By stfagansaberdare, 14-Oct-2013 05:00:00
On Friday 18th October we are celebrating St Luke with a Sung Eucharist in St Luke’s, Cwmdare at 7pm. This, of course, is the Patronal Festival of St Luke’s, and is therefore an important occasion in the life of the parish. It is hoped that people from all of our churches will support the occasion. The preacher will be the Venerable Christopher Smith, Archdeacon of Morgannwg.
On Monday 28th October we celebrate the Feast of St Simon and St Jude, Apostles. There will be a said Eucharist in St Luke’s at 6.30pm.
We will be celebrating All Saints Day with a vigil Eucharist on the eve of All Saints, Thursday 31st October, at 7pm.
Advance notice …
All Souls Day will be observed with a Sung Eucharist in St James at 6pm on Saturday 2nd November.
By stfagansaberdare, 07-Oct-2013 17:15:00
On Sunday 6th October the three churches in our parish will be celebrating Harvest. This, of course, is a time to give thanks to God for all the good things that we enjoy, all the fruits of the earth. It is a time to reflect on the fact that everything that the earth produces, everything that grows, comes ultimately from God. We humans may co-operate in the growing process, by planting the seeds, tending the crops and then reaping the harvest, but none of this would be possible without God, the one who enables everything to grow. Harvest also reminds us that the natural world around us is both constant and ever-changing. The earth continues, year by year, to produce the same crops for our nourishment and enjoyment, but all the while the environment is changing as the seasons fold into each other and the fields are successively sown, nurtured and harvested.
These ideas of growth and change are good ones to be thinking about just now, for there is a number of things going on in the parish which tie-in with them.
1) Some months ago in St Fagan’s we decided to launch a new service on the first Sunday of each month, particularly aimed at children and young people, and also hoping to include members of our local Cub, Scout and Brownie groups. We are calling this an ‘All Sorts Service’, and the first one will take place on Sunday 6th October, to coincide with our celebration of Harvest. In St James we also decided to revamp the existing family service along the same lines. Catherine Evans has done sterling work in producing a special order of service and a leaflet publicising the service for distribution in the local schools. A small working group at each church has met to plan the details of the service. I am grateful to all involved with this at both churches, and hope that this new service will be an important form of outreach.
2) You will recall that back in the summer the PCC approved a policy to allow children to begin receiving Holy Communion before Confirmation. On 17th September, a group of 12 children began classes to prepare them to be admitted to receive Holy Communion. The course will last six weeks and hopefully they will receive Communion for the first time at the start of November.
3) On 27th September we held an away day for members of the PCC at Llangasty Retreat House near Brecon, where in the main we thought and discussed about how to encourage growth in our three churches. We had a most productive day and I am grateful to PCC members for giving their time and for the quality of their contributions. The outcome of our discussions will be published widely in the near future.
4) The theme of mission and outreach continued on Sunday 29th September, which was ‘Back to Church’ Sunday, a day when people are encouraged to invite a friend or neighbour to worship. I’m grateful to all those who gave out invitations; and we should not worry if not as many people as we hoped took up the invitation. At least the seed has been sown.
5) There will be a special service on Sunday 3rd November. In the afternoon of that day, at 3.30pm, there will be a service of remembrance for all those who have been bereaved during the previous year. It is hoped that this will be a form of outreach to those beyond our usual congregations, showing to them something of God’s love and the Christian hope in eternal life.
Hopefully you will see that all of these initiatives are about outreach and, therefore, encouraging growth in our churches, and I commend them all to your prayers. Sometimes this will require that we do things a little differently; it may involve change. But the basic message of the Gospel that we are trying to communicate never alters. These various projects I have mentioned are making, of course, for a busy time. It can be tempting sometimes to revel in this busy-ness, to become a little conceited, and think we are achieving great things all by ourselves. This is where we must return to the important message of Harvest. Any growth in the church, as in the natural world, comes only from God. We are merely his servants on earth, attempting to do his will. Any glory that comes from what we might do is not ours, but his alone.
By stfagansaberdare, 08-Aug-2013 08:00:00
I've said before how nice it is to discuss a 'meaty' theological matter at PCC. We have been and will be doing some more of this with our various committees. St Fagan's Church Leadership Team (formerly church committee) held an away day on 13th July, while the PCC will be holding one on 27th September. The other church leadership teams will also be holding away days in the near future. The idea behind this is to have some time and space away from the usual crowded agenda of the meetings of these bodies in order to do some serious thinking and planning. Where is God leading us as a group of churches and as a parish? How can we be better disciples of Christ in our communities? How can we respond to the challenges that face us? How can our churches grow - numerically and spiritually? These are the questions we will be considering at these away days, and the answers will hopefully form the basis of a Mission Action Plan, for each church and for the parish, which will help us to navigate our way into the future. I commend these days and the work associated with them to your prayers - it's all very important! The outcome of the various always days will of course be reported on these pages.
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