Category Archives: News

If my people – March 2019

The month of prayer in MGM included Saturday morning prayer breakfasts in a different church each week, the Talking Jesus course (in two locations), various times of reflective and creative prayer, a Taize evening, a pilgrimage to Penrhys and finally a prayer walk up Pen y Fan. The various events proved to be a blessing to those who engaged with the call to prayer.

Penhrys Group

Norton Bridge

Breakfast  at Rhydyfelin

A closing thought: If only more of my people ….

 

If my people – April 2019 – Neath Port Talbot Circuit

 

Neath Port Talbot Circuit engaged in a variety of prayer events during April 2019. All who attended were enriched by their experience of sharing together in prayer for the Circuits in the Wales Synod, our local communities and the wider world. Some of the prayer activities in the Churches are continuing.  

JERSEY MARINE – We used a prayer leaf to represent a different Circuit for which individuals prayed during the week.

TAIBACH – The focus of our prayer stations were the events of Easter and the empty tomb. We prayed for the distressing situations in our world and asked God to bring to these the victory of the empty tomb and the hope of the resurrection. We each prayed for three people we know who don’t yet know Jesus as their friend and Saviour asking that he will touch their lives and hearts. We committed ourselves to pray for these people every day that they may feel the renewing power of the Holy Spirit.

SANDFIELDS – We hosted a Circuit ‘share prayer’ event and events for families and young people.

NEATH – We visited Gnoll Park Estate and prayed over our town centre and the churches in Neath.

SKEWEN – We held a prayer walk on Good Friday passing through the local park to Ty Santes Fair Church for an ecumenical open air service.

NORTH CORNELLY AND CYMMER – We organised a prayer diary for the whole of the month.

GLYNCORRWG AND GLYNNEATH – We engaged in prayer during weekly Sunday Worship.

 

Synod Reports Book

The Synod Report Book is usually printed out and sent out to all members of Synod. This time the decision has been made to only make the Reports available electronically. These Reports can be downloaded as a pdf by clicking on the link below.

Synod Report Book 2018

 

Big Day Out South

On Saturday 2nd February 2019, over 30 young people and leaders of the Methodist Church in Wales met in Mumbles Methodist Church to explore how we as the Methodist Church can be Courageous in our faith. We continued the theme of 3Generate to challenge how we might contextually embody a spirit and heart of Courage in every aspect of our lives.

The young people were led in worship of a different tradition by Rev. Kofi Amissah which set the day up wonderfully for times of challenge, learning and pushing boundaries. The young people took part in sessions looking at creative prayer, contextual courage, righteous anger and our holistic spirituality engaging with our physicality. Five Circuits in South Wales were represented by the attendance of young people and we hope they have taken what was learnt back to their churches and wider to put it into practice.

After the sessions in Mumbles Methodist Church, the young people went to let off some steam in Ninja Tag, Swansea which was enjoyed by all followed by sharing an evening meal over a game of bowling before heading for home.

Great thanks are given to all leaders that gave up their time, organised sessions and provided transportation for the young people to be able to attend.

BBC Wales Celebration Service

The BBC Radio Wales Celebration Services will be led by Rev. Cathy Gale, Assistant Chair of Wales Synod on Sunday 9th June for Pentecost and Sunday 21st July. These will be broadcast at 7.30am or available for a short time on BBC iPlayer.

Spring Synod Meetings

This Spring we shall be having two meetings of Synod; our usual Presbyteral session of Synod at Castle Street, Abergavenny on Wednesday 20th March to consider matters relating to ministry and vocation; and then an additional meeting of the Representative session of Synod on the morning of Saturday 30th March at Newtown Methodist Church in Powys, where among other things we will respond to a report on recent conversations with Synod Cymru and also hear the Secretary of Conference, Rev Canon Gareth Powell address us on ‘Our Calling’.

BBC Wales Celebration Service

The Wales Synod Chair, Rev. Dr. Stephen Wigley will be leading the BBC Radio Wales Celebration Service as part of a series during Advent. This service, for the 2nd Sunday in Advent, will be broadcast on Radio Wales at 7.30am on Sunday 9th December.

Vacation Bible School in Swansea

From October 29 – 30, 10:00 am to 4:00 pm 13 children from Urdu Fellowship aged 12 – 19 from Swansea, Cardiff, Newport and Merthyr came together at Wesley Methodist Church, Eaton Road, Swansea for Vacation Bible School (VBS). It was arranged and organized by Synod Enabler, Rev. Irfan John. The theme was “Foundation of the Christian Faith”.

 

In building our program of study we focused on “Christian Living” to build a firm foundation. Children also learned the basic doctrine of “Trinity”. At every point, Gospel was shared. It was a wonderful time for children and volunteers to come together and worship God, enjoying one another through games and small group discussion, as well as spending time in solid teaching sessions.

 

Many children described how VBS has helped them understand a lot of things. We heard parents tell stories about their children talking about what they learned.

 

Cardiff University Chaplaincy

‘The Chaplaincy is amazing. The chaplains are incredibly friendly and welcoming to all students. They create a family feel which builds a strong community that any student can be part of.’ (Hollie, Student Union President)

“Thank you for all your help this year, you’ve been amazing and ‘Pizza, Prayer & Praise’ has been perfect too.”  (Will, Cardiff Anglican & Methodist Students Society)

It’s comments like these that make it all worthwhile!  My Anglican colleague, Revd David Sheen and I are always busy at the University Chaplaincy; we feed curry or chilli to 60 – 80 students and staff once a week at our £1 Lunch, we sit and chat with a regular 20 or so students in our lunchtime drop-in café, and we worship or study the bible alongside several more (Bible study lunch has 8 regular attenders along with Taizé prayer & meditation).  One of the most exciting ventures though, happened in a pastoral conversation with one of the students, who was bemoaning the fact that he didn’t have an opportunity of singing more recent praise music through anything that we did at the chaplaincy – so I said, ‘let’s do it!’.  (I feel very much at home in that kind of worship, but I’d found that it’s hard to start anything new unless you know you’ve got a few people willing to give it a try!). And so, ‘Pizza, Prayer and Praise’ (PP&P) was born.

We had three opportunities before the end of the last academic year to try out PP&P.  The first was a great success with ten students coming to worship and pray and talk about how God is reflected in our lives (‘a city on a hill cannot be hidden’).  Three weeks later, we had twelve students talking about how they came to faith, and in the first week of exams, we had 8 students reflecting on the ‘Thy Kingdom Come’ (TKC) prayer initiative (TKC is an ecumenical prayer initiative that runs for ten days from Ascension to Pentecost inviting people to prayer).

As students gathered to eat pizza, the ‘Thy Kingdom Come’ song played to set the scene and introduce the time of worshipping God.  We looked at the Lord’s Prayer and thought about when and how we learnt it and how it helps us connect with God (or not).  We played a clip from the TKC website about what praying ‘Thy Kingdom Come’ really means.  From Matthew 13, we talked about what Jesus meant when he talks about ‘The Kingdom of heaven is like…a mustard seed, yeast, treasure, a pearl or a net’; and then we came up with our own contemporary versions, like “The Kingdom of Heaven is like Facebook because it helps you connect with people” and “The Kingdom of Heaven is like the internet which spreads around the world even though we cannot see it.” 

The Kingdom has a King, and so we considered how we could make Jesus King in every part of our lives as we reflected individually on praying ‘Thy Kingdom Come’ in us; and we took up the challenge to pray for five friends, tying five knots in a length of brown string and then tying that around our wrist to remind us to pray.  Students went away committed to God and committed to praying for each of their five friends every day throughout the TKC prayer initiative. 

PP&P has proved to be a great way of connecting with students and encouraging them in their faith, and we shall definitely be including it in our programme for the new academic year.  Alongside our events though, goes the important task of day to day, one to one, pastoral care.   This could be a snatched moment in the middle of a busy lunch, when someone shares that their grandparent is in hospital, or it could be a pre-arranged meeting when a student wants to talk through some issue that is worrying them with someone who will listen, give some tea and sympathy and, if appropriate, pray with them.  I am also on the University’s Disclosure Response Team, so I am the first port of call for someone who wants to report an incident of violence or sexual assault against them.  The team has been set up so that victims of violence and sexual assault can find out what support is on offer and have assistance from us if they want to report an incident to the police. 

As chaplains, we are there for everyone, those of faith and those who would tell me that they are not religious.  And we are there to support staff as well as students.  Please pray for us, and for students arriving in Cardiff in late September; university can be a lonely place when you’ve just arrived and don’t know anybody.  And if you know anyone going to university, tell them to check out their chaplaincy; they might just be surprised at what‘s on offer!

Rev. Delyth Liddell,
Coordinating Chaplain