& Castle Square URC
Minister: Rev. Dr Phil Wall
Tel: 01443 300345 Mob: 07855090360
Admin email: firstname.lastname@example.org
23rd May 2021
We extend a warm welcome to everyone who is joining our worship today whether you are in St David’s, at home, watching later on YouTube or reading the script that has been delivered by our loyal couriers.
It is Pentecost when we remember the coming of the Holy Spirit in a special way! As Phil leads or worship may we all experience something of the enthusiasm and power that the Holy Spirit gives.
In addition to the usual weekly Sunday services on TV and radio, BBC One have a Celebration for Pentecost Live from All Saints’ Church, Woodford Wells at 10.30am.
Church Family and Pastoral News
We include this in the news sheet to inform our prayers.
- We are sorry to say Doreen Marshman is back in hospital; we keep her in our prayers.
- Phil’s sister and eldest nephew, Nicola & Joe McGuinness, have been battling with Covid for 10 days now and are mostly through it, pretty much unscathed but exhausted. Phil is hoping to see them next weekend for the first time since last summer. We keep them all in our prayers.
- We remember those who have been bereaved recently as they wait to say their final goodbyes.
- Kath is feeling frustrated as she has to wear a brace until her arm heals.
- We think of Sharon who has had some adverse reaction to her medication.
- Dorothy should be having her steroid injection this week, and is hoping to get out walking again.
- We hold John Davies in our thoughts now that he is home and also Jean in her concern for him.
- Pat Howell has been suffering with sciatica we hope the pain will ease soon.
- Several of our members are struggling, partly through inactivity due to this unseasonal weather.
Renda is delighted to share the news that she has had her first jab.
Diolch yn fawr. Well I know I pre-planned it for last week’s newsletter but, now back from my Birthday week away, I have to say how amazed and grateful I am. Firstly for the wonderful Birthday greetings shared in cards and messages – I was really moved (and not just because I was staying in a tree pod hanging in the air!). Secondly, and most importantly, for the incredible support of the 3 Peaks trek. With your generous donations and gift aid, we’ve sailed past the £4000 and now even the £5000 mark and are still going. Whilst I know I shouldn’t be surprised at your support for Christian Aid, I am thrilled and so grateful for you supporting the great work they do via our fundraising efforts. I really am overwhelmed and the Church Engagement and Fundraising Officer for Christian Aid Cymru has already been in touch to send on their thanks too. So, from me, a crown of thanks on each of your heads! Now to get planning for the 50th… Phil
Thankyou to everyone who has rung and sent cards since I broke my arm. Your kind messages have been much appreciated. Hopefully it won’t be too long before I can resume normal duties in the kitchen! Kath
Birthdays this week
There are only two birthdays this week that we are aware of and they are both on the 29th. So we wish Jayne Bright and Margaret Morris many happy returns of the day for Saturday and hope you can celebrate with a glass or two!
Zoom worship at 10:45am EVERY Sunday (also available on YouTube and on printed material).
Next Sunday at 10.45am we will join the second Wales Synod Sunday service which has been prepared by the folk of the Alun Vale Pastorate in North Wales. We will still meet on zoom for pre service chat from 10.30am
Streams in the Wilderness is a week-long event looking at where we may find our nourishment, our spiritual water/food, during difficult times. Each session stands alone, but will all have the same overarching theme. You are welcome to join us for one session, some sessions, or all sessions! Each day will begin with morning prayer @ 7:30am, led by the Mark Argent. Around lunchtime will be some food for thought @ 12:30pm. These sessions will have input from a different guest speaker each day, giving you something to ponder during the afternoon. The evening slot is where we will be drinking deeply @ 7:30pm. Again, with input from a different guest each day, we will be exploring deeper the ways and means in which we can find nourishment in difficult times. All the sessions will aim to be varied, interactive, and include some takeaway thoughts. The entire week is free to attend. The Zoom link, which is sent out upon sign-up, is the same for all the sessions. So feel free to dip in and out as you see fit. Sign up at: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/urcspirituality-presents-streams-in-the-wilderne-tickets-145330875561
Covid Legacy Recollections
As much of the rest of the world continues to struggle with the virulence of the virus, we can be so thankful that here, in Wales, we have the third best vaccination rates globally. That is testament to the incredible work of the NHS, born in Tredegar nearly 73 years ago. In the coming weeks and months, we will be sharing ways in which we can show our thanks to those who are getting us through the pandemic as well as supporting those who are still suffering from it. For now, with restrictions slowly but surely being lifted, we invite you to reflect back over the past 14 months as we seek to create a lasting reminder of this strange time we are getting through. Robert James is heading up an art project to collect our memories and encourages us to:
1) Finish the sentence – “One thing I learnt/had confirmed over the past year is…”
2) To send in this sentence and a photograph of yourself from the neck up.
Hopefully we can create something that will inform future generations of how the Church responded and what we learnt from this pandemic.
Please send your contributions to Marcia at email@example.com and if you have any queries or need help with the photograph mention it – all emails will be forwarded to Robert. This is to comply with GDPR. If you have Robert’s email address you can use it. Any physical photographs can be sent to Robert James c/o St David’s Uniting Church, Gelliwastad Road, Pontypridd, CF37 2BW.
The 3 Welsh Peaks challenge (Snowdon, Cader Idris & Pen-y-fan) which Phil and the team conquered on May 15th has raised £4060.40 plus £805.10 Gift Aid from on-line donations plus £575.00 for the Challenge and £150 which was designated to Christian Aid Week. – we have yet to calculate the gift Aid on these donations. Which gives a total at the moment for Christian Aid of £5590.50. An incredible amount!
From Skomer and the puffins last week, followed by the grandeur of the three Welsh peaks as Phil and his magnificent support team completed the challenge, to Lan (aka Graigwen) woods, with the sun streaming down and a carpet of beautiful bluebells, which is where the midweek reflection was recorded!
Phil said ‘thank you’ in eight languages. He had incredible support both prayerful and in sponsorship. Messages of encouragement, birthday cards, gifts and other things were hugely appreciated. He had a great few days away and opened his cards, or most of them on a floating camping pod in Milford Haven. He was blown away by the messages and the sheer amount of cards, well over 100, and a similar number of messages and emails etc! It might take him a little time to say thanks to everyone.
‘ So, a huge thanks, we’ve raised over the £4000 for Christian Aid and that’s the important thing, that it’s going to people who are in real need of it and as we work towards a world in which they wouldn’t be in need, in which resources are shared justly and which God’s kingdom is more revealed and more lived out on earth as it is in heaven.
As for the actual walk itself, “I think epic is a good word to describe it. Parts of it were fun, tough. a little bit scary and the weather was uh, should we say mixed? We had hail, rain, sunshine, wind, pretty much everything bar tornadoes and lightening. But, me and my wonderful team did and ascend the 3 peaks, it was a great walk. I liked Snowdon because all the team completed that one – it was our first one and we had fresh legs, it was a team effort and a great journey to the top and back. I liked Cader (aka Cadair) Idris because I think it’s the most scenic, if not really quite tough and I liked Pen y Fan because it meant we were nearly home. So different reasons why I liked different walks. which brings me to the invitation this week – ‘What is your favourite walk?’ It might relate to an occasion. or a particular place, maybe the coastal path of the Gower, it could be your back garden or the local woods, or it could be memorable because of the people you were with when you made it”
Send a picture or a note with a line or two about it to Marcia or Phil at the usual email addresses or post in the Church letter box or Phil’s bench and we will share them with you next week.
A Thought for the Week
Repeated from the Pentecost newsletter 2020 as lockdown was eased for the first time!
“We each have a different story, if you need to stay home, stay home…But Be Kind.
If you need to go out, just respect others when in public and Be Kind!
Don’t judge fellow humans because you’re not in their story.
We all are in different mental states than we were months ago. So remember, BE KIND”
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.