Easter Message from St Mary's Easter Garden 2016.
Photo by Jane Rchardson
Whenever people suffer today,
The Prophet Jeremiah said in his Lamentations
“Is it nothing to you
All of you who pass by?
Look and see if there is any sorrow like my sorrow!”
This is a prophesy about the suffering of Jesus which
we remember during this Holy Week.
The suffering of Jesus
as he approached his crucifixion.
Our display this HOLY WEEK
is to help us to remember
those who continue to suffer
as they seek to escape violence in their own land
and to find a better life.
So we pray for all migrants
especially those who suffered
and the many who died in the attempt
to reach safety.
Rev'd Denis Samways
Chicago, New York and now Kirkcudbright
The Kelpies are Coming
Photo: Carl Dania Sculptor: Andy Scott
It is amazing how a chance remark can spark off a series of events. Our chance remark was “did we know that the people who look after the Kelpies, hire out the original maquettes?” We didn't; but it spurred Colin (Saul) on to investigate. That was November 2015.
After a series of emails we had an invite for the Art & Crafts Trail to go to Falkirk to do a presentation to the people who manage the Kelpies. We left Carl at the Kelpie site to take photographs. With a wave of the hand saying “we won't be long” we left to find the Falkirk Stadium for the meeting. They told us that they had asked Andy Scott the sculptor if he would agree to the Kelpies being in Kirkcudbright. As it is an “Artist's Town”, he said yes.
One and a half hours later we emerged somewhat dazed but triumphant. They had been very impressed that Kirkcudbright stages so many summer events, especially the Tattoo and the Vintage Car Rally.
So dates for your diary. The maquettes, which stand 3 meters high, will arrive approximately 2pm on 25th July to take up their position near the Tourist Office. We have them until 29th August 2016.
Bishop Gregor’s Easter Message 2016.
March 26, 2016
On Easter Day, always and above all else, quite simply and gloriously, we are celebrating what God has done. And what God has done is to have raised Jesus from the dead: as Peter proclaims in Acts, God raised him on the third day. And in St Mark’s Gospel it’s the same with the young man at the tomb speaking to the terrified women: He has been raised. Mark takes only 8 verses to tell us this as opposed to more than 10 times that number to tell us of Jesus’s death and burial. Many people saw Jesus being put to death, and so there was much to say, but nobody saw God raise Him from the dead, nobody could or can describe precisely what God did, or exactly how God did it. None of the Gospels, nor any other writing in the New Testament, even tries. Attempts to do that, in art, drama and film, unless they are very subtle indeed, mostly fail and are, anyhow, pretty much beside the point. Because the point is that, in fact, Christ has been raised from the dead. An event in history yes, but an event pointing way beyond all history and having its origin not in human history but in the life of God and in the wonderful purposes of God for human history.
One of the things that I love about St Mark’s announcement of the resurrection in particular is the ending of it: So they went out and fled from the tomb, for terror and amazement had seized them; and they said nothing to anyone, for they were afraid. No faith there, no response of joy, no belief in what God had done: presumably that all came later. Oddly enough, this is very important, this focus on the announcement of Jesus’ resurrection and not on the faith of its witnesses. And for this reason: faith doesn’t lead to talk of Jesus being raised from the dead, but rather Jesus being raised from the dead makes faith possible.
What kind of faith does the fact that God raised Jesus from the dead make possible? Above all, a baptismal faith: renouncing evil, turning away from wrong-doing, becoming good news and sources of blessing in the world, seeking what is just and peaceful and caring for God’s creation, playing our own part in the worship, prayer, faith and action of all God’s people. It is the baptismal form of faith that is always most powerfully celebrated at Easter either at Baptism itself or in the renewal of Baptismal promises.
And there is a particular Easter dimension of this faith. Because the raising of Jesus from the dead makes faith that the last word about things is not ours, but God’s, possible; makes faith that human capacities to do ill, to be destructive, are not the be all and end all, possible; makes faith that doing justice, loving mercy and waking humbly with God among his people is what is required of us now and is the way to share Christ’s resurrection in all its fullness, possible.
The people who got rid of Jesus believed quite reasonably that they had seen him off once and for all. But they were hopelessly wrong. As Peter said, they put him to death by hanging him on a tree, but – the biggest “but” of all time really – God raised him from the dead. Theirs was not the last word, God’s was, and is and always will be, a word of imperishable life to make faith in an imperishable life possible.
Arrival of Father Christmas
There is widespread distress among our communities and in our churches at the continuing plight of the large number of refugees and migrants who are attempting to make their way into and across Europe in search of safety, new homes and a better life. All over our country people are seeking practical ways to help but no doubt also feeling helpless in the face of such a huge movement of people. And, of course in a country already undergoing austerity and cutbacks, there is anxiety about how we can cope with large numbers of new people coming in to our midst.
One thing the Bishops of the Scottish Episcopal Church have done is to write to the Prime Minister expressing our concern and calling on him and the government to respond warmly and generously to the plight of people fleeing from desperate situations in their homelands.
Of course, David Cameron is right to say that the present refugee and migrant crisis can only be resolved by tackling the chaos and disorder driving people from their homelands. Right too in pointing to what the UK is already doing to help people living in refugee camps in the countries bordering Syria. And right to be responding to increasing demands from the British public that we help by allowing more people to come and be helped in finding some kind of new life here, even if the figure of 20,000 over five years seems, to say the least, inadequate.
The image of a dead child washed up on a Turkish holiday beach had the effect of delivering many of us from seeing only a “refugee” or a “migrant” problem. Now we see human beings, with hopes and longings, just like us. We see children just like our own, and our hearts are broken by the all too obvious dangers that beset their young lives. Of course, policy makers and leaders are bound to try to address root causes, and the politics of all this are enormously complex at a European level, but symptoms remain urgently important, especially when the causes are not capable of cure any time soon, least of all by our own country, and when the symptoms are actually that so many people are in desperate need of help.
It is in trying to alleviate symptoms, in binding up the broken hearted, in giving at least some people hope of a new beginning in life, that our deepest and most abiding values are allowed to come to the fore – human solidarity, compassion, care for the individual. It is in persisting in rescue efforts, it is in Hungarian citizens bringing food and clothing to people walking through their country to the Austrian border that we allow the plight of our fellow human beings to impinge upon us and try to do something about it, without worrying that the cause of their plight is not yet dealt with. What we require urgently is a proportionate and deliverable response which places compassion ahead of short-term political considerations.
In many of our churches in Scotland this past Sunday the story of Jesus being faced with a non-jewish, gentile woman who wanted him to help her desperately ill daughter was read. At first Jesus refuses but the woman does not give up and Jesus, all resistance overcome by her faith, sees her for what she is – a real person in real need – and helps her by healing her daughter. Perhaps we are learning, as this story suggests, to see people as people, as people not very different from us, people not to be labelled as a problem, but to be helped.
In communities across the land we can all play our part – no matter how small it might seem – in showing compassion to those seeking a place of safety. As Nicola Sturgeon has said “Scotland and the UK have a moral obligation to take a fair and proportionate share” It is more than a moral obligation, it is a basic human instinct to help one another. The people of Glasgow have rallied round to help each other at times of crisis here in our city; this is a global crisis that we can help on a local level and we will.
The Rt Rev Dr Gregor Duncan Bishop of Glasgow & Galloway
Our Christian Community here dates back to 1878 and our Christian presence here is still strong and currently growing I hope that you enjoy finding out more about us, in these pages as you explore the life of our two Churches here in the Diocese of Glasgow and Galloway.
The Scottish Episcopal Church is a member of the world-wide Anglican Communion, with 70 million members in 163 countries. We are a community of christians bound together by: our belief that Holy Scripture contains the very core of all Christian faith and thought, the very many ancient and modern stories that connect us to Jesus and his teachings, discovering daily God's hope and call to us through our life together.
We live out these core beliefs through: Worship, prayer and study. We try to reach out into our community. We seek God's love and share our stories together. We give of our means and talents to the greater purpose of God's work. We are a listening Church, not just to our own membership but to all who find need of us, whether through baptisms, marriages, illness or other problems and bereavement. We are here to serve God in all people.
Our congregations are enthusiastic, caring and warm, and we hope that you may be able to share in that warmth as we celebrate our Christian life together.
May the Lord be with you, and may his peace be yours today.
Our church magazine layout editor Vivien Dania is also deeply involved in the local community and particuarly with the Kirkcudbright Arts and Crafts Trail. The photo shows her following the presentation of the Epic Award. It is more than twelve years ago that the idea for the Kirkcudbright Art & Crafts Trail came into being, but not as we know it today. This Spring they were encouraged to apply for the Epic Awards for voluntary and amateur arts. The forms came, Pauline Saul and Vivien Dania wrote the entry and off went the paper work. The entry was shortlisted and Pauline Saul and Vivien were invited to BBC Media City, Salford recently for the award ceremony compered by BBC Radio 4 presenter Sheila McClennon. Posh frocks packed and off they went. Scotland, England, Wales, N Ireland & S Ireland each had two groups nominated. We were delighted to be awarded the winners for Scotland. Receiving a certificate, presentation glass plate & cheque for £250. It felt that the team's hard work had been recognised and so had Kirkcudbright.
A fuller account can be found in the Church magazine LINK.
Interim Priest in Charge
During the present interregnum the interim priest in charge is now :
The Rev'd Canon David Bayne
68 St Andrew Street
Castle Douglas DG7 1EN
Tel: +44 (0)1556 503818
The Annual Winter Wonderland organised by Greyfriars was held on the 6th December and raised £1,403. Ten percent goes to Kirkcudbright Guides, Brownies and Rainbows and the rest into church funds.
The photos show Santa Claus arriving in style at Kirkcudbright Harbour next to Greyfriars Church and also visitors enjoying themselvesin the traditional way.