Martenitsas

Pastor Margarita from Sevlievo wrote recently to thank the Circuit for the help it had sent for Svetla and her family. ‘It is a witness to her family of our love and care.’

She also told us about an old Bulgarian custom.

‘Soon it will be 1st March. This day is special in Bulgaria. We call it “Grandma March Day”. On this day we give each other a martenitsa. It is made of white and red cotton or woollen threads. It symbolises good health, long life, fertility and abundance. The white colour symbolises purity, innocence and joy. The red colour symbolises life, health and the fire of love. One of the traditional forms of the martenitsa is of a boy and a girl, called Pizho and Pends respectively. In folk tradition the month of March is personified by a woman – Granny March. Her mood constantly changes and so weather in March also changes quite a lot. We say that when Grandma March is angry, weather is cold, and when she smiles – it is sunny and warm. People wear the martenitsa pinned on the lapel, around the waist or around the neck. They take it off when they see the first stork. If they don’t see one, they take it off on 22 March when spring officially starts.

According to the legend when the Bulgarians led by Khan Asparuh reached the Danub valley (present day North Bulgaria) they were enchanted by the place and decided to settle down there. After declaring the new Bulgarian state the khan decided to make a sacrificial offering to god Tangra. Tradition demanded the sacrificial fire to be lit with a stalk of dried dill but the Bulgarians could not find any. While they were wondering what to do a falcon landed on the khan’s shoulder. It had a stalk of dill tied to its leg with a white woollen thread, half of it red because of the blood dripping from the falcon’s injured wing. The bird had been sent by the khan’s sister who had had a dream of her brother’s predicament. The khan took the dried dill and lit the fire. Then he pinned the white and red thread on his shirt to keep him in good health. Apart from the legend suggestions have been made that the martenitsas are an inheritance from the Thracians who have lived on this territory.

So we are sending a small martenitsa for each one of you wishing you happiness, good health and long life. May God bless you abundantly. While wearing your martenitsa do think of us all, and especially of Svetla and her son.’

 

One Mission Matters – Spring 2018

Read about the church’s response – “come-unity” in the aftermath of the Grenfell Tower fire, about Christians against Poverty, help for internally displaced communities in Northern Nigeria, a high street drop-in centre in Cumbria ……

One Mission Matters is published 3 times a year, and features projects that have received Mission grants from the Methodist church.

Christian Aid gathering – rescheduled

Wednesday 28th March 10:45am – 3pm

Augustine United Church, Edinburgh

Join us to find out how you can give, act and pray with us in 2018.

Come and celebrate the work of our partners and learn how they are transforming lives by standing up to climate change, overcoming inequality and tackling injustice.

Hear from Sally Foster-Fulton, Head of Christian Aid Scotland, and discover new ways to support Christian Aid’s work.

Be inspired to raise awareness, to raise money and to raise your voice.

More information.

Please do extend this invitation to others who may be interested and RSVP  to let us know who’s coming.

RSVP: Glasgow@christian-aid.org or 0141 221 7475.

Sevlievo news

We are delighted to hear from Pastor Margarita that Svetla is making good progress on her crutches.

Lent 4 liturgy

Psalm 32

A prayer for forgiveness

Great and mighty God, our creator and provider,
it is so easy for us to take your gifts,
your provision for us in your world,
and to misuse it,
for all the gifts that I have wasted this week,
forgive me.

For the love and care that you have given us,
for the times we have kept them locked within us
and not shared with others,
for all the love that I have wasted this week,
forgive me.

For the words that should bring comfort,
that should bring understanding,
but often bring hurt and discomfort,
for all the words that I have wasted this week,
forgive me.

Loving God, you wait for us
to follow your way of justice and reconciliation,
though it may be narrow and difficult,
for all the opportunities that I have wasted
this week, forgive me.

To all who truly repent you say:
‘Your sins are forgiven,
follow me.’
Thanks be to God. Amen.

(c) ROOTS for the Churches Ltd

Dundee Choral Union Concert

Sunday 18th March, Caird Hall at 7.30pm; works by Sullivan, George Oldroyd, and Dvorak; the first and last works are both a “Te Deum”, while the middle one (a Scottish première) is a setting of a Yorkshire Mediaeval poem, called “Jhesu Christ, St Mary’s Sone”. This marks the celebration of the Choral’s 160th anniversary. See David Easson for tickets.

Reimagine Church Forum rescheduled!

Perth Methodist Church
Saturday 9th June 2018
10 am to 4 pm

Trey Hall, church planter, coach and mentor, will lead participants in exploring how to revitalise existing churches and start new churches. Reimagine Church is an important initiative within Methodism in Britain and Trey has been sharing important insights and knowledge gained from experience. Trey is aware of the challenging context for Methodism in many places and his work to date has been warmly received and found to be relevant and helpful by Methodists in other districts.

Lunch and refreshments will be provided; there is no charge for the event.  Perth’s premises were refurbished in 2017, and provide a warm welcoming environment for study and fellowship.

To book a place please contact Fiona at the Scotland District office, making her aware of any specific dietary requirements.

Preparing for Jonah Bible month rescheduled!

Bible Month Learning Event
Perth Methodist Church
Saturday 12th May 2018
10.15 am to 3.30 pm

(Rescheduled from 2nd March 2018)

The Methodist Bible Month Initiative, provides churches and circuits with an opportunity to focus on Jonah for an entire month (June is suggested), with support  materials being made available via the Connexional website. The Bible Month Initiative is an important response to the challenge of developing biblical engagement and biblical literacy throughout the Connexion.

In preparation for the Bible month, Professor John Drane and Olive Fleming Drane will lead local preachers and worship leaders, small group leaders and anyone who would like an opportunity to enhance their biblical knowledge and understanding.

Lunch and refreshments will be provided; there is no charge for the event.  Perth’s premises were refurbished in 2017, and provide a warm welcoming environment for study and fellowship.

To book a place please contact Fiona at the Scotland District office, making her aware of any specific dietary requirements.

Traidcraft Exchange supported by UK Government

Traidcraft Exchange is Traidcraft’s partner development charity. It works with partners in South Asia and Sub-Saharan Africa, running programmes to support people working in different supply chains. When people in low-income countries receive training in proven business skills – to add to their natural will to succeed – they can turn a profit from the work they do, and use it to feed their families and educate their children.

They can build a better future for their families and their communities – for generations to come. That’s what Traidcraft Exchange is all about.

Until 11th April 2018, all donations made to Traidcraft Exchange will be matched by the UK government, so your donation is doubled.

All We Can in Emergencies

All We Can is a Methodist charity working for relief and development

In the short term

In times of crisis, All We Can works through local partner organisations, already rooted in communities, or through the Methodist Church. All We Can also works in partnership with other international humanitarian aid NGOs that have long term partnerships with local organisations capable of responding.

In the longer term

All We Can also supports the local organisations with which it works with to find sustainable long-term ways of preparing for and responding to disasters. It provides the training and capacity development needed to build communities that are more resilient to disasters and to help protect the hard fought development gains they have achieved.