The Plan has been distributed by email and some printed copies are on the vestibule table. Please contact David Easson to have your name added to the list of regular recipients of either format.
The season of Lent in the Church calendar begins this week on Ash Wednesday and continues to Palm Sunday.
Ash Wednesday will be marked by the Broughty Ferry Churches Group with an ecumenical Service of Ashes at 7.30pm in Our Lady of Good Counsel, Westfield Road. A warm invitation is given to all to this Service.
During Lent and Easter, worship in Marketgait will include a period of Reflection, using material from Methodist Women in Britain, with the title “Longer Tables, Lower Fences” focussing on ideas of sharing hospitality & reducing barriers.
A complementary display will be in the porch and window.
Each year, on the first Friday in March, Christian women invite everyone to join in the world-wide chain of ecumenical Services.
This year’s theme is “Come – Everything is Ready”, using material prepared by our sisters in Slovenia.
Please look online and in local press for details of services on Friday in your local community.
The Service in Broughty Ferry will take place at 7pm in St Stephen’s and West Church, DD5 1DW.
The meeting on Wednesday 27th February at 7pm is open to all members of the congregation. There will be discussion of “Being Methodist in our Christian Life in Scotland today”, and also a proposal to go forward with limited redevelopment.
As we travel into Lent, we are mindful of the challenges on the way ahead. All of our churches in the Circuit and the District have been thinking about their calling as part of the conversation about being Methodist in our Christian life. These are not easy conversations and on our Lenten journey we are reminded of the cost of discipleship. Beyond Good Friday we witness disciples on the road to Emmaus who are clearly downcast – not only have they experienced the loss of a friend but also the loss of hope, the loss of a future and maybe even felt betrayed or let down by Jesus. Why did he let things get that far? But then something changes in them. Jesus doesn’t come back to life as such, rather he is raised to new life in a way the disciples don’t initially grasp. It is in sharing a meal with a stranger that they suddenly encounter this new life of Christ.
Church is changing and ways of being church are dying even as new forms of church emerge and it can feel like we are in an alien land. For example, how many of us are confident in our use of social media like Facebook, twitter and Instagram or the confusion around Brexit, or the shocking growth in Foodbanks and our own clothing projects, and the changing nature of belief…
That is both painful and hopeful for us and a challenge comes in not simply continuing our discipleship but actively pursuing and allowing that to grow. The theme taken by the President and Vice-President of Conference, Revd Michaela Youngson and Bala Gnanapragasam is that of Radical Grace and Transforming Hope. Remembering, embodying the grace offered to us and to all, invites us to respond with love to the needs of our neighbours. As the prophet Jeremiah (29.7) advises “seek the welfare of the city where I have sent you into exile, and pray to the Lord on its behalf, for in its welfare you will find your welfare.” At such times it is good to sing our songs (we are Methodists after all) and explore together. One such opportunity presents itself when the President and Vice-President will be visiting the District, hosted by this Circuit. On Sunday 31st March all are invited to share in the Big Sing at Perth including a tea and addresses by the President and Vice-President.
At the recent open gathering, discussions covered
- feedback from Advent & Christmas, including suggestion that this year the decoration of the tree form part of a more social gathering (post-Service lunch & Tree Decorating Event on Advent Sunday)
- worship & porch / window display during Lent to link with the worship liturgy theme of “Longer Tables, Lower Fences” (hospitality, removal of barriers) using material prepared by Methodist Women in Britain;
- further thoughts on ways to help widen participation in worship;
- decision to use only Gluten-free Bread in Communion .
- Next meeting – Wednesday 15th May, 1pm.
The Rev Michaela Youngson and Mr Bala Gnanapragasam will be in this Circuit during their visit to the Scotland District on March 30th-31st. The President will preach at the Sunday morning service in Arbroath, the Vice-President will be in Blairgowrie.
On Sunday afternoon (31 March), there is to be The Big Sing in Perth Methodist Church, with sandwich tea from 4pm and from 5.30pm – singing of favourite hymns, plus presidential address.
A warm invitation is extended to all to this event in our Circuit. Arrangements to coordinate transport later.
The Rev Nik Wooller is stationed in our Circuit on an 50:50 basis with the District since she is in receipt of Connexional funding for her role to build relationships alongside ‘churchless-Christians’. As part of this responsibility, she is visiting churches throughout the District to explain something of what her work involves – next Sunday is “her District visit to Dundee”.