& Castle Square URC
Minister: Rev. Dr Phil Wall
Tel: 01443 300345 Mob: 07855090360
Admin email: firstname.lastname@example.org
7th March 2021
Six months ago, 6th September, Phil opened our first Zoom service with these words!
Callers and Zoomers, young and baby boomers, you are welcome
Watching later on line or live here at this time, you are welcome.
Made up or dressed down, in your Sunday best or dressing gown, you are welcome.
Whoever you are, whatever your story, however you’re here,
welcome to potential chaos, welcome to my kitchen and welcome to worship.
We have learned a lot since then! The communications team have been fantastic, there have been hiccups but our services have been watched either live of later on YouTube by up to 100 people a week!!
Phil is having a little rest this week and we are very pleased that Rev Ray Vincent is leading the third in our 6-part Lenten reflections on the book of Exodus. This week’s passage is Exodus 14. There are 2 questions to think about this week, both very difficult!
- What does this story tell us about God?
- As Christians we believe the Good News of Jesus is the heart of the Bible’s message. Where do you see it in this story?
Our monthly Communion today, which Phil will lead at 6pm will have a Celtic feel. Those attending on zoom are invited to bring along any readings, poems, reflections relating to St David or our general Welsh Christian heritage.
Church Family and Pastoral News
We include this in the news sheet to inform our prayers.
- We remember those who are unwell, Bernice, Cerys, Hilary and David Marshman, and pray that they improve soon.
- We think of those in residential care homes, Edith Thomas, Margaret Major, Sue Salmon and Caroline, who have been unable to have visitors and pray that planned visiting by one designated visitor will be able to resume soon.
- We pray for those who’ve been bereaved in recent months and those for whom this week has painful memories.
- There are many who are missing meeting with friends, and would love to catch a bus into Pontypridd or drive to a favourite café and meet for a coffee. We think especially of Loreen, Gwenllian, Marilyn Young, Sharon, Gill M, Viviane, Marlene McCloy, Jan Harris, Anne C and Hettie.
Good News and Thanks
Pam is delighted to report that her grandson Gruff is now back to good health. She also says ‘Thank you to everyone for their concern and support when Gruff was so poorly. Diolch yn fawr iawn’ Pam x
Greetings, and Happy St. David’s Day to our St. David’s Uniting Church family and thank you for sharing the love and talents with ALL. We really enjoy our weekly Sunday services with you, which we watch after our own service also on YouTube. You can watch here! https://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=st.+andrews+beechwood Audrey & Peter deJong
Birthdays this week
Gwyneth James and Marilyn Leach will both be celebrating on Monday 8th and Pat Cooke on Thursday 11th. We wish them and any others we are not aware of, a very Happy Birthday.
For next Sunday you are encouraged to read Exodus 16:1-5 & 11-18 and consider the following:
- God heard the cries (and complaints!) of the Israelites. What might God hear from you this week?
- How does God’s provision and Israel’s response to it resonate with our receipt of God’s provision to us, today?
- The burgeoning relationship between God and Israel has been likened to a bride and groom, a shepherd and their sheep, and a new parent and child. How do these images shed light on the passage for you?
Lent Book Group
Discussion of the ideas contained in chapters 5 & 6 of Richard Rohr’s ‘Falling Upward’ will take place at 5-6pm today on the Sunday morning zoom link. All are welcome – whether you’ve read the book or not!
Our apologies, we omitted to give the address for donations to Christian Aid as we are unable to have our usual Friday Lenten Lunches. If you would like to donate online: https://donate.christianaid.org.uk/Donate/Step/1?ApproachCode=
The address for cheques is: Churchgate Court, 3 Church Road, Whitchurch, Cardiff. CF14 2DX
Phil received a number of photographs from his family last week, including one from his Dad taken on his Smart phone, and sent via WhatsApp! To say Phil was surprised is an understatement! His sister had sent photos of their newly decorated lounge. Many people have taken the lockdown as an opportunity to spruce up their homes and gardens, but what about our spiritual homes, how have we attended to those over the last few months?
What does spiritual home mean to you? Is there a passage from the bible which resonates with you personally? What barriers or challenges might there be in finding a spiritual home? These are questions that Phil will speak about at a Youth discussion evening next week, but how would you answer?
Take the last question – only a couple of weeks ago we shared a brave and honest account from a friend of the church, who has not always felt welcomed by the church she calls home because of her sexuality.
Some young adults Phil spoke to recently have talked about the barriers they or their peers face in finding a spiritual home in a traditional church.
What about that first question, what does spiritual home mean to you? Is it a childhood home, a sports stadium, or a church building, or maybe a town or a land, or is it a people, a family, a friendship group or congregation with whom you feel at home? Or is time a factor in would your spiritual home could be your garden at dawn, a twilight run or a Sunday morning service!
What about the second question – what comes to mind for you? Maybe some will think about the parable of the prodigal son because it mentions a home of welcome and forgiveness and reckless love and also conflict overseen by a generous father.
In our lent book Richard Rohr speaks of this parable. His overall argument is that essentially, we all need boundaries, affirmation and structure in our lives. In our early lives a home where we feel safe and valued, but, that we also need to leave that home. We need to move, live, love, experience loss or failure. we need to do all those things to learn, grow and perhaps returning home with a fresh mature and more generous understanding of our world and our place within it. He also suggested that those who don’t leave their home, who stay within the structures, rules and perspective of their youth might feel resentful or entitled, just like the older brother, might focus on law rather than grace – who’s in, who’s out and why? DO you think there’s something to that? Which character do you most relate to? Where are all the women?
Our midweek challenge this week – Think about where our spiritual home might be. You might want to share a word or photo of your spiritual home with us. send as usual by email to Marcia, and we will share them next week.
A Thought for the Week
We must accept finite disappointment, but never lose infinite hope. Martin Luther King Jr.
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.