Month: January 2021

Letter to Churches January 2021

Please find below a letter from Rev. Cathy Gale.

January 4th, 2020

Dear Friends,

I wish for you all God’s blessings in this New Year.  As 2021 begins, there is no doubt that we will face some challenges (and we already are!) but I pray you will know the hope of our faith in your hearts – God is with us and better days are ahead.

This correspondence comes to bring you up to date on a few matters:

1. Public Worship

The current Tier 4 restrictions in Wales do allow gathering for public worship but this is just a reminder that we have decided there will be no public worship planned for by the Cardiff Circuit at least for the month of January.  This difficult decision was taken based on the alarmingly high transmission rates of the Covid virus in Wales and our perception that we could not mitigate risks enough to feel confident that we would not put worshippers and leaders of worship at risk.  Equally importantly, we felt that we should do our bit to help protect the NHS at this extremely challenging time.

Please note that this does not enforce such a decision on other denominations which may use our premises for worship. Such a decision would need to be made between the denomination (following its own risk assessment review) and the managing trustees of the building.

As we receive the government review(s) of the current Tier 4 arrangements in Wales we will review our decision on public worship across the Circuit and keep you informed of future decision.

2. Alternate Arrangements for Worship

There are several online alternatives for worship on Sunday mornings provided by our ministers and others.  All of these are “open” to be joined and, while originating in a particular church or cluster, are by no means exclusive.  Please let folks know that they can contact Lisa at the office or any of the ministers directly if they wish to join a particular Zoom worship.  Other services produced locally are available on Facebook and YouTube, with some being placed on the Cardiff Circuit Facebook page.

It is my hope that we can continue to meet monthly on Zoom for evening worship as a Circuit.

We are constantly working to make worship resources available for those who don’t have access to technology or don’t feel confident using it and we are grateful for all your help in spreading the word.

3. A Methodist Way of Life Course

One good thing to come out of 2020 was studying together in Bible Studies and the like.  We are offering a new course for January/February entitled “A Methodist Way of Life”.  It’s a challenge to think about how our faith affects our day to day living and complements the start to a new year, renewing our Covenant and what looks like several weeks where restrictions will enable us to have a bit more time for reflection!  There are resources on the Methodist Church website if you’d like more information, but the ministerial staff will deliver the course over Zoom on Monday evenings at 7:30pm for six weeks, beginning January 11th.  Please spread the news widely and ask people to contact Lisa or their minister for Zoom login details.

4. Morning Session on Pioneer Ministry – Saturday January 30th

For just over a year we have had the Rev. Judith Holliman in our circuit and she serves as a Pioneer Minister, with a specific focus on the Plas Dŵr estate near Radyr.  On Saturday January 30th from 10am to 12pm we will be hosting an open session on pioneer ministry – what it is and how it might give insights for ways of doing God’s work wherever we may be.  Speakers will include Rev. Dr. Stephen Wigley, Rev. Simon Sutcliffe (Chester and Stoke District Learning Network and Pioneer) and Judith, our own pioneer.  Please could people contact Lisa or Judith for log in details.

5. Paul Martin’s Sabbatical

All ministers in the Methodist Church are encouraged to take a sabbatical every seven years for rest, reflection and renewal.  Paul is actually overdue in receiving his and Synod have granted him permission to be on sabbatical leave from mid January to mid April 2021.  While he is off, the other staff members will look after the congregations under his pastoral care as follows:

Conway Road – Alana and Alexis
Ely – Judith
St. Paul’s – Kofi
Pontprennau – Cathy

We wish Paul all the best for a good and productive time.

Every blessing to you and the congregations as we look forward to a year ahead under God’s guidance and care.  Please feel free to be in touch if there are any questions about any of the above.

Yours in Christ,

Cathy

Posted by LIsa Medina

January Worship

Please find below a letter from Rev. Cathy Gale, that was sent out to Churches regarding Worship in person during January 2021.

December 16th, 2020
Dear All,
I hope this letter finds you well and anticipating our celebration of the birth of our Saviour, Jesus Christ.  Two thousand years ago he came quietly and without fanfare and this year we are forced to strip back our celebrations due to covid restrictions.  I can’t help wondering if there may be something positive to found in that stripping back – might we meet the Christ-child anew when we have less to distract us?
I write to let you know that the Circuit Staff, with the support of the Circuit Stewards, have taken a decision to close all our churches for public worship during the month of January.
As I write, the First Minister has just announced that from December 28th Wales will enter Level 4 restrictions, which is the equivalent of a Lockdown.  This Level does allow places of worship to remain open but given all we have heard recently about the levels of virus in our communities, the critical strain on the NHS and Welsh Ambulance Service and the anticipated spike to follow the increased household mixing over Christmas we feel that closing is the right thing to do.
The plan is to reassess the situation towards the end of January and then make a decision for February and beyond.  While churches are closed there will be alternative worship opportunities made available online and through other media.  Please contact your minister for information.
We appreciate all the work done by churches which have reopened to make their premises covid-safe and this has been acknowledged by the Welsh Government.
As things stand currently there are no plans to stop services already set for December 20th and Christmas Day but, given the very real concerns about virus transmission at the moment, I ask each church to look again at its risk assessment and ensure any additional safety measures necessary.
Let us hold one another in prayer as we continue to reflect on God coming into our broken world to show the extent of his love for us all.
Blessings,
Cathy
Posted by LIsa Medina