This morning the Rev Dr Michael Paterson presided and preached on his first Sunday as our newly-licenced Priest-in-charge, and we celebrated the Feast of Christ the King with a special liturgy for the day.

The occasion was also our first service as an independent congregation. As you can read in this service sheet, we also gathered round the font and Paschal candle, both symbolically placed in the centre of the congregation, to rededicate ourselves, using the deeply-moving words of a covenant for Shared Ministry.

Before choir and congregation sang the Old Hundredth we also managed to mark the occasion in typical St Margaret’s fashion, firstly by our sacristan, Pam Pryde, presenting an inscribed quaich to Michael, using some of the words lovingly written on the accompanying card by Lesley Yellowlees on behalf of the congregation.

Then Lesley herself presented a basket of flowers to our Vestry Secretary, Sandra Young, in recognition of the enormous amount of extra work Sandra had carried out in recent months, dealing with the consequences of both pandemic and interregnum.

This happy picture was taken after the end of the service on 18 November at which the Revd Dr Michael Paterson (right) was duly licensed as Priest-in-Charge of the Scottish Episcopal Church of St Margaret, Rosyth by the Right Revd Ian Paton, Bishop of St Andrews, Dunkeld and Dunblane (left).

There was some formality – you can’t escape having the Very Revd Graham Taylor, in his role as Dean, read the words of the Licence – and much symbolism, in the presentations made to Michael of an icon of Christ, a Bible, holy oil, the bread and wine of communion, and the church keys. But above all, there was much joy at welcoming our new priest, much hearty offering of praise in music, and much unity on display, with representatives from our Methodist partners and other local churches as well as the wider Episcopal community.

There was also much challenge in what Bishop Ian had to say in both sermon and prayers. He ended his sermon, centred on the Gospel reading of three parables of the kingdom, by reading R S Thomas’s “The Bright Field” and reminding us of the need to give all that we have to possess that pearl of great price. Highly appropriate for a congregation whose patron is St Margaret, when we remember that her name derives from the Greek μαργαρίτης … pearl!

Thanks to David Salthouse, the service was recorded, so you can hear Bishop Ian’s words in full through the media player below.

Sunday 7 November
A Creed for the Planet

We believe that this is God’s world
and all that lives on it;
we believe that living gratefully
and giving generously are marks of faith.

We believe that all of humanity
should have equal access to the earth’s resources,
and that every individual must now act
to preserve this world
so that the children of tomorrow
will not be burdened
by the mistakes of today.

And so we commit ourselves
to think globally, to trade fairly,
to live responsibly,
and to love this world as God loves it,
who in Christ become one with creation. Amen.

Saturday 6 November
Sabbath for the Planet

Eternal God, give us hearts to understand never to take from creation’s beauty more than we can give, never to destroy wantonly for the furtherance of greed, never to deny to give our hands for the building of earth’s beauty, never to take from her what we cannot use. Give us hearts to understand that to destroy earth’s music is to create confusion, that to wreck her appearance is to blind us to beauty, that to callously pollute her fragrance is to make a house of stench, and that as we care for her, she will care for us. Amen. (U.N. Sabbath Programme)

Friday 5 November
Action for the planet

What, at this moment, does God invite you to do?

  • to give thanks for the ways in which you are fed and sustained by the earth?
  • to repent for our part in failing to care for the earth as you should?
  • to make a positive commitment to renewing the health of the earth’s environment?

You might like to light a candle in response to God’s invitation.

Thursday 4 November
We have sinned

Your wrongdoing has upset nature’s order,
and your sins have kept away her bounty.
The earth lurches like a drunkard;
the sins of its inhabitants weigh heavy on it,
and it falls, to rise no more.

The wages you never paid to those who mowed your fields are crying aloud against you, and the outcry of the reapers has reached the ears of the Lord of Hosts.
(Jeremiah 5: 25; Isaiah 24:20; James 5:4)

God of justice, we have lost our way and exploited your gifts. Have mercy, Lord, have deep mercy.

Wednesday 3 November
Humanity is charged with responsibility

The Lord took the man and put him in the garden of Eden to be the guardian and servant of the earth. … For six years you may sow your fields and prune your vineyards and gather the harvest, but in the seventh year the land is to have a sabbatical rest, a sabbath to the Lord. No land may be sold outright, because the land is mine, and you come to it as aliens and tenants of mine. (Genesis 2:15; Leviticus 25:3–4, 23)

God of the Sabbath, rebalance our lives that we may live in right relationship with our planet, with all living creatures and with You, Creating God. Amen.

Tuesday 2 November
Creation worships its maker

Let the heavens rejoice and the earth be glad;
let the sea resound and everything in it.
Let the fields exult and all that is in them;
let all the trees of the forest shout for joy
before the Lord. (Psalm 96:11–12)

Praise the Lord from the earth, you sea monsters and ocean depths
… all mountains and hills, all fruit trees and cedars,
wild animals and all cattle, creeping things and winged birds. (Psalm 148:7–10)

Creating God, we give you thanks for our place on this earth and for all with whom we share it. Help us to be good stewards of all you have entrusted to us.

Monday 1 November
Creation as a source of wonder

Who supported the sea at its birth …
when I established its bounds,
set its barred doors in place and said,
‘Thus far shall you come and no further’?
Have you gone down to the springs of the sea
or walked in the unfathomable deep?
Have you comprehended the vast expanse of the world?
Whose womb gave birth to the ice,
and who was the mother of the hoar-frost
which lays a stony cover over the waters? (Job 38)

O God our Maker, we give you thanks for the wonder of creation, in all its beauty and variety.
Praise be you O God, maker of all. Amen.

This sequence of daily readings and prayers for contemplation, confession and commitment was compiled by Rev Dr Michael Paterson using materials drawn from a variety of sources, including the Iona Community. You can download a printable version of the whole sequence at this link.

Let saints on earth unite to sing
with those to glory gone,
for all the servants of our King
in earth and heaven are one.

This morning we finished our morning service with the Charles Wesley hymn from which those lines and the post title come. Michael Paterson had created a special liturgy for a memorable eucharist in which we were reminded of those who have gone before us, and encouraged by their example.

In our litany of remembrance, during which some members lit candles, over fifty of the “cloud of witnesses” were mentioned by name, and we also prayed for all who have died of Covid, for those “who have no one to remember them, and for those whose names are known to God alone. Finally we prayed for ourselves, that we may lead lives worthy of remembrance.

This second image (also used in the service sheet that you can download at this link) is a word cloud generated from the words of Matthew 5, the Gospel for the day, on which Michael reflected in his homily. One thought that your webmaster took away from this was that a distinguishing feature of ‘saints’ is that they were thankful of heart. Now that’s something to aim for every day this week! As well, of course, as reading and praying through the latest thought on COP26 from the leaflet Michael had produced and gave to everybody as they left.

You can read Michael’s short but very insightful homily at this link.

Loving Creator, at this moment in earth’s history when humanity must take account of earth’s destiny, give to those leaders who gather in Glasgow a sense of urgency, a perception of necessity and the wisdom and will to secure the health and wellbeing of the world at whatever the cost to wealth, political advantage or prestige. and give to us all a vision of a world restored to full health that is worthy of all those yet to be born and worth all the work, sacrifice and commitment which is ours to offer.          Amen.

Coming up …
  • 10 July 2022
    9:30 am Sung Eucharist
  • 10 July 2022
    11:00 am Morning Worship
  • 17 July 2022
    9:30 am Sung Eucharist
  • 17 July 2022
    11:00 am Morning Worship

More details at this link


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