& Castle Square URC
23rd January 2022
Today marks the start of the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity, and 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 as Phil is away. This service will be live streamed. There will be no text version of the reflection on the website. We encourage you join in the live stream or watch later on YouTube.
Link for Live Stream – https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC1ftWuXHexnfFdo1FKwXBZA
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.
We are very pleased to say that coffee will be served in the hall following our morning service! Those staying are asked to sit at the tables, (no more than 6 per table) and wait to be served while you enjoy being able to catch up with friends.
As we are in the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity. Those who would like to look at the daily reflections, prayers, and activity suggestions for this week should go to the following website, where they can find the week’s resources in English or Welsh –https://ctbi.org.uk/resources-for-week-of-prayer-for-christian-unity-2022/
Church Family and Pastoral News
We include this in the news sheet to inform our prayers.
- We continue to hold Loreen in our prayers as we haven’t been able to speak to her.
- Gill Miller is very happy to be back home after her prolonged stay in hospital. Take it easy Gill.
- Chris Morris is waiting for an ‘urgent’ eye operation.
- The results of Robert’s mothers CT scan show that she has three broken ribs, which will take a while to heal.
- We think of those who are still waiting for the results of recent tests.
- We remember those who live with debilitating illnesses as they battle to cope with every day.
- We remember those of our fellowship who are unable to remember us, and we pray for their well-being, and for those who care for them.
- For some people this time of year holds sad memories, we pray that they will be comforted.
- We give thanks for the many people who take time to phone those of our fellowships who live alone, we know how much these calls mean, especially as many have not been able to meet up in person.
- As restrictions are lifted across the border, we think of those of our fellowship who are still reluctant to gather in church, we hope the situation will improve and we look forward to when we can all worship together once again.
Only one birthday that we are aware of this week: Elsie Bennett on Friday 28th. Enjoy your special day Elsie, celebrate in style!
Two of our younger Syrian friends Omar and Maya have passed their driving test first time and Omar has bought a car so that will help the family and with work travelling to Tesco’s main warehouse.
Phil is away this week, fulfilling some of his wider church duties, including taking part in the Church Life Review Group and leading worship at the URC National Youth Assembly next weekend. We pray that all the young people and those supporting the event will have a safe, enjoyable, and enlightening time.
Last week we announced some things to look forward to with the warning that ‘All events are dependent on changing circumstances’…One has already changed!
The new and improved St David’s Uniting Church Guild will meet on Wednesday’s, start date to follow!
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. The Appeal in last week’s newsletter to bring their mother and 3 sisters to Wales had an incorrect link. For anyone interested in supporting this appeal the correct link is: https://www.gofundme.com/f/help-reunite-majdi-and-susans-mum-and-sisters?utm_source=customer&utm_medium=copy_link_all&utm_campaign=m_pd+share-sheet
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.
Reminder of Restrictions
As we continue to offer in-person services, with 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.
- When refreshments are being served, please make your way to a table and wait to be served. or leave the hall and chat outside.
Thanks for your part in keeping the congregation safe and secure.
Synod Sunday Service next week
Revd Ian Kirby – friend of the church and husband of Julie – will be leading the Synod Sunday service which will be available on zoom. As we are now halfway through the 2-year trial of these services, if you have any feedback to pass on to the Synod, please give that to Phil.
Services at Castle Square
Good News! Services are starting again – Our Minister will be leading the first service of the year at 11.00am on February 6th. The service will include communion.
The Curious Case of the Missing Services!
Some of our online community have noted that a few services have been blocked due to copyright issues. In other words, there are some videos that we can show/stream live but that we are not permitted to show in recorded services. Going forward, we will try to ensure that there are no copyright concerns with the videos we use. However, occasionally this won’t be possible so the best way to ensure participation in the full service is to stream it live – or to come in person, of course. Thanks for your understanding.
Colleen’s Handmade Cards are available to purchase / or order. Best to come prepared as they are not on display every week because of restrictions. Large cards are £2 and small ones £1.50. Please have the correct money. Cards can be made for special occasions and can be personalized.
A Thought for the week
Without hope we are restricted to the legacy of the past and the circumstances of the present.
But the Spirit brings God’s future into our present.
Therefore we do not need to make things happen…. to force things.
Hope places God at the centre of our life and action as we look for his kingdom
and for his Spirit to guide and empower us.