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Usk Ministry Area

LiFT 25th June

Good afternoon friends, 

I hope this email finds you well and happy?

It’s been a busy week including an exciting meeting in school preparing to launch a new resource to teach the children about the Christian faith. You may remember I wrote to you asking whether you might be interested in being part of a team to introduce Open The Book into the school, as a way of teaching bible stories that is creative and dynamic. A few people have been in touch, for which I am grateful, thank you, but a few more would be even better!!

I also met with a group of motivated and willing people about the possibility of starting some small groups in September. This is in the planning stage and is going to happen, offering three opportunities to explore our faith in a variety of ways. More about this will follow. 

I am immensely grateful for all that people do so willingly (I hope!!), giving of their time, money, and energy. Growing God’s kingdom and bringing our faith to those around us is the work of all of us. I and the other clergy can’t do it without you, so thank you. Thank you.

As more and more of our lives open up I am reminded that we should review our online presence and check in with people about its value and effectiveness. Since the opening of our buildings our worshipping numbers for the online Sunday service have dropped by about 80%. Whilst I will continue to upload a Sunday service, if you know any way we can make that better, or if you have tech skills and would like to help I would love to hear from you. 

Compline on Sundays and Just Five Minutes on Mondays and Thursdays will continue too, but I would also welcome your feedback if you think there is something that could be done to make them reach a wider audience. I am of course always on the look out for people who might like to lead Compline too. I will help with the tech 🙂

And that’s about it for this week. Below are the links to the various online bits and bobs, and finally please can I ask that you hold in prayer all those being ordained this weekend. It’s a huge leap of faith to commit to the life of an ordained person in God’s church. All those you know will, at this time, be celebrating an anniversary of their own ordinations however many years ago. Let us give thanks for all those who lead and serve.

With love,

Sally xx

Compline 8pm
https://us02web.zoom.us/j/89998911774?pwd=ekF1Uk4rYUsrQklkcGpFbHRXM25uUT09
Meeting ID: 899 9891 1774
Passcode: COMPLINE

YouTube Channel

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCS_MlCI7UW1xWiQm7ZxMr1A–
LogoRev’d Sally Ingle-Gillis
Usk Ministry Area Leader
Monmouth Diocese
mobile-icon  07813 264429
email-icon  

LiFT 18th June

Good afternoon to you, how have you been this week?

I have spent this afternoon trying to pull together my sermon for Sunday, it hasn’t proved to be very easy! Do you ever have occasions when things that you think are going to be easy turn out to be hard, and vice versa? I have learnt this the hard way during many many DIY tasks, and sermons for that matter. Very often the more obvious readings are the harder to make sense of, or to find something fresh upon which to reflect. And that is the case this week. 

I do wonder whether we are good at spotting when something is harder than we expect, but less good at recognising when something comes easily? This equates well to praying I think. When everything is hard, or desperate we know to pray. We find many ways of asking, perhaps even begging, for God’s guidance and support. But do we remember to pray prayers of thanks when something has gone well and we have good news? I have a love of words and language and so I like to find snappy ways of motivating or reminding myself of important concepts and considerations. On that basis I recommend to you the notion of adopting “an attitude of gratitude”! That is, remembering to thank God when all is well, something that it is easy to forget or neglect to do.

In other news I would like to draw your attention to a strategy initiated by the RSPB. Please have a look at what they are asking us to consider being part of, it’s not until September and will fit very well with our efforts to become more environmentally aware as we explore ecochurch status.

https://greatbiggreenweek.com/?utm_source=&utm_medium=email&utm_term=&utm_content=3&utm_campaign=

As usual here is  a quick round up of the online opportunities, that are in addition to our Sunday in person rota, and Thursday healing service in St. Mary’s, Usk, at 11am.

Sunday Compline 8pm

https://us02web.zoom.us/j/89998911774?pwd=ekF1Uk4rYUsrQklkcGpFbHRXM25uUT09

Meeting ID: 899 9891 1774

Passcode: COMPLINE

Sunday Service 6pm on YouTube

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCS_MlCI7UW1xWiQm7ZxMr1A

Wishing you a lovely weekend, and now I must get back to that sermon!

With love,

Sally xxx– 

LogoRev’d Sally Ingle-Gillis
Usk Ministry Area Leader
Monmouth Diocese
mobile-icon  07813 264429
email-icon  

LiFT 11th June

Dear friends,


I hope you have been enjoying the greater freedoms and the better weather. How are you?


I went on a time management course this week and I must be truthful – it was brilliant! It wasn’t so much about how to manage my time better, I’m pretty good at that, but it was about how to make better use of my energy, and how to play to my strengths and weaknesses with regard to when I do what and how much time I spend on different tasks. God asks us to always give of our best, for his glory, and it was a wonderful reminder to me that it’s ok to rest when we are tired, and if 7am is our sweet spot for being productive then we should make the most of it! I wonder. Are you making best use of your energy? Are you resting when you need to? Are you finding that sweet spot so that you can be the very best version of you, just as God delights in encouraging us to be? 


Thank you to those who have volunteered to lead Compline in the coming weeks, I shall be in touch with dates soon. If you would like to give it a try, there is plenty of help and support, why not offer to lead one and I’ll be on hand with whatever help you need.


You may be aware that on Thursdays there is a Eucharist with prayer for healing in the Priory Church of St. Mary, Usk. This service is open to anyone from across our ministry area and beyond. It is a quiet, reflective space to rest in the healing presence of God. We are changing the time of this service with immediate effect, so please feel free to join us on Thursdays at 11am. It’s a very special service and I commend it to you.


The various parts of the transition team for the new MA structure are beginning to make progress, thank you to everyone who is assisting with that. This week saw the first meeting of the Communication Team, which Dee Seabourne is part of. This team is responsible for keeping us all informed about the progress towards the new arrangements, so watch this space as they plan their first communication with each and every one of us.


Finally can I just remind you about the Just Five Minutes chats that I do on Mondays and Thursdays, and our Sunday service which goes out at 6pm, all of which can be found on YouTube at Usk Ministry Area. 

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCS_MlCI7UW1xWiQm7ZxMr1A/featured


Also don’t forget our Compline service on Sunday evening at 8pm. Here is the link.


https://us02web.zoom.us/j/89998911774?pwd=ekF1Uk4rYUsrQklkcGpFbHRXM25uUT09
Meeting ID: 899 9891 1774
Passcode: COMPLINE

Please keep in touch, you know where I am.
With love,  Sally xx

— 

LogoRev’d Sally Ingle-Gillis
Usk Ministry Area Leader
Monmouth Diocese
mobile-icon  07813 264429
email-icon  

LiFT 4th June

Good afternoon my friends,

Are you aware that this week is a week celebrating volunteers and all that they contribute to improve the lives of others. And that includes you! Almost every single person in our churches volunteers in some way, be that visibly by offering hours to food banks and other charities, or those less visible ways, such as keeping our buildings safe or keeping an eye on our neighbours. 

Whatever you do either within our churches or in the wider community, thank you! Churches are at the heart of huge numbers of voluntary activities that make our communities richer, safer, or more equitable, and it is by doing this that we offer the love of God in meaningful ways. As Christians we are called to be outward looking, using our energy to care for our neighbours. Thank you for all that you do to demonstrate Christian love to those who do and those who do not regularly worship with us.

So many of our opportunities to be at the centre of our communities have been curtailed over the last year or so, and it is wonderful to see social events and plans slowly begin to be discussed, dreamt about, and considered. Thank you.

I’d like to offer a little reminder about our Sunday evening Compline services. These are at 8pm on Zoom and are a wonderful way to finish the day. They are led by a variety of people, and if you would like to lead one please let me know. 

Finally, I am not available on Wednesday next week as I and several colleagues across the diocese attend a time management seminar. You can expect the new, ultra efficient me to be back on the job on Thursday!!

Keep in touch, you know where to find me if you would like to chat.

With my love and prayers,

Sally xx

Topic: Compline Sunday 8pm

https://us02web.zoom.us/j/89998911774?pwd=ekF1Uk4rYUsrQklkcGpFbHRXM25uUT09

Meeting ID: 899 9891 1774

Passcode: COMPLINE— 

LogoRev’d Sally Ingle-Gillis
Usk Ministry Area Leader
Monmouth Diocese
mobile-icon  07813 264429
email-icon  

LiFT 28th May

Good Afternoon lovely people,


I am back from three nights away in Aberystwyth where I did a lot of walking, eating, and listening to the wonderful sound of the sea against the shore. I even tried my hand at building cairns. I think cairns originate from ancient Scottosih tradition – they are a pile of rocks balanced on top of each other, and can mark a path or pilgrim route, or perhaps a burial ground. There is something prayerful and good for the soul in gently, carefully, and methodically balancing stones on each other, at the mercy of gravity, the wind, or the steadiness of one’s own hand. I commend it to you as an activity that reminds us of God’s mighty, yet gentle presence in our lives. Here’s is one that I built – 

image.png

This Sunday there is only one in person service on the rota, in Usk, at 10.30am. If you have not already let someone know, and you intend to come please could you contact Carol on  just to help with the planning.


We also have our Zoom Compline service on Sunday evening at 8pm

https://us02web.zoom.us/j/89998911774?pwd=ekF1Uk4rYUsrQklkcGpFbHRXM25uUT09
Meeting ID: 899 9891 1774
Passcode: COMPLINE


Forgive me if I’ve forgotten to mention anything this week, and do please keep in touch if you have any news, questions, or just fancy a chat.
With love,
Sally xx

LogoRev’d Sally Ingle-Gillis
Usk Ministry Area Leader
Monmouth Diocese
mobile-icon  07813 264429
email-icon  

LiFT 21st May

Good Afternoon My Friends,

How are you?

I must confess to being a little bit excited as I begin to think about what to take with me for our three days at the seaside! A good book and my swimming costume are already set aside, it will be like a mini retreat I hope. Please be patient if you email me. I will be back in circulation at the end of next week and will try to respond to anything urgent at the earliest opportunity.

And so on to more important news – tonight we will be having the first meeting of the newly formed Ministry Area Transition Team (MATT).This group of people will be driving all that is required for us to be ready to formally institute the new Ministry Area in the new year. 

The team is made up as follows – 

Governance

Cathryn Brooker

Ann Clarke

Mark Durbin

Kay Spencer

Kevin Hasler

Finance

David Lee

Lynne Eilertson

Robert Evans

Gerry Hawkins

Sally Ingle-Gillis

Communities

Scilla Greenland

Robert Aitken

Jan Millett

Sue Russell

John Collier

There is also a Communications Group which meets in a couple of weeks.

Dee Seabourne is our nominated person on that group.

I am extremely grateful to all those who are willing to work as part of these groups and I am confident that we have brilliant people with excellent skills ensuring that the new structure will be effective, generous, and will enable us to grow God’s church for many years to come. Please hold them all in your prayers. I expect you will be hearing from them in due course as they begin the work and seek information, advice, and support from us all. 

As we begin the serious work of change I am aware that anxieties might be stirring. Please do not hesitate to be in touch if you have any questions or concerns. What we are about to do will happen, without question, but if we can proceed kindly and gently, honouring God’s call to us to love each other, as he loves us, then I think we have an exciting and hopeful future. I really do.

With love to you, and many prayers for our future together,

Sally xxx

Don’t forget Compline on Sunday at 8pm – 

https://us02web.zoom.us/j/89998911774?pwd=ekF1Uk4rYUsrQklkcGpFbHRXM25uUT09

Meeting ID: 899 9891 1774

Passcode: COMPLINE— 

LogoRev’d Sally Ingle-Gillis
Usk Ministry Area Leader
Monmouth Diocese
mobile-icon  07813 264429
email-icon  

LiFT 14th May

Good afternoon friends,


Ascension Day marks Christ finally leaving the earth after his resurrection and going up to heaven to be with God the Father. It is forty days since we celebrated Easter and I can’t decide whether that is a long time or a short time.


I do know that afternoon tea via Zoom on Sundays hasn’t been as successful as coffee in the mornings was. I don’t mind, I suspect that people have other things to do and are perhaps having time with family or are even meeting with people in person. How wonderful that we can start to meet up again. I have had a few cups of coffee and one or two slices of cake in various coffee shops this week which has felt like such a treat. I propose that this Sunday is our last afternoon Zoom tea, but I am very happy to arrange another day and time during the week if people would still like to meet up.

Please let me know and I’ll see what suits most people. 

Equally, if you fancy meeting in small groups in person, in line with the regs., get yourselves together and invite me along. If I can come I will! I want to get to know you. I really do.


Just a little reminder about something that is continuing on Zoom – our Sunday evening Compline will be at 8pm. The link is below. There is a small team of people taking it in turns to lead these services and I invite you to give it a try if you’ve never been. I always sleep better afterwards, and highly recommend it. I’d really rather like to come in my pyjamas but perhaps that’s a step too far 🙂


Also don’t forget that if you can’t get to a building for worship on Sunday we have a service on YouTube at 6pm each SUnday. You can also find my Just Five Minutes reflections there.


On Sunday 23rd May St. Mary’s Usk will be having coffee after church in the churchyard. The risk assessment for this is being written, and if you are a member of one of our other church communities and would like to think about being sociable after the service in a safe way, let’s chat and see what we can do. I’ve missed coffee after church and with the current rota all our service leaders are able to loiter and don’t have to rush off to another service, which we find very lovely.


Finally can I just give you prior warning that I will be disappearing for three days soon – Will and I are escaping to Aberystwyth late on Sunday 23rd May and will be back late on Wednesday. Our intention is to sit in the bay window of our hotel, watching the sea, reading and eating, and I might even take a dip or two! Please don’t judge me.


Thank you all for all that you are doing, and for all your kind words and encouragement. You’re a fantastic bunch of people and I’m very glad to be part of your church communities.


With love,
Sally xx


Church Tea Sunday 16th May 4pm
https://us02web.zoom.us/j/81634886318?pwd=dEhITE5ZeElqNjU1NEMzQnVTeldvdz09
Meeting ID: 816 3488 6318
Passcode: CAKE

Compline Sunday 16th May 8pm
https://us02web.zoom.us/j/89998911774?pwd=ekF1Uk4rYUsrQklkcGpFbHRXM25uUT09
Meeting ID: 899 9891 1774
Passcode: COMPLINE
YouTube channel – https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCS_MlCI7UW1xWiQm7ZxMr1A

LogoRev’d Sally Ingle-Gillis
Usk Ministry Area Leader
Monmouth Diocese
mobile-icon  07813 264429
email-icon  

LiFT 7th May

Good Evening Friends,


Another packed week is nearly over, I’ve actually met people in person on several occasions this week and it has been wonderful. Chatting in person is something I have missed and I’m glad that with care we can start to get together again. 


There are a couple of things to tell you about this week – 


You will be receiving a copy of the Ministry Area Pew Sheet via email in the next few days. This will be sent by Dee Seabourne  who kindly collates and edits this publication. We have decided to increase its email circulation for a variety of reasons, but mainly because we would like it to become a central source for notices and information around all our churches. So please, if you would like to publicise something that is happening in church, have a request that others might be able to help with,  or would like to be added to the prayer list please let Dee know. It is our hope that the Pew Sheet will grow in its usefulness over the coming weeks and months.


By the end of next week all seven of our churches will be open again for worship. Thank you to everyone for their hard work ensuring our buildings are safe and adhering to the risk assessments. It has been a joy to see people worshipping in a variety of churches, seeking out services in neighbouring villages, and meeting up with old and new friends. It goes against the grain to “book in” to attend church. I hate the phrase, the last thing I want is for us to appear to be a club that requires membership. We want to be open for all. I know I’m not the only person who feels like this and I’m sorry that we cannot be more relaxed. We must comply with the Church in Wales regulations about all this but I wonder whether we might change our thinking and language around it?

How about this – 
“In order to plan for our Sunday services, and to help us prepare within Covid guidelines, it would be helpful if you could let churches know in advance if you are hoping to be at a service on Sunday. We look forward to seeing you.”        
Does that feel better? I realise it’s words, but they matter and I’m trying to keep our welcome and planning friendly and encouraging! let me know what you think 🙂


I’m sure it hasn’t escaped your notice that we are in Rogationtide. This is an ancient season specific to the countryside and historically marked with walks (beating the bounds), picnics, processions, and special services.Whilst we cannot do anything specific for Rogationtide this year, I hope that in the future we will be able to re-establish old traditions, I invite you to pray this prayer so that the season doesn’t go unmarked.


Creator God, who sustains all you have made by the power of your Spirit, help us to rejoice in your bounty, to rely on your providence and to ensure the fertility of the land, as we work together with you to produce food for the body and delight for the soul, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Finally, here is the list of links for our various online activities. Everyone is very welcome to any of these.
Zoom Church Tea Sunday 9th May 4pm
https://us02web.zoom.us/j/81634886318?pwd=dEhITE5ZeElqNjU1NEMzQnVTeldvdz09
Meeting ID: 816 3488 6318
Passcode: CAKE

Youtube channel for Sunday Worship 6pmhttps://www.youtube.com/channel/UCS_MlCI7UW1xWiQm7ZxMr1A

Zoom Compline Sunday 9th May 8pm
https://us02web.zoom.us/j/89998911774?pwd=ekF1Uk4rYUsrQklkcGpFbHRXM25uUT09
Meeting ID: 899 9891 1774
Passcode: COMPLINE
With love,
Sally xx

— 

LogoRev’d Sally Ingle-Gillis
Usk Ministry Area Leader
Monmouth Diocese
mobile-icon  07813 264429
email-icon  

LiFT 30th April

Good afternoon dear friends,

Another week has passed as we continue to be an active and visible Christian presence in our communities. My weeks seem to fill up with interesting conversations and opportunities and it is often, although it perhaps shouldn’t be, a constant surprise to me that there are themes and common elements cropping up. This week the themes have all been about trusting God and how our human nature can get in the way of us having faith and belief that God is with us, and loves us. I mention this because I think it does no harm for us to know that when we wobble or have questions that is really very normal and in fact, if we are brave enough to seek answers and to continue in our faith journeys despite the wobbles, that actually results in us becoming better Christians, and our faith will deepen. So take heart! You are not alone in your questions and your searching, We are all in this together!

What do I need to tell you about this week?

Four things – 

Christchurch Coed y Paen will soon be re-opening beginning with a service of Evening Prayer on May 16th, 6.30pm. Please contact the wardens if you would like to go.

The service in Usk on 23rd May is now at 10.30am, not 8am. Please contact the wardens if you will be attending.

We are going to trial a regular Compline slot, on Zoom. This will be on Sundays beginning 9th May 8pm, and will be every Sunday for a trial period. I will send out the link nearer the time. Whilst I am happy to lead these, I will not be able to run them all and in fact, we learnt through Holy Week that there is a lot of pleasure in having the service led by different people as each of us brings a different creatively to this simple, and beautiful service. It really is a lovely way to end the day. If you would be willing to lead occasionally, it would be lovely to get together a little team and a rota, so please drop me a line if you are interested.

Finally, we will be meeting for tea and cake on Sunday afternoon at 4pm, via Zoom. No obligation to come but it would be lovely to see you –

Church Tea

https://us02web.zoom.us/j/81634886318?pwd=dEhITE5ZeElqNjU1NEMzQnVTeldvdz09

Meeting ID: 816 3488 6318

Passcode: CAKE

Don’t forget I am always pleased to hear from you so don’t hesitate to be in touch if you fancy a chat or have any suggestions.

With love,

Sally xx– 

LogoRev’d Sally Ingle-Gillis
Usk Ministry Area Leader
Monmouth Diocese
mobile-icon  07813 264429
email-icon  

LiFT 23rd April

Good afternoon everyone,


What a glorious day we have had today! I was supposed to be in some online training this afternoon about the new procedures for registering marriages but my link didn’t work and there was no one on tech support so I went for a walk instead, via a take away cake and coffee place of course!  On the way, in my head, I completely rewrote my sermon for Sunday which is always a little unsettling but never ever regrettable, so it was time well spent.


In other news I have had a very encouraging response to my email about starting some small groups. Thank you to those who have emailed. It’s not too late to be in touch if you have an idea for something you would like to lead or help to lead, and it looks as though we will have a range to choose from. More will follow in a couple of weeks, as this begins to take shape. I’m quietly excited!


As our buildings reopen I’d like to thank everyone who has worked so hard to make them safe within the Covid guidance, and who continue to be vigilant and active in this. It’s quite a responsibility and I think you’re doing a great job, thank you. From Monday there is going to be some easing for us, which will allow outside activities. This is excellent news but I must ask that you are patient about any change that we plan for since risk assessments will need to be completed and we must not pressurise any of our lovely people to do more than they feel able. 


Finally, I am delighted to tell you that the healing and wholeness service that has been a regular feature in St. Mary’s Usk is coming back. It will be on Thursdays at noon, with the first one on Thursday 6th May. Good news indeed. This is a lovely, reflective and quiet service open to everyone across our churches and beyond. We have slightly adapted it for the time being but I highly recommend it to you. Please contact Graham or myself if you want to know more. (It would be helpful to know if you are intending to come please so that we can make sure that we comply with the social distancing rules.)


Finally finally (!) here’s the link for Sunday afternoon tea and chat, which this week has a quiz too, courtesy of Sarah Byford. Thank you Sarah, I look forward to seeing you there.


Church Tea
https://us02web.zoom.us/j/81634886318?pwd=dEhITE5ZeElqNjU1NEMzQnVTeldvdz09

Meeting ID: 816 3488 6318
Passcode: CAKE

With love to you all,
Sally xx

— 

LogoRev’d Sally Ingle-Gillis
Usk Ministry Area Leader
Monmouth Diocese
mobile-icon  07813 264429
email-icon