Forest Church

Forest Church

2.00 – 20.02.2022

We will meet at 2pm outside the Crichton chapel as usual. Please keep an especial eye out for the weather forecast as there could be snow in D&G this weekend. Dress for the weather, and even if the snowdrops are hiding under the cailleachs cloak you will be comfortable enough to find them. As usual we will adjust our practice in relationship with our surroundings.

Meeting in Christ’s name and sharing the peace

We meet in Christs name – whether you consider yourself close friends, or are just curious, all are welcome – we share his peace.

Something to set our minds

The Deers Cry, or St Patricks breastplate.

We will read or sing some of this – more details will be posted when I work out how. Please get in touch if you have suggestions. (and look at the text in the featured image on this page).

Reading the book

But someone will ask, ‘How are the dead raised? With what kind of body do they come?’ Fool! What you sow does not come to life unless it dies. And as for what you sow, you do not sow the body that is to be, but a bare seed, perhaps of wheat or of some other grain. But God gives it a body as he has chosen, and to each kind of seed its own body. Not all flesh is alike, but there is one flesh for human beings, another for animals, another for birds, and another for fish. There are both heavenly bodies and earthly bodies, but the glory of the heavenly is one thing, and that of the earthly is another. There is one glory of the sun, and another glory of the moon, and another glory of the stars; indeed, star differs from star in glory.

So it is with the resurrection of the dead. What is sown is perishable, what is raised is imperishable. It is sown in dishonour, it is raised in glory. It is sown in weakness, it is raised in power. It is sown a physical body, it is raised a spiritual body. If there is a physical body, there is also a spiritual body. Thus it is written, ‘The first man, Adam, became a living being’; the last Adam became a life-giving spirit. But it is not the spiritual that is first, but the physical, and then the spiritual. The first man was from the earth, a man of dust; the second man is from heaven. As was the man of dust, so are those who are of the dust; and as is the man of heaven, so are those who are of heaven. Just as we have borne the image of the man of dust, we will also bear the image of the man of heaven.

What I am saying, brothers and sisters, is this: flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God, nor does the perishable inherit the imperishable. Listen, I will tell you a mystery! We will not all die, but we will all be changed, in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised imperishable, and we will be changed. For this perishable body must put on imperishability, and this mortal body must put on immortality. When this perishable body puts on imperishability, and this mortal body puts on immortality, then the saying that is written will be fulfilled:

‘Death has been swallowed up in victory.’
‘Where, O death, is your victory?
Where, O death, is your sting?’

The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. Therefore, my beloved, be steadfast, immovable, always excelling in the work of the Lord, because you know that in the Lord your labour is not in vain.

1 Corinthians 15 35:58

Reading from creation


  • When we start to think about experiencing the thing, we stop experiencing the thing.
  • When we remember an experience, we re-experience the experience.

Spring in Scotland strobes between winter and summer. One year we will be enjoying a BBQ on the beach by the Nith on Easter Sunday and the next the streets are swept clear by driving snow. There is a permanence to living things as well though. There is a danger that the above passage leads to dualistic thinking that separates the physical, temporal or secular from the spiritual, eternal and timeless.

The poetry in St Patricks breastplate defends against this. In this prayer armour for living is woven from the eternal substance of the things we experience in, combination with the eternal truths expressed through creeds. We will take some time to become aware of the eternal qualities of that which is around us. The “Solidness of Earth”, “The Suns life giving ray”, or perhaps the bravery of snowdrops and whatever we can find through exploring.

Then we can use these experiences to weave a cloak of protection from the landscape around us. Are you facing a difficult time at work? Wear the helmet of salvation, and also draw the wildness of wind around you under your coat to carry you with confidence. Are you worried about your security? Snowdrops dare the harshness of the last gasp of winter, fragile but returning each year, and the ground we stand on is solid. Perhaps you can practice binding these things to yourself, and yourself to the eternal.

Closing Prayer

If you are able, find a physical thing which represents the eternal quality you want to draw on in your daily life. We can then place these things on the ground together, letting go of the temporary but holding onto to the eternal. “I bind unto myself today the … of …”

As Jesus taught us … (The Lords Prayer in the version you find familiar)

Then for those that can linger

We will head over to the Crichton central cafe for a cup of something warm.

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