Newsletter for the 4th Sunday in Advent

Hi All

I hope everyone is keeping safe and well. Another week has gone by and Christmas is nearly upon us.
Again this week I’ve been waiting to listen to our First Minister’s announcements… it seems for the time being in Wales that things are stable with Covid but we know that the Omicron variant will inevitably reach us and so for the time being at least we carry on as best we can being as careful to keep everyone safe as we are able. The good news is our churches will be open, we will gather together to celebrate the 2nd most important feast in our church calendar. 

In the last 18 months I think we’ve become quite adept at changing regulations and the shifting sands of the pandemic and I’m confident that the measures we have in place will keep us as safe as it is possible to do allowing us to continue our worship. We will carry on wearing our masks and we seem to be for the most part naturally keeping a spare pew between us for social distancing… we will continue to sing, to celebrate the Eucharist and to encounter our God in word and sacrament as a gathered community. We will of course be keeping an eye on things and will let you know of any changes. If you have any concerns or worries then please don’t hesitate to contact me.

Some of our smaller churches have taken the sensible approach for larger services where we expect a crowd to move our worship outside. 
Efenechtyd held their carol service outside on Thursday, 
Llanychan’s carol service this sunday will be outside by lamplight
Andl the Christingle in Llanbedr on Christmas Eve will be outside by the fire pit (giving us another good excuse to toast marshmallows!).
And of course we’ve got the torchlight procession from Brynhyfryd to Llanrhydd on Wednesday night, gathering at Brynhyfryd at 5.30pm.
Do wrap up warm for these outdoor services and bring a camping chair with you.

Personally I’m looking forward to these outdoor services, gathering around lamps with the twinkling fairy lights in the trees. There’s something magical about being gathered outside on a cold crisp winters night, singing carols beneath the stars. The gathering in the darkness  brings our Christmas story to life, of a light that came into the darkness, not with great triumph, but quietly with fragility and vulnerability, but the darkness did not overcome it and that fragile flame grew in time to shatter the darkness.

If I could ask you especially in this time now to pray for our NHS and so many others who are giving so much to help us all with the immense national effort to get everyone boosted. I’m incredibly amazed that I will be driving to St Asaph at 10pm tonight to receive my booster jab! It reminds me of the fragility of all that we hold dear and how much we rely on God and on each other.

I look forward to seeing many of you in the coming days to sing carols of hope and joy in defiance of the dark.

Tad Huw
Mission Area Leader of Dyffryn Clwyd