News & Items of Interest
All the latest news from around the diocese.
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ANNUAL GENERAL MEETINGS 2016
Eglwys y Drindod Sanctaidd/Holy Trinity Church
Mawrth 15 March
Llwyncelyn, Chapel Street, Corris
Eglwys St Pedr/St Peter’s Church,
Ebrill 3 April
Eglwys St Pedr/St Peter’s Church,
I would like to open a discussion on how we might, as a church, engage with the younger generation.
On Monday evening, the 15th of February, The Revd. Peter Ward, Sandra and myself attended a seminar in Newtown on “All Age Worship” I was hoping that it might throw some light on this very issue. Unfortunately, for me, that was not the case. Although the content was good, the assumption was made at the very beginning of the session that our churches were already full of children / young people, and we were being guided on how we might keep them engaged; or, that if we changed the format of our services, suddenly youngsters would be flocking to our doors. The reality is, that changing our services, making them youth friendly, is relatively easy; it is not rocket science. The difficult part, the most challenging part is getting the young to attend in the first place. I suspect that they feel no compunction to come, we are irrelevant to them. It is not that we are boring, it is just that we do not cater for any need.
What are the needs of youngsters?
Secure, loving “family” relationships – certainly.
Entertainment, - well, totally catered for in our multi media society. (We can't compete, other than very occasionally)
Social interaction – that seems to come from the thin, rectangular devices that everyone carries around. (I'm being too harsh – we know that much social interaction comes from schools and groups such as Young Farmers, sport and music groups etc, which do an excellent job.)
Guidance – should and mostly comes from family, friends and societal norms and expectations.
Where is the role for the church?
As a teenager myself, long ago, I look back at what were my own concerns, worries, hopes and fears. If I'm going to be totally honest, my greatest need was for relationship; having friends, and most importantly looking for love and companionship. If I got those right, I knew that I would be happy, well balanced and fulfilled.
Does digital technology fulfil that need for young people today, the need for friendship and love? I don't know, - the technological world has passed me by. Is a digital screen a substitute for a face to face conversation and interaction? Is there a gap here, a niche that we could be filling as a church, creating a space – completely openly, where friendships are engendered; in a safe, formal – even Christian environment. - Youth Club with a definite, formal agenda of guiding relationships, exploring faithfulness, forgiveness, patience, conflict management even! I once watched an evangelical church in America, engaging with these very issues, it was powerful stuff.
Am I talking impractical nonsense?
Let's have a discussion, because if we don't, I fear we shall never move forward.
I remember my very first attendance (as an adult) in Llanymawddwy Church, hearing that old cliché - “Get the children involved in the service and everything will be hunky dory.” If it were that simple, how come 30 years later our churches are mostly devoid of young people? Unless we go beyond the old cliches we shall never get anywhere.
Recipes old and new wanted for a Ministry Area Recipe Book.
Starters, Mains, Puddings, Cakes, Biscuits
Recipes with clear methods and maybe a short reason why the recipe is a favourite.
Please send to Revd Kathleen
Some Hints About Prayer This Lent
Prayer is instinctive for human beings, even those who don’t regard themselves as religious. You are standing at a bus stop in the wind and the rain, thinking ‘I do hope the bus will come soon’. It’s an inner yearning. It defies logic: either the bus is coming or it isn’t. But we all do it. It’s instinctive and it’s the raw material of prayer. Hoping for something better is basic. Like all instincts, it needs to be trained.
To whom do we pray? What you pray and the way you do it will be shaped by your view of God. Christian prayers are fashioned by what we know of Jesus and what He taught about prayer.We pray by invitation. Again and again, Jesus encouraged his companions to pray. A couple of his parables on the subject have been misinterpreted as instructions to persuade a resistant God to do what we want. Have a look at Luke 18, verses 1-8, about a widow whose perseverance finally persuaded an unwilling judge to rule in her favour. The lesson is that God is not like that! Similarly, an unwelcome neighbour who persistently calls for help in the middle of the night gets what he wants (Luke 11.5-13). The lesson?
If tenacious lobbying can overcome human unwillingness, how much more our gracious God will heed his children’s cry.Pushing at an open door. Jesus is already praying for us. So when we start to pray, we step on to an already moving staircase. Sometimes prayer seems tougher than it need be. Jesus invited us to be linked to him, in the way an inexperienced bullock is yoked to a mature ox. Have a look at Matthew 11, 28-29, which concludes “for my yoke is easy and my burden is light”. When Marion Bartoli unexpectedly won the 2013 Women’s Wimbledon final, she said “I believe if you put all your heart and effort into everything you are doing, then God is there to help you.”
Is your prayer on the right lines? Try adding “for Christ’s sake” at the end. “Please let my marrow win the Gardening Club competition”? No. “Not my will but yours” is the key. So when praying, don’t give God instructions, just report for duty.
Ministry Area Council
The Ministry Area Council met on Wednesday 20th January where various items of business were discussed.
Mrs Joanne Gower, M/A Treasurer gave a short report on the M/A accounts which are looking healthy due to the fundraising efforts last year.
The Council was reminded that individual end of year church accounts had to be ready for the Ministry Area AGM to be held on Wednesday 20th April.
Mrs Jen Evans gave a short report on the work of the Pastoral Team. The “Cawl a Chlonc” held in November was a great success and would be repeated on February 11th at Cemaes Church Room. An open invitation was extended to Council members.
Future fundraising ideas were discussed – a M/A Recipe Book and Notelets/Christmas Cards to sell were two options.
The Diocese is in need of a property audit of each Church in the Ministry Area which needs to be done as soon as possible.
A faculty application for the internal repainting of St Peter’s Church, Machynlleth was supported.
Mrs Jen Evans, our Ministry Area Pastoral Team leader and Worship leader, has offered herself for ordination to the Permanent Diaconate. The Council fully supported her and wished her well as she begins this important faith journey.