Pentecost 13 August 30th 2020

Beloved in Christ

I am learning to incorporate some typically Scottish words into my vocabulary, like the ‘dreich‘weather we have had in the past week! However, it accounts for the crops growing, harvesting and the loveliness of the River Tay, silver as plate glass as I write this!

Church activities have been getting increasingly busy and structured!

1.       Area council. Our Bishop has been encouraging engagement with fellow churches in our area.  All Saints and St Andrew’s from St Andrews, Cupar, Ladybank and ourselves have met at two levels thus far: clergy, then on Thursday evening, lay reps, vestry secretaries, Lay readers. Two words stood out for me: collegiality and democracy. For the first, we are building up a friendship and resource centre close to where we live; democracy is encouraging us to participate in the discussions and directions of our church.  Bishop Ian is wonderful at listening attentively as are his close co-workers. It was wonderful to share our views and experience with others, and listen to new approaches and ways of ‘doing’ church.  Zoom gave us the visual, and in one instance, telephonic connection. As a newcomer, I am delighted to be part of this participation and openness.  We will move forward constructively and together.  To discuss the ways in which we are coping with lockdown was also helpful. I am proud of the way you are vigilant, whilst opening our churches to each other and others as well. Thank you!

2.       Mission: we also discussed the vitality that comes from worshipping and working with other denominations: this is well in place with both of our churches, and I am thrilled that so many joint sharings will take place in the Christmas calendar. Apart from being spiritually nourishing, it seems as if we will get some exercise in the process as we walk our precincts.

3.       One of the initiatives of the church is inviting others to join us.  We have started discussions around this and would welcome any input from you too. I know how welcome guests feel, but the Good News will find a place in many peoples’ hearts and lives. We should continue to find ways and means of doing this in new and different ways.

4.       The do’s and don’ts of lockdown and churches re-opening is diverse and interesting.

5.       I have visited most of you in your homes and that has been a great privilege.  I am able to bring you communion and personal news should you wish – please let me know when it would suit you. The interpersonal exchange is wonderful and I thank you for your hospitality (one of the guidelines Paul gives us for healthy Christian living in Sunday’s reading)

6.       We continue with the regular Zoom meeting on Wednesdays at 8pm. Whilst we agree that Zoom has become part of our weekly routine, and a beneficial one in that it is a forum for free discussion. For those who can’t attend, could you give us some feedback please: why do you not wish to participate in Zoom, would you prefer a different time, or format? Your feedback will be treated confidentially. This Zoom meeting is a forum for exchange of ideas, opinions and reflections, with a spiritual and mainly Episcopal content and base.

7.       We started thinking of creating another weekly service/meeting for St Mary’s. On further reflection we have a growing awareness that the steps might preclude people from worship, so this gathering could be outside the church somewhere. What, when and how do could you propose we move forward with this?

 Perhaps you could email me or phone me, with your opinion, and we can move forward on this one.

Seven points have been mentioned, and 7 is a sacred number so I will leave it there today! 

Readings for Sunday are

Jeremiah 15: 15 to 21. Psalm 26: 1 – 8. Matthew 16: 21 to 28 Romans 12: 9 to 21.  The Romans reading is one of the best guidelines to joyful, fine and redemptive living, and I urge you to mark it off in your bible, and to ponder regularly. In the hard times it is uplifting, in the good times broadens our conception of joyousness, and in between, encourages and inspires.

Do not hesitate to call or email me or schedule a chat.  You are blessed – be a blessing to others

In Jesus name

Kathy Barrable