& Castle Square URC
4th July 2021
In Pre-Covid times, Phil would have been leading worship in Castle Square today as it’s the first Sunday of the month. Until we find our new normal, the St. David’s Uniting Church elders have agreed to continue welcoming guest preachers on first Sunday services so to hear different voices and welcome different perspectives, as well as keeping Phil free to lead worship at Castle Square when they return to on-site worship. We are grateful to our Pulpit Supply Secretary – Brian – and to all our guest preachers who enable this to happen.
With that in mind, today we welcome our very own Iestyn Henson to lead our morning worship today.
Phil will be leading this afternoon’s short Communion service on-site at St. David’s Uniting at 4pm today. If attending in person, please bring your own bread and wine or an alternative. Those wanting to join online are advised to go to our YouTube channel at 4pm where the link will be made available: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC1ftWuXHexnfFdo1FKwXBZA
Whether you’re coming to the Communion service in person, online, or through the printed word, you are invited to print out the order of service (which will remain the same for upcoming afternoon Communion services) and can be sent to those we have email addresses for. Please contact the Admin email address if you require a copy.
Church Family and Pastoral News
We include this in the news sheet to inform our prayers.
- Alan has recently had a growth removed from his ear, he won’t know what treatment, if any, he will need until he sees his consultant in August. We hold him and Stephanie in our prayers as they wait.
- George was hoping to have a cataract operation on his left eye in a local hospital in the Cayman Islands last week. We hope all went OK
- We think of the people who are having tests and waiting for results, and others who are learning to cope with new aids in their lives.
- Pam was able to speak to Sue Salmon recently and Sue was delighted to know that we still think of her and she sends us her love.
- Marlene McCloy is pleased to hear that her two and half year-old great niece is home from hospital following an operation which had been postponed. She will be in plaster from ankle to hip for 6 weeks before returning for a check-up.
- There are people we know who work in stressful environments and are being affected by it.
Brian is very pleased to say that the results of his recent MRI scan on his liver were clear an excellent result! Everything is under control and his treatment continues.
Birthdays this week AND last week!
Apologies!! There were 3 people we knew of who had a birthday last week…..We would have sung Joyeux Anniversaire to Viviane, as her birthday was last Sunday – Sheila Greenstock celebrated her birthday on Tuesday 29th, and it was Claire Hughes birthday on Thursday 1st July. We hope you were all be able to enjoy your special day!
So, having omitted the birthday’s last week…..there are NO birthdays that we are aware of this week!
Lifts to Church!
As we continue to return to a regular pattern of worship, it may be that you are considering offering or receiving a lift from another member in the church. If so, please consider the current Government regulations which state: If you travel in a car with others who are not from your household or extended household, you will come within 2 metres of each other. You should avoid physical contact, wear a face covering, try to face away from others and keep the time you spend in the car with others as short as possible.
11th 10.45am Zoom service – with communion, from the URC General Assembly. (see below)
18th 10.45am Live streamed Morning Service in St David’s Uniting
4.00 pm Zoom communion story telling service (details to follow)
25th 10.45am Zoom service
URC General Assembly
Starting this Friday morning, Phil, Ben & Simon will join delegates from across the UK who are meeting (online) for this year’s United Reformed Church’s General Assembly. The General Assembly is a four-day meeting held every July, in which ministers, staff and other members of the URC, together with ecumenical representatives, deliberate upon and make serious and far-reaching decisions on the life, work and priorities of the denomination at home and abroad.
This year, building on the advances and wider use of technology, all URC congregations, members and friends, have been invited and encouraged to come together for the Sunday morning service. For those online, we will meet on zoom at our normal time before joining the Assembly for a Communion service which will be longer in duration than our usual zoom services…so please make yourselves comfy and bring some bread and wine or equivalent. Those receiving papers will receive the script of the sermon and prayers as usual. Perhaps you might like to hold all those attending the Assembly in your prayers as they discuss and debate issues from pensions and safeguarding to anti-racism and modern-day slavery.
Does anyone want a book?
Stephanie has a large selection of books in the ‘light reading’ category. They are in excellent condition. If anyone is interested in them, please contact Stephanie.
PCSC Bill progressing through Parliament
The Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts (PCSC) Bill is currently progressing through Parliament. The Bill has been the subject of controversy, especially around proposed limitations on protests – but what is actually included in this wide-ranging piece of legislation? And what do Christians have to offer into the debate? The Joint Public Issues Team have prepared a briefing, which describes the scope of the Bill and explores key areas of interest and concern. It also offers a brief guide to the foundational theology and Christian traditions of protest, and why Christians might choose to engage in conversation around this particular issue. http://www.jointpublicissues.org.uk/police-crime-sentencing-and-courts-bill/?dm_i=2JB1,1R7II,2VWNJK,610KP,1
The reflection was given, at Phil’s suggestion, by Iestyn as a prequel to today’s sermon. It was recorded in the garden of his parent’s home in Taffs Well. The garden at this time of year is a riot of colour and brimming with the promise of fresh fruit and veg. Iestyn was there to help his Dad, (John) pick some broad beans.
The fruits that will be ready to harvest are, rhubarb, gooseberries, raspberries and blackcurrants.
This harvesting of food is most appropriate, because it’s inspired as it was by Ecclesiastes chapter 3 which includes references to sowing and reaping.
The poet of Ecclesiastes gives us a series of couplets – a time for this and a time for that, sowing and harvesting, life
and death, war and peace, and in the Good News version a very topical one is – a time for kissing and a time for not kissing. There’s a temptation to consider these things as alternatives, one or the other, either or. to be in touch with each other perhaps even a bit of a contradiction.
However, I think these aren’t meant to be in contradiction but actually in balance not different alternative currencies but different sides of the same coin so to speak.
So we plant in order to harvest, but we also harvest in order that we can plant again, the cycle continues.
Iestyn then issued the weekly challenge for us to think of some contemporary couplets – ‘Using the pandemic and the experiences of the last 15 or 18 months, which sit in balance as those do in Ecclesiastes 3 for example – ‘There’s a time for masks and a time to see the smiling face.’ They are included in this week’s reflection.
A Thought for the Week
Our task must be to free ourselves by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature and its beauty. Albert Einstein
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.