Action for Children has published a report Childhood during coronavirus, highlighting the needs of the families with whom they have been working, they held they have given, and what they would like governments to do to alleviate child poverty.
After a period of wide-ranging discussion at this week’s meeting of Church Council, it was agreed that a ‘Steering Group’ be set up – Convener, Margaret, Secretary, Lorna – to meet on Tuesday 3rd November at 10am, when it is hoped the architect may be present.
The Solas Festival 2018 takes place at the Bield in Perth between June 22nd and June 24th. Solas is an arts festival with a focus on justice. It has its roots in the Christian tradition and we Methodists have had a presence at the festival for a number of years, focused mainly on our tent which provides space for reflection, conversation and welcome.
This year is no different and if you would like to volunteer at the festival and receive a free day or weekend ticket in return, please contact Lorraine Darlow, email@example.com to find out more. A limited number of free day tickets for first-time festival goers are also available, as are a number of free tickets for young people and youth leaders.
We have been invited to share in the Good Friday service on March 30th at the Congregational Church in Dundee along with Salem URC and Meadowside St Pauls. Nick will be preaching the sermon. The service starts at 6:30pm. All welcome.
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.’
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.