Creative Worship Forest Church Fresh Expressions

Ready for Winter?

Forest Church meeting, 2pm Chrichton Church Dumfries, Sunday the 31st

The significance of this time has been recognised by humans from a time before writing. As Autumn moves towards winter the plants in the northern hemisphere start to die back. Harvests have been gathered in, and the Cailleach prepares to wash her plaid in the Corryvreckan ready to spread it over Scotland until Brìghde returns with the Sun.

The last few years have been difficult and strange for many people. Winter gives us time to gather in communities. To sit round fires with friends and strangers and search out god waiting to be discovered in their faces and stories (it has been written that some who practice hospitality have unknowingly entertained angels).

How do we react to adversity, the experience of suffering and even death?

Of the peril of the holy bishop Cólman moccu Sailni in the sea near Rathlin island: Likewise, another day, while St Columba was in his mother church, he suddenly smiled and called out: “Cólman mac Beognai has set sail to come here, and is now in great danger in the surging tides of the whirlpool of Corryvreckan. Sitting in the prow, he lifts up his hands to heaven and blesses the turbulent, terrible seas. Yet the Lord terrifies him in this way, not so that the ship in which he sits should be overwhelmed and wrecked by the waves, but rather to rouse him to pray more fervently that he may sail through the peril and reach us here.”

Adomnan – Life of Columba C8th AD (penguin translation)

There is a hope that keeps us going. We can grow larger, so that the hard edged grief which rattles around inside our being seems to become smaller and hurts less. Bitter things can be laid in the ground and left to die, while new things grow.

We will meet on Sunday the 31st of October to read the “Book of Creation”. To reflect on the hope the “God with us and who saves” brings and to help each other find safe passage through the winter and the changes which the season brings. More details will be published soon – please use the comments to communicate the sorts of things you would like to explore! or e-mail them to Quartz if you prefer.

In the meantime, here are some pictures from when we brought something of the outside into St Johns to have a picnic with our ancestors.

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