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24th May 2020 service
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The Scottish Government now advises that people should minimise social contact by avoiding crowded areas and large gatherings, including religious congregations, and smaller gatherings.
The Church of Scotland has intimated that gatherings for worship should cease until further notice, with effect from Tuesday 17 March 2020.
Sunday broadcasts of a weekly service take place on Radio 4, and also on Radio Scotland; other radio stations are available.
A LETTER FROM OUR MINISTER
The Manse of St John’s Kirk and St Leonard’s in the Fields Church
My dear friends : Greetings to you all!
Grace and Peace to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ: so began every letter of St Paul to the early Christian communities.
So I say : Grace and Peace to you!
While not allowed to worship God in our church buildings at present, we can nevertheless worship Him at home and wherever we are and be strong in our Christian living – attitude, thinking, speech and behaviour; and most of all in our trusting in One who stands with us whatever our situation may be and who goes before, behind and alongside us, as in Psalm139. For : We are surrounded by a great cloud of witnesses as in Hebrews Chapter 12– united in that faith which is victorious as we place absolute trust in Jesus Christ our Saviour, whose Love will never let us go.
Whether we sing, dance, exercise, write, read or paint more than we ever did: whether we clean, polish, re-arrange, tidy, play the piano more or learn a new instrument or a new language, or help family members in an online class, or spend much more time in the garden, if one is fortunate to have one, or whatever we are doing more of, we realise just how much more time we could have devoted to those pursuits in past days but, as L P Hartley wrote in ‘The Go-Between’: ‘the past is a foreign country’ and we go forward. Forward, yes, but with a renewed vision of time: remembering what WH Davies wrote :
What is this life if, full of care, we have no time to stand and stare.
I hope the new ‘normal’ will be the ability to use every second of every minute of every hour to good effect and essentially not for oneself either, as we think about how we might become better followers of Jesus Christ, becoming givers and not getters– for that is the way of Christ.
Giving is what we all can do, in a variety of ways– writing, offering, singing: to name but three.
It is especially lovely to receive a letter at the moment: everyone has a story to tell; I’d like to suggest a challenge: let’s call it the VE 75.
How might you feel about writing a story containing exactly 75 words on a moral, religious or ethical theme? It must have a beginning, a middle and an end. [It need not have anything at all to do with VE in 1945]
Please send it to me by 14th June and I will try to include it in one of the Services online, particularly in The Songs of Praise Service on Mid-Summer’s Day*.You’ll be amazed to know that you are giving to others in ways you never imagined and influencing others too perhaps in ways that you’ll never know.
Secondly, our Kirk Sessions are always appreciative of those who make regular contributions either by using the FWO envelopes or the Offering Plates in Church. I know that both Treasurers have written a letter concerning our financial predicaments which you will find on the websites of both St John’s and St Leonard’s in the Fields. If you felt able to respond to that letter I know both Treasurers would be immensely grateful.
He/she who sings, prays twice [St Augustine]
For the Sunday Service on 21st June, Mid-Summer’s Day, I would like to have *a Songs of Praise, with as many hymns as we can manage. I invite you to write a short paragraph on why a particular hymn is special to you; we shall then sing some verses of each. Either send that to me in print, or in a recording of yourself, video or vocal, indicating what the hymn means to you. Please would you send your choice to me by Sunday 14th June.
I send my good wishes to you and your family wherever they may be during this time of separation and isolation.
Keep on keeping on.
Read the Scriptures daily, finding especially in the Psalms words which resonate.
Read Alex’s pastoral letter each Wednesday if at all possible.
Never give in. Stand up for Jesus. Hold fast!
May the Grace of the Lord be with you and with those you love.
With every best wish until we meet again.
Every Sunday there is Worship online: please visit the websites of both Congregations:
St John’s Kirk :
St Leonard’s in the Fields : slitfperth.co.uk
Reverend John Murdoch
As Minister I want to invite you as you read these lines to come inside this very special Church and meet the Congregation of a Kirk which has immense significance historically and nationally. It is a Kirk at the heart of Perth, with a community of faith which offers Worship on Sunday mornings at 9:30am or on Wednesday afternoons at 1pm.
Here we worship and serve God within ancient walls which tell of God’s grace and care over centuries and also within the Parish and community surrounding this sacred and holy place of pilgrimage, peace and prayer. Many visit St John’s every day and last year over 10,000 people entered the Kirk from almost every part of the world. I invite you to be part of our Kirk life where I hope you will find an oasis for Christian nurture, friendship and worship in our midst.
St John’s is an ancient and sacred space which allows you to be still, to sing, to pray and to commune with God as His Living Word in Jesus Christ is proclaimed by Grace.
Please, do come and join us as we do our best to worship the Lord in the beauty of holiness.
"Let no-one be a stranger within these walls"
We invite into these ancient walls all who search for God and who seek the transforming love of Jesus Christ in Sacraments, in Scripture and in fellowship – with silence, prayer and music to uplift.