Weekly Reflection

Finding the way

A timely and wise reflection from Paul Clough.

Fel hyn y dywed yr ARGLWYDD:
“Safwch ar y ffyrdd; edrychwch, ac ymofyn am yr hen lwybrau. Ple bynnag y cewch ffordd dda, rhodiwch ynddi, ac fe gewch le i orffwys.” 
 
Jeremeia 6: 16
 
“Cyfod iti arwyddion, gosod iti fynegbyst,
astudia’r ffordd yn fanwl, y briffordd a dramwyaist;
dychwel, wyryf Israel, dychwel i’th ddinasoedd hyn.”
 
Jeremeia 31: 21
 
Thus says the Lord:
 “Stand by the road and ask for the ancient paths,
Where the good way is; and walk in it.
And find rest for your souls.”
 
Jeremiah 6: 16
 
“Set up waymarks for yourself; make yourself guideposts;
Consider well the highway, the road by which you went
Return O virgin Israel: Return to these your cities.”
 
Jeremiah 31: 21

Paul Clough writes:

When lockdown was declared in March, my wife Liz and I decided that we would walk regularly, not only for exercise, but also to pursue a personal project. Maps made of Wales in 1888 are now available online. We wanted to explore all the footpaths around where we live in Conwy and compare them with those which were recorded 132 years ago.

At first it was easy: Conwy Mountain and Benarth are visible from our house so we had plenty to choose from. However, as lockdown continued we found ourselves going further afield and becoming ever more reliant on the old map. Unfortunately that led to problems. Conditions on the ground now don’t always correspond to 1888. Way-markers and signposts would suddenly vanish, leaving us puzzled, frustrated and not sure of the right way.

We needed a plan, otherwise we would be forever retracing our steps. In the end that plan was simple. We assumed that there must have been a clear path in the past and therefore if we kept going forward, signs and markers would reappear. Where they didn’t, we would go to the other end and work backwards (or turn it into a circular walk). It usually overcame the problem.

Of course, our ancestors first walked across the Welsh landscape long before the cartographers did in 1888. Some of  these routes go back thousands of years. Liz and I discovered that the same paths are still there today, though often hidden and overgrown from lack of use.

Which brings me to the two quotations from the prophet Jeremiah. ‘Ancient paths’ were symbolic of the unique covenant relationship, set up at Sinai, that would provide a distinctive ethical and spiritual character for the people of God.

The ‘way-markers’ and ‘signposts’ reflected their role as a light to the nations and a model for ethical and religious behaviour for those who had gone astray. Jeremiah was reminding the people firstly that they were a distinctive nation with different expectations and lifestyle to their neighbours, and secondly that even though they had gone astray they were still called to be beacons or ‘signposts’ – inviting everyone else in the world to ‘walk in the ways of the Lord.’ 

There is an unexpected, counter-intuitive character to this relationship with God. I remember years ago I was in a Bible study looking at the Ten Commandments. The question was asked, “What do you think is the most important thing about these commandments?” to which I answered, “They come in the twentieth chapter of Exodus.” When you read prior verses in chapters 1-19, the Commandments are seen in a different light. It isn’t really a matter of “do this and Live!” it is rather, God saying,  “Look at all I have already done for you, now I want you to be my people and live by my standards and benefit from my care and provision.”

This commission is still ours today, reconstituted, as it is, in the life, death and resurrection of Jesus. Let us share with others the ‘ancient paths’ and show them the way-markers and signposts by which we follow God. If we keep going forward, the signs and markers we all need will reappear. In these difficult days there is a future and hope. 


Bydded i Dduw Dad,
y cyfodwyd, trwy ei ogoniant,
Grist oddi wrth y meirw,
eich deffro i fywyd newydd;

Bydded i Grist,
a gerddod gyda’i ddisgyblion
ar y ffordd i Emaus,
gynnau ynoch dân ei gariad
a’ch nerthu i gydgerdded
ag ef yn ei fywyd atgyfodedig;

Bydded i’r Ysbryd Glân,
a anadlodd yr Arglwydd ar ei ddisgyblion,
eich anfon allan
i ddwyn ei fywyd newydd i’r byd.
Amen.

May God the Father,
by whose glory
Christ was raised from the dead,
awaken you to new life;

May Christ,
who walked with the disciples
on the road to Emmaus,
kindle in you the fire of his love
and strengthen you
to walk with him in his risen life;

May the Holy Spirit,
whom the risen Lord breathed into his disciples,
send you out
to bring new life to the world.
Amen.


Tuesday 10.30am

You are warmly invited to our weekly online Zoom Coffee, to make friends, support each other and explore a Bible passage together.

Click here to join Zoom Coffee

Meeting ID: 881 3417 1456

Passcode: 430751


21 again!

Next Saturday our vicar will be running a 21 km (just over 13 miles) half-marathon on his own along the Conwy Coast. Our income has dropped drastically since the pandemic, but more people than ever are being reached. So David invites anyone who would like to sponsor him to give £21 (or multiples of that!) to Bro Celynnin, either as a one-off gift or by setting up a regular donation. Please click here to find out more.


Reflections
Video Services
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Weekend Service

Sponsor David

David

21 again! Next Saturday our vicar will be running 21 km (just over 13 miles), a half-marathon. Events aren’t allowed so it is just David on his own against the clock – and seagulls – along the Conwy Coast. 

Our income has dropped drastically since the pandemic, but more people than ever are being helped by our ministry. So David invites anyone who would like to sponsor him to give £21 (or multiples of that!) to Bro Celynnin, either as a one-off gift or by setting up a regular donation. Go on, don’t let a middle-aged man suffer in vain! Please click here to find out more.


Welcome to worship

This week’s online Service for St. Luke’s Day is brought to you by Reverend Susan Blagden, Reverends David and Eryl Parry, Sara McKee and Chris Roberts. The theme is prayer for healing.

Click on the play button for our weekend worship Service:
Wholeness and Healing
Wholeness and Healing


Look out for the next weekly Reflection at 8am on Monday morning.


Every Tuesday at 10.30am you are warmly invited to Zoom Coffee.

A hour of friendship and encouragement as we explore a Bible passage together:

Click here to join Zoom Coffee

Meeting ID: 881 3417 1456

Passcode: 430751


A warm welcome to Services in Bro Celynnin this week:

Sunday 18th October
9.30am St. Peter’s Llanbedr-y-Cennin
11am St. Mary’s Caerhun
11am St. Mary’s Conwy

Wednesday 21st October
11am St. Benedict’s Gyffin

Everyone attending must wear a face mask. Hand sanitising and distance measures will be in place, and we ask that you don’t come if you, or anyone in your household, has had Covid-like symptoms in the last 14 days.


Reflections

Video Services

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Weekly Reflection

Food for thought

This week’s reflection by Ros Hughes, leads on beautifully from last week’s harvest theme, as she muses on the connection between the plentiful supply of apples this year and our relationship with God.

‘Give me neither poverty nor riches.
Feed me with the food that is needful for me,
lest I be full and deny you and say, ‘Who is the Lord?’
and profane the name of my God.’  
or lest I be poor and steal.’

Proverbs 30: 8-9

‘Paid a rhoi tlodi na chyfoeth I mi.
Ond rho ddigon o fwyd I mi bob dydd.
Ie, cadw fi rhag teimlo fod popeth gen I,
ac yna dy wrthod di, a dweud, ‘Pwy ydy’r Arglwydd?’
A chadw fi rhag dwyn am fy mod yn dlawd,
a rhoi enw drwg I Dduw.’

Diarhebion 30: 8-9


Ros Hughes writes:

Wow! What a bumper harvest of apples we have had this year! Speaking to gardening friends and neighbours, many others have also had a good harvest with stores and freezers full of fruit and veg. The Covid pandemic has heightened our awareness this year of some of our basic needs, not least for food – the supply to our shops, the panic buying and empty shelves, the effort of workers from ‘farm to fork’ to keep us fed. ‘Harvest thanksgiving’ in church life may have felt rather different this year, but we are still so very thankful for our many blessings!

World Food Day is on 16th October and this is celebrated annually to commemorate the founding of the United Nations [UN] Food and Agriculture Organisation [FAO]. This year marks the 75th anniversary of this organisation which promotes worldwide awareness and action for those who suffer hunger and for the need to ensure healthy diets for all.  Food – how important and essential it is for us all and what an important part it plays in all our lives. Sadly, we are aware of so much need and hunger in our world today. We see tragic images of hungry and starving children, famine and poverty in the media and we are also aware of needs around us as we collect for foodbanks and charities locally. All this, despite us knowing that the world produces enough to feed everyone. On the other hand, we are aware of the increasing problem of obesity, waste of food and poor environmental awareness in some food production methods. As Mahatma Gandhi put it: ‘The world has enough for everyone’s need, but not enough for everyone’s greed.’ Somehow our food systems are out of balance. Somehow, we have got things wrong.

If we look at the wider picture of the world around us, does the warning given by the writer of Proverbs in our Bible passage today, written thousands of years ago, have any significance in our society and lives around us now? The writer appears to be saying that there needs to be a perfect balance in life between riches and poverty, excess and need. This certainly seems of relevance in our world and lives today. These words in Proverbs tell us that when the balance is not correct, both riches and poverty can both be an obstacle to our relationship with God.

I wonder, is that where we are going wrong?

When we reflect on our own lives: has there been a time when we have had more riches than we need? In that time of plenty, did the need for God become second place or even forgotten? Possibly, even a time when the desire for more wealth, or greater consumption became the focus of life? Or can we identify with the feeling of desperate worry about how to provide for our family?

If we just pause and think now on what ‘neither riches nor poverty’ means for our lives: what is ‘needful’ for us right now? We end with the prayer that Jesus taught us. A prayer that lays all before the one who knows our every need. The prayer that gives us every indication of the life we seek in him, lived in perfect balance.


Our Father in heaven,
hallowed be your name,
your kingdom come,
your will be done,
on earth as in heaven.
Give us today our daily bread.
Forgive us our sins
as we forgive those who sin against us.
Lead us not into temptation
but deliver us from evil.
For the kingdom, the power,
and the glory are yours
now and for ever.
Amen.

Ein Tad, yr hwn wyt yn y nefoedd,
sancteiddier dy enw.
Deled dy deyrnas.
Gwneler dy ewyllys,
megis yn y nef, felly ar y ddaear hefyd.
Dyro i ni heddiw ein bara beunyddiol
A maddau i ni ein dyledion
fel y maddeuwn ninnau i’n dyledwyr.
Ac nac arwain ni i brofedigaeth, eithr gwared ni rhag drwg.
Canys eiddot ti yw’r deyrnas,
a’r nerth, a’r gogoniant yn oes oesoedd.
Amen.


Every Tuesday at 10.30am you are warmly invited to online Zoom Coffee.

Make friends, support each other and explore a Bible passage together.

Click here to join Zoom Coffee

Meeting ID: 881 3417 1456

Passcode: 430751


Many thanks to everyone who has been praying for Conwy County since a local lockdown began here. The good news is that our services in church buildings can continue, because of robust safety measures we already have in place (including mask wearing and social distancing). Click here for details. We are also delighted that our Church Hall is providing a spacious venue for vital seasonal flu inoculations by Conwy GP practices. 

Please contact the Ministry Team or Churchwardens for confidential pastoral support or practical help at this difficult time, and know that we will all get through this with God’s sustaining love.


Reflections
Video Services
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Weekend Service

Welcome to worship!

This week’s online Service is brought to you by Reverend Tom Saunders, Reverend David Parry, Ros Mitchell and Mark Holliland. Our focus today is a passage from St. Paul’s letter to the people of Philippi: Philippians 4:1-9 which helps us think about ‘contact’ in such ‘contactless’ times as this!


Communion Services will also take place this week in the following churches of the Bro Celynnin Ministry Area:

Sunday 11th October
9.30am St. Peter’s Llanbedr-y-Cennin
11am St. Mary’s Caerhun
11am St. Mary’s Conwy

Wednesday 14th October
11am St. Benedict’s Gyffin

Everyone attending must wear a face mask. Hand sanitising and distance measures will be in place, and we ask that you don’t come if you, or anyone in your household, has had Covid-like symptoms in the last 14 days.


Click on the play button for our weekend worship Service:

Contact in contactless times
Contact in contactless times


Look out for the next weekly Reflection at 8am on Monday morning.

~

Every Tuesday at 10.30am you are warmly invited to Zoom Coffee.

A congenial and interesting opportunity as we catch up on news and explore a Bible passage together:

Click here to join Zoom Coffee

Meeting ID: 881 3417 1456

Passcode: 430751


Reflections

Video Services

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Weekly Reflection

Harvest at a time such as this

This week’s reflection is by Andrea (Andy) Butler from St. Mary’s Conwy, and leads on from our weekend online worship video. Just how are we to reflect on harvest this year?

Yna dwedodd, “Gwyliwch eich hunain! Mae’r awydd i gael mwy a mwy o bethau yn beryglus. Dim faint o bethau sydd gynnoch chi sy’n rhoi bywyd go iawn i chi.”  A dwedodd stori wrthyn nhw: “Roedd rhyw ddyn cyfoethog yn berchen tir, a chafodd gnwd arbennig o dda un cynhaeaf.  ‘Does gen i ddim digon o le i storio’r cwbl,’ meddai. ‘Beth wna i?’  “‘Dw i’n gwybod! Tynnu’r hen ysguboriau i lawr, ac adeiladau rhai mwy yn eu lle! Bydd gen i ddigon o le i storio popeth wedyn. Yna bydda i’n gallu eistedd yn ôl a dweud wrtho i’n hun, “Mae gen i ddigon i bara am flynyddoedd lawer. Dw i’n mynd i ymlacio a mwynhau fy hun yn bwyta ac yn yfed.”’  “Ond dyma Duw yn dweud wrtho, ‘Y ffŵl dwl! Heno ydy’r noson rwyt ti’n mynd i farw. Pwy fydd yn cael y cwbl rwyt ti wedi’i gasglu i ti dy hun?’  “Ie, fel yna bydd hi ar bobl sy’n casglu cyfoeth iddyn nhw’u hunain ond sy’n dlawd mewn gwirionedd, am eu bod heb Dduw.”

Luc 12: 15-21

And he said to them, ‘Take care! Be on your guard against all kinds of greed; for one’s life does not consist in the abundance of possessions.’ Then he told them a parable: ‘The land of a rich man produced abundantly. And he thought to himself, “What should I do, for I have no place to store my crops?” Then he said, “I will do this: I will pull down my barns and build larger ones, and there I will store all my grain and my goods. And I will say to my soul, Soul, you have ample goods laid up for many years; relax, eat, drink, be merry.” But God said to him, “You fool! This very night your life is being demanded of you. And the things you have prepared, whose will they be?” So it is with those who store up treasures for themselves but are not rich towards God.’

Luke 12: 15-21


Andy Butler writes:

How long ago last year’s Harvest Festival seems to me! As usual the Church looked amazing, resplendent in floral displays, not so many home-grown fruit and vegetables as in days of old, but lots of produce for the Food Bank. A very worthwhile cause. This year is very different, as you may well have experienced, and perhaps seen in our weekend video! Some Christian Churches have been part of an ecumenical movement called ‘Seasons of Creation.’ This season starts on September 1st, the Day of Prayer for Creation, and ends on October 4th which is the Feast Day of St. Francis of Assisi, thought by many to be the patron Saint of Ecology. The theme this year was a Sabbath rest for creation. A contributor from South Africa, Dominique You, wrote, ‘We have recognised through this global pandemic that we need to to create a period of rest for the Earth and thus transform our way of living and being. We want to see a world that is beautiful for all its inhabitants.

In the story of the rich fool, we see a man who was both selfish and complacent. He was doing well this man. In a world where many folk weren’t rich, he was. We get no hint that he wanted to share his bountiful crop. His vision was to tear down his old barns to build bigger ones and then rest and be merry! But God had other plans. Although we shouldn’t try and take away from the original meaning of this parable, this story of the complacent rich farmer makes me think of the complacent way we treat God’s world. Sir David Attenborough’s recent TV programme ‘Extinction the Facts’ was a real eye opener. Millions of species worldwide are heading towards extinction. Our treatment of the world in which we live is causing this disaster, which has consequences for us all.

At the start of this pandemic, after the initial hoarding of toilet rolls, we settled down into a different way of life. Daily walks gave us a new appreciation of nature, and gardens were tended with care. In fact many took to growing their own fruit and vegetables. Folk were friendly, even those we didn’t know. The importance of having nature in our lives had never been clearer. Many of us, living in our amazingly beautiful part of the world we call North Wales, were very blessed. The skies were blue, no vapours from aeroplanes, and the roads were quiet. The Orme goats went shopping in Llandudno, dolphins swam in the canals in Venice, an alligator visited a shopping centre in the USA. Bears, deer, lions and numerous other wild creatures ventured into built-up areas, while the world was in ‘lockdown’. I’m not trying to paint a Utopian view of lockdown. People were very ill, many died, many sacrifices were made, families couldn’t see loved ones in hospital, or go to their funerals. People were isolated, without even a hug to sustain them. Industries and businesses failed and many are facing an uncertain future as this destructive pandemic continues to rage. A grim situation. But throughout, the natural world sustained many and was a healing force for good. The fight is not over. Now we’re facing a second wave. How sad to hear that toilet rolls are again being hoarded. Litter is once more a blight. On the way home from Church I saw a discarded paper face mask in the verge. My first instinct was to clear it away so that the elastic ear loops couldn’t harm any creatures, but then I thought of the danger that it may have Covid-19 virus on it, so I left it.

I recently signed up to a RSPB campaign called ‘Revive our World’ and this extract is from the campaign: ‘In 2020, the importance of having nature in our lives has never been clearer, but the crisis facing nature is huge. So huge that our wellbeing, our economic future and our very survival depend on the choices we make now.’ God has indeed given us an amazing world. It’s a world with enough resources for everyone. We cannot be complacent or as greedy as the subject of our Bible passage. We all have a God-given duty to care for our beautiful world, especially at a time such as this.


Let us pray:
Show us how to change Lord,
show us how to do things well today,
so that others may not suffer. 
Here and there,
now and in the future,
show us how to make our contribution.
As we change the way we live,
travel, make and consume,
distribute and sell,
use and reuse energy and products,
show us how to do simple things well in our home,
places of work and daily lives.
Show us how to protect the world you made,
in all its diversity and goodness,
from our carbon emissions,
global warming and climate change,
rising temperatures and sea levels,
the displacement of peoples,
environmental poverty,
harm and destruction.
Show us how and show us why,
so that alone and with others
our contribution will make a difference. Amen.

Robin Morrison (from “A Heart for Creation” Chris Polhill)


Every Tuesday at 10.30am you are warmly invited to online Zoom Coffee.

Make friends, support each other and explore a Bible passage together.

Click here to join Zoom Coffee

[Meeting ID: 881 3417 1456; Passcode: 430751]


Many thanks to everyone who has been praying for Conwy County since a local lockdown began here. The good news is that our Services in Church buildings can continue, because of robust safety measures we already have in place (including mask wearing and social distancing).  Click here for details. We are also delighted that our Church Hall is providing a spacious venue for vital seasonal flu inoculations by Conwy GP practices. 

Please contact the Ministry Team or Churchwardens for confidential pastoral support or practical help at this difficult time, and know that we will all get through this with God’s sustaining love.

The pandemic has already led to a significant drop in our income, whilst the number of people supported by our Ministry continues to grow. Please consider making a one-off or regular financial donation to help us maintain the exciting things which God is doing through Bro Celynnin.

There are details here of how to give. Thank you.


Reflections
Video Services
bro-celynnin-black

Weekend Service

Croeso Welcome to worship

Many thanks to everyone who has been praying for Conwy County since a local lockdown began here. The good news is that our Services in Church buildings can continue, because of robust safety measures we already have in place (including mask wearing and social distancing). We are also delighted that our Church Hall is providing a spacious venue for vital seasonal flu inoculations by Conwy GP practices. 

Please contact the Ministry Team or Churchwardens for confidential pastoral support or practical help at this difficult time, and know that we will all get through this with God’s sustaining love.

There is a warm invitation tomorrow to St. Peter’s Llanbedr-y-Cennin (9:30am), St. Mary’s Caerhun and St. Mary’s Conwy (both 11am) and on Wednesday to St. Benedict’s Gyffin (11am).

Our worship and relationships also flourish online. See below for details of Zoom Coffee.  

This week’s online Harvest Service is brought to you by Reverends Eryl and David Parry, Trevor and Lynn Jones, Resound Worship and the choir of St. Mary’s Conwy.


Click on the play button for our weekend worship Service:

A harvest of thankfulness
A harvest of thankfulness

Video Transcript


Look out for the weekly Reflection at 8am on Monday morning.


Every Tuesday at 10.30am you are warmly invited to online Zoom Coffee.

Make friends, support each other and explore a Bible passage together.

Click here to join Zoom Coffee

[Meeting ID: 881 3417 1456; Passcode: 430751]


The pandemic has already led to a significant drop in our income, whilst the number of people supported by our Ministry continues to grow. Please consider making a one-off or regular financial donation to help us maintain the exciting things which God is doing through Bro Celynnin.

There are details here of how to give. Thank you.


Reflections

Video Services

bro-celynnin-black

Weekly Reflection

Lie low to the wall

Many parents of new university students are currently very tempted to jump in the car and fetch them home. God has a similar desire when we are in need of protection. In this week’s reflection, Reverend David Parry reminds us that sometimes we just need to accept that care.

Dangos dy ffyddlondeb rhyfeddol,
ti, sy’n gwaredu â’th ddeheulaw
y rhai sy’n llochesu ynot rhag eu gwrthwynebwyr.
Cadw fi fel cannwyll dy lygad,
cuddia fi dan gysgod dy adenydd.

Salm 17: 7-8

Show me the wonders of your great love,
you who save by your right hand
those who take refuge in you from their foes.
Keep me as the apple of your eye;
hide me in the shadow of your wings.

Psalm 17: 7-8


Reverend David Parry writes:

News of a second wave of the Covid-19 coronavirus, and the resulting prospect of more restrictions, has cast a real shadow over this Autumn and the Christmas we might experience. You would need to be made of pretty strong stuff not to feel down-hearted by that prospect. 

I’m not made of anything particularly strong. However even if I was, the awareness of how a seemingly endless pandemic is affecting so many of you who are reading my words would colour my mood. I know that it has already been so hard for those who are most precious and yet vulnerable in our community: our elders and those with fragile health.

We have, rightly, encouraged one another to be hopeful. We have found genuine strength in the worship and wisdom shared by my voices over these past six months online, by phone and card, and in our re-opened buildings. All this mutual love and ministry will continue, whatever lies ahead. It is one of our greatest gifts to those around us as a ‘parish church’ in the truest sense.

And yet… I feel the need to say that it is also ‘OK not to be OK’. God never intended faith to be some kind of inhuman force-field, impervious to suffering or sorrow. We are not superheroes incapable of hurt, despite all our trust.  Jesus wept – and his weeping was a sign of love not failure.

After all, if we are not allowed to feel broken and afraid why would Jesus invite us to come to him for Salvation, to be led by him to green pastures and still waters? Sometimes we just need him to enfold us and give us shelter through the harsh Winter, trying to believe that one day Spring warmth will return.

If you are in need of shelter too, I offer this wonderful poem Time to be Slow by John O’Donoghue. It is from his collection ‘To Bless the Space Between Us’ (Random House 2008).

This is the time to be slow,
Lie low to the wall
Until the bitter weather passes.

Try, as best you can, not to let
The wire brush of doubt
Scrape from your heart
All sense of yourself
And your hesitant light.

If you remain generous,
Time will come good;
And you will find your feet
Again on fresh pastures of promise,
Where the air will be kind
And blushed with beginning.


Ein Dduw cariadlon,
tyrd yn agos at bawb trwy Grist.
Dyro dangnefedd dy bresenoldeb,
iachâd d;y gyffyrddiad,
bendith dy arweiniad
a sicrwydd o’th gariad cyson;
fel y bo i bawb sy’n flinderog
gael cerdded mewn gobaith
ac edrych ymlaen mewn ffydd.
Amen.

Loving God,
draw near to all through Christ.
Grant the peace of your presence,
the healing of your touch,
the blessing of your guidance,
and the assurance of your constant love,
so that all who are weary may walk in hope
and look forward in faith.
Amen.

Nick Fawcett, trans. Aled Davies 
© Kevin Mayhew / Cyhoeddiadau’r Gair


You are warmly invited to Zoom Coffee tomorrow at 10.30am for friendly and engaging conversation about this week’s theme

(and of course a great way to belong)

Click here to join Zoom Coffee

[Meeting ID: 881 3417 1456; Passcode: 430751]


Please note that Reverend David Parry’s new e-mail address is
revdavidparry@gmail.com


Reflections
Video Services
bro-celynnin-black

Weekend Service

Welcome to worship!

This week’s online Service is brought to you by Reverends David and Eryl Parry, Stuart and Rosemary Melling, Ros and Canon Berw Hughes, with music by Chris Roberts. Our focus today is learning how to have a humble heart as we read Philippians 2: 1-13.


Communion Services in the churches of the Bro Celynnin Ministry Area will take place:

Sunday 27th September
9.30am St. Peter’s Llanbedr-y-Cennin
11am St. Mary’s Caerhun
11am St. Mary’s Conwy

Wednesday 30th September
11am St. Benedict’s Gyffin

Everyone attending must wear a face mask. Hand sanitising and distance measures will be in place, and we ask that you don’t come if you, or anyone in your household, has had Covid-like symptoms in the last 14 days.


Click on the play button for our weekend worship Service:

Humble HeartA humble heart


Look out for the next weekly Reflection at 8am on Monday morning.

~

Every Tuesday at 10.30am you are warmly invited to Zoom Coffee.

A congenial and interesting opportunity as we catch up on news and explore a Bible passage together:

Click here to join Zoom Coffee

[Meeting ID: 881 3417 1456; Passcode: 430751]


Finally …

Click here to find out how you can donate to support our work.

Thank you
.


Reflections

Video Services

bro-celynnin-black

Weekly Reflection

Learning from Saint Matthew (part 2)

Readers of our weekly reflections will spot that this is the second week in a row that we have focussed on Saint Matthew. Last week, Reverend David Parry reflected on Matthew’s calling, as a once despised tax collector, into the radical hospitality of Christ – and the powerful resonance that has with how we welcome the outsider today.

As the church celebrates the life of Saint Matthew on 21st September, it seems apt to take his story a step further, and ponder his life beyond that first calling – and indeed, what that can teach us about how we can live out our faith in 2020.

Saint Matthew

St. Matthew painted in the Lindisfarne Gospels (c.698 – 721)

Digwyddodd hyn i gyd ar Fynydd yr Olewydd oedd rhyw dri chwarter milltir i ffwrdd o’r ddinas. Dyma nhw’n cerdded yn ôl i Jerwsalem a mynd yn syth i’r ystafell honno i fyny’r grisiau yn y tŷ lle roedden nhw’n aros. Roedd Pedr yno, Ioan, Iago ac Andreas, Philip a Tomos, Bartholomeus a Mathew, Iago fab Alffeus, Simon y Selot a Jwdas fab Iago. Roedden nhw’n cyfarfod yno’n gyson i weddïo gyda’i gilydd, gyda Mair mam Iesu, a’i frodyr, a nifer o wragedd.

Actau 1: 12-14

Then they returned to Jerusalem from the mount called Olivet, which is near Jerusalem, a sabbath day’s journey away. When they had entered the city, they went to the room upstairs where they were staying, Peter, and John, and James, and Andrew, Philip and Thomas, Bartholomew and Matthew, James son of Alphaeus, and Simon the Zealot, and Judas son of James. All these were constantly devoting themselves to prayer, together with certain women, including Mary the mother of Jesus, as well as his brothers.

Acts 1: 12-14


Reverend Eryl Parry writes:

It never fails to amaze me how in a few short months, we have adapted to life and new ways of communicating with one another – learning, praying and worshipping together. This weekly reflection is just one of a number of ways that we encourage one another in our faith, as we live through these unprecedented times of COVID-19. There is a joke doing the rounds, of a person being interviewed for a job in 2015, and being asked what they see themselves doing in five years’ time. Surely, if the answer had contained the words ‘zoom’, ‘masks’ and ‘social distancing’, there would be more likelihood of a recommendation to have a lie down, than to start employment!

But we have had to learn to live in a different way, and I wonder as I reflect on the life of Matthew the apostle and evangelist, what it has to say about how we’re communicating the Gospel through these times. I invite us to consider these four ways, by way of the beautiful depiction above from the eighth century Lindisfarne Gospels.

Use our gifts: Matthew is often shown in Christian art with a pen in his hand. As a tax collector, he would have been an educated man and he was certainly a record-keeper! The Bible passage we’ve chosen today from Acts lists him as present at the ascension of Jesus (just before), and with the other apostles – a small group of men and women – in an upper room, where of course they were about to be filled with the Holy Spirit at Pentecost. He is right there in the centre of the action! He subsequently puts his writing skills to use so that we as one of the readers across the centuries also hear God’s Word, by reading his Gospel account.

We all have very different gifts, but this is the time when we value each one in our community – and God uses them to communicate His love and care. The gift of writing, speaking, painting, nursing, gardening, praying, cooking, listening … If someone were to draw each one of us, we would not all be with a pen in hand (or a computer!). What would you be doing?

Feel God’s presence: St. Matthew is often depicted, as here, with a ‘winged man’ on his shoulder. This is both a reference to the four Gospels in Revelation 4:7, and to Christ having come to Earth as one of us – His incarnation. I love the way this angel is holding a trumpet, emphasising the way Matthew is being used to tell of God in the form of Jesus, the man who called him out of his tax-collecting booth, into a new life. By the power of the Holy Spirit, we too have Jesus with us, in all we’re going through, here on Earth.

The world is looking for hope, and googling ‘prayer’ like never before. Through this time, when have we been most aware of God’s presence with us? 

Invite others into the story: This picture is framed by a curtain, pulled back to reveal the truth of God’s word. There’s a man full of curiosity, peeping around the corner looking at what Matthew is writing. He’s being invited into the story, in the same way that Matthew fully embraced his new life. Historians believe that Matthew preached for fifteen years to the Jewish community in Judea, before travelling further afield.

Our many different contributors to the daily reflections through many months of lockdown, not only shared their faith, but encouraged others to do the same. Together, we deepened our knowledge and experience of one another and of God Himself at work. How can we continue to do that now, online and offline, in this protracted period of fluctuating restrictions?

Be signs of hope: We see in this picture, the sacred nature of St. Matthew by his halo, and his feet are raised on a pedestal. If you had been on the receiving end of Matthew’s bills in his tax booth, you could be forgiven for being cynical that this man could be anything but a despised, corrupt traitor. Hardly Saint material! But the call of Jesus on his life indeed transformed him, and he was able to bless others with the kind of hope and peace that is beyond human imagination.

In these times of great uncertainty, people are looking for signs of hope. Our faith in a power far greater than ourselves, drives us to pray – for our communities and those in governance. We continue to pray for all those who feel isolated and fearful, especially as the numbers of Covid sufferers is rising once again. Let us thank God for every sign of His love that we experience, even in the darkest of times, and for all we are learning together. In praying the prayer for today below, we dedicate ourselves afresh to following St. Matthew’s example. A man transformed, who used his gifts and the everlasting presence of God in his life, to bring others to faith.


O Dduw Hollalluog,
y galwodd dy Fab bendigaid
Mathew, y casglwr trethi,
i fod yn apostol ac efengylwr;
dyro i ni ras i ymwrthod â cheisio elw yn hunanol
a chariad trachwantus at gyfoeth,
fel y gallwn ddilyn yn ffordd dy Fab Iesu Grist,
sydd yn fyw ac yn teyrnasu
gyda thi a’r Ysbryd Glân,
yn un Duw, yn awr ac am byth. Amen.

Yr Eglwys yng Nghymru

O Almighty God,
whose blessed Son
called Matthew the tax collector
to be an apostle and evangelist:
give us grace to forsake the selfish pursuit of gain
and the possessive love of riches
that we may follow in the way of your Son Jesus Christ,
who is alive and reigns
with you and the Holy Spirit,
one God, now and for ever. Amen.

The Church in Wales

You are warmly invited to Zoom Coffee tomorrow at 10.30am for friendly and engaging conversation about this week’s theme

(and of course a great way to belong)

Click here to join Zoom Coffee

[Meeting ID: 881 3417 1456; Passcode: 430751]


Please note that Reverend David Parry’s new e-mail address is
revdavidparry@gmail.com

David


Reflections
Video Services
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Weekend Service

Welcome to worship!

This week’s online Service is brought to you by Reverends David and Eryl Parry, and Sarah Swallow. Our focus today is on Luke 2: 25-32.


Communion Services in the churches of the Bro Celynnin Ministry Area will take place:

Sunday 20th September
9.30am St. Peter’s Llanbedr-y-Cennin
11am St. Mary’s Caerhun
11am St. Mary’s Conwy

Wednesday 23rd September
11am St. Benedict’s Gyffin

Everyone attending must wear a face mask. Hand sanitising and distance measures will be in place, and we ask that you don’t come if you, or anyone in your household, has had Covid-like symptoms in the last 14 days.


Click on the play button for our weekend worship Service:

Everlasting Light


Look out for the next weekly Reflection at 8am on Monday morning.

~

Every Tuesday at 10.30am you are warmly invited to Zoom Coffee.

A congenial and interesting opportunity as we catch up on news and explore a Bible passage together:

Click here to join Zoom Coffee


Please also note Reverend David Parry has a new e-mail address!
It is revdavidparry@gmail.com ~


Finally …

Click here to find out how you can donate to support our work.

Thank you
.


Reflections

Video Services

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