Pastoral Letter No 10 – Pentecost Sunday 31st May 2020

Sisters and brothers in Christ greeting to you all on this the 90th Anniversary of Wesley Caerphilly Methodist Church by the grace of God and to his glory.
The lovely Special Edition Newsletter put together and distributed by Julie, Michael and Terry Lewis, reflects in pictures on life in Wesley across the decades, past anniversaries, past ministers and members, however as is always true of these things more has been left out than included. It is hoped that we will have an exhibition later in the year or next year, of the many wonderful photographs and artefacts of life in the church sent in and given to me by church members.
This Sunday we stand before God and give thanks for all that he has done in this place, and for all who have gone before us, who lived and prayed and gave their time, creativity and commitment to the worship, work and life of the church, and for the part we each have played.
This Sunday is Pentecost when the Spirit came upon the first disciples and the Church was born. This is not an anniversary commemoration however, the Spirit continues to fall upon us all, renewing the Church across time and in all places, in every disciple and follower of Christ. This same Spirit has renewed the Church in Caerphilly across time, within the hearts and minds of all who have worshipped and worked in Wesley as it does in your hearts and minds today.
We cannot help wondering at this time when the Church and its people are locked down, social distancing and unable to gather, life in the church seems to be on pause. And yet the Holy Spirit is not resting, it is a fire burning within all who open themselves to receive her, sent to all who believe in Jesus Christ, the eternal Son of God. The Spirit is ever moving, ever renewing, ever creating and inspiring. The Church is on the move, is online in social media worship and fellowship, in telephone conversations, in virtual prayer groups and bible study groups, in our homes and in good works being done across our communities for the most vulnerable, our neighbours and all who need help and support. Christians are being inspired to develop new ways of reaching out and bringing the good news to those who live in darkness and in the shadow of death, in the margins and in hopeless situations. And the Spirit is moving in our yearning and longing to gather and worshipping together again, of be in fellowship, to restore all that we had taken for granted, renewing our determination to live fully, to be in fellowship and to live fully.
Every church community is Spirit led and Spirit filled, and we are not without hope, for we live in the resurrection, the eternal day of the Lord, and we have been promised that if we turn to God, believing in Jesus, we will receive the Spirit that makes us cry out ‘Abba, Father’, acknowledging God as creator and sustainer of all that is, as the centres of our life and all life, and we shall be renewed and inspired and be fully alive, in the Spirit, through Christ Jesus, to the glory of God.
Hold fast to the peace that Jesus gave us, to the love of God, and to the fellowship of the Holy Spirit, now and forever. Rev Alana

From Rev Bill and Brenda Jones

Greetings to you all at Wesley as you celebrate your 90th Anniversary – howbeit in unusual circumstances. But Wesley being Wesley, I know that you will rise to the occasion – as you always do.

Both Brenda and I have many happy memories of our ministry in Caerphilly – 1987-2002 to save you wondering when that was!

We inherited a thriving Youth Club, Boys Brigade, and Sunday School, Women’s Fellowship and the (then) Wives group. A small – but very enjoyable Bible Study group and of course Sunday Worship – it was always a pleasure to stand in the pulpit and look out on a sea of faces.

Brenda remembers fondly organising a choir for special occasions –notable the Candle lit Christmas Carol Service

We remember too, the annual Whit Walk and Easter Morning on Caerphilly mountain which set the tone for the rest of the day.

All this and many memorable occasions and events. Two American Choirs visited us (one twice) and we provided hospitality for some thirty folks on each occasion. Jonathan Thomas brought his Orchestra over from Germany and again folks rose to the occasion of giving hospitality. Not to forget Tony Jasper’s Theatre company who visited three times.

But we also have fond memories of home-grown entertainment - fund raising for our renovation scheme in the 90’s. Christmas Fairs, Flower and Craft festival, Songs from the shows, local choirs, board games (did we really do this for 24hours?) 20 pence pieces in smarties tubes, the walk across the new Severn Bridge (before it was open to traffic) and many, many more such happy times.

But it is people that we remember most- the hard work and dedication of so many. Sadly of course some are no longer with us – but several of you are and to you have been added others who have joined the fellowship. It is such dedication that has seen Wesley through these 90 years and on into the future,

We both feel privileged to have been part of such a vibrant and happy fellowship and there will always be a place in our hearts for Wesley and its people.

May God bless you as you continue to work for him, and we hope to be with you in 2030!!

Rev Bill and Brenda Jones, May 2020

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