Blairgowrie Parish Church
The Mothering Sunday service commenced with the choir’s introit, O For A Thousand Tongues, To Sing My Great Redeemer’s Praise, after which Rev Harry Mowbray gave his welcome and intimations.
Following the hymn, New Every Morning Is The Love, prayers of approach and confession were said. The minister commenced his First Thought by saying that Mothers’ Day was the fourth Sunday in Lent where people give thanks for all mothers for everything they do. They also give thanks for the Mother Church and the nurture and love they have received over the years. He referred to the recent terrorist attack in London and of Westminster being the Mother of Parliament and then reflected on the response of politicians to terrorism. The people of London met peacefully which reminded him of a newspaper columnist who said that violence was a failure of human relationships and, to resolve conflict, they should look at the points of view of others. The Minister told the children that people also think of mothers in the church who are the people looking after others and, in order to thank them, the children distributed bunches of daffodils to the ladies in the congregation during the singing of thee hymn, Come Down, O Love Divine.
Jim Gibb read the scriptures from 1 Samuel ch 16, v 1-13 and John ch 9, v 1-7 and 24-39 which were separated by the choir’s anthem, The Heavens Declare the Creator’s Glory by Beethoven.
Following the hymn, The Lord’s My Shepherd, Mr Mowbray commenced his sermon by saying that the Bible readings were to do with seeing, hearing and judging. God does not judge as others do. When each of Jesse’s sons was brought before Samuel he had to learn that God’s ways are not other people’s. God looks not at the outward appearance but what is in the heart and chose the youngest son David, a shepherd, to be King. The shepherd was a symbol for the King and likewise Jesus was also seen as the Shepherd. People can all be taken up with material things but God, in Jesus, shows how they can care for one another. In the reading from John’s gospel, Jesus opens the eyes of a man, blind from birth and much later Jesus returned to hear the man’s proclamation of faith. Jesus gave light to the man who had lived in darkness and healing was a sign of his identity. Jesus was the light of the world yet the Pharisees failed to see it and thus were left blind. Jesus looks at people with compassion and says that blindness has nothing to do with sin. By curing the blind man, God’s power can be seen working. God does not want people to suffer, he wants us to help. The mothering role of any congregation is sometimes turned on its head. God has never fitted into the box of human understanding. The people killed in London were just doing everyday things. Jesus healing the blind man doesn’t explain why tragedies happen but explains that evil will not win.
Between the hymns, Rejoice! The Lord Is King and Will You Come And Follow Me, prayers of thanksgiving and intercession were said. The service concluded with the benediction.
Music by organist Lex Dunlop were Chorale Prelude ‘If Thou But Suffer God To Guide Thee’ – Bach, Aria ‘O Rest in The Lord’ (from ‘Elijah’) – Mendelssohn and Prelude and Fugue in C Major – Buxtehude.
This Sunday, the stated annual meeting of the congregation will be held following morning worship.
Ushers: Beadle, Anna Graham, Malcolm Chisholm, Martha Easton, George Carfrae, Mary Dow and Alan Thom.
Tea Rota: Ethel Dow, Evelyn Chigaro and Maureen Mowbray.
Crèche: Anne Stewart and Marjory Carnegie.
On Sunday, April 2, there will be no Methodist Service in Blairgowrie.
Instead the congregation will participate in worship at the Evangelical Church, Kirk Wynd, beginning at 11.15am.
On Sunday, April 9, the service will be led by Keith Pearson and will be in the usual location at the Wellmeadow Café on Blairgowrie’s Gas Brae.
All are welcome to join the congregation for worship and for tea or coffee afterwards.
Coffee mornings are held on the first Monday of each month in the Wellmeadow Cafe. The next coffee morning is on Monday, April 3, from 10am to 11.30am.
Scottish Episcopal Churches
Mothering Sunday was celebrated with services in St Catharine’s in Blairgowrie, St Anne’s in Coupar Angus and St Ninian’s in Alyth.
Members of the congregations had prepared posies of freshly-cut flowers which were distributed to all present.
The Lent groups churches continue meeting weekly up until Holy Week.
All those joining the ecumenical EPACTS group on Cumbrae in the first week of May are invited to an introductory meeting on Friday, March 31, 2-3.30pm in St Catharine’s Centre.
The next Messy Church at St Anne’s will be on Monday, April 3, 10am to noon and will have an Easter theme.
There will be a coffee morning at St Anne’s on Saturday, April 8, from 10am to noon with the usual stalls. Entry will be £2.50 and proceeds will go to the Scottish Bible Society.
On Palm Sunday, April 9, there will be a united service of Palm Praise with a speaker from the Bible Society in St Anne’s at 6.30pm.
St Ninian’s Church will be holding a coffee morning in Airlie Street Hall, Alyth, on Saturday, April 22, from 10am to noon.
Donations are invited to the Bishop’s Lent Appeal which this year will be shared between Churches Action for the Homeless (CATH); Stirling Interfaith Community Justice Group and Express Groups in Fife.
On Sunday, April 2 there will be the usual services at 9.30am in St Catharine’s, Blairgowrie, and at 11am in St Anne’s, Coupar Angus and St Ninian’s, Alyth.
The Rector, the Very Rev Kenny Rathband, can be contacted via the church office on 01250 874583.
St Stephen’s RC Parish Church
Opening hymn, Abide With Me was beautifully played by organist Marilyn Galbally. The first reading was taken from Samuel ch 16, v 1, 6-7, 10-13, while the second was from Ephesians ch 5, v 8-14. The gospel was taken from John ch 9, v 1-41. Programme of talks during Lent: Friday, March 31, from 6pm - Bishop Stephen Robson on ‘the ABC of Incarnation’, followed by respondent Canon Angelosanto Aldo. A break will feature a musical interlude from Anne Marie Scrimgeour prior to Rev Father Ignatius Edet delivering a talk titled ‘the Problem of Suffering: God’s self identification with the Godforsaken’ from 7.15pm. The response will be given by Jeanne Hackett and the Moderator will be Larry Scrimgeour PHD.
Saturday, April 1, from 10am - Holy Mass followed by, from 10.40am, Deacon Tony Cousins on ‘Radical evil/Tragedy and Christianity: Where is God in the Carnage in Aleppo, Syria’. The respondent will be David Meiklejohn. A musical interlude will be provided by Anne Marie Scrimgeour, including refreshments. From 12.30pm, Rev Fr Samuel Alabi will speak on ‘The mission of the church in Africa: Living the incarnation in poverty and plurality’. The respondent will be Mary O’Duffin. The Moderator will be Marion Duffy.
In his homily, Fr. Gregory Umunna said: “Jesus shows himself as the light in whom there is no shadow of darkness. He is the light of the world. In the encounter of Jesus with the man born blind, we can reflect on the gift of sight and ask: What do I see? What do nations see, and what do corporations see?”