February 12, 2006
St. Luke’s Presbyterian Church
Dunwoody, Georgia, USA
Frank R. Shaw, FSA Scot,
Atlanta, GA, USA, Email:
Once again, the
St. Andrew’s Society of Atlanta participated in the Scottish
Heritage Sunday’s Kirkin’ o’ the Tartan service at St. Luke’s
Presbyterian Church in Dunwoody. Both the main level of the
church and the balcony were packed. The lovely and moving music
led by our own Sue Mitchell-Wallace added much to the worship
experience, as did the scripture readings by St. Andrew’s
members Christine Transue and Suzanne Boothe. The children’s
part of the worship service, always special, was a favorite of
mine. Dr. Christopher A. Price, Senior Pastor is a powerful
speaker and, more importantly, knows when to begin and when to
end. Helping to coordinate the kirkin’ service was St. Andrew’s
immediate past president, Bill Harris, who welcomed one and all.
Making sure the flag bearers were aligned properly was SAS
member Donald Malcolm who also gave the Blessing of the Tartans.
The always-dependable Greg Slaton was in charge of the ushers
for the day, and his wife Margaret along with Beth Harris sang
in the choir. Another SAS member and past president of the
society, Doug Grey, saw to it that the flags were at the church
on time. There were 20 tartans carried by clan members, as well
as the Clan Shaw Chief’s Pinsel that was on display. The pinsel,
always flown in the absence of the clan chief, was presented to
this writer years ago while serving as Clan Shaw’s High
Commissioner in the United States.
Following the service, members of St. Luke’s hosted a delightful
reception for those attending. My wife Susan and I chatted
briefly with Dr. Price in the fellowship hall. I told him how
impressed I had been by the worship service, and that although I
am a non-church-goer, if I ever decided to attend church on a
regular basis, it would be at a church like his. Naturally, that
was like saying “sic’ um” to a bulldog, but he was gracious with
president of the Society, it was my honor to deliver the Prayer
of Remembrance during the worship service.
It is my desire
from time to time to share with our readers items of Scottish
history and faith, so I unabashedly leave you with this prayer
in the hope it may be of interest and use to those who wish to
read it or perhaps find use for some of it in a future kirkin’
PRAYER OF REMEMBRANCE
Today, O Lord
give thanks to You, God, and remember -
Those brave and courageous Scottish souls who
crossed the perilous Atlantic Ocean
in search of freedom, independence and a new life.
We give thanks
to You, God, and remember -
Those early settlers brought with them
their beliefs in God, in Christ, and the scriptures
as they scattered across this land
known now as America.
We give thanks
to You, God, and remember –
These tartans flags, kilts, and Scottish dress
are only symbols of our rich heritage,
bequeathed to us by those of yore
for us to bequeath to our children and grandchildren.
We give thanks
to You, God, and remember-
Our Scottish ancestors took You
At your word then
As we do now.
That where “two or three are gathered in Your name”
That You were with them then
As you are with us now.
So it is, dear
“in this age of the half-read page”
We give thanks to You, God, and remember -
Those who came before us,
Those who showed us the way,
Those we will reunite with one day through
Love, Grace, Forgiveness
In this age of
That finds us
Tethered to our cell phones,
So that we may be AS connected
To You, God,
Your Son, Jesus Christ.
In His strong
name we pray.
Note: The last
part of this prayer dealing with modern technology came from a
fellow Furman University Trustee, Dave Ellison, during a meeting
on February 12, 2006. It was so timely that I asked for a copy
to use in this prayer the following day at St. Luke’s. (FRS:
L-R: Frank Shaw, Suzanne Boothe,
Christine Transue, Bill Harris, Don Malcolm and Alan Miller