The Christ Church congregation meets for coffee after both the 10.30 am service on Sunday and the 10.00 am service on Thursday and this is a good opportunity to chat and find out more. On this page you will find items of news and interest to the congregation.
OUR LOCAL FOOD BANK NEEDS DONATIONS
Every week we collect items of food suitable for the food bank at Kirkcudbright. These can be placed in the boxes at the back of church. Jane Greenwood co-ordinates delivery of items to the Galloway Food Bank. It is requested that seasonal donations be made particularly as Christmas is coming. Please don’t overlook giving toiletry items – loo rolls, shampoo, soap, toothpaste and brushes; and kitchen necessities – washing powder, cleaning materials, washing-up liquid. These are also very much needed.
We, and many other local churches, contribute to the Galloway Food Bank on a weekly basis. It is always very busy and stocks need constant replenishment. Could you please try to donate some food to help alleviate the shortage? Please ensure at least six months before sell-by dates clearly indicated on each item.
Items may be left at the back of church either on Thursday (10am – 11am) or Sunday (9.00 – 11.00 am) mornings. You can also contact Jane Greenwood (01556 611144) and she will arrange collection.
Just as we welcome our new full-time Rector, Christopher we are also saying farewell to two of our part-time NSM ministers Beryl Scott and Mark Smith.
Thank you, Beryl . . .
The Reverend Beryl Scott is ‘retiring’ from her regular Sunday and Thursday commitments with Christ Church after many years’ service among us. We thank her for all she has given to us in so many ways.
. . . and Mark
The Reverend Mark Smith has reached the end of his NSM (non-stipendiary ministry) agreement with us. He and Debbie are investigating what God has for them next as they consider Mark going back into full-time ministry. Again we are thankful for his Ministry among us over the last four years.
Mark’s last presiding service was at Christ Church on Sunday 30th September followed by a celebratory lunch in the church hall. And now, hot off the press, here are some photos of that happy occasion, Mark’s leaving service and lunch:
And farewell to Bishop Gregor
The Right Reverend Gregor Duncan, who has served the Diocese as Bishop for the past eight and a half years, retired from active Ministry on 11th October 2018.
On the occasion of his retirement he writes,
“For the avoidance of doubt”, I think, is a phrase well-beloved of lawyers. Well, I am not a lawyer … Nonetheless, I do rather like thatphrase. So, for the avoidance of doubt … I want to [outline] to you myfuture plans. As I hope must be fairly obvious, my health has continued to improve and in October this year, assuming I get that far in this life, I will be 68, an age at which I have for quite some time thought it would be good to retire and lay down the pastoral staff on the altar of the cathedral. By then I will have been bishop of this amazing diocese for eight-and-a-half years, a period I guess to have been quite long enough. [So] I want to make it known that I intend to retire on 11th October 2018, my 68th birthday.
What then to say? …
Be very personal? …
Be theological? …
Be effusive? …
What might it do to say?
Well … after Easter, I found myselfreading this, from Thomas Merton’sThe Power and Meaning of Love:
“The union that binds the members of Christ together is not the union of proud confidence in the power of an organization. The church is united by the humility as well as the
charity of her members. Hers is the union that comes from the consciousness of individual fallibility and poverty, from the humility which recognizes its own limitations and accepts them, the meekness that cannot take upon itself to condemn, but can only forgive because it is conscious that it has itself been forgiven by Christ.”
These words leapt out at me at the time and have stayed with me [and] help me to think that all the binding and uniting qualities listed by Merton are, surely, the work of the Holy Spirit within us, the workingout of the ascended Christ’s high-priestly prayer that we may all be one as He and the Father are one.
Humility, love, awareness and acceptance of our poverty, fallibility and limitations, the priority of forgiveness over condemnation, these [are] qualities which give God space to be God freely among us. For example, for quite a long time now I have thought that humility is not so much about self-abnegation as about giving the other person real space to be who they are and to rejoice in that. I think you might think the same of all these other qualities listed by Merton. And since God is the ultimate significant Other their existence among us gives space for God to be actively and graciously present at the heart of our common life, transforming us and the people around us.
So I want to suggest to you that the churches of this diocese, if they are characterised by humility, love, awareness and acceptance of our poverty, fallibility and limitations, and by the priority of forgiveness over condemnation, will be well on the way to becoming communities which give God real space to be who God is, for our good as God’s people and for the good of the world. Now, of course, I know this diocese well enough and myself well enough also to know that we do not always allow that kind of freedom for God, but I also know that we do not want to be communities where vices like hardness of heart, the harbouring of long-standing grievances, persistently bad relationships, power-plays, obsession with the minutiae of our own life, shrink the space for God to almost vanishing point.
So, I suppose, my valedictory words to you are – don’t be like that. Rather, as St Paul might have put it, be more and more what you already are – called and loved into being by The God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ and sustained in that love and call by God the Holy Spirit.
We wish Bishop Gregor well for his retirement. The Diocesan Farewell Service was held on Sunday 7th October, 6.30pm, St Mary’s Cathedral, Glasgow.
Care & Share & Prayer at Christ Church
One of the priorities identified as part of our MAP process this year is Communication.
This covers much of what we do in terms of website, pew-sheet, publicity and so on, but also affects our ability to react as a body to needs which arise within the congregation (and beyond).
If a person is in need, we would like to be able to respond quickly through Prayer and practical demonstrations of Christ’s Love. This is best done as a whole Body, increasing the Prayer potential and releasing the gifts that we have between us. It is, however, easy for some news or concern to be missed by one or other member – even in what seems a small fellowship.
We have now set up the Care & Share & Prayer network to ensure clear communication pathways. This sounds very grand and business-like but is, actually, very straightforward. It will use the telephone as most of us have telephones and most use answer-machines so that we know the messages will get through.
If someone has a need or concern, or becomes aware of a need or concern for someone else, they should simply telephone a central number. These folk will then disseminate the information around the fellowship for Prayer through the network of home-groups and directly to others. This will enable us as a congregation to harness the power of Prayer, ensure that we are all aware of the needs of those around us and free us to Share Christ’s Love in whatever ways we can. It should also be used to pass on Good News as an encouragement for the congregation. It will feed into our intercessions on Sunday, our prayer in the home-groups and our personal concerns for those around us.
This is not intended as a gossip-spreader for nosey neighbours, but a means of putting our Love into action to build up our Faith in action by meeting real needs and addressing real concerns.
We do not need detailed information or even the names of people to be able to Pray effectively. God knows the need and the people and can hear our Prayers however vague they may feel to us.
We hope this network will enable us to build a more Caring community and see the power of Prayer at work as we seek to Share Christ’s Love with those around us.
Care & Share & Prayer network contacts:
Rev. Beryl Scott – (01556) 610283
Miranda Brignall – (01556) 610409
KNITTING – Squares for Healing Blankets & Knitting for the Mission to Seafarers
The work-box at the back of church for these two projects has been refilled with wool, patterns, needles and ribbon. Donations of wool, needles (sizes 8, 9 & 10) and ribbon will be gratefully received.
Jane Greenwood will take Healing Blanket Squares to make into blankets. After they are completed they return to church to be blessed and offered to those in need. There are always blankets available in church and anyone is welcome to take one away and give as a gift or use themselves.
BRASS CLEANING Can you help?
We urgently need help with cleaning the brasses in church. This is a small task which is not arduous or lengthy. If you could spare some time (half an hour usually does it) perhaps once a month, please contact Robin Charlton. All materials (and rubber gloves!) provided.
FLOWERS IN CHURCH
We are always pleased for any offers of flower arranging. No previous experience necessary, just a love of flowers. Please contact Julie Dennison if you would like to know more.