Daily Reflection 4th August

All knotted up

David Jones, from Gyffin, finds help in an unusual painting
~
Mary (Bavaria)
Atebodd yr angel hi, “Daw’r Ysbryd Glân arnat, a bydd nerth y Goruchaf yn dy gysgodi; am hynny, gelwir y plentyn a genhedlir yn sanctaidd, Mab Duw.”
Luc 1: 35
~
The angel said to her, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you; therefore the child to be born will be holy; he will be called Son of God.”
Luke 1: 35
~

David Jones writes:

Like many people, I have become more and more unsure what our approach should be to COVID-19. The return to lockdown in some parts of England felt like a big backward step, just when we could see daylight and a better future.

I have no wish to delve into the politics. Has Wales, with its more conservative stance, been wiser? Or have we just been fortunate in lagging behind the spread of coronavirus, able to wait and watch what happens elsewhere before we make our changes? Whatever the rights and wrongs of relaxations and restrictions, trying to unravel what we should do for the best, many of us just feel tied up in knots by it all.

That phrase, “tied up in knots” got me thinking. First a definition: ‘to make oneself confused, anxious, as when trying to make a decision to come up with another idea. To become tangled as when conveying an idea to another.’ Yes, definitely that.  

So, what does a Christian do in such circumstances? If it’s me, go for a walk and ponder what God is saying to me – what guidance can I find? I came across the amazing anonymous prayer written below. What I find so special about it is the way you can add your own feelings, concerns, worries, hopes and fears (to the ‘knots’). I invite you all to add your own, whatever knots you would like God’s help to untangle.

Long before any thought of writing reflections, I (per chance or even under guidance) came across a topic that I had never heard of. Mary “The Undoer of Knots”. Mary, the Mother of our Lord, is depicted thus in today’s painting by Johan Georg Schmidtner (from around 1700). It hangs in the pilgrim Church of St. Peter Perlach, in Augsburg, Bavaria.

St. Irenaeus, Bishop of Lyons, who was martyred in 202, is credited with first giving Mary that title. He in turn was inspired by St. Paul’s First Letter to the Corinthians: “for as all die in Adam, so all will be made alive in Christ.” 1 Corinthians 15: 22 

As Irenaeus puts it, “Eve, by her disobedience, tied the knot of disgrace for the human race; whereas Mary, by her obedience, undid it.” In other words, by carrying our Saviour and bringing Him to birth, Mary has a role in undoing the sinful rebellion which was written into everyone’s DNA by our ancestors.

So how does this picture help with my personal concerns and the struggles we are all living through? My conviction is that because of God’s grace and forgiveness, sending His Son into our sinful world, none of our knots are ever too big for God to undo. 


Prayer
Dear God,
please untie the knots
that are in my mind, my heart and my life.
Remove the ‘have nots’,
the ‘can nots’ and the ‘do nots’
that I have embedded in my mind.
Erase the ‘will nots’, ‘may nots’,
‘might nots’ that may find a home in my heart.
Release me from the ‘could nots’ and ‘should nots’
that obstruct my life.
And most of all, dear God,
I ask that you remove from my mind,
my heart and my life
all of the ‘am nots’,
especially the thought that I am not good enough,
which I have allowed to hold me back
from true faith in you.
Nothing is so tangled that you will
not hear our prayers and petitions,
through Jesus Christ.
Amen.


Daily Reflections

Sunday Services

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Daily Reflection 3rd August

Both hands

We are glad to announce that there will be services
in some of our church buildings next weekend,
for the first time in nearly 5 months.
~
David Parry reflects on the way forward and asks for our help.
Piano
~
‘Oherwydd ei waith ef ydym, wedi ein creu yng Nghrist Iesu
i fywyd o weithredoedd da,
bywyd y mae Duw wedi ei drefnu inni o’r dechrau.’
Effesiaid 2: 10
~
‘For we are what he has made us,
created in Christ Jesus for good works,
which God prepared beforehand to be our way of life.’
Ephesians 2: 10
~

Reverend David Parry writes:

God the Holy Spirit sometimes speaks to me in pictures. Four years ago when I became vicar of Bro Celynnin I saw several times an image of two hands, playing a piano. 

What struck me most as I reflected was that the hands work together. Their roles are very different but it takes both to produce a tune. If I understand it correctly (as a non-musician) the right hand plays the melody whilst the left accompanies, also adding the important bass notes.

That image seems apt for the healthy blend of tradition and innovation with which our new Ministry Area has flourished. My own renewed ministry as a parish priest (transplanted from urban to rural) and my wife Eryl becoming a Pioneer Minister (beyond our existing congregations) has also reminded me of two hands working together – along with everyone else’s hands of course.

However I now believe that what God most wanted to reveal to me by that image was the way forward we will need after lockdown. 

On Sunday 9th August, St Peter’s Llanbedr-y-Cennin and St Mary’s Caerhun resume holding services. Everyone who attends must wear a mask, sit 2m apart, not embrace, not sing, etc. We still have some problems to solve before we can open our other buildings for public worship. 

Open buildings will surely play the whole ‘tune’ of Christian life and Mission won’t they? Back to normal. No, I think not. They are just one ‘hand’.

The other hand is this deeply personal connection with each other and God, not bounded by physical meeting in a particular place at a particular time. It is the shared life and new friendships we have made by phone call, card, email and Zoom. We have heard new voices, encouraged one another’s faith and all grown as disciples. We really need both hands and we really need to stay connected to everyone, by all means possible not just ‘in church’.

That is why for everyone, not just those still shielding, we will still produce a weekly YouTube video -but it will now arrive on a Saturday morning. 

Our popular Zoom Coffee will also continue, but we need to choose a new day. Please complete a little survey before Friday morning, by clicking here.

Lastly, but for the first time since we began these emails, I need to mention money. We are not allowed to handle cash (and to prevent infection, many banks will not accept it either). In any case the massive drop in our income without services underlines the weakness of relying on collection plates. 

So if you feel that God is at work in the ministry of Bro Celynnin – in both hands, buildings and online – please consider setting up or increasing a regular donation to our mission via the Gift Direct scheme. You may also feel led to make a one-off thanksgiving gift using our Charities Aid Foundation account. More details can be found by clicking here:

I give thanks for you, for all that we are becoming together, and most of all for what God is doing in our midst….for the beautiful tune being played.


Gweddi
O Dduw grasol, sy’n caru pawb,
fe’n gwnaethost yn un teulu yng Nghrist dy Fab,
yn un wrth gyfranogi o’i gorff a’i waed
ac yn un yng nghymundeb ei Ysbryd,
cynorthwya ni i dyfu mewn cariad at ein gilydd
a chyrraedd aeddfedrwydd llawn Corff Crist.
Gweddïwn hyn trwy dy Fab ein Gwaredwr.
Amen.
Yr Eglwys yng Nghymru
~
Prayer
Gracious God, lover of all,
you make us one family in Christ your Son,
one in the sharing of his body and blood
and one in the communion of his Spirit:
help us to grow in love for one another
and come to the full maturity of the Body of Christ.
We make our prayer through your Son our Saviour.
Amen.
The Church in Wales

Daily Reflections

Sunday Services

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Daily Reflection 2nd August

Bore da! Good morning!

Welcome to this morning’s online service, brought to you by Reverends David and Eryl Parry, Sarah Swallow and Paul Clough.

Click here or the play button in the middle of the image below, and join us in worship, prayer and reflection. Our focus today is on God’s abundant life, as revealed in the words of Isaiah 55.

There is also an invitation to see one other at 11.30am this morning for a ‘Virtual Coffee’. Details are below the video.

Eighth Sunday after Trinity 2nd August ‘The abundant nature of God’:

Eighth Sunday after Trinity

Video Transcript


Please do join us for

Zoom Coffee at 11:30am

Plums

CLICK HERE TO COME IN

Meeting ID: 744 4802 3418
Password: 027997


Daily Reflections

Sunday Services

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Daily Reflection 1st August

Being watched

Heather Thompson from Gyffin finds good in an unsettling experience online

Watched

‘ARGLWYDD, yr wyt wedi fy chwilio a’m hadnabod.
Gwyddost ti pa bryd y byddaf yn eistedd ac yn codi;
yr wyt wedi deall fy meddwl o bell;
yr wyt wedi mesur fy ngherdded a’m gorffwys,
ac yr wyt yn gyfarwydd â’m holl ffyrdd.’
Salm 139: 1-3
~
‘O Lord, you have searched me and known me.
You know when I sit down and when I rise up;
you discern my thoughts from far away.
You search out my path and my lying down,
and are acquainted with all my ways.’
Psalm 139: 1-3
~
Heather Thompson writes:

During this Coronavirus lockdown, I have been fighting a daily battle with unread emails. I sign petitions for many good causes, but each one signed seems to encourage at least two more to my inbox. I was also receiving daily devotionals not just from Bro Celynnin but from the Church of England and America too. America likes to go big; they also send weekly and monthly items, plus Bible studies that take six weeks.

When I found myself skim-reading to keep up I let several go, and finally got the unread emails under control. I could also concentrate more on those I kept, and even look out for something new. Enjoying our Bro Celynnin Sunday services, I got tempted to look at other people’s services. There was a daily service from one of my friends in a Kent church.

It was on Facebook. I don’t use Facebook. I was put off years ago when someone I knew was very abusive on the infant social media, for anyone to read. However, I wanted to see my friend’s service, so I clicked on the link. I needn’t have bothered. It had been live-streamed, so there was nothing till the next day. I beat a hasty retreat from Facebook, vowing not to use it again. 
 
Next day however, when I turned on my phone, I found dozens of Facebook ‘Friend Requests’ from Conwy and Kent people – some I didn’t even recognise. I clicked on one of the unfamiliar faces. Facebook then told me where they lived and who their ‘Friends’ were. They seemed to know all about them and be willing to share that information with me! I found it invasive and unnerving.

Psalm 139 says that God knows even more about us than social media does, every intimate detail from before we were born. Should we be similarly threatened by that lack of privacy? No, I am not alarmed. Instead I feel comforted.

The difference is that the Lord loves us. He loved us, ‘warts and all’ in our sin, before we even knew Him. He still loves us now, through all the mistakes we make, and He will continue to love us beyond our dying day.
 
Paul’s short letter to Titus is worth reading. Paul says, “But when the kindness and love of God our Saviour appeared, he saved us, not because of righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy. He saved us through the washing of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit, whom he poured out on us generously through Jesus Christ our Saviour, so that, having been justified by his grace, we might become heirs having the hope of eternal life.” Titus 3: 4-7

That is Good News, something I’m happy to share with everyone: face to socially-distanced face, by email, or perhaps one day, even on Facebook!


Gweddi
Dduw hollbresennol,
helpa ni i’th ddarganfod yma,
drwy Iesu Grist ein Harglwydd.
Amen.

Prayer
Ever-present God,
help us to find you always,
through Jesus Christ our Lord.
Amen.

Nick Fawcett cyf. Aled Davies

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Daily Reflection 31st July

Eryl’s Ordination

The annual Ordination Service in Bangor Cathedral could not go ahead in June because of the pandemic. Our own Eryl Parry is one of those who had to wait to become a Priest.

But every cloud has a silver lining. Bishop Andy offered to ordain each candidate locally, with just a small, invited and socially-distanced congregation. So on 10th August he will come to Hen Eglwys Llangelynnin, in the Carneddau Mountains. Eryl will become a Pioneer Priest in that uniquely beautiful and sacred place.  

We hope to film the service and share some of it with you. Today Eryl reflects on what this unexpected opportunity means to her.

Eryl ParryReverend Eryl Parry
~
‘Felly, am fod Duw wedi bod mor drugarog wrthoch chi, frodyr a chwiorydd, dw i’n apelio ar i chi roi eich hunain yn llwyr i Dduw. Cyflwyno eich hunain iddo yn aberth byw – un sy’n lân ac yn dderbyniol ganddo. Dyna beth ydy addoliad go iawn! O hyn ymlaen rhaid i chi stopio ymddwyn yr un fath â phobl sydd ddim yn credu. Gadewch i Dduw newid eich bywyd chi’n llwyr drwy chwyldroi eich ffordd o feddwl am bethau. Byddwch yn gwybod wedyn beth mae Duw eisiau, ac yn gweld fod hynny’n dda ac yn ei blesio fe, ac mai dyna’r peth iawn i’w wneud.’
Rhufeiniaid 12: 1-2

~
‘I appeal to you therefore, brothers and sisters, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your minds, so that you may discern what is the will of God— what is good and acceptable and perfect.’
Romans 12: 1-2
~
Reverend Eryl Parry writes:
 
Being priested in my walking boots feels like an extraordinary gift from God. 

I will have the joy of walking across the hilltops to the ancient church of Llangelynnin which nestles high above our everyday lives in the valley below. This is where, of course, over the last few years we have invited people – at whatever stage they are at in their journey of faith – to walk into this sacred place of restoration and acceptance, at monthly services of Celtic Prayer and Praise

The panoramic vista across the hills provides a glorious setting and seems to call us to reflect God’s creativity and peace. It was George McCloud, the founder of the Iona Community who termed the phrase a ‘thin place’ – a place where people get a sense of the transcendent and infinite, the smallness of self in the vastness of God, and a glimpse of Heaven where it touches Earth. We have experienced this for ourselves at Llangelynnin, knowing that many pilgrims have also prayed and encountered God here over the centuries, so this is a place that perfectly combines rootedness with new beginnings.

I had a business career before working in the tourism and culture sector in my hometown of Liverpool. But my boots have brought me to a deeper home, the place of my family roots where, in the words of the Bishop’s Charge in the Ordination Service, we are to ‘proclaim afresh’ the Gospel, in ways that draw others to Christ. 

There are, in fact, many pertinent phrases in that part of the service in which I will take my vows, not least to ‘explore new ventures in mission’. That is, to find ways to relate the Christian faith to those who are currently not part of the life of the church. It seems a tall order, and I admit that there are times when I feel daunted and pretty inadequate to the task! But there are some lifelines …

Firstly, the pandemic means we are living in extraordinary times, when survey after survey reveal more of the general public asking the big questions of life, seeking answers, turning to prayer, finding churches and services online, and actively engaging in community activity, often through simple acts of neighbourly kindness. 

All these present us with opportunities for making new friendships, inviting people to belong before they have to believe, and increasing the church’s own community engagement. These daily reflections have been just one way of supporting one another, something we had never done before, and we now have a whole new set of relationships! It has felt good to journey together. Mission may take many forms, but we never do it alone.

Of course, the ultimate companion all of us have as we attempt to live according to our values, is the Holy Spirit. Thank goodness we do nothing in our strength. What I’m being asked to be and do as described in this service would be impossible without a firm foundation of prayer. I am deeply thankful for the prayers of those in Bro Celynnin, Bangor Diocese, wider pioneer networks, friends and family. Without your support, I would simply not have thought this day possible. Now we will walk together on an adventuresome journey as God’s friends, full of opportunity and promise, creative possibilities and new connections.

I truly believe that each one of us has a calling on our lives, and that if we can discern the path along which we are to walk, we can be part of God’s loving plan. The passage above from Paul’s letter to the Romans has been my touchstone throughout the discernment process. Paul speaks of simply offering who we are back to God, with both the rich array of unique gifts He has given us, and our frailties too. The work He gives us to do requires making sacrifices, but in acknowledging that likely cost of service, the ‘Bishop’s Charge’ says ‘it will also bring you joy and peace.’ For that is the story we tell with our very lives – Christ’s narrative of hope, as relevant to today as it ever was. That, too, is the story we tell at Communion, when we can experience once again God’s radical hospitality: His invitation for all, to His table of life. No VIP pass required.

So on go the boots! Even by reading this, I thank you for being prepared to walk with me. And although the number of people physically with me on 10th August will be few, I can walk His way, knowing I have your prayer support and friendship, and at Llangelynnin there will also be a cloud of witnesses. 


Our prayer of blessing today comes from the Ordination Service:
 

Gweddi
Bydded i’r Hollalluog Dduw,
yr hwn er mwyn iachawdwriaeth y byd
sy’n rhoddi i’w bobl
amryw ddoniau a gweinidogaethau
er hyrwyddiad ei ogoniant,
ddeffro ynoch ddoniau ei Ysbryd
a’ch cynnal chwi oll yn eich gweinidogaeth;
a bendith Duw Hollalluog,
y Tad, y Mab, a’r Ysbryd Glân,
a fo yn eich plith
ac a drigo gyda chwi yn wastad. Amen.

Prayer
Almighty God, who for the salvation of the world
gives his people many gifts and ministries
to the advancement of his glory,
stir up in you the gifts of his Spirit,
and sustain each one of you in your own ministry;
and the blessing of God almighty,
the Father, Son and Holy Spirit,
be among you and remain with you always. Amen.


Daily Reflections

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Daily Reflection 30th July

Friendship

A reflection by Reverend Susan Blagden, from Rowen

Spiritual Friendship
Dywedodd Iesu, “Dyma dw i’n ei orchymyn: Carwch eich gilydd
fel dw i wedi’ch caru chi.
Y cariad mwya all unrhyw un ei ddangos ydy bod yn fodlon marw dros ei ffrindiau. Dych chi’n amlwg yn ffrindiau i mi
os gwnewch chi beth dw i’n ddweud.
Dw i ddim yn eich galw chi’n weision bellach. Dydy meistr ddim yn trafod ei fwriadau gyda’r gweision. Na, ffrindiau i mi ydych chi.”
Ioan 15: 12-15
~
Jesus said, “This is my commandment, that you love one another
as I have loved you.
No one has greater love than this, to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.
You are my friends if you do what I command you. 
I do not call you servants any longer, because the servant does not know what the master is doing; but I have called you friends.”
John 15:  12-15
~

Reverend Susan Blagden writes:

30th July is the International Day of Friendship, established in 2011 by the United Nations. It is intended to celebrate the power that friendship, human solidarity, can have in confronting evil and challenging unjust structures. So what might this mean for us as Christians and particularly for those of us who worship in Bro Celynnin with its strong Cistercian heritage?

In our Bible reading today, Jesus has called you to be His friend. Did you really hear that right? Jesus wants you, yes you, to be His friend. How amazing is this?! A famous hymn reminds us of ‘what a friend we have in Jesus’ but can the same be said of us? How can we be a good friend to Jesus and, by implication therefore, to each other?

Aelred, Abbot of the Cisterican community in Rievaulx Abbey in Yorkshire, wrote a seminal work on just this subject: Spiritual Friendship. Among the things he suggests are these encouragements:

Fruition and excellence in friendship – Aelred’s focus was always friendship with Christ and how this would result in our growth in the virtues, providing balance and stability to our lives. We rejoice in the other’s well-being. We share in their sadnesses. Our love and care for the other ensures we are not the centre of our own lives. The safety and trust allow us to unburden our souls, to share our desires, to know forgiveness, and for the fruits of the Spirit to be increasingly evident in our lives.
 
Sustaining an unbroken friendship – we need to cultivate vigilance, says Aelred, in our hearts to guard against vice – slander, reproach, displays of pride, indiscretion, and detraction from the other’s good.  Soul friendship takes time to nurture so we should not rush that process.
 
Here are some practical suggestions which may be helpful:

Spend some time praying with today’s image
It is the Coptic 6th Century Icon of Christ and Abbot Mena often known as the Friendship Icon. Imagine yourself in Abbot Mena’s place. What does it feel like to have Jesus by your side; to have His arm round your shoulder; what are you looking out at together? Ask for the grace you need.

Write a list of the friends, past and current, who have been/are important in your life
Make a note of the particular gifts that they brought to you. What virtues have you seen grow in your own life as a result? Offer thanks for all this in your prayers. Maybe let your friends know the things that you are thankful for.

Consider those to whom you have offered friendship
What is your ongoing prayer for each of them? 

Friendship with Jesus
Friends spend quality time together and gift each other attention. What might this look like for you if Jesus is to depend on you as one of His friends? What might He want to share with you that is on His heart? You might like to respond to this by drawing or writing, or by being creative in some other way. Give thanks for the grace of friendship. 


Prayer
You have blessed us, O God,
with the gift of friendship, 
the bonding of persons in a circle of love.
We thank you for such a blessing:
for friends who love us, who share our sorrows,
who laugh with us in celebration, who bear our pain,
who need us as we need them,
who weep as we weep,
who hold us when words fail,
and who give us the freedom to be ourselves.
Bless our friends with health, wholeness,
life, and love. Amen.

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Daily Reflection 29th July

Walk on it

David Parry reflects on the power of stepping out …
Walking
Wrth fynd heibio oddi yno gwelodd Iesu ddyn
a elwid Mathew yn eistedd wrth y dollfa,
a dywedodd wrtho, “Canlyn fi.”
Cododd yntau a chanlynodd ef.
Mathew 9: 9
~
As Jesus was walking along,
he saw a man called Matthew sitting at the tax booth;
and he said to him, “Follow me.”
And he got up and followed him.
Matthew 9: 9
~
Reverend David Parry writes:
~

Why are our legs (or in the case of wheel-chair users, our hands and wheels) so helpful to our brains? We seem to access different levels of understanding just by forward motion. It is as if breaking the stasis, the inertia of our bodies by leaving the house also breaks through confusion or indecision and gives unexpected clarity of thought.

Of course those of us fortunate enough to live in North Wales need little encouragement to venture out. Even in bad weather there is a grandeur and dynamism to our landscape which is hard to beat. Yet I experienced the same positive results walking in the urban streets which have been home for most of my adult life, even though in some of them the only beautiful thing was the people.

Step by step, alone or with others, the simple rhythm as ancient as being human seems to calm and centre us. It’s as if we start to keep time with a tune unheard at home, to move through the world instead of feel its weight over us.

I recall walking in tears at times of grief, shouting aloud at injustice in petition to God (when nobody was about) and many moments of transcendent serenity. I find it easy to pray when walking and easy to listen to a companion as we talk about God together. It is the perfect medium for friendship and family adventures. And it’s free!

Perhaps that’s why Jesus exercised a peripatetic ministry and why He sent His disciples out in pairs, walking simply together with little in the way of resources other than each other and His authority. 

Lockdown pavements and footpaths have been crowded. A daily walk suddenly taken for granted as a priority – at first because it was all the relief from four walls many were allowed. Why don’t we turn that expedient habit into an abiding habit – and let our feet or our wheels take us to a new vantage point with a better view of our lives. 


Gweddi
Hollalluog a thragwyddol Dduw,
cynydda ynom dy rodd o ffydd
fel, gan adael yr hyn a aeth heibio
ac ymestyn at yr hyn sydd o’n blaen,
y bydd inni redeg ar hyd ffordd dy orchmynion
ac ennill coron llawenydd tragwyddol;
trwy Iesu Grist ein Harglwydd,
sy’n fyw ac yn teyrnasu gyda thi,
yn undod yr Ysbryd Glân,
yn un Duw, yn awr ac am byth.
Amen.
Yr Eglwys yng Nghymru
~
Prayer
Almighty and everlasting God,
increase in us your gift of faith
that, forsaking what lies behind
and reaching out to that which is before,
we may run the way of your commandments
and win the crown of everlasting joy;
through Jesus Christ your Son our Lord,
who is alive and reigns with you,
in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, now and forever.
Amen.
The Church in Wales

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Daily Reflection 28th July

The Good Shepherd

Our daily reflection comes from the benefit of Ros Hughes’s re-reading of her journal from many years ago, which she shares below.

Grandson
‘Myfi yw’r bugail da; yr wyf yn adnabod fy nefaid, a’m defaid yn f’adnabodi, yn union fel y mae’r Tad yn f’adnabod i, a minnau’n adnabod y Tad. Ac yr wyf yn rhoi fy einioes dros y defaid.’
Ioan 10: 14-16
~
‘I am the good shepherd. I know my own and my own know me, just as the Father knows me and I know the Father, and I lay down my life for my sheep.’
John 10: 14-16
~
Ros Hughes writes:
~

It was so lovely this morning having my little grandson back, playing in our garden, with an old favourite toy farm set that has been used by a few generations of the Hughes’ family. Listening to his chatter about the shepherd and sheep – ram, ewe and lambs, breeds of sheep, footrot and orf – I realised he had far more knowledge than I did about sheep and the work of the shepherd. After all, my son, his Dad, owns a flock of sheep and so my grandson has been brought up involved in life on the farm. 

On the other hand, I had been brought up a city child. My knowledge of sheep as a child came from Bible stories. Pictures in the story books of the Good Shepherd and the parable of the lost sheep and even stained-glass window images in our Church led me to visualise in my mind’s eye – Jesus – the Good Shepherd as a tall, graceful, clean, young man, robed in white, leading obedient, docile, clean sheep, and carrying an adorable, white, woolly lamb.  One of my favourite hymns I used to sing before bed as a child, was ‘Loving Shepherd of Thy sheep, Keep Thy lamb in safety keep.’

Moving to the North Wales mountains above Llanberis in my early 20s certainly widened my understanding, because our family became friendly with Dafydd, who was an elderly shepherd. He had worked in this difficult terrain for many years as a shepherd. He would be out in all weathers and all hours particularly late winter and early spring – his work was hard, dirty, and physically demanding – blood, sweat and muck on his weathered hands and clothes. Furthermore, sheep are certainly not obedient, and need a lot of care and attention.

All in all, being a good shepherd is hard work. Dafydd’s care for his sheep was his priority, and their needs came before his, and his hard lifestyle took its toll on his health – his sacrifice. Sometimes we can catch a glimpse of Jesus in the people around us in our daily lives.

Reflecting on this image of a shepherd, familiar to many of us here in the hills and mountains of North Wales, puts a vastly different perspective on Jesus saying ’I am the Good Shepherd’. It is also a challenging thought to consider that we ourselves are like sheep – hard work – disobedient, following the flock and running with the crowd in the wrong direction – needing constant attention, care, and guidance. So, let us come before the Good Shepherd with contrite hearts and thank Him for His constant loving care and patience – and ultimately His wonderful self-sacrifice. 


Gweddi
Dad trugarog,
Rhoddaist dy Fab Iesu Grist i fod yn Fugail Da,
Ac yn ei gariad tuag atom i roi ei einioes a chyfodi drachefn:
Cadw ni’n wastad dan ei adain,
A dyro i ni ras i ddilyn ei lwybr;
Trwy Iesu Grist ein Harglwydd. Amen
Y Llyfr Gweddi Gyffredin – Yr Eglwys yng Nghymru
~
Prayer
Merciful Father,
You gave your Son Jesus Christ to be the Good Shepherd,
And in his love for us to lay down his life and rise again:
Keep us always under his protection,
And give us grace to follow in his steps:
Through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
The Book of Common Prayer – The Church in Wales

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Daily Reflection 27th July

Meet the Broadbent family

Exciting news! Andy Broadbent is joining Bro Celynnin for his ordination training. He has a three year placement here, ministering in our communities alongside his academic studies and full-time employment. Some of us met Andy yesterday at Zoom Coffee. Today he writes to introduce himself and the nature of his calling.

It is so wonderful to welcome Andy and his family. They are a gift from God. Please pray for each of them to be blessed, sustained and encouraged as they explore this vocation together. Please also pray for Dwylan, our neighbouring Ministry Area, where they will be much missed.
 

Greetings can be sent via the vicarage
or 5churchinfo@gmail.com

Broadbent FamilyLogan, Katy, Andy and Jenny (from left to right)

‘Y mae’r hwn sy’n eich galw yn ffyddlon, ac fe gyflawna ef hyn.’
1 Thesaloniaid 5: 24
~
‘The one who calls you is faithful, and he will do this.’
1 Thessalonians 5: 24
~
Andy Broadbent writes:
~
Hello, my name is Andy Broadbent. I have been sponsored by the Diocese to train as a ‘Distinctive Deacon’ in your Ministry Area in the beautiful Conwy valley.
 
I cannot wait to get to meet you all and join in as you worship, pray and live a Gospel-led life. A little about me: I am mid-thirties, married to Katy, and have two young children, Jenny and Logan. We live in Dwygyfylchi, just over the Sychnant Pass. My secular job is as an animal welfare inspector which I enjoy as it is very varied and constantly busy. My hobbies are reading, fishing and freediving.
 
The role of a Distinctive Deacon is both new in the church but is also very old. The Diocese is rediscovering this ordained role as it provides a bridge between the busy ministry of the priest inside the church and the outside community. It is a role on the edges, both of the church and society. I have no preconceptions of how this ministry would look in your area as it will be led by yourselves and the needs of your communities. I’m really looking forward to seeing how this shapes itself as my training continues.
 
Spiritually I find my home in the contemplative traditions, and I am very focussed on prayer and reflection. I am really looking forward to worshipping in the many beautiful churches you have and joining in with the song of prayer sung in the valley for centuries. I am a member of a religious order – the Third Order of the Society of St. Francis, and as a Franciscan tertiary I try to live a life of joy, simplicity and service.
 
I cannot wait to be with you all, to learn, train and praise God amongst you all. Please feel free to guide and correct me as you see fit, I have a tough shell and am so grateful for the opportunity to absorb the wisdom of you, your congregations and communities. Thank you.
 
Peace and all good wishes,
 
Andy.

Gweddi
Dduw ein Tad, Arglwydd yr hollfyd,
trwy dy Fab gelwaist ni
i gymdeithas dy Eglwys fydeang:
gwrando ein gweddi dros dy bobl ffyddlon
fel y bo iddynt yn eu galwedigaeth a’u gweinidogaeth
fod yn gyfryngau dy gariad;
a dyro i dy weision
ddoniau angenrheidiol gras;
trwy Iesu Grist ein Harglwydd,
sydd yn fyw ac yn teyrnasu gyda thi
yn undod yr Ysbryd Glân,
yn un Duw, yn awr ac am byth. Amen.
Yr Eglwys yng Nghymru
~
Prayer
God our Father, Lord of all the world,
through your Son you have called us
into the fellowship of your universal Church:
hear our prayer for your faithful people
that in their vocation and ministry
each may be an instrument of your love;
and give to your servants
the needful gifts of grace;
through our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ,
who is alive and reigns
in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
God for ever and ever. Amen.
The Church in Wales

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Daily Reflection 26th July

Bore da! Good morning!

Welcome to this morning’s online service, brought to you by Reverends David and Eryl Parry, Diane Kaiser, and Peter and Helen Tattersall. We especially congratulate Peter and Helen on their Golden Wedding Anniversary!

Click here or the play button in the middle of the image below, and join us in worship, prayer and reflection. Our focus today is on the Spirit of God at work in us: Romans 8: 26-30.

There is also an invitation to see one other at 11.30am this morning for ‘Zoom coffee’. Details are below the video.

Seventh Sunday after Trinity 26th July ‘The Holy Spirit at work in us’:

Seventh Sunday after Trinity

Video Transcript

Please do join us for

Zoom Coffee at 11:30am

Heart

CLICK HERE TO COME IN

Meeting ID: 744 4802 3418
Password: 027997


Daily Reflections

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