Advent 1 November 29th 2020

Beloved in Christ

Tomorrow, Sunday, we turn over the page into the new Christian calendar, so we should be wishing each other well, and celebrating! 

Our theme for the next week, and candle to be lit on Sunday is for ‘HOPE’ and my hope for you is that this Christian year might be a bright and glowing one, light within you that reaches out to others in new ways, and light which leads you to wonders and miracles.  All is possible, so let us make our petitions to God in that faith, and share the miracles that God brings to us as believers.

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The readings are inspiring.  They give me a strong sense of awakening: from the longing and promise of the Messiah, the despair which prophets voice at our apathy and wrongs ways of thinking and living, we move to the gospel. “stay awake!’ be alert, be vigilant!  This means that

*    we should have finished our business, are up-to-date with our worldly affairs

*    empowering in our dealings with one another,

*    our thoughts are purified by prayerful reflection, that we are close to Christ in all our dealings and outcomes.

*    As much as that, as a group, we should be ‘in this world, but not of this woerld’: spiritually fed, nurtured, and even armoured.  There is just so much in the world, in gossip, speculations, others’ views and opintions, which is against Christ’s teachings of courageous hopefulness.

I hope that we can explore more of the ways of our Lord, and be conscious of him entering our thoughts words and deeds.

Once again I’m attaching the Christmas programme for you to keep

Our Zoom meeting on Wednesday was most inspiring and enlightening: Iain Flett read and discussed letters which Mary Slessor had written, revealing her astounding and brave ministry, and living out of the Gospel in Nigeria. This week, we will have an in-group discussion, then the following week, Dr Amos Chewachong will join us.

Readings for the day are:

Isaiah 64: 1-9

Psalm 80: 7, 16-18

1 Corinthians1: 3-9

Mark 13: 24 – 37

Collect

Stir up your power, Lord, and come;

That, with you as our protector,

We may be rescued from our sins; and with you as our deliverer,

We may be set free;

For you live and reign with God the Father,

In the unity of the Holy Spirit

One God, world without end

Amen

The season of Advent is one of contradictions.  We begin a new church year, as our calendars are on their last page.  We talk of waiting for Jesus, even as God is ever-present.  It is a season of penitence while many find joy in the season’s traditions and celebrations.  We will be considering these issues at church, and perhaps we could all take these questions into our prayers this week: what contrasts do you find, and what do you make of them? Look at your own life through the readings of the day.

More than anything let’s picture ourselves being moulded by the hand of our creator, moulded anew, moulded and shaped into new vessels.  Your prayers co-create your next step, and future, with Christ.

As Paul says again to the Corinthians: Grace and peace be to you, through our Lord, Jesus Christ.

In the name of Christ, Amen!

Kathy Barrable

07552 503 859

Christ the King November 22 2020

Dear friends

We have reached the end of the Christian year.  Next week, we start a new ‘book’, a new phase, a new mood, as we prepare for Jesus to be birthed into this world and our hearts, anew in 2020.

We can look forward to some changes, and a freshness, lights, cosiness at home and a refuge within our sacred space, to see how far we have come.  We will be able to look back on this time with its embedded challenge, loss and loneliness.  Each of us have changed, perhaps even in our approach to the gospel.  I hope you will join me in attending to our spiritual welfare as we journey together.

It is the Feast of Christ the King on Sunday: and a nudge for us to understand that the kingship Jesus holds us in non-material values and investments.  In the Gospel reading, he recognises us in our actions towards his people who are in need, in our response to meeting their needs with alacrity, immediacy and love. Thus, in each of us, Christ is resident, waiting to serve and be served, to care for and be cared for and so on. To be the hand of Christ in this world, is to accept our sacred duty, as servant to the needs of others. Jesus did it all the time and will reveal to us where our ministry lies, in the spontaneous minute, or as a longer-term calling. As a body of his people, let us sharpen that awareness of serving others.

Readings for the day are as follows

Ezekiel 34: 11 – 16

Psalm 100

Ephesians 1: 15 – 23

Matthew 25: 31 – 46

Collect

Almighty and everlasting God,

Whose will it is to restore all things

In the kingdom of your well-beloved Son;

Mercifully grant

That peoples of the earth,

now divided and enslaved by son,

may be freed ad brought together

under his most gracious rule;

through the same Jesus Christ, our Lord,

who lives and reigns with you,

in the unity of the Holy Spirit,

one God, world without end.

We are adventuring as a Christian group!  Wednesday’s Zoom meeting was very insightful as Revd Gerry Dillon focussed on some of the lesser known Holocaust ‘martyrs’.  They were in keeping with the many unsung, oft unrecorded heroes of that grim space, as they stood together, held each other, and died together.  There were many who stood up to be counted, heroically depending and caring for their fellow internees. Grizzly proof there is of a nation driven by power and dominance. Perhaps there are areas of our lives which we should study, to see how we could detect and prevent wrongdoing against fellow human beings, in small or great ways.

What I do know is that the church must voice its opinions as much as actively seek to discern a course of action against any infringement of human dignity.

This Wednesday at 8pm, on Zoom, we take a look at Mary Slessor, Dundonian missionary to Nigeria, whose fearlessness, God-driven incentive to selfless care for whomsoever she ministered, is quite startling. Join us to listen to Iain Flett, who has long held a passion for the past heroes in the area, Mary Slessor being pre-eminent in his opinion! Send your name to me if it your first time to join us, and any friends you might invite.

Next week we start Advent 1, with a candle lit to look at the theme LOVE to open little windows of love for ourselves and others

Advent 2 will be shared with the Bishop, the theme being HOPE, in both St Margaret’s and St Mary’s.

I attach a flyer to publicise our new venture, on Tuesday evening Zoom meetings on the 12 January.  ‘Join the Conversation’ may be extended to anyone, anywhere.  Please forward the flyer and let me know if you will join us please!

May you feel the presence of God in your moments of gladness and sadness

Kathy Barrable

07552 805 359 

St Margaret of Scotland November 15th 2020

Beloved in Christ

A quick reminder: there is NO SERVICE AT ST MARY’S ON SUNDAY.  Do join us at 9.30 IN TAYPORT, TO CELEBRATE THE LIFE AND EXAMPLE OF ST MARGARET OF SCOTLAND

We have a model life to inspire us – that of St Margaret of Scotland. I guess each of us have a favourite story about her, indeed one which often uplifts or comforts us.  Mine is when she broke into the King’s treasury to get money for the poor – not to ‘give’ it, but rather to make the food, and hand it to them.  Hers was the action of gift, in the tradition in which she was familiar and to which she was accustomed. There is a vivid mind picture of the act of reaching out to nourish the needy – her touch meeting the receiver’s touch.  It is in touching that we were brought into the world, sharing ourselves with others, and in so doing, we become the life-givers to others. When we are in need, hungry, I would like to feel the touch of another to nourish me according to my need. Consider Jesus’ comfort in Matthew 25: 35 demonstrating his loving attentiveness to our needs, and in demonstrating how we should care for others. He touched so many people, with his hands healing or comforting, in breaking and sharing bread, to those who followed, and to you and me, at every Eucharist, every Sunday.

Lockdown has minimised touch, hasn’t it?  We feel it keenly. Please be assured that we pray for YOU, and that our voice touches you as yours touches me. We all stay cheery, keep in touch, venture out to exercise and possibly attend church, celebrate that there will be a vaccine soon, but commiserate that right now we are in Phase 3 of lockdown. We know that God guides, cares, comforts, inspires us – and that the future will allow us to return to being together. 

Know too, I and others in our churches are there to accompany you, so do not hesitate to call me please.

You will love the readings for the Festival of St Margaret:

READINGS

Proverbs 31: 10 – 25

Psalm 112

2 Timothy 1: 1 – 7

Luke 11: 33 – 36

I also include the words of the Hymn written for St Margaret by Bishop …, and u can sing it loud enough for al to hear, to the tune of ……..

COLLECT

Almighty God who called your servant Margaret to an earthly throne

That she might advance your heavenly kingdom,

And endued her with zeal for your Church

And charity towards your people;

Mercifully grant that we, who commemorate her example,

May be faithful in good world

And attain the company of your saints;

Through Jesus Christ our Lord

Who lives with you

In the unity of the Holy Spirit,

One God, world without end

Here is a translation of the psalm from Eugene Petersen’s ‘The Message’:

‘1. Halleluiah! Blessed man, blessed woman, who fear God, who cherish and relish God’s commandments

2. Their children robust on the earth, and the homes of the upright – how blessed!

3. Their houses brim with wealth and a generosity that never runs dry.

4. Sunrise breaks through the darkness for good people of God’s grace and mercy and justice!

5. The good person is generous and lends lavishly;

6. No shuffling or stumbling around for this one, But a sterling and solid reputation.

7. Unphased by rumour and gossip, heart ready, and trusting in God,

7. Spirit form, unperturbed, Ever blessed, relaxed among enemies,

9. They lavish gifts on the poor – A generosity that goes on, and on, and on.  An honoured life! A beautiful life!

10. Someone wicked takes one look and rages, Blusters away but ends up speechless. There’s nothing to the dreams of the wicked, nothing!’

Zoom this next week, 18 November, starts at 7.30, The church’s response to the Holocaust’ led by Revd Gerry Dillon, Glenrothes. If you will be attending, please email me your name, and I will send you the link. You are welcome to invite anyone you like, as long as I can book their place

Under separate cover, I will attach some lovely photos of Remembrance Sunday for you to enjoy.

God bless and may you feel the touch of the palm of God’s hand that holds you.

Kathy Barrable

07552 503 859

Remembrance Sunday 8 November 2020

Beloved in Christ

I trust you are all well and that the restrictions are not curbing your life too much – I am so impressed by our wonderful adaptability in these times, and that we manage to meet together at church and at Manna or the Larick Centre.  For those of you shielding at home, I hope to speak to you soon: hopefully this newsletter will keep us bound as a body.

We have been busily planning the Christmas season, and I include it as an attachment

This Sunday is Remembrance Sunday.  For the first time, we will not be gathering as Tayport and Newport community to lay wreaths and pray together, ecumenically.  However, if you do walk by the memorials, you will see ours there by noon on Sunday.  Thank you Alan for laying the Tayport one, and Betty and I will lay the one in Newport.  We will gather all into prayers during the services. Margaret Gray will preach the sermon.

READINGS FOR THE DAY ARE:

Joshua 24: 1-3a, 14 – 25

Psalm 78: 1-7

1 Thessalonians 4: 13 – 18

Matthew 25: 1, and 13 – 18

Next Sunday, the 15th, is the Feast of St Margaret of Scotland.  There will be one service only, in Tayport, at 9.30am. We do hope you can join together there.  Please let us know numbers so we can arrange seating appropriately.

We are inviting you to some Zoom video sessions on Wednesday evenings:

The link is 
https://us04web.zoom.us/j/5882177697?pwd=LzJSOG5wZlVrN3YxWjJqR0NlT3d0UT09

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All you do is click on the link – if in any doubt please try it out and ask Mike Betty Frank or me!

*    This week,Wednesday 11th, Revd Dr Amos Chewachong, pastor at the Church of Scotland in Newport will give us his views on world churches today: it is his field of interest and his doctorate at Edinburgh University is on this theme.

*    At 7.30, on the 18 November, Revd Gerry Dillon will speak on ‘The Churches Response to the Holocaust’. The Diocese has invited us to attend on a different Zoom link: his talk will begin at 7.30. It will take about 45 minutes and there will be an opportunity for questions at the end. I will send the link next week.

*    I have also been in conversation with Iain Flett, whose passion is Mary Slessor – he has agreed to talk to us about her on Zoom on the 25th November.

These topics will be of interest to others so we can send them links to join us – as far afield as overseas perhaps? Please think about this!

Three of us have attended a course called, ‘Our Digital church’, and it is inspiring to learn how much one can do, using social media and websites to promote church to notify, share items and news of topical interest.  Perhaps lockdown has made all of us more techno – aware, and to use tools like Zoom keep us in vital contact, keep us together as a group with Christ-interest, and allow us to share information and see each other.  Could you critically look at our websites and consider what further information in what lay-out would add to its attractiveness?

God bless in all you do

Kathy Barrable

07552 503 859