This month I would like to begin with some introductions.
Firstly, welcome to Simon Piercy. Simon, a local primary school teacher and until now the regular church organist at St John’s Penymynydd, has recently been accepted for ordination training. Under the new Church In Wales’ St Padarn’s Institute Training Scheme, Simon is going to be training locally and we (Hope and Emmanuel) are fortunate enough to have been selected to be his main church placement for the next twelve months.
Some of you already know Simon because in recent months he has been a great help to us assisting us with the piano in our Hope All Age/Family services; Simon also founded and will continue to coordinate the St John’s Community Choir in Penymynydd. Whilst Simon is with us it has been emphasised to me however that he comes to us as a priest-in-training not an extra organist or pianist! We look forward to Simon’s year with us and I am confident that you will make him very welcome. He starts with us on the first Sunday of August.
Secondly, we welcome Revd Andrea Jones to Borderlands Mission Area. Andrea, now in post, is the new Rector for St Deiniol’s Church, Hawarden and St Francis’ Church, Sandycroft.
Thirdly, we welcome to Revd Gill Stanning, her husband Grant and their teenage son Tom. From the beginning of September, Gill will be working across the mission area as our new pioneer/ mission priest. I’m delighted that Gill has agreed to come and preach at our principal services in Hope and Penyffordd in early October. An introduction from Gill herself where she explains more on her role and background is included in this month’s magazine. Everyone is invited to attend Gill’s commissioning service at Emmanuel Bistre on 31 August at 7pm. Please do come if you can.
Please do keep Simon, Andrea and Gill in your prayers as they begin their new ministries at this time.
Our reading of the New Testament continues to go well. It really is great to have so many coming along to our Question Time evenings. Thank you again to Rev Dr Jeremy Duff of St Padarn’s Institute (and congratulations – of last month now a Professor of Practice) for assisting Pam and myself on the panel. The Questions being asked are fascinating to think through – last month we had questions on Magic and Miracles, Does God heal today?, Were there any women apostles? On a Sunday and in the week we are now looking at Paul’s letters. Our “Question Time: Grill the Vicar!” this month will be an opportunity to think through the theology and teaching of the Apostle Paul. Come along, we can still fit more into the room. We will meet at 7pm for 7:30pm on Thursday 24th August in Hope Church Hall. Tea/coffee and cake is served from 7pm. At 7:30pm we begin with a favourite hymn, a short prayer and reading, before settling down for Questions. Any Question can be put into the box on your arrival or asked from the floor as you wish. Bring your own question or just come to listen. Everyone is welcome.
Finally to mention is that this month plays host to our annual afternoon Strawberry Tea, 3-5pm on Saturday 5th August in Hope Church Hall. Come along to catch up with friends, enjoy the quality afternoon tea, support this important annual fundraiser, and plus no doubt this year (if you so wish!) to think through with your pals more on the theology of St Paul!
One closing personal thought… Did you know that ‘Paul’ means ‘small’? If you think I’m fairly tall (6ft 4in) and have ever met my dad and youngest brother (both 6ft 6in)… how ironic that our surname ‘Pawley’ is rooted in the name ‘Paul’! (lit. ‘son of Pawl’, ‘son of the short [man]’).
I gather too that ‘Pawl’ is Welsh for ‘Paul’. It is thought that Jewish ‘Saul’ used his Roman citizen name ‘Paul’ in order to be received better by the Gentiles (non-Jews) in his mission to Asia Minor and Europe. Perhaps, being from over the border myself therefore, I too should go by the name ‘Pawl’?!
In Christ, Pawl.
(I think I prefer ‘Adam’)
Rev Adam Pawley