Beloved in Christ
It is with great joy that I inform you that our churches will be open on Sunday 19th!
The services will be at the time we discussed so long ago before lockdown: St Margaret’s at 9.30 and St Mary’s at 11.
The most important assurance we offer is that coming to church is our own decision and that there is no pressure to invite you to attend until you are ready. If there is any reservation about public worship, please delay your attendance, until you feel either more comfortable, or well enough to be with us.
We will need to be very observant of the rules for us all to remain safe and healthy, as we benefit from togetherness.
Should you have any queries please feel free to phone or email me, Christine or Betty. You know I have visited you at home, so if you would prefer a visit I will do that with pleasure and as often as you like!
Here are some points for your consideration. They are in line with what the Bishop has approved for our proceedings.
1. Bring your mask, hand sanitiser and whatever you like. We will have spares in the church.
2. The greeter/ sidesperson/volunteer, at the door will guide you as to seating and other arrangements: just gesture during the service if you have a query or are unsure of what to do. You may use church order of service, hymn book, and bible readings until the end of August. After the service, you may take books and readings home, and bring them to church the following week. They are on loan until phase 4 at least!
3. Face coverings are only for entering and leaving the church, when physical distancing is difficult. Once people are sitting down, they can be removed (if wished).
4. Do remember to bring your own bible if you would like to follow the readings in church.
5. Communion will be the host only. You will be asked to file up to the Priest, to receive. At all times we will keep social distancing.
6. I will be the only person to use the vestry, and the altar, including ablutions.
7. No coffee and chat afterwards, at present. Likewise, during the Peace, we will not move around and greet one another
8. Readings will be read from the front of the church, not from the lectern.
9. Hymns will be played, but no singing. It will be good to have your hymnbook open so you can follow the words
10. Collection can be placed in the plate, and it will be administered after the service.
11. If absolutely necessary, toilets can be used, and sanitised scrupulously by the user/s
12. The church will be locked during the week, the only person allowed entry will be the priest, vestry secretary, flower arranger, and cleaner.
To put you in the picture of the process involved, the bishop and advisory committee has once again offered us guidelines and we with the vestries have submitted our proposal to him for approval. It serves to bind us to what we are going to do, and it complies with standards and legalities of our church and country.
For your reflection. Please look at the picture of a boy’s face in the attachment. Allow yourself to be peaceful and quiet, asking God for communion with you… allow the face and whatever else you see in the picture to settle into your spirit. Reflect on it for as long as you like, or on more than one occasion. Thank God each time for the insight you have gained. We looked at it together in the Zoom discussion on Wednesday and then shared our ideas, in their variety. Together we built up a kind of joint consensus. Walking in Tayport last evening round 8.30pm, I saw a glorious rainbow over the Tay and took it as a confirmation of the spiritual exchange we had shared on Wednesday. We also discussed the importance of images and pictures in our churches, and memorable ones we had seen elsewhere. Art has a deep significance in our community.
The Iona community have composed this hauntingly evocative and moving hymn. If you look at it on the link, you will be able to hear it sung. Enjoy the way it bonds and uplifts us all. It is called, Hymn for Our Times, and has been recently written by John Bell of the Iona Community’s Wild Goose Resource Group. John has made the hymn freely available for use in churches.
We will meet when the danger is over,
we will meet when the sad days are over;
we will meet sitting closely together
and be glad our tomorrow has come.
We will join to give thanks and sing gladly,
we will join to break bread and share wine;
and the peace that we pass to each other
will be more than a casual sign.
So let’s make with each other a promise
that when all we’ve come through is behind,
we will share what we missed and find meaning
in the things that once troubled our mind.
Until then may we always discover
faith and love to determine our way.
That’s our hope and God’s will and our calling
for our lives and for every new day.
Scripture readings. It is strangely new to consider that next week we will be together!I am reverting to the thematic readings which will be used on the SEC service on youtube tomorrow at 11am. Isaiah 55: 10 to 13. Psalm 65: 9 to 14. Romans 8: 1 to 11. Matthew 13: 1 to 9 and 18 to 23.Next week I will send you the readings until the end of August.
With my prayers and best wishes
Revd Kathy Barrable