Friday, 26 June 2020

Readings

Readings for Sunday June 28th are now available to download from the NEWS page. Please remember to RIGHT-MOUSE to view or download!

Saturday, 20 June 2020

from Val


Dear Friends

I hope you all continue to be safe and well. 

The past few weeks have seen the lifting of a number of the restrictions of lockdown.  It has been reassuring to know our efforts to Stay Home have made a difference and we pray that things will continue to improve.  You will be aware it was announced yesterday that Places of Worship can now re-open for private prayer from Monday 22nd June.  This is very short notice and it is not intended that we will open any of our Churches on Monday.  There are a large number of precautions that will need to be put in place if we do decide to reopen.  Please find attached information received from the Diocese.
One of the gifts of lockdown has been listening to the birdsong.  Hearing the birdsong with such clarity has been a great blessing as the birds enjoy the peace that lockdown has brought.
Singing is a great gift and the sad passing this week of Dame Vera Lynn has reminded us that a song can mean so much in even the most trying of times.  The songs of Vera Lynn speak of hope and unity in times of separation and danger.  HM the Queen used ‘We will meet again’ as the closing line of her lockdown speech as we faced the prospect of weeks or months of separation from our families.
In a tribute to Vera Lynn it was said it was not just her immaculate voice that made her one of Britain’s greatest singers, but the warmth and sincerity she was able to put into every song.  She was pivotal in the generation we have recently paid tribute to though the 75th Anniversary of VE Day.  But she didn’t forget those who would serve until VJ Day when she visited Burma to entertain the troops in 1944. 
We may not all be able to sing with wonderful dulcet tones, but singing is a joy and something to be treasured.  Thank you to all who took part in our Favourite Pentecost and Trinity hymns poll. 
The result of the Llanrhaeadr congregation is:
  1. Breathe on me breath of God
  2. Love Divine
  3. Holy, holy, holy & Lead us heavenly Father lead us 

May I wish a very Happy Fathers’ Day to all Fathers, Grandfathers, Uncles, Godfathers and all who have the care and welfare of our children at heart.  The care of our children and young people in these difficult days is of paramount importance and I thank you for your care and support for each and every one of them as we look to the future.
Keep Singing!
With Every Blessing…Val

Saturday, 6 June 2020

from Val


Dear Friends

I hope you are keeping safe and well. The weather may have changed but the rain is a welcome sight for the farmers and for our gardens.  

The announcement that our schools will reopen at the end of June has meant it is all systems go for our teachers and school staff. It will be a mammoth task making the necessary adjustments to ensure the safety and wellbeing of both staff and pupils.  Please remember the staff, the pupils and their families in your prayers at this time of transition. 

Today is Trinity Sunday, a day when we ponder the mystery of the Blessed Trinity.  It is a mystery, it is not something we can easily explain or understand, we accept by faith and by God’s grace, for we believe in one God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit.  Trinity Sunday is a day to reflect on the Holiness of God.  One of the most popular hymns for Trinity Sunday is Holy, holy, holy, Lord God Almighty.  Written by Reginald Heber it was written especially for Trinity Sunday.  No matter which hymn book we use in our different Churches this hymn will always be in it.

Trinity Sunday encourages us to be contemplatives, people who sit quietly and think about the holiness of God through a passage of scripture, an icon, music or prose. Maybe this hymn is a good place to start our contemplation.   
After Trinity Sunday we enter into what is known as Ordinary Time. This includes the weeks after the major seasons of Easter and Pentecost. The liturgical colour is green, a symbol of growth, as we grow and learn more about our faith.
Please find attached the Bishop's Letter, the readings for Trinity Sunday, a Service of Morning Prayer for Ordinary time and prayers of intercession.  
Stay safe.

Every Blessing…Val

Friday, 5 June 2020

Trinity Sunday

Readings for this coming Sunday, June 7th, can be downloaded from the NEWS page.

Please note, you do need to RIGHT-MOUSE the link to view or download it - if you simply click on it, it won't work!

Friday, 29 May 2020

Password

Password for the Zoom Evening Prayer is

893330

Thursday, 23 April 2020

Thoughts on Isolation - notes by a submariner

Sent in by Bishop John Davies.

The following is written by an altar server at St Bride's Scottish Episcopal Church, Glasgow, who is also a submarine commander based at Faslane naval base on the Clyde.


We are naturally sociable creatures. Faced with the prospect of isolation at home, we will have to adapt in many ways. No doubt initially, for some at least, it will be an adventure and an opportunity to get on with all those chores and projects that daily life shunts down the priority list. I, for example, got out an old airfix plane today which had sat in a partly painted state for at least two months. Even those who are most content when in their own company may lose something by solitude being enforced. 

What, in your day to day life, provides the structure to create fulfilment and satisfaction at the end of the day? Work is the core component of a lot of people’s routine. The daily sequence of breaking one’s fast, dressing, commuting, clocking on, breaking for coffee &c. turns twenty four hours into defined, bound chunks. Weekend routine mid-week, from being made to stay at home, can develop lethargy, apathy and restlessness. Without work, something else needs to be created to punctuate the passing hours in the day. 

Those of you that have retired will have already made the transition to a self-driven routine but I suspect that scheduling, for some at least, is new and essential. Rather than looking ahead to a distant and undetermined end date, busyness and focus can be generated by working towards the next short term task. As each is accomplished and rewarded with satisfaction, we gain the motivation to tackle the next task.

On patrol on a Royal Navy Submarine, the commanders know from tradition the importance of routine. The day is split into six hour watches, with everyone on board alternating an on watch with an off watch. These regular handovers make the days pass surprisingly quickly and handing over to the same person four times a day creates a specific sort of social bond which is a hook to support the individual’s overall sense of contentment.

The layers of habit do not stop there. Famously, a sailor knows which day it is by the meal he is served for dinner. Some of these are old traditions with origins in the Church such as fish and chips on a Friday and a Sunday roast, but also curry Wednesdays, Steak Saturdays and other meals throughout the week. Modern innovation creates a Chinese takeaway night or a Nando’s night. The expressions ‘an army marches on its stomach’ and ‘a good chef means a happy ship’ are grounded in truth: food is vital to morale in the armed services and will be to those stuck at home too. Making nourishing meals with what you can will keep you healthy and happy. Perhaps not only for the food itself, but the time spent preparing and the satisfaction of creating.

Of habits that you may have, daily outdoor activity is one I encourage you to keep or pursue. It could be jogging, cycling, walking the dog, or gentle gardening (respecting the rules of social distancing). If you cannot go out, then open the windows and let the outside in, even just for five minutes. For months at a time, submariners are without the simple pleasures of breathing fresh air, looking at the sky or feeling the sun and wind. You do not have to be. Studies have proven that connection with nature can lower stress levels and improve individual’s wellbeing, so make time in your routine to do so.

One other major limitation to life on a submarine is the inability to communicate with family. Everyone on board receives a paragraph of unpunctuated block capitals text from home each week, but the necessity to stay hidden means that nothing can be sent in reply. Thankfully, life under COVID-19 is not quite as restrictive. Indeed, with modern technology we are always connected, and whilst pre-occupied with something else we can send an inane response to a joke that has been relayed from somewhere else. But not being able to support those quick messages with visits and face-to-face conversations will require adaptation. I urge you to schedule dedicated time for a real conversation with your loved ones, whoever that may be, a spouse, parent, child, grandchild or friend. Feeling locked in and alone will be softened by knowing that you have made time for others and they for you.

I expect that the proportion of people who can honestly say that they ‘have not noticed’ the effect of the virus will substantially diminish as we progress in these uncertain times. However, I trust that everyone will find their way through and that the turning point will become clear. We will adapt to new routines and find new ways to connect and communicate. Keep in touch everyone, and stay safe.

Saturday, 18 April 2020

from Val


Dear Friends
I hope you are safe and well and managing OK in these unusual circumstances. It has come as no surprise that the period of lockdown has been extended for at least another three weeks. 
Easter was certainly different this year, but the quieter time gave us an opportunity to reflect on the good news of the Risen Lord.  Some found this time extremely helpful, whilst others struggled with the lack of fellowship, but we each marked Easter Sunday in our homes and we are still united as the Body of Christ in this place.
The Gospel reading for Sunday 19th April is the story of Thomas, a story familiar to us all.  I always feel sorry for Thomas after all he has spent 2,000 year being known as Doubting Thomas. Yet he was a very firm believer and Thomas gives us permission to doubt and to ask questions in order to deepen our faith and draw closer to Christ.
Just as Jesus came to the disciples in the locked house, Jesus still comes amongst us in our 'lockdown' homes and says ‘Peace be with you’.  In a special way in these uncertain times the peace of God surrounds and upholds us.   Thomas’ encounter with the Risen Lord was the beginning of something wonderful.  He went on to be a faithful witness to Christ and is credited with bringing the Gospel to India.
May you know his comfort and his peace in these difficult days.
Every Blessing…Val

The readings for Sunday April 19th, and Bishop Gregory's Pastoral letter of April 15th, are available to download on the NEWS page.