St Serf's News and Events
Rector’s Letter January 2013
Christmas and New Year are a busy time for most of us, meeting up with family, sharing the excitement of young and not so young children. This year we had our first grandchild staying with us, along with his mum and dad. Next year he is likely to have a wee brother or sister alongside to share the fun and a new cousin too. All of this is cause for rejoicing, and thankfulness that we live in a relatively peaceful and prosperous place in which to bring up children. Because of my work with the wider Church across the world I have seen something of the difficulties many families face both here and in other places.
One of the things we take for granted here in Britain is birth registration. The International Anglican Family Network have over the past year been raising awareness of the importance of universal birth registration. For the most part we gladly register the births of our children and rightly so. It signifies the child’s personhood, their entry into the community; they have an identity of their own. This registration of identity goes on to secure the child’s place in education and the many other benefits of citizenship. Sadly, in other places, children are not registered for various reasons - chaotic local or central government, poverty, discrimination against certain groups, the sheer remoteness of their home village etc. Our friends in the IAFN have recognised that the churches have a significant role to play in encouraging parents and governments to register births. Parents bring children for baptism and that gives a point of contact where registration can be promoted and there are other church networks closely involved with families who can also use their influence and help in this way.
On Sunday the 3rd of February the Scottish Episcopal Church will be giving special prayer and thought to this issue. Appropriately this is the Church festival known as Candlemas or the Feast of the Presentation of the Lord. Appropriate because this is when we remember that Jesus too was taken as a child to be presented before God in the Temple, Mary and Joseph’s act of thanksgiving.
A Prayer for every child.
Creator of humankind and giver of all life:
We thank you for the treasure
of each child born in your image;
May they be blessed with a loving family
and caring community.
Guide parents in the giving of a name,
and grant that by proper civil registration
each child may receive:
respect for their identity,
the benefit of citizenship,
and regard for their uniqueness of spirit;
through Jesus Christ our Lord.
(Revd John Bradford)
Yours in Christ
The choir and congregation were in good voice this year for the service that marks the beginning of the Advent season for the churches in Burntisland. Thanks are due to our music director Josephine Quinney and the choir for all the preparation they put into this special time of worship. Thanks too to the readers from the churches and the folk who prepared and provided refreshments. The retiring collection amounted to £75 and this has duly gone to support the internatonal relief work of Shelterbox.
Operation Christmas Child - Samaritan’s Purse
We would like to say a a very BIG THANK YOU to the people of Burntisland. At the street fair for the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee in June we asked for donations to help pay for sending Christmas boxes to children living in situations where they would not receive any Christmas gifts this year. Thanks to your generosity we were able to make 75 children very happy.
Rector’s Letter December 2012
We enter the season of Advent in the wake of another conflagration in the recurring cycle of violence between Israelis and Palestinians. Again at Christmas we will sing the carol ‘It came upon the midnight clear’, with those words:-
Yet with the woes of sin and strife
the world has suffered long;
beneath the angel-strain have rolled
two thousand years of wrong;
and man, at war with man, hears not
the love-song which they bring:
O hush the noise, ye men of strife,
and hear the angels sing.
Words we will sing in anguish at the continuing aggression and sinfulness of human beings; and yet sing in hope that God’s patient love will, in his good time, redeem us from our stupidity. We are called to be signs of that hope as the world goes through what Jesus in Mark’s gospel calls the birth pangs of the new age of God’s kingdom. We are members of the Church but membership of Christ’s Church is not an end in itself. Christ calls us primarily to be his disciples, which means following him, growing spiritually in him through the power of the Holy Spirit so that we can serve God’s purpose, this coming of the kingdom of peace. Each of us are called and given gifts for this purpose in various ways and at different stages of our lives. Each of us needs to remain alert to the opportunities and possibilities that God graciously continues to give us. Christmas is the time for giving gifts so remember these greater things too as you go about your Christmas preparations and God’s peace go with you.
Yours in Christ
St Serf’s Charity Number
Our charity number is SCO 10577
Christmas and New Year are a busy time for most of us, meeting up with family, sharing the excitement of young and not so young children. This year we had our first grandchild staying...
The choir and congregation were in good voice this year for the service that marks the beginning of the Advent season for the churches in Burntisland. Thanks are due to our music director Josephine...
We would like to say a a very BIG THANK YOU to the people of Burntisland. At the street fair for the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee in June we asked for donations to help pay for sending Christmas boxes to...
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