Saint David’s Uniting Church
& Castle Square URC
Minister: Rev. Dr Phil Wall
Tel: 01443 300345 Mob: 07855090360
Admin email: firstname.lastname@example.org
22nd November 2020
As we approach the season of Advent, we realise that our preparations for the festive season will be completely different from usual, we won’t be able to celebrate as we would like, but it is a sacrifice we have to make.
We have a full programme of services and events which, hopefully, all will be able to join in, in some way.
A third of our joint congregations receive the newsletter and sermon in paper form without full colour. So, for this week – in which we traditionally light the Black Candle at St. David’s Uniting Church – a reminder that the festive season can be difficult for many and that God is with us in our shadowlands as in the more colourful moments of our lives -everybody is receiving the sermon and newsletter in the same monochrome format.
Church Family and Pastoral News
We include this in the news sheet to inform our prayers.
- We keep Elsie’s sister, Sandra and the family in our prayers as they wait for news, and we give thanks for those who care for her.
- Please remember those who are in hospital: Bernice in the Royal and Chris and Sue in Ysbyty Cwm Rhondda, we hope that they soon will be able to
- We think of Ray who moved to his new flat on Thursday. We hope he has settled in and can find everything!
- We give thanks for ‘good’ news and we remember those for whom news has not been so good.
Birthdays this week …..
Just two birthdays we are aware of this week: Elizabeth Davies Wednesday 25th and Lucy Chester on Saturday 28th We hope they are able to celebrate in some way, and we wish them a ‘Happy Birthday’
Sharing Good News
We have heard that Sioned Rhys has obtained a new job as Trainee Work Psychologist at the Department of Work and Pensions(DWP). We send her our Congratulations and Best Wishes
The commitment of faith groups to care for one other and for the wider community during a difficult year was praised at the Senedd this week as the Deputy Minister, Jane Hutt, commented on this year’s interfaith week. St. David’s Uniting and Castle Square churches got special mention regarding our support of the February flood victims. With some remaining funds dedicated to this work, we will be sending a small Christmas gift to all the residents of Sion Street, who suffered badly from the flooding. Details of how you can contribute toward this are included below.
With thanks to Gethin who spotted this mention on Senedd tv!
Every year, as we celebrate the coming of Christ and look forward to his return, we plan to hold services and events which might be accessible and engaging to both those within the church and those usually beyond it and can only do so because of a willing and wonderful team of workers. This year, this is perhaps more true than ever as we strive to be as safe, inclusive and creative as possible in our Covid-era Christmas celebrations. So, as we attempt to weave the traditional with the technological, we give our immense appreciation to all those volunteers who are enabling our celebrations to go ahead and – alongside participation in the attached events/giving to the attached causes – offer the following ways to be involved:
- Send Marcia a photo of you and/or family/friends dressed as nativity characters for our service on December 20th.
- Follow our digital advent calendar online and/or purchase and follow the reflections in our recommended advent book – Advent at Home – Gordon Giles
- Choose a Christmas reading, poem, picture or reflection for you to share at our ‘bring and share worship’ service on 27th December. Please get submissions to Marcia by 13th Offerings will be printed for those not online who can also still contact Marcia with a favourite reading to be included within the service.
- Offer to help package or deliver Christmas gift parcels for those who suffered from the flooding in Sion Street in February. We will be putting the gift packs together in St David’s Uniting Church hall from 10am on Thursday 3rd December and delivering them in the afternoon of Sunday 6th
- Attending the Festive Film Afternoon. Please book by 1stDecember contact Pam on email@example.com to aid our planning.
- Intentionally reading the newsletter each week where further details about upcoming events will be found.
Next Sunday, we will be hosting an Advent Communion service at Gelliwastad Road at 3pm (please remember to bring your mask) and on zoom at 6pm Wherever you hope to share this meal, please provide your own wine & bread (or equivalent).
Midweek Reflection / Challenge
In the midweek reflection last Wednesday, we saw Phil in smart attire! He reminded us that it is a golden time for TV at the moment. Some will be thrilled that ‘The Crown’, on Netflix and ‘I’m a Celebrity’ (filmed in North Wales) on ITV, are back on TV, and then there is the final of Great British Bake Off this week.
This week’s challenge invitation is inspired by Strictly Come Dancing, although Phil is not a huge ‘Strictly’ viewer, he is aware that many are and some at Castle Sq. even go the extra mile, because they dress up on a Saturday night, get on their glad rags, spend hours in hair and makeup, to get ready for the show, phone each other up, have snacks and maybe a glass of something sparkling. Other people did the same when the National Theatre plays were on. They would dress up with their family and friends and zoom to watch them as if they were going out, and so your invitation for this week is to get out your glad rags…we’re not going to be going to many Christmas parties this year, so this will be an excuse (if you can still fit in them) to get out your ballgowns and tuxedos…. or you could be inspired by ‘I’m a Celebrity’ and put on some jungle gear, or maybe something from ‘Bake Off’ (Phil was dressed as a hot dog!) Take a photograph, it will give us a reason to smile in these dark days, literally, not metaphorically, because there are many reasons to be hopeful. Whatever you choose we encourage you to be inspired by a TV show or film and to dress up and share the image with us.
Remember the Bible tells us that as God’s chosen people, wholly and dearly loved we are to clothe ourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience and over all these virtues put on love which binds everything else together in perfect unity. So, for this week put on love and perhaps a ballgown too
Send your memories in the usual way, to Phil or Marcia
A Thought for the week.
“You learn in life that the only person you can really correct and change is yourself.” Katherine Hepburn
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Weekly Zoom service: Log in opens at 10.30 for pre-service chat. Service will start at 10.45.
Zoom service link – https://us02web.zoom.us/j/89461145366?pwd=S3ExNTVjdGVGdXlGVlNQc2k3eldudz09