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Christian Aid

 

Christian Aid 2017

Christian Aid was founded 70 years ago in response to the wave of refugees displaced from their homes following World War 2.

Today more than 65 million people are displaced worldwide. The often dehumanising portrayal of refugees in the media and by politicians can mean they remain strangers.

As Christians we are called upon in the Bible to connect hunger and poverty with injustice and oppression. Christian Aid continues, 70 years on, to not only give practical help to those in desperate need, but also to lobby politicians to try to change the way we treat ‘strangers’.

This year, in Haggs Parish, people responded with generosity and compassion to our efforts to collect on behalf of Christian Aid. Every year the small band of door-to-door collectors wonder if they can achieve anything to raise money for this essential work, but yet again the total we received has been tremendous.

So far we have sent a total of £1,370.71 to Christian Aid from the ‘Soup & Sandwich’ lunch, Bridge Walk, Door-to-Door collection and further donations from church members.

We will also be participating in the Kelpie Canter Sponsored walk on 30th September – so keep this date free in your diaries!

Thanks again for all your support.

Haggs ‘Christian Aid’ Working Group

Iona: ‘a thin place – just a piece of tissue paper between things spiritual and material’

I began my long association with the small Western Isle of Iona over 16 years ago when we went on a millennium trip from Haggs Church, organised by Jean McCheyne. Some of you will also remember setting off from Haggs early in the morning and travelling up to Oban by coach before embarking on the ferry to Mull, then down to Fionnphort for the short crossing to Iona.

It was an amazing trip which was filled with hope at the start of a new millennium and for a new beginning for Haggs church with our new minister – Rev. Helen Christie. We had a memorable day culminating with a beautiful candlelit service in ancient Iona Abbey, conducted by Helen. The spirituality surrounded us as well as the tranquil peaceful environment.

I have been drawn back to Iona many times over the years and I never fail to have the same feeling of ‘coming home’ as the ferry moves across the Sound of Iona and the white sands of Martyr’s Bay come into view. Most years I have visited for a day or maybe two but I had always intended to return at sometime for a longer stay – this time staying within the Iona Community and immersing myself in the slow, spiritual life around the Abbey.

This year seemed to be the right time to make the trip so I spend the week after Easter staying in the MacLeod Centre, which is part of the Iona Community accommodation. The week was called ‘Gathering Space’ and gave me the opportunity to live in an ecumenical Christian community, with people of all ages and from many different countries, working, reflecting and praying for justice, peace and for the conservation of the natural world.

Each day involved serving others – (my duties included setting out, serving and clearing away breakfast for the group and the preparation of vegetables for all of the daily meals),  worshipping at the Abbey morning and evening and enjoying walking, as well as conservation and craft activities around these daily commitments. All the activities were optional but participating was a joy as I was surrounded by lots of laughter, singing and lively conversation.

The highlights for me were the communion services in the Abbey – served without pomp or austerity, but with humility and a real sense of being part of the family of God, and the Pilgrimage Walk around the island. The weather for the walk was wild and windy but this just added to the power of the walk – 7kms off road across bogs and climbing up craggy hills. There were frequent stops for reflection, a Bible reading, a prayer and sometimes a song. It felt a true privilege to be walking in the steps of St. Columba and all the pilgrims who have trodden the paths over the island for the past 2000 years.

My time on Iona passed too quickly and it was soon time to attend the Friday early morning leaving service in the Abbey before walking down to the jetty with my new friends to board the ferry back home. It had been an amazing experience – had I ‘got Iona out of my system?’ Definitely not -  I hope to return for many years to come!

Sue Storrar

Knitting for HIV affected babies

Thank you to everyone who has responded so positively to our knitting project for babies in Africa affected by the HIV virus.
Could all completed jumpers and hats please be brought to church by Easter Sunday 16th April, so that they can be sent away to charities in Africa.

Thanks Sue Storrar.