Author Archives: Lisa Medina

Synod Chairs do the Mary Jones Walk

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Jennie Hurd and Stephen Wigley, the Chairs of Synod Cymru and Wales Synod, took the opportunity of the glorious spring weather to undertake the Mary Jones Walk last week, together with a dozen colleagues from across the Connexion.

 

 

IMG_0127This scenic walk from Llanfihangel-y-Pennant to Bala in North Wales commemorates the 28 mile walk which 15 year old Mary Jones made in 1800 to travel to Bala to purchase a Bible from Revd. Thomas Charles. Her story was one of the inspirations which led to the foundation of the Bible Society in 1804, and so it was also fitting that in addition to enjoying the historical setting and wonderful countryside of North Wales, that the walk should also lead to a contribution of over £150 toward the work of the Bible Society.

 

CASA Launch Event – 13th March 2015

CASA Launch EventYou are warmly invited to the launch evening of Cardiff Asylum Support Advocacy (CASA) – an initiative of the Trinity Centre which works to reduce destitution in the asylum system in Cardiff by assisting asylum seekers and new refugees to appeal decisions to refuse or discontinue asylum support. Please see the attached poster for the event and circulate to your networks.

This event will celebrate the opening of CASA, and will include engaging speakers on the subject of destitution in the asylum process, including Adam Hundt from Deighton Pierce Glynn and Rossen Roussanov from the British Red Cross.

Through appeals to the asylum support tribunal we can provide clients with an opportunity to have Home Office decisions reviewed by an independent adjudicator, and in doing so we can help to protect their rights to food and shelter. Although CASA is a new project we have already enabled 6 people to obtain accommodation and support or prevented them from being made destitute and homeless by assisting them to access the appeals process.

I hope that you can join us on 13 March. Should you have any questions about the event or about CASA please do not hesitate to contact me.
Best Wishes,
Chloe Marong
Trinity Centre Cardiff
Tel: 029 2115 5011

The Big SleepOver

Eighteen young people came together overnight at Ebeneser Chapel Caernarfon at the beginning of February as part of the Big SleepOver, the connexional programme for holding local events for young people. The group included young people from Wrexham, Buckley, Menai Bridge and Chwilog, together with young leaders from Buckley. It was also a privilege to have the Methodist Church Youth President Megan Thomas join us.

Big SleepOver TourThere was a varied programme of activities on Saturday including a guided tour of Caernarfon, games sessions, and a login session on miracles ar wyrthiau. Megan led a session on the place of young people in the church and topics for the youth and children’s assembly 3Generate which will be held in November and we managed to hold a three way disussion via the web with the other two Big SleepOver groups in Wales, one in Llanelli and the other in Cardiff. A badgemaking session was led by Angela Roe and an epilogue led by Trish, Abby and Vikki and then we had a film before bedtime.

Big SleepOver ServiceOn Sunday morning, it was good to join with the congregation at Ebeneser in a bilingual service led by Deacon Stephen Roe with the young people taking part and then to chat and get to know each other better over refreshments after the service.

Big SleepOver CongaThanks to all who helped make the weekend possible, to the members of Capel Ebeneser for their warm welcome and to those who prepared the meals or led sessions.  We had lots of fun and an opportunity to develop friendships and, believe it or not, we even had some sleep!

Visit of Vice-President to Newport

IMG_0263The Wales Synod was delighted to welcome Gill Dascombe, the Vice President of the Methodist Conference to the Newport & Lower Wye circuit over this last weekend 21st/22nd February. There is a sense in which we were welcoming Gill and her husband Mike back ‘home’ as she was visiting the churches, and indeed staying overnight in the manse, where her father Rev. Vic Staton had been the minister in his last appointment in 1976/77.

 

On the Saturday afternoon, Gill led a workshop for Local Preachers and Worship leaders on what it means to preach the Gospel to a 21st century congregation, before meeting with members of the ecumenical ‘Lab’ team over an evening meal in the manse. Then on Sunday morning, Gill preached at a communion service at Bishpool where the Synod Chair, Rev. Dr.Stephen Wigley presided, before going to visit Tintern (sadly in the pouring rain!) in the afternoon. Gill’s visit came to a close as she preached at a circuit service at Trinity led by Rev. Anne Ellis, in which many Local Preachers and members of the ‘Lab’ team took part.

IMG_0285The service concluded with a moving moment when Anne presented Gill with a Preacher’s edition of the old Methodist Service Book which had been dedicated to her father’s memory, and which had been found in the Chepstow Road manse.

We were delighted that Gill and Mike were able to find time in the midst of her busy year of office to renew acquaintance with old friends in Wales; and we wish her well as she continues to represent the Conference and the ministry of lay people in the Methodist Church during her travels for the rest of this connexional year.

New Methodist magazine – the connexion

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The first edition of the new Methodist magazine the connexion has been published. It’s full of encouraging stories from around the Connexion, including three from Wales (about the Lab project in Newport, Irfan John’s work with the Trinity project in Cardiff, and the visit of the Methodist Modern Art Collection to Wrexham) together with an interview with Megan Thomas our Youth President. 3 copies have been sent to everyone on the Methodist mailing list to share with others, so if you want to see a copy, please contact your local minister or church officer – they will be delighted to hear from you.

The Methodist Modern Art Collection in Wrexham

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‘Heaven and Earth’
January 19th – March 26th 2015
The Methodist Modern Art Collection
in Wrexham

 Wrexham is to host what has been described as ‘the best denominational collection of modern art outside the Vatican’. For ten weeks between January 19th and March 26th forty works from the collection will be on display across two venues; Wrexham Methodist Church in Regent Street and Oriel Sycharth at the University.

I first came across the Methodist Collection of Modern Art when I stumbled into a tent at the Greenbelt Festival. I could not believe that the Methodist Church – my Church – had such a wonderful collection. I was so overwhelmed that I wept,” recalls Rev Richard Sharples, Minister at the town centre Methodist Church.

The collection is one of the best kept secrets of the Methodist Church. It was the initiative, in the early 1960s, of a Methodist layman, Dr John Morel Gibbs of Penarth, just outside Cardiff. He was very conscious that within the Methodist Church and indeed within Non-Conformist Churches in general there was little appreciation of the insights that contemporary artists could bring to the Christian story. Today the collection comprises 50 works including works by Patrick Heron, Graham Sutherland, Eric Gill and Ceri Richards, and is regularly exhibited across the UK.

We are thrilled to be partnering the Wrexham Methodist Circuit in this project,” enthuses Prof Estelle Thompson, Head of Division, Media, Arts & Design at Glyndŵr University. “The collection covers most of the significant movements/artists from the last 50 years.”

Both venues will be open 9.30am-4pm Monday to Saturday. In addition a full programme of concerts, seminars, conversations and workshops will accompany the exhibition. Entry to the exhibition and to all events on the programme is free.

“I see the arts as a common language shared by people inside and outside the Church,” explains Rev Richard Sharples, “We hope that the exhibition will open up a space for conversation between the artist and the viewer, between the Church and the University, between the sacred and secular, between the believer and the non-believer.”

Guided Tours (English or Welsh) are available by arrangement and sessions tailored to both Primary and Secondary Schools are being offered to schools across and beyond the Borough.

Further details can be obtained by ringing 01978-293950 or by visiting www.glyndwr.ac.uk/orielsycharthgallery or www.wrexham-methodist.org.uk.

Additional Safeguarding Sessions available in January

Additional Safeguarding Sessions available in January

The Safeguarding team is pleased to announce that two additional sessions of Creating Safer Space training are now available in Cardiff in January 2015:

Foundation Module:  Thursday January 22nd at 6:45 for 7pm at the Trinity Project, at the junction of Newport Road and Four Elms Road. Names to Paul Demery, Circuit Safeguarding Co-ordinator, please:  safeguarding.candc@gmail.com

Leadership Module: Monday January 26th at 9:45 for 10 am at Cyncoed Methodist Church Fellowship Room, Westminster Crescent, CF23 6SE. Names to Amy Adams, Learning and Development Officer, adamsa@methodistchurch.org.uk

Christmas week on Radio 4’s Prayer for the Day

People might be interested to know that Radio 4’s Prayer for the Day through Christmas week (20-26 December) is being led by our own Synod Chair, Rev. Dr. Stephen Wigley; and for those who might be interested but struggle to be awake at 5.43am, a version can be heard later on the BBC i-player.

New book by John Birch

John Birch, a Local Preacher in the Llanelli & Carmarthen circuit (and creator of the http://www.faithandworship.com website) has a new book out with BRF, The Act of Prayer: Praying through the Lectionary. It offers a selection of prayers for each Sunday of the 3 year Common Worship lectionary which is clearly and attractively set out and benefits from John’s wide experience as a preacher and leader of worship and is available from BRF priced £11.99.

Living Upside Down – Advent Resource

As we look forward to celebrating Jesus’ coming to the world during Advent and Christmas we are greatly blessed by many of our traditions. One of those traditions unique to Wales is the plygain service and its wealth of original Welsh carols used to sing God’s praises, share the Christmas story, and celebrate salvation in Jesus.

This year a new bilingual resource for Advent called The Plygain Tradition – a gift from Wales has been produced by the Methodist Church. This booklet of four studies based on the wealth of the traditional plygain carols was prepared by the Discipleship and Ministries Learning Network team in Wales. The four carols chosen for these studies take us on a journey that reflects the advent theme of waiting. They explore the nature of who and what we are waiting for; God’s incarnation in the form of the baby Jesus; and the response we need to give when the waiting is finally over.

This resource is part of a series of materials for small groups entitled Living Upside Down, a name which acknowledges that the theme of living upside down is constantly seen in Jesus’ teaching. The aim is to see things through God’s eyes and act on the things which are really important to us as disciples. At the end of each study there are discussion questions to enable people to engage with the theme and to inspire upside down living within our communities.

This resource can be used by any group which meets during Advent. Why not set up a group to meet regularly throughout Advent to discuss and pray together? Or perhaps you would like to hold a service based on the plygain carols where the carols could be sung by the congregation and the studies used as meditations.

This resource can be downloaded here
Living Upside Down Advent Resource
Byw Ben i Waered Adnodd Adfent

or you can order free copies of the booklet from Amy Adams 07799 900492 or adamsa@methodistchurch.org.uk or from Delyth Wyn Davies on 07799 902576 or daviesd@methodistchurch.org.uk