LiFT 26th January

Good evening all,

A late one today, after a crazy week of long days doing the sort of stuff that I thrive on, so I’m feeling energised and encouraged, despite being tired!

Although it has been a busy week, I’m not sure I have much to update you on! Everything is settling back down and we are in that little lull before Lent starts. I’m not quite in the mood to begin asking you about Lenten disciplines, or plans for a season on penitence and reflection. Perhaps it’s because it’s still cold and wintery, or, and please don’t judge, it might be because the Christmas tree is still up in the hall!! I need to task someone to take it down perhaps? Hahaha

I’m really looking forward to seeing you on Sunday, it’s going to be a lovely service, and I’m really excited that Sarah Rosser will be deaconing for the service. I valued and enjoyed being a deacon myself and setting the altar for the priest is a very special thing to do. (Usk 10.30am)

Finally can I invite you to pray with me over the coming days – knowing that many of us are praying the following together is a comfort and a strength, and a wonderful reminder to us all that we are never alone, in faith, in prayer, or in any other aspect of our lives. This prayer seems to fit each and every one of you in some capacity. 

God of all,

Even though we don’t understand everything happening in our lives, 

the one thing we know confidently is your love for us. 

Look upon us, and all those we know and love. 

Help us feel the peace that only you provide. 

Help us remember that you are a  light in the darkness.

Bring us strength, give us hope, 

and help us to see your light and feel your warmth.

Amen

You know where I am, and please don’t hesitate to be on touch,

with love to you all,

Sally xxxx

— 

LogoRev’d Sally Ingle-Gillis
Vicar, Heart of Monmouthshire Ministry Area
Monmouth Diocese
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LiFT 19th January

Good afternoon friends,

What a week! Driving around the lanes I have alternated between being blinded by beautiful winter sunshine, and fearfully inching down hills covered in light snow and layers of ice. I’ve had toes that have felt frozen, and had conversations and opportunities that have warmed my heart and my spirits. Plenty of extremes! Add to that hospital visiting, some training, several meetings, pastoral visiting, and being in school, and you can see it’s been a very busy but good week.

One of the things I began to plan this week is a service for St. David’s Day. This will be on, of course, Wednesday 1st March, at 2pm, and will be in St. Mary’s in Usk. The service will be bilingual, with readings, prayers and singing in both Welsh and English, to celebrate all that is Welsh, and to remember St. David. Everyone is welcome and there is no requirement to speak Welsh, all the materials will be given in both languages. That said, if you are a Welsh speaker and would like to read or offer prayers then please do not hesitate to be in touch and I shall include you in the planning. Spread the word – it’s not often we worship using the Welsh language and this promises to be a very special service. Mae croeso mawr i bawb.

The other service to alert you to is the fifth Sunday service on 29th January. This will also be at St. Mary’s, Usk and is at 10.30am. I will be presiding, and Archdeacon Stella Bailey from the Valleys Archdeaconry will be preaching. I do hope many of you will come along to hear her and to be part of a full church with rousing singing.

Finally, can I thank you for all that you are doing. The transition to a bigger Ministry Area is still happening in terms of new structures and processes, and I am aware that some of this is going smoothly and some is requiring patience and hard work. Our relationships are strong and good and I know that God is at the heart of all that we are doing. So keep going, the days are gently getting longer, and there is progress and light ahead.

With love to you all, and a reminder that you know where to find me,

Sally xxxx
— 

LogoRev’d Sally Ingle-Gillis
Vicar, Heart of Monmouthshire Ministry Area
Monmouth Diocese
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LiFT 12th January

Good evening everyone, and a Happy New Year to you!

How far into the new year is it considered all right to wish someone a happy one? Haha

I had a lovely Christmas and a good rest afterwards, and hope that you are feeling well and well rested yourself. It’s been back at full speed this week with lots going on and a full diary and inbox. If you are waiting for an email reply please bear with me, I’m getting through them. Slowly! It is wonderful to be back – did you know I’ve been with you for two years now? Doesn’t time fly ? 🙂

I know it’s terribly British but I’d like to talk about the weather please – I’ve been watching and listening to the rain this week and am aware that the local rivers and waterways are at capacity or even breaching their banks. This is both worrying and potentially dangerous. Please be very careful this weekend going to church, don’t take any risks. In addition, I know that some of our church buildings are vulnerable to rising water, tree damage, and compromised access so please take  special care and I hope and pray that the next day or so doesn’t bring any damage or difficult situations for us. Likewise, I hope and pray that all your homes remain unaffected and safe. If you hear of anyone struggling or in difficulty please don’t hesitate to let me know.

Finally please can I put a date in your diary – the fifth Sunday in January (29th) will have only one service for the whole Ministry Area, it will be in Usk. I can promise you some hearty singing, a warm welcome, and Archdeacon Stella, the Archdeacon for the Valleys, will be preaching which is wonderful. I hope lots of you will be able to make it. 

And now it is time for a cuppa and to prepare the dinner! Keep in touch, I know there is a lot of illness and personal struggle amongst us. be assured of my continued prayers and desire to support.

With love,

Sally xxxx– 

LogoRev’d Sally Ingle-Gillis
Vicar, Heart of Monmouthshire Ministry Area
Monmouth Diocese
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LiFT Christmas 2022

Good evening my lovely friends,

We really are on the last stretch now – I’ve only got one Carol Service left, out of eight, and I have loved every single one of them – all with their own special parts, and all with a little mistake on my part!!

Just to update you about Libby – she is home and although still not at all well ,she is on good medication, and is trying to build her strength back up. She will have another round of investigations in the New Year before getting on the right long term treatment. She has asked me to convey her thanks for all your concern and prayers.

Just to let you know, it is traditional for clergy to take the weekdays between Christmas and New year as rest days. I won’t be doing that this year as I have the joy of a wedding on New Year’s Eve, and also it is helpful if someone is available for emergency things that arise. Instead I will be off from the afternoon of Sunday 1st, and back in church on Sunday 8th January. I will get back to emails and phone calls that come in that week, from Monday 9th Jan. I hope that’s clear.

In addition, there will be no LIFT until Thursday 12th January, and Just Five Minutes is taking a break until 9th January.

Which leaves me with two things to say – 

The first is a huge and sincere thank you to everyone who has contributed to the festive season in our churches and communities in any way. Welcoming so many extra people to our services is always a joy but is also hard work. I can assure you it is worth it – we are sowing seeds of curiosity or fanning embers of faith in everyone when we greet them with the love of God in our smiles. All the churches have looked stunning, you really are a wonderfully faithful and hardworking lot, thank you very very much.

Second, I would like to wish you a truly wonderful Christmas, how ever you are spending it, and I hope that the New Year will bring you peace and hope. Let us walk into the New year together, hopeful that God has a plan for us, keen to see what it is, and confident that he walks beside us as we do our best to live our lives in his love.

With much love to you all,

Sally xxxx

— 

LogoRev’d Sally Ingle-Gillis
Vicar, Heart of Monmouthshire Ministry Area
Monmouth Diocese
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LiFT 15th December

Good evening everyone,

My goodness it’s nippy! We had a little blip with the boiler this morning but the church is pretty good with its care of vicarages and someone had come out by lunch time and fixed it! I hope you are keeping warm.

We are just ten days away from Christmas and I am nowhere near ready, how about you? It’s a funny old season isn’t it? I watch some people thrive on self imposed stress, others who just breeze through, and then there are others who are going to experience a different Christmas for any number of reasons, and are therefore navigating new ways. We all seem to get there don’t we? I hope you are managing to find your own direction towards the celebration in a suitable and pleasing way? What is worth remembering is that however your Christmas turns out, as Christians we understand the reason for the festival, but it is only a day, and if we love it, hate it, find it stressful, or don’t want it to end, it is only 24 hours!  We will be a family of eight around the table this year – just us, and that will be quite enough. CHurch, a lovely meal, presents, and then the Boxing Day tradition of a jigsaw in my pyjamas!! 

However you are spending Christmas I hope you will find peace and joy, and that you will spend time with people who are important to you. We have plenty of church services for you to consider, something for everyone I hope, and I am sure I shall see some of you there. 

I continue to pray for all our churches, our communities, and for all of you. Please let me know if there are any specific prayer requests.

In return please will you keep Libby in your prayers, she remains unwell in hospital. She’s trying so hard to be positive but it’s pretty miserable for her.

Right, time for a cuppa and an early night I think!

Much love to you all,

Sally xxxxx

— 

LogoRev’d Sally Ingle-Gillis
Vicar, Heart of Monmouthshire Ministry Area
Monmouth Diocese
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LiFT 8th December

Good afternoon my friends,

Just a brief letter from me this week, as life is completely upside down! 

Please can I ask for your prayers as Libby returns to hospital tomorrow for further investigations. It has been a fraught day but I cannot fault the way The Grange Hospital has dealt with me as I have navigated a system that is struggling. Please pray for all those who are working in our healthcare settings – they are good people, working in tough roles, and giving their best. 

I will be on a reduced timetable for a couple of days while I look after Libby and see what we need to do next, but please don’t hesitate to be in touch if there’s anything I can help with – my phone works and I can pray!

Much love to you all, and thank you for your patience.

Sally xxx

— 

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

— 

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

— 

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