& Castle Square URC
4th September 2022
Welcome back! We had a month off, so it’s time to catch up! A lot has happened in those 4 weeks!
With our newsletter on 31st July, we all received a letter from Phil informing us that ‘my interest in being, doing, experimenting with church at the margins – a passion which fuelled my PhD and much of my missional outlook since – has continued to grow’. So, after 9 years he was taking a new challenge and would be moving on at the end of October. We’ve had 5 weeks to come to terms with the challenges that we as a church will all have to face.
But back to this weekend and we are delighted to welcome once again Rev Malcom Shapland, a retired URC Minister from Caerphilly.
During his ministry Malcolm has served many churches in Wales and England, part of that ministry has been Chaplaincies to Hospitals, Universities and a Children’s Hospice, with pastoral care being his main concern throughout. He has written 3 books of prayers all entitled ‘Prayers in a Pandemic’ the third was published in October 2021. A donation from each sale will go to a medical charity
The service will be live streamed and will also be available on YouTube.
Link for Live Stream – https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC1ftWuXHexnfFdo1FKwXBZA
Church Family and Pastoral News
We include this in the news sheet to inform our prayers.
- Martha is not very well and back in hospital.
- Gwyneth James had a favourable report from Guys Hospital, but is disappointed that her granddaughters tonsillectomy has been postponed yet again due to a high temperature.
- Delene is taking time off work before returning on reduced hours.
- We hold Kath and the family in our prayers following the death of her aunt at the beginning of August, as the result of a car accident. It has been a traumatic time; the funeral took place on Friday 2nd.
- Brian Lancaster had an operation last week. We think of him and wish him well.
- Stephanie and Alan are concerned for their daughter Susan, who is receiving treatment for cancer.
- Marilyn D has pulled a muscle and is in some pain.
- We think of our friends from Castle Square as this weekend they share favourite stories and memories and look at various items and photographs that represents their story.
There are three birthdays that we know of this week:
Marlene Rayner will celebrate on 9th September; Janet Bullock has a special birthday on 10th September, also on the same date Abel Bond will be 8. We hope you all enjoy your celebrations.
We rejoice with Cyril on the birth of his first great granddaughter Eres, who arrived on 8th August. Grandmother Janet is a member of the Park Ramblers and Dad was a former Junior Church member.
Good news – Buffie’s granddaughter Kate has gained 3 A*s at A level and will be off to Liverpool University to study veterinary medicine.
Ann and John’s grandson Tom has received good GCSE grades and has chosen to further his studies at Coleg Y Cymoedd, Nantgarw.
We share Barbara’s joy as she and the family – 4 generations – come together this weekend to celebrate the wedding of her Son.
…David Jones – It seems a long time ago now, but I would like to thanks everyone for their good wishes and concern following my stay in hospital in July, and for the flowers I received, they were much appreciated.
…Colleen – for her cards and good wishes on her birthday and for the ‘Thank you’ card which was lovely.
…Kath – for the beautiful flowers I received following my aunt’s tragic death. They are beautiful.
…Pat Howell – for the cards, messages, flowers and chocolates she received on her birthday, she had a wonderful day and wishes she could be 80 again next year! – Thankyou everyone.
Tea, Coffee and Handmade Cards
Unfortunately, we are not able to serve coffee today as we don’t have enough volunteers, but you are welcome to stop and chat with friends.
In the Church year, September is ‘Creation season’ – a time in which we more intentionally reflect on God’s creation and our role within it. This year, this season will include discussion of creation parables (11th), reflection on the night’s sky (18th – am), a chance to share our favourite foodie stories (18th – pm) and a service of harvest praise (25th). More details to come. In the meantime, why not consider doing one of the seven following things to help care for our home, God’s creation…
- Reduce, reuse, and recycle. Cut down on what you throw away. Follow the three “R’s” to conserve natural resources and landfill space.
- Conserve water. The less water you use, the less runoff and wastewater that eventually end up in the ocean.
- Shop wisely. Buy less plastic and bring a reusable shopping bag.
- Buy long-lasting light bulbs. Energy efficient light bulbs reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Also flip the light switch off when you leave the room!
- Don’t send chemicals into our waterways. Choose non-toxic chemicals in the home and office.
- Go meat-free (or even vegan!) for a day. Today, large-scale food production accounts for as much as 25% of greenhouse emissions. Why not cut back for a day a week?
- Walk/get public transport to church one Sunday. Drive less.
Dates for your Diary
St Luke’s Church Rhydyfelin have a musical evening on Sunday 11th September at 6.30pm featuring some very good soloists. Tickets are £5.00.
Church House Thanksgiving Evening
We’d love you to join us at Church House on Wednesday 14th September as we thank God, each other, and all who have made it a place for fun, fellowship, and faith over the years.
- 4pm – A thanksgiving service.
- 5pm – Refreshments. Join us for a cuppa and conversation as we continue our time of remembrance.
Feel free to come to either or both.
It would help if we had some idea of numbers so, please confirm your attendance with Lynda Bull at [email protected] or Marilyn Leach 404293
St David’s Uniting Church Meeting
As agreed at the AGM, our next church meeting will follow the service on Sunday 18th September. Minutes of the last meeting are now available. This month’s meeting will include consideration of the following important topics:
- Vacancy & vision – Considering the closure of Castle Square and Phil’s leaving, we will outline and discuss the next steps we need to take to ensure continued good quality worship and witness at St David’s Uniting Church.
- A place to call home – Hearing the need to make a decision over where we physically meet as a church ASAP, a process of discernment will be outlined which will lead to a decision in January at the latest.
St David’s Guild
We are having a break for September and we shall restart on Wednesday 5th October. We have an interesting programme planned. Details to follow soon.
Castle Square URC
We continue to hold the Castle Square congregation in our prayers as they mark their faithful path to closing with the following key events:
- September 4th, 11am – A storytelling Communion service – please come with a favourite memory of Castle Square to share – and feel free to bring a photo or object to illustrate that memory.
- October 2nd, 12:30pm – Final Communion service, led by Phil, followed by lunch out at The Otley (2pm). Please make sure you have signed up.
- October 16th, 11am – Final Sunday morning worship, led by Ray.
- October 30th, 3pm – A chance to chat over a cuppa before the Castle Square Thanksgiving Service at 4pm, where we will thank God for the worship and witness of Castle Square over 117 years.
New Church Directory
Following the affirmation of Claire Hughes and Sue Walkling as Elders, replacing Bethan and Margaret who had served for six years, a new directory is now available. It will be emailed to those we have addresses for.
Paper copies are available from Marcia today.
Phil’s Farewell – dates for the diary
Whether it’s ‘go well’ or ‘good riddance’ [Phil wrote this!] – plans are afoot for a church party from 4 – 8pm on Saturday 29th October, before Phil’s last services with both churches the following day. More details to come. For those who won’t be able to make these events, Phil will be arranging home visits/Communions in the next couple of months, alongside final guild talks at Castle Square (September 7th) and St. David’s (October 19th).
Wider Church Life
With Phil leaving at the end of October, we’re more aware than ever of the support given and received by our parent denominations. Over the next couple of months, there are many opportunities to connect with the wider church in a number of exciting ways:
- September 11th, 3pm, Penrhys – A chance to learn from, and worship with, our friends from Llanfair Uniting Church – sign-up sheet on the table.
- September 12th, 11am, zoom – We finish our church swap with Llanfair Uniting with an invitation to join their online nurture group.
Meeting ID: 882 002 6935 Passcode: Blaenycwm
- October 1st, 2:30pm – Westminster Hall/livestreamed – A chance to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the United Reformed Church with a special service of celebration.
- October 15th – Llandrindod Wells/zoom – 11am – 3:30pm URC Synod of Wales gathering.
- October 30th – online – Synod Service – with input from Castle Square and St. David’s Uniting Church
A reminder of our monthly service pattern
As agreed at Church Meeting in March
For easy reference the worship plan we’re following until the review is:-
|Listening to the other: Guest speaker service
|Discussing discipleship: United service – zoom (and in the church)
|Grappling with scripture: Service of the Word – Minister will lead
|Storytelling Communion – Zoom (this was originally on the 4th Sunday)
|Thanking as a family: All age Communion.
|Synod Sundays – Zoom. Short Communion service in Church
Thought for the Week
The secret of making something work in your lives is first of all,
the deep desire to make it work; then the faith and belief that
it can work; then to hold that clear definite vision in your
consciousness and see it working out step by step,
without a thought of doubt or disbelief.
Eileen Caddy. Co-founder of the Findhorn Foundation, Scotland