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Trinity Sunday 30th May

The Linkage 

                        The Scottish Episcopal Church

St Mary’s Aberfoyle,

St Andrew’s Callander

The Reverend Canon Dr Alison Peden – Interim Pastor

01877 330448

Trinity Sunday  30th May 2021

Let us worship the Triune God.

Let us worship the One who spoke in the beginning

and brought the world into being.

Let us worship the Triune God.

Let us worship the One who came to dwell among us

to set us free.

Let us worship the Triune God.

Let us worship the One whose Spirit rests continually upon us,

calling us to new beginnings.

This hymn draws on the awe that Isaiah felt – see the first reading.  It is sung at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ntdcY8q7a9E

Holy, holy, holy! Lord God Almighty!
Early in the morning our song shall rise to thee.
Holy, holy, holy! Merciful and mighty,
God in three Persons, blessèd Trinity.

Holy, holy, holy! All saints adore thee,
casting down their golden crowns around the glassy sea;
cherubim and seraphim falling down before thee,
which wert, and art, and evermore shalt be.

Holy, holy, holy! Though the darkness hide thee,
though the sinful human eye thy glory may not see,
only thou art holy; there is none beside thee,
perfect in power, in love, and purity.

Holy, holy, holy! Lord God Almighty!
All thy works shall praise thy Name, in earth, and sky, and sea;
Holy, holy, holy! Merciful and mighty,
God in three Persons, blessèd Trinity.

Collect:   Father, we praise you: through your Word and Holy Spirit you created all things.  You reveal your salvation in all the world by sending to us Jesus Christ, the Word made flesh.  Through your Holy Spirit you give us a share in your life and love.  Fill us with the vision of your glory, that we may always serve and praise you, Father, Son and Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.  Amen

Reading:   Isaiah 6:1-8
In the year that King Uzziah died, I saw the Lord sitting on a throne, high and lofty; and the hem of his robe filled the temple. Seraphs were in attendance above him; each had six wings: with two they covered their faces, and with two they covered their feet, and with two they flew. And one called to another and said: ‘Holy, holy, holy is the Lord of hosts;
the whole earth is full of his glory.’
The pivots on the thresholds shook at the voices of those who called, and the house filled with smoke. And I said: ‘Woe is me! I am lost, for I am a man of unclean lips, and I live among a people of unclean lips; yet my eyes have seen the King, the Lord of hosts!’
Then one of the seraphs flew to me, holding a live coal that had been taken from the altar with a pair of tongs. The seraph touched my mouth with it and said: ‘Now that this has touched your lips, your guilt has departed and your sin is blotted out.’ Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying, ‘Whom shall I send, and who will go for us?’ And I said, ‘Here am I; send me!’

Gospel:  John 3:1-17
Now there was a Pharisee named Nicodemus, a leader of the Jews. He came to Jesus by night and said to him, ‘Rabbi, we know that you are a teacher who has come from God; for no one can do these signs that you do apart from the presence of God.’ Jesus answered him, ‘Very truly, I tell you, no one can see the kingdom of God without being born from above.’ Nicodemus said to him, ‘How can anyone be born after having grown old? Can one enter a second time into the mother’s womb and be born?’ Jesus answered, ‘Very truly, I tell you, no one can enter the kingdom of God without being born of water and Spirit. What is born of the flesh is flesh, and what is born of the Spirit is spirit. Do not be astonished that I said to you, “You must be born from above.” The wind blows where it chooses, and you hear the sound of it, but you do not know where it comes from or where it goes. So it is with everyone who is born of the Spirit.’ Nicodemus said to him, ‘How can these things be?’ Jesus answered him, ‘Are you a teacher of Israel, and yet you do not understand these things?
‘Very truly, I tell you, we speak of what we know and testify to what we have seen; yet you do not receive our testimony. If I have told you about earthly things and you do not believe, how can you believe if I tell you about heavenly things? No one has ascended into heaven except the one who descended from heaven, the Son of Man. And just as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, so must the Son of Man be lifted up, that whoever believes in him may have eternal life.
‘For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him may not perish but may have eternal life. ‘Indeed, God did not send the Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him.

Reflection:  
It is said that when the great St Augustine was walking on the beach, he saw a little boy who had dug a little hole in the sand.
He trotted off to the sea and brought back a cup of water to put into the hole. What are you doing?  said St Augustine Trying to pour the ocean into this little hole, said the boy. You’ll never manage that, said Augustine, the ocean is too great, and the hole is too small. That’s like God, said the boy, he’s too big to fit into our minds.

Augustine wrote a lot about the Trinity, as have many other theologians – often with ‘deadly confidence’.  But Augustine wrote as a pastor: his views grew out of the attempts he and his flock made to pray, worship and love the God they followed.  

I find it helpful to think of the Trinity as three paths to approach the mysterious God who is beyond our sight and understanding.  Sometimes, I need to seek the One who holds us firm in the midst of change and trouble, the One who will not let us go nor let us grow into anything less than the fullness of life.

At other times I am drawn towards the Child born for us, the Son given to us, who takes the government and cares and sin of this world onto his own shoulders.  His purity, openness, honesty, wondrous love, tenacious humility and undaunted joy call me back time and time again. 

And from time to time I sense a Voice calling on the way: a prompt, an alert, a song, or maybe a chuckle.  I don’t usually recognise the Voice until afterwards, when I realise that it’s the Spirit of truth that we’ve been reading about in John’s gospel.

At least – that’s how it seems to me today.  Like all who try to draw close to God, my understanding of ‘Trinity’ is a work in progress that will never be anything like completed this side of eternity …

Prayers of intercession:   (adapted from Sacredise)
When powers struggle for dominance, and war, oppression and abuse result; when groups of people oppose one another
because of ideology, religion or culture: we need a God who is bigger than ourselves, and our personal interests.
So we pray for the troubled parts of the world, especially for Israel and Gaza, and Belarus.  God of the nations, bring peace and freedom to those who are frightened and oppressed.

When people are disregarded and devalued because of poverty, geography or disease; when compassion and justice is withheld to some because of sexuality, race or gender: we need a Saviour who is more compassionate than we are who includes even those we would exclude.
So we pray for those whom we tend to forget:  loving Christ, comfort with your presence those with little healthcare or vaccines;  those in prisons, care homes, or sub-standard housing;  those who will be neglected or abused this day.

When resources are mismanaged and abused, and the world and its creatures are destroyed; when motivation is scarce and creativity is in short supply to address the challenges that we face; we need a Spirit who is more powerful and more creative
than we could ever be.
So we pray for those whose inspiration can renew the world:  Spirit of truth, guide the scientists and engineers who seek solutions to our problems, and fill artists, writers and all creative souls with the power to change our hearts.

Lord God, loving Saviour, empowering Spirit, we offer you these prayers because we need you so desperately. Captivate us, call us and fill us, that we may be carriers of your eternal life
to this world that you love so dearly. Amen.

We affirm our faith in the words of the Apostles’ Creed:
I believe in God, the Father almighty, creator of heaven and earth.
I believe in Jesus Christ, his only Son, our Lord. He was conceived by the power of the Holy Spirit and born of the Virgin Mary. He suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, died, and was buried.

He descended to the dead. On the third day he rose again.
He ascended into heaven, and is seated at the right hand of the Father. He will come again to judge the living and the dead.

I believe in the Holy Spirit, the holy catholic Church,
the communion of saints, the forgiveness of sins,
the resurrection of the body, and the life everlasting.   Amen.

Closing prayer:  God the Holy Trinity make us strong in faith and love, defend us on every side, and guide us in truth and peace; and the blessing of God almighty, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, be among us and remain with us always.  Amen

Here is a verse from the glorious ‘St Patrick’s Breastplate’:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yH4ToVxtn9A&t=1sI bind unto myself today
the strong Name of the Trinity,
by invocation of the same,
the Three in One, and One in Three.

The Linkage Pentecost 2 6th June 2021

The Linkage 

                        The Scottish Episcopal Church

St Mary’s Aberfoyle,

St Andrew’s Callander

The Reverend Canon Dr Alison Peden – Interim Pastor

01877 330448

Pentecost 2   6th June 2021

Almighty God, to whom all hearts are open, all desires known, and from whom no secrets are hidden: cleanse the thoughts of our hearts by the inspiration of your Holy Spirit, that we may perfectly love you, and worthily magnify your holy name; through Christ our Lord.  Amen

Based on Psalm 138:
We come to give thanks to you, O Lord, 
with all our heart.
We will sing your praises before all creation, 
and rejoice in Your steadfast love.
You have created us O Lord, and made us for yourself, 
In you we become everything You have made us to be.

Collect:  O God, you have assured the human family of eternal life through Jesus Christ our Saviour. Deliver us from the death of sin and raise us to new life in him, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen.

Reading:  Genesis. 3:8-15
They heard the sound of the Lord God walking in the garden at the time of the evening breeze, and the man and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the Lord God among the trees of the garden. But the Lord God called to the man, and said to him, ‘Where are you?’ He said, ‘I heard the sound of you in the garden, and I was afraid, because I was naked; and I hid myself.’ He said, ‘Who told you that you were naked? Have you eaten from the tree of which I commanded you not to eat?’ The man said, ‘The woman whom you gave to be with me, she gave me fruit from the tree, and I ate.’ Then the Lord God said to the woman, ‘What is this that you have done?’ The woman said, ‘The serpent tricked me, and I ate.’ The Lord God said to the serpent,  ‘Because you have done this, cursed are you among all animals and among all wild creatures; upon your belly you shall go, and dust you shall eat all the days of your life. I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and hers; he will strike your head, and you will strike his heel.’

Prayer of confession based on Genesis 3
Our God, you created the world and called it good.

You created man and woman in your image and called them very good. But we have been deceived by half-truths and false promises.

We have tasted temptation and it is bitter in our mouths.

We thought our desire for forbidden fruit would bring us wisdom,

but it brought us only the curse of pain and death.

Redeem us in your love. Take away our sin.

Restore our relationship with you, our God.

1 Corinthians 15 tells us:  For since death came through a man, 

the resurrection of the dead comes also through a man.  For as in Adam all die, so in Christ all will be made alive. Thanks be to God

who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ!   Amen!

Gospel   Mark 3:20-35
The crowd came together again, so that they could not even eat. When his family heard it, they went out to restrain him, for people were saying, ‘He has gone out of his mind.’ And the scribes who came down from Jerusalem said, ‘He has Beelzebul, and by the ruler of the demons he casts out demons.’ 
And he called them to him, and spoke to them in parables, ‘How can Satan cast out Satan? If a kingdom is divided against itself, that kingdom cannot stand. And if a house is divided against itself, that house will not be able to stand. And if Satan has risen up against himself and is divided, he cannot stand, but his end has come. But no one can enter a strong man’s house and plunder his property without first tying up the strong man; then indeed the house can be plundered.
‘Truly I tell you, people will be forgiven for their sins and whatever blasphemies they utter; but whoever blasphemes against the Holy Spirit can never have forgiveness, but is guilty of an eternal sin’— for they had said, ‘He has an unclean spirit.’
Then his mother and his brothers came; and standing outside, they sent to him and called him. A crowd was sitting around him; and they said to him, ‘Your mother and your brothers and sisters are outside, asking for you.’ And he replied, ‘Who are my mother and my brothers?’ And looking at those who sat around him, he said, ‘Here are my mother and my brothers! Whoever does the will of God is my brother and sister and mother.’

Reflection:  
John Bunyan in Pilgrim’s Progress describes a man slumped in an Iron cage, sighing in despair.  It turns out that the man had given into temptations and thought that he had forfeited God’s promises and mercy; all that remained for him was judgement and punishment. ‘Nor can all the men in the world let me out.  O Eternity!  How shall I grapple with the misery that I must meet in Eternity?’ he says.

Whilst it is a lot less common now to find those who worry about the fate of their eternal soul, people do find themselves locked into mental prisons, caused by ‘inner demons’ such as anger, guilt or a sense of futility.  

Jesus came to challenge the destructive power of demons and restore people to physical and spiritual health. The demons had shouted ‘You are the Son of God!’ just before today’s episode, and so it was unsurprising that the authorities challenged his authority, claiming that he used demonic power to cast out demons.

Jesus responded by saying that calling ‘demonic’ what is good (healing, forgiveness, new life) amounts to blasphemy against the Spirit, which cannot be forgiven.  It’s a very hard saying and has troubled many a tender conscience.

If we lock ourselves up in an iron cage and refuse to see things clearly, then it is indeed hard for God to reach us in love and forgiveness. If we take a position that is hard a steel – about ourselves, or other people, or the world – then it’s going to be difficult to perceive the work of the Spirit blowing through and around us.

As we enter this post-Pentecost season of growing in faith, of building God’s kingdom here on earth in the power of the Spirit, let us commit ourselves to being open and free and confident in the power of Christ to transform evil into the splendour of light. And let us try with God gently to prise open the cages that lock people in.  

Prayers of intercession:
Holy God, guide your people and to inspire us with the desire to put aside our differences as we seek to serve you. Help us to reach out to all who feel despair, especially those who feel unworthy or too sinful to enjoy life. Give us through your grace opportunities to befriend them and assure them of your love.
Lord in your Mercy: Hear our prayer

C
reator God, may those who lead us and the other nations of the world will always try to solve issues in a just and caring way, and deal with the world’s problems with forethought and common-sense. We hold before you the governments in Westminster and Holyrood.
Lord in your Mercy: Hear our prayer

Loving God, help us to be gentle with our families and friends. Give us, we pray, the calm that makes for consideration and the respect for others that makes us courteous. Take from us hard words and the cynical look. Let us be to others as we would wish them to be to us.
Lord in your Mercy: Hear our prayer

Gracious God, we pray for all who cry out to you today, those who long for the morning, those who are waiting for the long night to end. We pray that our ears will be attentive to their cry, that we will stand with them, steadfast together in your love, bringing life before death. 
Lord in your Mercy: Hear our prayer

Merciful God, your love reaches beyond the grave and so we bring before you those whose earthly life is now at an end. Receive their souls into your kingdom, we pray, that redeemed by grace they may rest in peace and rise in glory.
Lord in your Mercy: Hear our prayer

Bless Bishop Ian and the congregations of this diocese, that we may proclaim by our lives as well as our words the joy of your kingdom and the hope of its fulfilment. And
 wherever nature’s beauty or the daily wonders around help us to see your hand at work we thank you for the grace to live and enjoy it to the full.
Merciful Father: Accept these prayers for the sake of your Son our Saviour Jesus Christ.  Amen

 Closing Prayer:  The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ rest upon us and and inspire us;  the love of God, creator and giver of life, embrace us and challenge us; and the presence of the Holy Spirit encourage and surprise us, this day and all our days.   Amen

This hymn of God’s providence is sung at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yBkorDtz1nU

Through all the changing scenes of life, in trouble and in joy,
the praises of my God shall still my heart and tongue employ.

O magnify the Lord with me, with me exalt his Name;
when in distress to him I called, he to my rescue came.
The hosts of God encamp around the dwellings of the just;
deliverance he affords to all who on his succour trust.

Fear him, ye saints, and you will then have nothing else to fear;
make you his service your delight; your wants shall be his care.




Letter of Thanks and grant funding 29th January 2021

Letter of Thanks and Grant Funding 29th January 2021

29th January 2021

The Vestry of St Mary’s Church – Aberfoyle

I am pleased to report that our application to the SEC Building Grants Fund for a grant of £20,000 towards our Rectory Renovation has been successful.  Our thanks go to Mark Seymour for preparing this application and for all his work on this project.

This gives me the opportunity to express how greatly indebted we are to Mark for his outstanding contribution to the life of St. Mary’s as a member of the Vestry for more than 22 years.  During this time he was Chairman for over 10 years, overseeing the major renovation of the Church building during this period, and Secretary for more than 5 years, designing and maintaining the Church website. He stepped in as Interim Chairman when Revd Canon Richard Grosse retired and with Peter Forrester (St. Andrew’s) has taken us through the discernment process to the point where interviews will soon be taking place for the appointment of a new Rector.

St. Mary’s is in a good place thanks to Mark’s diligence and devotion, and we are extremely grateful to him for all that he has done over all these years.

Yours sincerely,

Interim Chairman

On behalf of the Vestry

Services at St Mary’s & Christmas

Services at St Mary’s

Your Vestry met last evening, principally to discuss other matters.

But, the decision was made to cease holding weekly Sunday Services at St Mary’s whilst the Stirling area is in Tier 4 for Covid-19 reasons.. So there will be NO service this Sunday 22nd November

This is really sad news, especially for those who have been attending over the past few months.  Bill Rootes, who has been taking the services for us each week, has been quite marvelous in ministering to us and he is quite prepared to travel, even though he would have to cross from a Tier 3 to a Tier 4 area.  But given the need for safety, the Vestry feel that it is a sensible decision to discontinue weekly services for what we hope will be a short period of 3 weeks or so.

We hope that the Government will ease the restrictions when the current rules are reviewed on 11th December.

Christmas

Subject to any change in the rules, there will be a service at St Mary’s on Christmas morning at 11.15 am.  Bishop Ian has very generously agreed to take this service for us and we are very grateful to him and his family.

There will no Carol Service this year and no Midnight Service on Christmas Eve.

There will be no service on Sunday 27th December, the Sunday following Christmas Day

If the present rules still apply, we shall be restricted to no more than 20 persons attending on Christmas morning.  Hopefully the Government will relax this  rule and if so, we should be able to return to a maximum of 50 attendees, that is if we can seat as many as that.

We shall have to plan very carefully as to whether we can seat as many as 50.  The present maximum if all come as singles, is 40 (as for Richard’s final service in October).  But if  family ‘bubbles’ exist, then we might be able to increase from 40 to 50, by seating ‘family bubbles’ in the same pew.

It is perhaps a bit early to make any plans, especially since these might well change over the coming weeks.

But if you already know who might want to come to St Mary’s on Christmas morning and how many are or will be in your own ‘bubble’ then it would be very useful to know now

I will set up a booking system nearer the time.

AGM Sunday 6th December

The AGM will be held on Sunday 6th December by way of a telephone conference call at 11.15am in place of a service at the Church that morning

Mark Seymour

Secretary to St Mary’s Vestry

Email secretary@stmarychurchaberfoyle.org.uk

Tel 01786 870710

Margaret Newman & Dudley Robertson

Margaret Newman & Dudley Robertson

For those who were unable to attend, we thought that you might like to have the Eulogies given by Richard at the funerals of Margaret and Dudley Robertson
Alison thoughtfully suggested that I might write about the funeral services held for Dudley Robertson and Margaret Newman last week. I am grateful for this and to Bishop Ian for allowing me to conduct them.


Dudley’s family and friends are spread far and wide. Because of present restrictions, many were unable to be present. The service at Stirling Crematorium held on the 24th July was therefore streamed.
Words written by John Bunyan sum up Dudley’s life to perfection. Bunyan was an irrepressible seventeenth century itinerate preacher imprisoned for twelve years by order of the King. Whilst in Bedford prison he penned the text of Pilgrims Progress and within it these words later adapted as a hymn. He who would valiant be gains’t all disaster
A good deal of disaster affected Dudley’s life.  His days as an active sportsman ended with the loss of a leg. He became a widower soon after marrying his first wife. Later ill-health reoccurred, necessitating dialysis and even greater loss of mobility.
Bunyan’s hymn continues ‘Hobgoblin nor foul fiend shall daunt his spirit’.  Dudley, like Bunyan exhibited vast reserves of fortitude and never held a grudge against the twists and turns of life’s path. Every problem that arose, and there were many, was solved with a solution.  When, for example immobility affected his golf swing, Dudley simply modified his stroke to enable him still to win a cherished cup.
He was greatly loved everywhere not least by his sisters Fiona and Christine. He made and retained lifelong friends, especially his late brothers in law Derek and Colin. It gave him special pleasure to have brokered their respective marriages to, as he teasingly called them, his ugly sisters.  With no children of his own, he stood as a beloved father figure to his nephews and nieces.
Dudley travelled extensively by sea and so held the role of the RNLI in great respect. He worked as a tireless fundraiser. The Institute expressed its gratitude with the award of a silver medal and by sending a representative to the service.
The hymn ‘Eternal Father’ was played before a reading of Tennyson’s ‘Crossing the Bar’ The poem, rich in nautical metaphor, speaks about life’s journey
Sunset and evening star,
      And one clear call for me!
And may there be no moaning of the bar,
      When I put out to sea,
 
   But such a tide as moving seems asleep,
      Too full for sound and foam,
When that which drew from out the boundless deep
      Turns again home.
 
   Twilight and evening bell,
      And after that the dark!
And may there be no sadness of farewell,
      When I embark;
 
   For tho’ from out our bourne of Time and Place
      The flood may bear me far,
I hope to see my Pilot face to face
      When I have crost the bar.


Margaret Newman always envisaged her funeral to be at St Andrews and would include her favourite hymn, ‘There is a Green Hill’ far away’ This was penned by Mrs Cecil Frances Alexander, who also wrote ‘All things bright and beautiful’ and ‘Once in Royal David’s city’. Mrs Alexander married a clergyman, who ultimately became Primate of Ireland. They lived in Derry, Margaret’s birthplace. Mrs. Alexander was of humble disposition and disliked praise and flattery. She died greatly beloved by many she had helped by her kindness. A stained glass window in her memory was installed in the north vestibule of St Columb’s Cathedral in Derry which Margaret knew well.
Perhaps Margaret was inspired by Mrs. Alexander because she possessed all her attributes in abundance.  Margaret’s patient devotion to Crossroads, a local charity, was just one example of her many gifts.
Margaret was interred at the Port of Menteith with her beloved husband Colin who died in 2009. Colin was responsible for the renovation of St Andrews in 2005. They are now reunited. Deo gratis.
 
 


 

News and Information from Bishop Ian Paton – 5th June 2020

Dear sisters and brothers,

Pentecost is the feast of the ’new normal,’ life in the Spirit poured out on the apostles and on all creation. As we celebrated Pentecost this year people were talking about a different ‘new normal’ – our life after the Pandemic. When we rebuild our lives, will we have a better sense of what is important? Or will we just rush back to the same old life? What will ‘new normal’ mean for the Church? What will our priorities be? How will we welcome those who have been joining us online? How will we support those who are sad about people and things that have been lost? What will we need to do if we are to open our churches but keep people safe? 

A week ago over 40 clergy and lay readers shared in an online CMD Conference about exactly these questions, organised for us by Michael Paterson. Our discussions began from his reflections on the Four Hallmarks of Ministry in Luke 24 (Jesus and the Disciples on the Road to Emmaus) in the context of the pandemic. I’d like to thank all of you who attended (and those who tried to but couldn’t due to broadband problems), to thank Michael for organising it and for guiding our reflection, and to Carrie Applegath and Elaine Garman for managing the event. The text and a video of Michael’s presentation is available on the Diocesan website. https://standrews.anglican.org/clergy-development-resources/

The Scottish Government’s ‘Route Back’ outlines 4 Phases for opening up public life. As we know, it is measured and cautious, and the timing of each Phase will be announced when the Government decides the time is right. Phase 2 does envisage the possibility of churches being opened for individual prayer and for funerals, but the requirements of physical distancing, provision of handwashing and masks, deep cleaning, and support and training of volunteers, will make this challenging and demanding for churches who decide to offer this. And many of our active members, and some of our active clergy and lay readers are ‘vulnerable’, and may be  ‘shielding’ by staying at home for longer than others. Very shortly the Advisory Group set up by the College of Bishops will send out detailed practical Guidance on what Episcopal churches would be able to do (and not do) once Phase 2 is announced by the Government. I (assisted by the Dean) will be ready to talk to clergy and vestries who decide they want to take any of these steps when the time comes. We all want to see the opening of our churches, but we also know that opening them safely will require care and patience. Globally, the pandemic is still in its early days, as we know from the present situation in Brazil and India from our link bishops in Amazonia and Calcutta (letters sent to you last week, and in the current Diocesan E-News.

Also in the E-News, with Trinity Sunday and a version of Rublev’s icon in mind, I have written about ‘Black Lives Matte’r and the reality of racism. It is in all of our minds, in wake of the murder of George Floyd in Minneapolis last week, as are the protests that have sprung up in the USA and in other countries (the article is attached to this email). The fact is that Racism is as real in Scotland as anywhere. Many people have said that the death of George Floyd at the hands of police is a reminder of the equally unacceptable death of Sheku Bayoh in Kirkcaldy in 2015.  Mr Bayoh also died from asphyxiation in the process of being detained. Accusations and counter-accusations have circulated ever since, but it is only now, 5 years later, that a public enquiry has been established. Mr Bayoh’s sister said, “If he was a white man that is not the way his life would have ended. … We are black people but we are not bad people. So why do our children have to feel afraid walking in the streets?”

Like you I am horrified by Racism, and by how hard it still is for Black and Asian people to be treated justly even here in Scotland. But as a White male person I also know that I have a lot to learn about my own attitudes formed by growing up in a world that privileges people like me. I chose to write about Racism this month because even in the situation of pandemic and lockdown, the Church has to engage with the other deep evils that continue to oppress and destroy people’s lives, and to witness to the love of God that calls us to overcome them. As clergy and lay readers we need to take opportunities to think and pray together about enabling our churches to engage. I hope that future CMD discussions and study gatherings will help us to do this, even while we are struggling with Covid. 

Racism, the abuse of women and children, homophobia, the exclusion of disabled people, the neglect of older people – these evils are in reality the same evil, the same sin: our refusal to respect and love every human being, regardless of difference, as our equals in humanity, and as the image of God. After Pentecost we have to pray that the Spirit will lead us and all humankind into all the truth, that we may proclaim the word and works of God.

Also attached to this are some further resources for you:
– the Diocesan Cycle of Prayer for 2020-21, revised with corrections received after the draft was sent out recently.
– 2 more resources from St Luke’s Trust on the welllbeing of those in ministry.
– the latest edition of the SEI Newsletter.
– information about bursaries offered by Ecclesisatiacal Insurance for clergy study.

As always, please accept my great admiration and thanks for the love and prayer you are bringing to help our congregations to continue in prayer and service. Thank you for all your faithful work which is making this possible.
 
With my greetings and blessings for Trinity Sunday,

Bishop Ian

________________________________  

The Right Revd Ian Paton

Bishop of St Andrews, Dunkeld and Dunblane

St Mary’s Maundy Thursday Service of Devotion

Maundy Thursday 2020

Notice

A Provincial broadcast will be available at 18.00, on YouTube and facebook, via https://www.scotland.anglican.org/broadcast-sunday-worship/

The Rt Rev Ian Paton & the Rev Canon Dr Carrie Applegarth will celebrate a Eucharist from their home in Perth.

A service of devotion

   Christ bids us break the bread
         and share the cup he gave,
       in token of the blood he shed
         for those he died to save.

   It was for us he came,
         to bear, by human birth,
       a crown of thorn, a cross of shame,
         for every child of earth.

   The Saviour crucified
         in glory rose again:
       we here remember him who died,
         ascended now to reign.

   Our hearts his word obey,
         in thankfulness and love:
       we feed on Christ by faith today
         and feast with him above.

   O Christ, once lifted up
         that we might be forgiven,
       we take the bread and drink the cup
         and share the life of heaven.

Opening Prayer

Your love is poured out in death for our sakes

Hold us in your embrace as we wait for Easter’s dawn

Comfort us with the promise

That no power on earth not even death himself

Can separate us from your love;

And strengthen us to wait until you are revealed to us

In all your risen glory

Amen

The Last Supper: extracts from the Gospel accounts.

The time was near for the Festival of Unleavened Bread, which is called the Passover. The chief priests and the teachers of the Law were afraid of the people, and so they were trying to find a way putting Jesus to death secretly

Then Satan entered Judas, called Iscariot who was one of the twelve disciples. So Judas went off and spoke with the chief priests and the officers of the temple guard about how he could betray Jesus to them. They were pleased and offered him money. Judas agreed to it and started looking for a good chance to hand Jesus over to them without the people knowing about it

The day came during the Festival of Unleavened Bread when the lambs for the Passover meal were to be killed. Jesus sent off Peter and John with these instructions

‘Go and get the Passover meal ready for us to eat’

‘Where do you want us to get it ready?’ they asked him

He answered ‘As you go into the city, a man carrying a jar of water will meet you. Follow him into the house that he enters, and say to the owner of the house: The teacher says to you, Where is the room where my disciples and I will eat the Passover meal? He will show you a large furnished room upstairs, where you will get everything ready’

While they were eating, Jesus took a piece of bread, gave a prayer of thanks, broke it, and gave it to his disciples

‘Take and eat it’ he said ‘this is my body’

Then he took a cup gave thanks to God and gave it to them.

‘Drink it all of you’ he said ‘this is my blood, which seals God’s covenant, my blood poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins. I tell you I will never again drink this wine until the day I drink the new wine with you in my Father’s Kingdom.’

Jesus and his disciples were at supper. He rose from the table, took off his outer garment, and tied a towel round his waist. Then he poured some water into a basin and began to wash his disciple’s feet and dry them with the towel around his waist. He came to Simon Peter who said to him, ‘Are you going to wash my feet Lord? Jesus answered him

‘You do not understand what I am doing, but you will understand later’

‘Where are you going, Lord?’ Simon Peter asked him

‘You cannot follow me now where I am going’ answered Jesus; ‘but later you will follow me.’

‘Lord why can’t I follow you now?’ asked Peter. ‘I am ready to die for you!’ Jesus answered

‘Are you really ready to die for me? ‘I am telling you the truth: before the cock crows you will say three times that you do not know me’

Our confession

Father eternal, giver of light and grace,

we have sinned against you and against our neighbour,

in what we have thought,

in what we have said and done,

through ignorance, through weakness,

and through our own deliberate fault.

We have wounded your love,

and marred your image in us.

We are sorry and ashamed,

and repent of all our sins.

For the sake of your Son Jesus Christ, who died for us,

forgive us all that is past;

and lead us out from darkness

to walk as children of light

Almighty God

who forgives all who truly repent,

have mercy upon us

pardon and deliver us from all your sins

confirm and strengthen us in all goodness

and keep us in the same

Amen

An act of Communion

In union, O Lord with the faithful, I desire to offer you praise and thanksgiving. I present to you my soul and body with the earnest wish that I may always be united to You. And since I cannot now receive you sacramentally, I beseech You to come into my heart. Amen.

The Lord’s Prayer

Our Father,

who art in heaven,

hallowed be thy name;

thy kingdom come;

thy will be done;

on earth as it is in heaven.

Give us this day our daily bread;

and forgive us our trespasses,

as we forgive those

who trespass against us.

And lead us not into temptation,

but deliver us from evil.

For thine is the kingdom,

the power and the glory,

for ever and ever.

Amen.

   When I survey the wondrous cross
         on which the Prince of glory died,
       my richest gain I count but loss,
         and pour contempt on all my pride.

   Forbid it, Lord, that I should boast
         save in the cross of Christ my God;
       all the vain things that charm me most,
         I sacrifice them to his blood.

   See from his head, his hands, his feet,
         sorrow and love flow mingled down;
       did e’er such love and sorrow meet,
         or thorns compose so rich a crown!

   Were the whole realm of nature mine,
         that were a present far too small;
       love so amazing, so divine,
         demands my soul, my life, my all.

The Gospel narratives continue

When the disciples had sung a hymn, they went out to the Mount of Olives. Jesus prayed to the Father

‘If it is possible, take this cup of suffering from me’

He said to his disciples,

‘How is that you were not able to keep watch with me for one hour? The hour has come for the Son of Man to be handed over to the power of sinful men. Come let us go’

On the way they met a man named Simon who was coming into the city from the country, and the soldiers forced him to carry Jesus’ cross. They took Jesus to a place called Golgotha which means ‘The Place of the Skull’ 

The closing words

Shadows gather deep and cold

Lamplight flickers, fades and fails

Lord you know what daybreak holds –

Thorns and beatings, cross and nails.

You will be denied, betrayed

When the rooster wakes the sun

Yet you kneel alone and pray

‘Not my will, but thine be done’

In the watches of the night,

In the hour when darkness reigns,

In the grief that has no light,

In the time of fear and pain,

then we hold fast to our way,

In the victr’y you have won

Jesus teach us how to pray

‘Not my will, but thine be done’

   Abide with me; fast falls the eventide;
         the darkness deepens; Lord, with me abide!
       when other helpers fail, and comforts flee,
         help of the helpless, O abide with me.

   Swift to its close ebbs out life’s little day;
         earth’s joys grow dim, its glories pass away;
       change and decay in all around I see;
         O thou who changest not, abide with me.

   I need thy presence every passing hour;
         what but thy grace can foil the tempter’s power?
       who like thyself my guide and stay can be?
         through cloud and sunshine, O abide with me.

   I fear no foe with thee at hand to bless;
         ills have no weight, and tears no bitterness.
       Where is death’s sting?  Where, grave, thy victory?
         I triumph still, if thou abide with me.

   Hold thou thy cross before my closing eyes;
         shine through the gloom, and point me to the skies:
       Heaven’s morning breaks, and earth’s vain shadows flee;
         in life, in death, O Lord, abide with me!

St Mary’s Bulletin for Holy Week and Palm Sunday

St Mary's Aberfoyle
St Mary’s Aberfoyle- Built 1893

Bulletin for Holy Week

Richard writes….

Thank you to those who have continued to be in contact by phone and email during the week. Please continue to do so, even if just for a chat. I am not self-isolated and remain of course anxious to help anyone during these difficult days. My thought and prayer for you all.

The Scottish Episcopal Church will continue this Sunday to broadcast video coverage of its Eucharistic service via its website, social media channels and YouTube channel.  The web page for the broadcast is located at www.scotland.anglican.org/broadcast-sunday-worship The website will also contain a downloadable video and audio format of the service.

It seems unthinkable that Holy Week this year will need to be observed in solitude. Even in the darkest days of the last Great War churches remained open. We will though do our best to make the coming week as meaningful as possible with a Linkage Service being available via the Bulletin both for Maundy Thursday and Good Friday.

Through participation in the whole sequence of services, the Christian shares in Christ’s own journey, from the triumphal entry into Jerusalem today to the empty tomb on Easter morning.

The week starts today with the procession with palms. In normal circumstances, Palm Crosses would be distributed in church services today. They will be as soon as circumstances allow.  For the purposes of today’s service, would you please imagine a palm cross in your hand?  Better still, you may have retained a cross from a previous occasion.

The Palm Sunday Service

Introduction and Collect

Hosanna to the Son of David, the King of Israel.

Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord.

Hosanna in the highest.

During Lent we have been preparing by works of love and self-sacrifice for the celebration of our Lord’s death and resurrection. Today we come together to begin this solemn celebration in union with the Church throughout the world. Christ enters his own city to complete his work as our Saviour, to suffer, to die, and to rise again. Let us go with him in faith and love, so that, united with him in his sufferings, we may share his risen life.

God our Saviour,

whose Son Jesus Christ entered Jerusalem as Messiah to suffer

and to die;

let these palms be for us signs of his victory

and grant that we who bear them in his name

may ever hail him as our King,

and follow him in the way that leads to eternal life;

who is alive and reigns with you,

in the unity of the Holy Spirit,

one God, now and for ever.

All   Amen.

The Gospel

Matthew 21.1-11

When Jesus and his disciples had come near Jerusalem and had reached Bethphage, at the Mount of Olives, Jesus sent two disciples, saying to them, ‘Go into the village ahead of you, and immediately you will find a donkey tied, and a colt with her; untie them and bring them to me. If anyone says anything to you, just say this, “The Lord needs them.” And he will send them immediately.’ This took place to fulfil what had been spoken through the prophet, saying,

‘Tell the daughter of Zion,

Look, your king is coming to you,

humble, and mounted on a donkey,

   and on a colt, the foal of a donkey.’

The disciples went and did as Jesus had directed them; they brought the donkey and the colt, and put their cloaks on them, and he sat on them. A very large crowd spread their cloaks on the road, and others cut branches from the trees and spread them on the road. The crowds that went ahead of him and that followed were shouting,

‘Hosanna to the Son of David!

Blessed is the one who comes in the name of the Lord!

Hosanna in the highest heaven!’

When he entered Jerusalem, the whole city was in turmoil, asking,

‘Who is this?’ The crowds were saying, ‘This is the prophet Jesus from

Nazareth in Galilee.’

This is the Gospel of the Lord.

The Nicene Creed.

I believe in one God the Father Almighty, Maker of heaven and earth, And of all things visible and invisible:
And in one Lord Jesus Christ, the only-begotten Son of God; Begotten of His Father before all worlds, God of God, Light of Light, Very God of very God; Begotten, not made; Being of one substance with the Father; By whom all things were made: Who for us men and for our salvation came down from heaven, and was incarnate by the Holy Ghost of the Virgin Mary, and was made man: And was crucified also for us under Pontius Pilate; He suffered was buried: And the third day He rose again according to the Scriptures: And ascended into heaven, And sitteth on the right hand of the Father: And he shall come again, with glory, to judge both the quick and the dead; Whose kingdom shall have no end.
And I believe in the Holy Ghost, The Lord, and Giver of Life, Who proceedeth from the Father and the Son; Who with the Father and the Son together is worshipped and glorified; Who spake by the Prophets: And I believe one Catholic and Apostolic Church: I acknowledge one Baptism for the remission of sins: And I look for the Resurrection of the dead: And the Life of the world to come. Amen.

The Sermon

I was honoured last year to be asked to conduct a baptism, in, of all places, the Chapel of the House of Commons in London. A parking space was arranged, and the day went well. That is, until I started out upon my homeward journey. In Parliament Square a Gay Pride demonstration was in full swing. For an hour the traffic was gridlocked. Nothing moved, save for thousands waving flags and banners. I have never seen so many excited people gathered together in one place.  Perhaps the day was like the gathering in Jerusalem on the first Palm Sunday.

How did so many in London know where and when to meet? The answer is obvious: social media.

So how did so many know where and when Christ would enter Jerusalem? The answer is of course different, but obvious: it could only have been by word of mouth. St John’s Gospel records that Christ had already turned water to wine, fed five thousand hungry people and healed the incurable. More miraculously still, he had raised Lazarus from death at Bethany. Although Jesus wouldn’t have wished it, he had achieved celebrity status; everyone wanted to glimpse him. Others had still higher hopes of him as a political leader. Jerusalem had been subdued under the rule of the Roman Empire for at least a century. Could it be that Christ, who had referred to himself as King of the Jews, was now coming to Jerusalem to overthrow the empire and lead the nation to renewed glory? Certainly, that was the hope of many belonging to a nationalist group called the Zealots.     

Once upon a time, the people of an ancient Spanish village learned that their king was to pay the village a state visit for the first time within living memory. At a village meeting it was agreed that the occasion should be marked, but how? Then someone suggested this idea. Since many of the villagers made their own wines, the plan was for everyone to contribute a cup of their choice wine. Each contribution was to be poured into a large vat through a funnel at its top and placed in the market square. “When the king arrives and draws wine from the vat, it will be the very best he’s ever tasted!” promised the mayor.

The day before the king’s arrival, hundreds of people lined up to pour in their offering to the honored guest until the vat was full. The next day the King arrived. He was escorted to the square, given a silver cup and invited to take a drink from the vat.

The king placed his cup under the vat’s tap and drank. He was surprised to taste nothing more than water.  You see, every villager had reasoned after the meeting, “I’ll withhold my best wine and give water instead. With so many cups of wine in the vat, the king will never know the difference” The problem was that everyone thought likewise. Nobody gave wine, but only water. The king was thus greatly dishonored.

On the first Palm Sunday, Jesus entered Jerusalem to great acclaim. Bystanders waved Palm leaves in his honour. They quickly realised though that a man riding a donkey rather than a charger was not a king. A man followed by a rabble of disciples rather than menacing men of war was never going to be of use to them. They therefore deserted Christ the Son of God at the roadside leaving him alone to face death. A few days later at the trial they saw a beaten and disfigured Jesus. They too dishonored their king. He was like the King whose subjects promised wine, but only gave water  

Will in the days to come, our king the Son of God draw water or the best wine from our lives. Will he be honored or dishonored?  

The Prayers

Keep us, good Lord,
under the shadow of your mercy
in this time of uncertainty and distress.
Sustain and support the anxious and fearful,
and lift up all who are brought low;
that we may rejoice in your comfort
knowing that nothing can separate us from your love
in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Amen.

Lord Jesus Christ,
you taught us to love our neighbour,
and to care for those in need
as if we were caring for you.
In this time of anxiety, give us strength
to comfort the fearful, to tend the sick,
and to assure the isolated
of our love, and your love,
for your name’s sake.
Amen.

God of compassion,
be close to those who are ill, afraid or in isolation.
In their loneliness, be their consolation;
in their anxiety, be their hope;
in their darkness, be their light;
through him who suffered alone on the cross,
but reigns with you in glory,
Jesus Christ our Lord.
Amen.

For those who are ill

Merciful God,
we entrust to your tender care
those who are ill or in pain,
knowing that whenever danger threatens
your everlasting arms are there to hold them safe.
Comfort and heal them,
and restore them to health and strength;
through Jesus Christ our Lord.
Amen.

For hospital staff and medical researchers

Gracious God,
give skill, sympathy and resilience
to all who are caring for the sick,
and your wisdom to those searching for a cure.
Strengthen them with your Spirit,
that through their work many will be restored to health;
through Jesus Christ our Lord.
Amen.

Confession

Almighty God, Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, Maker of all things, Judge of all men; We acknowledge and bewail our manifold sins and wickedness, Which we, from time to time, most grievously have committed, By thought, word, and deed, Against Thy Divine Majesty, Provoking most justly Thy wrath and indignation against us. We do earnestly repent and are heartily sorry for these our misdoings: The remembrance of them is grievous unto us; The burden of them is intolerable. Have mercy upon us, Have mercy upon us, most merciful Father; For Thy Son our Lord Jesus Christ’s sake, Forgive us all that is past; And grant that we may ever hereafter Serve and please Thee In newness of life, To the honour and glory of Thy Name; Through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Absolution

The Almighty and merciful Lord grant me pardon and absolution of all my sins. Amen.

The Comfortable Words, Preface. and Sanctus.

Hear what comfortable words our Saviour Christ saith unto all who truly turn to Him.
Come unto Me, all ye that travail and are heavy laden, and I will refresh you. St. Matt. xi. 28.
So God loved the world, that He gave His only-begotten Son, to the end that all that believe in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life. St. John iii. 16.

Hear also what Saint Paul saith.
This is a true saying, and worthy of all men to be received, That Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners. 1 Tim. i. 15.

Hear also what Saint John saith.
If any man sin, we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the Righteous; and He is the Propitiation for our sins. 1 St. John ii. 1, 2.

Therefore with Angels and Archangels, and with all the company of heaven, we laud and magnify Thy glorious Name; evermore praising Thee, and saying,
HOLY, HOLY, HOLY, Lord God of hosts, Heaven and earth are full of Thy glory: Glory be to Thee, O Lord Most High. Amen.

A personal Communion

In union, O Lord with the faithful, I desire to offer Thee praise and thanksgiving. I present to Thee my soul and body with the earnest wish that I may always be united to Thee. And since I cannot now receive Thee sacramentally, I beseech Thee to come spiritually into my heart. I unite myself to Thee, and embrace Thee with all the affections of my soul. Let nothing ever separate Thee from me. May I live and die in Thy love. Amen.

The Lord’s Prayer:

The Conclusion:

O Lord Jesus Christ,

Son of the living God,

set your passion, cross and death

between your judgement and our souls,

now and in the hour of our death.

Grant mercy and grace to the living,

rest to the departed,

to your Church peace and concord

and to us sinners forgiveness,

and everlasting life and glory;

for, with the Father and the Holy Spirit,

you are alive and reign,

God, now and for ever.

Amen.

Coronavirus On line and Broadcast Services

Coronavirus – Updated information – On line and Broadcast Services

From the Episcopal Church in Scotland
As part of the ongoing response to the Coronavirus pandemic the Scottish Episcopal Church (SEC) will this Sunday (22 March) begin broadcasting video coverage of Eucharistic services via its website, social media channels and YouTube channel.  The web page for the broadcast is located at www.scotland.anglican.org/broadcast-sunday-worship

The first service, led by the Most Rev Mark Strange, Primus of the Scottish Episcopal Church, will be broadcast at 11am on Sunday, to coincide with when many people would normally be worshipping, if church services had not been suspended earlier this week. 

The website will also contain a downloadable video and audio format of the service. A new service will be broadcast every Sunday on the SEC website, to allow all congregations to worship. We are aware that some congregations will offer their own version of online worship, but others will not have the means or resource to attempt this, hence this province-wide broadcast.

In advance of the broadcast of each provincial service, the Liturgy will be available to download from the SEC website.  We are conscious of the need to offer as much assistance as possible to those who have no access to the internet, and we encourage people to distribute the video/audio recordings and the Liturgy widely within their own personal networks. In households with no internet or playback capacity, people who can be helped by others through the provision of printed materials will have the opportunity to read the words of the Liturgy to themselves close to the appointed time, praising God along with others in the Church.

“Prayer is an important part of the tradition and spiritual life of the people of God,” said Bishop Mark. “In hard times and good times, quietly being before God with the people we love in our hearts encircles us all in God’s everlasting love and the promise of hope and salvation.”

The service will be available online after its first broadcast, followed by a new one each week, the next at 11am on Sunday 29 March.

Broadacast services – Anglican Church
Subject to outside broadcast capacity and our partners, the BBC will aim to broadcast a weekly Sunday morning church service on BBC One, and on local radi stattions

From Mark Seymour
Secretary to St Mary’s Vestry

22nd March 2020

Coronavirus – Updated information – Church services

Coronavirus – Updated information

Coronavirus Guidelines have been issued today by the College of Bishops. They are available in full at www.scotland.anglican.org/coronavirus-updates

 By way of summary, the Guidelines make the following changes to the Linkage
 

public worship is suspended from today in our churches.

•  Should they occur, funerals will have to be taken at the graveside or crematorium, without family presence. These can be followed by a memorial service when the situation permits.

• weddings may have to be celebrated in private or postponed until the situation changes.

• face to face meetings of Vestries and other groups and events are suspended.

The Scottish Episcopal Church will be providing online Eucharistic Sunday worship via the SEC website from this Sunday onwards.

I am anxious that everyone feels that the Linkage continues to function, albeit in a different way. Amanda Smith at St Andrews has already graciously offered practical help to anyone in need, and the same offer is extended by me. Please contact me as and when required and I will do my best to assist, whatever the difficulty

I will of course share further information as and when it is received. In the meantime, my thoughts and prayers for each of you.


It is quite possible, of course, that the suspension of Services might last as long as Easter and beyond.  We will let you know if this becomes the case.

Richard Grosse
Rector
18 th March 2020