Rooted and Grounded in Love.

A reflection by Ros Hughes

Yr wyf yn gweddio ar iddo ganiatau I chwi, yn ol cyfoeth ei ogoniant, gryfder nerthol trwy’r Ysbryd yn y dyn oddi mewn, ac ar I Grist breswylio yn eich calonnau drwy ffydd. Boed I chwi, sydd a chariad yn wreiddyn a Sylfaen eich bywydd gael eich galluogi I amgyffred ynghyd a’r holl saint beth yw lled a hyd ac uchder a dyfnder cariad Crist, a gwybod am y cariad hwnnw, er ei fod uchlaw gwybodaeth. Felly dygir chwi I gyflawnder, hyd at holl gyflawnder Duw.

Effesiaid / Ephesians 3:17-20

I pray that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith – that you being rooted and grounded in love, may have strength to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.

What does this phrase ‘rooted and grounded in love’ mean to us today?

Recently, I was watching our young grandchildren delight in gently caring for their pets and showing real love and concern for their well-being. Perhaps, this indicates that we all have an inborn care and concern for the things around us. This side of our nature needs to be nurtured and encouraged as we grow and develop throughout life. Because of this we help our children to be ‘rooted and grounded’ in the values we ourselves have, that have inspired and supported us in our own lives.

Jesus in his teachings spoke of the need for us to build our lives and faith securely rooted as the seed in the parable of the Sower in Matthew 13, or grounded on firm foundations as illustrated in the parable of the wise man building his house on the rock that stood firm in the storm. Jesus said, ‘Everyone who comes to me and hears my words and does them, I will show you what he is like; He is like a man building his house, who dug deep and laid the foundation on the rock.’ Luke 6:47,48.  

Although, this letter from St Paul to the Ephesians, speaks of the need for secure foundations, ’rooted and grounded’, the emphasis is on the word ‘love.’

We have so many references in our Bible passages to ‘love’ and we can read and hear so many further writings, sermons and talks on this subject. I was initially reluctant to put pen to paper on this subject yet again! But ’love’ is so fundamental to our faith and life that we cannot avoid using this amazing word ‘love.’

What does love mean to you? When have you been most aware of being really loved? And when have you been most aware of giving your love?

The further verses in this letter of St Paul is a beautiful prayer that we might fully know the love of Christ that ‘surpasses knowledge.’ Understanding this depth of love is a tall order, but perhaps understanding this love is far less important than knowing it, feeling it, and sharing it.

If we pause and think about how full the Gospels and indeed the Bible is of ‘love’ – how do you feel ‘rooted and grounded in love’ today? And how does this prompt action and expression for you now?

Gweddi – Cariad ar waith

Arglwydd, diolch iti am dy gariad: y cariad sy’n adfer, y cariad sy’n adfywio, y cariad sy’n adeiladu gobaith. Helpa ni bob dydd i chwilio am gyfleoedd ymarferol i rhoi dy gariad di ar waith. Amen

Prayer – Love in Action

Lord, thank you for your love: the love that restores, the love that renews, the love that builds hope. Help us each day to seek practical opportunities to put that love into action. Amen

Christian Aid Cymru

The Living Water: video and news for St Celynnin’s Day

Click here for Zoom Coffee morning 10:30 on Tuesdays

[or use Meeting ID: 881 3417 1456 Passcode: 430751]

Christmas Hamper project

Can you help? Up to 7th December Bro Celynnin is collecting basic foodstuffs to help families who might otherwise struggle during the Christmas school holidays. Suggestions include: cereal, soup (tinned or packet), pasta, rice, tinned tomatoes, pasta sauce, lentils, beans, pulses, tinned meat, tinned vegetables, crisps, tea, coffee, tinned fruit, biscuits, UHT milk, fruit juice, toiletry & hygiene products. Food can be left at the Vicarage in Conwy and 39 Bryn Castell, Gyffin or at any of our church services. Thank you for contributions which have already arrived – and for some very generous financial donations which mean we can add Christmas treats to each hamper.

Daily joy! to your inbox soon:

Listening Skills

Reflection 16th November 2020

Stuart Melling writes:

The theme for our Zoom Coffee morning was, ‘How do we know when God is speaking to us?’ We went into small groups to read Jeremiah (Jeremeia) chapter 29, verses11-14.

Oherwydd myfi sy’n gwybod fy mwriadau a drefnaf ar eich cyfer,’ medd yr ARGLWYDD, ‘bwriadau o heddwch, nid niwed, i roi ichwi ddyfodol gobeithiol. Yna galwch arnaf, a dewch i weddïo arnaf, a gwrandawaf arnoch. Fe’m ceisiwch a’m cael; pan chwiliwch â’ch holl galon fe’m cewch,’ medd yr ARGLWYDD, ‘ac adferaf ichwi lwyddiant, a’ch casglu o blith yr holl genhedloedd, ac o’r holl leoedd y gyrrais chwi iddynt,’ medd yr ARGLWYDD; ‘ac fe’ch dychwelaf i’r lle y caethgludwyd chwi ohono.’

For surely I know the plans I have for you’, says the Lord, ‘plans for your welfare and not for harm, to give you a future with hope.  Then when you call upon me and come and pray to me, I will hear you.  When you search for me, you will find me; if you seek me with all your heart,  I will let you find me, says the Lord, and I will restore your fortunes and gather you from all the nations and all the places where I have driven you, says the Lord, and I will bring you back to the place from which I sent you into exile.

We started with a prayer, read the passage to ourselves and took time to think our own thoughts. Then we shared with each other which words had the most meaning for us.

Each member in our group of six reported that a different part of the text had a particular appeal or relevance to them. Listening to everyone speak about what they had found was remarkable. So much was of value, new and worth considering, in just FOUR verses of God’s word!

When we were back in the full group I was moved to suggest that although private prayer and personal time with God is always helpful, so much more is revealed when we read the Bible together.     

Another thought came to me as I reflected on this experience later in the day. I remembered what Jesus promised:

“A thrachefn rwy’n dweud wrthych, os bydd dau ohonoch yn cytuno ar y ddaear i ofyn am unrhyw beth, fe’i rhoddir iddynt gan fy Nhad, yr hwn sydd yn y nefoedd. Oherwydd lle y mae dau neu dri wedi dod ynghyd yn fy enw i, yr wyf yno yn eu canol.”

“Truly I tell you, if two of you agree on earth about anything you ask, it will be done for you by my Father in heaven. For where two or three are gathered in my name, I am there among them.” Matthew 18:19-20

As we talked, more was happening than just a pooling of different insights. We had started Zoom by asking “How do we know when God is speaking to us?” Perhaps God chose to answer our question by a practical demonstration.

Maybe he spoke to each one of us personally – then through us to each other – as a sign of his presence. Maybe this was our reminder that he is always there when we gather in his name, just as Jesus promised. What do you think?

Dduw cariadlon, diolchwn mai ti sydd Dduw sy’n addysgu’n ddyddiol mwy amdanat ti dy hun, sydd o hyd â mwy i’w ddatguddio am dy gariad. Llefara wrthym nawr a dyro i ni glustiau i glywed. Amen.

Loving Father, we thank you that you are a God who daily teaches us more about yourself, who has always more to reveal of your love. Speak to us now and give us ears to hear. Amen.

Prayer: Nick Fawcett © Kevin Mayhew Ltd (cyfieithiad, Cyhoeddiadau’r Gair)

Weekend worship 14th November: Persistent Prayer

Andy Broadbent is training to be a Distinctive Deacon, focussed on community ministry. His talk today is about a Parable story which Jesus told to encourage anyone who is tempted to give up. The service also includes contributions from Eryl Parry, Jennifer Roberts and Phil & Sandy Hughes.

In Wales, services in church buildings resume (with masks and social distancing). There is a warm invitation tomorrow morning to St Peter’s Llanbedr-y-Cennin at 9:30, St Mary’s Caerhun and St Mary’s Conwy (both at 11) and on Wednesday to St Benedict’s Gyffin at 11. British Sign Language Interpretation is available in Conwy and Gyffin this week.

Paper-thin trust: a reflection 9th November 2020

A dywedodd wrth bawb, “Os myn neb ddod ar fy ôl i, rhaid iddo ymwadu ag ef ei hun a chodi ei groes bob dydd a’m canlyn i.”

Luke/ Luc 9:23

Then he said to them all, “If any want to become my followers, let them deny themselves and take up their cross daily and follow me.”

Angela Saunders writes:

These are grey, bleak times. The days are wetter, the nights are darker and we are still living restricted lives.  We have lived through the long lockdown of spring; a summer of limited socializing; now autumn, starting with local lockdowns merging into 17 days of full lockdown.  We are weary and tired of it; we long to hug and hold our family and friends; we long to attend weddings and funerals, to celebrate and grieve together – but it looks as if it will be a long time before any of that is possible.

Jesus said that if we wish to follow him, we must take up our cross each day – there is no escaping it, each of us has been touched by suffering during these difficult times. As in ‘Going on a Bear Hunt’, we can’t go over it, we can’t go under it, we can’t go round it, we’ve got to go through it.  There is no other way.  However, unlike in that much loved children’s story, we are not hunting for a bear only to take fright and run home. We are on our journey through life. We are carrying our cross whilst trying to hold on to the fact that the cross leads to the Resurrection. 

Our journey is a paradox. We long and yearn for God, reach for him and take stumbling steps each day, trusting that we are getting closer. However we also know that he is already with us. He is at our side, guiding us and even holding us when we fall.

At the moment, it may feel that our faith and trust are paper thin, like the Physalis casing in the photo. Nevertheless it is true that by persevering, trusting, loving, praying and hoping, precious fruit will develop (even if we sometimes remain unaware of it ourselves). 

We do not know what lies ahead, we do not know how long this suffering will last, but we do know that God loves us. However thin and fragile, we are always precious in his eyes.

Lord, we are tired and weary, our trust feels paper thin, help us to take up our cross each day and follow you. Help us to know that you are there, even when we cannot feel your presence. Help us to trust that even though we feel barren, we will bear fruit. Amen.

Dydd Sul y Cofio / Remembrance Sunday 8th November 2020

Church buildings in Wales are allowed to reopen from tomorrow, provided social distancing is observed, masks are worn and records kept for track-and-trace.  Please stay away if you or any of your household have covid-like symptoms (or have been asked to self isolate).

There is a warm welcome to Communion Services on Wednesday in St Benedict’s Gyffin (11am) and next Sunday in St Peter’s Llanbedr-y-Cennin (9:30am), St Mary’s Caerhun and St Mary’s Conwy (both 11am). 
British Sign Language interpretation is available in the Gyffin and Conwy services this week.
Our Remembrance Service has contributions from Dave Kent, Eryl & David Parry, Natasha Flint, Clive & Heather Addison and Chris Roberts.

Click the arrow on the image below.

Underground Movement: Weekly Reflection

Monday 2nd November, Rosemary Melling

Recently something strange started to happen in our garden, something we had absolutely no experience of and were baffled by…at first. Several piles of fresh soil now appear without fail, every morning. Thankfully, they have always been in the same part of the lawn up to now. Our new garden features are linked together by what can only be described as lines of raised grass. Yes, you guessed it, we have acquired tunnelling MOLES!

As the saying goes, “knowledge is power”, so we sought advice from friends and also searched the internet: “cute, furry little animals – almost blind as they live underground, eat worms – but can be a challenge.” I can confirm the truth of that, now that flattening the “hills” has become became a daily task. In fact the next quote about moles rang especially true: “persistent, diligent, hard-working, not easily put off.”.

Maybe we can take a message from this. Christians are tasked with spreading the Gospel. Yet how “persistent, constantly hard-working, diligent, and not easily put off” are we? In Proverbs (Diarhebion) chapter 6, verses 6-11 we read about a tiny creature, the ant. We are advised to observe these small insects and learn from them:

‘Ti’r diogyn, edrych ar y morgrugyn; astudia’i ffyrdd, a dysga sut i fod yn ddoeth. Does ganddo ddim arweinydd, swyddog, na rheolwr, ac eto mae’n mynd ati i gasglu bwyd yn yr haf, a storio’r hyn sydd arno’i angen adeg y cynhaeaf. Am faint wyt ti’n mynd i orweddian yn dy wely, y diogyn? Pryd wyt ti’n mynd i ddeffro a gwneud rhywbeth? “Ychydig bach mwy o gwsg, pum munud arall! Swatio’n gyfforddus yn y gwely am ychydig.” Ond bydd tlodi yn dy daro di fel lleidr creulon; bydd prinder yn ymosod arnat ti fel milwr arfog!’ © Gobaith i Gymru

You lazy people can learn by watching an anthill. Ants don’t have leaders, but they store up food during harvest season. How long will you lie there doing nothing at all? When are you going to get up and stop sleeping? Sleep a little. Doze a little. Fold your hands and twiddle your thumbs. Suddenly, everything is gone, as though it had been taken
 by an armed robber.
Contemporary English Version © American Bible Society

Our moles ARE diligent AND hard-working so perhaps we could substitute them for ants in the proverb. In fact, thinking about it, Jesus said that his Kingdom grows secretly, like seeds germinating in the earth which are unseen until they produce a harvest crop (Mark 4:26-29). So if we are tempted to ‘fold our hands or twiddle our thumbs’ when there is so much good work to be done for God (but we are hidden away in a lockdown) let’s learn by watching a molehill!

Gweddi / Prayer

Arglwydd, gweddïwn am i’th ras ein rhagflaenu a’n dilyn bob amser, a gwna i ni ymroddi’n gyson i bob gweithred dda; trwy Iesu Grist ein Harglwydd. Amen.

Lord, we pray that your grace may always precede and follow us, and make us continually to be given to all good works; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

All Saints Worship video Sunday 1st November 2020

Today we celebrate All Saints and reflect, too, on the act of remembering those we have loved who have joined the saints in heaven.  This service has contributions from Rev Eryl Parry, Rev Noel and Wendy Carter, Rev Tom and Angela Saunders and Gwen Muzuni, with a double helping of music from Andy Clark (Resound Worship) and Chris Roberts (St Mary’s Conwy). Look out too for canine guest appearances!

We love the fact that prayer, worship and reflection continue throughout this pandemic, despite our church buildings being closed – coming straight to your home from ours. 

Weekly Reflection 26th October: My Redeemer Lives

Beggar The Statue Figure - Free photo on Pixabay

Andy Broadbent writes:

I don’t know how you are feeling at the moment, but I’m feeling overwhelmed. In the re-imposition of Lockdown, gains made since the end of summer seem to have been swept away. With new restrictions come new challenges. Some are familiar, like digital worship and distancing, but others feel different. Lockdown in winter seems harsher and more isolating than it did in the warmth of summer. 

When one bad thing happens after another, I like to reflect on the book of Job in the Bible. Like us as a church and community, Job had lost his livelihood, his property and family. Unlike Job, we know all these things still stand, awaiting our return, but still, we are separated from our loved ones and locked out of our beloved places. Job however sits in the ashes of his life, scorned by all around him, and wracked with disease, but he still holds tight to his faith that God will save him. It is at this dark point in Job’s story that comes one of my favourite passages in the Old Testament:

But as for me, I know that my Redeemer lives,

    and he will stand upon the earth at last.

And after my body has decayed,

    yet in my body I will see God! (Job 19:25-26)

Job points to his redeemer, which we recognise as Jesus Christ (whose coming into the world is amazingly still about 600 years away when Job is speaking). He holds fast to the knowledge, which must have been revealed to him by God, that he has a friend in heaven. An advocate who will fight his corner, but not only that, who will come to earth physically and stand with humanity. Job goes on to describe a continuation of life after death which would have seemed alien to the Israelites at the time, and through all of this, he pins all of his hopes, joys and salvation on the promised reality of Christ the Redeemer. 

If Job in his terrible suffering can find such a haven of mercy and justice in God, enough to hold true to God even against toughest of tests, then there is also hope for us all today.

We have in Job a model of faith, and we have in Jesus a model of love, mercy and redemption. That can, and will, pull us through all our present troubles back into the light and warmth of spring – the promise of new life that lies beyond.

Ewch allan yn awr, wedi eich achub mewn cariad, wedi eich adnewyddu mewn ffydd, wedi eich adfer mewn nerth ac wedi eich adfywio mewn ysbryd. Dychwelwch fel disgybl i’ch taith, yn enw’r Crist atgyfodedig sy’n mynd o’ch blaen. Amen.

Go now, redeemed in love, renewed in faith, restored in strength and refreshed in spirit. Return to your journey of discipleship, in the name of the risen Christ who goes before you. Amen.

Prayer: Nick Fawcett (tr. Aled Davies) © Kevin Mayhew/Cyhoeddiadau’r Gair

Sunday 25th October 2020

Welcome to Worship

In these times of restricted living, at least we can still pray and worship!  Today’s video for Bible Sunday thanks God for speaking through Scripture, ‘hitting the spot’ just when we need it most. 

This service has contributions from Revs David and Eryl Parry, Peter and Helen Tattersall and Chris Roberts.

Click the arrow on the image below to watch.

There is a warm invitation to get together for a ‘virtual coffee’ on Zoom at 11.30am today

All you need to do is click on the link below [ or use Meeting ID: 853 4204 3246Passcode: 781419 ]
Click here to join Zoom Sunday

Congratulations to Marjorie Stott from St Mary’s Conwy
who celebrates her 99th Birthday on 28th October!

I completed my wet, windy (but strangely enjoyable) half marathon yesterday.  Thank you for your prayers and encouragement but especially to everyone who sponsored me. 
There is still time to make a one-off donation or start giving regularly.  It all helps to sustain our ministry online and in the Conwy Valley at a time of much reduced income. 
Please click on the button below for details. David Parry