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Bishop Kevin’s Christmas Message

Christmas 2020

Dear Friends

People constantly attempt to make the Christian faith much more complicated than it actually is. The whole of Christian preaching and teaching can be summarised in one short word – LOVE. And the paradox is you can’t write about love, you can’t read about love, you can’t preach about love, you can only ever experience love. And that is the abiding fascination of the Christmas story because we first experience love in the love of family and of friends, the warmth the affection, the security of being held: there is love. Love that is of God, love that is real and experienced and is secure and in which we are understood, cherished, wanted. 

They are all facets of the story of Mary and Joseph and the baby Jesus. It is a fascinating story because it is so real, so human, so ordinary, and the real magic of Christmas is that we are reminded again of just how extra-ordinary the story of human love and birth actually is.

Who can fail to be moved at the sight of a small infant? Tiny hands, tiny feet, big blue eyes, a baby sleeps. The vulnerability, the need, the dependence of such tiny hands and tiny feet. At the same time, even the most hard-bitten bishop is moved at the sight because there in those tiny hands and tiny feet, looking through those big blue eyes, is so much potential. In the baby Jesus we see the true hope, the potential of being human.   

How many parents have looked at their new-born baby and resolved to be better people, more caring, more understanding, more accepting? How many of us have read the story of Jesus and have longed, yearned to be more kind, generous, caring and loving? The importance of the story of Christmas is that it is the story of each one of us.

The babe of Bethlehem grew to endure misunderstanding and loneliness, pain and suffering, disappointment and failure. Jesus brought out of all those facets of our lives that we would rather be without. He brought joy that is profound and real, life-giving and peace-making, experiences of love in which God makes himself known. Covid has taught many of us to recognise God in the most surprising small acts of generosity and kindness, through which we have recognised the full human potential to love and have heard again the message of the angels – to allow ourselves to be loved. That is the simple lesson of faith in love, which we experience new every morning and yet it is the message which is eternal. 

This Christmas time – look at a baby and see God.

May all God’s blessings be yours this Christmas time

+ Kevin

John Sherwood RIP

John Sherwood’s funeral will be held on 22nd December at 4pm.

Below that you will find a link to the just giving page set up in his memory and at the bottom of the page the order of service for Tuesday.

The family have set up  a “Just Giving” page to support the charity Prostate Cancer Research, in memory of John. If you felt that you would like to make a donation to the work of the charity, then you can follow the link below

www.justgiving.com/fundraising/RosemarySherwood

New Dean Appointed

Reverend Reuben James Preston has been appointed as the new Dean of our Diocese of Glasgow and Galloway. You can read the official notice via the link below.

New Dean of Glasgow and Galloway Appointed – United Diocese of Glasgow and Galloway (anglican.org)

Pastoral Letter from +Kevin

In this challenging situation, what do we have to offer?
We offer hope.
There is hope, even in, especially in the midst of pandemic and legal restrictions. 
There is hope in our faith that love is the source of all life and energy. The truth is that the love Jesus showed on the cross, in his passion and death, that love is self-giving and endures all things.
The stories of Jesus’ resurrection show that love is of God, it is the hidden force in our world and in our lives. It transforms and transfigures our entire experience. Love is stronger than hate, which killed Jesus.
There will be a vaccine because, in love, many scientists and medics are working to find the formula. Many people are prepared to test the experimental vaccine. That is the truth of love which is proof of its power. The truth that we know in faith, that love is the hidden force which transfigures and transforms our lives and builds the Kingdom of God in the communities in which we find ourselves.
There is hope, also when some of our churches decide they must close again for a while because of the new restrictions. As I said at the beginning of the pandemic, we close our doors in love, not in fear.
Let us always remember that we live in the hope of new life. Let us share that hope, in whatever small ways we can. A phone call to someone on their own, shopping for those who are vulnerable, sharing through food banks… There is hope!
And always, we pray in the hope and the certainty that love is of God, love is stronger that hate or any natural phenomenon. That is the love that we share, and in the sharing, we make God’s presence real.
In this time of crisis, please be in touch if there is anything I can help with.
In the sure and certain hope of God’s love and presence,
+ Kevin
Glasgow and Galloway   
17 November 2020

Mid-Week Eucharist

Mid Week Eucharist for December and January will be held on 1st, 8th, 15th and 22nd of December and 12th, 19th and 26th of January. The liturgy can be found HERE

Statement from the College of Bishops

Statement from the Bishops with regard to Emerging from Lockdown Phase 3


“Love one another as I have loved you” (John 13.34).
“Our Lord Jesus Christ said: The first commandment is this: ‘Hear, O Israel, the Lord our God is the only Lord. You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind and with all Your strength.’ The second is this: Love your neighbour as yourself. (Matthew 22:37-40)

For the first time in its history, the Church has been prevented from gathering face to face for worship. We have continued to worship from home, online and on paper, but we have not come together as congregations now for four months, one third of a year. We have accepted this loss for the sake of love, because, as Christians, love of God and love of neighbour can never be separated. The danger of passing infection to others, rather than fear of being infected, is what has kept us away from church. But it has been a real deprivation, not just as individual Christians who miss going to church, but as the whole Church, called to be the gathered people of God. But now, in Phase 3, it will become possible for us to gather together again for worship.

The careful conditions for gatherings in church described here will make the experience of worship quite different from anything we have known: the Eucharist in one kind only; the wearing of face coverings; the distance between worshippers; the absence of singing. But there are two reasons why being able to worship at all, even with these conditions, is something we can give thanks for. Both are about who we are as the Church of Jesus
Christ.

First, because, just as we have done by not coming together for worship but worshipping from home, so now, by gathering again but under the limitations and restrictions described here for Phase 3, we can continue to express Christ’s care for one another and for others around us. Our gathering for worship can be the means of loving not only God but loving our neighbour, of following Jesus’ new commandment, “love one another as I have loved you” (John 13.34).

Second, because we can gather again for worship we will be able again to fulfil more completely the Church’s basic calling to be the visible Body of Christ in the world. Jesus taught that “where two or three are gathered in my name, I am there among them” (Matthew 18.20), and the embodied nature of this calling is what causes Christians to gather in worship, especially on Sunday, the Lord’s Day. And when we gather, as Christians have gathered since the earliest times, to celebrate the Eucharist, Holy Communion, the embodied sacrament of our salvation, we seek to fulfil Jesus’s other commandment to “do this in remembrance of me” (1 Cor 11.24). As Dr John Davies, former Convener of the Liturgy Committee, writes:
The life of the Church, as the worshipping community of all the baptised, has the Eucharist at its heart. The people of God meet Christ, above all, in the Eucharist. Through the liturgy of the Eucharist we truly become the body of Christ, are fed by him in Word and Sacrament, and are sent out into the world to proclaim the good news of his kingdom.

We have learnt much during this period of physical separation, we have learnt how much we desire to gather at the altar and share in the sacrament of love. We have also learned that there are many new ways of gathering people together, of enabling greater participation from those unable to come to the church and ways of speaking out to our communities, calling them into faith. We will continue to learn and develop these things, yet at heart we are the community gathered around the table and we wait patiently for the day when we can do this free from restrictions.

The possibility of returning to worship and to share in the Eucharist together is good news for us, for the whole Church, and for the world we seek to serve in Christ’s name.

Statement issued by the College of Bishops of the Scottish Episcopal Church

Litany for the Translation of +Kevin

Each evening at 6pm from 24th June till 30th June the Rector will be saying the Litany for the Translation of +Kevin. Please join her either in spirit or on line.

In the peace of Christ, let us pray:
Kyrie eleison.
For the peace that is from above, let us pray:
Kyrie eleison.
For peace in the life of the churches and their unity, let us pray:
Kyrie eleison.
That the Holy Spirit will bring strength and courage, let us pray:
Kyrie eleison.
For bishop Kevin called to be the next Bishop of Glasgow and Galloway:
Thanks be to God.
For the people, congregation and clergy of the diocese of Argyll and The Isles:
Thanks be to God.
For the people, congregation and clergy of the diocese of Glasgow and Galloway:
Thanks be to God.
For all those who work and worship in Scotland for the furtherance of the Gospel:
Thanks be to God.
Inspire us to spread the Good News as Moluag did:
Holy God, hear us.
Help us to be builders of your church as Columba was:
Holy God, hear us.
Teach us to love as Mungo the beloved, loved:
Holy God, hear us.
Grant us the perseverance of Ninian:
Holy God, hear us.
Remind us of your promises never to leave us:
Fill us with the Holy Spirit.
Strengthen our hope in Your future:
Fill us with the Holy Spirit.
Empower us to speak and act in Your name.
Fill us with the Holy Spirit.
To God the Life Bringer:
All praise and honour be.
To God the Pain Bearer:
All praise and honour be.
To God the Joy Giver:
All praise and honour be.
Blessed Holy undivided Trinity:
Unite us all in and through your love.  Amen.

Anti-Racism Resources

1970 Liturgy for on-line worship

In the Name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Ghost.  Amen.

Confession and Absolution

We confess to God Almighty, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost, that we have sinned in thought, word, and deed, through our own grievous fault.  Wherefore we pray God to have mercy upon us. Almighty God have mercy upon us, forgive us all our sins and deliver us from evil, confirm and strengthen us in all goodness, and bring us to life everlasting. Amen.

May the Almighty and merciful Lord grant unto you pardon and remission of all your sins, time for true repentance, amendment of life, and the grace and comfort of the Holy Spirit.  Amen.

Let us pray:

Almighty God, unto whom all hearts be open, all desires known, and from whom no secrets are hid: cleanse the thoughts of our hearts by the inspiration of thy Holy Spirit, that we may perfectly love thee, and worthily magnify thy holy Name; through Christ our Lord.  Amen.

Then shall be said the Kyries.

Lord, have mercy upon us. Christ, have mercy upon us. Lord, have mercy upon us.

The Lord be with you.

And with thy spirit.

Let us pray.

The Collect

The Gospel

At the end of the Gospel:

Thanks be to thee, O Lord, for this thy glorious Gospel.

The Intercessions

Let us pray for the whole state of Christ’s Church remembering at this present time all those affected by the Covid-19 virus, throughtout the world.

Almighty and Everliving God, who by thy holy Apostle hast taught us to make intercessions and to give thanks for all men: We humbly pray thee most mercifully to receive these our supplications which we offer unto thy Divine Majesty; beseeching thee to inspire continually the universal Church with the spirit of truth, unity and concord; and grant that all they that do confess thy holy Name may agree in the truth of thy holy word, and live in unity and godly love.

We beseech thee to hear us, good Lord.

We beseech thee also to save and defend all  Kings, Princes, and Governors, and especially thy servant Elizabeth our Queen, and all who are put in authority under her, that we may be godly and quietly governed.  Give grace, O heavenly Father, to all Bishops, Priests, and Deacons, and especially to thy servant Kevin our bishop, that they may both by their life and doctrine set forth thy true and living word, and rightly and duly administer thy holy Sacraments.  And to all thy people give thy heavenly grace, and especially to this Congregation here present, that they may hear and receive thy holy word, truly serving thee in holiness and righteousness all the days of their life.

We beseech thee to hear us, good Lord.

We most humbly beseech thee of thy goodness, O Lord, to comfort and succour all those who in this transitory life are in trouble, sorrow, need, sickness, or any other adversity.

And we commend to thy gracious keeping, O Lord, all thy servants departed this life in thy faith and fear, beseeching thee to grant them everlasting light and peace.

We beseech thee to hear us, good Lord.

And we yield unto thee most high praise and hearty thanks, for the wonderful grace and virtue declared in all thy Saints, who have been the choice vessels of thy grace, and the lights of the world in their several generations; beseeching thee to give us grace to follow the example of their steadfastness in thy faith, and obedience to thy holy commandments. Grant this, O Father, for Jesus Christ’s sake, our only Mediator and Advocate. 

Amen.

The Eucharist

Silence is held as the bread and the wine are prepared.

The Lord be with you.

And with thy spirit.

Lift up your hearts.

We lift them up unto the Lord.

Let us give thanks unto our Lord God.

It is meet and right so to do.

It is very meet, right, and our bounden duty, that we should at all times, and in all places, give thanks unto thee, O Lord, Holy Father, Almighty, Everlasting God. 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.   Blessed is he that cometh in the Name of the Lord. Hosanna in the highest.

All glory and thanksgiving be to thee, Almighty God, our heavenly Father, for that thou of thy tender mercy didst give thine only Son Jesus Christ to suffer death upon the cross for our redemption; who, by his own oblation of himself once offered, made a full, perfect, and sufficient sacrifice, oblation, and satisfaction, for the sins of the whole world; and did institute, and in his holy Gospel command us to continue, a perpetual memorial of that his precious death and sacrifice until his coming again.

For, in the night that he was betrayed, he took bread; and when he had given thanks, he brake it, and gave it to his disciples, saying, Take, eat, this is my Body, which is given for you: Do this in remembrance of me.  Likewise after supper he took the cup; and when he had given thanks, he gave it to them, saying, Drink ye all of this, for this is my Blood of the new testament, which is shed for you and for many for the remission of sins: Do this as oft as ye shall drink it in remembrance of me.

Wherefore, O Lord, and heavenly Father, according to the institution of thy dearly beloved Son our Saviour Jesus Christ, we thy humble servants do celebrate and make here before thy Divine Majesty, with these thy holy gifts, which we now offer unto thee, the memorial thy Son hath commanded us to make; having in remembrance his blessed passion, and precious death, his mighty resurrection, and glorious ascension; rendering unto thee most hearty thanks for the innumerable benefits procured unto us by the same, and looking for his coming again with power and great glory.

And we thine unworthy servants beseech thee, most merciful Father, to hear us, and to send thy Holy Spirit upon us and upon these thy gifts and creatures of bread and wine, that, being blessed and hallowed by his life-giving power, they may become the Body and Blood of thy most dearly beloved Son, to the end that all who shall receive the same may be sanctified both in body and soul, and preserved unto everlasting life. And we earnestly desire thy fatherly goodness, mercifully to accept this our sacrifice of praise and thanksgiving,

And here we humbly offer and present unto thee, O Lord, ourselves, our souls and bodies, to be a reasonable, holy, and living sacrifice unto thee, beseeching thee to accept this our bounden duty and service, not weighing our merits, but pardoning our offences, through Jesus Christ our Lord: by whom, and with whom, in the unity of the Holy Ghost, all honour and glory be unto thee, O Father Almighty, world without end. 

Amen.

As our Saviour Christ hath commanded and taught us, we are bold to say,

Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy Name, Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done, in earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread; And forgive us our trespasses, As we forgive them that 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.

Here the Celebrant shall break the Bread.

The peace of the Lord be always with you.

And with thy spirit.

Beloved, let us love one another, for love is of God.

We do not presume to come to this thy Holy Table, O merciful Lord, trusting in our own righteousness, but in thy manifold and great mercies.  We are not worthy so much as to gather up the crumbs under thy Table: but thou art the same Lord, whose property is always to have mercy.  Grant us therefore, gracious Lord,so to eat the Flesh of thy dear Son Jesus Christ, and to drink his Blood, that our sinful bodies may be made clean by his most sacred Body, and our souls washed through his most precious Blood, and that we may evermore dwell in him, and he in us.  Amen.

O Lamb of God, that takest away the sins of the world: have mercy upon us.

O Lamb of God, that takest away the sins of the world: have  mercy upon us.

O Lamb of God, that takest away the sins of the world: grant us thy peace.

The Communion

The Rector receives the body and blood on behalf of everyone else.

Thanksgiving after Communion

O give thanks unto the Lord, for he is gracious.

And his mercy endureth for ever.

Let us pray:

O Lord our God, thou Saviour of the world, through whom we have celebrated these Holy Mysteries: receive our humble thanksgiving, and of thy great mercy vouchsafe to sanctify us evermore in body and soul; who livest and reignest with the Father and the Holy Spirit, one God, world without end. Amen.

The peace of God which passeth all understanding, keep your hearts and minds in the knowledge and love of God, and of his Son Jesus Christ our Lord: And the blessing of God Almighty, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost, be amongst you and remain with you always. Amen.

Christine Hermann RIP

This morning, the birds joined with the Rector in giving thanks for Chrissie’s life. The sun shone and while the wind had a distinct chill at North Duntocher cemetery, the breath of the Holy Spirit which binds us all together, surrounded us in the warmth of prayer and fellowship for Chrissie’s final journey.

The link below will take you to a tribute of Chrissie’s life written by her niece.