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It is a pleasure to present some exciting news from the Commission of the Covenanted Churches in Wales in the run-up to Covenant Sunday 2012. We celebrate the continuing and deep commitment of the Presbyterian Church of Wales, the Church in Wales, the United Reformed Church, the Methodist Church and some Baptist congregations to the Covenant and to the Commission of the Covenanted Churches in Wales. This commitment involves the often difficult and challenging work of moving forward the Commission’s agenda launched this time last year.

This year the Commission has been working on that agenda and on developing creative and bold proposals in which to transform the ecumenical situation in Wales. Several panels have been meeting over the last 18 months and it is now time to bring to the Covenanted Churches the reports, findings and proposals of these panels. So the Commission is arranging The Gathering in Aberystwyth on October 13 this year.

Each church / denomination should by now have appointed lay and clerical delegates for this Gathering but it is emphasised that this Gathering is open to everyone. These delegates will be responsible for taking the reports, their findings and their proposals back to their churches / denominations, to facilitate widespread discussion. In time co-ordinated responses will be made by the churches / denominations to the Commission of the Covenanted Churches. Ideally, there shouldn’t be a parish, local church or pastorate in Wales that doesn’t know about this event.

The keynote speaker at The Gathering will be Revd Dr Olav Fykse Tveit, the General Secretary of the World Council of Churches and it is hoped that another prominent person with close links with Wales will also be attending.

The purpose of the day is threefold:

1) to raise awareness of the Commission and its work
2) to bring to the churches the reports and recommendations of the various panels
3) to arm the delegates with all the information which they need to take back to their local churches.

The day will close with a celebration of the Eucharist using a new Covenanted Eucharistic Liturgy.

The Commission has done all that it can to move the churches forward in the quest for unity and, following the Gathering in October and the release of the reports and proposals, that moving forward lies within the gift of the Holy Spirit exercised in obedience by the churches.

So here’s advance notice once more, encouraging you to keep Saturday 13 October 2012 clear in your diaries and come to the Arts Centre at Aberystwyth University to hear more about and to celebrate the work of the Commission and the Covenanted Churches. We ask for your prayers for the success of this event.

So please draw to the attention of your churches and congregations at every possible opportunity, and more especially on the occasion of Covenant Sunday this year, the work of the Commission and this important event. In this particularly exciting and important year for the Commission and the Covenanted Churches we ask for your continuing prayers - for the members and the work of the Commission and for the members and leadership of the Covenanted Churches.

The following are prayers which can be used specifically on Covenant Sunday:

Loving Father, you never cease calling us back to your loving purposes for our lives and for your Church. Inspire us by the power of your Spirit to continue in Covenant with one another and with you; to seek the unity which is your will and to proclaim your love in word and deed, through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns, now and forever.

Preface for Eucharist:
Always and everywhere we give you thanks through Jesus Christ our Lord. He calls us into a Covenant of love with Him and with our sisters and brothers; he gives us strength and encouragement for the journey and leads us into all truth.

There is no Free Church equivalent for the above, but if a formal service order is used then these words may be used. A free prayer could be offered if thought more appropriate which could be based on this wording.

If you would like more information about the work of the Commission of the Covenanted Churches please contact Rhian Linecar – 02920 464 371


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