Newsletter January 30th 2021

Beloved in Christ

Greetings in the name of our Lord. As it says in one of the week’s readings, ‘Grace, Peace and Mercy’!

It is a brighter day – and a beautiful one.  The sun is rising and setting higher in the sky, and there is crisp frost on the ground.  Everyone is walking their dogs, and greeting one another.  I don’t know of one 80+ year old who hasn’t been notified about, or received their jab! There seems to be some light at the end of the tunnel. Numbers of Covid cases are dropping, and there is even talk of children returning to school in March.  I am with my grandsons twice a week now, and re-learning how little minds work, sharing their delight in capering, climbing and clawing wetness and cold, and of course learning how clever they are to know terms about bears go into torpor, and male otters being called boars! Mostly, I rediscover the simple joys of childhood when one is invincible, immortal and all-powerful (and all loving!)  Bless you and your families, and let us take heart and pray for one another!

I have recently downloaded an app on my phone called, ‘Pray as you go’. It is about 12 minutes long, starts with music, a lectionary reading, and a reflection. I recommend it highly. Do ry it!

‘Join the Conversation’ Ecumenical Zoom on Tuesdays continues very well

This Wednesday’s Zoom will be moving to Thursday at 8, for this week only.  The link is:

https://us04web.zoom.us/j/2091141378?pwd=c0pJbXNqNWJUUDl4SnJUMXVBVVNEdz09

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Should you be following from home, we read up to Mark Chapter 8.

Lent is coming up in February and we plan to purchase a booklet for every one of us, with contemporary reflections.  More news of that later!

Here is a prayer by Thomas Merton, Cistercian monk:

My Lord God, I have no idea where I am going.

I do not see the road ahead of me.

I cannot know for certain where it will end.

Not do I really know myself,

And the fact that I think I am following your will

Does not mean that I am actually doing so.

But I believe that the desire to please you

Does in fact please you.

And I hope I have that desire

In all that I am doing.

I hope that I will never do anything

Apart from that desire.

And I know that if I do this

You will lead me by the right road,

Though I may know nothing about it.

Therefore I will trust you always, though I seem to be lost

And in the shadow of death.

I will not fear, for you are ever with me,

And you will never leave me to face my perils alone.

Readings for Sunday are:

Deut. 18:15-20; 1 Cor.8:1-13; Psalm 111; Mark 1:21-28

The demoniac shouts, ‘What do you want with us, Jesus..? Many of us call that out now, as our world is also turned upside down, and challenging our normal ways of thinking and being.  Jesus wants, should we ask, to heal us, make our lives right itself, communicate with us, journey with us, and listen to us.  Let us turn to him in prayers and petitions.

God bless you in every way

Kathy Barrable

07752 503859

Newsletter 24th January , Candlemas

Beloved in Christ

I will admit to you that this week I have really felt a personal lockdown – a feeling of living in liminal space, suspended in a sticky solution, unable to move much except in the fluid surrounding me. I can sense you around me, even see you, acknowledge the odd item posted through the letterbox, but for you as family, the flow I started feeling before Christmas has become sluggish. I wonder if you share these feelings?

To this end, I am asking you to share with this group, any pictures you may be taking of the winter wonderland, of our family, your hearthside. Could you also share what you are reading, reflecting on? And, share your thoughts and perceptions.  I would like to feel we are nourishing each other as family in Christ.

I have entered a virtual world, through Wassap and Zoom videos.  Have you? How do you feel about that?

At the end of the week, I feel Zoomed out! Let me share:

1.      ‘Join the conversation’ is doing so well, and there is an open and healthy exchange of ideas on the topics of ‘How God guides us?  Here are the questions we shared, so that you can join the conversation, even though you did not see the video:

      i.        In what ways and how differently do you pray to God and or the Holy Spirit?

    ii.         Do you believe in the counsel of ‘other saints’ or even those who have passed before you?

   iii.        ‘God can shut doors as well as open them’ How?

   iv.        ‘God can use our mistakes’. Do you see this in your own life?

1.   ‘CONNECTION’ on Wednesday evenings started us on a non-stop journey through MRK’S GOSPEL.  We reached Chapter 5 verse 35. Would you like to join us by reading along with us each week?

2.   CLERGY CONFERENCE. The Diocesan clergy had an 8 hour conference on Tuesday. Richard TIplady led the sessions, and we shared uplifting innovations, but also the harsh reality of our church in COVID, our people in LOCKDOWN and the trajectory of church in the world. I felt, at once, frustrated that our whole year of isolation with me not meeting some of you except over the wall; us anable to forge the benefit of personal contact; our churches by and large being empty; the lack of strategic planning, and the comfort of being together. Yet, buoyant because we HAVE kept going, wanting to join each other in worship, and even with the hindsight of wisdom in closing church after Christmas, thrilled that we are chatting and above all, have stayed healthy and safe, that our Zoom chats are happening, and we are linking with people in our villages as well.

3.   I feel that the clergy, with two Zoom sessions a week, are also holding together, caring for each other, engaging in ongoing topics and experiences, and that our Bishop cares for us.  To my great surprise, on Sunday evening, a hamper was delivered to my doorstep!  To mine and all clergy!  It was a thank you from the Bishop and an invitation to partake in a cocktail hour at 8pmWe gathered then, after a long day of information sharing, opened the hampers, had a quiz and a best pet competition, and laughed and unwound.

4.   Let me ask you: how can we engage those of us who are not able to enter Zoom discussions? Shall we form a Wassap group as well? Shall we have a midweek coffee hour? (mid morning?)

5.   LENT is coming up soon.  What would you like us to do or share then?  (We are all pretty sure that we will not be in church, but if we are, so much the better for Easter!) What requests/ideas do you have?  What would you most like to share together?  In this unprecedented time, let’s do something different!

6.   Here is some interesting information on the Anglo-Catholic tradition from Bishop Ian:

‘For most people Epiphany means Twelfth Night, 6 January, the last day of Christmas, when the decorations go back in the box and the Christmas tree is taken down for another year. But for others, including me, Epiphany is not just one day but a Season that goes from the Feast of the Epiphany to the Feast of Candlemas, and the Crib stays in place and the tree lights keep shining until 2 February.’ Epiphany means ‘revealing,’ the revealing of Christ for all people, and the Season is the enactment of the journey of revealing that begins with the Magi following the star, continues with the baptism by John, continues with the calling of the disciples, and ends at Candlemas with the recognition in the Temple by Simeon and Anna. Epiphany is the continuing of the Christmas journey, a time to reflect on the meaning of these events, the Epiphanies that reveal who Jesus is. And as we make the Epiphany journey year after year, the revealing is different because we are different, the world is different.

 Epiphany means ‘revealing,’ the revealing of Christ for all people, and the Season is the enactment of the journey of revealing that begins with the Magi following the star, continues with the baptism by John, continues with the calling of the disciples, and ends at Candlemas with the recognition in the Temple by Simeon and Anna. Epiphany is the continuing of the Christmas journey, a time to reflect on the meaning of these events, the Epiphanies that reveal who Jesus is. And as we make the Epiphany journey year after year, the revealing is different because we are different, the world is different.

The journey through Epiphany this year includes another journey, our continuing struggle with Coronavirus. Tragically, the journey has revealed inequalities and loss, and untold suffering. More than 100,000 in the UK have lost their lives, and more than 2 million worldwide. In Scotland, with a second period of Lockdown for most and ongoing restrictions for some, it is likely that greater restrictions may yet be needed. Vaccines and treatments are signs of journey’s end, but we still have some way to go. As this journey moves on, we have to keep on acting positively as churches. That does not mean exhausting ourselves (or our Clergy, Lay ministers and Vestry members) with anxious activism, even at a distance. It does mean attending to worship and witness in whatever ways are possible. Some strident voices have been heard demanding that the Government should allow churches to stay open for worship. Attending worship and attending to wellbeing are closely related, they argue, and rightly. But does that mean privileging places of worship over concert halls or sports grounds? All contribute to wellbeing, but all could potentially lead to transmission of the virus.’

Christmas and Epiphany celebrate the Incarnation, God with us as a human being among  human beings. I think this means that the Church, the Body of Christ, is called to identify with the precautions demanded by Lockdown, not seek to stand above them. In this second Lockdown, as in the first, we have to offer witness and service to society by having to worship and minister in a different way.

We have gained much experience which gives us confidence for the task. We have learned that ‘Stay at Home’ need not mean ‘Stay away from Church.’ We have discovered how to do on-line and on-paper worship, and to try and include everyone.

The SEC has developed and continues to offer online Eucharistic worship at 11.00am on Sundays, available via www.scotland.anglican.org. A number of churches also offer local worship online, listed at www.scotland.anglican.org/broadcast-sunday-worship/online-worship-from-around-the- scottish-episcopal-church/. And many clergy or ministry teams have found that people really value receiving weekly readings, reflections, and prayers on paper, use them at home For personal prayer and  devotion there are many resources available online, but I particularly recommend one which gives space for reflection and prayer based on a Scripture reading, and which I have been using every day. “Pray as You Go,” found at https://pray-as-you-go.org.

Much to consider and inspire here!

I see the neighbourhood is dark, lights down, but next year I would like to pick up on the Candlemass tradition, which is one that Christine Barker observes!  Apart from that, I’d like our lights to go up in Church at the beginning of Advent, so that we are aware of the Light for our journey!

READINGS FOR SUNDAY ARE

Jonah 3:1-5, 10;

1 Cor.7:29-31

Psalm 62: 6-14

Mark 1: 14-20

Interestingly, the readings last week from John, and now from Mark, invite us into discipleship, a different way of living, and a clear focus on learning from and sharing the teachings of Jesus. As Paul says to the Corinthians, ‘the world as we know it is passing away’. I think we are forced to accept that things will not be the same, ever again. So let us look at the opportunities as they are revealed and pray for one another by name as we move along this timeframe.  

Having shared with and prayed for each one of you, I feel more peaceful and ‘at home’.

God bless in all you do

Kathy Barrable

07552 503 859

Newsletter 17 January

Beloved in Christ

How are you in these chill, still days? From what I hear, you are faring well and braving this lockdown with equanimity.  Thank you for sharing your thoughts, ways and lives with me. Let us continue to pray for each other by name.

I have inspiring news to share with you.  After the months of praying and preparing, our Tuesday Zoom ecumenical ‘Join the conversation’ drew 17 people from 6 local congregations:  Tayport United Free church, Church of Scotland, the Catholic church, Newport Church of Scotland as well as our St Margaret’s and St Mary’s.  We each spoke about the best thing that has happened to us in Covid, then watched a brief video of ‘How does God guide us’, broke into small groups and shared, around some question prompts. God is leading us into pastures new, but most important, we are chatting easily about our lives and experience, and enriching each other hugely.  If you would like to join us on Tuesdays from 7-8pm, the link to click on or phone in is:

MoragAnne is inviting you to a scheduled Zoom meeting.

Topic: Tuesday evening chats

Time: Jan 12, 2021 07:00 PM London

Join Zoom Meeting

https://us02web.zoom.us/j/85601019298 (no password

Meeting ID: 856 0101 9298

Bless you MoragAnne for your supportive and competent input.

Our WEDNESDAY ZOOM meetings, originally called, ‘CONNECT’ resumes this Wednesday at 8 for 45 minutes.  Have your own bible open at Mark, which we will take turns in reading as a continuum for the next few weeks. Betty will be the contact person for connection.  If by any chance you will be a first-timer, she and I can give you a trial run at an agreed-upon time, so that we can start promply at 8. The NEW LINK Betty has kindly made for us each week is

Topic: Mark Gospel

Time: Jan 20, 2021 08:00 PM London

Join Zoom Meeting

https://us04web.zoom.us/j/74417136721?pwd=OERNZG91TnZnMy9kLzM1c0g4dng2QT09

Meeting ID: 744 1713 6721

Passcode: k5jf3y

Thank you Duncan Sage for setting up meetings for us since lockdown: your views and family presence are really a blessing and we hope you can join us again whenever you can! Homeschooling for 4 schoolgoing children and business will be quite a challenge and our thoughts are with you!

Beyond that, conducting first funeral and burial in Scotland, I was deeply moved.  Firstly, by the support and unconditional love of family and friends.  It was a bereft and close-knit circle, and a tribute to a lifetime of dedication to each other.  Each of us create a legacy and it is worth pondering, ‘What is the legacy I live and will leave?’ Funerals are a time for looking back, but also for each of us as witnesses, to look into our own faith and the life-giving way: it guides us along paths of righteousness and rest beside still waters.  We are so privileged that our table is laden with goodness, and that we are protected in all we do, by God.  Psalm 23 is the eternal handbook for us.  In reflecting with my family and friends, I will, and urge you to script your wishes for your funeral: not out of any macabre selfishness, but out of consideration for all, children and grandchildren, and for other friends. Lockdown is the time to clear some of the decks like this one. It is equally life-giving to be supported by our beautiful church communities, and by Andrea from Gibson of Tayport who lovingly guides and hold us in these sad phases of our lives.  Let us continue to give thanksgiving and prayers to surround the Beat family and George.

Zoom and other platforms are changing our lives, and drawing us close and contactable.  I find now that I am asking my overseas and friends in need here if we could speak on video rather than voice.  Itis so different to look at each other, and use our senses as much as we can to read the subtle expressions and nuances. I know the professionals are busy with all day conferences, and – manage very well, even though the distractions of a household swirl around.  My daughter in law was describing how the boys were practising Ninja moves in view of the international colleagues, who were delightedly commenting on her well-behaved children!  My doggie Cocoa frequently barges into our Zoom chats. On Tuesday we have a daylong Clergy Conference, ending with a ‘Join us at the bar Cocktail hour’, with a competition and quiz component (inspired by our Cocoa, I’m sure, there’s a ‘Best Pet’ competition too!) It shows me that we are creative and loving family people, and I am proud to deliberate on major world issues, whilst being bonded and committed to the group to which I belong.  I include the morning prayer snippet I contributed, for you to use at some stage in your devotions.

I hope that you are enjoying the staggering variety of livestreamed services, and would be grateful if you could share any you really enjoy, so that each of us could broaden our horizons, making the presence and action of relevant and life giving in lockdown.

Readings for this Sunday’s ‘virtual’ service are:

Jonah 3:1-5, 10

1 Cor.7:29-31

Psalm 62: 6-14

Mark 1: 14-20

May the calling of the first disciples Simon and Andrew invigorate you to leave yesterday behind and follow Jesus into newness and freedom!

May the spirit of the living God be with you now and this week to come!

Kathy

07552 503 859

Newsletter Epiphany Jan 10th 2021

e-newsletter 10 January

Beloved in Christ

We celebrate the Feast of the Epiphany on Sunday, although the actual feast day was on Monday 6thJanuary.   I have been thinking of that epic journey through this frosted season, specially whilst trudging through my first northern hemisphere winter.

I have decided to share the great poem read by its poet, T S Eliot, so that you can enjoy his own voice.  https://youtu.be/BCVnuEWXQcg

T. S. Eliot reads “Journey of the Magi”Check out my Twitter feed at https://twitter.com/bob_toomey.A rare recording taken from a live interview T. S. Eliot did for the BBC, broadcast during World …youtu.be

Now, we too journey to gift the Christ-child with ourselves. As Pope Francis says, may we be attentive, untiring and courageous specially during this extended lockdown: it has been a hard, long and uncomfortable journey, with great expectations, calling us to use our endurance, patience, wisdom and knowledge to get us there.  (Did you know that on the 21 December 2000 Saturn and Jupiter aligned, giving the brightest star seen for 800 years, and before that, perhaps reaching back to the time of Christ!) It is time to be led by faith, which is proven attestation to it becoming proven fact!

We found friends, co-journey-ers, weary travellers and even those who did not have our own interests at heart; we had to deal with the demons of our minds, which tugged us, lured us away from our direct calling to see the Incarnation of God!  We would also have met the maniacal leaders like the Herods of our time, playing friend, protector, leader, but in truth, a deadly enemy.

We were all trusting that lockdown would ease up, and we re-discovered different joy – a small parcel gift of hours which could be spent with family, and as we went to church, to nativity scenes, carols, baubles and lights –  and met our dear friends.

Now like the Magi, we find that lockdown has made our journey back ever-wearying, endless featureless and bleak, to be honest, just like the Magi, whose return home made them world-weary and cynical.

However, as much as we have to endure, remember and refresh ourselves, we too know that our lives will be changed forever, set in the memory of 2020 Covid.

Yet, dear friends, we have a lifetime of Christmas memories to cherish, a stable and co-operative community, the love and support of each other, so we shall become more and more positive and active in our love of Christ and in our reaching out to each other.

That is my prayer: will you join me? We give thanks for this and so much more, and yearn to re-unite as soon as the time is right.

READINGS FOR SUNDAY ARE:

Isaiah 60:1-6; Ephes. 3:1-12

Psalm 72:1-7, 10-14

Matthew 2: 1-12

Please see the attached invitation to join the new group in, ’JOIN THE CONVERSATION’.  It is on this TUESDAY, the 12th at 7pm till 8pm, on Zoom. Would you please email wassap or message or phone me to say whether you will be able to come or not.  It is a big step in faith and Zoom will connect our multi- denominational engagement.  The topic, HOW DOES GOD GUIDE US? is enticing, isn’t it? I really urge you to commit yourself to this.

Next Wednesday, the 20th, our weekly Zoom chats resume.  We will start on the project by reading the gospel of Mark, as in this Church Year B we will be studying this first gospel.  It is short and seminal: only 14 chapters, so it will only take a few weeks. All you need is your own favourite translation, and be willing to take a turn in reading! I will re-send the link next week.

Our bishop has asked me to formally notify you of the nation-wide closure of places of worship until our Advisory Committee gives us the go-ahead. Our thinking, closing after Christmas day, was right, and we as vestries will talk further as we receive guidance.

We are planning the New Year, and have some weeks before Lent starts on the 17th February.  Then the journey through Covid will surely ease as well.

I hope to be chatting to each of you on the phone soon.

God bless, stay at home safely, trustfully and courageously


Revd Katharine Ann Barrable M Ed., M Th.

Cell 07552503859

Grace and Peace be with you