The Rector writes ‘Last week in church I spoke a little about the Places of Sanctuary movement and I have written a bit more about that inside this Pew sheet. Do have a read and if this is something that you might be interested in, just let me know.
Next Saturday 13th, God willing, we will have our parish Confirmation Service. Please keep the bishop and all the candidates in your prayers.
The following day, Sunday 14th, there will be a short ’Act of Remembrance’ at all of the Services.
A reminder that on Saturday morning 20th November, I will be conducting a Workshop in St Mary’s Church on how to write and deliver Prayers of Intercession. If you would like to be part of that, please let me know. It can be a very rewarding ministry and the commitment would only be perhaps once every 2/3 months so please do think about it. The more voices we have in church each week the better!’
A few months ago, the Select Vestry voted unanimously that we, as a parish, would begin the process of becoming a ‘Church of Sanctuary’ within the ‘Places of Sanctuary Ireland’ Group.
What this means is that we are part of an all island network of groups in towns, cities and local communities which share the objectives of promoting a culture of welcome and inclusiveness right across every sphere and sector of society, so that wherever people seeking sanctuary go, they will feel safe, find people who welcome them and understand why they are here, and have opportunities to be included in all activities.
I spoke about this last week in the context of the appointed first reading from the book of Ruth. This book is all about migrants and being accepted in a different society.
Last week’s reading from Ruth was from the beginning of the book, when Naomi fled the famine in Judea for the land of Moab, eventually returning with one widowed daughter-in-law, a Moabite woman called Ruth.
Whether Naomi and her husband and sons were economic migrants looking for a handout, or refugees forced to flee otherwise disaster would overtake them is debatable.
The refugees we see on the news are not so different from ancient times, many many people still live precariously
In today’s reading, Naomi is desperately seeking security for her foreign daughter-in-law, drawing on her family connections to match up Ruth with Boaz, her kinsman.
We know that this was successful and at the very end of the reading today lists Boaz & Ruth’s descendants: their son Obed, grandson Jesse and most important of all their great-grandson David.
David, the greatest of all the ancient kings of Israel, and we stop to remember the fact that at the heart of his ancestry is this woman Ruth, a Moabite, an immigrant. Someone with very little social standing at that time but yet without her story, the history of God’s people would have been very different.
Part of the drive of the Places of Sanctuary movement is to help us to reframe our understanding of refugees and migrants in our society.
The story of the Moabite Ruth in the land of Judea might help us to think about newcomers in a different way.
Do we ever imagine what their contribution could be?
Do we ever think about what impact their children or grand-children might have in years to come?
One small but significant step for us on our journey might be for us to change our thinking and instead of asking ‘what can we do for refugees’?,
We might instead ask ‘what are the gifts and potential of the stranger in our midst’?
If you would like to become more involved in the Church of Sanctuary initiative, please contact me.
Music Notes 07-11-2021
Hymns at St Mary’s
6 The climate is changing!
666 Be still, my soul
494 Beauty for brokenness
97 Jesus shall reign
The writer of our first hymn today is Carolyn Winfrey Gillette. Here is an extract from her biography which you can find on her website www.carolynshymns.com
Carolyn was confirmed in the United Methodist Church and graduated from Lebanon Valley College in 1982. She received her M.Div. from Princeton Theological Seminary in 1985.
Carolyn met her husband, Bruce Gillette, at Princeton Seminary, and was ordained as a minister in the Presbyterian Church (USA) in 1986. After graduation, they both served churches in New Jersey (Sussex, Andover and Hamburg) for about 19 years—first serving in separate congregations and then as co-pastors. Carolyn also has served as a hospital chaplain and a hospice chaplain.
Carolyn started writing hymn texts in 1998 while attending Synod School, a summer church conference of the Synod of the Trinity of the Presbyterian Church (USA). Her husband Bruce has offered plenty of encouragement and support for her hymn writing, and the two have enjoyed working together to share Carolyn’s hymns with others both close to home and around the world.
More volunteer singers for Sundays welcome!
Bébhinn 087 228 5965
Random Notes CDI
This Sunday’s ‘Random Notes’ should, if accuracy be observed, be re-named ‘Random Questions’, for the simple reason that is precisely what they are! Here are a pair of photographs taken by Erik Hodder Roberts (1915-1979), of two, as yet, unidentified weddings at Carrigaline Church.
Dating most probably from the mid to late 1940’s, the exterior view is, it is thought, may very well be of the wedding of a member of the Barton family; the subjects of the interior photograph regrettably quite unknown.
If any reader of these notes can identify either one, either, or both of the photographs, the compiler would be most grateful indeed.