& Castle Square URC
27th June 2021
Phil is back with us today after his wanderings across the country walking the route of Hadrian’s Wall, followed by on-line Minister’s Summer School and worship in Sheffield for the URC Youth Exec. We hope he is refreshed and we look forward to fellowship with him.
Thanks to the wonders of technology, later today Phil will be giving the sermon – and Alan Hill the prayers – at St. Andrew’s Presbyterian Church in Beechwood, Canada, where Peter and Audrey Dejong – members of St David’s Uniting Church’s global family – worship.
Church Family and Pastoral News
We include this in the news sheet to inform our prayers.
- The funeral of Caroline Jones will take place this Thursday at 3:30pm at the Wenallt Chapel, Thornhill crematorium, Cardiff. Phil and several others will be representing her church family at the service as we give thanks for her life and entrust her into God’s eternal love. Anyone else wishing to attend should give their name to Marcia by Tuesday. We continue to hold Allie and the family in our prayers.
- Brenda Elias is now feeling a lot better and has been able to sit in her ‘garden’ and enjoy the sunshine!
- We remember Cerys as she was unable to receive specialist treatment recently, but it will hopefully be done in 5 weeks’ time.
- We pray for those who are confined to their homes: Bernice, Cyril Davies and John Davies; or are in residential care: Margaret Major, Sue Salmon, Valerie Henson, Edith Thomas and Diana Hayns. We give thanks to all you are involved in caring for them.
- There are people for whom this time of year is difficult as they face anniversaries without loved ones, may they know that they are held God’s care.
- We give thanks that people are now able to travel to visit family and are also able to catch up with friends that they haven’t seen for a while.
- We think of those who have long-awaited hospital appointments and are hopeful of a date for an operation.
- Also needing our prayer is Miara Rabearisoa, friend of St. David’s Uniting, who is in hospital undergoing tests on his lungs.
- We send our love and best wishes to Peter and Audrey Dejong and all the family, and hold them in prayer as they are coping with the sudden death of Audrey’s father last week and with Micah – their five-year-old grandson’s – recent diagnosis of a brain tumour. We keep them all in the light of God’s love.
We are delighted to hear that Heather Owen’s granddaughter Anna, who helped in kids club has had 2 A’s a B and a C in her A level results so is able to take her place in Cardiff University studying nursing. Her sister Eloise sat English and Maths a year early and is very happy with an A, a B and a C. Both girls were faithful members of Sunday school and kids club. (as was their dad before them, ha ha) Congratulation’s both!
Birthdays this week
There are 3 people we know of with birthday’s this week: We say Bon Anniversaire to Viviane for TODAY. Sheila Greenstock will be celebrating on Tuesday 29th, and it’s Claire Hughes birthday on Thursday 1st July. We hope you will all be able to enjoy your special day!
Thank you everyone for being so welcoming in the zoom morning services over the last few weeks. It has been good to see some familiar faces but to also make new friends in the Pontypridd area and beyond.
The whole experience has been uplifting during difficult times so a special thank you to Phil and to everyone who made the link ups possible and technology work.
The United Church in Rhyl has restarted Sunday worship so I am now attending the morning service again at Christ Church. I will miss the pre and post service chats but hopefully I will soon be able to meet up with you all in person. Many thanks and keep safe Sandra (Wallace)
The Momentum Wave of Prayer
We are all invited to the Baptist Union’s national online gathering entitled The Momentum Wave of Prayer – ‘Change the Atmosphere’ at 6:30pm this evening. The event includes worship, prayer, in memoriam, and an address by Revd Tony Peck, General Secretary of the European Baptist Federation
Register for this meeting at https://zoom.us/meeting/register/tJYkduCvpzksGdV_jwkJ_NEVQgnquJUK-f-b
Summer services: July – September
‘A time to relax, and a time to be on guard…’! We again find ourselves in an interesting moment for, as a third wave is seen across Wales, the success of the vaccination program is allowing some things to be relaxed. For example, in certain contexts – depending upon local case numbers, risk assessments, and the wearing of masks – communal singing is even allowed (‘limited in length and volume’!). The St. David’s Uniting Church elders discussed the importance of enabling members to transition back to a regular pattern of worship with the acknowledgement of some anxiety amongst members and the need to maintain an online presence. We have thus decided to trial the following worship pattern for July – September:
All services available on paper and on YouTube.
- 1st& 3rd Sunday morning services – on site and live-streamed. NO zoom service.
- 2nd& 4th Sunday morning services – on zoom.
- 4pm 1stSunday – on-site & live-streamed short Communion service
- 4pm 3rdSunday – zoom Communion story-telling service (more details to come)
On-site, the previous restrictions (masks, social distancing etc) will remain in place.
Thanks must go to Brian and Marcia for overseeing the pulpit supply & news updates on this – and we will continue to print off the service timetable each week, especially for those of us who have no idea whether it’s a first or fifth Sunday!!!
We are grateful, too, for the couriers, tech team and stewarding volunteers who are enabling this to happen…and invite others to contact Maralyn Tomlinson if they are willing to steward at an on-site service once a month (without such volunteers, we could not meet).Wherever we connect with one another and with God – at home, online, on site – may God bless us with glimpses of grace, times of praise, and lives of love.
Returning to on-site services
As we continue to transition to on-site services, we are very aware that many of our church family are anxious about such a return. Whilst making it as smooth as possible for people to return to church premises, it is important that no-one feels pressured to do so before they are ready. We cannot underestimate the effects that the last 18 months will have had on us, nor the different needs, responsibilities and worries that others bear. With that in mind, we remember that God will be here – as God is with you wherever you may be – when you’re ready. We offer this gloriously written prayer, found by Margaret Morris, written by Meagen Ruby Wagner –
Blessed are the homebodies,
Those who have not yet figured out
How to return to the sanctuaries,
For yours is the sanctuary
Of living room couches
And front porch swings.
Blessed are the wounded,
Those who have been broken
And rejected on
For yours is the healing
That defies the gatekeepers.
Blessed are the weary
Those who cannot muster
The energy to put on their
For yours is the
Comfort of honest existence.
Blessed are the patient
Who do not rush
For yours is the steady peace
That waits and does not panic
Over lesser numbers.
Blessed are the naturalists
Who worship in hiking boots
Those who find God in all her
Glory, in the dappled light
Between the trees,
For yours is Eden.
Blessed are the mothers
Who spend Sunday
Like all the others
And being baptised in
For you are the salt
Of the Earth.
Blessed are the
Homeless (physical and spiritual) the Wanderers, the
For yours is the Kingdom of heaven,
And God will be there when you’re ready.
This November, world leaders are meeting in Glasgow for important climate negotiations: COP26. The Young Christian Climate Network (YCCN) believe it’s time to make decisions which protect people not bank balances, to decide that no country will go into debt tackling climate change.
The YCCN are planning a 1000 mile relay between the G7 summit in Cornwall and the UN COP26 climate meeting in Glasgow to show we care about climate justice and creation care. The good news is that we’re also having a tributary route between Swansea-Bristol (125 miles) which Christian Aid Cymru will be supporting. Will you join us as we walk together? The YCCN welcome participation from ALL, regardless of age!
You can sign up for some/all of the route via their website at https://www.yccn.uk/
Phil shared holiday memories and photographs of his time walking the Hadrian’s Wall path. It was amazing! Apparently only 10% of it can be seen in its original state, but there is a lot more that might have been rebuilt. It was amazing to see a little glimpse into the lives that the soldiers led in that stunning countryside and feel the connection with those who have gone before us. There were many beautiful sights along the way, “What I really loved is a few stops where when you walking through a little neighbourhood or even out in the countryside next to a house in the middle of nowhere, residents had places where they were selling, at a very good price, sweets, drinks and snacks. There were signs inviting you to put your feet up for a while – little stops of hospitality and honesty boxes.
I thought it was a wonderful thing to do, I was really taken by them and I’m sure it’s a parable for the church – stops along the way where you can find refreshment, nourishment and welcome along the way, when your feet might be aching or your heart might be singing at the beauty around you.
The question for this week is ‘What do you know about the Emperor Hadrian, the one who gave the instructions to build the wall? Apart from the fact that he designed and ordered the wall to be built, was emperor between 117 and 138 AD, that he rebuilt the Pantheon in Rome and visited every province.
Machiavelli himself said he was one of the five good Emperors because of his personal generosity and apparent honesty. He was a hunter, a poet, philosopher and astrologer. He was one of the most versatile of all the roman emperors. To his citizens and subjects he was considered a God, a decent man someone who was a father whose life affected hundreds of thousands of people both within the Roman Empire of the day and beyond – incredible achievements, yet, today he’s best and probably widely only really known for that wall, the crumbling bit of stone up north of England!
That’s an incredible legacy, almost 2000 years on something that he designed is still with us and that story lives on. That got Phil thinking about us – and our own legacies and so the question to consider this week, is what you would like to be remembered for when you’ve died when you are with God in the eternal home. Perhaps it’s an attribute, perhaps it’s the children you gave birth to, perhaps it’s projects you started or something as small and as world changing as just being kind!
Something that our different generations will be remembered for is how we dealt with the climate crisis – we know that we are today one of the first groups of people who have been made abundantly aware just how great and devasting an impact we are having on the environment, on God’s creation and we have a choice to respond / react
We can do that in many different ways and as a synod within the URC we’re looking at what it means to be an ECO Synod and encouraging congregations to become ECO churches, As individuals we’re all encouraged to think about the consequences of our actions on the environment, from recycling to the use of cars and planes and our travel – to our meat consumption.
One thing we can get involved in / interested in is a walk that is being organised to raise awareness of the climate crisis and to call upon our politicians to do more to respond to it meaningfully.
There’s a 1000 mile walk from Cornwall, where the G7 was held, and Glasgow where COP26, the big environmental summit is being held later this year. It will criss-cross the UK and it’s organised by the Young Christian Climate Network. Anyone can take part – and we have been invited to do so! Between July 3 – 10 they are walking between Swansea and Chepstow – little sections each day – it’s coming near to Penrhys and Llantrisant and also Cardiff – so if you can spare a day (if walking 8 miles is something you can do) and you’d like more info please go to www.yccn.uk
SO – think about our legacy and what we want to be remembered for and if you are interested in walking raise awareness of the climate crisis.
Thought for the Week
‘If you believe it’ll work out, you’ll see opportunities, if you believe it won’t you’ll see obstacles’
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