& Castle Square URC
Minister: Rev. Dr Phil Wall
Tel: 01443 300345 Mob: 07855090360
5th April 2020
Today we celebrate Jesus triumphant entry into Jerusalem if you have a palm cross from a previous year then focus on it as you read Phil’s reflection for today. We encourage you to pause on Maundy Thursday and Good Friday and use the reflections that Phil has provided. Alongside the holy week material which you received 2 weeks ago, further resources are included with this week’s sermon/newsletter whilst more will appear on our Facebook page as we invite members to share their favourite Easter hymns, prayers, poems and reflections.
When fishes flew and forests walked
And figs grew upon thorn,
Some moment when the moon was blood
Then surely, I was born.
With monstrous head and sickening cry
And ears like errant wings,
The devil’s walking parody
On all four-footed things
The tattered outlaw of the earth.
Of ancient crooked will:
Starve , scourge, deride me: I am dumb,
I keep my secret still.
Fools! For I also had my hour;
One far fierce hour and sweet
There was a shout about my ears,
And palm before my feet.
During this unprecedented crisis, all of us have had to adjust our normal routines and daily living. More than ever, we are having to think deeply about how best to work, to shop, to play, to be – knowing that our actions can strengthen or endanger the health and well-being of our communities. A question that many of us are asking is how might we most faithfully walk the way of Christ at a time of great distress and suffering. This has been a question that I have been asking myself and when, this week, I was asked to take on a significant amount of funerals due to most other local celebrants being unavailable due to self-isolation, I shared with the elders my belief that this is something I could and should do. Next week, which we call Holy Week (as if every other week is profane!), I will be conducting 7 funerals in 4 days…offering words of comfort, love and resurrection hope to families in grief…now what can be more Easter-like than that?! This is likely to continue for the foreseeable future and it is a ministry that we are privileged to be able to offer our community at this time. I say ‘we’ because we are in this together. I can only offer my time and talents (such as they are!) knowing that you as elders, pastoral buddies and church members and friend are offering pastoral care to one another – and to me! – and in the belief that you will be patient with me if I take a little longer than normal to reply to personal messages. This work should not impact upon our Sunday and midweek reflections (perish the thought…I’ve got plans!!!) and should, in fact, be seen as an element of our partnering with God’s mission of love – both in the pastoral care offered to the bereaved and by way of financial support.
Minus expenses, funeral fees will be divided equally between the Pontypridd Food Bank, Christian Aid’s Coronavirus Emergency Appeal and church funds (St. David’s Uniting and Castle Square).
Thank you all for enabling us to serve in this way.
For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but one of power, love, and sound judgment. (CSB) 2 Timothy 1:7
Church Family and Pastoral News
We include this in the news sheet to inform our prayers.
- Chris Fennell who is now in Royal Glamorgan Hospital.
- Madeline Howells cousin, Howard John, died earlier this week; many will know Howard’s sister Cheryl and brother Huw. We keep Madeline in our prayers
- We continue to remember Wynne and Vena, Wynne is also in hospital.
- We think of people in India, Palestine and South Africa, in comparison to them we have it easy!
- We remember all the ‘key workers’ who are working to keep us safe and fed. especially those of, or, connected to our fellowships!
- We pray for Phil as he now has an increased work load. He had volunteered to shop for people living in Graigwen ’If anyone can help with that it would be much appreciated! He is still delivering 11 news sheets while he exercises through running!!
Hilary says: ‘Thank you to everyone who has, phoned, sent cards and good wishes during these last difficult weeks – it has been a strange time and I wouldn’t have survived without the support of you all. Many thought I had left the phone off the hook– but I hadn’t…..I just want to add that Phil was amazing – I wouldn’t have got through the service without him – he made it bearable for the few who were there.. I am now taking one day at a time!
Birthdays and Anniversary’s
Three birthday cards will be received this week…Beth Davies, who will be 15 on Monday, Caroline’s birthday is on Friday and Dianne’s is on Saturday. We hope they all enjoy their ‘celebrations!’ There are others who may feeling sad as they are missing someone close, we hope they will recall treasured moments.
Tips while Self-Isolating!
When washing your hands, sing ‘Happy Birthday’ through twice and you will have cleaned them thoroughly!
When moving your dustbin after it has been emptied where gloves or wash your hands thoroughly afterwards.
Perhaps those confined at home at the moment might enjoy the walk in the wild. Clare Balding’s ‘Ramblings’ episode following the Penrhys Pilgrimage is now available on iplayer – https://www.bbc.co.uk/sounds/play/m000gbj6 –
Bringing cheer in a time unknown! –
Those taking daily exercise by walking in their neighbourhood, will have noticed primroses, tulips and rainbows.
Many children have been putting up these colourful creations to help cheer others up and raise a smile as they spend more time inside.
My grandson was visiting one day when he asked, “Grandma, do you know how you and God are alike?” I mentally polished my halo and I said, “No, how are we alike?” “You’re both old,” he replied
Keeping in Touch
We had a few teething problems with deliveries last week, but hopefully now everyone is being kept up to date with news and is receiving Phil’s weekend reflections either in print, by email or online. We applaud our couriers, Alison, Ben, Bethan, Catherine, Ceinwen’s Daughter (Helen), Graham, Lynda, Mo, Nathan, Phil and Robert. Without them 38 people would be excluded. It is important in these times that we keep in contact with everyone.
A Thought to ponder
If Jesus can use an ordinary, funny looking donkey for an extraordinary purpose…
….what can God do with you and me?
Ken Sauer, Pastor of East Ridge United Methodist Church, Chattanooga, TN