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Encourage Inspire Challenge No. 28 / May 2013

Augustine United Church George IV Bridge, Edinburgh EH1 1EL 0131 2201677 SC no 000385 Minister: Rev Fiona Bennett 07552162717 Church Administrator: Paul Lugton 0131 2201677 Seeds Editor: Tamsin Kilgour Website Editor: Anna Jones

In this edition 2. Hello from the Editor 3. Eco-congregations 4. See Me campaign 5. Our Tribe/ Membership 6. ABC update 7. Seedlings 8. Calendar Help lines: LGBT Support: 0131 556 4049 Samaritans: 08457 909090 Childline: 0800 1111 Rape Crisis: 8088 010 302 Breathing Space: 0800 838587 Edin Crisis Centre: 0808 8010414

At the service in AUC on April 24th our Synod inducted Rev Trevor Jamison into the post of Special Category Minister as a Chaplain to Eco-Congregation Scotland. This very positive occasion made me reconsider some of my environmental thinking. For many years as Christians we have been encouraged to consider our role as stewards of the earth. In face of the environmental crisis, reading the story in Genesis 1 (where humanity is “given dominion” over the all the creatures on earth) Christians have been invited to be responsible stewards of the precious gift of earth from God.

superior to it but part of the world. The planet could survive quite nicely without us, but we could not survive without it. The picture of dust reminds me that we are only a thread in the web of life, intrinsically connected with everything else. While there is a deep wonder in such a sense of connection, there is also the reality that if we make ourselves too thick or heavy we tear the rest of the web. Why is this understanding of the Web of Life any different to seeing ourselves as Stewards of Creation? Well I think it offers a different relationship, from parental to partnership, which I hope inspires us to humbly treasure all life rather than only to feel that environmentalism is our duty of care.

While I am in no doubt that how humans live affects the rest of Planet Earth, I am yet to be convinced that thinking of ourselves as “stewards” is the most helpful model to address this crisis. I am sure that over the next 5 years, as Trevor helps us, as one of For me the deep desire to live in the many Eco-Congregations in balance with all life is rooted, less Scotland, to think theologically in the duty of stewardship, and about the environment, more more in the picture of Genesis 2, thoughts, questions and pictures where “God formed Adam from will arise. the dust of the ground” and “all Fiona Bennett are from the dust and all turn to dust again” Ecc 3:20. The picture that we are made of dust reminds me that although humanity has great influence in and on our planet, we are not

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Getting involved

Hello from the Editor

Within AUC are 7 Ministry Teams which are responsible for

(Now that’s a name that will take some getting used to!)

different areas of Church Life. If you would like to know more or get involved with one of these please email the contact person

Children & Young People Kirsty Murray

Membership Alex Peden

Our Tribe (LGBT Ministry) Rev Maxwell Reay

Commitment For Life (Social Justice Ministry) Rev John Miller

Pastoral & Mental Health Doris Caldwell

Worship & Christian Education Rev Fiona Bennett

Centre, Property & Finance Tom Murray

Firstly, thank you to everyone at AUC for allowing me (trusting me with) the opportunity to edit Seeds. I’ve really appreciated the supportive comments as the news got around. A huge thank you to Bill for handing Seeds over to me in such good order, the expert ‘tips of the trade’ he’s already passed on to me, and that he will be there for me as an ongoing fount of knowledge while I find my way around the role. I’m not so sure about his faith in me as ‘more recognisably creative’ – I’m the person who likes counted cross-stitch because it tells me exactly where to put each stitch! I will be on a steep learning curve - Please bear with me. But I am confident in having found AUC a supportive and safe place to try new things. I’ll learn quicker with feedback, so do keep finding me with your thoughts and ideas. As I’ve said to the people who’ve approached me already, I’m not anticipating any sudden changes. I suspect things will evolve over time – or maybe, as it is Seeds, germinate – as they have done during Bill’s time. I’m looking forward to getting to know more people and, like Elizabeth (see p.5), to finding out more about everything that goes on at AUC. I’m also hoping to nose through the magazine archive: It will be interesting to see how it has developed, the AUC community has developed, and things I find that are pertinent to today may reappear—you never know. Finally: - Are there any budding journalists out there hiding their light under a bushel? - Have you ever wondered about writing an article, but would like suggestions of, or to check out a topic? - Have you wondered about writing something but would like to write it with someone? - Are you attending an event where you’d be happy to report back but would prefer someone else to do the actual writing? In other words, anyone who’d like to contribute, in whatever way they feel they can, please get in touch. Tamsin Kilgour

If you would like to get involved volunteering within AUC or the local

Please note that the deadline for material for the next issue is May 21st.


You can send your material to Tamsin Kilgour by hand, or at

AUC Volunteering Ian Rathjen

DISCLAIMER: Although we check all information in the newsletter, as ever with

these things we can give no warranties as to accuracy or relevance and encourage active checking before you make any decisions. The views

Local Community Volunteering

expressed in our newsletter are those of the individual contributor, they are not

Della Morris

necessarily those of AUC or the editor. 2 May 2013

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Eco-Congregation Scotland AGM The AGM and Gathering of Eco-congregation folk from across Scotland was held on Saturday 20th April in the new Grassmarket Community Project building. Kathleen Ziffo reports on the day. AUC became an Eco-Congregation in 2009,the second URC Scottish congregation to join. 11 churches in our Synod are now members. There are 290 Eco-congregations across Scotland. This year the theme was Food. These are just some of the concerns we discussed on the day: Do we respect God’s provision for us? Do we understand the importance of food, hospitality and eating together in a Biblical context? Where does food come from? How it is made, processed and transported? How are farmers and farm workers across the world treated and paid? Fairtrade in developing countries is great, but what about our own farmers and agricultural workers? Our main speaker was Professor David Atkinson, an expert in agricultural research. He spoke about the recent “Dobbin -gate” scandal of food “with things in it which were never meant to be there”. A pre-prepared lasagne, for example, might well have had up to 450 different organisations or individuals involved in it reaching the supermarket shelf – from the growers of grain and vegetables, and rearers of animals, fertilizer and feed producers/suppliers, factory employees at different stages, transporters, supermarket chains and so on... No wonder it is so difficult to trace where any food has come from!

to nourish us sufficiently to keep us healthy and for us to enjoy together. It is not just “another commodity”, to be rolled out of a factory as cheaply as possible to sometimes wasteful consumers, whilst still making profit for some. He gave biblical examples of what food is meant to be for us. Scotland is 94% rural, and that land is home to 19% of the population with 20% of our population employed in food production in some way. That is worth £30 billion to our economy each year. The professor maintained that there is now sufficient food in the world, but our abuse of it, and unequal spreading of it globally, is what is wrong. Did you know that: 4% of all fossil fuel used in Scotland is used in the making of fertilizers. A project worker in a film about a garden project in downtown Philadelphia stated that “it is easier to get a gun here than an organic lettuce”. They now grow their own lettuce in garden containers on derelict land. At Todmorden, Yorkshire, they have an “Incredible, Edible Project”? As part of it they grow vegetables, herbs and fruit trees in the town’s public spaces. Anyone can pick and use the produce.

One solution is to grow our own food, or to buy as locally as we can. This means that the grower, abattoir (if used), transporter, feed suppliers, even the manure spread on the fields, can all be traced, and the numbers involved in production be kept to a minimum. Good food, the professor said, should be at the heart of communities. It should be appreciated as the goodness that God provides for us, both

Trevor Jamison’s induction as Chaplain to Eco-Congregation Scotland on 24th April at AUC May 2013 3

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You may remember that URC Scotland signed the “See Me” pledge last year. At the beginning of April, See Me Scotland launched their new campaign - “Just Listen”. They’d found that 40% of people would find it hard to talk to someone about mental health problems. When asked why, people said they felt nervous about saying the ‘wrong thing’, making things worse, being rebuffed and not knowing where to direct people for more help. Maybe you sometimes feel like that? The campaign aims to address those fears, & includes several tips, some of which are below: It doesn’t always have to be a BIG conversation -

Little things can make a big difference. For example, sending a card or text, asking someone ‘how they’re doing’ (and meaning it).

How to get started? -

Perhaps you could say you’ve noticed the person doesn’t seem themselves and wondered if there was anything you could do? Let the person know you’re there if they want to talk, whenever it is. Sometimes offering practical help works too.

Things to avoid: -

Rushing to solutions, however well-meant. Just let the person feel listened to first. Rushing to make comparisons. Let them know you empathise. It’s ok to say you don’t understand, or to share that you have your own or other experience of mental health issues, but remember everyone’s experience is unique to them.

And if it doesn’t feel as if it goes ok? -

It may just be ‘wrong time/wrong place’ or the person doesn’t feel ready to talk. It may not be anything you said or did. They now know someone’s there for them when they are ready. You could try again another time.

Remember – you don’t have to talk about mental health all the time. There’s still more to the person. It can help for them to know you still see that, or for them to be reminded of parts of themselves they can’t currently see. Remember - It’s ok not to have answers and to say you don’t. More tips and information about the campaign are available on the See Me website: Did you know that in the foyer you’ll find leaflets on several local resources? including the Edinburgh Crisis Centre, LGBT Centre for Health and Wellbeing, and a booklet “Where to find help in Edinburgh” covering several areas of need.

4 May 2013

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Our Tribe @ AUC Retreat Day Saturday 18th May 2013 10am to 4pm At Colinton Parish Church Hall You are invited to take part in a retreat day, as part of the Our Tribe ministry programme. This retreat day is open to all at AUC. In the morning we will explore the Bible, sexuality and gender. In the afternoon we will have an opportunity for spiritual development, reflection and worship. This day will be led by Rev Elder Cecilia Eggleston, who is the senior pastor at Metropolitan Community Church (MCC) Newcastle. Cecilia has served MCC since 1989 at a local and denominational level. She is a skilled educator and is passionate about encouraging others in their faith journeys. This day is FREE and a sandwich lunch will be provided. Booking for this day is essential. Contact Maxwell by email on or telephone/text on 07957 543359 by Wednesday 15th May. Please advise of any special requirements.

From ‘Exploring Membership’ to the Membership Ministry Team This is an introductory hard-seasoned long-standing A+ members of the article to acquaint you church—they will let me try my hand at it even with my hopes for this new though I only started coming at the start of regular column from the Advent. I’m starting small with coffee duty. Membership Ministry All it takes to be put on the rota to participate in Team. these Sunday activities is contacting Ian Rathjen It is really an invitation. It will highlight and explain ( You will be events, activities and volunteering opportunities

asked to specify what kind of task you would like

at AUC. We hope that it will:

to do, from ‘meeter greeter’ to ‘coffee servers’

Help newcomers find enjoyable ways to

and beyond, and offer when you are available


during the next rota season of 3 months.

Remind everyone of opportunities - Why not Being new I have been delighted to be able to try something new and different?

be so involved, and I have found it helpful in

Spend some time reflecting on why we love informing me of all the opportunities available. At what we do!

the meeting I learned about things like the

I have thrown my hat into the ring. Just this last

Verandah Club, the Mental Health Drop-in, and

Tuesday I attended my first Membership Ministry

other activities at AUC… and yes, I may not know

Team meeting. Over tea and biscuits we

the specifics yet, but maybe I will try one of these

discussed what it takes to run the Church and

for the next Seeds and let you know.

ways to contribute. It turns out that the wonderful Do feel free to find me on a Sunday and tell me people handling the door, communion and

about AUC opportunities close to your heart.

coffee are not necessarily, as I’d thought, all

Elizabeth Bay

May 2013 5

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Quiz Time – Do you know your onions? This month Augustine Building Challenge (ABC) is holding a fundraising event in which everyone can participate. This is the Fruit and Veg Fun Quiz. An exciting prize, not unconnected to food, has been generously donated. There will be Quiz Sheets available throughout May, either at the Church or from ABC Working Party members (listed below). You can obtain a list of questions and a sheet on which to write your answers for a suggested donation of £1. The closing date will be Sunday 9th June. The sooner you get your forms the more time you will have to work out the answers! Why not take enough to give the quiz to family, friends and people at work? (in return for their donations of course!) Completed answer sheets should be handed to ABC Working Party members, the AUC office, or sent to Ian Rathjen at the address on the sheet to arrive by 9th June. The entry with the most correct answers will be the winner. In the event of a tie, there will be a draw to determine the winner. We are indebted to Isa Morey for providing both the quiz and the prize. Also this month, on Sunday 19th May, we are holding a Table Sale before/after the morning service. Items such as jams, cakes, books and small handcrafted goods will be available. Later in the year there will be a major one day sponsorship event which will be a great day out for everyone, young and old. We are asking for some younger volunteers to organise this event. It should be fun to arrange and fun to take part. Anyone, or preferably two or three people, who are willing to arrange this event do please have a word with either Ian Rathjen or Fiona Somerville who will be happy to explain what it entails and what arrangements are needed. The members of the ABC Team are Ian Rathjen, Fiona Somerville, Ben Forsyth, Pat Tweedie, Peter Moir, Sheila Storrier & Lewis Reay. Some of us should be around on each Sunday morning so do please contact us for quiz sheets, or more information on the sponsored event. Ian Rathjen

Christian Aid Week Book Sales

St Andrew’s and St George’s West (George Street)

Morningside United Church (Holy Corner)

Saturday 11th 10am-4pm Monday -Wednesday 10am3.30pm Thursday 10am-7pm Friday 10am-3.30pm

Saturdays 11th and 18th 10am4pm Monday-Friday 11am-6pm (With a coffee shop open on Saturday 11th)

6 May 2013

Seedlings May Birthdays: Euan Murray Peden will be 5 on the 1st Fraser Moir will be 9 on the 7th

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May: Paul on the Road In Junior Church this month our theme is ‘Paul on the Road.’ We will:

* learn about the topic of ‘transformation’ - using Scratchboards * participate in The Local Church service at St Columba’s on Pentecost * share a Godly Play story about the life of St Paul

(Materials shown are from the Bowthorpe Community Trust - St Michael’s Workshop.)

Junior Church welcomes families in all their diversity. We have varied activities each week, from storytelling, to crafts, games and video making. We have a crèche for little ones and baby changing facilities are available. We use materials to appeal to children’s different learning styles from Cornerstones ( and also use Godly Play (

May 2013 7

AUC Worship Services at 11am on Sundays at AUC, George IV Bridge. (All events at AUC, unless otherwise stated) May 2013 Thursday 2nd


SURC College Course (second of three): Religion & Science *

Sunday 5th



Communion Service. We welcome Synod Moderators and their partners from all 13 URC Synods Soup and Sandwich Lunch


Intercessions Workshop – Preparation Session


“St Columba’s at Six” at St Columba’s by the Castle

Monday 6th


Women’s Union “Bring & Buy and Blether” at Saughtonhall URC

Tuesday 7th


Meeting of Elders & Ministry Team Leaders in the Library

Wednesday 8th


Meeting of Worship Group in the Library

Thursday 9th


SURC College Course (last of three): Difference in Dialogue *

Saturday 11th­ Saturday 18th

Christian Aid Week Book Sales (see p.6 for details)

Sunday 12th


Morning Worship for Christian Aid Sunday


Church Business Meeting and AGM


Refugio at Greyfriars Kirk

Tuesday 14th


Contextual Bible Study in the Library

Thursday 16th

10am-3pm 10.30-3.30pm

Faith in Older People Conference: “Let’s Talk” at 121 George Street (see April Seeds or Noticeboard for details) SURC College Course: Creating Adult Learning Opportunities *


TLC Steering Group meets at St Columba’s by the Castle

Friday 17th


Nitekirk at St Columba’s by the Castle: “Fire”

Saturday 18th


AUC Our Tribe Retreat Day at Colinton Parish Church Hall (see p.5 )

Sunday 19th


Communion Service for Pentecost Table Sale in aid of Augustine Building Challenge


‘Heart and Soul 2013’ in Princes St Gardens. Celebration of Celtic Spirituality. Book Group: The Heart of Christianity by Marcus Borg (Ch 10)

Tuesday 21st


Saturday 25th

10.30am-2.30pm 6.45 for 7pm

Sunday 26th

ACTS (Action of Churches Together in Scotland) Spiritual Walk Falkland Estate, Fife. Booking required (£10 inc Lunch) – See Kathleen Our Tribe: “The Human Library” led by Katie McWhinnie


TLC Joint Morning Worship for Trinity Sunday at St Columba’s by the Castle

Saturday 1st


Symphonic Praise at St Mary’s Episcopal Cathedral

Sunday 2nd


Communion Service. Celebrating Volunteer Week

Monday 3rd


Women’s Union meets at Saughtonhall URC

Tuesday 4th


Meeting of Elders in the Library

Sunday 9th


Morning Worship – All-Age Service: “Loaves and Fishes”. Please bring a snack or nibbles with you Church Discussion Meeting

June 2013


* If wishing to attend any SURC College Course, please notify Patsi at Synod office, on 0141 248 5382 or (A charge of £7.50 per session is normally to be made)

Date for your diary: Sunday 23rd June Picnic at Carcant following Morning Worship (Weather permitting)

Seeds No 28  

Seeds is the Newsletter of Augustine United Church