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.  

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 will restart on a Thursday afternoon in October.  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 finished for the holoidays but will start to meet again on a Monday afternoon in the Session House in September.  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.

Changing Times

The Church of Scotland is once again facing a time of change – as it has done many times over the years.  In 2019, the General Assembly agreed to reduce the number of Presbyteries across the country and support local congregations in their ministry as part of the Radical Action Plan.

Following on from the Radical Action Plan, the 2021 General Assembly approved the Presbytery Mission Plan Act.  Presbyteries, working with the Faith Nurture Forum and the General Trustees, must have an Approved Mission Plan in place no later than 31 December 2022.  Once approved, the Mission Plan must be implemented and it will then be reviewed, and updated as required, so it remains an accurate, comprehensive plan for the shape of church life.

At this year’s General Assembly, it was agreed that Stirling Presbytery – of which we are part – would become part of the new Presbytery of Perth, to be formed from the presbyteries of Angus, Dundee, Perth, Dunkeld & Meigle, and Stirling.  This change will take effect from 1 January 2023.  In preparation for this, Stirling Presbytery held a meeting at the end of June to look at the Presbytery Mission Plan  which outlines the proposed plans for dealing with the 40% reduction in allocated ministry posts.  Kirk sessions have to respond to this by 15 August as the final plan has to be with the Church of Scotland by 31 December 2022.  We will be holding a Kirk Session meeting on 25 July to discuss this important document.  Any comments should be passed to Marie Campbell, the Session clerk, prior to this.

These are challenging times, both for individuals and the Church as a whole, but it is important that we all work together to make sure that the change is for the better.  Back in 2004, our then minister, Rev Alan Downie, said in his letter to parishioners that “It will not necessarily be a comfortable period that lies ahead of us, but it will be challenging and exciting.  If Christ is the beginning and end of everything we attempt, then the Kirk – and we who are members of it – will indeed be made new”.  This still holds true today and we must hold on to our faith.

UN International Youth Day

In 1999 the United Nations General Assembly designated 12 August each year as International Youth Day.  The theme of International Youth Day 2022 is Intergenerational Solidarity.  We often hear negative stories about young people, but the majority want to make life better for others and many just quietly get on with things.  Those involved in youth groups want to use their time constructively, members of the Scottish Youth Parliament debate issues of importance to young people and society, but we rarely hear about the positive impact of young people.  Young Carers just get on with things while looking after a family member despite the impact it has on their own lives.

Across the country there are many positive examples of intergenerational activities.  Before Covid, an increasing number of care homes were linking with nurseries and having joint activities which benefitted both age groups.  Many of us who watched ‘Old People’s Home for 4 Years Olds’ could see these benefits ourselves.  In other parts pf the country Digital Buddies   schemes were set up during Covid where pupils from the local secondary school were paired up with someone new to technology to guide them through the process so that they could keep in contact with friends and family.  Vale of Leven Academy set up an intergenerational  Sporting Memories group and this not only made a difference to the lives of those people with dementia who took part in the group but was also a positive experience for the youngsters involved.

Connect Alloa – a local youth club – meets in St Mungo’s and has done a lot to involve young people in decision making as well as providing a safe environment to enjoy time with other young people.  They continued to meet throughout the various lockdowns so that the young people could continue to have contact with one another.  They have run various events including information sessions whee people of all ages could find out more about the work they do.

Everyone should be valued for what they do and mutual respect and acceptance of different views can go a long way towards making a better society.

World Day Against Trafficking In Persons

Each year on 30 July, the UN has designated that day as World Day Against Trafficking In Persons to raise awareness of the suffering caused by this practice.  This year the theme is Use and Abuse of Technology.  Technology is increasingly being used in a negative way  to lure people into situations where they can end up being trafficked into some form of slavery.  We often think that slavery is something from the past but unfortunately it is still happening today.

In the UK at the moment, we are aware of large numbers of migrants who leave their home country to try and seek a safer life elsewhere.  They may have suffered from famine, war, or persecution because of their beliefs.  Many of them, in desperation, end up in the hands of human traffickers who use digital platforms to recruit, exploit, and control their victims.  Technology also helps them to find victims and potential clients, move them around and then hide the money they make from their schemes.

However, technology can also be used to help stop this trade.  It can help to work out how the traffickers are organising things, assist prosecution and give support to those who survive the experience.  It is vital that we all are aware of Internet safety but particularly important for the groups most likely to be targeted.  Women make up 46% and girls 19% of all victims of trafficking.    The share of children among detected trafficking victims has tripled, while the share of boys has increased five times over the past 15 years with one in 3 victims of trafficking globally being a child.  The UN has provide a list of safety tips and it is worth taking time to check this out to stay safe.

We can all play a part in trying to stop human trafficking.  Here are some indicators of victims of Modern Slavery to be aware of.  Victims may show signs of physical or psychological abuse.  Victims are never alone, appear to be controlled, rarely interact with others and are unfamiliar with their neighbourhood.  They may be living in dirty, overcrowded accommodation, have few or no personal effects and wear the same clothes each day.  Their movements are restricted and their travel documents have been taken from them.  If you have concerns about a person or situation in your community, please contact either the Police on 101 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.

St Mungo’s Rotas

Flower Rota

14 August                             Miss J Fleming/Mrs C Howie

21 August                              Mrs I Stevenson

28 August                              Mrs M Hamilton/Mrs S Downie

4 September                          Mrs L Sharp

Duty Groups

14 August                             Group C

21 August                             Group D

28 August                             Group A

4 September                         Group B

Current Events

Recent news from 121

Prince Charles honours organist who is still playing after 75 years

Mary Edmondson, 89, the organist at Canisbay Parish Church in Caithness had a surprise visit from Prince Charles last week.  To mark the fact that she has been an organist for 75 years she had a visit from Prince Charles who presented her with a basket of flowers.

 East Renfrewshire church welcomes Ukrainians and their host families

Park Parish Church in Giffnock has set up the Ukrainian Hub Giffnock where Ukrainian refugees and their host familiea can come together and learn from one another as well as make new friendships.

New worship materials will help Church of Scotland mark Season of Creation

The Season of Creation runs from 1 September to 4 October and encourages Christians to engage in prayer and action for the protection of creation.  This year Eco-congregation Scotland launched the resources which are available to all and include Stilling videos.

Christian Aid launches emergency East Africa hunger appeal

After the worst drought in 40 years, vulnerable people in East Africa are now facing the threat of famine and death.  Christian Aid has launched an East Africa Appeal in a bid to alleviate the suffering being faced.  The Moderator tells how some individuals have been affected by the drought and Sally Foster-Fulton outlines how your support can help.

Nominations still open for the 2023-24 Moderator of the General Assembly

The Committee to nominate the Moderator is ready to receive recommendations for the person who will be nominated as Moderator of the General Assembly in May 2023.  The post of moderator is an important one for the Church as the person chosen acts as an ambassador for the Church of Scotland at home and abroad.  Any member of the Church of Scotland can recommend a minister, elder or deacon for consideration by the Committee  using the recommendation form.  The date for submission has been extended  and completed forms must be returned by 19 August.

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 summer edition , the National Vice-Convenor spoke about the Queen’s Jubilee.  There is also information about the National Convenor Elect and also the new national Vice-Convenors – including Christina Patterson from our local Guilds Together – and Regional Support Workers.  As usual there is news about what some Guilds across the country have been doing.  This month’s hymn is Great is Thy faithfulness.

St Mungo's News

This Sunday, 14 August, the service will be taken by Rev Sang Y Cha.  The Order of Service can be found on the What’s On page and the service will be broadcast live on Facebook.

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 café now has a Facebook page, thanks to a member of Connect Alloa.   Billy started serving his summer menu from Monday 20 June.

The garden at the back of the Church is being transformed with fruit trees and bushes being planted.  The weather vane presented to the church in memory of Rev Alan Downie has now been placed in the Church garden.

Preparations are underway for the visit from the Moderator of the General Assembly on 28 August for the service of dedication of the church café and garden.

A permanent ramp has been installed leading into the porch and this has been  welcomed by many as it will make access to the building easier.  We have had many positive comments about this already.

At a recent Kirk Session meeting it was agreed that, as restrictions have eased, we would reinstate the use of the display boards in the Porch to highlight matters of interest in St Mungo’s and the wider community.  This month we are highlighting the work of the Sunday School which restarts on 21 August.

There is a box in the Porch for donations to The Gate which is always willing to accept donations of tins and packets of food and carrier bags.

We have put a submission to presbytery with our views on the draft Presbytery Mission Plan.

Rev Alan Downie Memorial Weathervane

When the late Rev Alan Downie was our minister, he acted as prison chaplain at Glenochil prison where he was highly regarded.  After his death the prisoners at Glenochil crafted a beautiful weathervane in his memory.  During the renovations of our building, we were advised that there was no suitable position for it on the roof so it has been on display in the porch, but it has now been installed in the garden behind the church.

Weathervanes have been used for centuries to show the direction of the wind and come in many designs.  In the 9th century, the Pope decreed that weathervanes on churches should use a cockerel as the focus.  It has been suggested that this is in reference to Jesus’ prophecy that Peter will deny him three times before the cockerel crows the morning after the Last Supper.  As the cockerel crows first thing in the morning with the rising sun it has also been suggested that it represents the victory of light over darkness while warding off evil.

Whatever the reason for the design we are fortunate to have such a beautiful piece of work in our Church.

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 summer menu is available on the newsletter tab above.

You can find the menu for our café by clicking on the newsletter tab above.  Booking is advised for afternoon tea.  Please phone Billy to book a table either on his mobile, 07395091107 or, during café opening hours, on the church number 01259 723004.