Collection for the Mission to Seafarers.
Once again we will be celebrating Sea Sunday at the end of June and there will be a retiring collection in aid of the Mission to Seafarers at the eleven o’clock service when when we will have the opportunity to think of the seafarers who bring imports to out country.
Nowadays the merchant seafarers in most ships are from low pay countries such as the Philipines and Indonesia. Almost all the ships are registered in countries which are only interested in getting the registration fees and do not enforce standards of pay or good working conditions. The men and women in the crews are away from their homes and
families for long periods. When they have personal family or welfare problems they have no one to turn to for advice or help except for the Mission to Seafarers.
So on 24th June let us pray for the Revd. Tim Tunley the Chaplain of the Mission in Scotland and his voluntary helpers and all those seafarers who bring us the oil and other imports that make up around 95% of everything we use on a daily basis, that we need and more importantly give generously so that the work of the Mission may continue.
Please see the latest update from our Vestry.
- The Congregational Profile for Holy Trinity has been updated and sent to the Bishop.
- Rev’d Christoph Wutscher, Stirling was able to attend our Vestry meeting.
Communication Survey and Growing Congregations –
The strategic theme for discussion in our meeting was Communication. Looking at the feedback from both the growing congregations work and communications survey
- reports were compiled the feedback from questionnaires and feedback received in these two projects. A subgroup was asked to look at the results and decide on action points to take forward.
- Andrew Wedge, Stuart Gray and Fiona Barcroft met to discuss improvements to our Website and Pew Sheet and Liturgy at Baptisms.
- Mailing – it was agreed all mailing should be addressed to the church and we are investigating putting a letter box in the side- door.
- Emails – it was agreed emails would be set up for post holders which can be passed on to keep emails separate from personal emails
- General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR) – the new requirements due to come into force on 25th May were discussed. New consent forms and privacy notices will be written and given to all members of the congregation.
- AEF Gardens were appointed to maintain the Rectory garden.
- Repair work to the drains has been completed to address issues with the toilets blocking
- The outflow from the gulley in the roof above the porch entrance has been cleared.
- It is hoped the hall floor will be re-polished in June
- Konevets Russian Quartet were unable to get Visas so will no longer being coming to Dunfermline.
- It was decided to end the contract for the photocopier as most of our printing is currently done offsite. However, as the supplier does not require it back, the photocopier is being retained for as long as we can keep it operational.
- It was decided to set up a stall at the Fife Interfaith Group event on Friday 1st June. Canon Oliver O’Donovan will be speaking. There will be up to twelve tables with information about different churches. All welcome to come along to the event which is from 7pm to 9pm. The speakers will be in the church and the stall will be in the hall.
St Alban is generally recognised as being one of the earliest, if not the first British Saint, and he is honoured as being the first British
martyr. There is no doubt that he existed and was martyred because he is mentioned in very early manuscripts but the dates and circumstances are a bit hazy and are embroidered by improbable and unreliable legend. The date of his birth is unknown but it must have been in the early part of the third century. The date of his martyrdom is recorded as being 22nd June but the year is quoted in different sources as being 251 or 305. He came of Romano-British stock and legend has it that he served in the Roman Army and lived in the Roman Town of Verulamium (now St Albans).
The generally accepted story is that St Alban who was a pagan gave shelter to a Christian priest, Amphibalus, who was fleeing from the Romans during one of the purges against the Christians. Alban was so impressed by the fugitive’s faith and courage that he asked the priest to teach him about Christ and he became a Christian. The Romans having heard that the priest was in Alban’s house came to arrest Amphibalus, but Alban exchanged robes with the priest and pretended to be the priest who was enabled thereby to escape.
Alban was seized and brought before the Magistrates and was given the opportunity to recant his faith and worship the Emperor. Alban refused saying he worshiped “the one true and living God” and the Magistrates had him scourged and gave him a second chance to recant. Again he refused and was sentenced to be executed and taken to a hill overlooking the town where he was beheaded.
So much for reasonable reliable information about St. Alban but it was not long before a mass of fables were woven about him as his story was related by tellers of stories in the halls of the nobles and in the towns and villages. Also there was another reason for enhancing the prominence of the Saint inasmuch as in the fourth century a British monk, Pelagius, had preached heretical teachings suggesting that there was no such thing as original sin and this had become so popular in Britain that a mission was sent under St Germanus to quell the heresy. In doing this Germanus invoked the popularity of St Alban as a counterbalance to that of Pelagius, and infact visited Verulamium, where a church dedicated to St Alban had now been built and presented to the church a shoulder blade that he had brought from an abbey near Cologne which was alleged to be that of St. Alban. He also promoted the wild legends.
The fables were collected and written up by Bede in his history of the early church in Britain. They allege that on the way from the town to the place of execution on a hill overlooking the town the Saint was thirsty and had to stop whereupon a spring bust forth at his feet. The execution party then came to a stream that was in spate and they could not cross it. The Saint, wanting to hasten to his execution and a place in heaven, prayed and the waters subsided. No such stream exists in the vicinity of the execution site. The Roman soldier detailed as executioner was so amazed that he threw down his sword and said that he was adopting Christianity and he was executed after the Saint.
The replacement executioner beheaded the Saint when the party arrived at the place of execution and immediately as the blow struck the executioner dropped dead from a fit with his eyes popping from his head. The head of the Saint was severed cleanly from the body and rolled down the hill. At the spot it came to rest a spring erupted from the ground. A spring still exists at the foot of the hill and is known as Holy Well.
Although we, 1800 years later, would give little credence to these wild legends, the simple people at the time would have believed the substance of it and it may have helped their faith. A church was built on the hill where the execution took place and was replaced eventually by the existing Cathedral where there is a shrine to the Saint erected in 1308 housing the shoulder blade alleged to be the one brought to St Albans by St Germanus. Let us remember that St Alban was the first Briton to die for his faith in Britain and pray through his intercession that our own faith may be strengthened.
“I am not afraid” by Irina Ratushinskaya
In a diversion from my usual Lent reading of meditation and prayers, I opted to read something different. A book with its theme based along the journey of Lent and Easter. A journey of suffering and hope.
Irina Ratushinskaya was born in Ukraine. She was a poet and a journalist who was passionate about human rights. This led to various protests which brought her into conflict with the authorities. She was eventually arrested in March 1983 and sentenced to a “strict regime” in a concentration camp in Mordovia. She went on repeated hunger strikes, which then resulted in increasingly harsh treatments.
She spent long periods of solitary confinement in an unheated cell. It was there that she wrote poetry in very small script on cigarette papers or bars of soap which she later dissolved in water after memorising the verses. She was released in October 1986 after intense international pressure on the authorities.
Her poem “I will live and survive” tells of resistance and strength, a cry for freedom from suffering and injustice, that hope and truth always prevails or as is the title of her follow on book – “Grey is the colour of Hope”.
“I will live and survive”
by Irina Ratushinskaya
I will live and survive and be asked:
How they slammed my head against a trestle, How I had to freeze at nights,
How my hair started to turn grey….
But I’ll smile. And will crack some joke
And brush away the encroaching shadow.
And I will render homage to the dry September
That became my second birth.
And I’ll be asked: ‘Doesn’t it hurt you to remember?’ Not being deceived by my outward flippancy.
But the former names will detonate my memory – Magnificent as old cannon.
And I will tell of the best people in all the earth,
The most tender, but also the most invincible,
How they said farewell. How they went to be tortured,
How they waited for letters from their loved ones. And I’ll be asked: what helped us to live
When there were neither letters nor any news – only walls,
And the cold of the cell, and the blather of official lies, And the sickening promises made in exchange for betrayal.
And I will tell of the first beauty
I saw in captivity.
A frost-covered window! No spy-holes, nor walls,
Nor cell-bars, nor the long endured pain –
Only a blue radiance on a tiny pane of glass,
A cast pattern – none more beautiful could be dreamt! The more clearly you looked the more powerfully blossomed
Those brigand forests, campfires and birds!
And how many times there was bitter cold weather And how many windows sparkled after that one –
But never was it repeated,
That upheaval of rainbow ice!
And anyway what good would it be to me now,
And what would be the pretext for the festival?
Such a gift can only be received once,
And perhaps is only needed once.
General Syond runs from the 7th – 9th June and will discuss and debate the direction of the whole Scottish Epsicopal Church.
We pray for all those involved that they consider Gods will in all their decisions and ensure they make the best moves forward to help everyone in the way Jesus taught us.
If you are there as a rep, visitor or watching at home we pray that you may be inspired in the possibilities of the Scottish Episcopal church and the Love of God we can show by our actions.
We pray especially for our representatives including members of our Youth Fellowship who speak this Saturday to represent the whole of the youth in our province.
You can follow Synod 2018 at home online via the SEC website, Facebook or YouTube and get involved with the debate on twitter using the hashtag #pisky
Below a photo taken as the General Synod started on Thursday Edinburgh, members of the Scottish Episcopal Church wore black as part of #Thursdaysinblack, as we work and pray for a world free from rape and violence.