The end of March draws to a conclusion the first three-month trial period of differing service times for St JtL Penicuik and St M West Linton. Both vestries consulted widely and many views were reported back to the meeting. As expected, the vestries concluded that a further three-month trial period would be necessary, with the service times reversed, to allow both congregations to experience both options.
From the 2nd April, therefore, St James the Less will gather for worship at 9.30am, following the established pattern of services. On the 4th Sunday of each month, in order to fulfill the legal requirement of offering communion every Sunday, Rev’d Lynsay will offer an 8am said communion service in church before the main service of Morning Prayer that day. Naturally, with services being so early, coffee can return to being after the service.
For those who find these times too early, perhaps for this three-month period you might consider attending St Mungo’s West Linton, rather than missing church altogether. They will be meeting at 11.30am from 2nd April. As soon as I know when they will hold coffee/brunch I will relay this information. Morning Prayer at West Linton is on the first Sunday of the month and will be followed by said communion, for the same reason that we will be holding an 8am.
On 21st May every member of each congregation will receive a response form, allowing them to register an opinion in the decisions before us. We hope most will be collected from church, but will post out any uncollected forms on the Monday. These forms will need to be returned to the vestry secretary no later than Friday 9th June. This information can then be collated and taken to the next joint vestry meeting on 14th June, allowing us to set the Summer pattern for worship.
On 21st September, as part of the International Peace One Day celebrations, people will be gathering to dedicate the peace pole commissioned by St James the Less. It has been handcrafted with love and care by Andrew McCaullye, who has repurposed an electricity pole and wax from the remnants of candles burned in church.
The English phrase, May peace prevail on Earth, spirals around the top of the pole, encouraging onlookers to come close and walk around it. This is matched at the bottom of the pole, with a nod to our Scottish heritage, as we find the phrase in Gallic. Vertically around the pole we find the phrase in Hebrew, a biblical language and a sign of our continuing prayers for all the peoples of the Holy Land. Russian is included in acknowledgement of growing tensions and conflicts in Ukraine and other once-Soviet states, and as a prayer for peace in these lands. Twi is included as a reminder of our diocesan partnership with Ghana, this is one of the most peaceful places in Africa, despite tribes speaking 5 native languages, as well as the official English. Fante, most commonly spoken in Cape Coast is not written down, so Twi serves and reminds us to pray for our partners in Ghana and for peace throughout the continent of Africa. Tibetan is included as we pray for people whose struggle for peace goes on over many years and can all too easily be forgotten.
As we dedicate the pole, we will pray:
Gracious God, hear us.
Sanctify this pole dedicated to the peace you offer through Christ.
Let it be to all who see it a sign that peace will come on earth and a prompt to our prayers and diligent work for peace. Accept here the continual reading of the words “May Peace prevail on earth” as the heartfelt prayers of your people. Grant that all who look upon this pole may be blessed by your spirit of peace. Blessed be your Name, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit; now and for endless ages. Amen.
I do hope you will lift your heart in prayer and or longing for peace whenever you go past.
To find out more about the Peace Pole project pop over to http://www.maypeaceprevailonearth.org.uk At the time of posting St JtL’s was the newest peace pole.