please refresh your browser

THREE CHURCH CANDLES

                                                                                              


                                                                                        Charity No.  SCO 17442

TO CONTACT US:
MINISTER   James.Campbell@churchofscotland.org.uk    01334 829 350   0797597 6024
SESSION CLERK session@ckschurch.org   01334 652 056

_______________________________________________________________________________

Minister’s Letter.

Dear friends,

Welcome to our third newsletter. You will find some helpful local information as well as a sequence of readings for the days leading up to Easter.

While there are no Sunday services at present, there is live worship streamed every Sunday afternoon at 3pm by Sanctuary First, the Church of Scotland’s (only) Internet Church:

https://www.sanctuaryfirst.org.uk

 As I write we are about to celebrate the strangest Holy Week and Easter any of us will have ever known. Personally I will miss the small gatherings leading up to the big gathering on top of Tarvit Hill on Easter Sunday – the morning services and the fun of the Sunday afternoon Easter Egg Hunt in the Manse garden….

It is all going to be very strange.

Yet, maybe this could be a very special Easter for so many of us – we are having to stop and think. Many of us are having an enforced time of solitude and reflection. (I realise of course that not all of us are having a quiet time. – NHS workers and all the other workers including those keeping us fed – we salute you!)

Prof Tom Wright (formerly of St Andrews University) said this in a recent article:

For many Christians, the coronavirus-induced limitations on life have arrived at the same time as Lent, the traditional season of doing without. But the sharp new regulations—no theatre, schools shutting, virtual house arrest for us over-70s—make a mockery of our little Lenten disciplines.  Doing without whisky, or chocolate, is child’s play compared with not seeing friends or grandchildren, or going to the pub, the library or church.

Yes, how true that is. It is difficult. I am profoundly grateful for all the conversations I have had on the telephone, (And for the cartons of homemade soup etc left at my door!) but I do miss the company of friends and all the various gatherings of the week. There’s no doubt about it. This enforced isolation has been a great exercise in putting things into perspective. It’s the God-given human things that matter most – faith and family, friendships, conversations, the beauty of the creation all around us, the arts. At the end of this strange wilderness time, far fewer of us will be – if  ever we were- obsessed with “Getting and spending…”  (quoting Wordsworth) No, we know what matters. We know what endures.

We will all be changed by this enforced Lenten experience. We will never be the same again. Is that not in itself the promise of a kind of resurrection?

Blessings

Jim Campbell.

 

READINGS FOR HOLY WEEK:

Some years ago, I read the story of a young man in India who found a tattered copy of John’s  Gospel. The Gospel had the last few pages missing, but the young man who had never read the story of Jesus was not aware of this. He read it avidly and was haunted by the story – which apparently ended with Jesus being buried in the tomb. . The young man shook his head,” What a terrible, sad story…”

I hope that you will read your way through Holy Week with the readings below. As you follow the story, you will follow Jesus through his last supper with his disciples, through betrayal, prayer in Gethsemane, arrest and death….Like that young man in India, you might well shake your head and say, “What a terrible, sad, story….” Well, unlike that young man, you and I are in on the secret – that the story ends not with a howl of dereliction but with an incredulous proclamation: “The Lord is Risen indeed!”

God plunges into the terrible, deep and howling darkness to lift us up into the light.,

In these difficult days, may we all know that we journey towards hope  - towards resurrection – resurrection of our own  lives, our churches, our communities…

Against each reading, there will be a very brief reflection on the Gospel reading to start off your own meditation. The Isaiah readings focus on the mysterious “Servant of the Lord” Many of the scholars think that Jesus took his own self-identity from these passages.

Palm Sunday:

Psalm 122 Mark 11: 1-11

How many of us can read this passage without hearing the old hymn, “Hosanna, Loud Hosanna, the little children sang…”? We all remember family services with the children marching down the isles waving their palm branches. (Or whatever they could find!) Yet for all that, I find this a rather ominous reading because we know that the cries of adoration will turn within five days to cries of hate. Were the crowds of Palm Sunday and Good Friday two separate crowds – or  was there an overlap? Were there some people who were happy to cheer for Jesus as long as he kept within their own political agenda but who were enraged when it was clear he wouldn’t? (Was that Judas’ story?) Is this not one of the lessons of Easter – that Christ calls us to surrender our own agendas for a much bigger one?

Monday:  Isaiah 42: 1-9, John 12: 1-11

Mary of Bethany was reckless and extravagant in anointing Jesus with very expensive perfume. Extravagant love is at the heart of the Gospel. Extravagant love has been much in evidence throughout our parish in these difficult and challenging days. Sometimes it is easier to give extravagantly rather than to be the receiver of such love. Sometimes pride makes us hold on tightly to our independence, and we miss so much. In your meditation, focus on Jesus humility and gratitude in receiving such love.    

Tuesday: Isaiah 49: 1-7, John 12: 20 -26

Meditate on this wonderful verse: 24 Very truly, I tell you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains just a single grain; but if it dies, it bears much fruit.

That verse is a profound commentary on the Passion of Christ. It is equally a good commentary on those who have followed the Way of the Cross of Christ and who have “died” to their own desires and agendas. We think of the saints – celebrated or anonymous – who have surrendered their lives for love of God and neighbour.  We might at this difficult time think of all those who are totally immersing themselves in caring for others, often to the detriment of their own health.

Wednesday: Isaiah 50: 4-9a John 13: 21-32

One of the most devastating human experiences is surely that of being betrayed by someone you love, in whom you have put your trust. In Christ, God enters into that dark place of betrayal and robs it of its final destructive power, praying from the cross “Father forgive them, for they know not what they do,,,” Who do you need to forgive? Who needs to forgive you? Could this time of enforced isolation be a time when broken relationships are healed? Who do you need to call on the phone?

Maundy Thursday: Psalm 116, John 13: 1-17

John presents us with the awesome image of the King who kneels to wash the feet of his friends. Was this the last straw for Judas? He wanted an armed Messiah-warrior, not a gentle washer of feet!  Yet, what the world needs now is not macho-warriors, but feet-washers! . You know something? There is a great deal of foot-washing, (metaphorical or literal!) going on in our parish in these days.

Good Friday: Isaiah 52: 13 – 53: 12.  John18:1 – 19: 42

This is a very long Gospel reading – you may want to read it in sections throughout the day of Good Friday, and if you can, reading the section 19: 16 – 42 during the three hours – 12noon – 3pm – that Jesus was on the cross. (Suggested sections: John 18: 1-14, 18: 15-27, 18: 28-40, 19: 1-15, 19: 16-42)

In Christ God plumbs the depths of human captivity, lostness, alienation and rebellion .God goes down and down and down to the very bottom of the pit. In those very depths, God in Christ breaks forever the power of the dark monster that had us in its grip. . There is no human experience so dark that God is not to be found present there in the darkest corner. No matter how low we may feel, God is beside us and not looking down from above. We can say with St Paul, “There is nothing in all of creation that can separate us from the love of God in Jesus Christ our Lord.”

Holy Saturday: Psalm 31 John 19: 38-42

This is a very short Gospel reading after yesterday’s marathon! Jesus is laid the tomb belonging to Joseph of Arimathea. All of creation is now waiting, holding its breath. This is the waiting time - the apparently empty time between Friday and Sunday.

During this time of enforced isolation, this is precisely where we are – in the waiting time. Many of us are as it were “entombed” in our own homes (I feel for those of you with no garden, or struggling to entertain children in a small flat)

Yet the waiting time is not actually an empty or meaningless time. In this time of forced isolation, God is deeply at work in our lives and across our world.

We will emerge from this entombment – and we will all be changed. As old African American preacher put it, “It’s Friday – but Sunday’s comin!”

 

Prayers below are From The Rhythm of Life by David Adam ( David Adam, SPCK books 2007)

 

To your Cross O Lord, we come for healing…

For you alone can make us whole.

We come with the broken-hearted and broken spirited,

For you alone can make us whole

We come with those with broken relationships

For you alone can make us whole

We come with the broken in body or in mind,

For you alone can make us whole

We come with the weak and the struggling

For you alone can make us whole

 

By the nails through your hands and feet ,

Give comfort to the suffering.

Hear us Lord Jesus Christ.

By the crown of thorns upon your head

Give hope to the despairing

Hear us Lord Jesus Christ.

By the spear that pierced your side

Give healing to the heart-broken.

Hear us Lord Jesus Christ.

By your being scorned and rejected of men

Give love to the lonely

Hear us Lord Jesus Christ.

By your time of desolation

Lift up all who are down.

Hear us Lord Jesus Christ.

By your death on the Cross

Give us life which is eternal

Hear us Lord Jesus Christ.

 

 

 

LOCAL INFORMATION.

 

Shopping:

 In Ceres, the Butcher is delivering. The Spar Store is keeping well stocked and keeping its usual hours. Much appreciated!

In Springfield the store is well stocked too and keeping usual hours. Much appreciated!

Also, three businesses in Cupar have come together to create and launch a fresh food delivery service - The Central Cafe, Cupar and The Fish Tail, Cupar working with Fisher & Donaldson and Minick of St Andrews Group. 

 Designed first and foremost for the elderly and those who are most vulnerable in our community, the delivery service will enable people to order fresh fish, fresh bakery produce and fresh meat packs - to be delivered to addresses in Cupar and surrounding villages. 

 All are using The Central Cafe, Cupar's app that can be downloaded here: https://bit.ly/CentralCafeApp

The Balgove Larder in St Andrews are delivering: https://www.balgove.com

Telephone: 01334 898 145

Muddy Boots in Kingskettle  are delivering: 01337 831222

contact@muddybootsfife.com

CUPAR FOODBANK:

The Cupar Food bank is needed now more than ever. At this time when most of us are confined to home, monetary donations can be made, either by direct bank transfer or by posting a cheque. Cheques should be made payable to Cupar Foodbank and posted Cupar Foodbank 21 St Catherine Street  Cupar KY15 4TA

Bank details: Royal Bank of Scotland, Glenrothes. Sort code: 83 17 23  00269012

REACT SCOTLAND.

We would like to continue to support React Scotland through this crisis, particularly the refugee camp in Samos Greece.    Isolation and social distancing is impossible for the refugees to adhere to, so the people are very vulnerable to any infection far less the Coronavirus. Though we cannot collect clothes etc just now, it is possible to send money which will help the volunteers meet some of the desperate need in the camp. 

 

It can be paid directly into Re-Act's account:- Re-Act Now Ltd.

 

Bank of Scotland  Account.     1430 6461  Sort Code.       80-22-60

 

Please put Fife on the Transfer source.  Or a cheque can be made payable to Re-Act Now Ltd and sent to the Fife co-ordinator, Jan McCall, 20 Belleisle Road, Kirkcaldy KY2 6JF

 

CHURCH GIVING

I have been asked about giving at this time... we realise that some may well have to give less until circumstances change with some of you having to support other family members at the moment,.  If your circumstances allow , you may want to put aside what you can each week. If you use envelopes, maybe you could  keep them going weekly until church opens again. But most important of all – let’s keep in touch. Once again – please contact me if you want to talk.