Pentecost 16 September 20th 2020

Beloved in Christ
Grace and peace to you in our Lord Jesus Christ!
I pray that you are coping within the spots of resurgence of Covid, and finding that the ‘Rule of 6’ (people and 2 households) is not frustrating you too much. From what I hear from the PrimeMinister, we should be very cautious as we expect to enter a possible wave of Covid. Let us pray together for safety, and awareness of the needs of others. Let us pray too for the development of a vaccine before winter sets in. I know we are finding this time a challenge, and please know that you are prayed for by name.
I am very proud of our community, and the caution you are exercising, yet coming to church and being in communion together. For those of you shielding at home, it has been a great privilege to visit you and receive your loving hospitality. The weather has been fine enough to be able to sit outside!
Newport today is scented with the whiff of manure, so farmers are preparing for winter crops already, as they plow their fields again after the summer harvest. It is a privilege to have the country so close to us that we are a part of seasonal movement, and encounter some of the dear little animals along the way: I speak of toads, hedgehogs and squirrels, and the birds chattering away in their language of uninhibited cheerfulness. I believe that there are otters in Tayview estate! (I have
spent a lifetime of hide and seek elusiveness with them and look forward to an encounter!)

So of course we look forward to HARVEST FESTIVAL next Sunday. I hear whispers of plans and organising for the occasion, and I look forward to sharing it all with you!

Understanding Christians in Fowler's Stages of Faith | Faith on the Fringe

This week we will be looking at the readings in the framework of James Fowler’s 6 stages of faith development. I have found it very interesting to look at this model once again and in the light of the week’s readings, after many years of studenthood, and apply those stages to Jonah, running from God, railing against God, and witnessing God’s compassion for and love of the people of Nineveh,
outsiders to the Hebrew faith. How many examples do we not have of Jesus
healing and addressinSamaritans, travelling itheir country, welcominthe outsiders, those whare reviled and outcast? Iis a salutary lesson for us. The gospel parable of the
landlord who pays those who might not have worked as long and hard as those faithful ones reminds me of the Prodigal Son, whose elder brother adopts much of the same attitude. I thought that you might like to look at your own faith path through a refreshing although challenging new lens today. See how your life’s religious path has been, whether you yearn to break out of a stale pattern of thinking and into a broader faith, or whether you know others who have moved along and a step up. It might be that lockdown has made you slip backwards, in the isolation and frustration which affects us so keenly. I also know that outsiders imagine that the Christian doctrine has either hurt them or put them off entering the main doors of the church. I do know, from Jesus, that every soul on this earth yearns for a spiritual connection, and we who have that can learn from them as to how to share it. Enjoy the exercise!

The readings are: Jonah 3: 10 – 4: 11; Psalm 145: 1 – 8; Philippians1: 21 – 30; Matthew 20: 1 – 16
Hymns are:
St Mary’s: 224 Lead us heavenly father lead us….1,2,3; 233 O thou who camest from
above…1,3,4;104# Holy, holy, holy, holy…1,4,5;91# Great is thy faithfulness… 1,2,3
St Margaret’s:1. Be thou my vision 70; 2. Lord, thy word abideth 420; Holy, holy, holy 286 Great is thy faithfulness

Collect: Almighty God, you have created the heavens and the earth, and ourselves in your image. Teach us to discern your hand in all your works and to serve you with reverence and thanksgiving; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who is alive and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever.

OUR ZOOM meeting on Wednesday at 8 will look at Fowler’s model in more depth. Hope to see you there. Otherwise, let us share what you think?
Remember that the online service from the SCE is on from 11am on Sundays and the Service of the Word on Thursday evening.
May the Lord bless you and keep you
May the Lord make his face to shine upon you
And give you peace
Kathy Barrable
0755 503 859

Pentecost 15 September 13th 2020

Sisters and brothers in Christ
I trust this week has been a good one for you? I have done a little visiting and phoning, and it seems as if the Covid implications are bothering many of us, as it breaks out further and the way in which the government sees fit to isolate areas and also impose restrictions. We are perhaps forced to accept that it is here as part of our lives and that the future will be enmeshed in its implications. However, we are satisfied that our churches are doing whatever is necessary to safeguard us appropriately, and thank you for being so vigilant and aware. Be assured that you are being prayed for, and that I am willing to come to you whenever you wish.I attach two items of interest1. Last Sunday’s sermon, e-news and Zoom meeting included references to icons, and here is a video of a service in which icons are used as a refreshing way of praying.

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This classical Greek Orthodox icon of the Trinity invites the viewer, YOU, to take a seat and join them, spending time considering how you are part of the Divine Dance (the title Richard Rohr gives to his book). 2. The second attachment includes a structure of us, as church, within the circles of Area Council, and of the Diocese. It is good to see how all the functioning parts of our church interrelate: buildings, investments, monies, and mission fit into the greater whole, also to know that the Bishop and Diocese are there as an integral part of our good functioning and spiritual wellbeing. 
Zoom seems to be part of our lives now and I am sure it or other ways of videoconferencing will become permanent parts of our engagements; sharing and mulling over initiatives, decision-making and in healthy exchange. I urge you to find a way of using Zoom: we are here to help and encourage us to do so.
This week I am including two more regular items: 1. Hymns.  Our tradition is so very intertwined with music and words which are so meaningful to us as Episcopalians, with a very distinctive repertoire. I have included the first line so that you can look them up on youtube, and sing along, or even use the lyrics as prayers.  As you know our congregations are taking all books used at church, home with them. Should you like a hymn book, do ask us and we can bring one to you, or arrange to fetch a copy from church.

HYMNS: 198. Ye holy angels bright….

#114 I bind myself today…..  or 72 Bind us together, Lord….

115. Dear Lord and father of mankind… 

169 The church of God a kingdom is.

 2.The Collect. It is comforting to be praying with Episcopalians world wide on the theme of the collects and be aware of the way they surround the readings of the day in prayer.

COLLECT: Guard your church O Lord.

With your perpetual mercy: and since without your aid we lose our way,

Draw us always, by your help, away from harm,

And steer us towards salvation;

Through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives with you,

In the unity of the Holy Spirit,


3.  READINGS Genesis 50: 15 – 21. Psalm 103: 8 – 13. Romans 14: 1 – 12.   Matthew 18: 21 – 35

The theme is around forgiveness, and we will look at the ongoing need for personal, societal, historical and cultural awareness

of this ongoing need. Perhaps you would like to look at some wondrous examples of the freedom which emanates from, and 

continues throughout our lives through forgiveness. I share some other more recent examples of peoples who have

exemplified this spirit: Etty Hillesum,Thich Nhat Hanh, Desmond Tutu. Should you wish to look up these people, you

will enter a most inspiring and comforting world seen through another’s eyes.

This is, with so many activities curtailed, a perfect time for deeper reflection.

Once again, your sharing of your experience will be wonderful, whether as we worship together, visit, or use the 

tools of  writing.

God bless in all you do. May your life be tinged with the deepening colours nature is revealing in this end of summer

and early autumn season.

Kathy Barrable

07552 503859

Pentecost 14 September 6th 2020

Beloved in Christ

We have journeyed through 13 weeks of the ‘green’ season of Pentecost.  It is a wonderful phase of learning, of studying scripture and seeing the radical new life Jesus offers us.  Green represents growth, and each of us have grown wiser and stronger in our faith, within the circle of loving ecclesia, the body of the church.  Whether you have been following us from home or within church, we hope you have felt included in our journey. 

Lockdown, even further back,from its inception on March 23rd brought on new, alarming and uncomfortable changes in our lives, which in turn have forced every one of us to re-evaluate and – appreciate simple goodness at home. 

On the 27th we will celebrate Harvest Festival, and this might be an outward and visible sign of an inner and invisible journey in which we now harvest the fruits of our personal season of growth. One of the loveliest memories of harvest is that it is gathered and shared with the needy in the community. I thank you for God too, for the harvest of memories of the many wonderful meetings in our homes, within those safe spaces, as we started both a new relationship and phase in our church history.

Jesus, this week, speaks of relationship, of loving and helping one another to the point of playing a vital role in a personal crisis, or around whatever makes one feel and outsider to the community: he shows ‘church’ as holding a people of extraordinary resilience, wisdom, compassion and in that sacred space, providing a safe space to for confidentiality and response to a personal cry for help.

I believe that is what our church is doing right now: providing human resources to assist others in whatever way is demanded, in the time of Covid crisis. We certainly have experienced changes to meet restrictions, but we hope that the worship and teaching has been nourishing and vitalising.  May we continue to mirror the wonderful qualities our Saviour offers us once again in this week’s readings.

We are urged to dialogue with God in thanksgiving, and with contrite hearts, yearning to be re-filled and re-aligned and re-guided into the light.  We are, Romans reminds us, people of light.

Let us seek it together, and help one another find it! We all enter dark patches, and depend on each other to lead us gently into brighter places. I am so grateful that we do have one another, and our bright spaces of worship, and that slowly, others are coming to join us.

If you are unable to get to church, and would like to receive communion and a chat at home, please let us know.

The online Sunday Eucharist is ongoing, and I am sure many of us are enjoying our bishops’ exposition of the Word, encouragement and sacred Joy. There is also a Thursday evening online Service of the Word, which is an inspiring and comforting mid-week service.

Here are the readings:

Ezekiel 33: 7 – 11

Psalm 119: 33 to 40

Romans 13: 8 to 14

Matthew 18: 15 to 20

With every blessing

Kathy Barrable

07552 503859

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