Welcome to St Mungo's

“For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.”

Mission Statement

Seeking to be
open and
welcoming
to all actively
growing in faith

Our Minister

Ever since our minister, Rev Sang Yoon Cha, came to us in 2011 we have been on a wonderful adventure together.   During this time we have faced many challenges and changes. We have had major building work done, adaptations to the inside of our building and the introduction of some different types of services. We have lost old friends and gained new.   The Church of Scotland is currently facing what is possibly its biggest challenge in many years – but with Sang’s help support and guidance we will see this through and be stronger together.

 

You can read a copy of Sang’s sermon by clicking on the About Us tab above and then clicking on A Message from the Minister.  Beatrice’s prayers for this week can also be found there.

Sunday Service

Although the Covid situation is easing, it is vital that we continue to take precautions to keep ourselves and others safe.  Restrictions have been eased and it is no longer mandatory to wear a mask in Church but, of course, you are welcome to continue to do so if it makes you feel safer.  All of the pews will now be available as we do not have to maintain social distancing.  This means that, if you wish, you can sit with others outwith your household.  The one way system has also been removed.

Covid numbers are still high in the local area so please be aware of this.  You may wish to do a lateral flow test before attending the Church service.  If this is positive, or if you, or a member of your household, show symptoms of Covid 19 please do not attend Church for the safety of others.

In general terms we look forward to welcoming as many of you as possible back in church on a Sunday morning but please feel free to take any precautions which make you feel safer.

Get Involved

There are lots of ways you can get involved in the work and life of the church, it’s not all about the Sunday service.  You could join the Guild – it is open to all – and it has now restarted on a Thursday afternoon.  You could volunteer to help with the Café.  Billy is always keen to welcome new helpers.  You could attend the events organised by the Church throughout the year.  The Craft Group has started to meet again on a Monday afternoon in the Session House.  It may be that you would be willing to do a Bible reading on a Sunday or help with the Sunday School.You may have ideas of your own which could add to the life of the Church so please feel free to share them with us as we head back to a new normality.

Ways to Support the Church Financially

Apart from the routine way of donating money, if you were to
use “Easyfundraising” then the church benefits without it
costing you any more.

Mental Health Awareness

Over the last two years, most of us have had to adapt to changes in the way we live and work.  Social contact has been reduced, we have not been able to meet family and friends, we have been working in isolation, interspersed with Zoom meetings where we may be wondering if we are being judged on the basis of our décor and tidiness.  Many people are still worried about contracting GOVID-19.  Although restrictions have eased over recent weeks, many people are still cautious about going out and mixing in large groups.  Many people are still working from home so have reduced social contact with workmates.  Groups and clubs may have closed down, as they could not afford to stay open.   People may no longer be able to afford to go out and meet up with friends.  Although mental health is worsening for many people, there is help available.

Mental Health organisations are encouraging people to raise the profile of mental health.  The theme this year is “Loneliness” as it has been noted that reduced interaction with friends and family over recent times has left many people feeling lonely and isolated.  Things like GP appointments are now often taking place online which again reduces interaction.  There does seem to be a link between loneliness and mental health.  It may be that feeling lonely has an adverse effect on mental health, but it can also be a situation where poor mental health results in isolation and loneliness as someone may not have the confidence to interact with others.

The Mental Health Foundation has an article which talks about why loneliness is the theme for this year’s mental health awareness week.  Mental Health UK has a wide variety of  information and ideas including suggestions for things to do to try and improve mental health.

Even little things like a friendly smile and saying hello in passing may make someone’s day seem brighter.  If you have concerns about your mental health – or that of someone you know – please seek help.

Christian Aid Week

For more than 75 years Christian Aid has provided practical support for people across the world who are suffering the effects of poverty.  They also try to tackle injustice and support human rights in the countries they work in.  This year Christian Aid week runs from 15-21 May and the theme is “Turning hunger into hope” as life is particularly difficult for many people who were already living in poverty.  Climate change has resulted in crop failures in many countries, and the conflicts in Ukraine and other countries have also had a negative impact on food supplies.  Many people in this country are finding it difficult to feed their families without having to use Food Banks like The Gate but in other parts of the world where survival is dependent on the crops the family can grow, life is even harder.  The UK Government announced cuts in the Overseas Aid budget which are expected to remain at this lower level until 2024 and this adds to the problems.

Jessica tells her story of life in Zimbabwe and the struggle she has to feed her family.  Janet is the main provider for her family and in her story tells of the awful times they have gone through but also speaks of the hope she has for the future as money from Christian Aid has allowed her to invest in drought resistant crops and a new storeroom for her harvest.  The Church of Scotland supports Christian Aid Week, and you can listen to a sermon given by Sally Foster-Fulton who is head of Christian Aid Scotland.

There will be a collection taken in Church on Sunday 22 May for Christian Aid.

The General Assembly

The General Assembly is an important time in the Church of Scotland as this is when Commissioners to the General Assembly examine the work and laws of the Church and make decisions that affect its future.  Under normal circumstances the General Assembly Hall on the Mound in Edinburgh is full with representatives from a wide variety of areas and interests in the Kirk.  This year, however, although many Commissioners will be in the hall other participants will join remotely from across Scotland and around the world.   It will run from 21-26 May with the proceedings live streamed and available for everyone to watch on the Church of Scotland website.

This year, the Queen has appointed Lord Hodge, who is himself an elder, as Lord High Commissioner – her personal representative.  When the Queen attends the Church of Scotland she does so as an ordinary member.  In his  speech, Lord Hodge spoke about the importance of truth in public and private life being promoted by the Church.

On Saturday 21 May, the Rt Rev Dr Iain Greenshields, minister of St Margaret’s Community Church in Dunfermline, was installed as the Moderator of the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland.

You can learn more about how the Assembly works and what will be discussed .

St Mungo's News

This Sunday, 22 May, the service will be taken as usual by Rev Cha.  The Order of Service for this service and links to the hymns can be found on the What’s On page.  In Church we will be accompanied as usual by Islay our organist.  The new audio visual system has been installed in the Church and the service will be broadcast live on Facebook between 11.10 and 12.30.  A retiring collection will be taken to support the work of Christian Aid.

The Craft Group meets on a Monday at 2pm in the Session House after their Easter break.  Their latest project is Trauma Teddies for Ukrainian refugee children.  Any completed teddies should be handed in to the Church.

The Sunday School meets each week during the Sunday service and children are welcome to attend. The children come into the church for the first part of the service and then go through to the Session House for their own activities.

The Winter menu for the Cafe is available on the Newsletter tab. The café now has a Facebook page, thanks to a member of Connect Alloa.  The café will be closed for 2 weeks from 23 May as Billy is on holiday.

After church teas and coffees continue to be served following the appropriate guidelines.  If you would like to help with this, please speak to Joyce or Elma.

The garden at the back of the Church is being transformed with fruit trees and bushes being planted.

A permanent ramp will be installed leading into the porch during the week beginning 23 May.  As the café is closed for 2 weeks from that date, there should be minimal disruption.

Current Events

Recent news from 121

The Kingdom Come

Last week Lord Wallace joined other faith leaders in encouraging church members to take part in Thy Kingdom Come    – a global prayer initiative which runs from Ascension Day (26 May) until Pentecost Sunday (5 June).

Lord Wallace visited Ukraine to learn how the Kirk is helping support civilians

Last week Lord Wallace visited Ukraine and Hungary to find out  how donations from Church of Scotland members are being used to support people affected by the war.  To date, the Church has raised £367,277 to help the churches in the area to support those who have lost everything.

General Assembly News

On the first day of the Assembly – 21 May – the morning session saw the installation of the new Moderator – the Rt Rev Dr Iain Greenshields, as well as speeches from the Lord High Commissioner and the outgoing Moderator, Lord Wallace.  A message from the Queen was also read out.  The Assembly also agree to create a scheme to support ministers to pay manse fuel bills.  This came up during a debate on possible changes to the way in which the Church operates in this time of falling membership.

Christian Aid kicks off their annual fundraising appeal

Christian Aid Week gets under way on Sunday 15 May, running until Saturday 21 May, with a range of fundraising activities taking place to raise awareness as well as money for the charity.

Moderator encourages people to donate to Ukraine charity appeal

Over recent weeks,  as we have all seen the harrowing pictures of refugees leaving Ukraine with families being split up and people leaving almost everything they own behind in a bid to find a safe haven, Lord Wallace has encouraged members to donate to the Ukraine charity appeal.

The Guild Newsletter

Although many Guilds across the country have now finished meeting for the summer,  The Guild, nationally, is still producing a monthly newsletter.  In the April newsletter, Helen Banks, National Vice Convener of the Guild wrote about giving for Lent rather than giving up.   There is news from Guilds across the country and this month’s hymn is “See what a morning”.  Members are reminded about the annual Stamp Appeal which this year will go to support the work of the church in Lebanon.  Our sunflower Christmas tree also appeared again as the Guild asks us to support the people of Ukraine.

The Good Shepherd Window

This window is dedicated to the memory of William Duncan Bruce – who was an elder for 50 years – and his wife Elizabeth.  It depicts Jesus as the Good Shepherd carrying the lamb in one arm and his shepherd’s crook in the other hand.  In John 21 he tells Peter to feed and look after his sheep and lambs.  In John 10, Jesus says,  I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep.  In the parable of the lost sheep, a shepherd would leave his ninety-nine sheep and search for the lost one until he found it.  Once he had found it, he would put it on his shoulders and bring it home, happy that he had returned the lost one to the fold.

In our window, this is the image that is clearly seen but, if you look more closely, you can see another sheep lying at the feet of Jesus, showing that he values everyone

How can you support the Church?

The Church is now open for the Sunday service , and the other work of the church is still continuing.  This means that there are still expenses to be covered so please help if you can. You can either fill your envelope each week ready for when you are able to join us for the Church service again or if you would like to set up a Standing Order or give a donation please get in touch using the email address connect@alloastmungos.org or contact our Treasurer, Scott Maxwell (07711148762), and he will be happy to give you more information.

A new way in which you can support us is by shopping with Amazon Smile.  Amazon Smile is a website operated by Amazon that lets customers enjoy the same experience as on amazon.co.uk. The difference is that when you shop by following the link below, Amazon will donate 0.5% of the net purchase price (excluding VAT, returns and shipping fees) of eligible purchases to St Mungo’s. Only purchases made through smile.amazon.co.uk are eligible to generate donations. There is no cost either to you or the church.  When you first click here you may be asked to set up an Amazon Smile account and choose a charity.   Select St Mungo’s Parish Church, Alloa and every time you purchase goods from Amazon, the church gets a donation paid directly into our bank account.

To find out about the ways in which you can support the Church – financially and otherwise – please click on the Support Us tab below.

St Mungo’s Community Café

The café is normally open on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday each week between 10 and 4 and the winter menu is available on the newsletter tab above.  There is something there to tempt everybody whether you just want coffee and a cake, a light lunch or even breakfast.  All of the necessary hygiene precautions are taken and the Café does, of course, follow the mandatory guidelines with regard to hand hygiene and Track and Trace information gathering – so that we can keep everyone safe.  As space is limited at the moment, please phone Billy to book a table either on his mobile, 07395091107 or, during café opening hours, on the church number 01259 723004

Billy recently hosted a wine tasting evening led by Jean-Michel Gauffre, Director of Languedoc wine tours.  There were maps on the tables showing the Lang’doc region where the 6 wines were from. And those who attended were taught the 3 ways to taste the wine properly

The winning ticket for Billy’s competition was drawn and belonged to Jackie, a cafe regular.  We are sure she will enjoy the meal.

St Mungo's Guild News

Although the Guild has finished meeting for the summer, members met up again on 19 May.  The Guild normally has a bus trip, followed by a meal, during the month of May but this year enjoyed a lunch at Dunmar Hotel instead.  Members enjoyed the opportunity to catch up with one another over a lovely meal in a different setting with the bonus of no dishes to wash!

On 26 May, the Stirling Guilds Together annual rally will be held in Tillicoultry Parish Church and we hope to see a good turnout of our members at this.

The Committee have had a meeting to start to plan the programmed for next year and look forward to welcoming existing and new members when we restart regular meetings in the autumn.