Pray for the children

Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God” (Philippians 4:6)

Two much loved institutions in our little community, Victoria Village School and Brynteg Nursery are set to close in twelve months’ time.

The church at Noddfa have been publicly against the decision and it has been our prayer that the schools would remain open as both are performing well and were in high demand.

I have seen it as a privilege to be able to serve the schools with regular visits, Bible missions and talks over the last two years. As a church we remain committed to this ministry until they both close.

Thank you

As a father and someone passionate about this community I want to thank all those involved in both schools for their professionalism and honesty throughout the process.

Miss Dando, Mrs Ryan and their respected Governors have shown excellent leadership and my children’s education has continued to improve despite all the pressures imposed.

I want to thank; the parent committees who have worked so hard to challenge the decision, our MP, AM and the Councillors that have made our voices heard in the county chambers.

I want to thank all those that have taken time to attend various protests, media interviews and public meetings. I also want to thank everyone for their prayers, the 770 letter writers and the thousands of people who signed petitions.

Save our School

I am thankful to God for; allowing my children to be a part of the school’s history, to have had the opportunity to attend a village school that is at the heart of our community, where the head teacher lovingly knows every pupil personally and takes the greatest interest in their lives, a school that they could walk to with friends and feel as safe and loved as they do at home.

Let us now celebrate these wonderful institutions whilst we still have them in our community and help our teachers, school workers and children have the best year of their lives, so that the memory of Victoria Village Primary School and Brynteg Nursery can continue for generations to come.

What to do next

I will be committing substantial time to pray for all those affected by the closure (including my family).

Below are some thoughts that I have listed if you would like to join me.

Please Pray for;

The children at Victoria and Brynteg as they come to terms with losing their school. Pray that they will not be anxious by the pending move and that friendships will not suffer as they begin to part ways.

The children at Garnteg and Cwmffrwdoer primary schools as they have to deal with significant change. Pray that their education will not be interrupted by the building work to expand the schools and that they will make new friends as
the children integrate.

Pray for the teachers and school workers at Victoria and Brynteg. Pray that their future will be made clear as soon as possible and that many opportunities will be made available for them.

Pray for the teachers and school workers at Garnteg and Cwmffrwdoer primary schools as they lead their pupils through the change, managing the expansion with all the pressures that this will inevitably bring.

Please pray for the families who will be significantly affected by the closure of the schools, pray that their employers will give them flexibility to adjust to the alternative school runs and changes to their childcare provision. May there be as little disruption as possible.

Pray for the Councillors and the education authority (1 Timothy 2:2) as they work through this process. Pray that the changes will deliver the results as promised for the good of the wider community and our children’s future.

Pray for us as a church as we seek to serve our community and witness the Love of Christ amidst such uncertainty.

To all those saddened and anxious please know that we have a God that will never leave us nor forsake us (Deuteronomy 31:6), in such weakness we are strong (2 Corinthians 12:9-11) and that all things work together for good for those who
love God (Romans 8:28).

As a church we are of course here to help you.

school

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The grey vote and BREXIT

You shall stand up before the grey head and honour the face of an old man, and you shall fear your God: I am the Lord.” Leviticus 19:32

As I stated in my last blog about BREXIT (Dealing with Change), it is best to keep politics out of the pulpit, I do not want to alienate anyone from the Gospel because of my opinion, especially when such concerns have little significance in the light of eternity.

The reason for this blog post is that I have been greatly concerned since the EU Referendum by the reaction of both sides of the debate.

I am of course horrified that some people have seen a victory for ‘leave’ as a mandate for racism, desecrating graves, religious buildings and monuments. A report that came out this week claims a 400% rise in hate crime in the UK since the BREXIT. This is disgusting behaviour and I do not need to go into details as to why this is shamefully wrong, (read Deuteronomy 10:18).

However, what has stirred me to write today is the unexpected reaction of some within the “remain” camp, who have been as discriminatory against the “grey vote”.

Society’s elders have been publicly blamed for the outcome in hysteric rants across social media.  The common line of attack has been “they should not get a vote, it is not their future”. This is an incredibly sad position to take and one that further illustrates our cultures continued departure from Christian teaching.

Before I continue as to why, let us look at the statistics: 75% of the 18-24 year olds voted “remain”, but only 36% of them filled in the card. This means 73% of the youngest possible voters did not proactively support this view. It is clear that the ‘blame’ should not be delegated solely onto the “grey vote”.

It is also worth reminding ourselves that the grey voters were the last generation to fight for our democracy and the only ones with the experience of life outside the EU, so arguably they were more informed than anyone else amidst the heated rhetoric.

We must also remember that they were young once and had to live with the consequences of the 67% that voted “in” at the 1975 referendum.

(This is not to say that I agree or disagree with their decision, my point is simply their opinion should be respected as much as any other).

The suggestion that the elderly have no place or opinion in our society because “it is not their future” undermines the democratic process and is a dangerous precedent (especially in an ageing society). Where would such an opinion stop? Should those with a terminal illness not get a say? Or those in high risk professions? What about people who live next to busy roads?

To say that someone’s frailty denies them an opinion undermines the strength of democracy that allows the weakest in society an equal voice to those in establishment.

“It is not their future”

Needless to say I would not be happy living in a society that is so willing to discard a lifetime of experience and expertise (Job 12:12).  Alas this Logan’s Run nightmare is exactly what is happening in our society as we continue to move away from God.

Rather than face the inevitable (Romans 6:23) people continue to fight against the ageing process spending outrageous amounts each year on treatments and cosmetics (Ecc 1:2). The divide between young an old continues to grow.Youth is prized and thus little respect is given to the elderly, a huge shame as they all have so much to offer society.

Refusing the experienced voice is unbiblical and will allow problems that were once dealt with in previous generations to repeat themselves.

This is where the church comes in

As society continues to put a wedge between the young and the old, the church at Noddfa meet as a family of all ages, from 6 months to 93yrs, each member valued, respected and loved as part of the body of Christ.
1 Corinthians 12
For just as the body is one and has many members, and all the members of the body, though many, are one body, so it is with Christ………For the body does not consist of one member but of many………..The eye cannot say to the hand, “I have no need of you,” nor again the head to the feet, “I have no need of you.” On the contrary, the parts of the body that seem to be weaker are indispensable, and on those parts of the body that we think less honourable we bestow the greater honour, and our unpresentable parts are treated with greater modesty, which our more presentable parts do not require. But God has so composed the body, giving greater honour to the part that lacked it, that there may be no division in the body, but that the members may have the same care for one another. If one member suffers, all suffer together; if one member is honoured, all rejoice together.

Respect-elders

 

 

30 days wild – a review

World-in-his-hands

For the last 30 days we have committed to make room in our lives for nature in support of the Wildlife trusts “30 days wild” initiative.

We signed up back in May and received a welcome pack that gave us lots of ideas for “random acts of wildness” and a calendar to update.

It was a great catalyst to get me out of the study and the kids off their PlayStation and outside to enjoy the long summer evenings.

We are fortunate enough to live in the welsh valleys where we have a mix of densely populated ex-mining villages and beautiful countryside. This allowed for a diverse mix of urban and rural wildlife appreciation.

You will see from my posts that each act of wildness was accompanied with a scripture reading that allowed the family to focus on God’s provision for us.

“For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities–his eternal power and divine nature–have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that people are without excuse.”Romans 1:20

I want to thank everyone at the Wildlife trust for all their hard (work especially the social media team for the retweets) and everyone who has followed the blog. We hope you have enjoyed it.

Our 30 days wild

Day 1 – A leafy tea

Day 2 Watch a Wild Webcam

Day 3 Taste wild Elderflower

Day 4 Make a Den

Day 5 Make a bird food buffet

Day 6 Cup of Tea in the Garden

Day 7 – A dance in the Garden

Day 8 we made a vegetable patch

Day 9 smelling flowers

Day 10 a trip to Hastings, weaponry and a nest!

Day 11 a wedding on the beach

Day 12 a holy stone

Day 13 tending the vegetable patch

Day 14 Drawing a Red Kit

Day 15 urban wildlife spotting

Day 16 a welly walk with a ferret

Day 17 bug hunt

Day 18 A walk and a watch

Day 19 climbing a tree

Day 20 Eco sign!

Day 21 footprint tracker

Day 22 reading in the wild

Day 23 bug drawing and invisible prints

Day 24 evening song

Day 25 watching the clouds

Day 26 walking with giants

Day 27 make a butterfly feeder

Day 28 wellie wanging

Day 29 drawing and labelling our garden

Day 30 toasting marshmallows