Saint David’s Uniting Church
& Castle Square URC
Minister: Rev. Dr Phil Wall
Tel: 01443 300345 Mob: 07855090360
Admin email: firstname.lastname@example.org
20th December 2020
Today is traditionally our Nativity service when the young people present the Christmas story! Today we are attempting this on ZOOM! As not everyone has access to ZOOM there is also a Nativity Sermon from Christian Aid: entitled Love Builds Hope by Revd Dr Paula Gooder. Very fitting as Christian Aid is one of our charities this year.
Following the updated Government advice that ‘You should consider ways to celebrate Christmas in other ways, such as the use of technology and meeting outdoors, without bringing households together or travelling between different parts of the country‘, many of us will have changed our plans for Christmas. However you are celebrating Christmas, be safe, keep well, and God bless you.
Phil is now staying at home for Christmas but to give him some semblance of a break, we encourage members to only contact him if urgent between Christmas Eve and the end of his booked annual leave on January 6th. Remember, your elder and pastoral buddy are available.
Church Family and Pastoral News
We include this in the news sheet to inform our prayers. We ask you to pray for:
- Marilyn Dillworth, whose husband Pete passed away last Sunday after a long illness. He will be sadly missed.
- Colleen’s mum had returned home for a couple of day but has been re-admitted with pneumonia and is quite poorly. we pray also for Colleen and the family in their concern for her.
- Sheila’s Son is now in hospital and is still quite poorly. We pray for him and Sheila.
- Brenda Jones and has had Covid and recovered from it, but is not at all well at the moment.
- We are pleased to learn that Bernice’s family are now able to visit her, and pray that her health will improve.
- We still remember Sue and Chris. We hope that Chris may be home for Christmas!
- Sharon was improving but is now back on antibiotics as she has pneumonia.
Birthdays this week …..
We have 7 birthdays, that we are aware of, during the Christmas and New year Season–Wednesday 23 December- Gail Stewart, Boxing Day Chris Morris. New year’s Eve Jayden O’Callaghan Williams, New Years Day Mair Healy and John King, then on Saturday 2nd January Susan Kajo and also Renda Alkawas.
Sharing Good News ~
Brenda Elias will be moving back to her home this weekend even though the work is not finished. We hope there are no problems to spoil Christmas in her own home.
Alan has had a good report from the hospital and is looking forward to being able to drive again!
Elsie Bennett …‘Thank you to everyone who rang, sent cards, left messages of support when Sandra died. She had an unexpected long life which she enjoyed! I will miss visiting her but she slipped away peacefully in her sleep. What more can one ask for? Thankyou!
Marilyn Edwards. …‘Thank you to all who sent cards and rang with messages on my birthday. A strange one this year!
Catherine.Naamani…I would like to thank everyone for the messages, phone calls, flowers, and words of support. They meant a lot. I’ve now had the all clear with no need for any further review.’
Miara Rabearisoa has written to thank us for supporting the David Griffiths Church School in Madagascar as our international Christmas charity. Those who would like to see a video about the school can go to. https://youtu.be/bEAWl3usz3Y
There’s Something About Jesus/Isa. A hugely exciting Double Vision evening with two speakers who bestride Abrahamic faiths as well as South Wales academic institutions! Dr Mansur Ali and Revd Ray Vincent will offer their thoughts on who was the figure of Jesus from a Muslim and Christian perspective. Now available on YouTube. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VAp6y7psA6E&feature=youtu.be
Christmas Prayer Trail
Our Christmas Jumper Prayer Walk plans have changed to a Prayer Trail that will take you, [in socially distanced groups of no more than three] from St. David’s Uniting Church into the park. There is no set day for this!
There will be 8 points where we are encouraged to Read, Do, Think and Pray. A guide is available on our web site.
This year we have been reminded that that a building is not a necessary in order for us to worship God. As Anne of Green Gables once noted;
“Why must people kneel down to pray? If I really wanted to pray I’ll tell you what I’d do. I’d go out into a great big field all alone or into the deep, deep, woods, and I’d look up into the sky – up – up – up – into that lovely blue sky that looks as if there was no end to its blueness. And then I’d just feel a prayer.”
Christmas Eve ~ We will have a contemplative communion service for this special night at 6pm
Christmas Day~You are invited to join us at 10am for a lively family service celebrating the birth of Christ
December 27th ~ Rev Ray Vincent will lead our bring and share service at 10.45am.
New Years Eve Communion ~ A time to look back with both lament and thanks, and to look forward with hope.6pm
Pontypridd Churches Annual 9 lessons and Carols
5pm Sunday 27th service via zoom
An invitation from St Lukes Rhydyfelin.
Go to https://parish.churchinwales.org.uk/l372/worshipping/carol-service/
Ben was speaking with the Head of Christian Aid (not to name drop or anything). But as they are one of our Christmas appeals. thought church might want to know that she’ll be trying out our cookbook over the break (if she can find it) and they were amazed with the support they had over Christian aid week back in May, as more was raised than they expected given the lockdown.
Cards received will be acknowledged in the next newsletter on 3 January!!
Christmas Appeal Details
We are supporting our usual Christmas charities of Homestart and the Mill Street Hostel, whilst also supporting Christian Aid, Women’s Aid RCT and the David Griffiths Church School. Details of how you can give online can be found here – https://www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/ourchristmasappeal. Please contact Lynda if you would like to Gift Aid and /or donate by cheque or cash.
A Message from Phil
With this final newsletter of this bizarre year, a couple of thanks need to be given regarding it. Thanks to Marcia for the huge amount of hours she puts into arranging this each week; to the printers and couriers who deliver in sunshine and rain; to Carol for making all the stars and, alongside Marcia and Phil, coordinating the gifts that went out to members not online; and to all the elders & pastoral buddies for their Christmas card delivering. Staying in touch in this way has been a huge boost to so many of us this year so diolch yn fawr; merci beacoup; huge thanks…and take the rest of the year off!!! NO NEWSLETTER NEXT WEEK!
A Thought for Christmas from 2006!
This year, let’s try to really celebrate Christmas and the days that follow. Let’s enter a new Season, which has its own spirit and desires and graces. https://onlineministries,creighton.edu/CollaborativeMinistry/Advent
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ADVENT 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/84461046313?pwd=QktEMk9tRzZ6RUM1a1ByQXJWUUZDQT09
To join the Zoom meeting on a laptop or tablet click the link:
To join via the app use: Meeting ID 844 6104 6313 Passcode Christmas
To join by Phone 0203 481 5237 Meeting ID 844 6104 6313 Passcode: 620851874