St John’s has a lively branch of the Mothers’ Union, a world-wide Anglican organisation that provides practical help and advice as well as promoting spiritual development and fellowship. Despite the title, you don’t have to be a woman or a mother to be part of it!
Some of the activities of St John’s members include support for Dumfries Women’s Aid, provision of toiletries and help to people in hospital, participation in a network of prayer and work with the Mothers’ Union in our twin Diocese of Byumba. There is a lively programme of meetings and worship.
Use the resources here in your own time. Join us online between 7 and 8 pm on Sunday evening to discuss the theme of “How can we describe a relationship with God”. We may even have some musical worship too.
How to do this will be published on the facebook page (which shows up on this page). Or Email us quartz(AT)wordsmithcrafts.co.uk to be sent an invitation by e-mail.
Resources These resources can be used just as they are, or might help you reflect on themes which feature in the book “The Shack” and the film of the book. These are themes like: suffering, the ups and downs of a personal relationship with God, how do we imagine “The Trinity” as three persons, and one being?
They will all benefit from taking time to do them, either before or after the meetup online for a discussion, so don’t feel pressured to rush.
Reflect Joan Osborne wrote a song called “What if God Was One of Us”. This link will take you to a YouTube video, with the lyrics listed. Listen to the song, watch the video. Some questions to help you reflect: * How does thinking of God as “one of us” make you feel? * Read Philipians ch 2 vs 1-11 and listen to the song again. If God is close, in everyday life, does this tarnish our image of God or does it elevate the ordinary as an antidote to idolatry?
Discuss Online! with a group of us using jitsi The name of the meeting is QuartzCreativeWorship. The song we will be using can be found on YouTube https://youtu.be/6fak-h9_o4w
Create Art is frustrating! The process of producing works of art takes skill and effort. Your perceived lack of success, especially if you invest yourself in the process, can completely undermine your self confidence. However, to not create can be just as bad. You may appear to be successful and conform to everyone’s expectations, but at the expense of suppressing your inner being. The author of “The Shack” uses his imagination to describe his relationship with God in strong images from his culture.
Here is a guide to some activities you could use to explore and express your relationship. Or you could just play with some clay and work through the meanings in Isaiah 45 5 – 13
Coronavirus prevention: There is more detailed guidance from the General Secretary of the Scottish Episcopal Church on the lit noticeboard, but, in outline, we are:
Where possible, eliminating physical contact, whether handshakes or hugs, and, in particular, at the Peace
Offering bread only at Communion
Maintaining a respectful distance from each other and in particular when coughing or sneezing
Staying away from church, groups etc. if feeling unwell.
Offering pastoral support via phone or email, where required.
The Rector is happy to chat with, or shop for, any member of the Congregation who is self-isolating. Contact her on 01387 254126 or 07487 653069.
Themes on Root Two is the title of an exhibition of paintings and drawings by Ian Frank, to be held at The Yellow Door Shop & Gallery, 16 Queen Street, Dumfries DG1 2JF from 10am – 5.30pm, Wednesdays to Saturdays between 26 February and 14 March. See poster on lit noticeboard. Ian has generously said that a percentage of the proceeds of sales during the exhibition will be gifted to the Lighting Fund.
Please see the separate fliers for details of Lent Groups
FIRST BASE FOOD PARCELS: Ian tells us that First Base have a shortage of packets of Savoury Rice and also packets of Pasta with Sauce. Apart from that it’s the usual goods that we try to provide. We have been helping First Base for some years now but sadly the need does not get any less. Please help us continue to support this very worthwhile cause. Annette & Pauline.
Christian Aid in Lent: Count Your Blessings leaflets are available again this year (on unit, back of church, near hall door). They are a useful nudge to considering and praying about aspects of life we take for granted – such as running water – but which are not available to many people; and to donating to Christian Aid or another charity of your choice.
Lent Lunches are again proving very popular and continue in the Hall every Friday 12noon-1.30pm. Different churches will work together to raise funds for Christian Aid by offering soup, a filled roll and tea or coffee for a minimum donation of £3.50 (adults) and £2 (children). There will be the opportunity to buy a slice of cake and to shop at the sales table and Fairtrade Stall. St John’s is responsible for providing and serving the lunch on the 27th March. If you can help in any way please let Jenny Lawson know.
Mothers’ Union will be meeting on Thursday, 19/03/2020 at 12.30pm for lunch, followed by a talk from the Revd Jim Booth on Ministry in Africa.
Open plate collections during Lent will be going towards the Diocesan Lent Appeal for Glasgow City Mission (see posters).
Ann Shukman writes…Silent Prayer will be on Saturdays 14 March (NB this is a second Saturday!), 4 April, and 2 May. Usual times. All welcome.
Welcoming, Belonging, Involving were aspect of St J’s life about which most comments were made on the ‘eaves when the ‘tree’ was at the back of the church. The Vestry has considered the comments and developed some proposals, which , as promised, will be discussed with the Congregation on 29/03/2020 after the 11am service. More details are on the lit noticeboard by the angel font. Please do come and share your ideas as well.
There will be Choral Evensong at St Mary’s Cathedral, Glasgow, at 6.00pm on Sunday, 22/03/2020, including installation of Canons. The Thornhill minibus has been booked (minimum of 10 required to make it viable; £15 return). Bus will depart St J’s at 4pm. There is a sign up sheet on the lit noticeboard.
There is a new (6 page) Diocesan Update on the lit noticeboard at the back of the church. If you would like an electronic copy, please speak to Margaret Morton or David Kerr.