November 2018 Rector’s Letter
Enlarge the site of your tent, and let the curtains of your habitations be stretched out. Isaiah 54: 2
Dear Christ Church family,
I’m writing this after a rollercoaster week. At the beginning of last week Willie and I were told that the two little boys we were hoping to adopt might not be with us until after Christmas. However, later in the week that changed, and we’ll meet them for the first time at the beginning of November! We’re very excited – and on that note, we have really appreciated all the kind words and support we’ve received from our Christ Church family as we’ve been on this journey towards adoption. This week we’ll meet with those involved with the boys’ care to agree a programme for transitioning to us. This will mean that at some point in the next few weeks I’ll begin Adoption Leave.
I wanted to let you all know what that will mean in terms of arrangements for cover. Firstly, I’ll still be the Rector (it won’t be like a vacancy), and I will be returning! Secondly, in terms of services Rev. Ann has kindly offered her support, and we will have some guests in as well. Also, following Bishop John’s suggestion, Willie will provide oversight as an Interim Locum while I’m on leave, attending Vestry meetings and also meetings of the Consultation Group with regard to our community engagement and our building.
I was thinking about all of this when these words from Isaiah popped into my head: ‘Enlarge the site of your tent, and let the curtains of your habitations be stretched out.’ These words of God are spoken to Israel as a promise of blessing. On a personal level that certainly resonates. Our home is likely to become one big playroom – it will never look quite the same again once two little ones arrive, and will be all the happier for it! But also I was thinking about Christ Church and ‘the site of our tent’. In our future engagement with the wider community, and in terms of our own building, Isaiah’s words are pertinent. They remind us to be increasingly open, generous, creative, and hopeful in our plans for the future and with others. God is faithful, and we will be blessed in being a blessing to the wider community.
I will continue to keep you all updated in the pew sheets and via e-mail once I know more about dates for my leave. I won’t be far away, and you will never be far away from my thoughts and prayers.
With love, Sarah
A long remembered Christmas
In November 1966 my parents and I moved into the home where Dad still lives. Then, as now, one of their next door neighbours was a Hungarian lady (always known to me as Aunty Ilona), and her husband, Uncle Patrick from Yorkshire. As I grew up I smelt the food and listened to loud discussions in this strange language, and was fascinated. However, until I first visited Budapest a few years ago the description of Aunty Ilona’s nationality only connected with the food and the language. The only words I ever learnt, incidentally, were terms of affection she used to her husband and children. A month ago I visited my Dad and Aunty Ilona called me around for a coffee. I found myself gripped with a need to understand where she came from, and how she arrived next door. It must be the habit from 4 years of gathering stories for the history book, but I now find I want to know people’s stories, and so for about and hour I quizzed her about how she escaped with her brother and sister, having to leave her parents and young brother behind. She later told Dad it was like being interviewed, but she hadn’t minded. The reason why I’m telling you all this is because in the middle of the trauma (which has had a life long impact on her mental health), she told me a beautiful Christmas story.
Aunty Ilona spent Christmas 1956 in a huge hut in Austria which seems to have been a hub, where people waited to be dispersed across Europe. As the festive day approached the local people decided that they couldn’t let these refugees spend their first Christmas away from their homeland, in a huge dispersal hut. Each of the local people took a refugee, or 2, to their homes to join their family’s celebrations. That was 62 years ago, and talking about that act of kindness still made Aunty Ilona smile. She said that even though Austrians and Hungarians had been part of the same empire, this was more than an expression of that. This was kindness that never lost its impact on her.
Times are different now. The refugees we have in our town may not share our religious festivals, and anyway we may not feel able to open our homes in the same way. This is a different age with its own fears about how we should interact with strangers to keep ourselves safe. However, as we look outwards as a church community, and join with other groups to share the love and compassion of our Lord, maybe we can pledge that we will go forward into 2019 praying for, and otherwise supporting, those strangers in our town who had to flee their homeland to escape the fear and persecution those in power, threatened. Let them ever remember the compassion that enveloped them in their time with us.
Thanks to all who joined in the Kelpies Canter in September, or sponsored Richard Dyer. About 110 people participated this year, from 10 different churches. Between Christ Church and the Quakers, just under £500 was raised.
Prayer Diary November 2018
Thurs 1 Feast of All Saints/Revd. Rosie Addis, being licensed today as Associate Rector at St John’s, Princes Street, Edinburgh
Fri 2 Feast of All Souls/all those grieving a loved one
Sat 3 Marie Curie nurses
Sun 4 All those who worship in Christ Church today
Mon 5 Bishop John and all who work in the Diocesan office
Tues 6 The meeting of the Consultation Group this evening
Wed 7 Those who have a hearing impairment
Thurs 8 Families suffering poverty
Fri 9 The work of Falkirk and District Association for Mental Health (FDAMH)
Sat 10 Those who will come into Christ Church today
Sun 11 All those who have died in the service of others
Mon 12 Our Vestry meeting
Tues 13 The Provincial Personnel Committee, and the Diocesan Finance Committee, meeting today
Wed 14 Local government councillors and officers
Thurs 15 The work of Family Mediation
Fri 16 Those struggling with debt
Sat 17 Carers
Sun 18 Our AGM
Mon 19 Persecuted Christians
Tues 20 Those traumatised by flood, fire or earthquakes
Wed 21 All NHS workers
Thurs 22 Church organists and singers
Fri 23 Those who are sight impaired
Sat 24 Those who live and work in religious communities
Sun 25 Feast of Christ the King
Mon 26 All who struggle with their faith
Tues 27 The young people of 470 Squadron Air Cadets
Wed 28 The Edinburgh Diocese Clergy Conference
Thurs 29 The Diocese of Kinkiizi, Uganda
Fri 30 Feast of St Andrew/National Call to Prayer
DIARY OF CHRIST CHURCH EVENTS – November 2018
Saturday 10th 2.00-4.00 pm Church open for Remembrance/Bill Mitchell signing copies of his book about the War Memorial Sarah Shaw
Sunday 11th 10.30 am Sung Eucharist with Act of Remembrance/laying of wreaths/Sunday Bairns Sarah Shaw
Sunday 11th 2.00-3.00 pm Stations of Remembrance Service followed by refreshments Sarah Shaw/Frank Murray
Sunday 18th 10.00 am Sung Eucharist followed by AGM (no 9.00 am service) Camayo Hyde
2.00-4.30pm Air Cadets Fundraising Afternoon Tea in the Hall
The Knitting Group will be meeting again on Wednesday 21st November at 2.00pm in Margaret Aitken’s house.
AREA COUNCIL REPORT
I attended the Area Council meeting on 3rd September in Linlithgow – in the new Upper Room, along with Wendy Pemble and Rev Sarah Rev Sarah gave a brief overview of the General Synod. Those who attended the Will Graham concert shared their views and Rev Tim Tunley thanked those who attended and supported the Mission to Seafarers AGM. He also requested that we each propose MtSS for the Bishops Lent Appeal. The date of the 10th March was agreed for the next Big Sing and we agreed to support MtSS as the chosen charity. Revs Sarah and Willie Shaw reported on the Youth Camp at Glen Almond. Each charge then shared their reports on the past 3 months.
Teacher…………How old is your father?
Pupil…………….He is 6
Teacher…………What? How is this possible?
Pupil…………….He only became a father when I was born
BIBLE TIMELINE :
Put these events in order as they took place in Bible history.
- A) Solomon’s temple is built
- B) John the Baptist is born
- C) Noah builds an ark
- D) Jesus dies on Calvary and rises on the third day
- E) Abraham goes to the Promised Land
- F) The apostle John receives the visions of End Times
- G) Paul spreads the gospel during missionary trips
- H) Joseph is taken to Egypt
- I) King David rues in Jerusalem
- J) Gabriel brings a message to Mary
- K) Jesus teaches throughout Galilee and Judea
- L) The ten Commandments are given to Moses on Mount Sinai
- M) Jesus is baptised
- N)God places Adam and Eve in the garden of Eden
To My Christ Church Family and Beyond
Since Sandy died last month I have been overwhelmed by all your cards, letters, hugs and the many spoken words of sympathy.
Our daughters and I are so grateful for the love and concern and the support at Sandy’s funeral shown to us by so many people.
Thank you, all.
Christ Church Address Book – please help
FINANCIERS in the BIBLE
- Who was the greatest male financier in the bible?
- Noah. He was floating his stock while everyone else was in
- Who was the greatest female financier in the bible?
- Pharoah’s daughter. She went down to the Nile and drew out a little prophet.
Guess Who in THE BELL last month?
It was, of course, Jack Scott
Don’t forget, most of us are eligible for a Flu Injection. Contact your doctor’s practice if you haven’t had a letter or a phone call about it.
The solar calendar used in most of the world, sponsored by Pope Gregory XIII in 1582 as a corrected version of the Julian calendar.
The revision of the Julian calendar introduced in 1582 by Pope Gregory XIII and still in force, whereby the ordinary year is made to consist of 365 days and a leap year occurs in every year whose number is divisible by four, except those centenary years, such as 1700, 1800, 1900, 2100 whose numbers are not divisible by 400.
LAST DATES FOR INTERNATIOAL CHRISTMAS POST
|Tue||4 Dec||Africa, Middle East|
|Fri||7 Dec||Cyprus, Malta, Asia, Far East, Eastern Europe (except Poland, Czech Republic and Slovakia)|
|Sat||8 Dec||Caribbean, Central and South America|
|Mon||10 Dec||Greece, Turkey, Australia, New Zealand|
|Fri||14 Dec||Canada, Czech Republic, Italy, Poland and USA|
|Sat||15 Dec||Finland, Sweden|
|Mon||17 Dec||Austria, Denmark, Germany, Iceland, Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Slovakia, Spain, Switzerland|
|Tue||18 Dec||Belgium, France, Ireland, Luxembourg|
The next edition of THE BELL will be for two months
December 2018 and January 2019
Please send items to Ronnie Peebles by 25th November
SC : 017350
Rector : Rev’d Sarah Shaw – presently on adoption leave.
Pastoral services in the meantime contact Rev’d A Smith …01506 834361
Office : 55 Kerse Lane, Falkirk FK1 1RX
Rector’s Warden Margaret Briggs 01324 623285
People’s Warden Lesley Leishman 01324 551340
Secretary Camayo Hyde 01324 717586
Treasurer Elaine McCaffery 01324 412082
Lay Rep Camayo Hyde 01324 717586
Alt Lay Rep Wendy Pemble 01324 829805
Sally Ibbitson 01324 879589
Ronnie Peebles 01324 623330
Kate Luke 01324 635870
Wendy Pemble 01324 829805
Nonee Mathe 07815 801662
Frank Murray 01324 553913