Meadowside, Methven, Perth PH1 3SZ
Still convalescing at home, I greet you and wish you good health and a peaceful and comfortable journey through the winter of 2021.
Since mid-August I have not been formally or busily engaged in church work. Others, both as visitors and from within our congregation, have contributed enormously. Not only as worship leaders at 11.00am each Sunday, but in many cases doing a power of work behind the scenes. From me to you, a colossal thank you.
How do we respond when adversity strikes us? Do we flounder? Do we fail? Do we fall back on the faithfulness of God? Do we find a strength remembering that the battle belongs to the Lord, whatever the conflict is?
With more time to read and read a more varied diet of books and articles, here is a story I came across recently. Allow me to share it with you.
An old farmer ploughed around a large rock in his field year after year. He had broken one cultivator and two ploughs by hitting it. Each time he saw the rock, he grumbled about how much trouble it caused.
One day he decided to try digging it up and so be done with it. He armed himself with his strongest crowbar and a couple of pick-axes. He found to his surprise that the large rock was shallow. There was less than twelve inches embedded in the field. Much sooner and much easier than expected, he had it out of the ground, on to his wagon and away. He smiled to think how that big old rock had caused him so much needless angry frustration.
Friends, my point is this. Not every pain we have, not every trouble, not every challenge we face, can be removed or resolved as easily as that big stone. It would be foolish to suggest otherwise. However, the fellowship of the church family and the leverage of personal prayer are together effective resources with which to handle difficulties, both small and large.
Being among the family of the church, attending regularly and praying at home even more regularly can keep us from becoming victims of worry.
Thank you for your kindness and prayers. God bless you.
Church News October 2021
This past month has allowed us to return to our usual form of Communion Services and on 5th September it gave us much joy to receive this in our pews once more. Following this we also resumed joining together for refreshments in the church hall where we were able to remove masks while enjoying our tea and coffee. This has brightened all our spirits and we look forward to being able to sing without these masks very soon.
Our Minister Alan is making very excellent progress following his knee surgery and we were thrilled when he surprised us all by attending our Kirk Session meeting on 22nd September. Although on sick leave he has not lost any contact with the life of his church and we have all benefited from his pastoral letters and concern - when he was supposed to be marked absent! He will receive a sincere welcome when he returns to our pulpit on Sunday 10th October.
However we have been very grateful for the welcome leadership on Sundays of Ian Roy and Anne Stewart and our own Chris Livingstone. Our Harvest Thanksgiving Service on 19th September was led by Chris with the lovely addition of readers Skhue Ncube, Irene Stephen and Karen Mitchell. The church was, as always, beautifully decorated under the guidance of Jessie and little coloured bags of harvest gifts were prepared for delivery to house-bound friends. A tremendous assortment of tinned and packeted provisions suitable for the Dundee Foodbank and a splendid display of fruit and home-grown vegetables also graced the front of the church. Considering the small total of our membership and friends these donated gifts were a superb example of Christian outreach and kindness. Both the Foodbank and Eagles Wings each received £60 as well as these. There have been many words of appreciation expressed for the pretty bags of goodies and those of us who delivered these across the town were very gratified. Thank you everybody for giving so much to help your fellow citizens. I do not forget the surprise appearance of around 30 charming little hand-knitted angels in a rainbow of colours magically tied to our church railings at the front of the building. It was with difficulty that we found the identity of the `good fairy` was Mrs. Karen Mitchell and these adorable decorations brought smiles from everyone passing in the street as well. Each angel bore a label saying “Please Take Me Home” and indeed they were all gone when the church gates were finally closed for the afternoon.
The next event will be our Church Anniversary Gift Day on 24th October followed by Remembrance Sunday on 14th November. On Wednesday 24th November The Tayside Organist Society`s `Improvisation Part 2 `with Professor Norman Beedie will take place in our church at 7.30p.m. and all are welcome. The church Christmas Lunch organised for us all by the Guild will take place on Tuesday 7th December and this will be greatly appreciated after such a long period of non-socialising.
THE FOLLOWING IS AN EXCERPT FROM THE APPRECIATIVE LETTER RECEIVED BY JESSIE FROM MIKE CORDINER OF EAGLES WINGS.
Monday 21st September 2021
Dear Mrs. Jessie Tarbet,
……….. Please could you express our thanks for the very kind gift of £60 and the lovely fresh produce which was given to us yesterday. Today we have made a lovely potato and leek soup which many of the folks visiting us will enjoy. We will also give out the fruit and make other soups etc. over the next few days. Thanks so much.
I`ll give a little bit of an update as to what has been happening over the past year or so. Obviously things have been very different for us over the pandemic as we weren`t able to operate as we normally would. However we recognise that the Lord is sovereign even when we don`t understand what is going on and even in the midst of lockdown we were still able to meet people on the streets of Dundee. The Drop-In itself had to close but as we were already serving food to those in need we were recognised as an essential service on the frontline. As part of this we were able to be part of a new initiative called the Dundee Good Provision Network and we were regularly given a range of foodstuffs which we could distribute to the men and women using our services. We did this on the street outside the Drop-In on Douglas Street. There in the open air we were still able to engage with individuals over the period of lockdown and many Gospel leaflets and books were given out which dealt with questions people were asking about the pandemic. Pray for seed sown in those days.
The Drop-In itself was restarted 4 days a week when we were allowed to do so earlier this year. Over the pandemic we worked in partnership with Parish nursing at the Steeple Church. Kirsty who worked with us is also a Parish nurse. It has been good to complement one another in the work that we do. Ultimately it is for the Glory of God and that others may know Him. This partnership has continued and we have seen benefit in it.
Pray for the work in the evening with the Soup Kitchen which started out 2 nights a week a few months back but will be back to 4 nights in October. One benefit over the pandemic was that most of rhe rough sleeping in Dundee was almost completely ended as people were housed in hotels etc. until suitable accommodation was found. Pray this continues, but that the greater needs of folk hearing and responding to Gospel would also be met.
Thanks for your continued prayer and support.
At long last things are moving for our Guild meetings to resume. Firstly our Christmas Lunch has been arranged for Tuesday 7th December 2021. I have already approached all of the members of the Guild and their names have now been added to the list. Our caterer Norrie Preedy, you may remember, did our last Christmas Lunch in 2019 and is delighted to cater for us again this year. He is on holiday at the moment and returns mid-October. By then I should have a menu and also a price. The menu will be very similar to last time. One snag is that Norrie can no longer supply dishes but thanks to a very kind gentleman in the church we can borrow the dishes but we will have to bring our own cutlery. When I have the final menu and the cost I will pass the menu choice slips to everyone to complete and return either to myself or Evelyn Cox. All monies should go to Evelyn Cox our Treasurer.
NEXT YEAR: On Tuesday 8th February 2022 we hope to start our fortnightly meetings and we look forward to seeing you all then. The syllabus will be available early in the NewYear.
THE TRUE STORY OF THE LOVE OF A FRIEND
You may be familiar with Albrech Durer`s famous painting The Praying Hands, but do you know the story behind it? The painting was inspired by the sacrificial loving acts of a friend.
Durer, and an older friend, were struggling to make a go of it as artists. Recognising Durer`s talent the older man took a job to provide for both of them until Durer could complete his art studies. The work was hard labour but he did it gladly for his friend. Finally Durer made a sale. The money was enough to care for both of them for several months. Now his older friend could resume his painting, but his hands had become so stiff from the hard labour he was sadly unable to paint.
One day when Durer returned home he found his friend in prayer, his work-worn hands folded reverently. Durer painted a picture of these hands, capturing them for ages to come as a memorial to the love and sacrifice of his older friend.
(from `A Basket of Gems by Mark Stibbe`)
Learning how to make friends outside of Facebook
Currently I am trying to make friends outside of Facebook whilst applying the same principles. Here is my progress:-
Every day I walk along the street and when a passer-by stops to speak to me I tell them how I feel at this moment; what I have eaten so far today; what I have done the night before; and what I will do afterwards.
I show them pictures of my meals, my partner, family members, friends, my dog, my cat, my garden, and `selfies`of when I am pursuing my hobbies such as walking on the beach, jogging in the local park, or swimming in a pool inside or outside.
I also listen to their conversations, and I tell them that I love them. AND WOW IT REALLY WORKS!
Already I have 3 people following me: 2 police officers and a psychiatrist.
EMC (sent to me by my cousins in New Zealand to make me laugh!)
In the Wisdom of Solomon
Two women in a bus fighting bitterly over the last available seat. The conductor had already tried unsuccessfully to intervene when the bus driver shouted to the conductor “Let the ugly one take the seat!”
Both women stood for the rest of the journey (of course)