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Riverside Methodist Church, Blairgowrie & Rattray

There is no service at the Wellmeadow House until further notice

As soon as there is further information we will let you know

There will be a service in the circuit Sept 6th more details to follow

Welcome to Worship @  Wellmeadow House

http://www.riverside-methodist-church.co.uk/

Sunday Sept. 13th

www.riverside-methodist-church.co.uk             SC038412

Hi All,

Sorry about the lack of Musings last week I think it was the shock of having to write a sermon!! as well as the starting of a new venture. I hope that those of you who managed to see it enjoyed last weeks service here is the link for this week’s https://youtu.be/OZI4zhODxJU or it can be found on the Angus Dundee and Perthshire YouTube channel from 9am Sunday. If you know of anyone who doesn’t have access to YouTube and would like the service on DVD or a full script, please let me or Sue Marshall-Jennings know and that can be posted to them each week.

Bye for now

God Bless

Nik

                         

Another week - and many around us find they have another set of Restrictions to deal with! Just as we think we are getting somewhere, people find that they are being slowed down again. However, it is for the good of all and everyone must play their part in keeping our community safe. That may mean, soon, having to deny ourselves the pleasure of the company of others.

Interestingly Scripture does have some wisdom to offer us which may be appropriate at this time. That Scripture is Romans Ch 13 vs 8-14. Read it now and reflect on its words.

 

Paul talks first of all about love. That is, love for one another. F.F. Bruce, who wrote a Commentary on Romans said that the meaning of these first few verses is “Let the only debt you owe anyone be the debt of love.” That would very much echo the words of the writer Origen who said “The debt of love remains with us permanently and never leaves us: this is a debt which we both discharge every day and for ever owe.”

It is love for others that should be the driving force in our behaviour during this time of Covid-19. As well as taking steps to protect our own health we should be mindful about others and therefore willing to endure restrictions if it means that it helps others keep safe.

Paul tells us that if we show love in our lives then we will have fulfilled the Law. Sounds simple, doesn’t it? However, if it is that simple why is the world not a better place? Well the honest answer is that it isn’t all that simple. It might be easy to love those who love us. But those who don’t like us? Love our neighbour? But what if they annoy us and are difficult? The answer is yes, that is the debt we owe because Jesus died for all - even those who persecuted Him.

As Christians we are asked to live a different kind of life. Part of that life is to make the effort to extend love to people we don’t like particularly. If we can show love then it removes these other feelings that are likely to be harmful to our own well-being. As we can see from that passage, Paul does expect Christians to be better than just obeying the “Thou shalt not” rules - he expects us to be pro-active in showing love to others.

One of the good aspects of this pandemic and the ensuing lockdown was that people did go out of there way to show love to others. Whether by making an effort to keep in contact with people who were on their own, or by doing errands and lots of other little acts of kindness. In the midst of a pandemic, the world was a better place! My hope is that these acts of love towards others will continue even when some form of normality returns. The dynamic of love is vital in the world today

Perhaps one of the other aspects of this Covid-19 time is that it has acted as a ‘wake-up’ call to many. The time of lock-down, and the general slightly fearful atmosphere that was generated, have given people cause for reflection. Many have looked back on their lives and decided that change was needed. Many perhaps, feared for their lives and decided that they needed to put certain things in place before it was too late.

In some ways that echoes Paul call to ‘wake up from sleep’ It is no exaggeration to say that quite a few people just sleepwalk through life with no real thought about what they are doing or where they might be heading. Paul is telling his readers that it is time to wake up and make some decisions.



Now, for Paul, that may have been because he was expecting the Second Coming of Christ to be imminent and he felt that time was short for people to start living a better life as followers of Christ.

However, it works for the modern day too. We should be preparing ourselves to emerge from this time ready to go out and have an impact on our world. We who believe should be looking forward with confidence because we know that the future is in God’s hands and that God will be at work for our salvation in the future as he has in the past. Perhaps we Christians have needed some kind of ‘wake up’ call to help us demonstrate our Christian values to the world.



If we can look to each new day as being a gift where we can discover new possibilities then we are taking steps to fulfil the plans God has for us. If we believe that God has a plan for the places that our circuit churches serve, then we need to take positive steps towards fulfilling it. We want to make it a place where it is evident that the people live and work in God’s loving ways.

That involves us all in ‘waking up’ and starting to exhibit our Christian values. As Paul says, we have to ‘put on the Lord Jesus Christ’. What does that mean? We have to live our lives in love, and consciously make a difference in the world. It is not enough just to say that you are Christian - you must live your lives in such a way that others know that you are a Christian.

Life has been tough for us through this pandemic. Let’s pray that there is light at the end of the tunnel and that we can see the way ahead becoming clearer and clearer. This is the time during which we are called to live out the holy love of God for us in our relationship with each other and with our neighbours. We can do it - never doubt that.



Prayer



Lord Jesus Christ, you have called us to love and serve you.

We will do our best but we need your help.

Give us the wisdom to know what we should do.

The courage to keep on loving even when it is difficult

The faith that will see us through into a bright future

Christ our advocate, we want to be more like you, we want to show our love for others

So we pray for our brothers and sisters throughout the world

Bring them to the knowledge of all that you have done for them

Show them the way ahead especially in places where life is very challenging at present

May your love shine upon them

We pray too for our friends and neighbours in this our communities

When we look at them may we see your face

When they look at us may they see your love

Help us to be aware of where our presence and our help is needed

Help us always to be willing to offer our help

May your love shine through us

We pray too for our own church families

Asking that you help us to build them up to be communities that live to serve your divine purpose

We ask for you to be with any who are suffering at present through bereavement, illness or anxiety

May we be the embodiment of your love

All these things we pray in the name and for the sake of Jesus Christ who gives us the way to be, and the way to do, so that we become your people and do your will

Amen

 

   

 ·        Shetland District offers worship services on the Shetland Methodist YouTube Channel. The Shetland District Facebook page has lots of other news and resources too.

·        Inverness Circuit is broadcasting on their YouTube Channel Inverness Methodist Church and you can follow all that’s happening at The Bike Shed Coffee House with Dave Saunders the Bearded Woodworkerwho is hosting a series of online conversations connected to issues of faith and everyday life raised by the current pandemic. These are posted on the Kyrios Facebook page.

·        The North of Scotland Circuit offers acts of worship and a variety of ways to connect:
Moray Coast offers worship services led by folks from the coastal churches.
Peterhead Methodist Church Facebook Page has lots of videos and devotional material for all ages.
Aberdeen Methodist Church YouTube Channel offers reflections and more. Further resources are available on the Aberdeen Methodist Church Facebook page.

·        Angus, Dundee and Perthshire Circuit offers reflections, prayers, artwork and more on the Circuit Facebook page, and Scottish Methodists Online is a gathering place for prayer, bible reflection, worship and more, for all who are, or want to be, part of the Methodist family in Scotland.

·        Ayrshire and Renfrewshire Circuit has links to a variety of streamed events. To connect with others gathering regularly in the online small group, contact Rev Rob Morton

·        Strathclyde Circuit is offering acts of worship and a variety of online gatherings to all seekers through the Trinity Methodist Shettleston YouTube Channel as well as Webinars on many different topics. Subscribe to the Shettleston Trinity Facebook page to find out more about resources and events in Strathclyde.
Rev Andrew Baker leads 5live@5 every Saturday at 5pm for 5 minutes on his YouTube channel.

·        Forth Valley Circuit offers worship downloads and links to online worship at:
Livingston United Parish Church every Sunday at 10.30am via Zoom. LUPC has a range of other activities online. For more information please visit Livingston United Parish Church Facebook page.
Stirling Methodist Church also offer worship every Sunday at 10.30am via Zoom. If you would like to join them please email Jon for instruction on how to link to the service.

 

Dear Church Stewards and others.

 

Hope you are keeping well.

 

Attached are the usual resources for worship and prayer at home this week.

 

Last week I gave news of Rev Nick Baker and promised that I would be in touch again after the Circuit Leadership had met.  We met today and talked through the various options for moving forward and combining these with the responses from both Preachers and those who responded to Rev Nik Wooller’s letter.  As a Leadership Team, we cannot make any decisions about opening churches – that decision must be made by local Church Trustees.  There is a lot of guidance on the Methodist Church website and I have already sent you a lot of this.  There is an awful lot to consider because it is not just about making sure the church is clean after not being used for so long – it is about making sure people can socially distance, that there are enough people around to do the various tasks such as welcoming folk, ensuring you take a record of their name and contact details in case there is a need for tracing them, counting them in to make sure you do not exceed the permitted numbers as well as ensuring appropriate cleaning etc.  The official guidance still says no singing and masks will need to be worn – and of course no coffee and biscuits afterwards.  Oh and making sure that we have preachers available!!  Obviously all of this will need to be discussed at your church council and if you need any help or advice – then please contact Nik or myself.

 

The good news is that we can make some decisions - so we have decided that from 6th September we will have a weekly Circuit Service which will be pre-recorded and put on YouTube where it will be available from 11.00 each Sunday.  Before people panic about lack of access to the technology or internet, we will also produce a full transcript of the service and also an audio CD and - if I can get my technology to work – maybe even a DVD!!!  The intention is to get these additional resources out before the Sunday – so that all those who want to share in worship at 11 on a Sunday can do so!  We will also have music and the words on the screen so you can sing along as loudly as you like!

 

We will try this for a month at least and the preachers are meeting next week to sort out who is available to do what.  In our normal services we would often have members of the congregations do a reading – and we are hoping that some people will be willing to take part in this.  Most tablets, phones and cameras will record videos these days – so please encourage folk to have a go or volunteer yourselves!!  We are hugely grateful to Nik who has offered to compile and edit the individual elements of the service and also to her son Joe – who has shown her the short cuts for doing this!

 

Please share all this as widely as you can and encourage folk to volunteer to do a reading or even a prayer if they want.  The size and spread of our Circuit has always made it difficult to get together for a Circuit Service but this is an opportunity to do it without having to travel and potentially whilst curled up on the sofa still wearing your PJs and with a cup of tea too!!

 

Last but not least – thank you for all that you are doing in keeping in touch with people, sharing information, passing on news and responding to a massive change in all our lives.

 

Take care and God Bless

 

Sue