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.

Book Week Scotland

Every year in November, Book Week Scotland takes place to encourage people to lift a book and enjoy reading.  As we get further into winter with longer nights and colder weather it can be a thought to go out, but it is possible to escape in the pages of a book.  You may want to read about different places and imagine you are there or immerse yourself in a novel so you can forget that it is cold and wet outside.  You may decide to use a book to learn more about something that interests you, whether it is finding a new recipe or getting ideas for your garden for next summer.  If your eyesight is poor, you could use an audio book where you can listen to someone else reading for you.  Our local libraries have a wide selection of books of all kinds, including e-books, which are free to borrow.

Sometimes people have got out of the habit of reading for a variety of reasons and find it difficult to start again.  You may feel too tired, too stressed, don’t have time or just don’t know what to read.  It may be that by reading an old favourite again, your enthusiasm will be recovered.  Alternatively, check the internet for ideas – the Scottish Book Trust has ideas for all ages –  or browse in your local library or speak to friends about what they are reading.   Please try escaping within the covers of a book – there is something out there for everyone!

Festival of Lights

Last week saw the annual Festival of Lights in the Church and it was well attended with some families now seeing it as the start of their Christmas celebrations.  This year we had visits on the Friday from West Alloa Scouts Beavers and Cubs groups who had a lovely time visiting the Festivalof Lights.  We also had visits from 2 groups of children and staff from Redwell Nursery who sang us songs to say thank you.  Visitors to the Festival had the opportunity to vote for their favourite tree and the winners were

  1. No 8                Fairley’s Fairy Garden         Janette Fairley.
  2. No 17              SOS Save Our Seas           Thomson family.
  3. No 26              Give a Dog a Bone              local Alloa charity.

Winners of the raffle were:

Hamper – Katie Law

Christmas light up ornament – Alice Millar

Light up reindeer – Mr Leitch

Light up snowman – Evie Roberts

Light up penguin – Ailie

Gin globe – Anne Anderson.

 

Carers Rights Day

Each year Carers Rights Day is marked on the last Thursday in November which this year is Thursday 24 November.  This year the theme is “Cost of Caring” which can include emotional as well as financial costs.  Many of us either are, or know, unpaid carers.  The current estimate is that there are at least 800,000 unpaid carers in Scotland but it is difficult to get an accurate figure as many people do not recognise that they are carers.  The annual State of Caring Report paints a bleak picture, showing the extent to which many are sacrificing their own health, wellbeing, life chances and financial security to provide care.  The main carers’ benefit – Carer’s Allowance is worth just £69.70 a week for a minimum of 35 hours.  It is estimated that unpaid carers save the health and social care system in the region of £10.8 billion a year

Many carers have had little or no respite for more than 2 years with some being “on call” for 24 hours a day 7 days a week, 52 weeks of the year.  While they are providing care and support for their loved one, they may also be having to deal with their own emotions as they see the mental and physical health of the person they care for declining.  Many workers in the health and caring professions are struggling with exhaustion and burnout and this is also true for unpaid carers.  Many of them have become more isolated over the last couple of years as they are afraid that they will bring the virus into the home.  If you do know someone who is an unpaid carer please try to keep in touch.  Even a 10 minute phone call can help.  You may be able to drop in and see them for a short visit.  If you have baked cakes or made soup – hand some in.  Even little gestures can help.  There are organisations which can provide help and support.  Our local Carers Centre provides 1:1 support as well as group meetings and activities.  The  Coalition of Carers provides a lot of information about what Carers should expect to be happening and also has information about national events and initiatives.  Carers UK have also produced a helpful booklet for carers called Looking After Someone which gives suggestions about how to cope and also a Directory of other supports available.

This year we should give thanks to all those who provide unpaid care to friends and family.

St Mungo’s Guild

The Guild session is now well underway with our meetings taking place on the first and third Thursday of the month between 2 and 4 pm in the Session House.  New members are always welcome so why not come along and join us.  The Guild welcomes both men and women to attend the meetings.

At our last meeting on Thursday, 1 December, we had hoped to have a social afternoon with a film as the theme.  However, we were beset with technical difficulties and had to have a complete change of plan so the end result was that we did a Christmas quiz instead.  The Guild are never stuck and always come up with an alternative!  Members were give the final arrangements for the Christmas lunch on 15 December and the outing to the Christmas Extravaganza in the Town Hall.

The National Guild Big Sing took place in Motherwell on 2 December and can be watched on Facebook

Local Community events in November/December

Carols by Candlelight

St Mungo’s RC Church in Mar Street is holding a Carols by Candlelight service in their church on Thursday 15 December at 6.30 pm.  There will be refreshment after this service and all are welcome.

Candlelit Carol Service

Alloa Elim Church are hosting this in their Church Hall on Christmas Eve at 6 pm.  Hot drinks and mince pies will be served and all are welcome.

St Mungo’s Rotas

Flower Rota

4 December                           Mrs M Campbell

11 December                         Miss Cousin/Mrs Elder

18 December                         Mrs A Low

25 December                         Mrs N McLaren

Duty Groups

4 December                           Communion – Group D

11 December                         Group C

18 December                         Group A

25 December                         Group B

Current Events

Recent news from 121

‘Prepare The Way For The Lord’ is the theme for Advent this year

Prepare The Way For The Lord the theme of the Church of Scotland’s 2022 Advent calendar, inspired by Mark 1:2-3 ‘Prepare the way for the Lord, make straight paths for Him’, which runs from 27 November to 24 December.  You can sign up to receive daily email reminders on the Church of Scotland website.  On 27 November the Moderator got things started with an introductory video  and the first day of the Advent calendar opening was 1 December. Following on from the Moderator there have been  items about a Glasgow church which is helping local people make their Christmas cash go further and providing businesses with a new festive outlet, Very Rev Dr Susan Brown telling  ‘A Hare-Raising Tale’, a special St Andrew’s Day service was livestreamed, how a Scottish Borders church supports the community Christmas Larder, the carol Good Christians All Rejoice, recorded by the Longniddry Wassailers and a reflection reminding us to keep those spending the Christmas period in prison this year, as well as those affected by the crimes of others, in our prayers.

Christian Aid Christmas Appeal

We are all aware of the difficulties faced by many in this country as financial pressures are constantly increasing through rising prices and the pressure of the consumer society.  Difficulties are being experienced all over the world and the Christian Aid  Christmas Appeal will help families facing hunger in Malawi because of the climate crisis.  In Malawi, most people depend directly on rain-fed, small-scale farming for the food they eat, and unfortunately the climate crisis has brought drought which has caused the crops to shrivel and floods which have drowned them resulting in the loss of both food and income.

‘Pilgrimage of Peace’ to South Sudan

This will now take place in February next year and will see the Pope and the Archbishop of Canterbury joining the Moderator on an ecumenical visit to South Sudan to stand in solidarity with its people as they face the challenges of flooding, famine and continued violence.

New ministers appointed

New ministers have been appointed to churches in Orkney and Edinburgh.  Milestone Community Church in Orkney has seen the joint ordination of Rev Kerr Wintersgill and Rev Moira Taylor-Wintersgill who met and married whilst training for ministry.  Many of us will remember Kerr from his time with us.  Greenbank Church in Edinburgh saw the ordination of Rev Julia Cato who was born in Florida to a German mother and an American father and grew up on a US airbase in southwest Germany.  She previously worked in Greenbank Church as their part-time Families and Children’s Worker for almost a year so feels that the Church is the right place for her to be.

The Guild Newsletter for November

In the most recent newsletter, the Guild national convenor speaks about the changes that are likely to be ahead for the Guild as well as the wider Church.  There is also information about the Guild gathering which took place in October as well as news of individual Guilds.  The Christmas Big Sing took place in Motherwell on Friday 2 December.  The World Day of Prayer Scotland committee sent gifts to 200 delegates from the virtual international conference which was hosted by the Scottish committee and the pack included a Guild scarf, which was very well received by delegates all over the world.

St Mungo's News

This Sunday, 4 December, is Communion Sunday and the service will be taken as usual by Rev Cha.    The Order of Service for this service can be found on the What’s On page and the service will be broadcast live on Facebook.  The Sunday School meets during the Sunday service.  We are always happy to welcome new members as well as those who have attended in the past.

After church teas and coffees continue to be served after the Sunday service in the social area at the back of the Church.  If you would like to help with this, please speak to Joyce or Elma.

The Festival of Lights took place again this year on Friday 25 November and Saturday 26 November when the Christmas trees decorated by local people and groups in the community could be seen.  The trees will remain in the Church until Christmas.

The garden at the back of the Church has been transformed with fruit trees and bushes being planted.  Volunteers to help look after the garden are always welcome.  The weathervane presented to the church in memory of Rev Alan Downie has now been placed in the Church garden.

At a recent Kirk Session meeting it was agreed that, 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.  In December we are highlighting events taking place this month in the Church and the wider community.

The Warm Together project will run from 7 November 2022 until 31 March 2023 from 10 am until 4 pm Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday.  There will be access to board games and Wi-Fi as well as space to chat to friends.

The church café is open at the usual times with the new autumn/winter menu which can be found in the newsletter tab.  Bookings are also being taken for the popular festive afternoon teas in December.

St Andrew

November 30 is marked as St Andrew’s Day and commemorates the man who became the patron saint of Scotland. St Andrew was on of the 12 disciples of Jesus and was also the brother of Peter.  Andrew, whose name means manly, was a fisherman on the Sea of Galilee and was one of the first disciples called along with his brother Peter.  He also was the one to bring the boy with the 2 loaves and 5 fishes to Jesus which resulted in the feeding of the 5000.  Andrew was apparently a disciple of John the Baptist before he became a disciple of Jesus and in John 1:40-42 we can read that “Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother, was one of the two who heard what John had said and who had followed Jesus. The first thing Andrew did was to find his brother Simon and tell him, “We have found the Messiah” (that is, the Christ). And he brought him to Jesus.”  Andrew was often the one who brought people to Jesus.  It is believed that he was martyred by crucifixion in the city of Patras in Greece.  He was crucified like Christ but in the pattern or shape of an “X” because it was said that Andrew considered himself unworthy of being crucified in the same manner as Christ was.

Andrew can be seen clearly in stained glass windows in the church and can be recognised by the St Andrew’s cross.  In the WW2 memorial window, the cross is behind him and he also has a small St Andrew’s cross on a blue background on his right shoulder.  In the Te Deum window, he is in the centre pane holding his cross.

St Mungo’s Community Café

The café is normally open on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday each week between 10 and 4 and the autumn/winter 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, 07395 091107 or, during café opening hours, on the church number 01259 723004.

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.