The Liturgy for Sunday is below along with the hymns which we will be singing if you can not join us on zoom. Our service begins at 10.30am and you can sign on from 10.15am.
During Advent we joined in with the global #AdventWord movement. As well as following the words and images, we also met most mornings for prayers and a quiet time via zoom. We have decided to continue with #EpiphanyWords, this isn’t a world-wide movement, but who knows. Just as in Advent a word, short prayer and image will appear on this facebook page early each morning and you are invited, if you wish, to join us in prayer at 8am or at any time which suits you. The is the liturgy which will be used is below if you wish to use it at another time more convenient for you, you will not need to have a copy of it with you, should you wish to join us via the usual zoom details, which you can find at this link Worshipping via Zoom at All Saints | All Saints – Bearsden (church.scot).
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
The zoom platform is available through an app or via your internet browser of choice, it is available on android, windows, or apple. You can download it here on their web site or via your usual download preference. You can also use it directly from the web if you prefer.
All zoom services at All Saints require the same log in details rather than you keep on having to find the relevant one for any particular service, they are: meeting id 935 081 2635 when prompted you will need the password Genesis. You will be able to sign on 15 minutes before a service is due to begin.
During the service the Rector, and one other person only, will be unmuted to prevent unnecessary feed back and noises in the background in people’s homes disturbing others. You will be invited to join with them in the responses. After the service, if you wish, you can join in one of the breakout rooms when you can have a chat with other members of the congregation. If you wish to speak to the Rector alone just press the raise your hand notification and that can be arranged. The Rectory is of course available at times other than directly after services so you may wish to chat with others and arrange a separate time to chat with the Rector.
When there is in person worship in church those on zoom will sing a hymn when communion is being distributed. When it is zoom only worship we will sing two or three hymns, which you will remain muted for so you can sing to your hearts content.
The liturgy will be available on this web site from at least the Thursday before, please search the news posts, prior liturgies are removed to prevent confusion but occasionally there is more than one weeks liturgy so please ensure you have the right one.
John Sherwood’s funeral will be held on 22nd December at 4pm, below are the details should you wish to join with others who will be gathering with the Holy Spirit through the link below. 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
Advent prayer is said at 8am every morning, except Sundays, live on zoom. You don’t need to have your camera on if you prefer not to be seen by those outside your household at that hour of the morning.
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.
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 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
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