Ecumenical Célébration Oecuménique 23 January 2022

This coming Sunday, 23 January, will feel very different for all those used to coming to the Église des Dominicans for St. Alban’s Sunday worship.  Instead of the usual service of Holy Eucharist at 10.30h the congregation of St. Alban’s will be joining its French Protestant and Roman Catholic neighbours for an ecumenical service to mark this year’s Week of Prayer for Christian Unity. This will be held at 10.30h – same time! – at the Eglise protestante de Saint-Matthieu, 97 blvd d’Anvers, near the F tram stop Place d’Islande.  Here we shall also be joining forces with the Catholic congregations of Christ Ressuscité/ Très Sainte Trinité; there will be a special programme for children.

The theme of this year’s service was chosen and prepared by the Council of Churches of the Middle East:  ‘We observed his star at its rising and have come to pay him homage.’ Matthew 2.2

Our priest the Revd. Mark Barwick writes:

Christian Unity is not just about getting Christians together under one roof. Nor is it about coming to agre-ment over what we believe. The unity of Christians is part of a much larger project.    It is about living consciously the oneness that we already share with all people and with the creation itself.
Christians are not an elite class of humanity. We are made of the same flesh and blood as everyone else. We are subject to the same sins and failures as everyone else.  This awareness should drive us to greater love and solidarity in these fractious times.
Christian Unity is essentially a peace project. It is living the kingdom that Jesus envisioned – and which is urgently needed today

.L’unité des chrétiens ne consiste pas seulement à rassembler les chrétiens sous un même toit. Il ne s’agit pas non plus de parvenir à un accord sur ce que nous croyons. L’unité des chrétiens fait partie d’un projet beaucoup plus vaste. Il s’agit de vivre consciemment l’unité que nous partageons déjà avec toute l’humanité et avec toute la création.
Les chrétiens ne sont pas une classe d’élite. Nous sommes faits de la même chair et du même sang que tous les autres et soumis aux mêmes péchés et échecs que tous les autres. Cette prise de conscience devrait nous conduire à un plus grand amour et solidarité en ces temps.
L’unité des chrétiens est essentielle-ment un projet de paix. C’est vivre le royaume que Jésus envisageait et dont nous avons un urgent besoin aujourd’hui.

Le thème pour 2022 a été choisi et préparé par le Conseil des Églises du Moyen-Orient : « Nous avons vu son astre à l’Orient et nous sommes venus lui rendre hommage »  

Please don’t hesitate to come and join us at St. Matthieu, it will be a new experience for everyone and, we hope, the start of good things to come! 

Sunday 23 January, 10.30h: Ecumenical Worship at the Eglise protestante de Saint-Matthieu, 97 blvd d’Anvers, Strasbourg.

No Anglican service at the Église des Dominicains that day !

Église protestante St. Matthieu, Photo W. Helmlinger, Archi-Wiki.

Advent Concert a success

Many many thanks for all the hands that came together to make last Sunday’s Concert and mini Christmas market a rousing success.  All proceeds will go to famine relief efforts in south Madagascar.

Ni le froid, ni l’épidémie grandissante ne vous ont tous freiné pour assister joyeusement au magnifique concert de l’Avent dimanche dernier.

Au nom du peuple du Sud en dénuement total et qui a faim, nous Malagasy de St Alban’s vous remercions chaleureusement de la générosité que vous avez manifestée. Que ce soit en amont,  les préparatifs,  que ce soit les prises de paroles, que ce soit dans la confection des gâteaux et spécialités culinaires salés qui étaient bien appréciés, la gestion des recettes, le rangement d’après et surtout votre présence, vous étiez formidables! Merci infiniment pour tous les dons recueillis!

Que notre Seigneur vous rende au centuple et vous garde dans son amour. Bravo!                               Voahangy Ramananjatovo.

The Orchestre des jeunes Guitarristes et Mandolinistes de Schiltigheim played to an enthusiastic audience on Advent Sunday at St. Mathieu in Strasbourg.

Advent Concert 28 November “Contre le kéré”

For the second time ACAS, the Association caritative anglicane de Strasbourg, is organising an Advent concert together with the Madagascan community in the area.  A number of Malgaches are gifted musicians and play together in the Orchestre des Jeunes Guitaristes et Mandolinistes de Schiltigheim under their conductor Marine Mairet.  What may sound like an ensemble with rather limited appeal is in fact quite the opposite: two years ago the orchestra gave their first Advent concert to a packed hall and swept the audience of its feet with their enthusiasm, skill and sheer musicianship.

This year’s concert will take place on Advent Sunday, 28 November, at 15.30h in the church of St. Matthieu, 97 boulevard d’Anvers, Strasbourg.  Entrance is free but donations are requested to help combat the terrible famine ravaging southern Madagascar at the present.  The Anglican Bishop Gilbert Rateloson Rakotondravelo of the Diocese of Fianarantsoa in the Church of the Province of the Indian Ocean warns that at least one million people may be at risk.

“The situation south of the country is not good. Out of our 22 regions, it has been hit the hardest. Some crops have also been destroyed by bandits,” he says, noting that while people want to farm their lands, there is no rain.  Within his own diocese, which was founded in 2003, Rakotondravelo says reports continue streaming in of high malnutrition.  “The situation has worsened since March 2021, especially for our women and children. We need short-, medium-, and long-term interventions,” he says.

https://livingchurch.org/2021/10/26/bishop-cites-indescribable-suffering-in-madagascar-famine/?utm_source=The+Living+Church+Email+Updates&utm_campaign=b189123c98-EMAIL_CAMPAIGN_2021_08_26_11_12_COPY_01&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_0826f52b83-b189123c98-128519789

All are welcome to this concert; in the interval mulled wine and Bredele will be available and there will also be a miniature Marché de Noel to celebrate the start of the Advent season.

N’oublier pas SVP votre Passe Sanitaire !      Please don’t forget your Covid Pass !

                                                        Let us give with generous hearts – Donnons de coeurs généreux!

 

 

 

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