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FORUM FOCUS The magazine of Leith Churches Forum

March 2013 Vol. 45/13


From the Chair Rev. Iain May Welcome to 2013 and a new start for many here in Leith. We are looking forward to welcoming Rev. Rob MacKenzie as minister of Leith St Andrews and our prayers and thoughts are with Pilrig St Paul's as they prepare and seek a new minister for their congregation. 2013 will see a number of new initiatives being developed and implemented in Leith. At the recent meeting of the Co-ordinating Team it was decided to support the Food Bank initiative here in Leith. The four congregations in the Forum have agreed to work together to have a Food Bank here in Leith. This will help those who are struggling to provide for their family needs in terms of good food. It is sad to realise that in Leith over 13% of the population are living below the poverty line. This is over 5,000 people who every day struggle to provide food and a warm home for themselves and their families. In a world with so much, in a city that has so much wealth, this is, to say the least, a disgrace. We as the Leith Churches Forum cannot solve what may be termed as ‘Feeding the 5,000’ but we can do something and the Food Bank initiative is one step towards relieving the suffering of this significant group within the community of Leith. The Forum will also be having a presence at the ‘Heart and Soul 2013’ event in Princes Street Gardens on Sunday 19th May. This is an event that celebrates the life of the many and diverse communities within the Church of Scotland. We have agreed to discuss having a tent at the main event. This will allow the Church of Scotland in Leith, to share with the many thousands who will be attending the event, our story and what is going on in the church in Leith. These two initiatives are in addition to the great works that are carried out during the Leith Festival with the Forum ‘tea tent’ and the joint ‘Leith Festival Church Service’, which this year will be in Leith St Andrews Church. There is a lot going on in Leith and it is good news that the Church of Scotland in Leith is working together to ensure our presence is seen in practical mission terms here in Leith. I am encouraged by the response the Forum congregations have given to date to the various initiatives and ideas that have been raised within the coordinating team. I do believe we can all do many things more effectively and efficiently if we truly and faithfully work together. So please support where and when you can all the Forum events in 2013


Ministry Team Pauline Rycroft DCS, Leith St Andrews. 2013 began with the joint Forum Epiphany Service at South Leith Parish Church. It was uplifting to see so many folks from the four congregations and a big thank you to all who were involved. A great start to 2013. February brought with it more times of change within the ministry team for Leith. We said "cheerio" to Rev Sara Embelton as Locum at Leith St Andrews and "hello" to Rev Rob McKenzie as the new minister. The Ministry Forum look forward to this year and all that will bring as we get to know one another. We look forward to the times we can share together as we seek to discover the needs of the ministry within Leith. Leith St Andrew's Vacancy Joanne Baird We are delighted to announce that we have come to the end of our vacancy process and by the time you read this, Rev Rob MacKenzie will have been inducted to the charge of Leith St Andrew's on Tuesday 12th February. Rob was invited for an interview early in November and thereafter, things moved quickly - unusual for the Church of Scotland! The Nominating Committee heard Rob preach at St Philip's in Portobello on 18th November and invited him to preach as sole nominee. We were pleased to have a very good attendance on the morning of 9th December and the congregation were obviously impressed as they voted overwhelmingly in favour of calling Rob as our new minister. Rob's previous charge was Broomhouse St David's where he was minister for 7 years. In the next Forum magazine, he will introduce himself so we can all start to get to know him. Although we are obviously delighted to be starting a new chapter in the life of Leith St Andrew's, we will be sad to say thank you and farewell to Sara Embleton. Sara has looked after us well during our vacancy and has been much liked by the congregation - we will miss her! We also thank Russel Moffat who as Interim Moderator has guided us in our search for a new minister.


North Leith Update Anne Lamont Like all the other churches, Christmas was a busy period. One Sunday we had a nativity play where for the first time all the people dressed-up were not the children but adults. On another Sunday morning we had a Christingle service which included members of the youth organisations who all had made their own Christingle symbols from oranges etc in the hall before-hand. During the service some people demonstrated to the congregation how they are made and we all learned the meaning and lessons of Christingle. Everyone had the opportunity to take one home after the service. Given our organist vacancy we have been having a variety of locum organists, but we could not find one able to be at our Christmas Eve Watch-night service, and very much appreciated Jennifer Stark’s offer to play at this service. Each year we have a Christmas Appeal and this year it was for Scottish Love in Action, a small Edinburgh-based charity which supports destitute children in southeast India, many of whom are Dalits (formerly known as Untouchables). We managed to raise over £1200 for this very worthwhile work. Did you know that India has the highest number of child labourers (aged 6-14) in the world. Child labour in India exceeds 90 million (excluding children in domestic labour). (Source UNICEF) Six of our members are attending the Mission Shaped Ministry introductory six week course being run by Jennifer Stark in our Session House on Monday evenings over January & February (and another two, who attended this course last year, are now doing the full course currently being run by Edinburgh presbytery). Also taking place in the Session House on Sunday evenings over Lent is an 8 week study course on Discipleship, being run by the minister and Calum MacKellar. At the end of December Norman Lindsay stood down from the role of Session Clerk, after seven years in the role, preceded by five years


as Depute Session Clerk. A small presentation to Norman took place at the end of the morning service on the last Sunday in the year to show appreciation for all his devotion to the role and his hard work in it. Anne Lamont, previous Depute Clerk, has taken over as Session Clerk on an interim basis. Prayers for Easter Sunday (From Mixed -up Blessing by B Glasson) Lord we come before you knowing that we hurt each other and make mistakes. We are sorry. Help us to let go of guilt. Lord we often put boundaries on your love and limit the lengths we think you will go to reach us. Help us to feel your love. You have asked us to love ourselves and the people who come into the labyrinth of our lives. Help us when this command is particularly difficult. The news each day is often hard to hear, of others who are drowning in wells of tears. Help us to show empathy when it is easier to feel sorry for ourselves. You gave life back to Lazarus' family. Help us when the losses in life are too hard to bear and show us the ways to let go and trust that all will be well. Help us when the sky is dark and the sun is hidden by the clouds. The truth will set you free, says our God who does show positive discrimination. You are loved unconditionally. You are invited every day to let go of the baggage which hinders your journey. I am on your side not against you. Amen. 5


Some services & events in the Forum congregations that you are welcome to attend. Leith St. Andrew's Messy Church meet on the last Thursday of each month for a fun and noisy time for young families. Arts, crafts, games, stories and singing rounded off with a light tea. Oasis of Peace at Leith St Andrew's. Our quiet reflective prayer services Wednesday at 10.15am. A time of peace, worshipping, sharing and praying followed by a cuppa and chat. We meet in the Easter Road Hall. All are welcome. St Andy's Teeny Tots meet on Wednesday afternoons in the Easter Road Hall at Leith St Andrew's from 2pm - 3.30pm for fun for babies and toddlers and their parents/carers. Cost is ÂŁ1 per session which includes tea/coffee for parents and a healthy snack for the children. We now have a waiting list so if you want to join the list please email us at standysteenytots@gmail.com Young at Heart meet on the first and third Tuesdays of each month from 2-4pm. All in receipt of a senior bus pass welcome for fun and fellowship - you don't need to be a member at Leith St Andrew's! Holy Week Worship It is anticipated that there will be a short act of worship on Monday 25th - Friday 29th March. This will probably be at 7pm but please check our website nearer the time for confirmation and further details. Easter Sunday - All Age Worship and Communion at 11am North Leith Short evening services Mon to Fri during Holy Week in the Session House at 7:30 pm. Anyone is welcome to join in these and in our Lent Exploring Discipleship studies on Sunday evenings in the Session House at 6:30 pm. The group started on 27 January and runs for 8 weeks ie till the Sunday before Palm Sunday.


South Leith Worship at One at South Leith church every Thursday at 1pm – prayers for the community and the world. Sunday 24th Feb at 2pm 'Thinking Day Service' for Leith Guides 6 Easter Services (all in church) Friday March 29th: Good Friday Reflection from 12pm-3pm Sunday March 31st: 7am 'Dawn in the Garden' in church garden. Sunday March 31st: 11am 'He has risen' Family Service followed by Easter Egg Hunt

Heart & Soul 2013 Celebrating the life of the Church Princes Street Gardens Sunday 19th May Heart & Soul – a celebration for the whole Church A celtic theme for 2013 with the closing worship supported by the Christian Celtic band, Iona for further information see heartandsoul2013.org.uk Pilrig St. Paul's Open Doorway Following completion of new lighting and redecoration in the sanctuary The Open Doorway is again in operation at Pilrig St. Paul's. Tuesdays and Thursdays from 11a.m to 1 pm. All welcome to pop in . Serving tea / coffee and biscuits.


7 Port Chaplain’s Report Tim Bell Leith Churches Together made up around 450 Christmas parcels for seafarers in Leith, Grangemouth, and some other small nearby ports. The main item was a soft but strong shoulder bag with a reflective strip - just the sort of thing they use if they are going into town and just the sort of thing their wives and children will take off them when they get home! It’s nice to think of them being prized possessions all over the world. Inside was a woolly hat and a pen and notebook, and a toothbrush or a comb. Each one had a Christmas gift tag, and if it was possible I wrote on it the recipient’s name and ‘with love from Leith’. Thanks are due to all who contributed, especially to Jennifer Stark who co-ordinated the project. In January the ship I was most involved in never came to Leith. She was here several times in the autumn, picking up East Lothian barley for the whisky distilleries on Islay, and I got to know the men well. One of them is having a very bad time - his son had a wee accident at home, and he badly wanted to be there. But his family needs the money that he can only earn at sea. It’s a nasty trap that many men are in. He rings me several times a week, wherever he is. The minister at Port Ellen went to see him at my request, and I’m hoping that the folk of the island will set up some way of giving them a regular welcome. I arranged for them to be visited in Cowes and in Lowestoft,


and the last I heard was they were battling up the east coast past Leith one stormy day, and they were forced to anchor outside Buckie, for shelter. They were heading for Islay via the Pentland Firth. The companies always like to have the ships at sea over Easter (and Christmas). The stevedores don’t work, and there’s always a berthing fee. If they are at sea they aren’t losing time and money. Ships are workplaces, and there aren’t any passengers. There’s no acknowledgement of the special day, and many of the men desperately look forward to getting into a port and going to church if they possibly can. Remember them in your prayers. 8 Serenity / senility Rev Jack Kellet (previous minister at South Leith) I read Rennie McElroy's letter in July's Life and Work about an organist playing “You've got to pick a pocket or two” as the offering voluntary in Carlops. While relishing this confirmation that a congregation so committed to applying the Gospel could also keep the eleventh commandment (Thou shalt not take thyself too seriously!), the postman delivered a special message: a former assistant sent some kind words to mark my golden jubilee as a minister and enclosed The senility prayer - a case of ministry -withmischief, I think! God grant me the senility to forget the people I never liked anyway, the good fortune to run into the ones I do like, and the eyesight to tell the difference. New to you too? Someone had fun with the serenity prayer! God grant me the serenity to accept the things that cannot be changed, the will to change the things that can be changed, and the wisdom to know the difference. When I enquired into the origins of the serenity prayer, I was told it was bythe American theologian, Reinhold Niebuhr, who was said to have used the words to open a service of worship. Later, a member of his congregation spoke to him and together they worked out his actual words. Niebuhr was an advisor to President Roosevelt at the time of the Wall Street crash and the New Deal rescue package.


His best-known book is Moral man and immoral society (1932. Apparently President Obama has recently declared Niebuhr to be his favourite theologian too! Today, the serenity prayer is well known as a therapeutic tool in Alcoholics Anonymous. In their 1960s book on alcoholism, Neil Kessel and Henry Walton cited Friedrich Oetinger, an 18th century German theologian, as its originator – and interestingly – used detachment for serenity in their English translation. Given that human nature has not changed much, if at all, from the beginnings, my own guess is that the serenity prayer was first found carved on the tree of life in the Garden of Eden and,doubtlessly, erected on a signpost at the gateway to the wilderness by a concerned minister or elder! 9 Leith Churches Together / Ocean terminal Jennifer Stark Delighted to report that our Seafarers’ Christmas Cards sold well – all but a couple of packets disappeared to willing buyers! This not only advertised Leith Churches Together and the seafaring organisations whose logos were on the back, but added a bit extra (c. £45) in aid of L’Arche Edinburgh, who are fundraising this year to build a new house for older members. In addition, our (tuneful) singing of carols at Ocean Terminal raised £106 for L’Arche. Thanks to all who came to sing and particularly to Anthony and Marguerite Kramers who led the music. Spirits in Ocean Terminal are not at their highest right now, given the recent announcements about HMV, but the staff are keeping a smile in place and tell me they’ve had a lot of support from others around the mall. The more sales they have right now, the better their prospects – please buy your CDs and DVDs there if you can. One of my best Christmas moments in 2012 was the Lorne Primary School Nativity Play, performed, as always, in Pilrig St Paul’s. This was a lovely event, the result of very dedicated work by the teachers and pupils, and the wee girl who played Mary moved a lot of us


almost to tears with her singing –I’m still humming some of the songs! Leith Churches Together: our lunchtime worship on Wednesday 13 February was hosted by North Leith Parish Church – 1pm in the Session House, Madeira Place. The service lasts about 30 minutes and is followed by a simple lunch. All very welcome. Our next committee meeting is on Tuesday 19th February, at which we hope to finalise arrangements for a proposed pulpit exchange on Sunday 21st April. At the November meeting we welcomed Jack Kerr from St Mary’s as our new Treasurer, enabling Robert Munro to take wellearned retirement (for other officeholders and committee members, see the LCT website). We also came together for the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity service at Duke Street URC, on 20th January. Mission Shaped Intro ran again, with a total of 9 from 4 different churches (though not all have been able to attend the whole time). Thanks to North Leith Parish Church for providing a cosy venue in this cold weather. Lent Study Groups. ‘This Is Our Story: Journeys of Faith. ”Lent is a time, when we say ‘This is our story': the story of the Israelites, the story of Jesus, the story we can tell about our own ‘journey of faith'….our churches are full of people with great stories to tell.” This resource for local ecumenical groups (from Churches Together in Britain and Ireland) can be used alongside the themes of Sunday morning services on Radio 4 and discussions on local radio. There have been ecumenical Lent groups running elsewhere in Edinburgh for some years - by the time you read this, I hope we will have at least one in Leith, to deepen our common faith and fellowship together during this time.


Imagine that! Ian Bethune Round about 1969/70 a young lad played football for the 8th Leith {Pilrig/ Dalmeny St.} BB Company. He is now manager of Scotland. The name, of course, is Gordon Strachan . From Letham Park all the way to Hampden. Pilrig Chorus would like to welcome anyone interested in joining the choir. Rehearsals are at 7.30 pm every Tuesday evening at Pilrig St. Paul,s Church. The choir will be performing a concert of choral works including Faure,s Requiem on Tuesday 26th March in the Church. No audition necessary-just come along and sing. Further information is available from the choir director , Colin Gray Tel : 07901 556217 Jesus had no servants, yet they called Him Master. Had no degree, yet they called Him Teacher . Had no medicines, yet they called Him Healer. Had no army, yet kings feared Him. He won no military battles, yet He conquered the world. He committed no crime, yet they crucified Him. He was buried in a tomb, yet He lives today.

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Co-ordinating Team Lily Gilhooly PSt.P Margaret Gray SL Stuart Lithgow Lst.A Valarie McIntosh LSt.A Rev. Alex McAspurren NL Rev Iain May(chair) SL Mark Wexelstein PSt.P

Forum Focus Team Joanne Baird Ian Bethune Stuart Duffus (editor) Isobel Evans Jimmy Hudson Sigrid Lithgow

LSt.A PSt.P SL SL NL LSt.A

Information about Leith Churches Forum can be found at our web site at leithchurchesforum.org.uk/ Feedback or articles and information for the June Focus should be given to your representative by 27th April for the editor. Alternatively e- mail to the editor at stuart@duffus.org. 12


Forum Focus March 2013