Holy Trinity Scottish Episcopal Church, Stirling

Revd Christoph Wutscher

Dear all,

‘There is a time for everything’, a well-known phrase in the Book of Ecclesiastes (3.1) reads.

Now is the time, perhaps unthinkable before, when we are asked to cease meeting for public worship at Holy Trinity and do so for the foreseeable future. This news might come as a shock to some and add to the fear we may have about the way Covid-19 already impacts on our lives and livelihood. ‘There is a time for everything’, but perhaps not for closing churches when we most need to speak to God in prayer?

We are in unchartered territory. Very much like the Israelites wandering in the desert for 40 years, not quite knowing where they were led. But they had their tabernacle with them as they continued their journey and so we, too, carry God’s presence with us as we continue to pray and worship in different forms. ‘There is a time for everything’ – also for trying out new and deeper ways to stay connected with God and one another.

The way we are community at Holy Trinity will evolve over these next few weeks and months and we must not forget that we are still HT in Stirling and that we are still asked to pray and worship. Here are some of the things that help me in my personal prayer life and may help us to deepen our relationship with God at this time:

Breathe: When things change fast, we often forget to breathe. Breath is the Spirit of God hovering over the waters of our existence. Feel your breath coming in and going out. Count to 4 as you breathe in and to 8 as you breathe out (this has been proven to lower stress levels and to strengthen the immune system). Breathe!

Meditate: Find a few minutes each day to speak to God in silence. Perhaps use a sentence from Scripture. ‘Be still and know that I am God’ from Psalm 43 can be very effective.

Create sacred space in your home: Light a candle. Have a Bible or Prayer Book at hand. Link in with Holy Trinity by praying ‘In the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit’.

Watch out: There will be prayer and worship resources on our website as time progresses (and we hope to provide the Sunday readings and a sermon each week). I will say a service on Sundays at 10.30 a.m., so worship will continue at our church. Although I will be on my own doing this, all your names will be lifted up in prayer and offered with the bread and wine on the altar. Do let me know of names of people you’d like me to include in this. The names will remain on the altar during the week as a sign that we are still connected as a family at HT.

Listen: Listen to what God has to say to you at this time. Engage in spiritual reading (our Lent Book The School of Charity by Evelyn Underhill can be downloaded on the Kindle) or open your Bible. Ask God questions and dare to listen to the answers.

‘There is a time for everything’ which does include being changed into God’s likeness as we continue our journey as people of God. This is the time of creating new ways of being HT in Stirling. Please watch out for one another and continue to pray and worship.

Yours in Christ,