& Castle Square URC
25th April 2021
WELCOME to all who are reading this! We continue to try and keep everyone informed with what is happening in our Church community, and beyond. This week there is much good news!
Our Zoom services continue and as Phil leads us today, he encourages us to look at seven key questions over the coming months as each of us take some time to work out what our new normality will look like. The questions can be found in the Sunday Reflection on our website.
With the news that from Saturday 24 April, up to 6 people from 6 households can meet outdoors and from Monday 26 April outdoor hospitality will resume, including at cafes, pubs and restaurants, also outdoor attractions will be allowed to reopen, so, hopefully we can look forward to meeting up outdoors as we did last September AND we have the promise that indoor hospitality will reopen on 17th May!
Life is slowly improving, but we still need to be cautious. SO take care and go safely.
Church Family and Pastoral News
- We keep Doreen, her children, Paul, Kay, Sue and Sian in our prayers, along with the rest of the family, especially Doreen’s sister, Jean and John – they spent so much time together – as they prepare for David’s funeral on Thursday April 29th at 2:25pm. There will be a link for those who want to worship online, which will be passed on when available.
- We think of those for whom this week is the anniversary of the loss of loved ones.
- We are pleased to hear that Valerie is settling in well in Ty Porth and John has been able to visit her following the compulsory isolation period. They also Facetime regularly.
- Alan had a successful procedure on Thursday which went well. As he says ‘I’m not ill – I feel fine’.
- We remember those who have been unable to see their family who live away and hope they can meet up soon.
- Margaret visited Edith last week, She is well and sends Good Wishes to everyone.
- Please pray for those who live alone, and have very little contact with family and friends. These folks would appreciate a phone call occasionally.
Michael has had good news from his biopsy – he has nothing to worry about!
Many of the younger members of our fellowship, Phil included, are having their first vaccination.
Thank you for the cards, phone calls, messages, edible goodies and visits (socially distanced) I received on my birthday. I had a lovely day. Lynda.
Thanks for your greetings. And thank you for the card sent on behalf of all St. David’s. I get these every year, but hardly ever say thank you. These cards are special because they remind me that I belong to the community that is Saint David’s and that I receive support, encouragement and care from everyone in that community. Diolch. Cerys
Birthdays this week
Birthday’s this week that we are aware of are: Today – Margaret Holcombe, Monday 26th – Val Stone and Jamie Davies (Jamie will be 18!) Tuesday 27th – Mark Crowley, Thursday 29th– Julie Kirby. Also twins Luke and Toby Jones will be 4 on 29th and 30th respectively.
Church worship in the coming months
Last Sunday afternoon, the elders of St David’s Uniting Church gathered online to consider how the physical, mental, and spiritual health of the congregation and wider community might best be served through the services of worship we offer.
(At Castle Square, we had already decided that the premises remain closed for now).
Great consideration was paid to the perspectives of church members and friends as shared in the recent questionnaire and, taking that and other theological & practical factors into account, we have decided to host a blended diet of worship which will include online worship, on-premises worship, and even an outdoor social each month. In this time of great uncertainty, we will review this provision every 2 months and will ensure that the details of the services for each month will be printed in every newsletter like so:
Zoom worship at 10:45am EVERY Sunday (also available on YouTube and on printed material).
- Sunday 2nd May, 4:00pm – Short communion service in St. David’s Uniting Church – also livestreamed
- Sunday 9th May, 10:45am – Morning zoom service screened in St. David’s Uniting Church
- Sunday 9th May, 6:30pm – National Christian Aid Week service [details to come]
- Sunday 23rd May, 10:45am – Morning service with Communion in St. David’s Uniting Church
- Sunday 23rd May – Lunch in the park!
[We hope to arrange an outdoor meeting once a month but this is dependent upon yet to be released Government guidelines. More info to come].
Please do let Phil know if you would be prepared to steward at any of the in-house services.
If you are intending on coming to a service on church premises, please remember the following:
- Aim to arrive at church about 10 minutes before the service begins.
- Bring a face mask (not a visor) to wear at all times and your own water if required.
- Sanitize your hands and check in on entry.
- Allow the stewards to show you to your seat and then remain seated until guided by a steward at the end of the service, leaving promptly.
- This will be tough…but please maintain a 2-metre distance and keep all conversation for outside.
We know that all of the above sounds alien for a church service – it does to all of us – and we also know that these restrictions will mean some members will refrain from returning to in-house services for the time being. That is understandable. We all have different perspectives, health considerations, and preferences when it comes to our engagement in worship. There should certainly be no expectations, coercion, or guilt concerning how to access our worship over the next few months – rather understanding, generosity, and compassion as together we continue to praise God, love one another, and share good news in our communities in a plethora of different ways.
Children Quote the Bible
Lot’s wife was a pillar of salt by day, but a ball of fire by night!
Phil’s Challenge for Christian Aid’s 75th Anniversary
Our invitation is to start thinking about how we can raise awareness and or money for Christian Aid, we’ve got ideas up our sleeves and services on our minds, plus Christian Aid ones. we’ll come back to that, but for now we encourage you to start thinking …are there 75 things you could do to raise money or awareness for CA
Perhaps walk 75 100 steps; take 75 photographs; bake 75 cakes; crochet 75 hearts to sell, do 75 Sudoku’s or word searches etc. You could do things in groups, like 75 laps of the park! We encourage you to think about what you could do to raise awareness or money for Christian Aid this year.
…and his 40th Birthday Plans!
A reminder! Phil’s Christian Aid fundraising adventure that he will be attempting on May 15th. He will climb the Welsh 3 Peaks (Snowdon, Cader Idris & Pen-y-fan) in 24 hours. Details of how you can support me in this can be found at the following link. Diolch yn fawr! https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/Phil-is-old?utm_source=Sharethis&utm_medium=fundraising&utm_content=Phil-is-old&utm_campaign=pfp-email&utm_term=57cbdafac8b24a328abd6412b30a3307
Something to make you smile
The preacher’s 5 year-old daughter noticed that her father always paused and bowed his head for a moment before starting his sermon. One day, she asked him why. ‘Well,’ he began, proud that his daughter was so observant of his messages. ‘I’m asking the Lord to help me preach a good sermon.’ ‘So, how come He doesn’t?’ she asked.
Setting the scene! Phil recorded the reflection along side the River Taff on a sunny morning with bird song in the background. He chose the spot where stones and ash from barbeque had been held, and on Easter Day as he journeyed between Church House, St David’s and Castle Square, he paused to break bread and drink wine and remembered Jesus’ thanksgiving meal, his death and his rising!
It put Phil in mind of the times when humankind would gather around the fire in places of beauty and would tell stories to each other to explain the great mysteries of life. It also reminded him of Jesus meeting with his disciples on a beach – that beach barbecue – where they gathered and ate and drank. It was there that Peter was restored and told that he would be the rock on which he would build his church.
Peter had no clue what the church would become in all its beauty and its brokenness. At the time the job description was ‘Feed my sheep!’
It makes you wonder what job description the church has today. What are we here for? Why do we exist as a family, as a body, as an institution? Phil has shared more of his thoughts in Sunday’s reflection.
It’s that question of existence that we begin with. Our challenge this week is to think If you were asked, by a friend or stranger, ‘What is the church there for? Why does the church exist?’ How would you answer in a sentence? You might think of biblical quotes, a poetic answer, a humourous answer or you might think, I can give a sentence description of why I think the church exists, our job description of today. Please send your answers to Marcia or Phil.
A Thought for the Week
Time is the coin of your life. You spend it. Do not allow others to spend it for you. Carl Sandburg
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.