Still with you!
Today’s reflection below from Ros and Berw Hughes makes an important connection between the isolation that many of the most vulnerable in society experience every day, with our restricted lives under ‘lockdown’. The recurring phrase they use, that comes from a very moving story applies to our daily greeting too, through this season of Easter hope. We remain in touch, as God remains in touch with us!
Click here to send in your greeting.
Thank you for all you are doing each day
for all of us!
I really appreciate it
and send love and prayers to you all.
Evening Stillness from Rhos.
A big thank you to the whole team.
Remembering all our Church ‘family’ and sending much love and God’s blessing.
Ros and Berw Hughes
Lockdown as ‘housebound’
Berw’s Communion Set
The above photograph is Berw’s Communion Set, which is used by him for Communion for the sick or ‘housebound’, and was originally used during the First World War 1914-18. The Cross is over 50 years old and is made of Welsh slate from Dinorwig above Llanberis.
‘I do not cease to give thanks for you, remembering you in my prayers, that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give you a spirit of wisdom and of revelation in the knowledge of him, having the eyes of our hearts enlightened, that you may know what is the hope to which he has called you, what are the riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints, and what is the immeasurable greatness of his power towards us who believe.’
Ephesians Chapter 1 Verses 16 – 19
‘Nid wyf fi wedi peidio â diolch amdanoch, gan eich galw i gof yn fy ngweddiau. A’m gweddi yw, ar I Dduw ein Harglwydd Iesu Grist, Tad y gogoniant, roi i chwi, yn eich adnabyddiaeth ohono ef, yr Ysbryd sy’n rhoi doethineb a datguddiad. Bydded iddo oleuo llygaid eich deall, a’ch dwyn I wybod beth yw’r gobaith sy’n ymhlyg yn ei alwad, beth yw’r cyfoeth o ogoniant sydd ar gael yn yr etifeddiaeth y mae’n ei rhoi I chwi ymhlith y saint, a beth yw aruthrol fawredd y gallu sydd ganddo o’n plaid ni sy’n credu.’
Effesiaid Penod 1 Adnodau 16-19
Canon Berw and Ros Hughes write:-
A number of years ago when working in a dementia unit of a care home, an incident happened that had a profound impact on us and also on the other staff present. While listening with a group of elderly people to a male voice choir singing a traditional Welsh hymn an elderly gentleman, with significant memory problems, suddenly stood up and joined in with the choir. He sang beautifully and word perfect, as if he were in Church or Chapel or a ‘Gymanfa Ganu’ (Welsh hymn singing festival). At the end of the hymn this gentleman, with a look of real joy and happiness on his face, put his hand on his heart and said, ’He is still with me – He is still here’.
Even though we are separated from each other at this time, we hold on to the fact that our Lord comes to us, in all sorts of ways. Traditionally after Easter, clergy have taken the Holy Sacrament (Communion) to those people who have been unable to attend an Easter Church Service – the sick and ‘housebound’ in their own homes or in hospital/care homes. We have, of course, all been in this strange and different situation this year because of the present ‘lockdown’ caused by the coronavirus pandemic. And so most of us have been in a ’housebound’ position – a situation only those who are sick, elderly or disabled had previously been in. Being in ‘lockdown’ has raised awareness of the difficulties previously faced only by the more vulnerable members of our community. Yet now, we are made very aware of the many acts of kindness and self-sacrifice by those in the difficult role of caring and supporting those in need – we are able to affirm: ‘He is still with us – He is still here.’
Writing and reading these Daily Reflections and Prayers has gone some way to help maintain communication and ministry. The response and feedback from many people, has been that receiving these each day, is such a blessing for them at this time. It has certainly been an encouragement and an incredible witness of our belief and faith, to be communicating with each other, using modern technologies and realising that through email, internet, social media, youtube, or podcast –‘He is still with us – He is still here.’ Of course, many of our more ‘vulnerable’ people have not got access to the internet or smart phones. Their only means of communication is the landline telephone. A simple phone call to someone who is isolated helps them be more aware ‘He is still with them – He is still there.’
Let us now slowly and prayerfully reflect on the meaning of this ancient prayer of St. Benedict during what must have been some very difficult times for our ancestors – for wisdom, diligence, patience, and a heart, like the gentleman in our story to be able to say, in God’s presence:
Prayer of St. Benedict
O gracious and holy Father,
give us wisdom to perceive thee,
diligence to seek thee,
patience to wait for thee,
eyes to behold thee,
a heart to meditate upon thee,
and a life to proclaim thee
through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen
Gweddi Sant Bened
O Dad grasol a sanctaidd, rho i ni
ddoethineb i’th ganfod,
deall i’th amgyffred,
diwydrwydd i’th geisio,
amynedd i ddisgwyl wrthyt,
llygaid i’th weld,
calon i fyfyrio arnat,
a bywyd i’th gyhoeddi;
trwy rym Iesu Grist ein Harglwydd. Amen
Click here for previous daily reflections from our Ministry Team.