LiFT 1st December

Good evening my friends,

We are in December! Woohoo!! I’ve been feeling devoid of the expected excitement and happy anticipation that I usually have at this time of year, and I was wondering whether I had lost my mojo. But earlier in the week I had cause to reflect upon everything going on around us, all the amazing activities, the blossoming friendships, the care and reaching out that is happening in all our communities and I realised how extraordinary and fantastic everyone is. I seem to be surrounded by people with more good will and energy than I could have imagined possible. So many of you are taking a lead to organise part of our Advent and Christmas celebrations, and as a result, they will be richer, will have a wider reach, and will be more creative than I could have ever managed on my own. Thank you so much for all that you are doing. 

Because we are on the gentle sweep of activities towards Christmas there isn’t an awful lot to tell you.The rota is packed with lovely services and events and I commend every single one of them to you! Each community has its own little unique aspects to the way it celebrates, and I love how even the Carol Services can all be different! With that in my mind, there is another rota change to tell you about – 

Coed-y-Paen will not be having a service on Christmas morning now. The community there have decided to put all their energy into raising the roof on Christmas Eve at their Carol Service. if you were intending going there please come along to a service elsewhere on that morning – there are plenty to choose from!

Finally can I remind you of the wonderful words of the blessing we sometimes have at the end of our services – it is always worth praying if you are restless, can’t sleep, or are troubled in any way. Using scripture to ease our busy minds can be so helpful – 

“The Lord is Near! Do not be anxious about anything. Instead, in every situation with prayer and petition with thanksgiving, tell your requests to God. And the peace that surpasses all understanding will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 4:6)

You know where I am if I can help with anything.

Much love to you all,

Sally xxxx

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LogoRev’d Sally Ingle-Gillis
Vicar, Heart of Monmouthshire Ministry Area
Monmouth Diocese
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LiFT 24th November

Good evening lovely people,

Despite being in many layers, including a thermal vest, (is that too much information?!) I have given in and the heating is on! I have my limits! I trust you are all ok? There seem to be a lot of colds, some Covid, and other miseries around. I do pray for all who are struggling at the moment, including you , if you are.

What can I share? Well, the Christmas plans are starting to take shape – there is so much going on, and I’m really delighted that we are able to offer so many different types of service or event. Please do think about going to a church that isn’t where you normally worship if they are putting on something that interests you or is a little different. I find doing things differently in church sometimes refreshes my connections with God. In fact, I have tasked myself with finding a midweek worship opportunity, in the New Year, that I can go to, for a little bit of God time, away from being the one who leads the worship. I do miss sitting in the pews, lovely as it is to be able to live out my vocation.

On Sunday we will be in Advent. Whilst we are not doing anything specific locally, I would like to direct you towards Archdeacons Ian’s daily reflections. They have been very clearly thought through, the structure is very accessible, and my initial foray into them tells me they will be a rich resource for the upcoming season of waiting. You can find them here – 

https://mcusercontent.com/b3afd1b0d0adb8d4215f17201/files/b9600745-ec9c-10a8-0ac7-daca07a4b3c7/2022_Advent_Reflections.pdf

Finally, because I need to hear it myself, I’d just like to remind you all to pace yourselves over these busy weeks that are coming. Make space and time to rest, to be with God, and to pray. And don’t be afraid to say no, if you are asked to do one thing too many. it is allowed. The flip side of that is that if you need anything, or there is something that you’d like to do differently, please don’t hesitate to ask. We can always find a way.

Much love to you all, and don’t hesitate to be in touch if you have a prayer request or a practical need.

Sally xxx

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LogoRev’d Sally Ingle-Gillis
Vicar, Heart of Monmouthshire Ministry Area
Monmouth Diocese
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LiFT 17th November

Good evening my friends,

How are you all? I must tell you that I am feeling energised and excited about preaching next year, having spent the day with Jane Williams learning about the Gospel of St. Matthew.

You may or may not be aware that at the start of advent each year we begin a new year in terms of the lectionary – the cycle of readings that we use for our services. We use a three year cycle, and in a slightly patchy way we work through Matthew, Mark, and Luke , one per year, with bits of John slotted in at various moments across all three years. We are just coming to the end of a year with Luke and will, from Sunday 27th November, be preaching predominantly from Matthew for the year ahead. Jane spent the day with all those who preach giving us huge amounts of background and context about Matthew and his Gospel, as a grounding for us to then develop our preaching week by week. I think it is very telling that a dear friend and colleague of mine, who has been ordained longer than I have been alive, was at this event – we always have something to learn don’t we? So that was my day – I now feel as though I know Matthew a little better, and am inspired to draw some themes and challenges in my preaching for us all. That can’t be a bad thing!!

My second thing to say is that I need to apologise for the sporadic nature of the Just Five Minutes videos. In the last few weeks the Thursday chat has not been reliable and I am sorry about that. The truth is that I’ve been flaky in the way I’ve been planning my time and it has simply slipped off my radar. It has been humbling to receive messages from people who miss the little films, and whilst I can’t promise to not miss another film date, I will be trying harder to not run out of time, or not forget. Thank you for being so patient and understanding.

Finally, I just wanted to let you know that despite life being hectic and there being very little time to sit still, I have a strong sense that God is walking very closely with us at the moment. There is a gentle feeling of excitement, anticipation, and hope; a bubbling just below the surface of everything that we do. I can’t explain it, I can only share with you that I feel that we are in a time that we should find encouraging. I’m not talking about anything in particular, just an inkling, through my prayers and conversations, and reflective moments, that we are getting things right, and that God has great plans for us. Oh to have the clarity of Jeremiah, but I am minded of that wonderful line he speaks, about God having plans for us, plans for us to prosper. Please join me in praying with thanks and hope that we might see what we are offering and how it is part of the bigger picture. You’re all such wonderful people, and I’m very glad to be ministering longside you, thank you.

Much love to you all, you know where I am if you need anything.

Sally xxx

— 

LogoRev’d Sally Ingle-Gillis
Vicar, Heart of Monmouthshire Ministry Area
Monmouth Diocese
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LiFT 10th November

Good Evening my friends,

How are you this week? My heating is on, I have given in!

It’s a busy week, lots to do, and pray about, and plan. 

We are well into the season of remembering and this year Remembrance Day feels all the more important, with a new conflict in Europe, and Ukrainian people living amongst us and becoming our friends. Please do take a moment either tomorrow or on Sunday to ask for God’s healing in our broken world. Tomorrow I will be at the Service of Remembrance at County Hall in Usk. As a result I will be working all day tomorrow and will be off on Saturday instead.

Christmas is taking shape, and final plans are underway to try to make sure that we can offer all our communities a rich and worshipful time this Christmas. Elsewhere in the Ministry Area people are working on a leaflet which will contain the programme for all 20 churches, quite a feat, and I think when we have all the details confirmed it’s going to be evidence of just how busy and thriving our communities are in their worship and desire to reach our neighbours with the things that we do. Thank you to everyone who works so hard and is so willing.

As part of the Advent season, and in keeping with the Church in Wales Food and Fuel campaign this winter, Bishop Cherry. has asked us to consider The Gift for Christmas Initiative which is described by her below – A Gift for Christmas An initiative, supported by the bishops in Wales, is ‘A Gift for Christmas.’ We are inviting congregations to make up boxes full of toiletries only (shower gel, toothpaste, sanitary products etc). We do not wish to prescribe what exactly each box contains nor how large the box but are simply wishing to commend the idea. Our hope is that every congregation will participate and produce at least 10 boxes. This will be a formidable challenge for some and for others they may be able to produce many more. Our suggestion is that we make these gifts available from the 21st of November. Churches may wish to arrange the distribution of the boxes themselves. Alternatively, please let us know if there is a food bank or another source near you who might be able and willing to assist.

If you think this is something your church could be part of, and I hope it is, please feel free to get on with organising it the best way that works for you. Please send me photos of anything that you collect and we can collate our effort and let the bishop know. Thank you so much.

And that is probably enough for now. Time for my dinner – a little celebration take-away as my son has got a job! Woohoo! Should I start charging him rent?!

Much love to you all, and thank you for your dare,

Sally xxxx

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LogoRev’d Sally Ingle-Gillis
Vicar, Heart of Monmouthshire Ministry Area
Monmouth Diocese
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LiFT 3rd November

Good evening friends,

Please tell me if you see Noah anywhere! The rain of the last few days has been quite something! 

What do I need to update you about this week?

Well. You may have seen that the Church in Wales has launched a winter campaign called Food and Fuel. In response to this, the church folk in Usk Church will be collecting food in anticipation for Christmas, to support the work of local efforts to feed those who are struggling to feed themselves. We will be collecting contributions from across the whole area on Saturday 10th December, as a specific selection day rather than having boxes that need checking and emptying. I’ll give you more details about dropping off donations, nearer the time. The reason for letting you know is so that you can have a think about how you might be able to take part. As well as the usual food items it would be good to be able to also offer some of the special Christmas foods that so many of us just think of as normal for this time of year, but that might make all the difference to someone on a restricted budget.

If you would like to know more and see other ways to support this winter ong campaign please see here – https://www.churchinwales.org.uk/en/about-us/our-campaigns/food-fuel/

As an added note to the above, if you come across someone in our communities who is finding it especially tough at the moment, and you are worried about them, please don’t hesitate to let me know. In confidence, and in ways that are respectful and quiet, there are organisations and ways that can financially support our friends and neighbours who need a little extra this winter, and I would be very happy to pursue the help I have access to. Let’s not kid ourselves that we are all comfortable and that there is no real need in our villages and towns.

Services next Sunday – 

Please can I remind you that there is a change to the services in Llanbadoc and Llangybi over the next two weeks – 

Sunday 6th 3pm concert of sacred music St. Madoc’s Llanbadoc

Sunday 13th 10.30am Service of Remembrance St. Cybi’s Llangybi. 

There are no other services in these churches on these dates, and if you are looking at the pew sheet it may well be inaccurate. Please accept my apologies for this confusion.

Finally, online services – can I remind you of the link to Morning Prayer, which is every Monday at 9am – 

https://zoom.us/j/97632474924?pwd=T00wZEt3aVNESEgvdVd1U3hXYTZiQT09

Meeting ID: 976 3247 4924

Passcode: Heart

I haven’t restarted the Sunday evening Compline services and am in two minds about it. If you miss it and would like it to return please can you let me know and I will see what might be possible.

And that, I think, is that.

I might see you tomorrow at `evensong in Llandegfedd at 4.30pm, otherwise I will see you on Sunday or sometime very soon I hope. Be assured of my continued prayers for you.

With love,

Sally xxx

— 

LogoRev’d Sally Ingle-Gillis
Vicar, Heart of Monmouthshire Ministry Area
Monmouth Diocese
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LiFT 27th October

Good evening lovely people,

How are you? I cannot tell you how excited I am by the prospect of an extra hour in bed this Sunday, which is to say, don’t forget to put your clocks back on Saturday night, so that you don’t get to Raglan church too early for the group service there at 10.30am on Sunday. Archdeacon Ian will be preaching and I am very much looking forward to seeing you there if you are able to make it.

What news do I have for you this week? 

Well I must thank you all for your prayers and kind wishes for Libby. She is slowly getting stronger but is still not well. She hopes to return to work in about ten days time, and will continue to undergo tests and investigations in pursuit of a diagnosis. Please do continue to keep her in your prayers please.

Llanbadoc Services – During November the activities going on in St. Madoc’s Church Llanbadoc are as follows – 

Sunday 6th November 3pm Concert of early sacred music by Byrdsong. This is instead of the morning service and promises to be very special.

Sunday 27th November 10.30am Morning Prayer

Please note these are the only services in the church this month, all other rotas or amendments are now out of date.

On Tuesday 1st November at 6.30pm, on the eve of All Souls, we will be holding a service to remember all those who have died. Everyone is very welcome to attend this. If you would like to have the name of your loved one read out, and a candle lit for them please let me or Dee Seabourne know.

The other service to draw your attention to is the Choral evensong happening at St. Tegfedd’s, Llandegfedd on Friday 4th November at 4.30pm. I am told there will be a very impressive organist playing at this lovely service!

FInally, can I encourage you to have a look at the Diocesan website at some of the new and exciting work that has been happening about a vision and resources to promote the diverse work of the church which we can think about using in part or whole, for our churches locally, or together. There has been heaps of work done on this and some of you have been involved in getting this together. Now it is up to us to see what excites us, and how we might use it. There will be some conversations to have in our local teams and I am always happy to chat about new ideas, about change, growth, anything, and everything! Have a little look and see what you might like to explore, I look forward to hearing from you!

https://monmouth.churchinwales.org.uk/en/clergy-and-members/launch-of-diocesan-vision/

Much love to you all, and you know where I am,

Sally xxxx

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LogoRev’d Sally Ingle-Gillis
Vicar, Heart of Monmouthshire Ministry Area
Monmouth Diocese
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LiFT 13th October

Good evening lovely people,

It’s a strange evening – I’m sat in the hospital while my daughter has tests and waits for surgery!

I was due to go on retreat on Monday which has been pushed back to Tuesday so that I can attend my grandma’s funeral in Kent on Monday. I will still go to the funeral but I may not go on the retreat. We will decide that when we know what is going on with Libby. I would be very grateful if you could hold this whole situation in prayer and I hope you will understand if I don’t reply to your emails for the next day or so. If I do go on retreat then I will be back in action next Saturday (22nd). I doubt I will be efficient with any admin until after that date whatever happens. I really am very sorry. 

If you have any pastoral needs over the next week please don’t hesitate to contact Rev Sarah or Rev Kevin. 

In other news it has been wonderful to celebrate harvest over the last week or so. Our churches looked resplendent and you should be very proud of all the hard work and energy that went into this topical and special celebration. Thank you everyone. 

Please excuse the brevity of this email. I’ll be in touch when I’m back in action. Don’t worry, Llangybi, I’ll be with you on Sunday come what may 🙂 

Much love to you all, you are in my prayers, of course. 

Sally xxx

LiFT 6th October

Good Evening all,

The week has been tremendously busy and I am learning lots. It’s exhausting though, being in training!

I am aware that lots of you are working very hard in our churches, preparing for harvests, or funerals, supporting friends who are struggling, concerts, and all the other lovely things that are going on. Thank you so much. You really do step up, working hard and loving well!

I’m not sure I have much to share with you today, there’s a lot going on but it has all been shared and is happening as we expect, and I don’t like repeating myself! That said, I would like to give an extra plug for two things – 

  •  the Taize service on Sunday at 7pm in St. Mary’s Usk. It is an informal, gentle service, open to everyone who is seeking a quiet, enriching end to their day. If you like music, singing, and space and quiet, it is the service for you. Please do give it a try.
  • – also, St. Madoc’s Llanbadoc service on Sunday at 5pm is choral evensong, with Birdsong choir. It will be celebrating harvest and promises to be a musical feast! Definitely worth considering.

I would also like to seek your opinion about this –

we have been making contributions to the Ravens House Foodbank over the last few months, horrified by the reduction in donations. I was chatting with Gloria Dolan at the Catholic Church in Usk recently who said that the food bank she used to run for all our local villages has closed because donations completely dried up. However the need hasn’t.

Gloria is very willing to set this back up, for the benefit of all our communities. However, she needs to know that there will be food donated (the usual dried goods and easy foods).

Please could I have some feedback from you, as to whether you might be willing to make donations more locally? There’s no right or wrong answer, I just don’t want to encourage Gloria to restart the local provision if we cannot make a meaningful contribution to it!

All your comments will be kept confidential.

And that, I think, is that!

I hope your week ends well. I would be very pleased to know that you might include in your prayers, all those who are struggling personally. Names are not as important as the general intent. God knows who we are offering to him.

Much love to you all,

Sally xxx– 

LogoRev’d Sally Ingle-Gillis
Vicar, Heart of Monmouthshire Ministry Area
Monmouth Diocese
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