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.   We are currently facing what is possibly our biggest challenge since he arrived – Covid 19 – 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

As the Omicron variant infection rates are higher than at any other point in the pandemic and the virus continues to infect people and be transmitted, even by those who are triple vaccinated it is vital that we take precautions to keep ourselves and others safe.  You will be asked to provide contact details for Test and Protect.  Wearing face coverings is a legal requirement for anyone over the age of 12 without a medical exemption.  Please use hand sanitiser on entering and leaving the building.  You are also asked to think carefully about social interactions and limit them wherever possible.  Please maintain social distancing and avoid mixing with other households where possible.

You are asked to do a lateral flow test before attending the Church service.  If this is positive, please get a PCR test done and do not attend Church. If you, or a member of your household, show symptoms of Covid 19 please self-isolate and book a test.  If you develop symptoms after attending church again self-isolate and book a test.   Please also notify the Session Clerk – Marie Campbell.

We produced a special edition of the Weekly Parishioner when we were able to open last year, where you can get more detailed information and look at more pictures of the inside of the church and examples of the type of signs you may see.  You can look at this by clicking on the Weekly Parishioner tab above and choosing Church reopening.

Although this may seem like a lot to do, the only new request is that you have a negative lateral flow test result before you attend.  Please follow the guidelines to protect everyone.

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.

Week of Prayer for Christian Unity

Between 18 January and 25 January, the week of prayer for Christian unity will be marked around the world.  Those dates were first proposed in 1908 and this event takes place every year as a way to strengthen the links between different denominations of the Christian faith.

This year, it was prepared by the churches of the Middle East who chose as the theme “We Saw His Star in the East”.  The Christians of the Middle East are aware that many of the difficulties that they experience are also found in other parts of the world, and they long for a light to lead the way to the Saviour who is the light that overcomes darkness.  The story of the Magi visiting the Holy Family in Bethlehem is one that we all know and on which Sang recently preached a sermon. The Magi have sometimes been seen as a symbol of the world’s diversity – different religions and cultures – that comes to pay homage to the Christ-child. The story might therefore represent the unity of all created that God desires.

There is more information about the theme in the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity 2022 Booklet   The booklet has bible readings, a meditation, prayer, questions and activities for each day.  In this time where there is often friction between people and fear has resulted in some looking for others to blame, harmony and unity is important so please take time to look at the materials.

Stamp Appeal

Every year the Guild take the stamps that have been donated throughout the year to the Annual Gathering and hand them over so that they can be sold and the money used to support the Church of Scotland World Mission work.  This year the project being supported is the Women’s Development Centre (WDC) in Kandy, Sri Lanka.  This group was set up in the 1980s and initially focused its attention on women’s issues and intervened in domestic violence.  It then went on to support vulnerable groups including children, youths, persons with disabilities, sex workers, etc.

WDC aims to encourage self-reliance and promote equal opportunities for at risk and vulnerable women, youth, and children with/without disabilities through a variety of initiatives designed to help those they support to become more self-reliant.  These initiatives have included a Community Based Rehabilitation (CBR) disability programme for mothers of disabled children who were not getting support and were unable to engage in development activities.  They have also set up a shelter for female victims of violence, to provide protection, care, and rehabilitation of women and girl survivors of gender based violence  The WDC newsletter contains information about the work being done by the group to support these vulnerable people and try to improve their lives. .

You can help by saving the stamps from the letters and cards you receive and giving them to Christine Wildau.  You are asked to trim them leaving a border round the stamp.  If you are unable to pass them on to Christine, there are other ways to contribute.  Please save your stamps and make a difference to these vulnerable groups.

St Mungo Festival 2022

Many of us will know something of the story of St Mungo.  He lived from 528 to 13 January 614 and in about 1185, a monk, Jocelin of Furness, wrote Life of Saint Mungo also known as Vita Kentigerni.  This gave the story of his life from his conception out of wedlock which resulted in his mother being tied to a chariot and launched off Traprain Law. Both mother and unborn child survived so they were then cast adrift in a coracle without oars on the River Forth. She drifted up-river and came ashore at Culross in Fife, where her son was born.   He was brought up by the monks and, although he was named Kentigern, he was called Mungo which meant “dear one”.  He went on to become a missionary visiting many parts of the country and is now the patron saint of Glasgow.  The city motto is based on his prayer “Lord let Glasgow flourish through the preaching of thy word and praising thy name.” and the city crest includes images relating to the 4 miracles he is credited with performing.  You can read more of his story in The Story So Far which can be found by going to The Building tab above.  Some images depicting events in his life can be seen in the railing which surrounds the Chancel.

Each year Glasgow Churches together and Mediaeval Glasgow Trust organise St Mungo Festival around the date of his death.  This year it runs from 8-17 January and includes a wide range of online sessions where more can be learned about St Mungo and his influence on Glasgow.  It includes a presentation of the Vita Kentigerni, a look at the signs and symbol of Glasgow cathedral and an ecumenical service among others.  All events are free and you can find out more on the St Mungo Festival website.

St Mungo's News

This Sunday, 23 January, the service will be taken as usual by Rev Cha.

This week we received further guidance about restarting groups which said “In-person meetings of Kirk Sessions, Congregational Boards, Presbyteries, the Guild and other church and community groups: – We think these can be resumed from Monday 31st January again with the familiar mitigations which were deployed last autumn; hand hygiene, cleaning of touch points, ventilation, face coverings where distancing is not possible and food or drink is not being served.”  We will therefore be able to restart the Craft Group on Monday 31 January at 2pm.

The Sunday School restarted on 9 January 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 Church café re-opened on 10 January.  The Winter menu for the Cafe is now available on the Newsletter tab. The café now has a Facebook page, thanks to a member of Connect Alloa.

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 Order of Service for 23 January and links to the hymns can be found on the What’s On page.

St Mungo’s Guild

We have now had further guidance from Guild headquarters that meetings can restart from the week beginning 31 January.  Members are still asked to wear face masks, sanitise hands and socially distance at meetings.  The first meeting will be a joint meeting on TUESDAY 1 FEBRUARY with Ludgate Guild in Ludgate Church Hall when we will be able to hear from one of the Guild project speakers.  The project speaker is from BEAT – a charity which works with people suffering from eating disorders.  The meeting starts at 2.15 and you use the door at the back to enter the church hall.  We hope to see a good turn out of members at the meeting

The Guild is open to everyone irrespective of gender.  Information about the Covid precautions in place can be found on the Newsletter tab above.

We hope that all of our members had a good Christmas and New Year and that 2022 will be a happy and healthy year.

Current Events

Recent news from 121

Moderator invites us to mark Week of Prayer for Christian Unity

This year’s Week of Prayer for Christian Unity, based on the theme of ‘We saw the star in the East, and we came to worship him’ (Matthew 2:2), takes place from Tuesday 18 January until Tuesday 25 January.  The Moderator is encouraging everyone to participate and gave some thoughts on the theme.  Please read the article about the week which can be found in the adjacent column.

Democracy activist ordained into the Church of Scotland

Last week Rev Dr Urzula Glienecke was ordained into the Church of Scotland at Greyfriars Kirk.  As a child in Latvia, it was dangerous to be a Christian as the Soviet government was officially communist.  Her path into ministry has resulted in her facing many challenges.

Deacon appointed to new national spiritual care role

Mark Evans DCS, who is currently a hospital chaplain with NHS Fife has been appointed as  first national advisor and operational lead on Spiritual Care for the Scottish Government.  He will advise the government and NHS boards on the development of spiritual care policies and set standards across Scotland so that everyone can access the same level of spiritual care.  An article about this also appeared on the Life and Work website.

Moderator champions ‘life-changing’ health programmes in Malawi

Lord Wallace has been appointed the ambassador of EMMS International which funds two programmes at Mulanje Mission Hospital in Malawi, which is run by the Church of Central Africa Presbyterian (CCAP) – a Church of Scotland partner.  Malawi has one of the highest teenage pregnancy rates in the world with girls as young as 11 put under pressure to become sexually active.  The education programmes hope to help tackle this issue and also the problem of poor infrastructure.  Lord Wallace described the programmes as “tremendous” and said he hoped that church members would consider donating money to help the Edinburgh-based charity continue funding the programmes.

 

The Guild Newsletter

In common with many other Guilds across the country we have started to meet in person but at national level the Guild is still producing a regular newsletter to keep members in touch.  In a recent newsletter there was news about special events that Guilds in different parts of the country are marking.

This week Ian Whyte has written an article about the meaning of Christmas.  There are also items about what Guilds around the country are doing.

This week’s hymn is a modern take on Come Thou long-expected Jesus.  Please read this week’s Guild Newsletter.

The Robin

Many of us are used to seeing robins in our gardens at this time of year but how many of us have noticed that in our stained-glass window – a Journey of Faith and Hope – you can see a robin.  This particular robin represents the pet robin owned by St Serf who ran the monastery in Culross where Mungo was brought up.  The robin was accidentally killed by his classmates who blamed it on Mungo.  He took the bird in his hands and prayed over it, restoring it to life again.

Another legend about the robin which is used sometimes to explain its presence on Christmas cards is that when the baby Jesus was in his manger in the stable, the fire which had been lit to keep him warm started to burn very strongly. A brown robin placed himself between the fire and the face of baby Jesus. The robin spread out its feathers to protect the baby, but in so doing its breast was scorched by the fire. This redness was then passed onto future generations of robins.

The next time you see a robin, remember the legend, and think about the selflessness of the robin thinking of others before himself and how you can emulate that.

How can you support the Church?

The Church is now open for the Sunday service with restricted numbers, 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 and we 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 re-opened on 10 January 2022 after Billy and his volunteers had a well earned break.  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.   The café is normally open on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday each week between 10 and 4.  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