Let your light shine: Asian Christian Fellowship, Swansea

On Sunday, 6th September 2015, Asian Christian Fellowship, Swansea lit candles and prayed together as a sign of support for the thousands of refugees fleeing war and persecution.

They lit these candles of peace, not only physically but also in their hearts to signify that we stand with our fellow humans. The prayer was lead by Rev. Irfan John (Synod Enabler Culturally Diverse Congregations, Wales)

Asian Fellowship

Uniting Church Sketty: A Journey with God

A Journey with God was the title and theme of our celebration weekend as Bethel URC and Sketty Methodist formally became Uniting Church Sketty. After many years of working closely together and after one year of worshipping together, the weekend celebrated the formal coming together of what we have been in our hearts for some time and launched Uniting Church Sketty.

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The flower festival, with different scenes from the Bible allowed people to reflect on their own journey with God. Hundreds of visitors came and gazed at the beautiful displays, drank tea and coffee and partook of delicious home-made cakes. Each one passed through the display at the entrance to the church – an archway with carnations going up one side, roses going up the other to symbolise the two churches – and meeting in the middle in a heart shape with the flowers now intermingled. A moving and symbolic arrangement saying all that needed to be said.

 

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Uniting Church Sketty was packed!Sketty 2

The church was packed with church family, with friends from around the Methodist Circuit and the URC region, with past ministers from both churches and with clergy from other churches in Sketty. Sketty 3

 

Rev Stephen Wigley represented the Methodist denomination and Rev Sally Thomas represented the URC denomination. We gave thanks for all that is past, as we reflected on the origins of both churches and we put our trust in God for all that is to come, as we shared the new vision statement of the church, developed in the Lent Faith and Fellowship groups – Uniting together, Caring for all, Seeking God.

Then the congregation was treated to something a bit different: our very own ‘Happy’ video which used the music from the very popular Pharrell Williams song Happy, and video clips of the church congregation and all the different groups that use the church. It reminded us how happy we are to come together. Then, before the Constitution was officially signed, the congregation took part in an Act of Commitment as we each committed ourselves to journey into the future with God.

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The celebrations continued all day Sunday as well. The morning service included cutting a celebration cake (which we shared after the service), making a gigantic jigsaw of our new Uniting Church Sketty logo and sharing communion together. It culminated in writing our names on a friendship bracelet each and then exchanging these with others in the service. Although the 130 friendship bracelets wasn’t quite enough for the whole congregation, nevertheless wonderful chaos ensued as we swapped our bracelets in the last hymn. Each person went home with another’s bracelet and committed to pray for that person – reminding us finally that we are all one in Christ.

We thank God for the wonderful weekend and trust that it is in fact, only the beginning!

Assistant Chair Completes Snowdonia Half-Marathon

Snowdonia half marathonCongratulations to Keith Tewkesbury, Assistant Chair and Superintendent of the Conwy & Prestatyn Circuit who last Saturday ran the Snowdonia Half-marathon. Keith completed the gruelling course in the very creditable time of 2hrs 02mins and 18secs coming 157th out of 373 runners – and in the process also managed to raise over £2000 for All We Can, the Methodist Relief and Development Charity. So many thanks also to all those who supported him.

Asian Fellowship

There is a new Asian Fellowship (Urdu, Hindi, Punjabi) each month in Swansea with Rev. Irfan John. It would be lovely to see anyone wishing to share in Worship with us.

Bethel URC,
Sketty Park Road, Sketty Swansea SA2 9AS

3rd Sunday of every month at 5pm

Contact Rev. Irfan John for more information
07796 494035

Congratulations Irfan!

imageRev. Irfan John, our Synod Enabler (Culturally Diverse Congregations) has been appointed First Ambassador of Cardiff City of Sanctuary. We are delighted to hear this and send Irfan our congratulations and best wishes.

City of SanctuaryOn 5th June 2014 Cardiff became the seventh UK city to officially be recognised as a ‘City of Sanctuary’. To receive this accolade, Cardiff had to demonstrate that it is a city that welcomes new arrivals seeking a safe place to live after fleeing war or persecution. The Wales Synod along with many other groups and organisations have signed up to this and pledged to support new arrivals.

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