Tuesday Prayers

During the interminable months of lockdown in 2020 we all discovered online meeting programmes such as Zoom as a way of continuing to worship together.  We  discovered that this technology also made it possible for people who were far away from each other to stay in touch.  Apart from the weekly Zoom Sunday service the Tuesday prayer meeting (which had originally been held in the Chaplaincy flat) became a regular Zoom feature.

For over a year now St. Alban’s has been able to come together physically at the Dominicans’ church for Sunday worship, and that is a great joy.  Now, after a summer break,  we are resuming the online Tuesday Prayers on Zoom – recognising that it is easier for most people to participate online rather than have to travel into Strasbourg.  In this way we can share our prayers, our hopes and concerns with one another between Sunday services.

On Tuesdays at 18.30h we follow the pattern of Evening Prayer, listen to a short reflection on the main reading and pray with and for one another.  It lasts about 45 minutes; for details of the Zoom link please contact Fr. Mark at: anglican.chaplaincy.strasbourg@gmail.com

 

 

Le Kéré à Madagascar Famine in Madagascar

” Si ton frère devient pauvre, et que sa main fléchisse près de toi, tu le soutiendras.” Levitique 25:35a

Madagascar est le premier pays au monde à connaître la faim à cause du réchauffement climatique. Plus d’un million des gens du Sud Ouest du pays ont faim dont la moitié sont des enfants qui souffrent de la malnutrition. A cause de la sécheresse, rien ne pousse, sauf les cactus qui leur servent d’aliments ou ils mangent de peau de zébus. Dans ces conditions, la mortalité infantile croît exponentiellement.

C’est une tragédie qui mobilise des organisations internationales, des différentes communautés religieuses et laïques, des personnes sensibles au devenir de cette population.

Nous aussi à St Alban’s, très touchés de la situation, nous faisons appel à votre générosité en envoyant vos dons sur le compte bancaire de l’ ACAS, ci dessous.

Association Caritative Anglicane de Strasbourg

IBAN: FR76 1027 8010 8800 0202 3490 172     BIC: CMCIFR2A

Ces dons sont gérés par la suite par une association de l’Anglican Church St Mark de Versailles en France, qui œuvrent dans la région du kéré, diocèse épiscopalien du Sud de Madagascar.

La population du sud vous remercie de tous vos dons. Que Dieu le Père tout puissant vous bénisse !

” Partage ton pain à celui qui a faim…” Esaie 58:7

https://mobile.francetvinfo.fr/monde/afrique/madagascar/secheresse-a-madagascar-les-terres-du-sud-ne-permettent-plus-de-nourrir-les-villages_4780041.html#xtref=android-app://com.google.android.googlequicksearchbox/

 

FAMINE IN MADAGASCAR

“If any of your kin fall into difficulty and become dependent on you, you shall support them.”

Leviticus 25:35a

Madagascar is the first country in the world to suffer famine as a result of climate change. Over a million people in southwest Madagascar are suffering from hunger, half of them children who are severely malnourished. Several years’ drought mean that nothing can grow except for cacti. These and the skin of zebu cattle are the only food available. Under these conditions, infant mortality is increasing exponentially.

This tragedy has mobilised international aid organisations, religious and lay communities and all those concerned about the future of this population. We too at St. Alban’s, with our long-established personal links to the Malgache community in Strasbourg, are very much affected by the situation and appeal to your generosity in making donations to the Association Caritative Anglicane de Strasbourg:

IBAN: FR76 1027 8010 8800 0202 3490 172     BIC: CMCIFR2A

These donations will be managed by the charitable association of St. Mark’s Anglican Church Versailles, which has links to the Episcopalian diocese of Southern Madagascar already working in the famine region.

The people of the South thank you for all your donations. May the all-powerful God bless you!

“Is it not to share your bread with the hungry … ”  Isiaiah 58:7

https://mobile.francetvinfo.fr/monde/afrique/madagascar/secheresse-a-madagascar-les-terres-du-sud-ne-permettent-plus-de-nourrir-les-villages_4780041.html#xtref=android-app://com.google.android.googlequicksearchbox/

 

 

 

 

 

 

That Spring feeling in September

The Rentrée this year felt a bit like the end of a long winter’s hibernation; a great surge of energy and joy at seeing faces long missed and resuming some of our most cherished customs.

Our Reader David Cowley, whose guitar-playing in particular we had missed while he was recuperating from a major operation, was back in church again to accompany Sunday’s All Age Worship.

David Cowley playing during Communion

We were able to welcome the children and their teachers back to a new Sunday School year, and celebrated that with a blessing of the school bags.

Children and Sunday School teachers are   blessed

And not to forget the Coffee after Church – again, a custom long and sorely missed.  For the first time since Covid restrictions were imposed we were able to meet together in the Centre Mounier for coffee and a chance to catch up with old friends and get to know visitors and new members of the church.  Out of “hibernation” came Frederick William-Smith, at 92 the oldest member of St. Alban’s – and so we were able to celebrate the Rentrée of two former invalids as well!

Frederick with wife Maryline and David      Cowley

Outlook: St. Alban’s in 2021.

At St. Alban’s Annual General Meeting, held as an online Zoom meeting on Sunday 21 March, our priest Mark Barwick presented his report on the life of the church in 2020. As well as mentioning the activities that did actually take place in spite of Covid restrictions, and reminding us of all those that didn’t, he outlined some specific areas on which he thought St. Alban’s should concentrate in the coming year:

Post-Covid (?) Rebuilding and Spiritual Development

  • –  Areas of Diocesan concern:
  •  – the Environment, piloted by St Alban’s Environmental Committee;
  •  – Living in Love and Faith, concerning matters of human sexuality, relationships and identity;
  •  – Diversity and Race.
  •  – Stewardship and Sustainability Review.
  • Read Mark’s report here to find out more.

Bishop’s Lent Appeal

English Church in Liège, Belgium

Liège is a former industrial city and provincial capital in eastern Belgium. It is also now home to large numbers of migrants from beyond Europe. The Anglican congregation there is predominantly African, especially coming from Ghana. After several years of change and supported by strong lay leadership, the church now stands ready to welcome a new priest next month, The Reverend Guy Diakiese.

Fr Diakiese is originally from the Congo. He studied for the priesthood in Nigeria and Rome and has recently completed his curacy in The Hague. Bishop Robert’s Lent Appeal will raise much needed to help renew this chaplaincy. Contributions can be made through St Alban’s treasurer.  To find out more, follow Lent Appeal 2021.

The Rev. Canon Barney Milligan 1928 – 2021

Canon Barney Milligan, the Chaplain of St. Alban’s from 1984 to 1995, has died at his home in Dorset, in England. He would have been 93 this year. Roger Massie writes:

“Barney was a big man and when he was our Chaplain in the 1990s he made a huge mark on our congregation and became a close friend to many of us old-timers.  It is a bit of an understatement that he had Friends in High Places : our chaplaincy benefited from a stream of visiting preachers including Archbishops Runcie and Carey. Claire and I have a memory of the former stirring a giant Christmas pudding mixture at Church coffee – it must have been ‘Stir-up Sunday’.

He combined his chaplaincy duties with a representative role in bringing together European Churches, and it was for this work that Queen Elisabeth called him to Buckingham Palace to recognise his work with a medal (the rather anachronistic-sounding Order of the British Empire). This work brought him into contact with the European Institutions including the one several of us work or worked for.

This still left him, his energy being boundless, time for Africa. Claire and I were among the beneficiaries since we accompanied him to Rwanda where we met Bishop Venuste in his diocese of Butare, a link which exists to this day.

After retirement, Barney sometimes visited us in London on cultural trips and once he asked me to stand in for him at an occasion at which the Archbishop – yet another one – bestowed the Lambeth Cross on Cardinal Caspar for his ecumenical work. The Cardinal delighted me by admitting that he communicated with His Holiness Pope Benedict in their shared South German dialect with which we are familiar here.

Why, it is permitted to wonder, did Barney himself never become a Bishop himself ? Perhaps because he was not everyone’s cup of tea, including those whose job it is to put names forward. Anyway, except for the odd confirmation or installation, who needs a Bishop ? And we were the winners in being able to select him to serve here.  Rest in peace, dear much-loved Barney.”

                                     Barney Milligan, Roger Massie & George Walker at a Kolbsheim lunch

In 1984, Barney Milligan, then a Canon of St. Alban’s Cathedral in England and a self-confessed “Ecumaniac”, published a book on the challenges facing Christians in Western Europe.  This made him seem a suitable person to run the new office of the European Ecumenical Commission for Church and Society (EECCS, later to become the Conference of European Churches) in Strasbourg, with a view to strengthening the common witness of the churches in Europe. At the same time, he served as part-time Chaplain to the Anglican community in Strasbourg. In 1989 the Archbishop of Canterbury, Robert Runcie, appointed Barney as the Archbishop’s Representative to the European Institutions in Strasbourg, which meant he could also continue here as Chaplain.  It was Barney’s idea then to dedicate this Chaplaincy to St. Alban’s.  He was a powerful preacher with a gift for making the Christian faith accessible to all.

“Barney’s great strengths were energy, delegation and a gift for friendship. He was passionate about involving everyone [in the life of the Chaplaincy].”  (From: “Our History”).

Barney’s wife Evie, as warm-hearted as he and a gifted hostess, worked as a physiotherapist at a London hospital and used to commute to and fro. They have three daughters.  Our thoughts and prayers are with them as we give thanks for Barney’s life and ministry among us.

  1.                                                                         Evie & Barney Milligan

 

 

Christian Unity

The Week of Prayer for Christian Unity takes place this year from 18 – 25 January. This year’s resources have been prepared by the ecumenical Monastic Community of Grandchamp in Switzerland.  The theme that was chosen, “Abide in my love and you shall bear much fruit”, is based on John 15: 1-17 and expresses Grandchamp Community’s vocation to prayer, reconciliation and unity in the church and the human family.  Follow this link for more information about the Community:

https://www.grandchamp.org

On these websites you will find A Guide for Daily Prayer that you can use individually or as a family throughout the eight-day period.

https://ctbi.org.uk/week-of-prayer-for-christian-unity-2021/

https://unitedeschretiens.fr/semaine-de-priere-pour-unite-chretiens/

https://www.oikoumene.org/events/week-of-prayer-for-christian-unity

 

 

Starting 2021

In the season of Epiphany Mark Barwick writes:

“We have turned the page on 2020 and gladly so! But where will we find light in the darkness which persists in this new year?
Wise men (and women) still follow the light which leads to the Child of Bethlehem. Here we find a God that does not abandon us but enters our world to heal, to save and to restore. This light can appear pretty dim these days. It is there nonetheless, bidding us forward, giving us hope and yes, even joy.”

Therefore, tant même: A very happy New Year to you all!

Christmas Message on YouTube

It’s a double premiere for St. Alban’s: our own site on YouTube and a filmed Christmas message from our priest Mark Barwick, in English with French subtitles.  Recorded in the church of our kind hosts, the Dominican community in Strasbourg, his thoughts centre around the word Emmanuel: God with us, even in these difficult times.

To see and hear what he has to say, just follow this link.

Mark Barwick recording his Christmas message.

A blessed and peaceful Christmas to all!

Our Christmas Day service of the Holy Eucharist starts at 10.00am (half an hour earlier than usual!)