those caring for family with dementia and those for whom this time of year holds sad memories.
- Margaret Major, who will be 97 this year is keeping well, although sadly she doesn’t recognise people – Jan spoke with Margaret’s niece Barbara who is now allowed to visit just for 15 minutes.
- Rosie and Gavin had a lovely wedding on 18th July although it was extremely hot – they were very appreciative of Phil’s service. We wish them many happy years together.
Glyn Street PCW Ynysybwl
The service of closure for Glyn Street PCW, Ynysybwl is on Wednesday 4th August at 2pm. Glyn Street was part of the pastorate with St David’s PCW and Graig PCW. We hold the members of the fellowship in our payers at this time
Jan is rejoicing that her granddaughter is coming to stay for a week.
We wish Aisha Naamani and all of National Dance Company Wales all the very best as they start their Wales tour this week. This Friday 6th August, will see their first performance to a live audience since their U.K. tour was cut short in March last year. More information on how you can see them, live or online, is available on the NDC Wales website https://ndcwales.co.uk/open-air-performance‘
Birthdays this week
Just one birthday that we know of this week – Pat Howell on Saturday 7th August. There may be others, we hope if you have a birthday this week that you are able celebrate.
……for, messages, phone calls, flowers and cards. ‘It meant a lot to me that people cared – Dixie had been with me for 15years, I’ll miss taking her for walks’ Beti
…..to all at St David’s for all the kindness shown to us. Jean & John Davies
Following the Government announcement, we are continuing with our current schedule of services until the end of September, hopefully with relaxed conditions in the sanctuary. Thus, the service schedule will be:
10:45am Morning Service on Zoom. – followed by a picnic around the bandstand from 12:30pm.
10:45am Morning Service in the sanctuary;
4.00pm Zoom storytelling Communion. Theme is: holiday!
All morning services available on paper, on our website and on YouTube.
St David’s Uniting Church Vision Committee Document
Alongside this weekend’s papers, all members of the St. David’s Uniting Church family should receive, by email or in print, a document from Phil and on behalf of the elders and vision committee. It’s no small thing – in terms of form or content – so take your time in reading it, carefully and prayerfully. No decision needs to be made on it in the near future but the elders and vision committee wanted church members to have some time to digest the suggestion within the letter over the summer before we make space to discuss it at the church meeting in September and in subsequent parts of our church life. Your elder or pastoral buddy will be in touch with you in the next fortnight to check in with you and your response to the document. In the meantime, as it says in the letter, let us remember that we come from God; we belong to God; our true home is in God. Nothing and no-one can change that or ever separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus.
Stewards / Representatives
As we continue meeting at St. David’s Uniting Church every other week, we are in need of stewards to help us meet the Government regulations and denominational guidelines. As we look to celebrating the postponed baptism of Evie Rae Webb next Saturday at midday, we are also welcoming stewards and/or representatives from the congregation to attend that service. Please contact Maralyn Tomlinson if you are able to steward at that, or any other service.
Last week, nomination forms for St. David’s Uniting Church elders were given out. Here’s a reminder of how the process works:
1) All St. David’s Uniting Church members can nominate any other church members whom they deem to have the gifts and graces to serve God through church eldership. More than one name can be given and neither a seconder, nor the permission of the person you’re nominating needs to be sought.
2) Those who are finishing a term of their current eldership (Pam Mahoney, Liz Henson, Michael Howells, Peter Davies) are willing to be reconfirmed as elders, but still need to be nominated. There is one vacancy.
3) Deadline for nominations – via email to firstname.lastname@example.org, post or courier 8th August
4) Once collected in, Phil will approach the person who received the greatest number of nominations to see if they are willing to serve. If they are, they fill that position. If not, Phil approaches the person with the next highest number of nominations and so on.
5) The names of the five willing nominees with the highest number of nominations will be shared prior to the church meeting, during which their eldership will be confirmed and prayed for.
Any further questions about this process, please speak with your elder or Phil.
Something to look forward to!
A Picnic! – Unless rain stops play, Phil will be enjoying his lunch near the bandstand in the park next Sunday between 12:30 and 14:30. If others would like to join him, he would be glad to see them!!!
We are thinking of beginnings and endings, there is a time to begin things and a time to end things. The end of July seems like a good time, it’s the end of the school year and the beginning of the holidays. The restrictions look to keep loosening well into August and the vaccination programme is good – as we keep an eye on rising COVID rates it does seem that we are returning to more regular patterns of life, whether that’s in the church or beyond.
As a church we are thinking about things that we are going back to. As you know we are back in St David’s Uniting Church every other week in the morning, the other weeks are on zoom with some extra services that Castle Sq join in as well.
We are looking towards September and beyond and at Castle Square one of the midweek groups, Craft and Chat, are hoping to start again at the beginning of September, whilst at St David’s Uniting last week we got to thinking about planning monthly film and chat afternoons mid-week. More details to come soon.
But it’s not a beginning I wanted to talk about, rather an ending – it was 25th March 2020 that we had the first of our mid-week reflections. I was younger and more fresh-faced and I found it very odd and said as much.
It was two days after Boris had announced that lockdown, and the world has changed quite a lot since then. We’ve seen the lockdowns come and go, we’ve said sad farewells to friends and happy goodbyes to presidents, we’ve clapped, we’ve zoomed, we’ve celebrated Easter and Christmas and Easter again, we’ve quizzed, we’ve baked and we’ve put on about half a stone in weight, and these mid-week reflections have accompanied all of that.
In that very first one I said that one of our key objectives was to create a space for dialogue between friends and strangers as we supported each other through what was at first a very scary time and still continues to be a very weird and different time, I think if that was the objective, we could say mission accomplished. We’ve certainly engendered dialogue. We’ve swapped stories, we’ve shared photographs, we’ve shown recordings, we’ve had contributions from Canada, the Cayman Islands and Cardiff, we’ve played games, we’ve made art, we’ve created a cookbook, we’ve raised smiles and thousands of ££s for Christian Aid along the way.
Now with the summer holidays upon us and those familiar patterns re-emerging, we have decided that it’s time to give these a rest, to say goodbye and thanks for all the fish. For this is our last mid-week reflection for the meantime. We’ve heard from so many within our churches and beyond that our online stuff has been appreciated and we will certainly be having more online presence in the future. I know the Advent Calendar and the Lent Holy Week journey recordings were appreciated. We will continue to have an online presence. We’ll be live streamed every other week and we still have our zoom services in between, some which are very different, from discussion-based ones to storytelling to more contemplative services.
For now, I have three final things to say –
Number 1 – a reminder of our ongoing mid-week challenge – the bottle tops. In September we will be doing all sorts of activities and events to mark the season of creation as we look towards the COP26 Conference in Glasgow and raising our voice that as followers of Christ we demand that our leaders take a serious stance when it comes to the climate crisis and what we can do lessen it if not negate it. So, collect the green milk bottle tops and get them to us so we can create something magical out of them in September.
Number 2 – this is the last mid-week challenge which is an ongoing one SO if you’ve watched any of these videos, if you’ve enjoyed any of them, please consider participating in this final one – it is for posterity – as we have been looking back over these last 17 months, we are encouraging you to think again what this last period of time has brought. What’s been easy, what’s been hard, what you’ve enjoyed and what you’ve found really difficult. When did God feel far away and when might God have felt close, when did you feel most drained, and when did you feel most alive? What have you learned, what have you discovered and what have you been reminded about? This is what we want to do something with – so the last invitation is to send a photograph of yourself, preferably head and shoulders and complete the sentence ‘The thing I have learnt through lockdown is …… ’ or -’the thing I’ve been reminded about during lockdown is …… – It could be what God has taught you, or something about who you are, how you found this time, your connection with others, it could be something about the would around you – and as you’ve just read these words then you are very able to take part in this last mid-week challenge – if you can’t do the photo don’t worry, we’ll sort it for you. Send in to Robert at email@example.com or give to your courier and Robert will create something which we will keep for posterity.
Number 3 – A massive thank you, diolch, merci, shukran etc. to all of you for participating in these because it has been an absolutely community effort.
Special thanks to Bethan for always uploading the videos and having to deal with last minute edits, glitches etc. and to Marcia for transcribing them and making sure that those not online can participate and also for often doing the PowerPoints, and thanks to all who participated any way. So this is it for now, we will be back digitally at some point, but for now, Go well, God be with you, God bless you and may you be a blessing to those around you. See you at some point in some way soon! Phil
Finding humour /Jokes in the Bible
Q: Who in the Bible owned a motor bike?
A: Joshua, his triumph was heard over all the land (Joshua: ch: 6 KJV)
A response to one of Phil’s mid-week challenges last year – from Kath
A Thought for the Week
Life is either a daring adventure or nothing.
To keep our faces towards change and behave
like free spirits in the presence of fate
is strength undefeatable.
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.
LIVE STREAM SERVICES – to join go to https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC1ftWuXHexnfFdo1FKwXBZA where you should be able to join the service. Don’t join too early!