Page 1

Seeds encourage | inspire | challenge | No. 17 | APRIL 2012

Augustine United Church, George IV Bridge, Edinburgh EH1 1EL 0131 220 1677 Scottish Charity no. SC000385 Minister: Rev. Fiona Bennett 07552 162 717 Church Administrator: Paul Lugton 0131 220 1677 Editor: Bill Stevenson Designer: Sonja Meyer

In this edition 1. New Life 2. Working Groups Info. Church Meeting on Radical Welcome. 3. Stories from the heart. AUC Away Day 2012. 4. The Portuguese connection. Scottish Churches’ Housing Action. On Tearfund. Those Winter Sundays. 5. URC Scottish College. Rotas. Goods for CHAI. Christian Aid. 6. An Urban Pilgrimage for Easter. Social Events at AUC. 7. The Open Fellowship. 8. Calendar INSERT: Seedlings!

New Life

By Fiona Bennett

As this edition of Seeds comes out we will be entering the Season of Easter, a time to remember the new life and hope which can grow out of even the darkest experiences in our world. Fresh Start is a project which AUC has supported for many years. It supports people who have been homeless get established in their new home. Homelessness and the journey which lead to people finding themselves in this situation, can be a painful and dark time. Recently one of the staff of Fresh Start went to have the three Fresh Start vans serviced. When he collected the bill, he realised that he had only been charged for parts and not labour. He returned

to the garage to ask the owner to correct the mistake. The owner responded, “You don’t recognise me do you? Nine years ago I was one of the clients Fresh Start was helping to establish my home, after having been homeless. Today I am running my own business. Bring your vans any time. . .” The support of Fresh Start helped that man in his journey to a new life. This is a story of resurrection, of new life, of new beginnings, nurtured by the care and support which we are all part of in Fresh Start. May the Easter Story of Resurrection, new life and hope, be real in our lives and in our world this Easter Season. J

Seeds | Church Meeting

Getting involved Within AUC are 11 Working Groups which take responsibility for different areas of Church Life. If you would like to know more or get involved with one of these, please email the contact person.

Church Meeting: on Radical Welcome

Children & Young People Kirsty Murray

Membership Sheila Wood

Communication Fiona Sommerville

Education Fiona Bennett

Social Mandy Scott

Commitment for Life Harriet Davidson

Our Tribe Rev Maxwell Reay

Pastoral Doris Caldwell

Volunteering Ian Rathjen

Local Community Volunteering Della Morris

Worship Rev Fiona Bennett

Centre, Property and Finance Tom Murray

2 APRIL 2012

Our March Church Meeting was focussed on how we are perceived and how we perceive ourselves. The meeting was led by Kath and Sheila who outlined the ideas being put forward by URC, in order to make us a more ‘Inclusive Church’. Then we were asked to “think on the things that were good” (Phil. 4:8) and not so good about us. It was agreed that we have done much to make our building accessible to all with a ramp, lift, disabled access to toilets, audio system and a loop system. People were made to feel welcome when they came into the building and people went out of their way to speak to visitors. This was the good part, and we can give ourselves a pat on the back for that, but we realised that the next step was harder; we had to now consider where we go from here and what we can do to further improve our welcome. We agreed that we make good use of social occasions and worked well within our Local Ecumenical Partnership. We made sure that our premises were fit for purpose and kept clean. We did however realise that we are a group of friends and that we need to make that extra effort to bring others in by opening the circle and ensure that we are not clannish. It was agreed that we have cards for visitors and need to use them better. However we must realise that not all visitors have a Christian heritage; some come in to think and pray in order to resolve issues that they may have, and we must be aware of their needs and accept that it may be enough just to welcome them into our building. It was then agreed we had, in the main, completed the first part of the course and should proceed by asking URC if we could move to the next level where we would be assisted by a person from outside of our congregation. It was then agreed that it was felt that we had completed this exploration part and now we should OptIn by registering and asking for a ‘Companion’ to help us move forward to a stage where we could covenant as a campaign church. J Ian Johnson

Stories from the Heart | Seeds

Stories from the Heart This was a day meeting when members of all the Local Ecumenical Partnerships (LEPs) in Scotland were invited to join together at Murrayfield Parish Church. Three members of our church together with two members of St. Columba’s-by-the-Castle attended; we met lots of people with different experiences. After opening worship the morning, Keynote Presentation was given by Lt. Col. Alan Burns of the Salvation Army. His theme was ‘Mission’. He told us how as a youth who had just joined the Salvation Army he was asked if he would like to go to the pubs on Friday night. Imagine how he felt when he found on Friday at the church that they were going to talk to the people in the pubs and to sell the ‘War-Cry’! The next two years were the best grounding that he could have had. Col. Burns explained common error; that it was not so much that God had a mission for the Church in the world, but that God had a Church for His mission in the world. We all have a role to fulfil, starting locally with the people that we know, then going to those we may not want to know; and then

to those outside our locality. It’s easy in Church where we set the rules, but to go out and meet in the pub is harder as we have no control; but that is where we meet the people. After lunch we broke into groups and looked at various types of partnership. The leaders of these groups were really good and I first joined a group looking at Partners in the World, where Shirley Brown of Murrayfield Parish Church explained how the local LEP had decided to look at the work of an HIV project in Ecudare, in one of the poorest parts of Kenya. They had agreed to help support the project for a three year period, and had now agreed a further 3 years. Ester Wanjobi, the Project Manager,told how she had started as a student who had got involved in the project as part of her Master’s Degree. Another discussion was with ACTS and the NSB, to look at the best ways for these bodies to move forward and support the LEPs. Others joined groups to look other areas where LEPs worked together within the communities. All in all, a really interesting and worthwhile day. J Ian Johnson

AUC 2012 and beyond

– a day of planning for our future together – On Sat 21st April from 10am-3pm Rev Pressley Sutherland will lead us in a day to take stock of where we have come and to plan for our future. We would encourage everyone who is part of the AUC community to come and share in this day as we plan our future together. Please contact Kathleen Ziffo ( if you would like to come. Lunch is provided. Venue: Granton United Church, (125 Boswall Park Way, EH5 2PP). J

APRIL 2012 3

Seeds | Notes

The Portuguese Connection …is perhaps unexpected on George IV Bridge, but it is a strong one, through Hetty and Adam McKay. They have been Augustine members for many years, although illness has made it difficult for them to be here regularly. Their lives were shattered a few years ago with the very sudden death of their only child Paul, who lived in Portugal with his wife Anna and son Bernardo. Owing to custom he was buried before Hetty & Adam could do anything. Their dearest wish was to go and visit his resting place, but whenever arrangements were made, they had to be cancelled through illness, and no recognition of any sort of Paul’s death has reached here. Until now. Paul worked in a hospital in the town of Barcelos, and he felt that mental health patients were not getting the proper treatment they needed; so he started a campaign to get it. Anna (also a nurse ) helped and after his death she kept it going. The result now was the opening of the “Paul Adam McKay Unit”, devoted to the treatment of up to 28 mental health patients, an event which was given full and deserved notice in the press. Recently they received newspaper cuttings from Anna (all in Portuguese, of course) which Hetty has had translated for me. I felt this a perfect opportunity to do something for them. The translation explains what the unit does, so copies are available for anyone to see. At last Hetty and Adam have a fitting tribute to their son.

Scottish Churches’ Housing Action: Homelessness Week A very belated vote of thanks to everyone who contributed in any way to the great result of our “Cup of Tea” Sunday for the Annual week for the homeless. The contributions for the cake and candy stall were wonderful, as always, and with the contributions for the cups of tea/coffee we raised £103. This year we had an extra bonus, which at gifted – one of her famous cookery lessons to the lucky winner of the draw – who turned out to be Zandra (who probably is one who least needs it!) – and she was really delighted; and this raised another £114, 4 APRIL 2012

bringing our grand total for this year to £217.85 for Scottish Churches’ Housing Action – more than double what we usually send quite a feat in these Spartan times! Thanks to all who helped in, anyway – and that includes the buyers! Without them, it would be nothing. Nancy Dyer

On Tearfund In reply to the ideas (Seeds No. 16, p. 6) from Tearfund on a Carbon Fast: I don’t think those of us of mature years should remove a light bulb. I would suggest having a TV-free evening or, in my case, not playing patience on-line when I have finished my emails. Most of us could grow a few vegetables. I grow runner beans in tubs decorative as well as useful. These could be sited on a balcony or in a few square feet of a garden. Portobello now has a community orchard ( as well as applying for Fair Trade status ). Un fortunately, some-one ( or more) stripped the trees the night before a community apple day was due to take place. Perhaps this year we will see fruition. Della And, as Winter passes into Spring:

Those Winter Sundays Sundays too my father got up early And put his clothes on in the blueback cold, Then with cracked hands that ached From labour in the weekday weather made Banked fires blaze. No one ever thanked him. I’d wake and hear the cold splintering, breaking. When the rooms were warm, he’d call, And slowly I would rise and dress, Fearing the chronic anger of that house, Speaking indifferently to him, Who had driven out the cold and polished my good shoes as well. What did I know, what did I know Of love’s austere and lonely offices? Robert Hayden(1913-80) J

URC Scottish College | Notices | Seeds

URC Scottish College - Beyond Structures

How many times have you heard it mentioned that the College were meeting in our church and that we are welcome to join them, students, tutors and other interested people? Well: now that I have retired I decided that I would like to find out what was meant by ‘Beyond Structures’, but was away for the first meeting that asked ‘What are synods for’? Very relevant at present, when we are looking for enough money coming in to pay the bills. I am told that this meeting explained where synod operates within the URC organisation and the structures that are in place. The second meeting asked ‘What does Belonging to the URC mean to us’. I with the others found that we now had to start thinking, which was the main reason for being there. A number of reasons were put forward that were all relevant to the question and it was good that we were all made to feel that our reasons were valid. Some of the reasons put forward were used to answer the questions during the next two sessions. The next week we explored how we make Church Meeting meaningful. We agreed that to URC members, the fellowship of the Church Meeting was a pillar of our beliefs, and so agreed that this was the meeting that decided how we moved forward in the

Rotas: May-June 2012

Will those who take part in the various house duties (Caretaker, coffee, reading, etc., etc., please let me know by 8th April of any dates in May and June when they are not available, so that the rotas can be out in good time. Thank you, Ian Rathjen

name of our Lord. It was agreed that there should be much more than just business dealt with at this meeting. It has made me examine what I think is the purpose of the Church Meeting and have realised that it is not just a time for looking at the business of our church. On the last week we were asked to consider what the URC is all about; and is ecumenism still another of its pillars? We agreed that whilst some felt that we were not moving forward quickly enough, it was still an aim to which we all aspired. It was agreed that some denominations are now feeling that the cost was too great but that this was not the case in the URC. These courses give an opportunity to look at what we believe and I would commend them to you, so please look out for the next courses and join in if you can. The students do welcome you and appreciate the different viewpoints. J Ian Johnston

Goods for CHAI At Christmas we made a very successful collection of store goods to supply tinned and other “dry” Store Cupboard food, to be passed on to CHAI to distribute to those households who need them. We plan at AUC to make another such collection for (or before) Easter om April 8th, so that its part in the service can be made known then. So thank you for whatever you can bring, of non-perishables, tinned goods or the like.

Christian Aid: Book Collection

Books are being collected now for the Christian Aid book sales. These will take place in May, but the books are needed now to give time for sorting and arrangement. Please bring books to: Morningside U.C., from 9 am-3 pm; or St. Andrew’s & St. George’s West: ring Mary 556 2168.

Every year about this time the Ed. trots out the belief that the Church has spent too much effort on expressing the Last Supper, and that it ought to look more to celebrating the First Supper at Emmaus and the First Breakfast at the lakeside, which opened the new age. But this is perhaps too much heresy to swallow, as no-one takes notice anyway.

APRIL 2012 5

Seeds | Easter | Social Events

AN URBAN pilgrimage for Easter 2012 The Passion Walk is an imaginative journey through the streets of Edinburgh, in which the city becomes the backdrop for the story of Christ’s Passion. At significant places, a printed booklet or audio guide will invite you to enter into the events of Jesus’ final hours. It is an opportunity to experience the Easter story in a new way, to notice afresh some of the ways in which it touches our lives, Starting from Greyfriars Kirk, George IV Bridge on Friday 6th April (Good Friday) 11am-2pm; also Saturday 7th April (Holy Saturday) 11am-2pm. You are invited to collect your Passion Walk map and guide in Greyfriars Kirk any time between l1am and 2pm on either day. You should allow 2-3 hours for the walk, which will finish with refreshments back in central Edinburgh. We ask everyone to register (online at, by email on edinburghpassionwalk@ or by calling us on 07879 014344). There is a charge of £7 (£5 unwaged) to cover overheads and the production of materials. Tie Passion Walk is a non-profit project.

Social events at AUC More dates for your diary 29th April Soup and snack lunch after morning worship.

8th April Easter Sunday breakfast and egg hunt at 10 am

27th May

6 APRIL 2012

Soup and snack lunch after morning worship

The Open Fellowship | Easter | Seeds

The Open Fellowship: Edinburgh Timed

On Thursday 15th March, we enjoyed Graham Rule’s entertaining talk on the history of the Observatory, and its offspring , the arrival of an effective time-keeping system in the city. We are all familiar with the accurate three-minute- fast tower clock of Waverley station, and set our watches by the one-o’clock bang from the Castle. But it was not ever thus.The story begins with the 18th-century, when wealthy gentlemen wished to display their enlightenment, through endless tinkering with new devices that revealed the wonders of nature and the ingenuity of man, on earth or the stars, among them the telescope was a fascinating instrument, and south of England already had several on show. In Edinburgh, James Short took the lead in the mid-18th century, with expanding proposals for a house/observatory which between 1776 and 1792 inspired much enthusiasm among the Edinburgh élite. It proved to be an early case of the Edinburgh city fathers’ propensity for holes in the ground, familiar to this day, on which grow endless plans, proposals, contracts, disputes, cancellations and law-suits, with despair among counsellors and business for lawyers and architects. By 1792, however, a working observatory (no relation to the present Royal Observatory) was active, in various hands. But out of this expensive hobby of star-gazing ingenuity emerged the practical use at sea, the nation’s economic heart. Without accurate time at sea you are lost. The sea is an unforgiving element; more than one ship was lost with all hands through miscalculation and mis-timing of the position and movement of the stars. Lord Cockburn’s reference to a foreign ship-master who, needing to set his times before sailing from the Forth, found himself “in this large and learned metropolis where nobody could tell him what o’clock it was”. The need for accurate time-keeping was recognised, and from 1812 the Astronomical Institution began both to obtain accurate clocks and employ a n efficient manager. As the century went on, invention soared out of sight. The new one-o’clock

ball became a commonplace as the technology of time-keeping developed out of recognition, with new materials, ever-increasing precision, and the harnessing of electricity. We pride ourselves on our modern electronics; but we merely read in the footsteps of the inventors of 150 years ago. Graham took us through the outlines of this very characteristic Edinburgh history in a lively fashion; anyone who wishes to follow it in more detail has only to read his paper. J To mark this Easter issue, here are some Verses from Palm Sunday and Easter songs. Wellknown though incomplete, but sounding across those crucial days: My song is love unknown, My Saviour’s love to me, Love to the loveless shown That they might lovely be. O, who am I, That for my sake, My Lord should take Frail flesh, and die? . . Sometimes they strew his way, And his sweet praises sing; Resounding all the day Hosannas to their King. Then ‘Crucify!’ Is all their breath, And for his death They thirst and cry. Why, what hath my Lord done? What makes this rage and spite? He made the lame to run, He gave the blind their sight. Sweet injuries! Yet they at these Themselves displease, And ‘gainst him rise. . . . Crossman Ride on, ride on in majesty Hark, all the tribes hosanna cry; Thine humble beast pursues his road With palms and scattered garments strowed. Ride on! ride on in majesty! In lowly pomp ride on to die: Bow thy meek head to mortal pain, Then take, O God, thy power and reign.

Milman APRIL 2012 7

Easter 2012 What is Junior Church up to in March and April? •

Look out for two Godly Play sessions called ‘Faces of Easter’ - telling the story of Jesus’ desert and discovery experience, Jesus as healer/parable maker, Jesus offers the bread and wine, and The One who is Easter.

Following on from the theme of Jesus’s baptism which was explored in February, we have a new theme during March/April called ‘Jesus washes the Disciples’ Feet’. This will be explored in a variety of ways such as

the story of Jesus’s last meal, and working with clay to remember the story,

biscuit-making to symbolise the events of Holy Week: and discovering some rich scripture related to Jesus’s last instructions to his disciples, and exploring it further with a game….

coming to the exciting end to Holy Week! And the First Meal at Easter.

Everyone is always welcome to pop into the Junior Church room to see what the children have been doing. Some of their colourful, creative responses to the material are on the walls.

And we haven’t forgotten two fourth birthdays: Ellie’s on the 15th April, and Rowen’s on the 22nd.

8 APRIL 2012


AUC Worship: Services at 11am at AUC, George IV Bridge, unless otherwise stated

CALENDAR: APRIL 2012 Sun. 1st

11am 4pm

Holy Week: Palm Sunday: Communion Service. Induction of Rev Carolyn Smyth as Community Minister at Priesthill URC at The Hall, 160 Peat Road, Glasgow.

Mon. 2nd


Early Morning Communion at St Columba’s by-the-Castle, followed by rolls and coffee. Also Wed. 4th. Fri. 6th.

Thurs. 5th


Communion Service at Greyfriars Kirk.

Fri. 6th

Good Friday 11 am to 1 pm: 12 noon-3pm: 9pm

Urban Pilgrimage (Passion Walk,organised by Refugio): see p. 6 above. at AUC: “Waiting by the Cross” – meditation, music, reflection: led by Rev. Fiona Bennett and University Associate Chaplain Rev. Ali Newell. Tenebrae: Choral Psalms with readings at Greyfriars Kirk.

Sat. 7th

11 am-1 pm:

Passion Walk (as on Good Friday).

Sun. 8th

Easter Day 10am 11am 7.30pm

Breakfast Egg Rolls, and Easter Egg Hunt. Communion Service: foll. by “Real Story Eggs” (see p. 5). Refugio at Greyfriars Kirk.

Sun. 15th


Morning Service led by Liza Coates (St.Columba’s): with Communion, led by Mandy Scott. Note: The Edinburgh Half-Marathon will affect access, and parking on and around George IV Bridge.

Tues. 17th


Contextual Bible Study at AUC.

Wed. 18th


Exploring Church Membership (over 3 sessions) see Minister for details.

Sat. 21st

AUC Away Day (10 am-3 pm: see p. 3). For all AUC members and associates led by Rev. Pressley Sutherland.



Morning Service: Preacher Rev Pressley Sutherland.

Wed. 25th



Sat. 28th


Our Tribe.

Sun. 29th


Morning Service, followed by soup, bread and cheese lunch.

Tues. 1st


Elders and Group Leaders meet.

Sun. 6th


Communion and Flower Service, followed by Church Business Meeting: the Annual General Meeting.


The deadline for material for edition no. 18 of SEEDS is May21st. Material can be sent to Bill Stevenson by hand or at 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.

Seeds No 17  

Monthly newsletter of Augustine United Church in Edinburgh, UK

Read more
Read more
Similar to
Popular now
Just for you