Author Archives: Lisa Medina

An Advent Greeting from the Synod Chair

Dear Friends,

‘How lovely on the mountains are the feet of those who bring good news…’ In this season of Advent we will be hearing again those wonderful prophetic passages from Isaiah and others, offering ‘tidings of comfort and joy’ and proclaiming the good news of God’s coming. I can resonate with this as I do a fair bit of travelling across hillsides myself at this time, and the Beacons, the Berwyns and Snowdonia itself become very familiar – in all kinds of weather.

However, I’m conscious it’s not always good news that I hear while on my travels. There’s anxiety about Brexit and concern about the future of the United Kingdom let alone relations with Europe; there’s the challenge of Climate change and the need for alternative economic models to secure a stable future for our planet; and the threat of violence seems all around us, from local acts of terror to the prospect of wider conflicts. It’s easy to be anxious and worried.

I’m also conscious that I’m not always a bearer of good news, and that in many of the various meetings I attend, we face some serious challenges. That’s true as we reflect on the picture of the Church offered by our statistical returns and consider how to respond in terms of ‘Our Calling’. It’s also very evident in terms of the stationing situation, and I know we’re going to face some real challenges in the coming years in terms of the deployment of our ministers.

But it’s out of a similar background that the prophets offered their word of hope and promise. They saw in the events around them the possibility of new beginnings. For Isaiah, an imperial power struggle led to the promise of restoration for God’s people. Perhaps in our own time, an internal coup may yet offer new hope of freedom for the long-suffering people of Zimbabwe.

For Advent speaks of a God always ready to do a new thing in the most unlikely settings. One of the most encouraging events I attended recently was the ‘Re-imagine Church’ conference at St Julian’s in Newport. There on a grey Saturday in November, more than 150 people from across South Wales (and I know there was a similar event in Prestatyn) gathered together to share their hopes and dreams for a different kind and way of being church. It seems to me that this is a pointer to the same hope of which the prophets speak, to the God of surprises at work in all our apparent crises, wanting to make them opportunities for his Kingdom to break in.

May I wish you every blessing for this Advent and a joyful Christmas to come,    

Stephen

Amelia Trust Big Give Christmas Challenge

Amelia Methodist Trust Farm are part of the Big Give Christmas Challenge 2017.

Between now and noon on Tuesday 5th December, money given to the Farm through the Big Give Christmas challenge will be doubled.
The money raised will be used for an animal assisted therapy project.
 
With no statutory funding, the Farm relies on supporters new and old, to be able to continue their invaluable work and keep the Farm open for the public to enjoy. And without these specialised interventions this highly vulnerable group enter adulthood without the life skills people need to cope, let alone succeed.
 
LOOK AT HOW YOUR MONEY WILL HELP!
 
YOU CAN DONATE ON LINE AT WWW.BIGGIVE.ORG.UK OR IN PERSON AT THE
FARM. WHATEVER DONATION YOU MAKE WILL BE DOUBLED!
 
 
OUR GOAL IS TO RAISE £12,000
 
 
 
 
95P IN EVERY £1 WAS SPENT ON PROVIDING AND SUPPORTING CHARITABLE ACTIVITIES with 5p spent on governance costs.
 
84% OF YOUNG PEOPLE ON PLACEMENT AT AMELIA TRUST FARM RETURNED TO SCHOOL, MOVED ONTO FURTHER EDUCATION, EMPLOYMENT OR TRAINING.
 
Our project helps young people to develop behavioural, emotional and social skills to enable them to be better equipped when regaining control of their lives. Animal assisted therapies help improve self-esteem and mood where individuals are feeling angry, depressed and tense. Our aim is to increase motivation and self-worth so that there is a greater willingness to re-engage with education and training and to get their lives back on the right path and to find employment on leaving education.
 
JAKE’S STORY
 
Jake, aged 16 found school life really hard. He was subjected to bullying which affected his confidence and anxiety levels, which eventually led to Jake being excluded from school due to his change in behaviour. On the Farm Jake was given a chance to become re-engaged with learning and gain experience from vocational activities. We are pleased to report as a result Jake started at Bridgend College studying land based studies!
 
This is what Jake’s parents had to say:
 
“Thank you for all the hard work, patience and kindness that has made such a difference to Jake and our Family. For a long time, school made Jake unhappy and for a long time we thought he would leave the system with bad experiences of education and authority. The boy we see now actually looks forward to further education, so thank you so much for giving him back some confidence and starting him on a path where the sky is the limit. You really have made all the difference”

Synod meets in Newtown on Saturday 16th September

The annual Representative session of Synod meets at Theatr Hafren in Newtown, Powys from 10-4pm on Saturday 16th September. Representatives from Circuits across Wales will have the chance to welcome newcomers to Synod, hear reports from Conference, receive a presentation from the Cinnamon Network and share good news stories from Circuits. We shall be joined by young members attending the Youth Forum and hearing about the recent return visit of the Youth Exchange with Jamaica. We trust this will be an enjoyable and inspirational day for all involved, and if you wish to find out more, please contact your local Minister or Circuit representatives.

Jamaica Youth Exchange

Dear friends,
Somehow another year has passed and the return leg of the Jamaica exchange is upon us. The information below will let you know where our visitors (accompanied by some of our Welsh exchange participants) will be and what they will be doing. I do this is for two reasons.

1. That you might pray for everyone involved and that all the events and activities would go smoothly.

2. To let you know that you are welcome to come and meet our visitors at various points during their stay. Other than the services (see below) just let me know when you are interested in coming so we can co-ordinate your visit.

Please note the two special services. The first is at Cathays Methodist Church Cardiff on Wednesday 2ndAugust at 7.30pm. The second is at at St Paul’s Methodist Church, Aberyswyth on Sunday 6th August at 6pm .

Many thanks,
Rev. Flis Randall (on behalf of SYWAG)

Youth Tour to National Assembly for Wales

A group of 14 young adults from Urdu Fellowships, Wales were given the opportunity to visit the National Assembly for Wales. This tour was planned and arranged by Rev. Irfan John, the Synod Enabler Culturally Diverse Congregations Wales.

The goal of this tour was to make young adults more aware of the importance of government and politics in our daily lives. It was also to educate them of their rights and responsibilities as citizens of Wales and how they can get involved too. They learnt about the roles of Assembly Members and were given a tour of the chamber.

Rowan Williams gives Annual Chaplaincy Lecture at Bangor

On April 24th Rowan Williams (now Baron Williams of Oystermouth) gave the annual Chaplaincy Lecture at Bangor University on the subject of ‘Worshipping God; Growing the Church’. Pictured in the photo alongside Baron Williams on his left are Rev Kate McClelland (Co-ordinating Chaplain and Superintendent of the Bangor & Holyhead Circuit) together with the Bishop of Bangor, Rt. Rev. Andy John, and on his right Sarah McDonald-Howard, (the recently appointed Methodist Chaplain at Bangor.)

Christian Puppet Workshop

Puppetry Training Day
Saturday 6th May, 2017
Trinity Methodist Church, Penarth
10am – 4.30pm

One Way UK is an interdenominational ministry committed to spreading the Gospel and provides training to equip teachers, children’s workers and Ministers to use puppets in their area of work and ministry.

Training Days include:
– performances and demonstrations on how to use various types of puppet
– basic and advanced puppet manipulation skills
– how to start a puppet ministry team
– resources available to purchase
– a fun and practical day suitable for adults and children alike!

For further information please contact: Rev. Phyl Fanning on 07545 349862 or presbyteratpenarth@gmail.com

The leaflet can be found here Puppet Leaflet

Sunday Worship from Neath Methodist Church

This Sunday’s (April 2nd) ‘Sunday Worship’ on Radio 4 comes from Neath Methodist Church and is led by the Synod Chair, Rev. Dr. Stephen Wigley together with the Superintendent Minister Rev. Chris Gray, and the Swansea Bach Choir. It’s one of a series following the Archbishop of Canterbury’s Lent Book, ‘Dethroning Mammon; making money serve grace’ which this week takes the theme; ‘What we give, we gain.’ It goes out at 8.10 am this Sunday on Radio 4,but if you miss it live, you can listen to it again on the Radio 4 IPlayer.