Purple Friday

Each year on the last Friday in February LGBT Youth Scotland hold a fundraising day called Purple Friday. As part of it they hold a Pass the Torch Relay, with the aim that people all over the country will, together, cover the equivalent distance of walking round the coastline of Scotland. A total of 2,500km or 1553 miles, or 3,645,377 steps. As the distance between Holy Name and St Paul and St John the Evangelist is 7 miles I decided that would be my goal. I chose to do it around Lochend Loch which is about a mile round rather than walking the busy road between the two churches.

LGBT Youth Scotland do fantastic work in supporting our young people and in going into schools to provide education and information. Such support is important, teenage years can be tough going. Indeed even well meaning and supportive parents can be seen as far from being, when the stresses and strains of growing up make life tricky. Having someone else to turn to when there is no support, or no perceived support, can make a vast difference to the LGBTIQ+ youth in our communities. I had hoped to raised £250, as I write this the total stands at £390 which is simple marvellous. (My JustGiving page for Pruple Friday is open until 6th March Kirstin Freeman is fundraising for LGBT Youth Scotland) If you are reading this after 6th March then the JustGiving page will have closed, if you would like to donate then please go directly to LGBT Youth Scotland’s website and do it there Make a donation | LGBT Youth Scotland | LGBT Youth Scotland you can also find out more about their work.

Over on the Facebook page you can see short videos that were taken throughout the walk, in some various people talk about why they joined me, below is a brief summary of the day.

After Thursday being a white out with snow it was with trepidation I drew back the curtains on Purple Friday, but the day was still and bright. Indeed it turned out to be the most perfect weather for walking despite being a bit slippy in a couple of places during the first 1 mile.

Margaret and Irene from Holy Name joined me for the first mile, as we walked we chatted and said hello to others who were enjoying the morning sun, lots of the with their dogs. Our conversation at this point was mostly about the news from Ukraine, our fears, our hopes, so it was only natural that we stopped at the peace garden and said a prayer, among the chirping of hedgerow birds, for Ukraine and her people and the world as it tried to respond in ways that would bring peace.

As we approached the end of our first lap, we were joined by Pamela and Kayleigh and then at the car park by Nicola and Tracey. The 7 of us then walked the next three miles.

We weren’t in any great hurry so despite having started at 9.30am it was lunchtime by the time we reached 4 miles. We stopped and talked as we ate lunch. Please if you have time go and listen to the stories on Facebook – The Scottish Episcopal Church in Monklands | Facebook For me a big part of the day was about raising awareness these moving stories help do that.

While I had been delighted with the company for those first 4 miles, mile 5 was done mostly on my own, as I walked I prayed and gave thanks, for others involved in and with Purple Friday, for those who had joined me and their stories, for all those who work for inclusion and justice, and for the people of Ukraine.

While the morning had been sunny the clouds where now coming over and a sharp, but light, wind had started to blow, so it warmed my heart to see Geoff waiting at the car park and he and Paul joined me for the last 2 miles, minus a few hundred yards which I did myself. As I said in the wee video that began those last two miles, it would appear that females walk in the morning, men in the afternoon and priests all day.

It felt surprisingly emotional when I finished, the 1/4mile stones helped me on the last difficult mile as my back was sore and I was in need of a cup of coffee and a sit down, but I am so glad I did it and so thankful to those who shared Purple Friday with me.

As I have said elsewhere, to those who walked and talked, shared stories and prayed, those who supported financially or by allowing others to take part (providing lifts and allowing time off work), thank you; you are all superstars.

Holy Week Services

Each Day during Holy Week we will be MARKing Holy Week by journeying through the Gospel of Mark. It will be done over the course of the whole week through reflection, music, image and parts of the Gospel itself.
From Monday to Thursday, the service will last no longer than an hour, while on Friday it will be a little longer.

Holy Monday and Holy Tuesday
2pm MARKing Holy Week in St Andrew’s Chapel
Holy Wednesday 
11am Said Eucharist in the Church
2pm MARKing Holy Week in St Andrew’s Chapel
Maundy Thursday
2pm MARKing Holy Week in St Andrew’s Chapel
7pm Sung Eucharist 
with stripping the altar and the Watch in Church
Good Friday
2pm MARKing the final hour in Church

Lent Litany

Holy God maker of heaven and earth.
Hear us.
Jesus Christ, the only Son of God,
Heal us.
Holy Spirit Giver of Life,
Help us.
Holy and Blessed Trinity,
Hear our prayers.
We pray for those who hunger for food; those who hunger for clean water; those who hunger for a safe home; those who hunger for a peaceful life.
Lord, hear us.
We pray for those who are fearful for the future; those who are anxious for the present; for those whose past is a painful and a constant burden.
Lord, hear us.
We pray for those who lead, countries and communities; for those who lead industry and judiciary; for those who ensure our health service, fire brigade, police force, social work and education institutions are fit for purpose.
Lord, hear us.
We pray for those whose bodies ache; for those for whom age is taking its toll; for those whose minds are troubled. We give thanks for all those who care for the sick and vulnerable, grant them strength and patience.
(You may wish to pause at this point to bring before God names of those you know in need of prayer.)
Lord, hear us.
We pray for the Church throughout the world; for all those who serve in congregations and the wider community; for those who doubt; for those for whom faith in you is new; for those who are persecuted for faithfully following you.
Lord, hear us.
We remember before God all those who we love but see no longer, praying that they may know the joys of heaven and we too may know those joys when this life ends.
(You may wish to pause at this point to remember before God those you miss.)
Lord, hear us.
Let our fasting turn us to attend to the needs of others, and not our own hungers.
Help us Good Lord.
Let our charity be a sign of your generosity, not an occasion for pride.
Help us Good Lord.
Let our prayers make us witnesses to your grace and lead us to acts of justice.
Help us Good Lord.
Let our sufferings make us one with Christ, who suffered for our salvation.
Help us Good Lord.
Let our lives be consecrated to your will, as this Lent leads to Easter’s new life.
Help us Good Lord.
Almighty and everlasting God, you hate nothing that you have made and forgive the sins of all those who are penitent, create and make in us new and contrite hearts that we, worthily lamenting our sins and acknowledging our wretchedness, may receive from you, the God of all mercy, perfect remission and forgiveness; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever.  

Lent Course

This year’s Lent Course will take place on Tuesday evenings in the St Andrew’s Chapel.  They will begin at 7pm and conclude at 8pm with Compline.  The theme will be God’s instruction to Moses: ‘Take off your shoes for you are walking on Holy Ground.’   A booklet containing Compline and the readings for the whole course will be available on the web site or in hard copies in the Church.

For those who are unable to attend in person both the course and the service of Compline will be available via zoom.

2022 World Day of Prayer

This year’s service will be held on Friday 4th March in the Salvation Army in Hallcraig Street. The service begins at 2.30pm.
The theme for this year is.

‘I know the plans I have for you.’

This year’s service is written by Christian women
England, Wales & Northern Ireland

Gathering Together

There are times when getting to church on a Sunday can be difficult, illness or circumstances can mean we would love to be present but physically can’t be. Now you have the option of joining in on zoom. You will be able to hear and see the service and join in. The details below will be used for all services from St Paul and St John the Evangelist, so regardless of whether it is a Sunday morning Eucharist or Week day Morning Prayers, Compline on a Tuesday evening or a feast day service; these are the only details you will need.

Join Zoom Meeting

Meeting ID: 898 7269 8656
Passcode: Monklands

Chalking the Lintel

We all know the story. The Magi arrived with their gifts via Herod’s Palace, Herod asked them to return and let them know where the infant king was. In a dream they were warned to go home another route, which they did. Joseph in another dream was told to flee to Egypt as Herod wanted to kill the Babe of Bethlehem. All this to fulfil a prophesy about the Messiah coming out of Egypt.

We all know this older story too. The Hebrews enslaved for many years in Egypt finally freed. The act that brought about that freedom, the Passover. When the Passover was instigated the Hebrews were told to mark their doorposts and lintels with the blood of the lamb they were to eat that night.

Centuries later; we aren’t sure, when, how and where, but that doesn’t really matter; centuries later the two stories collided and chalking the lintels became a custom. In more recent years it has reached these shores. Usually happening at Epiphany, probably because of the Orthodox Churches celebration of Epiphany being a bigger festival than Christmas and New Year and it being present in those lands before these. It is a time set aside to ask for God’s continual blessing upon our homes and lives.

At the service on Epiphany chalk was blessed and the church was marked, those present were able to take home a piece of chalk to chalk their own homes. Geoff will explain the custom to those who attend Church on Sunday 9th January and you too will have the opportunity to take home a piece of chalk and join in. There is a gallery of members of the congregations chalking below, please feel free to send in your own photo to be added.

Mark the lintel of your door, or your door post, or porch step as follows:

20 + C + M + B + 22

The Blessing itself is encompassed in the year, The C M B stand for Christus Mansionem  Benedicat – Christ bless this home, the + are the symbol of blessing.

You may use this prayer afterwards if you wish.

May Christ bless our home and remain with us throughout the year.  Visit, O blessed Lord, this place with the gladness of your presence. Bless all who worship and visit here with the gift of your love; and grant that we may manifest your love to each other and to all whose lives we touch. May we grow in grace and in the knowledge and love of you; guide, comfort, and strengthen us in peace, O Jesus Christ, now and forever. Amen.

It was a bit too windy, dark and slippy to get up to the lintel of the church door so the door post was chalking instead.
Our Friends at Holy Name also chalked the church and their homes.

The Shortest Day is Filled with Memories

As the final days of Advent unfold, our morning prayer continues via zoom at 8am Today’s #AdventWord is generations and this quote from Sister Parish reminded me of my mother who died in earlier this year.

Even the simplest wicker basket can become priceless when it is loved and cared for through the generations of a family.

Sister Parish

My mother gave me the basket pictured below many years ago. For a number of years she taken to gifting me things of hers that she knew I would treasure as my birthday present. Those things have become the most precious of things, this basket among them.

I remember her carrying shopping home in it, till she started to drive, then it housed knitting for a while. Then, it sat with reusable bags in it, latterly she kept paperwork in it, before it appear with a bow tied around the handle for my birthday about 12 years or so ago. I also remember, as a child, being given it to collect shopping and the heavy basket bashing against my leg as I tried to find a comfortable way to carry it. I remember filling it with treats for guests at parties, and it has accompanied me to church on many occasion as a prop or to just as a basket.

Today, on this the shortest day of the year, I will fill this basket with virtual memories of my mum and of other people I will miss this Christmastime. Why don’t you join me?

Interview with Richard Holloway

Stark Talk on 19 December was a fascinating interview with the former Bishop of Edinburgh and Primus of the Scottish Episcopal Church, the Right Rev Richard Holloway.
Host Edi Stark talked to Bishop Holloway about family life and his early resolve to be an Anglican priest in a 45-minute look back on his life which was at times emotion as well as poignant. The interview can be listened to at the link below, and will be available online for a year.