Charity No.SCO 17442
Minister: The Rev James Campbell
TO CONTACT US
MINISTER: email@example.com 01334 829 350
SESSION CLERK: firstname.lastname@example.org 01334 652 056
Welcome to our 9th newsletter!
You will find below a short letter from myself, a reflection from Hazel Aitken, some material on the Psalms, an order for daily “night prayer” from the Northumbria Community and the usual local announcements etc. If you know someone who would like to receive the newsletter but who doesn’t “do the internet” perhaps you could print off the newsletter for them?
I continue to record a weekly podcast. Here is the link:
I am not very talented in technology and must apologise for the blip with the final hymn on the latest podcast. There are a couple of false starts before it gets under way. But we do get there in the end! (It was a loose cable – and as this was the third attempt at the recording, I was afraid I would make a worse blip if I started all over again!)
I understand that some people are having problems in receiving this newsletter online. The issue seems to be that some servers are putting the e-mails into the “spam” or “junk” folder. An easy way to avoid this is to reply to the newsletter when you receive or retrieve it. This identifies the address - email@example.com one which you are actively using and avoids it being labelled as junk mail.
Last week, I thanked Moyra Blythe for organising the plant sale at what was a very sad time for hern and her family.. (Thanks to Berta Robertson too, by the way, who has been working with Moyra.) At the time of writing the plant sale is still going on and has raised over £700 to date Well done Moyra and Berta! Thanks to all who have contributed.
I would also like to thank Sandra Smith in Craigrothie who raised more than £300 by holding a bake sale in her front garden. Well done Sandra! Once again, thanks to all who made this a success.
As the lockdown continue, I am aware that this is becoming harder for some people – young families with children, for people in care homes who cannot meet their families, for people living alone who are struggling with loneliness, for people whose business has had to be suspended – and for many others. Let’s keep the lines of communication open – phone calls, cards, e-mails or whatever.
So many issues are brought into focus at the moment – issues of mental health, of social inequality, of education, very real economic concerns. Prayer is vital in these days – let us pray that a different world – and church- will emerge out of this crisis. We are now in the season of a special time of prayer – “Thy Kingdom Come” organised by the Church of England. Once again I have included the details of this in the letter. You will see that various materials and podcasts are available online. You can also print off the “night prayer” order from the Northumbria Community. Next week I will provide their order for morning prayer.
As I write this, one of our members is listening, via phone, to our weekly “podcast” service. If you or someone you know cannot access the podcast on the internet and would like to be included, please do let me know. Again, if you know someone who would like to be on my phone list, do please let me know.
LOCKDOWN AT THISTLEGATE
A blackbird awoke me with his territorial song, shrill notes that sounded like lovey-dovey. There are at least four nests in the garden, hedgehogs too, and a striking amber-coloured toad hiding beneath damp leaves. Lockdown gives me time to appreciate them. Lockdown provides respite.
Ken has been with me for two months now. We breakfast at eight and discuss the precious day ahead. Gardening, a short walk, projects. He has been entirely happy painting a shed and summer house, garden seats, and now some of his brother Sean’s garden chairs, radio music filling the air. I write at a desk overlooking trees and bird feeders. There is time to make birthday cards; time to reflect.
Anxieties are not banished; who can forget about those trapped in a dangerous, miserable lockdown? What about the sick, the frightened, the desolate? Nearer to home, a grand-daughter in Ireland is very unwell and awaits test results. There was the sudden death of a friendly acquaintance– her life already a sort of lockdown - with whom we kept in close touch, especially recently. We lit a candle and remembered her kindnesses and her knitting for charity.
One cousin sends online meditations from her country church where clematis scrambles over ancient stone walls. Another, pictures of Arnie, her 30-year-old horse. My sister tells of walks along clifftops where seabirds toss in the wind: one brother walks in the Welsh hills where the red kite flies high, and another habitually rises before dawn, tramps around Windsor Great Park and is greeted by deer. Recently, three tiny fox cubs played in his garden. We are bound not just by ancestral ties but our celebration of planet Earth.
If ever I am asked what I did during lockdown I would reply that although life was pared down, I lived in depth, sensing and appreciating the connection between all Creation, all things and all people – and trying never to forget that we are all of us God’s children.
Praying the Psalms.
Walter Brueggemann speaks of three basic categories of Psalm:
(1) Psalms of Orientation – all is well -and reflecting God’s ordering…(eg Psalms 8,19, 23, 24…)
(2) Psalms of Disorientation – the roof has fallen in…..chaos rules.. where is God? (eg Psalms 6, 22, 74, 88)
(3) Psalms of new orientation – God brought us through the time of chaos, trial and disorientation to a new place. eg Psalms 30, 40, 66 – (especially verses 11 & 12)
Looking at these categories, (2) and (3) particularly relate to our own situation – our own disorientation at this crisis is prolonged. However, bound into the Psalms is the promise that God will lead us through this – to a new place.
In praying Psalms of disorientation (for example) we may well find the Psalm speaking for our own situation….or we may feel we are entering into the prayer of someone we know who is in a dark or perplexing place…we may feel we are entering into the prayer of an asylum seeker (Psalm 137?) …someone fleeing from war….(Psalm 27?) or perhaps someone living through the lockdown in an urban high rise flat or someone struggling with depression at this time. . (psalm 88) Listening to and praying the Psalms can inform our listening to the daily news.
Dietrich Bonhoeffer the German martyr of World War Two, followed his master in this immersion in the Psalms. It would seem he was forever relating the words of the Psalms to what was going on around him in the demonically crazy world of Nazi Germany. The Psalms and the other Scriptures enabled him to hear God’s voice amidst the angry and hateful cacophony that surrounded him.
Bonhoeffer’s Bible has been preserved. He has written a date beside these words from Psalm 74, a Psalm which is about the destruction of Jerusalem and its Temple by Babylon in 587 BC:
set your sanctuary on fire;
Against that verse, he has inscribed the date: 9/11/38
Why? That was the terrible night – “The night of breaking glass” – when Jewish businesses were attacked and the hate campaign against the Jews began in earnest.
In the midst of a dark time, Bonhoeffer made sure he was listening to God – focused on God and on what God was doing. The Psalms were like candles in the dark…
Join us in praying the Psalms……the outline below may help you.
Using the Psalms for prayer:
Psalm 1 -a Wisdom Psalm.
Psalms 3,4, & 134 – Psalms for the ending of the day.
Psalm 8: The smallness/greatness of human beings.
Psalm 16 – praise, thanksgiving. A good morning Psalm.
Psalm 19: Creation and God’s Way.
Psalm 22: Psalm of dereliction, yet ending in hope.
Psalm 23: A good morning (not just mourning!) Psalm
Psalm 24: The King who Comes – good Advent Psalm.
Psalm 25 – Hope in face of threat.
Psalm 40 – Deliverance
Psalms 42/43 (originally one Psalm) - longing, lament.
Psalm 63 – Longing.
Psalm 66: A song of deliverance.
Psalm 74: A Psalm of Lament after the destruction of the temple.
Psalm 84: A Temple Psalm.
Psalm 88: Depression, mental illness….
Psalm 91: Faith and hope in the face of fear and threat.
Psalms 95- 100 - Jubilant Praise and Thanksgiving.
Psalm 104: The Wonders of Creation.
Psalms 105, 106, 107: The Story of Israel.
Psalm 114 – A good morning Psalm.
Psalm 119: The great Torah Psalm (The Torah is the Law of God)
Psalms 120 – 134: The Pilgrim’s Songbook – “The Book of Songs of Ascent” – ie for ascending towards Mount Zion.
Psalm 137: A song of exile. A shocking Psalm – dealing with our anger.
Psalm 138: Praise and assurance of God’s presence.
Psalm 139: The inescapable God – the wonders of our own bodies.
Psalm 140: Prayer for deliverance from enemies.
Psalm 141: A good evening Psalm. Prayer in the face of hostility,
Psalms 142 & 143 – Prayers in the face of hostility.
Psalms 144-150 – Praise and thanksgiving.
Night Prayer from the Northumbrian Community
* Find rest, O my soul, in God alone:
Come I this night to the Father,
* I will lie down and sleep.
* By day the Lord directs His love;
* Be strong and take heart,
* This dwelling, O God, by Thee be blest;
* May God be in my sleep;
May the Father of heaven
The Son of God be shielding me from harm,
* Sleep, O sleep in the calm of each calm.
The peace of all peace
© The Northumbria Community
LOCAL NEWS AND INFORMATION
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.
The Balgove Larder in St Andrews are delivering: www.balgove.com Telephone: 01334 898 145
Ardross Farm Shop in St Monans deliver throughout North East Fife. https://ardrossfarm.co.uk/ 01333 331 400
Muddy Boots in Kingskettle are delivering: 01337 831222
Local Community Groups
- through Facebook:
https://www.facebook.com/groups/303482260645015/?ref=group_header (for Ceres, Craigrothie and surrounding district)
- and by email:
Blebo Craigs, Kemback & Pitscottie: firstname.lastname@example.org
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
However, if you are shopping in Tesco (or if someone is shopping for you) you might like to put a couple of cartons of UHT milk in the Foodbank box. UHT milk is the one thing that is in short supply at the moment.
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