Argyll and the Isles Synod

Some words of wisdom from their synod from Mrs Blethers. The Bishop of Moray, Ross and Caithness seems to be a rerr, (That’s Glaswegian  for brilliant)   preacher! The words, slightly adapted, could have been for us as a parish, and every other parish in the whole of Scotland!

+Mark’s sermon and charge to members of Synod at the Eucharist, excited me, and I found myself reaching for a truly old-fashioned medium ( the service booklet and a pencil) to record some of it. He was wearing a huge and extraordinary ring, which had belonged to Bishop Forbes at the time of the 18th century Jacobite risings, and reminded us of the faithfulness it represents – the faithfulness of the Episcopal Church which over the years has fed others, not least the Episcopal Church in the USA. He exhorted us to a burning desire to proclaim the love of God in the communities we serve – serve as opposed to live in. The fact that at the moment we have no bishop does not stop our ministries, and we’ve not to let anyone tell us differently. Our task, he went on, is to be people who are open – open to the seeking of others, to those who will join us briefly and then move on; open to those who struggle elsewhere because of rules and regulations and find in our worship and our structures an openness and freedom. When we get bogged down in buildings and quinquennials we must ask: Who will I bring the light of God to today? This, said +Mark, is what we are about. The church has a voice – not of rules, commandments or exclusion, but simply a voice of love. He ended with the stirring reminder that today, in us, is the fulfilment of God’s promise.

Somehow, that worked. And the good humour and yes, the love, survived the airless conditions of our windowless venue and the haphazard arithmetic of the tellers (why, I ask myself, was I chosen as a teller, again?) By the end of business this afternoon, we were ready to believe the bishop’s closing words: we are a beautiful diocese, one which most people in the world want to visit,  whatever we might think.  We must stop moaning about long drives and difficulties, demolish the barriers that keep people from church, have the courage to speak about our church in the ordinary places where we find ourselves; we must enable the joy of faith and the love of God to be seen through us.

Lunchtime Prayer at St Augustine’s

From Monday 29th March, there will be a wee prayer service at 12.30pm Monday – Friday. It will be only 15 minutes or so, and I, with some lay help, will sustain this time as a town-centre ministry for a year-long trial. If you can come sometimes, or help with a cuppa afterwards, you will be welcomed with open arms.

Frances White RIP

Frances white died tonight, peacefully, in the Vale of Leven. Cards would be welcome. Funeral Service details will be posted later.

Daily Prayer

I hope you all know that you can access Daily Prayer from HERE. Bookmark it the link, even if you only want to pray the Office occasionally