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Refugee Week 2020

At Trinity Centre they are currently preparing for the upcoming Refugee Week (15 – 21 June). As the celebration is going to be online this year, they would still like to engage with the local community to educate and celebrate how we not only welcome but value refugees in Cardiff.

They have created the Trinity Centre Tree Project – an easy way that people in the community can show their support for Refugee Week 2020. On the back of this sheet there is a template of a tree for people to decorate with leaves using paint, gluing pieces, colouring, printing…they’d love for people to get creative! You could also create your own tree. This is to represent that Each leaf is unique and has its own story, but all leaves come together to make fantastic trees.  

They would love to see your trees – once complete, please put them in your windows during Refugee Week (15 – 21 June) if possible, and either send a photo to them at enquiries@trinitycentre.wales or tag them on facebook @TrinityCentreCDF or Twitter @CdfTrinity to show the refugee and asylum seeking community that we are all here to support them.

Download Tree Template

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Prayers for 31st May

Today’s thoughts are provided by Rev. Nick Oborski

You can download a copy of these prayers here. 

Dear friends, today is the last day of our month of prayer. I hope you have found it an encouragement and help to have journey through this month. Of course, prayer does not stop today so I encourage you to continue to pray for our world and the Methodist Church every day. Please join the District prayer meeting tonight at 8pm on Zoom. If you want the password to join please contact your Minister.

Hear my prayer, LORD; let my cry for help come to you … Turn your ear to me; when I call, answer me quickly.’
PSALM 102:1–2

As you know I have used material from the London Institute for Contemporary Christianity (LICC) and today is no different. Tomorrow the differences between England and Wales become more pronounced as children in England begin to resume schooling. My own granddaughter is in yr. 6 and will be back in school tomorrow. It seems right to finish our month praying for those in Education. Again, below are thoughts from those who are involved in education

Giving thanks …

  • ‘I see God in the social, emotional, physical, and practical work being done by schools to support pupils. Nearly half of our pupils received free school meals. Over the past nine weeks, staff have delivered food to their homes.’ Teachers are ‘selflessly still going to work to care for others, putting themselves at more risk and giving up their free time, in most cases unpaid.’

Ask for God’s help…
Pressures: What are the pressures affecting this context?

  • ‘The pressure is for those children and young people who are considered vulnerable – those with special educational needs, those eligible for free school meals, those who are on child protection registers. There are many children who experience difficult or less than loving homes and schools are their safe spaces.’

  • ‘New online ways of teaching are very demanding, and many teachers are feeling isolated and stressed, complaining of very bad headaches and sleeplessness.’

  • ‘Where we’re predicting student GCSE and A level grades, we feel pressured to make sure that we do it accurately, and it will be hard dealing with the fallout from students and parents if they don’t like what they get.’

Praying God’s heart for these people and situations…

Loving God we thank you for the gift of Education. We pray for all those working to educate our children, grandchildren, our nephews, nieces, and cousins who would normally be in school. Help them as they produce and mark work to be mindful of the different needs of each child. We pray for those who should be going back to school tomorrow, some excited, some fearful and for their parents agonising over whether it is right to send them. We ask that your peace may descend, and right decisions will be made. We know that school cannot be the same, but we ask that you will help teachers and children to adapt to the new ways of working that will begin tomorrow. Lord in your mercy, hear our prayer. Amen

Praying for the Wales Synod and Our Circuit

I invite us to use this Pentecost to pray for an outpouring of God’s Holy Spirit upon us, our churches, and our nation.

A Prayer

Loving God we thank you for the gift of your Holy Spirit, forgive us when we fail to acknowledge your presence or allow you space to move in our hearts and minds. Father, we have seen revival in Wales in the past and we pray for another revival in this place. We ask that you send down your Spirit upon us. Give us the courage to follow you and to proclaim your love and power to everyone we meet. Help us to be bold to pray asking and expecting you to act and we ask that you would indeed honour our prayers as we seek the rebuilding of your kingdom in Wales. Amen

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Prayers for 30th May

Today’s thoughts are provided by Rev. Kofi Amissah

You can download a copy of these prayers here. 

You can watch a video to accompany this here.

The name given to the month of May by the Gà people of Ghana, is ‘Agbienaa’. Farmers who sowed seeds in previous months are hopeful that the rains will fall in great measure to water and nourish the crops so that there will be a bumper harvest. For fishers, ‘Agbienaa’ begins the harvest season when great catches are expected. Thus, aside the rain, bumper harvest is the real thing in May for the Gà people of Ghana.

We all anticipate one harvest or another in various areas of our lives. The church also looks forward to the harvest of souls into God’s kingdom. God promises those who obey him that he will send rain on their land in its season, so that they may gather in their grain, new wine, and olive oil to eat and be satisfied (Deuteronomy 11:13-15).

So, pray that as you obey God’s commands, God will send seasoned rain of blessing upon you so that all that you have laboured for will flourish and prosper.

Pray that the harvest of souls will continue in the life of the church and that all our labours will bear fruit.

Pray for the Methodist Synods in Wales and the Methodist Church to be the beacon of God’s love to the nation and the barns upon which God’s end time harvest will be stored.

Pray for yourself and your community, bringing needs and desires before God who promises to answer us.

Pray for a bumper harvest for the world in the fight against COVID-19, that all efforts made in all fronts will yield positive results to bring the pandemic to an end.

THE PEACE OF GOD BE WITH YOU.

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Prayers for 29th May

Today’s thoughts are provided by Rev. Alana Lawrence.

You can download a copy of these prayers here. 

In all we do as church members we must not forget that it is God’s will and God’s Spirit that moves and shapes, inspires and recreates the Church. The Church is made up of living stones, as an expression of God’s Spirit and as a witness to God’s kingdom come, here and now. The Wesley Triptych is a work of vision not locked into the past but reflecting how past and present flow together onwards in accordance with God’s will and the assurance of God’s continued presence and work in Caerphilly. The sun, the light of the world, shines across the Triptych, across time, and across the people, churches and mountains in and around Caerphilly. God’s will be done, yesterday, today and eternally.

Let us remember that God’s will be done in every place and every time, and that we are called to be living stones making up the Church, body of Christ who is our cornerstone. Let us give thanks to God for calling us across time in this and every place, as living stones in the Spirit renewing the Church and bringing the good news of salvation through Christ our Lord, to all the world. Amen.

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Prayers for 28th May

Today’s thoughts are provided by Rev. Alana Lawrence

You can download a copy of these prayers here. 

The Wesley Caerphilly 90th Anniversary Felting Triptych depicts the flow of people from Wesley and the other Methodist Churches in and around Caerphilly that have closed over the decades since Wesley opened. The names of these churches are on the banners. There are members of Wesley today who either came from those churches or whose families were members of those churches, and Wesley today owes a debt of gratitude to these church communities who gave their yesterdays for the church’s tomorrow.

Loving God, as Wesley Caerphilly celebrates its 90th Anniversary today pour your blessings upon all the members of the church as we give thanks for those who have gone before us in faith, our brothers and sisters in Christ, our parents and grandparents, our neighbours and friends. Direct our hearts and minds towards your Son Jesus Christ, our brother, our cornerstone, our Lord and our Light. Let us not think of ourselves as the source of power and vision but turn to you through whom all things are made according to your will. Amen

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Prayers for 27th May

Today’s thoughts are provided by Rev. Alana Lawrence

You can download a copy of these prayers here. 

As Wesley Caerphilly Methodist Church celebrates its 90th anniversary on 28th May in the midst of a global pandemic, we have been pondering on the beginnings of our beautiful church in Caerphilly. The wonderful Anniversary Felting Triptych made by members of the Church and the Youth Club, tells the story of the Church’s beginnings and remembers the Methodist Churches in and around Caerphilly now closed and all the people that have worshipped in the church. Wesley opened its doors onto a world entering a global recession following the collapse of banking around the world in late 1929. The left-hand panel depicts the laying of the first bricks on 2nd November 1929 in the week of the banking collapse. So, whilst we may feel these times as unprecedented, there have indeed been precedents to the current crises. And yet this did not stop our foremothers and forefathers putting their trust in God and continuing the momentous work they had begun.

Let us remember those who have gone before us in faith, those who have visioned the church anew in each place and in each generation, holding fast to their faith and their calling to build the Church anew, through wars, economic collapse, times of austerity, hardship and illness. Let us give thanks to God for the Spirit that inspires, moves and recreates the Church, in every generation. May we continue to open ourselves to where the Spirit leads us today, tomorrow and eternally. Amen

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Prayers for 26th May

Today’s thoughts are provided by Rev. Alexis Mahoney

You can download a copy of these prayers here. 

God or Google?

How many times have you heard someone say, ‘Google it!’, especially regarding a question no one knows the answer to?

I’ve heard it so many times now and, truth be told, I’ve used it many times myself in response to an inquisitive question.  I’d guess this applies to many of us.  ‘Google it’ is a phrase which has been used so much that it’s become part of our common parlance.  And I’ve also heard someone say that Googling stuff on the internet is a way of consulting with ‘the great god-Google’, such is its alleged power to bring forth knowledge to our fingertips.

Of course, access to knowledge is extremely useful.  But I’ve also heard a saying which thoughtfully suggests that ‘all knowledge which doesn’t lead to love, is just information’.

So though it’s tempting to turn to what some have called, ‘the great god-Google’ for many things, it’s a worry of mine that one of our contemporary blessings is also a curse, as we too often use this as a default process before we do anything.  That we too often seek information first, before wisdom and love.

How often do we turn to our Great God of love before doing anything?  Or if we have a question, or if we’re going through an experience that weighs heavily on our heart or mind, do we instinctively turn to our Great God?

After all, one of the default acts we have been exhorted to practice is to always consult our Great God.  In fact, we are exhorted to ‘pray without ceasing’ (1 Thessalonians 5.17).  So, praying should be our default position for absolutely everything!

Some of you may be thinking, ‘Ok, so this is yet another Minister bigging-up the power of prayer’, but prayer is often the last thing we do rather than the first thing we do.  And prayer is best when we interweave it in all we do.  Or effectively; when we pray without ceasing…

There are many ways of praying without ceasing, but the one I’d like to offer you today is from the Eastern Orthodox tradition, called, ‘The Jesus Prayer’[1]:

“Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me, a sinner”.

The Jesus Prayer can be repeated verbally or internally, either as a rule of prayer or in addition to it, or as a form of devotion, or as a short focal point that can be used at any moment, whatever the situation.  Try it and see!

[1] http://www.orthodoxchristian.info/pages/Jprayer.html

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Prayers for 25th May

Today’s thoughts are provided by Rev. Kofi Amissah

You can download a copy of these prayers here. 

The Eʋes in Ghana call the month of May ‘Dame’. The name is rooted in the Eʋe expression, ‘gbe damawo’, which means ‘greenery’ or ‘green vegetation’. With the rains falling in high volumes now, seeds planted in previous months spring up from the earth, with fresh green leaves growing everywhere. Contrary to the dryness of previous months leading up to April, the complete transformation of the vegetation, makes change, from dryness to fresh green vegetation, obvious in the countryside, on the farms and everywhere. Dame, thus becomes a month of growth, renewal and freshness.

With the damage that COVID-19 has caused the world and all that was known to be the norm, the world and each of us need the growth, renewal, freshness and productivity that the Month of May brings among the Eʋes in Ghana. This is exactly what God promises through the Prophet Isaiah: ‘For as the earth brings forth its sprouts, and as a garden causes the things sown in it to spring up, so the Lord God will cause righteousness and praise to spring up before all the nations’ (Isaiah 61:11).

So, pray that in this month and beyond, every seed you have sown will spring up so that you shall blossom with freshness. Pray also that Green vegetation will spring up in you and there shall be growth in every area of your life.

Pray that COVID-19 will come to an end so that there will be growth, freshness and renewal in our homes, our communities, the nation, and the world.

Pray for growth, renewal and freshness in our worship and service as congregations and as Christians.

Pray that God’s Spirit will breath freshness upon his Church, the Methodist Church, and the Synods in Wales to lead the way into spreading righteousness and scriptural holiness upon the land.

Pray for yourself and loved ones that God will fulfil your heart desires according to his perfect will.

THE PRESENCE OF GOD BE WITH YOU.

You can watch a video to accompany this here.

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Prayers for 24th May

Today’s thoughts are provided by Rev. Delyth Liddell,
Coordinating Chaplain at Cardiff University.

You can download a copy of these prayers here. 

“I wait for the Lord, my soul waits, and in his word I hope;
My soul waits for the Lord more than those who watch for the morning,
More than those who watch for the morning.

O Israel, hope in the Lord!
For with the Lord there is steadfast love,
And within is great power to redeem.”
(Psalm 130: 5-7)

Today is Aldersgate Sunday, the day when we remember that John Wesley’s heart was strangely warmed, as he experienced God through the power of the Holy Spirit.

John and Charles Wesley, as young priests had been enthused to take the gospel to America, but John had been challenged in his faith, particularly during a strong storm at sea as they made their journey to America.  While all the passengers feared for their lives including John himself, a group of Moravian Christians sat quietly praying and singing hymns, at peace with God and unfearful of death.  He was amazed at their faith, and this experience stayed with him.  On his return from America he was aware that he was unhappy and disillusioned by his faith.  He went one evening, rather reluctantly, to a gathering of Christians in Aldersgate Street, London.  He recorded this pivotal event in his faith in his Journal for 24 May 1738:

“In the evening I went very unwillingly to a society in Aldersgate Street, where one was reading Luther’s preface to the Epistle to the Romans. About a quarter before nine, while he was describing the change which God works in the heart through faith in Christ, I felt my heart strangely warmed. I felt I did trust in Christ, Christ alone for salvation, and an assurance was given me that he had taken away my sins, even mine and saved me from the law of sin and death.”

This realisation of God’s love and assurance of salvation inspired John and his brother Charles (who after his own conversion went on to write over 6000 hymns, some of which we still sing today).  From their faith and ministry flowed a movement that changed millions of lives and became the Methodist Church.

As the Methodist Church in Wales we are coming to the end of a year of prayer, marked by this final month of prayer in the Cardiff Circuit.  Some of us may be feeling, like John, disillusioned and unhappy in our faith and our prayers for the Wales Synod.  Let us pray that our hearts may be ‘strangely warmed’ and we too will sense something of the Amazing Grace and love of God for us and for the Wales Synod.

This evening (and next Sunday evening), Methodists from all over Wales will be meeting together virtually to pray and mark the drawing to a close of this year of prayer for the Wales Synod.  You can join in with them by contacting your minister for details.

Almighty God, in a time of great need
you raised up your servants John and Charles Wesley,
and by your Spirit inspired them to kindle a flame of sacred love
which leaped and ran, an inextinguishable blaze.
Grant that all those whose hearts have been warmed at these altar fires,
being continually refreshed by your grace, may be so devoted
to the increase of scriptural holiness throughout the land
that in this our time of great need,
your will may fully and effectively be done on earth as it is in heaven;
through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

(FRED D. GEALY, U.S.A., 20TH CENT., ALT.)

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Prayers for 23rd May

Today’s thoughts are provided by Rev. Nick Oborski.

You can download a copy of these prayers here. 

The earth is the LORD’s, and everything in it, the world, and all who live in it.’

PSALM 24:1

As you know my prayers are challenged by the work of the London Institute for Contemporary Christianity (LICC) who continually remind me of those we forget or take for granted. It’s rare to think about our power, gas and electric and of course water. I am probably reminded of them more when I play Monopoly but, in this time, we rely more than ever on these essential items after all there is no eating out at present. LICC provided these thoughts from people who work in the utility industries.

Giving thanks …

  • ‘People are really spending time “together” by booking virtual coffee breaks with the team. Colleagues are getting to know each other in a different way and having deeper conversations than before. It’s really enabling a connection.’

  • ‘Even in the midst of the current crisis, there are huge opportunities to demonstrate care, compassion, grace, and integrity in all I seek to do in my work. Being salt and light is not dismissed by Skype and Zoom.’

Ask for God’s help…
Pressures: What are the pressures affecting this context?

  • ‘National Grid operatives have to deal with issues out in the community, as homeworking for many is not possible, and so they are at risk of catching Covid.’

  • ‘I have to interact with my staff by telephone, and work patterns have had to change. My team has been split into two groups who work separate hours, and each group has less depth of knowledge so problem solving can take days not hours.’

Praying God’s heart for these people and situations…

Loving God we thank you for the those who work in the utilities industry. We ask Lord that you would keep the National Grid operational so that gas and electricity are provided to homes and businesses. We pray particularly for those who maintain the services to the elderly, those who have additional needs, and to the hospitals and care homes. Keep them safe as they enter homes to fix problems and restore supplies. We ask too that when this crisis is over, we would continue to value these workers and remember and give thanks for the work they do. Amen

Praying for the Wales Synod and Our Circuit

I invite us to remember and give thanks for all those in our congregations who serve faithfully in the life of the church who feel frustrated because they cannot use their gifts at present.

A Prayer

Loving God we thank you for all the gifts and graces you give your people. We think of flower arrangers, those who serve refreshments, local preachers and worship leaders, junior church leaders, choirs and musicians and other roles too numerous to name. We ask that you help each person to find a way of expressing and using their gifts during this period of lockdown. We ask that we might find new and creative ways to serve others through the gifts you have given us. Give us the courage to take risks do new things and develop our skills and gifts for the future. We pray that you might be changing us now so that our gifts and callings will be fit for the new world we will find ourselves in when the current situation is over. Amen

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