& Castle Square URC
Minister: Rev. Dr Phil Wall
Tel: 01443 300345 Mob: 07855090360
Admin email: email@example.com
28th March 2021
Today we celebrate Jesus triumphant entry into Jerusalem if you have a palm cross, we invite you to focus on it either during our Zoom service or some other time during the day.
Our Zoom service today is being led by Rev Ray Vincent as Phil is leading worship throughout the weekend as Chaplain for the United Reformed Church Youth Executive.
This is the last of our Lent discussions and we will be thinking about Exodus, chapter 40, verses 16-38. We were asked last week to list all the Bible references to ‘temple’ We will share this in our groups, and then think of these questions:
- What do you think God’s glory is, and when have you seen it?
- The sacred Tent (later the Temple) was meant as a place worthy for God to make his dwelling among the people. In the light of the New Testament message, what are our best ways of making a place for God to dwell in the world?
Church Family and Pastoral News
We include this in the news sheet to inform our prayers.
- Sharon has been feeling unwell following her COVID vaccination. We hope it won’t last too long.
- We continue to remember Bernice, and others who are confined to their homes or live with constant pain.
- Dorothy is feeling a lot better now she is on new medication and is looking forward to walking into town.
- There are people waiting for biopsies, we pray that they will be ok.
- Those in the 50-69 age group are now receiving their first vaccination, we hope they have no problems.
- We pray for Phil and the Youth Executive in their discussions and decisions this weekend.
- We think of George who will be joining us on zoom from the Cayman Isles where it will be 4.45am.
Claire Hughes is looking forward to returning to the workplace on April 6 after almost three years absence. She will be working 3 days a week for the Local Health Authority.
Many people will be delighted that travel restrictions in Wales have been lifted. Those with caravans will be escaping and Phil will be able to have a holiday elsewhere in Wales!
Thank you everyone who sent me cards or phoned me on my birthday. It has been lovely to receive extra cards! (there is a silver lining to lock down!) Kath Couchman
I would like to thank all those responsible for the lovely Easter Pack I have received. Thanks also to my Elder and her buddy, for phoning every week and checking that we are OK. Pat Howell
Birthdays this week
It’s Dorothy Davies’s birthday TODAY! If we were all physically together, we would have sung ‘Happy Birthday’ to Dorothy in English and Welsh. Today we hope Dorothy will be able to imagine this happening. The only other birthday we are aware of this week is Sue Skym on Wednesday 31st. We are sure that Dorothy and Sue will be able to celebrate in their own way! We hope you both enjoy your birthdays!
Why Yellow ?
Last Tuesday to mark the anniversary of the lockdown in the UK, many buildings were illuminated in yellow, there were yellow balloons outside houses and large bunches of daffodils. So why yellow? It is said that yellow is a sign of hope and new beginnings.
Lent Book Group
Today at 5pm on zoom Phil be leading our final discussion on this year’s Lent book. All are welcome.
Holy Week Activities:
From 8am each day during holy week two short services will be published online as we walk the way of the cross with Christ this week. These have been printed for those not on line.
Alternative printed services will be provided for Maundy Thursday, Good Friday and Easter Sunday.
Maundy Thursday, 6pm
This Lent, we’ve journeyed with Moses and the Hebrew people as they were liberated from Egypt, crossed the Red Sea, were guided by God in the wilderness and step ever closer to the promised land. This Maundy evening, we’ll retrace our steps as we share together God’s meal of liberation and life. You are invited to have a candle, some bread and wine (or equivalent) nearby and we’ll be invited to wash our hands too, so you might want to have some water nearby or you’ll have time to go to the sink! Usual worship zoom details.
Good Friday, 1 – 3pm
Alongside our stations of the cross services, you are invited to join our first ever live-stream service from Gelliwastad Road. Many members of the church will be contributing their reflections on the day through art, music, prayer and drama. Note we will be live from 1pm until 3pm (marking Jesus’ last 2 hours on the cross). To join us please follow this link https://www.stdavidsuniting.org.uk/good-friday-live-stream/
10:45am – We gather online for our Easter Sunday service which might be a little longer than usual and will include the sharing of Holy Communion. Please bring bread and wine (or equivalent). Usual worship zoom details – alternative printed service provided.
4pm – St. David’s Uniting Church. Adhering to all the relevant guidance and restrictions (which includes mandatory mask-wearing, social distancing, and the absence of communal singing or conversation) we will be opening the church building for a short Communion service. Please bring your own bread & wine (or equivalent).
A reminder that you are invited to reflect on the story of the cross, the wonder of Welsh Christian heritage, and our love of the places and people who are special to us, by colouring in a section (or many sections!) of our Celtic crosses. Please then get your creation to us by midday on Good Friday – either through the Gelliwastad Road letterbox, in Phil’s bench, handed to your courier, or through contacting Sue Walkling to pick it up. Together, may we make bold and beautiful cross creations!
Phil opened with this excerpt of Richard Rohr’s book ‘Falling Upward’ –
‘Your shadow is what you refuse to see about yourself and what you do not want others to see. It is like a double blindness keeping you from seeing and being your best and deepest self, but we can allow ourselves to learn and grow from encountering our shadow, in fact we must, because the closer we get to the light, the more of our shadow we see, thus, truly holy people are always humble.’ 131-132
I wonder if Richard’s outlook here resonates with your experience?
I wonder how you have experienced your shadow side…whether you still partake in a bit of shadowboxing today?
And I wonder what you think about his assertion that holy people are always humble.
Humility is a strange beast, isn’t it? If you actively strive to be humble, you can end up making humility an achievement in itself, so that you’re the best at being humble. ‘Ever so umle’ as Uriah Heap would say, I am the most humble celebrity, as Donald Trump once uttered!
So what does it mean to ‘clothe yourself with humility’ as Peter and Paul both write in their letters to the early church. What does humility look like? Whom do you picture when you think of a holy humble person. Me, you say? Thank you but no…I’m just too humble to accept that!
Well, to help us with this dilemma, perhaps we need to be questioned by St Francis of Assisi who supposedly asked – ‘Can true humility and compassion exist in our words and in our eyes unless we know that we too are capable of any act?’ It sounds like a nice line…but in fact, this thinking is radical…that we too, if circumstances were different, are capable of any act.
In case, that feels a bit too much for a Wednesday morning, how about we talk about the card game bridge. I wonder how avid bridge players are getting on at the moment. Are there zoom bridge sessions available? Anyway, the now 94-year-old Presbyterian minister Fredrich Buechner describes humility like this –
Humility is often confused with saying you’re not much of a bridge player when you know perfectly well you are. Conscious or otherwise, this kind of humility is a form of gamesmanship.
If you really aren’t much of a bridge player, you’re apt to be rather proud of yourself for admitting it so humbly. This kind of humility is a form of low comedy.
True humility doesn’t consist of thinking ill of yourself but of not thinking of yourself much differently from the way you’d be apt to think of anybody else. It is the capacity for being no more and no less pleased when you play your own hand well than when your opponents do.
True humility doesn’t consist of thinking ill or yourself but of not thinking of yourself much differently from the way you’d be apt to think of anybody else. I don’t know about you, but I think there’s something to that.
True humility doesn’t mean thinking ‘I’m a miserable worm with no worth’ but could instead mean thinking ‘I’m a wonderfully made, pretty incredible child of God…and so are you…and so are they…and so is everyone’. Perhaps by embracing that outlook, we might actually love our neighbours as ourselves.
Think about Francis and Frederick’s words and reflect on what humility might be or look at yourself in the mirror and utter ‘I AM a wonderfully made, pretty incredible child of God and so are the people I’ll encounter today.
Next week, no midweek reflection because it’s Holy Week and you’ll be blessed with 2 online services a day. Released daily from 8am, we’ll be following the stations of the cross with Jesus. More explanation about these short times of reflection in the first one on Sunday morning. I think they’re going to be pretty special.
A Thought for the Week
Just because the past didn’t turn out the way you wanted it to, doesn’t mean, your future can’t be better than you ever imagined.
FB Motivational Quotes
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.