Seeds encourage | inspire | challenge | No. 11 | July 2011
Augustine United Church, George IV Bridge, Edinburgh EH1 1EL 0131 220 1677 www.augustine.org.uk Scottish Charity no. SC000385 Minister: Rev. Fiona Bennett firstname.lastname@example.org 07552 162 717 Church Administrator: Paul Lugton email@example.com 0131 220 1677 Editor: Bill Stevenson newsletter@Augustine.org.uk Designer: Sonja Meyer firstname.lastname@example.org
In this edition
1. Exiled. 2. Church family ancestors. 3. The Brockingtons; farewell. Thank you from Mandy. Apologies. 4. Getting to know you... Fresh Start. 5. Eco-congregation Scotland. 6. Annual Scottish Synod. A Prayer. Augustine Social Calendar. 7. Seedlings. 8. Calendar.
Cut off from the familiar. By Fiona Bennett The experience of exile is very real in our world today. The experience of being driven away and cut off from places, peoples, cultures, routines which are familiar to us. Refugees driven from Syria, Burma, and countless other countries in the world. Older people cut off from abilities and strength they previously had, or placed in nursing homes. People with dementia cut off from their memories. People who come out as gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgender sometimes being cut off from their family or friends. People who are bereaved, cut off from loved ones and the familiar routines of daily life. People who are made redundant, cut off from their
identity and source of income. On a global scale and at a very intimate level, the experience of exile is very real in our world today and can be brutal and destructive. At our Contextual Bible Study this month we explored our understanding of exile and considered what beginning of the book of Daniel might offer us to reflect on it. The book of Daniel is a story set in the experience of exile. The Babylonian Empire conquered the nation of Judah, and some citizens of Judah (Daniel included) were exiled to Babylon. The book offers no easy explanation of why such horrors happen, however it is a story of resilient people who found the courage to make the most out of a place and life which was unhappily forced upon them. It is a >2
Seeds | Church Family Ancestors 1<
story which bravely encourages us to trust that even in the most frightening and politically complicated situations, God is at work, bringing new life out of despair. The experience of exile is very real in our lives
and world today. We hope that so also will be the experience of resilient people, making the most out of the places and life forced upon them, trusting that even in the most frightening and unfamiliar situations God is at work bringing new life and hope. J
Church family ancestors In June to celebrate Fathers’ Day and explore further the Season of Pentecost with the stories of the beginnings of the Church, we hosted an All Age Worship at AUC to celebrate some of our Church Family Ancestors. Here are some of the prayers which groups wrote in response to the stories of these church family ancestors… Thank you God for Clement, (c. 96 AD): for his ministry to the early church and his encouragement that the strong should value and support the weak. Quote from Clement: “The strong must make sure they care for the weak. The rich must be certain that they give enough to supply the needs of the poor. The poor must thank God for supplying their needs. We all need each other; the great need the small; the small need the great. In our body, the head is useless without the feet and the feet without the head. The tiniest limbs of our body are useful and necessary to the whole.” Thank you God for Perpetua, (181-203 AD): for her courage to speak out her beliefs and stand fast. Quote from Perpetua: “Stand fast in the faith and love one another.” Thank you God for Augustine, (354-430 AD): for his knowledge, teaching and books which have strengthened the Church. Quote from Augustine: “Hope has two beautiful daughters. Their names are Anger and Courage; anger at the way things are, and courage to see that they do not remain the way they are.”
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Thank you God for Lady Julian of Norwich, (1342-1416 AD): for her ministry in terrible times. For her belief in God’s creative power and love. For her understanding of Christ as mother. For her groundbreaking writings for a female author. For her hope. For her invitation to live gladly. Quote from Lady Julian: “The greatest honour we can give Almighty God is to live gladly because of the knowledge of his love.” Thank you God for Harriet Beecher Stowe, (18111896 AD): for her risk taking to speak out against the evil of slavery. For breaking the chains of slavery which the love of Jesus can break for us today. Quote from Harriet Beecher Stowe: “When you get into a tight place and everything goes against you till it seems you could not hold on a minute longer, never give up then, for that is just the place and time that the tide will turn.” Each of these characters are celebrated in “stained glass” pictures which can currently be seen on the glass doors of the Sanctuary. J
Letters | Seeds
it! d i d e W you to
THE BROCKINGTONS’ FAREWELL - JOHN & MARY Thank you for everything, Agustine. By the time you read this, we hope to be safely installed in our new home: 113 Rutten Lane, Yarnton, Kidlington 0X5 1LT (phone 01865 849438). Yarnton, a small village just north of Oxford, has virtually door-to-door bus service to the Bodleian Library, so we shall be able to continue our research on ancient Indian literature into our rapidly-approaching dotage without having to with the Penicuik weather. John asks you to be patient and helpful to the new Rota organiser, who will be looking haggard and distraught for the next few months. Mary leaves you her work on the history of the building and some of the giants from our 19th century past on whose shoulders we stand today. Material can be found in the AUC Archive cupboard (no, we didn’t know either, you’ll have to ask Fiona) and on the church computer (ask Paul for a copy). The electronic material includes the text of the AUC history, AUC: the challenge of our heritage; transcriptions relevant to the church building from some of our archives; an article she wrote exploring the human cost of www.augustine.org.uk
erecting our present building; and supporting material. She would like it to be made freely available to anyone — not just members of AUC — who wishes to use it (with the acknowledgement of the source usual in any publication). Anyone reading the article who remembers the Tower Restoration Project will realise why she has a particular fellow-feeling (and huge admiration) for poor James Tait Black. The hardest part of the move will be leaving Augustine, which has given us so much over the last 20-plus years — acceptance, love, opportunities to share in the work of the church — all of which we felt greatly in need of when we arrived. Mary’s fondest memory was being told early on, when she explained to the wearily cynical and envious minister of a difficult congregation elsewhere, that she was a renegade Baptist: “Oh, they’ll have anyone at Augustine!” It’s been great fun, with a few tears (and occasional fits of temper), and we shall miss you greatly — but are sure you’ll keep up the tradition of “having anyone at Augustine”. J
ank ed me in t r I big th o p p u hon. e who s everyon inburgh Marat Ed May’s ns have o i t u b i r t n Your co se almost rai cMillan a helped M r o 0f £400.0 ervices! S Mandy Cancer
Apology Unfortunately, the names of two of the most distinguished members of Augustine were transposed in the June issue. The “Personal Memories” on p. 6 were Isa Morey’s; Meredyth’s memories are quite different. We apologise for this confusion and promise to double-check next time. J
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Seeds | Getting to know you
Getting to know Della... My name is Della Morris. My favourite hymns: this is not easy, as I connect memories and others have special meanings. We came to Augustine in 1972.lt was Harvest Festival and at that time CH3 was used. We sang from a sheet a hymn which I can only think was one by John Bell; the words I cannot remember, but we both thought it was radical: and so decided that Augustine was the church for us, and so we stayed. So if any one was in the congregation that morning and can remember I would like to know. When we married John insisted that we sang “Lift up your hearts! We lift them, Lord to thee” (CH3 440) I thought that the second verse ‘“the mire of sin. the slough of guilty fear” most inappropriate though since I have always connected it to John and 40 plus years of marriage. I always enjoy “O Lord my God, when I am in awesome wonder” ( Rejoice and Sing 117) When I have moments of doubt to see a plant pushing their
way through asphalt I know that there is a greater Being. The one hymn , which nowadays is considered not appropriate, is “Onward ! Christian Soldiers” this I connect to childhood and Sunday School. I do not think we thought of the words but the tune was good to belt out. J
Getting to know Stephen... My name is Stephen Ziffo. I play the organ. I spend my time: more slowly now that I am retired which I rather like. Recently I have enjoyed watching Wimbledon, which is now better than ever on TV following the digital switchover. I am in the habit of visiting the website http:// www.contrebombarde.com to download MP3 files from it.
When I am not doing that I have enough tools in the garage to do most DIY tasks. My favourite hymn, chosen as you might expect for its tune, is “As a Fire is meant for burning”. For me it has great effect when our congregation sing it. My favourite place, believe it or not, is Edinburgh. It is where I have always liked to be (just don’t mention the trams). J
• FRESH START • FRESH START • FRESH START • Fresh Start is in need of single duvets (Single!) and/or duvet covers. Could anyone with a duvet or two, or dozen, in good condition, get in touch with Bill (or the Editor)about them, please? Or phone Fresh Start at Edinburgh 476 7741. Fresh Start’s clients will thank you very much!
• FRESH START • FRESH START • FRESH START • 4 July 2011
Eco-congregation Scotland | Seeds
Eco-congregation Scotland – Helping to care for God’s Creation Did you know? AUC has had an Energy Survey (by the Energy Savings Trust). This highlighted the huge amount of energy we consume at Augustine, and measures we could take to reduce these emissions very substantially (and our huge fuel costs). The bad news is that most of these measures would cost a great deal (e.g. to replace or upgrade our heating system, or even put in double glazing) – money we do not have! So! We have limited opportunities to save energy and reduce our costs. The good news is that we will just have to tackle the simpler things ourselves - like turning off heating and lighting when not needed! The Energy Savings Trust suggest that we could save over £400 per year just by switching off lighting and heating in the building when it is not needed. We all need to learn to be more efficient in heating and lighting the sanctuary on Sundays, and in our own homes. (Energy costs are rocketing, and we damage the environment with our overuse of scarce fossil fuels.) Why not ask stewards to turn some heaters off on Sunday mornings if you are warm enough? (Reminding others helps to educate us all!) The side seats at the front of the sanctuary will always be the colder area www.augustine.org.uk
as there are no heaters there at all. Move instead to the central areas, particularly in winter, where the heaters beam down. And can we all remember to turn off unnecessary lights? They don’t all need to blaze in the sanctuary once the service has finished. For after-service coffee, or for Church Meeting selected areas may be lit. So everyone of us needs to learn to cut down on energy waste of all kinds. (There are a couple more simple ideas being investigated that might save AUC some further energy and therefore save costs. More in the future!) Did you know? GRoW (Greyfriars Recycling of Wood – the social enterprise which is part
of the Grassmarket Community Project) - successfully completed a contract to make new church furnishings in time for the May General Assembly of the Church of Scotland. (Remember GRoW recycles old wood, mainly redundant church pews, to make into high quality resaleable wooden items – they also make the plaques for those Scottish EcoCongregations achieving Award Status. By the way, should AUC attempt to go for an award?) Did you know? AUC has now registered as a member of the new charity which Eco-Congregation Scotland has become. Becoming a charity gives us a better opportunity to raise funds for its work, and AUC’s becoming a member gives us voting rights. Della and I attended the Midsummer Evening meeting of the Edinburgh Eco-Congregation network at the Royal Botanic Gardens. We went to visit and learn of the Scottish native plant area (which was great) but were so cold and drenched to the bone after several hours’ in torrential rain that hot baths were required to revive us afterwards! (Incidentally in my garden, that very June Mid-summer night, two fledgling Wood Pigeons nesting in a tree perished due to atrocious conditions! Climate Change or just “bad weather”?) J July 2011 5
Seeds | Annual Scottish Synod | Augustine Social Calendar
Annual Scottish synod
The annual Scottish Synod gathering was held this year at Perth Racecourse, a suitable venue, supported by a good number of AUC folk; nor did it quite rain. A procession of banners (which included a beautiful new banner created by the AUC community) was followed by a lively opening worship led by the Moderator, John Humphreys and the Wild Goose Resource Team, with a casual air, with a number of jolly songs, along with traditional hymns. The crowd dispersed, to sample the core of the day’s activities, a wide range of small groups hearing and talking about all kinds of practical issues, impossible to summarise. Among topics well-known in Augustine were Eco-Congregations, Our Tribe and Christian Aid; and, to take two other examples: Fresh Expressions and Radical Welcome. The first is an organisation, not just a collection of new thoughts; it takes a practical look at the question, Why do all those people stay away from church? A short question, but a complex answer, especially involving all those young people who, as children, were brought to church and enjoyed it? We might well have a look at Fresh Expressions. Radical Welcome, on the other hand, as we know, is a national scheme now being developed at URC headquarters. This group, led by Roberta Rominger, the General Secretary of URC, had the opportunity of looking at what it intends, what is being done; and, very important, where we in the local churches fit in. To close with a communion service made a fitting conclusion, bringing together, as well as a wide range of themes, a widely diverse range of people from across the country. J
Prayer Generous and Loving God, Your creation is filled to overflowing with bounty. Keep us mindful that many live on less than we do; Keep us mindful that it is not enough to simply buy what we want and then put it out at the kerb when we are finished with it; Keep us open to making real changes in our lives for the good of creation. Keep us thankful and hopeful and active. Amen. (Charlie West Iink) Kathleen
AUGUSTINE SOCIAL CALENDAR - BY MANDY Here are a few more dates in the Augustine social life for your diary. Hope to see you there! 14th August Annual service and lunch at Inchcolm Island with Greyfriars and St. Columba’s churches. Please give your name to Doris to book a place on the boat and bring your own picnic lunch. More information will be given at Sunday services. Sunday 18th September Guided led by Paul Harvie stroll along the Innocent Railway after service. More details will follow 6 July 2011
nearer the time — but take a packed lunch and som money for a well deserved cuppa at the end, and bus fare home! Sunday 25th September Harvest. Please join us for an afterservice lunch of soup, bread and fruit. There are more social events planned for the rest of the year so keep checking what’s going on. J www.augustine.org.uk
It’s summer holiday season here at Seedlings and to celebrate, here is a recipe too try at home. We might make this at Junior Church some day!
Ingredients: • 1 cup sugar • 1 cup butter, softened • 2 cups flour • 1 tsp. vanilla • 1 egg • Food colouring - at least 6 colours. Remember - with red, blue and yellow you can make all the other colours! Instructions: • Mix sugar, butter, egg and vanilla. • Add flour and mix well. • Divide dough into six balls. Add a different food colouring to each ball. • Roll each ball in a snake shape onto a floured surface. Just like playdough! • Arch snake shape and press onto cookie sheet. Add other snake shapes until the rainbow is formed. Bake in a hot over for 8-15 minutes. (Grownups can help with this bit!) When cooled taste a piece of the rainbow! www.augustine.org.uk
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AUC Worship: Services at 11am at AUC, George IV Bridge, unless otherwise stated
Please note that throughout July, the pavements on George IV Bridge are being resurfaced. The road will be open to traffic and pedestrians. but parking in the street will not be possible.
July Sun. 3rd
Morning Worship (Communion).
Morning Worship, with Fran Ruthven.
at St. Columba’s: “Discover the Healing Sounds of Aramaic”; Cost £10-30, bring share lunch.
Nitekirk at Greyfriars Kirk.
Morning Worship. Led by Mandy Scott & Doris Caldwell. Sermon by Liza Coates.
Our Tribe. Also: Dunning & Newburgh Barbecue: see Notice-board.
“Jazz in the Church” Gospel Service at St. Cuthbert’s, Lothian Road.
Women’s Union at Saughtonhall: for Bring-&-Buy, coffee & Strawberry tea at Sue’s house.
August Mon. 1st Sat. 6th
Festival of Spirituality & Peace opens: Programmes are available in the foyer.
Morning Worship (Communion).
The Fringe opens. Paradise Green productions begin in the AUC Sanctuary and Vault (Venues 29 & 152) until Aug. 29th. Programme available in foyer. Note: Services continue in URC at normal times as shown below. Fringe Event: “The Continental Quilt” at Saughtonhall URC (Venue 273), until 13th (see Fringe Programme for details.)
The annual three-church visit to Inchcolm. See Doris for tickets and details.
Morning Worship (Communion).
Festival of Spirituality & Peace closes.
Certain of Paradise Green’s productions will be of genuine interest to members of AUC, even though they may not be overtly religious. Study the programme!
Please note that the deadline for material for the next edition of SEEDS is August 21st. You can send your material to Bill Stevenson by hand or at newsletter@Augustine.org.uk. 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 expressed in our newsletter are those of the individual contributor, they are not necessarily those of AUC or the editor.