Contact: Corinne email: firstname.lastname@example.org or telephone (01333) 311408
Trusting that you are all keeping safe and well and many thanks to all for your positive responses to the first newsletter, so here goes for week 2!
I thought I would start with this cartoon picture sent to me by Janet Bogle, in the hope it brings a smile to your face alongside the appropriate message !
Worship and personal reflection:
''our homes are in a Real and Important way the places of worship''
Rev: Nigel Robb Presbytery Clerk.
Luke 9: 59 & 60
Luke 15: 11 - 32
Matthew 12: 46 - 50
Rev Margaret Rose had commenced a series of Lenten Studies which, of course, can no longer continue in the form of a study group. The Lenten study book* rather surprisingly is based on the film 'The Greatest Showman' and I thought I would share with you this week one of the study themes.
Whilst the film is a highly fictionalised account of Phineas T. Barnum's life, it tells the story of his circus circ 1871 and his exhibition of human beings for entertainment. These men and women were of 'unusual appearance' or today we would probably describe them as having a disability.
For example: There was a man who had three legs - he was believed to have been a surviving twin; a man who suffered from microephaly - an abnormality that caused his head to remain small whilst his body grew full size; a lady who had a heavy beard - her parents received an income from Barnum when she joined his circus and she toured with him for 36 years!
The film poses the question ,what does hope and love look like in a world which so readily tramples on people's dreams, as it frames that question through the eyes of those who are considered outsiders, either because of poverty, class, disability, ethnicity and visual stereotyping.
Jesus' story speaks powerfully into this, not least because arguably his ministry represents a dramatic statement that those society considers as outsiders, that is those who are treated as such or second rate, are centre stage in God's love. Jesus himself lived as one on the edges of respectable society and died a criminal's death. As God's son among us, it is as powerful a sign of God's priorities as we can imagine.
The Lenten study does not attempt to portray Barnum as a Jesus like saviour figure, because Barnum is a flawed character - he certainly could be accused of exploitation for his own benefit whilst, at the same time, one might consider he offers help to the less fortunate, giving a home and stability to people who would otherwise be outcast.
One of the striking themes of the film is its reconfiguration of family and relationships, as the circus becomes an extended family for outsiders and outcasts and those who struggle in ordinary society to find a place where they can thrive.
Whilst the concept of the 'nuclear family' was the dominant image of family during the 20th century, ie a married heterosexual couple who raise children together, yet it is increasingly today only one version of a modern family, and it is certainly not one that would have been recognised by our Christian forebears including Jesus himself.
For a first century Jew, Jesus would find the modern ideas about family to be curious, the dominant picture of family in Jesus' world was very different to ours. In a world dominated by Greek and Roman ideas, the 'familias' was based on the rule of a 'Paterfamilias' - a dominant male who was the owner and keeper of the estate. Family in this world didn't simply cover the father's legitimate children and his wife, but all the servants and slaves, as well as children fathered with women other than his wife. It was a picture of extended family and there would have been a strong sense of belonging and safety, shaped around utter loyalty to the head of the household. There was a wide range of people, not blood related who were part of the household.
Read Luke 9: 59 -60 The cost of following Jesus The man comes along and Jesus invites him to follow him and the man says he must bury his father first. Jesus is clearly not impressed! Why would Jesus be insensitive about the desire to bury his father first? If we consider this in the context of the requirement to show faithful obedience to his 'paterfamilias' - might the man be saying ' I must wait until my father is dead, before I can join you'? This could mean it would be years before the son is free of his obligations.
Read Luke 15: 11-32 The prodigal Son. In a world where a property owning father could expect unquestioning obedience or disinherit the disobedient heir, the 'paterfamilias' shows a staggering level of indulgence in the way he treats the younger son. Jesus is showing us he is less interested in the traditional family structures and is more interested in the commitment to the Living God.
Read Matthew 12: 46 - 50 Here Jesus offers a shocking intervention when his Mother and siblings turn up to see him, and reveals new possibilities for family relationships.
"Who is my mother and brother"? His answer, 'Those who fulfil the will of my Father'. Jesus simultaneously offers a challenge to traditional ideas about family and offers liberation for those limited by those ideas.
In the film, The greatest showman, community and family represents a place for flourishing. Barnum's family is not simply that of his wife and their children, and he discovers ultimately that he is in the hands of others and they in his. The performers in the Circus discover a solidarity, love and respect which is shaped through their difference from the narrow norms of society which subverted them.
As members of the community of Jesus, even during this time of isolation from each other, we too can and will flourish. We have a solidarity, love and respect for one another which is grounded in our mutual commitment to God.
(*Lenten Study book by Rachel Mann)
'From Now On' . A Lent course on Hope and redemption in The Greatest Showman.)
Let us Pray
Allan has taken for our prayer this week a prayer prepared by the Moderator of the Church of Scotland, especially for us all at this time as we are affected by the coronavirus.
In our hour of need we turn again to you for we have nowhere else to turn.
We put our faith in you, because you have proved your faithfulness time and again.
We affirm our love for you because you have never let us go.
We thank you that you are not distant from us but have drawn near, in your Son our Saviour, Jesus Christ.
He has shared our life and understands our worries and fears.
We pray for deliverance from this pandemic spreading across our world, remembering all who have lost loved ones or are seriously ill at this time.
We pray for the doctors and nurses and all those in the caring professions who work tirelessly to help and support us.
We pray that the government guidelines be taken seriously and we all put them into action.
May we not forget our responsibility to one another, not least to the most vulnerable and voiceless in our communities.
We remember those who cannot visit loved ones in care homes or those whose social contacts have been severely curtailed.
May congregations find ways of living through this challenging time and let us not forget our faith but draw strength from it.
Let our worship be heartfelt, our fellowship deepen and our service increase.
God hear our prayers at this time.
Strengthen us by your Spirit so that we may carry on our lives as best as we are able,
looking out for others, showing love in action, being faithful in prayer and bringing encouragement , hope and peace to those who trust in you.
These prayers we bring to you,
And Our 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 debts as we forgive our debtors
And lead us not into temptation
But deliver us from evil
For Thine is the Kingdom, the power and the glory for ever
Hymn: CH4 : 191 “Do not be afraid for I have redeemed you” (Recommended by Fiona Guthrie who advises you can look it up on You Tube and sing along).
Worship 1940. A lesson from the past
Miss Jessie Lyon: Sunday 21st March 2020.
There being no service in the Church I attend, I listened to an act of worship on the radio, at 8.10 am. A small group sang a Psalm as in the Anglican Church; they also sang Responses during the prayers; there were Readings from Scripture and a short sermon.
It was a beautiful, calm start to a day when many of us were worried and frightened.
I had hoped to hear the Church of Scotland service later on, but could not locate it on my supposedly all - efficient Roberts radio.
As the day wore on, I decided that I would play a few of my favourite hymns on the piano. Then I remembered - the little red notebook, the cover discoloured, cracked, and strengthened with ruby-red adhesive tape. Where was it? I searched every shelf and cupboard and at last I tracked it down.*
I came to Sunday 24th March 1940
Services at 11.30 am and 6 o'clock.
Praise: Psalm 121
Hymns: 167 When Morning gilds the Skies
674 Looking upward every day
185 Spirit of God that moved of old
135 Rejoice the Lord is King.
Readings: O.T. Psalm 97
N.T. John Ch 12: 22 - 36
Sermon John 12: v 32
Children: Psalm 97: v 2 'The Rainbow'
Praise: Paraphrase 63
Hymns: 149 O come, O come, Immanuel
498 Lord, in the fullness of my might
697 My hope is built on nothing less
Readings: Exodus 34: 29- 35
Luke 9: 28 - 36
Sermon Luke 9 : 29 'White and glistening'
Total Sunday worshippers 192.
I played and sang every hymn and I read the scripture passages.
Was this occasion in 1940, filled with a sense of 'retro'?
Was it so anachronistic as to be old hat for 2020?
Did it have little of relevance or wisdom to share with our present crisis?
I was amazed at the positive message of hope and good cheer which ran through the choice of readings and hymns. I was reminded of the words, 'yesterday, today and tomorrow'
Sunday 24th March 1940, enemy planes were trying to find a passage through the skies above Addiewell Parish Church, to reach the river Clyde.
You might care to take out your King James Bible and the Revised church Hymnary and read and sing as I did. I was there, and here.
In 1940 there was terror. In 2020 there is fear. Then, God's word in prayer and praise, was a message for hope; Now, I am sure it is the same.
*(The notebook contains details of services of worship led by Jessie's father, The Rev Lyon. What a tremendous legacy)
You can listen to:
Sunday Worship on Radio 4 at 08:10
and watch and sing along:
Songs of Praise on BBC1 Sunday 1.15 pm.
Church of Scotland - Worship www.churchofscotland.org.uk/worship
The Church of Scotland intends to provide a recorded service for the next three weeks, including Easter, via the Church of Scotland website and social media platforms. Also, a list of congregations providing a streamed service can be found on the Church of Scotland website.
REV. IAN HAMILTON
I have pleasure in sending you the Playlist for April's "Sunday Serenade"
It can be heard on-line, either on your pc, your ipad or your iphone as follows:
NEVIS RADIO http://www.nevisradio.co.uk Every Sunday in April at 7.00 a.m.
COAST AND COUNTY RADIO http://www.coastandcountyradio.co.uk Sundays 5th and 19th April at 4.00 p.m.
WAVE RADIO http://www.waveradio.org.uk
Sundays 12th & 26th April at 9.00 p.m.
Enjoy the Springtime Playlist!
"SUNDAY SERENADE" - APRIL PLAYLIST
LOVE WILL FIND A WAY
SPRING (Vivaldi - "The Four Seasons")
SPRING, SPRING, SPRING ("7 BRIDES FOR
7 BROTHERS") London Cast
MARY POPPINS MEDLEY (Arr. Jack
Byfield) Max Jaffa and Orchestra
LOCHINVER Peter Mallan
A BOUQUET OF ROSES (Organ
Selection) John Kitchen
TRY A LITTLE KINDNESS Glen Campbell WE'LL GATHER LILACS (Ivor Novello) Marilyn Hill Smith
LES PETITES VALSES PARISIENNE
(Arr.Black) BBC Concert Orchestra
APRIL IN PARIS Frank Sinatra AE' FOND KISS Nicola Benedetti & BBC Scottish Symphony Orch.
TIME FOR THOUGHT
THE OLD RUGGED CROSS/AMAZING GRACE Peter Mallan
THE LORD BLESS YOU AND KEEP YOU Fredonia Chamber Singers
Stands For Dignity. For Equality. For justice.
The values of the charity are rooted in a shared Christian belief - that everyone is equal in the sight of God. Yet we live in a world where poverty still persists.
A Christian Aid Worship Service and brunch had been planned for April in Kilrenny Church, to help raise funds for Christian Aid alongside the other usual fundraising activities undertaken such as the Tay Bridge Walk. All this of course cannot now take place.
Lesley (McKane) our Christian Aid Coordinator has received a letter from Amanda Mukwashi, Chief Executive of Christian Aid, and Sally Foster-Fulton, Head of Christian Aid Scotland, expressing their thanks for our support given in the past, and recognising that the usual Christian Aid fundraising events cannot go ahead as planned.
They highlight that people in poorer countries will be hit hard by coronavirus, as many are living with reduced health resilience because of extreme poverty or in overcrowded camps, and in countries which do not have the healthcare infrastructures needed to combat widespread disease.
They are working on alternative plans to allow people to take part in Christian Aid week in different ways.
visit https://www.christianaid.org.uk/ where there are articles, pictures and videos that you can access to find out more about Christian Aid and its work and how to help.
Rev Dr Amos Chewachong - Interim Moderator
Amos was visiting Cameroon and faced great anxiety because the Cameroonian government closed its borders on 16th March, the day before Amos was due to depart the country and return home.
Amos actually left Cameroon on Friday 20th March going to Nigeria (by land) then flew from Calabar to Abuja and then to Dubai and from Dubai to Edinburgh, arriving home late on Saturday 21st March. Nigeria closed its borders that same evening.
Amos now has to self isolate and sends 'Every Blessing' to everyone.
News of members.
The Bowman household.
Jeanette informs that all are well although as a family they are in different parts of the country.... John is working on the ferry going from Oban to the Isle of Mull, young John is working from home in Cardenden and Amanda is travelling from Colinsburgh to Cupar everyday to school. Jeanette is at home in Pittenweem.
The Grundy household.
Roger & Fiona are both well and managing coastal path walks & lots of gardening. Roger is enjoying 'playing with his new toy!' a John Deere tractor, whilst Fiona, a yoga expert keeps up with yoga and pilates practice........(.sounds like hard work to me!!)
Naturally Fiona is missing and concerned about her Mum who is 91. Whilst keeping in regular contact it is difficult not being able to visit.
The Wallis Household
"To all our friends at Kilrenny, I’m afraid Sybil and I have to confess to the most dreadful crime. We recently went into the Church Hall and took all the biscuits away, all those Kit Kat’s , all those Tunnock's tea cakes and Bandits. Seriously though, we thought they would be past their sell by date by the time we resume normal service so they’ve gone to the food bank today and Richard Wemyss was delighted, and I’m sure lots of bairns will be too. We promise that when normality returns we’ll buy the best selection of biscuits as a celebration"
Allan & Sybill
The McKane household
"Work and voluntary duties continue for both of us at home, keeping us busy.
It is great how much increased communication is going on now between family and friends, but of course it takes time being on the phone and composing emails/texts etc. Some people are letting their creative side loose and it does raise a smile. Let's hope this all keeps going!
I phoned Elspeth Harvey and she is as well as can be expected, and Janis is ensuring she has enough food etc.
Jim tends to leave family communication
to me most of the time, but he astounded our younger daughter, Fiona, yesterday evening by achieving a What's App video call to her! She initially typed the message 'She never thought she'd see the day when her father communicated like this!'.
I am hoping that this time of interruption may give us a chance to reflect and re-set our priorities. I have several times over the years tried to follow a daily bible study. Sadly I have to report that I didn't keep going for very long each time. Now I have started again and am using the Bible Society 'Explore The Bible' site and am finding it a good one. I hope I will have more will-power this time and it will become a firm habit.
Although the imminent and unseen threat is a constant horrible feeling, we are very aware that staying in isolation is so much easier for us with a house and garden to enjoy. Cooped up in a small flat/room, especially with children bouncing off the walls must be extremely difficult. Having lived in London, we do understand the panicky feeling of people where there is such a pressure of numbers. It was a little bit similar when we experienced drought conditions there, and water supply became critical.
Regarding Christian Aid, I played the video again this morning. It merits more than one playing I feel because although Florence and her friends are laughing and smiling a lot (that tendency really struck and amazed us when we lived in South Africa) actually even with the help they have been given so far by Christian Aid, their circumstances are still so much worse than ours, ...... and that is before this virus hits them. I felt it was easy to miss that on the first time of watching.
I think I would also just say that I am sure our walkers (The Famous Five?) are disappointed to be missing the Tay Bridge Cross this year. It is fun, especially if the weather co-operates, and raises much needed donations. I was sorry to have missed last year's Christian Aid Service and Brunch, but know it was really enjoyed, and also raised more money together with envelopes filled. I will keep an eye on what alternative suggestions for fund-raising are made, and keep you informed so that action might be possible. Online individual donations via the Christian Aid website are always possible though.
Name the newsletter competition:
So far I have the following suggestions:
- Kilrenny Chronicle
- Kilrenny Connector
- Kilrenny Kirk Connector
- The Kilrenny Many (not the few)
We need more suggestions please!
Week 1 Competition answers
Answers for last week’s competition
If you got them all right...let me know!
Doddie - Dog Diary & the trials of Ann
Week ending 29th March. Another week in and Doddie is fully vaccinated and raring to go. There is no timidity or holding back. I can only describe his face when he saw beyond the garden gate as a mixture of joy and outrage - you never told me this was here. So similar to when my children discovered that I had a box of chocolate biscuits on the top shelf - they only had plain biscuits!! I have not been able to live that down. Well trying to get a harness on is a real wrestling match. Again I remember trying to get a Terry Towelling nappy on a nine month old baby, only they did not bite! The first harness was too small and had to be returned. The second one was like his big brothers jumper - plenty of room for growth! Third time lucky but do not be fooled by the angelic photo. I am on the other side of the camera, hair awry, dishevelled and a limp rag.
All you hear from the Thomson household is " Doddie dinnae dae that!"
Hi everyone. If you’re like me, being confined to barracks has led to a lot more interest in what's happening in my garden. Here are six of the regular visitors to my bird feeders, how many can you name?
As always, answers next week. Happy bird watching
Allan's competition is a good reminder to look after our regular visitors to our gardens
Two male blackbirds are waiting for me every morning when I open the garden door and lay raisins on the window cill. One is more dominant and chases the other away until he has had enough. They re-appear regularly during the day for more, so I have ensured a good store cupboard of raisins for them!
Do you have a story to tell?
- It could be an amusing incident from the past or present.
- Do you have a recipe you could let us have, something a bit different for us to try during our period of isolation?
- What is happening in your street? How are you keeping in touch with family, friends and neighbours?
I would love to hear from you and share your news in the next edition This week a story from George.
The best laid schemes of mice and men gang aft agley!
In January, while on holiday in Spain, I thought it would be a good idea to go to the US, so booked flights and hire car with BA. I have covered over 25,000 miles seeing the US since our son moved there 25 years ago, most of it on a motor cycle, but I thought it would be a good idea to arrive at Atlanta, and drive across to where our son and family live in Southern California. I have never been to the where the civil rights movement started, or seen where the law caught up with Bonnie and Clyde!
Anyway, we got back from Spain early February, and there were noises from the Far East about ‘coronavirus’, but I don’t think anyone at that point envisaged where ‘we’ are now, ever happening here. Events moved on, and I made some plans as to which way to go and booked 3 hotels, but the closer it came to our departure date, the more ominous things started to look. We were due to set off and arrive in the US on Tuesday 17th March, and had a chat on the situation with our son via Skype on Friday 13th , (no significance?!) by which time our ‘friend and ally’ Donald Trump had in his wisdom banned arrivals from the EU and Europe, but not the UK or Ireland. This was of no help to us whatsoever, as until it became impossible to make the journey to the US, we would have forfeited our money if we cancelled. Our son had described the scenes at their nearest Costco, and like everything else in the USA, the panic buying was even bigger! Our daughter in law couldn’t even get into the car park, and they had opened a dedicated door for sales of toilet rolls! The weekend was spent debating on what to do, but eventually ‘the Donald’ finally concede defeat and included the UK and Ireland in the travel ban as of 5am our time on Tuesday morning. This brought things to a head, and Monday saw a flurry of emails; from immigration in the USA to say that our ESTA’s (authorisation to enter) were cancelled; the FCO to say that the USA was now not recommended as a destination to travel to, and BA to say that they were no longer able to fulfill their part of the contract, and that a full refund would arrive within one week.
Ironically, e-mails also arrived from BA to say that on-line check in was now available, and to check the FO website for travel information! The hotel at Edinburgh airport was paid for in advance, so we decided to have a night there on Monday anyway. I checked at the airport to see what was going on and asked about our flight. The airport was practically deserted, and the only BA staff was one man on a check-in desk. He was very helpful, looked up our flights, and the flights were still scheduled as planned, which probably explained the ‘check in being open e-mail, but the one from Heathrow to Atlanta had a proviso beside it to say that only US residents and citizens were being allowed on board. I had no desire to go to London, so left it at that, and retreated to the hotel! The hotel was comfortable enough but surreal in a way, as practically all of their custom comes from the airport or the exhibition centre next door. Neither of which was functioning really. Anyway, we had a comfortable night; had a drink at the bar, (from a very disinterested barman who plonked my can of Guinness down on the bar without offering to open it or give me a glass!) and watched the soaps from our bed. Breakfast was even more surreal; what was there was nice enough but the only hot food was a choice between bacon or sausage, no eggs even! Last time I experienced that was in Cameroon in 1986, I think? The ritual there was for the waiter to present you with an impressive menu, you then asked what was off the menu, the waiter assured you nothing, you ordered, and he disappeared. Five minutes later he reappeared to tell you whether what you had ordered was available. I usually had poached eggs on toast at this particular hotel on the basis that that was probably the most innocuous item on the menu, but on one occasion the waiter arrived back to tell me they had no eggs! In Cameroon the hens used to make their way up into a tree to roost for the night, and having been wakened early in the morning by them making their way down, and cockerels crowing to welcome the new day, to be told there were no eggs took the biscuit as far as I was concerned. Anyway, I had realized a while ago that getting excited about it and jumping up and down didn’t achieve anything.
In conclusion we were very fortunate; all the money is back on my credit card, and there is nothing like home in a situation like this, despite the restrictions. There are a lot of people not so fortunate at the moment, including the staff at the hotel at the airport. Apparently, there was to be a meeting at night to let them know what was going to happen and the consensus was that they would be out of a job?
The Kirk Session wish you a very safe, healthy and happy week ahead.
Doxology CH4 806
To Father, Son and Holy Ghost,
the God whom we adore,
be glory, as it was, and is,
and shall be evermore.