Daily Reflection 3rd July

Sacred Places

From next week individuals, or members of the same household, can pray privately in three local church buildings. Careful risk assessment, preparation and cleaning regimes were required to get permission. Access is only allowed at these times, with numbers limited to preserve social distancing. Please stay away if you, or a contact, have any COVID-19 symptoms, and please don’t all come on the first session:

St. John’s Methodist Conwy, Tuesdays 10.30-11.30am from 7th July

St. Peter’s Llanbedr-y-Cennin, Wednesdays 11am-12 noon from 8th July

St. Mary’s Caerhun, Saturdays 1-3pm from 11th July

Many thanks to everyone who has worked so hard to make this possible. Today’s reflection by Ros Hughes reminds us that church buildings are not the only sacred places …

Slate Cross

Dywedodd Iesu, “Ysbryd yw Duw, a rhaid i’w addolwyr ef addoli mewn ysbryd a gwirionedd.”

Meddai’r wraig wrtho, “Mi wn fod y Meseia” (ystyr hyn yw Crist) yn dod. Pan ddaw ef, bydd yn mynegi i ni bob peth.”

Dywedodd Iesu wrthi, “Myfi yw, sef yr un sy’n siarad â thi.” 

Ioan 4: 24-26
~

Jesus said, “God is spirit, and those who worship him must worship in spirit and truth.”

The woman said to him, “I know that Messiah is coming (who is called Christ). When he comes, he will proclaim all things to us.”

Jesus said to her, “I am he, the one who is speaking to you.”

John 4: 24-26

Ros Hughes writes:

I was so surprised to look up at the wall in our lounge and to see the striking image in this photo in front of me. I had left an old, slate cross on a windowsill as I had dusted and the sun had suddenly come out and beamed the image across the wall. The image was fleeting and I haven’t been able to replicate it since. Time, sun, weather, cross and its image have never been exactly the same again.

The experience started me reflecting on “sacred space”, especially as I then heard an online church service that described a cartoon about God and the Devil discussing ‘lockdown’. The Devil had said to God, “Well, with this pandemic I have shut all your Churches” – and God had replied, “Well, I have just opened one in every home!”

Considering the implications of opening some church buildings for private prayer has also prompted profound questions: Where do we feel close to God? Where are we most aware of God’s presence? Where do we pray?

Reading our wonderfully, varied Daily Reflections, it is so obvious that we all have our individual relationship with our God. Our unique experiences of connecting with Him are so incredibly valuable to others. There have been times over the past few weeks when I have chatted with others about this, usually by phone or Facetime, and some similar themes crop up in conversations. We all appear to pray anywhere and everywhere – prayer is an everyday part of life for all of us.

This is important for people in our communities who are not familiar with attending Church. It is wonderful that we are being allowed to open places of worship for private prayer, with all the safeguards demanded in place. But it is equally wonderful to recognise and celebrate that we don’t need to be in an official or designated ‘Sacred Space’ to pray and communicate with God.

What we are learning from each other through our Daily Reflections is that our ‘Sacred Space’ is within each one of us and, therefore, God’s Spirit can touch and inspire us anywhere and everywhere. 


Gweddi
Annwyl Dad, Duw,
gweddïwn am ras ac arweiniad yn ystod y cyfnod yma,
dros ein Heglwysi gyda’r cyhoeddiad
am y posibilrwydd o agor adeiladau –
arweiniad a doethineb i’n harweinwyr a ninnau,
fel ein bod yn gwneud eich ewyllys,
i fod yn dystion ac yn gefnogaeth
i deulu a chymuned ein Heglwys.
Amen.

~

Prayer
Dear Father God,
we pray for grace and guidance at this time,
for our Church with the announcement
of the possibilities of opening buildings –
guidance and wisdom for our leaders and ourselves,
so that we do your will,
to be a witness and support
for our Church family and community.
Amen.

Canon Berw a Mrs Ros Hughes

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Daily Reflection 2nd July

Thankfulness

This is a very different daily reflection today, as we are celebrating Reverend David Parry’s 25 year anniversary of priesthood. This will no doubt embarrass him, as he is always keen to say “I’m not the story; God’s the story”. But we do give God thanks for this last 25 years, and in a way that Chris Topping (from David’s previous parish in Liverpool) reflects below, was a precedent set by St. Paul in writing his letters.

We begin with a letter from colleagues in Bro Celynnin:

Dear David,

On behalf of the Bro Celynnin Ministry Area we are writing to celebrate with pleasure the 25th anniversary of your priesting. Your joining us four years ago, coincided with great change within the Church in Wales, with historic parishes and separate congregations being joined together, and your help and leadership as a priest and pastor has been a crucial part in helping us through.

We were so pleased and blessed when you joined us, and were sure, after a long interregnum, that you were the man God was calling. Our confidence has been amply rewarded. You are a man who shares the many gifts God has given you freely with integrity and love. Not without cost to yourself if the needs of those of us under your spiritual care require it. Your teaching is inspiring and your understanding and support in these difficult times is hugely appreciated.
 
We thank God for you, and we ask that He bless you and your family for these next 25 years! We pray for you and for God’s guidance for us all as we move into a new era, with new opportunities to share the Gospel in the years ahead.

Top: Priesting, Bristol Cathedral (L); Curate, Withywood Church, Bristol (R). Middle: Vicar, St Philip’s Litherland, Merseyside (L); being made a Canon, Liverpool Cathedral as Director of Ordinands, and Vicar St Michael-in-the-Hamlet and Christ Church Toxteth Park (R).  Bottom: in Bro Celynnin: Conwy town and valley.


Chris Topping writes:

When Paul was writing to the churches of the New Testament it was a common theme of his letters to include a word of thanks.

We read one such greeting in his first letter to the Thessalonians:

“We always give thanks to God for all of you and mention you in our prayers, constantly remembering before our God and Father your work of faith and labour of love and steadfastness of hope in our Lord Jesus Christ.”

The churches of Christ Church and St. Michael in the Hamlet, which David led until emigrating to Wales, would turn those words around slightly and give thanks to God for the ministry of David in his time in Liverpool. We saw first-hand the commitment of David to the work of God in this place, to his long hours of labour for our parishes and for those who were considering ordination. In his preaching we were reminded of the love David had for God and for the constancy of his hope in the work of the Holy Spirit to transform lives and communities.

We will always be grateful for David’s focus on the Word of God, his desire to be rooted in the scriptures and to encourage each individual into a deeper relationship with our heavenly Father.

Paul was a pioneer going from one nation to another, from one city to another bringing the Good News of the Gospel but then making sure that the church had the tools to cope with the challenges that they would face in the future. One of his enduring legacies was that he did not forget the churches he left behind but kept them in his prayers. During these strange COVID-19 times we have been blessed again by David’s ministry – the daily email and YouTube services from Bro Celynnin have been a huge encouragement. We have been reminded of David’s faithfulness to preach that same Good News Paul was bringing to the early church. We have been challenged again by David’s words and inspired by his commitment to hold to the truth of the love of God who does not change.

We are truly thankful for David’s ministry over the years – we are grateful to God for him and are excited to see what the future brings in the new normal.


Perhaps this is a good moment, then, for us all to reflect on our last 25 years (with apologies to our younger readers!), and in our prayer below we can thank God for his constancy throughout.
~
Gweddi
Ein Duw byw,
diolchwn i ti am y modd y bu i ti harwain fel unigolion –
y profiadau a ddaeth i’n rhan,
pob her y bu i ni ei hwynebu,
y bobl y gwaethom eu cyfarfod,
y mannau y bu i ni ymweld â hwy,
a’r golygfeydd a welsom;
yr ysbrydoliaeth a gynigiaist,
yr arweneiniad a ddarparwyd,
â’r nerth a roddwyd.
Am gysondeb dy gariad,
yn ffyddlon ar hyd y blynyddoedd,
derbyn ein mawl diolchgar. Amen.Prayer
Living God,
we thank you for the way you have led us as individuals –
the experiences we have gone through,
challenges we have faced,
the people we have met,
places we have visited,
and sights we have seen;
the inspiration you have offered,
guidance provided,
and strength given.
For the constancy of your love,
faithful across the years,
receive our grateful praise. Amen.


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Daily Reflection 1st July

Walking in Prayer

Angela Rigby Doble reflects on the spiritual possibilities of a familiar daily routine.

Dog

‘Llawenhewch bob amser. Gweddïwch yn ddi-baid. Ym mhob dim rhowch ddiolch, oherwydd hyn yw ewyllys Duw yng Nghrist Iesu i chwi.’ 
1 Thesaloniaid 5: 16-18
Y Beibl Cymraeg Newydd © Cymdeithas y Beibl 
~
‘Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances, for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.’
1 Thessalonians 5: 16-18
English Standard Version © Crossway Bibles

Angela Rigby Doble writes:

Our dog has helped us a lot during the lockdown, getting us out and exercised. He’s a great companion, full of love and joy (if not patience and self-control). When I walk him I usually pray, for my own concerns and for Conwy where I live – more recently, its closed shops and cafes, locked-up churches and empty quay. 
 
It’s been even better to prayer-walk with a friend, letting God take the lead and bring people and situations to our attention while we ‘socially-distance’ as required. 
 
A church I knew organised prayer-walks from time to time. Some would stay behind praying in support, while the rest went out in pairs and reported back afterwards. It gave the church a wonderful sense of shared purpose, and undoubtedly blessed the area. 
 
Of course, you don’t have to go out to pray for your surroundings. ‘Walking‘ in the Bible often means doing something day by day, sticking with it, making it a habit. Every day we can set out determined to keep in step with the Holy Spirit and to go God’s way. Who else knows what’s round the corner? – we certainly don’t, as the coronavirus pandemic has demonstrated. 
 
Even if our buildings are barred, even if we aren’t technical enough to connect via emails, let alone Zoom, we have so much to rejoice about and to give thanks for. God cares about us and hears our prayers – nothing external can stop that.

One evening on my solitary dog-walk I was overwhelmed with loneliness, and in that moment became aware of Jesus at my side. One of those odd experiences many would dismiss as imagination, but which Christians know are true. I found a simple prayer on the Church Mission Society website: 

“Jesus, you walk with me. Help me to walk with you.”
~
Jesus is walking with us, whether we always feel it or not, whether we’re stuck at home or out and about resuming ordinary life. He’ll never abandon us. What could beat that? 

Gweddi
Bydded i Dduw Dad,
y cyfodwyd, trwy ei ogoniant, Grist oddi wrth y meirw,
eich deffro i fywyd newydd.
Bydded i Grist,
a gerddodd 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.
Yr Eglwys yng Nghymru
~
Prayer
May God the Father,
by whose glory Christ was raised from the dead,
awaken us you to new life.
May Christ,
who walked with his 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 his new life to the world.
Amen.
The Church in Wales

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Daily Reflection 30th June

Working Life of a General Practitioner

Today we continue our occasional series on working life during the pandemic. Doctor Huw Evans attends St. Mary’s Conwy, and was confirmed there last year. Here he reflects on his current experience as a General Practitioner.

Physician

St. Luke the Physician at Norwich Cathedral
~
Yr oedd credinwyr yn cael eu chwanegu fwyfwy at yr Arglwydd, luoedd o wŷr a gwragedd. Yn wir, yr oeddent hyd yn oed yn dod â’r cleifion allan i’r heolydd, ac yn eu gosod ar welyau a matresi, fel pan fyddai Pedr yn mynd heibio y câi ei gysgod o leiaf ddisgyn ar ambell un ohonynt. Byddai’r dyrfa’n ymgynnull hefyd o’r trefi o amgylch Jerwsalem, gan ddod â chleifion a rhai oedd yn cael eu blino gan ysbrydion aflan; ac yr oeddent yn cael eu hiacháu bob un.

Actau 5: 14-16

Believers were added to the Lord, great numbers of both men and women, so that they even carried out the sick into the streets, and laid them on cots and mats, in order that Peter’s shadow might fall on some of them as he came by. A great number of people would also gather from the towns around Jerusalem, bringing the sick and those tormented by unclean spirits, and they were all cured.
Acts 5: 14-16

Dr. Huw Evans writes:
~

As is true for all of us, this pandemic has meant changes. The challenge for me is providing good care while also trying to maintain social distancing.

Sometimes there are difficult situations. For example, when normally I would visit someone who is ill, I must now balance this with the risk of spreading the virus. I would appreciate your prayers for wisdom is discerning God’s will in such situations.

Currently our Lectionary (daily church Bible readings) includes The Acts of the Apostles. If I’m feeling despondent I think of the Early Church.

When a pandemic would strike in ancient times those with the means would flee. The Early Church was different. Members of the Church would stay and care for the sick. This strange behaviour drew the attention of others, they were told about Jesus of Nazareth. Some came to believe. The Church grew.

Many now believe that care for the vulnerable is a universal and timeless human value. Not so. In ancient times a vulnerable person was seen as an opportunity for exploitation. The Early Church believed in the sanctity of human life. They cared for everyone without discrimination. They did not practice infanticide. They gave love.

Let us as members of the same Body of Christ follow the Early Church and give love away. Love is not so much an emotion but an act of the will: to will the good of the other. It increases in the measure it is given away.


Prayer
We come to you in confidence.
Confidence not in our own righteousness but in your love towards humankind.
We pray for world leaders with the complex challenges they face.
We pray for the Church.
We pray for one Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church
united and at peace in accordance to your will.
We pray for the Bro Celynnin Ministry team
and for all those involved in evangelisation.
We pray for an end to violence.
Violence towards the unborn, in households and on the street. 
We pray for an end to racism,
especially racism towards our black brothers and sisters.
We pray for those who are ill,
especially praying for those who are dying alone because of coronavirus.
We pray for our family and friends.
We also pray for our enemies.
Give us the grace to reach out to them in reconciliation.
Rather than judge others we pray for the strength to look honestly in the mirror, to identify our sins and through your grace to tackle them.
Please accept these prayers if they are aligned to your will.
In the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit.
Amen. 
Dr. Huw Evans

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Daily Reflection 29th June

Letting go

Reverend Susan Blagden from Rowen reflects on a sculpture with lessons for this time of waiting and change …

Faith

Gwyliwch eich hunain. Daliwch i gredu. Byddwch yn ddewr. Byddwch yn gryf. 

1 Corinthiaid 16: 13

~

Keep alert, stand firm in your faith, be courageous, be strong.

1 Corinthians 16: 13


Reverend Susan Blagden writes:

Many of you will remember the fabulous workshops and exhibition that were organised by Sara McKee, of ‘Life: Full Colour’ last October in St. Mary’s Conwy. The sculptures created by Alan Pascuzzi had a profound effect on me and I have continued to live with them and let them speak to me since that time. David’s talk about ‘waiting’ in the service yesterday reminded of this sculpture, entitled ‘Faith’.  

What is it that enables us to wait? How do we wait in that in-between space of an organised, settled past life and an, as yet, unknown future? There may be many answers to that question but one of the most significant is our faith. When I was little I remember my dad preaching a story about faith. The essence of it was faith’s relationship to facts and feelings. 

This sculpture portrays that very clearly for me. The head is slightly tilted, the eyes are looking up in a stance that can remind us of the facts of our faith: we look to God whose nature is unchanging, and so can be depended on. In order for faith to positively influence our futures though, we need to also be aware of that left hand, slightly behind the rest of the body and out of sight, where all those fingers are tightly wrapped around something. 

Our hands often close when we feel frightened or anxious. It can be difficult to let go. It can also be difficult to let go of something we might have valued in the past but which has now served its purpose. However, until we find the grace and courage to let go of these feelings we will not feel the momentum that allows us to step into this new future. 

We need the other hand to be open, already reaching for the new promise of God, and we wait with faith. The waiting will be different for each of us although we also wait together as we seek to discern how we might express our common life in the future.

For now, let us notice our gaze. Let us choose to look with confidence to God, our creator and sustainer. Let us also notice what we are individually as well as collectively holding on to. What am I/we being asked to let go of? Are we ready to take the next step of faith to be the people of God in this place, even if that means doing things differently?


Prayer
God of truth,
in the Resurrection of your Son,
you reveal to us the meaning of all things.
Increase our faith
so that we may see your presence
in all that comes to us this day. 
Hear us through Jesus, the Christ, our Lord. Amen. 
 
Brendan O’Malley

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Daily Reflection 28th June

Bore da! Good morning!

Welcome to our online service, brought to you this morning by Reverends David and Eryl Parry, Sara McKee, Clive and Heather Addison.

Click here or on the play button in the middle of the image below, and join us in prayer and reflection. Our theme today is ‘waiting’, as reflected in Lamentations 3: 19-26.

There’s a second invitation, too, to see one another for a ‘virtual coffee’ at 11.30am this morning. Details are below the video.

Third Sunday of Trinity

Click here for the transcript of the video.


Zoom Coffee at 11:30am

Sunday Morning Coffee

CLICK HERE TO COME IN

Meeting ID: 744 4802 3418
Password: 027997


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Daily Reflection 27th June

Pilgrim’s Progress

Sunday’s Service will be published at 8am

Click here at 11.30am for Zoom Coffee
Meeting ID: 744 4802 3418

Password: 027997
 

Today Michel Kaiser, from St. Mary’s Conwy, reflects on the change in his University working life as a result of the pandemic …

Pilgrim's ProgressPilgrim’s Progress by William Blake

Cydnabydda ef yn dy holl ffyrdd,
bydd ef yn sicr o gadw dy lwybrau’n union.

Diarhebion 3: 6

~
In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths.
Proverbs 3: 6

Michel Kaiser writes that disrupting our lives can be good:

COVID-19 has disrupted the world as we knew it. Most of us dislike change, but sometimes an enforced ‘pause’ in one’s life can be refreshing, giving us time to reflect on the things that normally we don’t appreciate in our day-to-day lives. Two weeks prior to ‘lock-down’ my University campus was on ‘work from home’ status with only essential personnel allowed on site. Initially, working from home was wonderful. No more commuting has meant there is time to have a constitutional walk before work and time to eat lunch as a family without the need to ‘rush back to work’, because work is now just upstairs. We have been blessed with the most amazing weather, which means taking a tea break has been a delightful chance to relax in the garden. Not using the car has been a joy, although the lack of traffic may have made us less alert – I know that I have ‘switched off’ on occasion.

Despite these many positive aspects of lock-down, the lack of interaction with people, places, and things, takes its toll. I am fortunate in that I can work effectively from home thanks to technology. The reduction in travel means that my time is more productive. However, ‘being’ with people is important. Body language is a vital means by which we communicate, and it is the ‘un-said’ gestures that mean the difference between ‘sympathy’ and ‘indifference’. Email, text, and social media, are cold mediums of communication, and hence extra special care is needed in crafting the wording of any message, given that we have no understanding of the personal lock-down circumstance of our colleagues.

Zoom calls are now my daily modus operandi, and provide an intriguing ‘view’ into the lives of colleagues with whom we have only work contact. Beards have been grown, hair is literally being ‘let down’, and I have sprouted a Mohawk hair tuft after my daughter applied the hair clippers with delight. The video calls provide glimpses into the life behind the person and take us out of the bubble of our own world. Might this insight make us more understanding and caring individuals when we resume a more normal life, by exposing us to the individual circumstances of others?

Lock-down reminds me of John Bunyon’s ‘Pilgrim’s Progress’. The journey will be different for each individual, each with its own challenges, but gradually with time the burden will become lighter until we reach the end of the journey, when we may be enriched and renewed by the experience. If you think about it, Jesus was probably the biggest disruptor in history … challenging every facet of our lives … Amen! 


Gweddi
Duw sanctaidd,
yng nghanol ansicrwydd y byd cyfnewidiol hwn,
boed i’th gariad dorri trwodd,
ac i neges ye Efengyl ddwyn cyfeiriad newydd,
tangnefedd mewnol
a’r sicrwydd hwnnw na all neb ond tydi ei roi.
Amen.
~
Prayer
Holy God,
in the uncertainties of this ever-changing world,
may your love break through
and the message of the Gospel bring a new sense of direction,
an inner peace
and the assurance that you alone can give.
Amen.
Nick Fawcett cyf. Aled Davies

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Daily Reflection 26th June

Crochet heart

Sandy Hughes from Gyffin has been getting crafty in her response to the pandemic…

Crochet

Sandy Hughes writes:

All those weeks ago, when our lives changed in so many ways, I decided to start crocheting a ‘lockdown’ blanket – little knowing how many weeks there would be to finish it! But while I was waiting for my blanket wool to come in the post, I found this little heart pattern to make from left-overs I already had.
 
I was really struck by what Louisa Sheward put at the beginning of her instructions: “This heart is not uniform, it is not symmetrical, it is not perfect. But it is beautiful, just like you and me and all of us. Take some time to love yourself. Take a long bath, relax, read books, crochet. Look in the mirror and find something you love about yourself”.
 
The Bible tells us that we are all beautiful and precious to God, His beloved, but how many of us can love ourselves? We are usually quick to dismiss a compliment that someone pays us about our appearance, talents, deeds, etc. I bumped into a friend in the street and she said to me “your hair looks lovely” just as I was despairing of the abundance of grey roots and shapeless style. I have been trying to look just presentable, never mind lovely!

Another thing about this imperfect heart which I crocheted, is that the back of it is very different to the front. A mess of tangled threads and ends, just like our lives. Normally I would weave in those ends, but this time I have deliberately left them as they are. They are a reminder that my life, our lives, everyone’s lives are messy, but that mess will turn us all into someone precious.
 
Sometimes when I have been asked to pray with someone who is unhappy about something relating to themselves, their past life, feeling ‘not a good enough Christian’, not meeting standards, etc. I quote these verses from Isaiah, or give them a little card with the words. However instead of ‘Jacob’ and ‘Israel’ I insert their name. Perhaps you would like to do the same with your name – and know yourself loved. 


Nawr, dyma mae’r ARGLWYDD yn ei ddweud –
yr un wnaeth dy greu di, Jacob, a rhoi siâp i ti, Israel:

“Paid bod ag ofn! Dw i wedi dy ollwng di’n rhydd!
Dw i wedi dy alw wrth dy enw! Fi piau ti!
Pan fyddi di’n mynd drwy lifogydd, bydda i gyda ti;
neu drwy afonydd, fyddan nhw ddim yn dy gario di i ffwrdd.
Wrth i ti gerdded drwy dân, fyddi di’n cael dim niwed;
fydd y fflamau ddim yn dy losgi di.

Achos fi ydy’r ARGLWYDD dy Dduw di,
Un Sanctaidd Israel, dy Achubwr di!
Rhoddais yr Aifft yn dâl amdanat ti,
Cwsh Ref a Seba yn dy le di.
Dw i’n dy drysori di ac yn dy garu di,
achos ti’n werthfawr yn fy ngolwg i.”

Eseia 43: 1-4, Beibl.net © Cymdeithas Y Beibl 
~
But now, O Jacob, listen to the Lord who created you.
O Israel, the one who formed you says,

“Do not be afraid, for I have ransomed you.
I have called you by name; you are mine.
When you go through deep waters, I will be with you.
When you go through rivers of difficulty, you will not drown.
When you walk through the fire of oppression
you will not be burned up, the flames will not consume you.

For I am the Lord, your God,
the Holy One of Israel, your Saviour.
I gave Egypt as a ransom for your freedom;
I gave Ethiopia and Seba in your place
because you are precious to me.
You are honoured, and I love you.”

Isaiah 43: 1-4 Holy Bible, New Living Translation © Tyndale House

Gweddi
Boed i chwi ddaioni Duw,
A da, a saith gwaith da, fo i chwi dreulio eich bywydau:
Bo i chwi fod megis ynys yn y môr,
Bo i chwi fod megis bryn ger y lli,
Bo i chwi fod megis seren yn y tywyllwch,
Bo i chwi fod ffon i’r gwan;
Boed i’r cariad rhoddodd Crist Iesu lenwi pob calon i chwi;
Boed i’r cariad rhoddodd Crist Iesu eich llenwi dros bawb.
Amen.

Prayer
May God’s Goodness be yours,
And well, and seven times well, may you spend your lives:
May you be an isle in the sea,
May you be a hill on the shore,
May you be a star in the darkness,
May you be a staff to the weak;
May the love Christ Jesus gave fill every heart for you;
May the love Christ Jesus gave fill you for every one.
Amen.

Iona Community cyf. Philip Hughes

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Daily Reflection 25th June

The Old Man and the Cat

David Jones from Gyffin writes, “Thank you for all your work in producing our Daily Reflections. It is so good to read other people’s perspectives on our area and on the life events that have shaped people’s lives. I like this old story and it may speak to others too.”

Old Man and Cat

David Jones tells the story of ‘the old man and the cat’:

An old man, as was his habit, was walking by a river one day when he saw a cat fall into the water from a nearby bridge. The cat was being carried by the current towards him and the man could see that the cat was struggling to swim.

The man decided that he would try and save the cat. Lying down he stretched out his hand towards the cat as it floated by. But as the man grabbed hold of the cat, the cat scratched him, causing him to recoil in pain.

Undeterred, he again stretched out his hand a second time to try and save the cat as he could see the cat was drowning. But again, as he grabbed hold the cat scratched him and again the man jumped in pain.

A few moments later in a new position, he was trying for a third time when he heard a young man shout down to him from the bridge: “You have been scratched twice already and now you’re trying a third time. Haven’t you learned your lesson? Leave the cat. If he drowns it’s just nature’s way”.

The old man ignored the comments and on his third attempt – in spite of being scratched again – he managed to grasp the cat and bring it safely to dry land.

The old man wandered over to the young man on the bridge and patted him on the shoulder and looked at him with his deep reflective eyes. Eyes that had seen many things, over a long life. Smiling, he said to the young man with warmth and affection in his voice:

“My son, you mention nature’s way. Well it is in a cat’s nature to scratch and fight, but I tell you it is in my nature to love and have sympathy. Why would you want me to let the cat’s nature overcome mine?

After a long life lived, I tell you this. Treat all according to your own nature, not according to theirs, no matter the colour of their skin, no matter how much their accusations may harm and hurt you. Pay no attention to the siren voices that call out to you to leave behind your good qualities merely because they feel the other person is different and underserving of your higher actions.

As you yourself grow older. I say never forget the moments in life when you gave happiness to someone else, more especially if they are underserving.

Remember always Jesus’s action and words. He treats us according to his nature. Just think where we would be if he treated us according to our nature. It is in his nature to forgive us and save us in spite of ourselves.” 


‘Os ydym yn anffyddlon,
y mae Crist Iesu yn aros yn ffyddlon,
oherwydd ni all ef ei wadu ei hun.’
2 Timotheus 2:13
~
‘If we are faithless, Christ Jesus remains faithful —
for he cannot deny himself.’
2 Timothy 2:13

Gweddi
Ein Duw cariadlon,
derbyn ein diolch am dy fod mor wahanol i ni-
yn ffyddlon, yn gyson, yn ddigyfnewid,
bob amser yn barod i arddangos trugaredd,
yn ymestyn allan trwy’r amser mewn cariad.
Derbyn ein mawl am dy fod wedi gallu gweithio trwy ein bywydau,
er gwaethaf ein gwendidau ni.
Amen.

Prayer
Loving God,
receive our thanks that you are so different to us –
faithful, constant, unchanging,
always willing to show mercy,
forever reaching out in love.
Receive our praise that you have been able to work through our lives,
despite us as well as because of us.
Amen.

Nick Fawcett cyf. Aled Davies

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Daily Reflection 24th June

Plans for Junior

Angela Saunders from the Conwy Valley reflects on today’s birthday boy!
John the Baptist
Gyfeillion annwyl, yn awr yr ydym yn blant Duw,
ac nid amlygwyd eto beth a fyddwn.
Yr ydym yn gwybod, pan fydd ef yn ymddangos,
y byddwn yn debyg iddo, oherwydd cawn ei weld ef fel y mae.

1 Ioan

Beloved, we are God’s children now;
what we will be has not yet been revealed.
What we do know is this: when he is revealed,
we will be like him, for we will see him as he is.
John 3:2
~

Angela Saunders writes:

Today in the Church’s calendar we celebrate the birthday of John the Baptist. I was so delighted when I discovered this window at Penmon Priory on Anglesey showing a young John. In the Bible we are told about the birth of John and then about how he lived in the desert dressed in camel skin and living off locusts and honey – sounds like quite a scary, austere figure – but nothing about his life in between. I just love this reminder that before he was John the Baptist, he was John the little boy and had birthdays. 

We are told that John was marked out as special for God from birth and was not to have his hair cut, but I wonder what his childhood was really like. Did his birthday presents include a new little hair shirt? (The one in the picture is getting a little short.) When he asked Elizabeth for jelly and ice-cream (or Biblical equivalent) was he told, “No dear, but you can have some extra honey on your locusts.” How much did he get to play with his cousin, Jesus? How much did they understand about who they were?
 
When we are born, our parents look into our faces to try and find their own likeness there. We are made in the image and likeness of God, and I like to think of God looking at us, looking for his likeness in us, and it is there, even when we can’t see it ourselves.
 
When John is born, his father, Zechariah, breaks forth in prayer, the Benedictus (Luke1: 68-79), a prayer so wonderful that it is included in Morning Prayer every day. It sings the praises of God, confirms the coming of God’s Saviour and describes God’s plan for John.
  

“And you, child, shall be called the prophet of the Most-High,
for you will go before the Lord to prepare his way,
to give his people knowledge of Salvation, by the forgiveness of all their sins.”

 
It is a plan that works for us too. We are called to make God known to other people, not by living a harsh life in the desert, but through acts of loving-kindness and forgiveness. In this way, we will reveal God at work in our lives, in the very centre of our being, and in doing so we will become more and more like him.

Gweddi
Dad nefol,
trwy rym dy Ysbryd Glân
yr wyt yn rhoddi i’th bobl ffyddlon
fywyd newydd yn nŵr y bedydd:
cyfarwydda a chyfnertha ni trwy’r un Ysbryd,
fel y bo i ni a ailenir dy wasanaethu mewn ffydd a chariad
a thyfu i lawn faintioli dy Fab Iesu Grist,
sy’n byw ac yn teyrnasu gyda thi a’r Ysbryd Glân,
yn un Duw, yn awr a byth.
Amen.
Yr Eglwys yng Nghymru
Prayer
Heavenly Father,
by the power of your Holy Spirit
you give to your faithful people
new life in the water of baptism:
guide and strengthen us by the same Spirit,
that we who are born again may serve you in faith and love
and grow into  the full stature 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

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