All posts by Rector

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

Snippets from our worship on Sunday 1st November

Unfortunately technically difficulties means it will be another week before our first service will appear on zoom.

We began by joining our voices and our hearts, those in the church and those via zoom, with those who worship in heaven. Uniting in worship with the angels, the cherubim and seraphim, the glorious company of the apostles, the godly fellowship of the prophets, the noble army of martyrs and the holy church throughout the world; in offering our praise. Praying that in these and through all days the glory of heaven may be reflected here on earth through our worship and our lives.

The above Invocation comes from the New Zealand Prayer Book. When it was being complied there was a desire not to wipe over the history and culture of the Maoris people but include their understanding of God built upon their own traditions and history. The book itself is written in places in English on one page with the facing page being the same prayers in the Maoris language.

After the names of those to be remembered where read out these prayers were said:

Lord shed your love, Lord shed your peace.

For empty spaces at dinner tables. For births and graduations, weddings and birthdays not attended. For family not met. For hugs that will never be given or received and calls that will never be answered. Lord shed your love. Lord shed your peace.

For those who died trying to make the world a better place, those who have died trying to find safety and a new life. Lord shed your love, Lord shed your peace.

For those who have died alone but for you. For those who have died during war. For those who have died as a result of racism, homophobia, sectarianism, or any other form of hatred. For those who have died at the hand of their own demons. Lord shed your love, Lord shed your peace.

For the people whose hands I’ve held others as they died. For the times the goodbye has been missed through circumstance. For all those who grieve. Lord shed your love, Lord shed your peace.

For the people who we love but see no longer. For those who will die tonight. For the tears and bittersweet memories tonight may bring. Lord shed your love, Lord shed your peace.

For the promise of the Resurrection. Alleluia, Alleluia.

Holy God may all your faithful people know the fullness of your promised new life once their journey in this life has come to it’s end. Amen.

The time of Commemoration ended with the names being placed under the altar cloth and a candle being lit, before Mary read us the Nunc Dimittis.

From the Diocese

May God bless us with a restless discomfort about easy answers, half-truths and superficial relationships, so that we may seek truth boldly and love deep within our hearts.
May God bless us with holy anger at injustice, oppression, and exploitation, so that we may tirelessly work for justice, freedom, and peace across the whole of creation.
May God bless us with the gift of tears to shed with those who suffer from pain, rejection, starvation, or the loss of all that they cherish, so that we may reach out our hands to comfort them and together transform pain into joy.
May God bless us with enough foolishness to believe that we really can make a difference in this world, so that we are able, with God’s grace, to do what others claim cannot be done.
And the blessing of God the Supreme Majesty and our Creator, Jesus Christ the Incarnate Word who is our brother and Saviour, and the Holy Spirit, our Advocate and Guide, be with us and remain with us, this day and forevermore. Amen.

Image from stained glass at St Margaret’s Newlands

Snippets from Service on Sunday 11th October

The Gospel reading from Matthew 22 was not the Jesus meek and mild of which as a child I remember singing about in Sunday School. This is a tough Jesus, with some hard truths, things we would rather not hear, but things that we need to take to heart never the less.

Gospel Reading – Then Jesus spoke to them again in parables. He said, “The kindom of heaven is like this: there was a ruler who prepared a feast for the wedding of the family’s heir; but when the ruler sent out workers to summon the invited guests, they wouldn’t come.  The ruler sent other workers, telling them to say to the guests, ‘I have prepared this feast for you. My oxen and fattened cattle have been slaughtered, and everything is ready; come to the wedding.’  But they took no notice; one went off to his farm, another to her business, and the rest seized the workers, attacked them brutally and killed them.  The ruler was furious and dispatched troops who destroyed those murderers and burned their town.  “Then the ruler said to the workers, ‘The wedding feast is ready, but the guests I invited don’t deserve the honour.  Go out to the crossroads in the town and invite everyone you can find.’  The workers went out into the streets and collected everyone they met, good and bad alike, until the hall was filled with guests.  “The ruler, however, came in to see the company at table, and noticed one guest who was not dressed for a wedding.  ‘My friend,’ said the ruler, ‘why are you here without a wedding garment?’ But the guest was silent.  Then the ruler said to the attendants, ‘Bind this guest hand and foot, and throw the individual out into the darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.’  “Many are called, but few are chosen.”

We also had Psalm 23 as our psalm for the day and the intercessions reflected both the comfort of this familiar psalm along with the challenges of Jesus words from our Gospel.

YHWH, you are our shepherd: we want nothing more

O God you let us lie down in green meadows; lead us beside restful waters, guide us to lush pastures, refresh our souls, all for the sake of your Name.

We pray for those who have nowhere safe to lie down, those who are homeless and refugees, for those who may have a physical bed, but not know safety within it, the abused, those living in places of war, those fearful of rising waters, raging fires or other acts which might damage their place of rest and endanger their lives.  We pray for all governments and leaders and their striving to secure peace and safety that not just for the few but for all people.  Lead and guide us O God, in all your ways, through all our days, clothe us in your righteousness. 

YHWH, you are our shepherd: we want nothing more.

O God, even when shadows of Death, destruction and troublesome things surround us, we have nothing to fear for you God are with us, giving us courage. 

We pray for those who are fearful this day, fearful because of health concerns, because of job prospects or the lack of them, fearful because of financial worries, because of a future which is uncertain and unclear for many.  We remember before you O God those who will die this day and pray they will not die alone but know the presence of those around them and know your presence to welcome them into eternity.  We pray for the future of this planet you created, give us courage to do what is right to protect and preserve it even if it means changing the ways we live and making our lives less convenient than we have grown accustomed to.  Give us courage for the times ahead O God whatever they may bring and clothe us with grateful hearts for all you provide for us.  And clothe us with compassion for those whom suffer regardless of how or why that suffering has come about.

 YHWH, you are our shepherd: we want nothing more.

O God, you spread a table for us in the presence of our enemies, you anoint us with your blessings till they overflow.  Your goodness and love is there beside us all our days and when they come to an end we will still dwell with you.

We remember and pray for those who we love but see no longer trusting that they are safely in your care and in your promise to be always with us even in and through death.  We pray for those who wish us ill, for those who have no concern for others, for those who think only of self, we ask you to bless them O God just as you bless us.  Help us to act with your grace and mercy towards those who do us wrong.  We give thanks for this day for the overflowing blessings it contains, for being able to gather and worship you without fear, we pray for Christians throughout the world, those who can not worship and those who are gathering together in a variety of ways this day.  May your Church be courageous in standing up and speaking out for justice; hope filled in its words and actions; faithful in service to you; and joy filled in sharing your Good News for all.  And clothe us with mercy and grace to love unconditionally and impartially just as you love.

YHWH, you are our shepherd: we want nothing more.

O God you are our shepherd, just as you have been for countless generations before and will be for countless generations to come, help us to live in the fullness of that wonder today and all the days of our lives.

Receive these our prayers and the prayers of our hearts which we offer in love and faith asking only that in these and all things your will be done.Amen.

Snippets from the service for Sunday 4th October – Harvest

Some members of the congregation joined the Rector in church to celebrate Harvest and while they couldn’t sing those who also joined virtually did get to sing the hymn below.

Giving thanks is always a good thing to do but perhaps even more so in these times.

Opening Prayer

God of harvest time, we gather together and apart today as Your people and Your church; to celebrate and to give thanks for the harvest we have been fortunate enough to share in. A harvest we have benefited from throughout our lives but especially throughout these last six months. Enable us to be fruitful in our worship, just as the earth is fruitful in her gifts, as we join with the whole of creation in giving thanks with joyful hearts. Amen.

At the end of the service we blessed those pets gathered via zoom, those who were camera shy and all pets everywhere as we prayed for all creatures great and small.

Life-giving God we thank you for all animals, the large and the small, the furry, the scaly and the feathery; the ones that walk, the ones that swim, the ones that fly, the ones that slither.  Teach us to love all your creation and revere its sacredness, give us the gifts of compassion not just towards humankind but towards all creatures great and small.  We thank you for those animals who work, and pray that they may have plenty of rest and fun also. We pray for all farm animals, that their lives maybe free from distress, and for all the creatures we are not too keen on, the spider, the midge, the cockroach. 

And now we ask you to bless all pets.  We give thanks for those pets who have provided valuable and immeasurable companionship through the lonely days of the virus time.  We pray for your blessing upon them, by the power of your love, enable these beloved creatures to live according to your plan.  May all pets be safe, happy and healthy, we thank you for the pleasures, the companionship, the friendship and the love they give us.  Through Jesus Christ our Lord.  Amen.

Hymn for those on Zoom