& Castle Square URC
30th January 2022
This weekend, Phil is leading worship at the URC Youth Assembly where friend of the church and Port Talbot resident, Jo Harris, will be inducted as Youth Moderator. Those interested in learning more about what they’ll be up to, can go here – https://campsite.bio/urcya22
Those who joined our Zoom service on January 9th will have seen Jo sharing her views on the church of yesterday, today, and tomorrow.
As it is the 5th Sunday of the month, we will be joining churches throughout Wales for the Synod Sunday service via Zoom – the service is being led by Revd Ian Kirby – friend of the church and husband of Julie.
We are invited to join in the pre-service chat from 10.30am
As we are now halfway through the 2-year trial of the Synod services, any feedback would be most welcome, if you have any observations, please pass them on to Phil.
The text of the Service will not be posted to our Website but can be accessed at https://www.urcwales.org.uk/news/synod-sundays/
Church Family and Pastoral News
We include this in the news sheet to inform our prayers. Please pray for….
- Loreen: as plans are made for her to return home. Unfortunately, it will take time to arrange.
- Gwyneth: who has a telephone consultation appointment with the specialist this week.
- Three ladies from Castle Sq who have been struggling with bad backs, we hope they are improving and are keeping mobile!
- Alan who has a hospital appointment, and Stephanie: as she copes with severe back pain.
- Michael: who tested positive for COVID last Sunday, but fortunately has had no symptoms.
Only one birthday that we are aware of this week: Mo Chester’s birthday is TODAY (30th), Sue Salmon – Friday 4th and Cyril Davies – Saturday 5th. We send our good wishes to them as they celebrate.
Dorothy is delighted that her son has been able to decorate her flat. Visitors are welcome!
We rejoice with Barbara Slade on the safe arrival of a great granddaughter, Iris Louisa, born on Sunday 23rd of Jan. Iris joins her brothers aged 6 and 4.
Raising Money for a Family Reunion – Thanks from Kath
I am really stunned at the generosity of our church family. I was in tears when I heard how much had been donated. The GOFUNDME page has raised £455, donations to the church have raised £500, along with money that Renda has raised – £540, which has also gone into the church fundraising gives us £1495. Thank you everyone XX
Services next Sunday
Sunday 6th 10:45am Haydn Blackey will lead worship at St David’s
We are very pleased to say that coffee will be served in the hall following the service!
11.00am Phil will lead worship, including Communion at Castle Sq.
Upcoming Services: Appreciative Inquiry!
As we transition to a post-pandemic new normal, like most churches across the country, both Castle Square and St. David’s Uniting Church have big questions to face regarding our futures. The line between spending a decent amount of time reflecting on major decisions and getting stuck in perennial naval-gazing is a very narrow one. The shared wisdom of both sets of elders, the St David’s Vision Committee, and the cross-church steering group exploring possible uniting has taken us to a place where, it is hoped, we will be in a position by this summer to answer 2 questions:
- Would the uniting of St. David’s Uniting Church and Castle Square URC be for the benefit of the churches and local communities?
- If yes, how might our current resources (including buildings) best serve this?
To aid us in this discernment process, we will be conducting conversations in upcoming services and encourage members and friends of both churches to attend one of the following morning services:
- 13th February – joint zoom service.
- 27th February – St David’s Uniting Church
- 6thMarch – Castle Square URC
These services are likely to last 60 – 80 minutes (maximum!) but as it is hoped that these will be an important part of our discernment process, we trust members will understand. Knowing that we’re a pastorate of different gifts and personality types, some might want to think about the questions we’ll consider beforehand:
1) Reflect on your entire experience with your congregation. Recall a time when you felt most alive, most involved, spiritually touched, or most excited about your involvement.
2) What is your church good at?
3) What could make it even better at that?
4) Imagine that it is January 2032, and we’re meeting to celebrate our journey together. What is different? What has been achieved? What are the challenges that have been overcome?
5) What would help move the work forward? Describe one small step and one challenging or radical action.
Those unable to attend the services will be invited to send their thoughts in separately and we will ensure that there is a written reflection available for each Sunday too. Let us pray that God will bless us with the vision to see what we have been given and where we’re going; the humility to listen and tend to the needs of others; and the faith to make tough decisions for the sake of God’s kingdom.
A Thought for the week
Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter. Martin Luther King Jr.
Watch found in St David’s Uniting Church
A small watch with a black strap was found in the Church in late November. Please contact Marcia if it’s yours!