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St Andrew’s and St George’s West Diary and Newsletter September 2013


Autumn 2013 Ready... steady…go! Ian Gilmour 3 Sunday Worship Ian Gilmour 4 Weekday worship 5 CHURCH LIFE Autumn Diary (to end November) 6-7 Diary news from church groups 8-10 Announcements 11 Kirk Session Notes 12 Making Things Happen 13 News from the Undercroft Cafe 14-15 CREATIVE LIFE Music news 16 Noriko Ogawa Concert 17 God and the EIF Peter Millar 18-19 St Andrew’s and St George’s West at Festival Time 20-22 MAKING A DIFFERENCE IN THE WORLD Amnesty goes to the movies again 23 Making a difference in the world 24 Thanks from our Fair Trade Stall 25 Charity Chic – Bangladesh exhibition 26 AGEING AND SPIRITUALITY Selda Dow 27-30 LECTURES Christianity and… 31 Islamic Civilisation Lectures – Gifford Lectures 32 INNER LIFE Autumn Prayer resources in Edinburgh 33 The Prayer To Our Father 34 LAST LOOK 35 Contacts 36 Design/layout: Andrena and Alison B Mailing Rosemary W Email: inspire (at) standrewsandstgeorges (dot) org (dot) uk Online magazine: www.stagw.org.uk Thanks to all contributors Next copy deadline Mon 23 Sep for publication Sun 30 September

Cover: Senegal comes to Edinburgh in the middle of the Festival. 2 St Andrew’s and St George’s West Edinburgh September 2013 Diary and Newsletter www.stagw.org.uk


Ready…

Steady…

Go!

Reflection Edinburgh is a great festival city and it has been wonderful to have had a sunny summer season to enjoy it to the full. George Street has been looking like the Champs-Élysées with outdoor cafés abounding including at 13 George Street. We also certainly contributed to the musical and cultural life; alongside our friends in St John’s and St Cuthbert’s we make an impact on the city centre, particularly at ‘Festival’ time. Thanks to Mary Margaret Scott, our staff and all the volunteers for a super season. Preparation This is a week of preparation as our exciting winter programme is under construction. Some of us fly to Malawi after concluding a successful Festival Fringe programme in our building. Are we ready? Yes, we are nearly ready. Are we steady? If this means everyone singing from the same sheet, all having the same thoughts, opinions and hopes, then we are not completely steady, but we are steady enough. Steady enough to push onwards in our endeavours for God in this city. Paul’s encouraging tone to the church at Corinth is one I would like us to follow, “We hope that your faith may grow and that we may be able to do a much greater work among you...” We are in a good place, literally and metaphorically, this is the time … So let’s Go! Go forward in faith, Go forward together, Go forward with hope, Go forward with confidence. Paul’s words to the church at Ephesus are warmly encouraging to me, “To him who by means of his power working in us is able to do so much more than we can ever ask for, or even think of” Let us not make the mistake of being simply Ready and Steady, let’s continue to Go for God upwards, outward and onwards. Love and enjoy life throughout autumn, Ian 3 St Andrew’s and St George’s West Edinburgh September 2013 Diary and Newsletter www.stagw.org.uk


Sunday Worship Worship strengthens and transforms. Worship is helpful for our growth as followers of Jesus Christ, so consider joining us Sunday by Sunday. We offer Communion at 9am All Age Worship at 9.45am A progressive pattern of morning worship at 11am

September 2013 Sun 1 Sep 11am

Season of Creation 1 Jeremiah 2:4-13; Luke 14:1, 7-14

Sun 8 Sep 11am

Season of Creation 2 Jeremiah 8.8-12; Luke 18:9-14

Sun 15 Sep 11am Season of Creation 3 Jeremiah 4:11-12, 22-28; Luke 15:1-10 Sun 22 Sep 11am Season of Creation 4 Proverbs 8:22–31; John 6:41–51 Sun 29 Sep 11am Amos 6:1, 4-7; 1 Timothy 6:6-19

October 2013 Sun 6 Oct 11am

Harvest Thanksgiving: Living in God’s Way 2 Timothy 1:1–14; Luke 17:5–10

“If we are going to worship in Spirit, we must develop a spirit of worship." Michael Catt 4 St Andrew’s and St George’s West Edinburgh September 2013 Diary and Newsletter www.stagw.org.uk


Farewell lunch for John Cameron and Ian Maxwell, leaders at our Tuesday Communion services.

Weekday Worship at St Andrew’s and St George’s West Worship @ 1 - Tuesday Communion - Quiet space All change – again! Weekday worship is moving back to the Sanctuary after a month in the chapel with fresh worship material and an imaginative quiet space set up by members of our Soul Therapy group. Come and pray with us at 1pm - or join our team of worship leaders. Speak to Mary Godden. Exploring Silent Prayer meets at St Cuthbert’s Tue 3 Sep 1.30 Soul Therapy Open Day 26 September

5 St Andrew’s and St George’s West Edinburgh September 2013 Diary and Newsletter www.stagw.org.uk


Autumn Diary find it online at www.standrewsandstgeorges.org.uk/diary.php

September 2013 Sun 1 Sep

9am, 9.45am, 11am services fellowship lunch for Mulanje School

Sun 8 Sep

9am, 9.45am, 11am services 12 noon Singing with heart and soul (p16)

Sun 15 Sep Mon 16 Sep Tue 17 Sep

9am, 9.45am, 11am services Chapel Book Group meets (p8) Evergreens meet (p9) Edinburgh Presbytery meets at STAGW Creative TOGETHER meets (p8)

Wed 18 Sep Sun 22 Sep Wed 25 Sep Thurs 26 Sep Fri 27 Sep

Sat 28 Sep

Sun 29 Sep Mon 30 Sep

9am, 9.45am, 11am services Motorcycle Diaries (p23) Soul Therapy open meeting (p10) World’s Biggest Coffee Morning (p15) 7.30 Sing in the City http://www.choiredinburgh.co.uk/ 7.30 Sing in the Cityhttp://www.choiredinburgh.co.uk/ 9am, 9.45am, 11am services Noon Monthly Communion Amnesty Group meets

October 2013 Fri 4 Oct Sat 5 Oct

7.30pm Malta Choir Concert (p16) Quizaid at St John’s (p10)

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Sun 6 Oct

from Mon 7 Oct Wed 9 Oct Sun 13 Oct Wed 16 Oct Sat 19 Oct Sun 20 Oct Mon 21 Oct Tue 22 Oct Wed 23 Oct Sun 27 Oct Mon 28 Oct Wed 30 Oct

Harvest Sunday 9am, 9.45am, 11am services Fellowship Lunch for Mary’s Meals North American Exhibition Music and Reflection (p16) 9am, 9.45am, 11am services Creative TOGETHER(p8) Music and Reflection (p16) Noriko Ogawa concert (p17) 9am, 9.45am, 11am services Stewardship (p13) Book Group (p8) Evergreens (p9) Christian Aid Film Night (p10) Music and Reflection (p16) 9am, 9.45am, 11am services Quarterly Communion Amnesty Group meets Music and Reflection (p16) Stewardship (p13)

November 2013 Fri 1 Nov

Koto Concert

Sun 3 Nov Sat 9 Nov

9am, 9.45am, 11am services S.O.Good Concert http://www.gavinpagan.co.uk/Events.html

Sun 10 Nov 11 –16 Nov Tue 12 Nov

9am, 9.45am, 11am services Creative TOGETHER Sale (p9) Architecture of the Disruption lecture

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Sat 16 Nov Sun 17 Nov Mon 18 Nov Tue 19 Nov Wed 20 Nov

Thurs 21 Nov Fri 22 Nov Sat 23 Nov

Sun 24 Nov

29-30 Nov

Stewardship (p13) 9am, 9.45am, 11am services Book Group (p8) Evergreens (p9) Creative TOGETHER (p8) Edinburgh Quartet Rush Hour Concert http://www.edinburghquartet.com/site/2013 /diary/11_20@1730.htm CA Picture Sale (p10) CA Picture Sale (p10) CA Picture Sale CA small gifts and jewellery sale CA coffee morning Undercroft 9am, 9.45am, 11am services Monthly Communion Light Night and Carol Service Euripides’ Helen (Athens of the North) http://www.wfltd.com/athens_of_the_north/

Diary news from Church Groups Book Group The Book Group meets on the third Monday of the month at 10.30 in the chapel in the Undercroft. Everyone is welcome. Our new book for the season is Full OnThe Eye, written nearly 20 years ago by Ian Gilmour and Bill Clinkenbeard. Still true today? Come and find out! Autumn meetings: Mon 16 Sept, Mon 21 Oct, Mon 18 Nov If you’d like to know more speak to Veronica Crerar.

Creative TOGETHER After a summer break we will resume meeting, as before, at my house on the third Wednesday of each month anytime between 10am and 1pm. Please feel free to come and go as you wish or 8 St Andrew’s and St George’s West Edinburgh September 2013 Diary and Newsletter www.stagw.org.uk


stay all morning. We are an offshoot of Christian Aid TOGETHER raising funds for Christian Aid by making items for sale. Most knit and sew but there are many other possibilities. If you have a creative hobby and would like to join us, or even teach us something new, you would be very welcome. We're also very good at chatting over coffee. Come and join us to share ideas. Autumn meetings: Wed 18 Sep, Wed 16 Oct, Wed 20 Nov This year we plan to be selling our wares in November. We will be in the Undercroft during their opening hours as a cafe from Monday 11th to Friday 15th November and also after Morning Service at St Johns on 17th and St Cuthbert's on 24th. If you would like any further information please get in touch. Maggie Morley

Evergreens Evergreens meet on the third Tuesday of the month at 2.30pm in the Sanctuary for talks, followed by tea in the Undercroft. Tue 17 Sept: The Real Lady Macbeth (Prof David Taylor) Tue 22 Oct: Where do we go from here: a look at housing options for older people (speaker tbc) Tue 19 Nov: Jane Austen (Maureen Kelly)

Fellowship Lunches Monthly fellowship lunchesare a chance to chat to folk you might not know and a chance to raise funds for a good cause too. Sun 1 Sep Fellowship lunch for Mulanje School in Malawi Sun 6 Oct Fellowship lunch for Mary’s Meals Sun Nov 3 Fellowship Lunch for Amnesty International Remember that we can provide transport to and from church on the first Sunday of the month – speak to Averil Fifer about this.

Soul Therapy St.Andrews and St. Georges West Church. Open Meeting, Soul Therapy Thursday 26th September, 10-12 noon. A few of us are appreciating the leadership of Desmond Ryan on this insightful subject. We warmly extend an invitation to anyone who may be interested in exploring with us in a relaxed confidential informal group. Life experience is all that is required! 9 St Andrew’s and St George’s West Edinburgh September 2013 Diary and Newsletter www.stagw.org.uk


Christian Aid Autumn 2013

Christian Aid QuizAid Saturday 5 October 7.30pm at St John’s Tickets £5, including the first drink, will be available soon. Contact: Veronica Crerar

Christian Aid Film Night Tuesday 22 October 7.30pm, St Andrew’s & St George’s West More details soon Contact: Veronica Crerar

Creative TOGETHER Craft Stall and Sale Mon 11- Fri 15 November 10am-2pm in the Undercroft Café Sun 17 November at St John’s and Sun 24 November at St Cuthbert’s. Contact: Maggie Morley

Christian Aid Art Sale & Coffee Morning Thurs 21- Sat 23 November: Art Sale in the Sanctuary Sat 23 November: Coffee morning in the Undercroft with jewellery and small gifts stall in the Undercroft Contact: Mary Davidson or Joan Dryburgh 10 St Andrew’s and St George’s West Edinburgh September 2013 Diary and Newsletter www.stagw.org.uk


Announcements Weddings Susan Balfour and Adam Peers on 1st August, 2013 Jason Ollivent and Linda McMyn on 26th August, 2013 at the Botanical Gardens Members leaving Mrs Mary McMurdo on 19th of August, 2013 Deaths Mrs Kathryn S I Miller on 17th of August, 2013 Mrs Kathleen Law on 21st August, 2013 Funerals Lawrie Reilly on 1st August, 2013. ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------Joe and Mhairi Evans: The long awaited film of Joe and Mhairi's wedding will be shown on BBC Alba on Friday 20th September at 9.00 p.m. and will also be on the BBC iplayer from the next day. ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------The Great Tapestry of Scotland for which we stitched panels on The Disruption and the King James Bible, will be on display in the Main Hall of the Scottish Parliament from 3 - 21 September 2013. This is a free, public, un-ticketed exhibition and there is no need to book.

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News from the Kirk Session George Burgess The Session met in June and August. These meetings celebrated the end of one year and began preparations for a new one. In June we again discussed the developing proposals for the City Centre Christmas programme, and the possible impacts and opportunities for us. We heard a report on our participation in Heart and Soul in May, and another on developments in the Undercroft. We also heard from Jack Thompson, our Presbytery Elder, on developments in the wider Presbytery. The Session also discussed and agreed a paper on rationalisation of the Church silver. This will see communion cups from each of the former congregations being retained and used, and pewter items placed on display, with surplus silver being disposed of appropriately. In August we again discussed the City Centre Christmas programme, which had changed considerably over the summer. The opportunities will still be there for us, but the impacts much less. The Session also heard reports on the developing Stewardship campaign and on Pastoral Care. The latter included a report on the very healthy visitor numbers since the refurbishment, particularly on Saturdays. Session agreed to continue Saturday opening from Easter-October, with thanks to the Welcome Team. The Fabric Group also proposed work to areas including the Meeting Room, Davidson Room, outer foyer and external maintenance. The Session also considered the Presbytery Plan 2012-2022, and the areas identified in it as focal points for our congregation, identifying our strengths and weaknesses, opportunities and threats. These themes will be picked up again at future meetings. W George Burgess, Joint Session Clerk 12 St Andrew’s and St George’s West Edinburgh September 2013 Diary and Newsletter www.stagw.org.uk


Making Things Happen…………………. James McNeill and the Stewardship Team 2013 really has celebrated our refurbished building. Our worship is enhanced with better lighting and sound. The Christian Aid Sale has benefitted from the strengthened floor. The Festival Fringe events have a sparkling venue. And our management and catering team have taken us to new realms of service to everyone who uses our building. The funds available from our giving day and financial stewardship, and from the sale of the Shandwick Place building, now make us turn to the projects which will build on the visionary work of our predecessors. The final focus of our Stewardship Campaign, therefore, is to look at our individual abilities, energies and ideas. As with last autumn, there will be three congregational events. These will celebrate what we have done over the past year, help us find where our outreach should be heading and make us think beyond ourselves to friends and colleagues who might be interested in making that outreach happen. This is the chance for each of us to think widely as to what we facilitate in the City Centre. We are planning to meet to eat and enjoy working towards this next stage on the following dates and times: Sunday 20th October 1 – 3pm Wednesday 30th October 7 – 9pm and Saturday 16th November 1 – 3pm. Each member should have received a letter of invitation. Please let us know which event you can attend. James Crerar, Ian Gilmour, Alastair Mackenzie, James McNeill and Mary Margaret Scott. 13 St Andrew’s and St George’s West Edinburgh September 2013 Diary and Newsletter www.stagw.org.uk


Marisa in the Undercroft Courtyard August 2013

The Undercroft Café Jean Howard The Undercroft cafe now has a changed menu, which reflects the skills of Pete Anderson, our Cafe Manager. We have smart new crockery, a new under counter refrigerator and a selection of light service/display equipment. African print aprons have been ordered from the Senegal Women’s group and should be here soon. New chalk boards are being sign-written, reflecting the Undercroft Tree Symbol. As some of our new equipment was well under budget we were able to get more signage so that when we bought banners for the ‘pop-up’ courtyard cafe we were able to make it dual usage to raise the profile of the Undercroft on an ongoing basis. This is shaping up to be a record Fringe in the Undercroft as well as a great success for the performances. 14 St Andrew’s and St George’s West Edinburgh September 2013 Diary and Newsletter www.stagw.org.uk


The World’s Biggest Coffee Morning Friday 27 September We will be supporting Macmillan Cancer on September by taking part in the ‘World’s Biggest Coffee Morning’ on Friday 27th September. The event will be held in the Undercroft, over spilling onto the Terrace if the weather is good, between 10.am and 11.45am. You can support the event in the following ways:  Bake something scrumptious to sell (you are all fabulous at doing this)  Offer to help out on the day  Come along to have coffee on the day with lots of friends and relations (and you are all so good at this too!)  Spread the word amongst your local community Offers of help should be given to Jean Howard to coordinate and cakes/bakes should be delivered to the Undercroft either the afternoon before or by 10am on the day’

Our first review on tripadvisor!

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Music at St Andrew’s & St George’s West

Singing with Heart and Soul Sunday 8 September for 20 minutes after the 11am Service, for everyone Meet in the church around the piano. Led by Brigitte Harris

Music and Reflection Autumn Series People and Places 9 October at 1pm 16 October at 1pm 23 October at 1pm 30 October at 1pm

Alsace/Africa Albert Schweitzer America Abraham Lincoln Malawi Scandinavia

Brigitte Harris Chris Harding John Ramsay Mary Margaret Scott Ian Y Gilmour

A Choral Journey Join the Choir of St Andrew’s and St George’s West on a musical pilgrimage from Tallis to today The Choir of St Andrew’s and St George’s West Laura Cioffi, Clara Galea – flutes Chris Harding – piano directed by Brigitte Harris Friday, 4 October 2013 at 7.30pm in St Andrew’s and St George’s West Admission free 16 St Andrew’s and St George’s West Edinburgh September 2013 Diary and Newsletter www.stagw.org.uk


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God and the Edinburgh International Festival Peter Millar As I write this the annual Edinburgh International Festival of arts, music and drama is coming to a close. The festival started in 1947 and was planned to be a sign of reconciliation in a Europe so recently torn by war. It is now one of the biggest festivals of its kind in the world. There is the official Festival and for the last 33 years there has been the Fringe Festival which this year had over 2,500 separate shows. Alongside these festivals there is also the Edinburgh Book Festival and the Just Festival which used to be called the “festival of peace and spirituality.” Vast numbers of people from all over the world come to Edinburgh during August, and it’s true that the city’s old streets are “alive to the sound of music.” And looking down upon it all is Edinburgh Castle home to the famous military tattoo and one of Historic Scotland’s most visited buildings. These great events in Scotland’s capital bring to the fore the range and depth of human creativity. Through the centuries many writers and people of faith have reminded us of the basic truth that everything is shot through with the glory of God. The divine energy at the heart of matter: at every moment empowering the depth and range of human imagination. The Edinburgh Festival invites hundreds of thousands of people of different traditions and faiths to encounter in a great variety of ways the human condition both in its agony and ecstasy. It mirrors much of the goodness and bleakness of modern societies. It reminds us that we are part of a greater whole, intellectually, spiritually and in terms of our global inter-connectedness. The 2013 Festival has also had much to say about the future of the planet, global justice and the place of the arts in uncertain times. Such a torrent of creativity all in one place can be overpowering. 18 St Andrew’s and St George’s West Edinburgh September 2013 Diary and Newsletter www.stagw.org.uk


From the young jugglers on Edinburgh’s ancient High Street to the great orchestras of the world performing in many locations, all are engulfed in an almost indescribable outpouring of culture. One afternoon during the Festival I sat with some visiting friends in the beauty and calm of St Giles’ Cathedral right in the heart of the city. St Giles’ - the national church of the Scottish people - has been intimately linked to Scotland’s history for centuries and its stout walls reflect that story. The Cathedral (to which entrance is free!) was filled with visitors, many of whom were seated and listening to an amazingly gifted pianist from China. (Much of the Festival music in St Giles’ can also be heard freely – a wonderful part of the year-round out-reaching ministry of the congregation.) And as I sat within these ancient walls, I thought of how much the living Spirit of God is embedded within this great annual Festival. This moving, surprising Spirit, richly at work in an event like the Edinburgh Festival is sadly not recognised by some Christians. They see the whole thing as rather pagan and if not pagan as purely secular – meaning it’s godless. In my book, nothing could be further from the truth. More and more I feel that we have imprisoned God (however we understand that word) in structures of our own making. An example of this is that unless an event uses traditional religious language, symbols or beliefs, it is somehow not of Christ. What inspires me so much about many of the events within the Edinburgh Festival is that they take this world and our human condition seriously. They recognise that we are all people of depth, of awareness and also of contradiction. This is truly something to celebrate in our age of many doubts and questions, and it is perhaps why events like the Edinburgh Festival have never been more popular. Or more needed. Or more enjoyable. Read Peter’s monthly reflections at petermillarreflects.blogspot.co.uk

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St Andrew’s and St George’s West at Festival Time Sophie Bryer If you choose to pay a visit to St Andrew’s and St George’s West on George Street, there are many little-known treasures to be found. If you sit in the church and happen to let your gaze Sophie Bryer wander a while, you may find the beautifully decorated and original eighteenth century ceiling – or perhaps stumble across some of the most sublime stained glass in Edinburgh. If you find yourself “a really unique in need of good grub you may be allured by the place for a rising warmth of the Undercroft Café and performance” devour some of the finest soup on George Street. And last yet by no means least, since the refurbishment, I cannot encourage the idle wanderer enough to pay a visit to the majestic, new and improved, lavatories. With even the bathrooms welcoming you with their sensory lighting, this church and its facilities never fail to impress and satisfy.

Performers Yi-Dong and Eddie McGuire with Mary Scott (centre) our Festival Fringe convener 20 St Andrew’s and St George’s West Edinburgh September 2013 Diary and Newsletter www.stagw.org.uk


I believe I can afford to stop selling the church to you by now. If I indeed embark on informing another of its charm not only as a place of worship but also – particularly over the summer – as a festival venue, I am often stopped before I can continue on a complimenting rant with nods of “always a great agreements and enthusiastic place to play “Oh, we know!”s… looks and sounds I worked as fringe assistant to the venue for even better after three weeks over August, never as a chore, the refurbishment” but always warmly welcomed back as a familiar face – it having been the church of my childhood. The experience has proved valuable, even the days in which I sat below deck photocopying and folding programmes for the up and coming performances. I saw – indeed I was part of – the clockwork behind the scenes, contributing to the steady and consistent running of the church and venue as a whole, and throughout my time there, I can gladly say I was not warned once of anyone to ‘steer clear of’ in terms of their patience or approach as can often be the case entering into a new job. In fact it was quite the opposite, and two of the most regular faces I saw – Mary Margaret and Cathie – soon became, in my head at least, Cathie ‘the dependable’ and Mary ‘the omniscient’. Mary Margaret also taught me of the fitness required for such ‘behind the scenes’ work, and I often felt shown up by the rapid speed at which she made it from behind the stage door, through the Undercroft Café, and up to the foyer to ensure all ran smoothly – which, needless to say, it always did. I met a range of brilliantly talented performers, some of the friendliest strangers I’ll encounter let alone work with, and of course the consistently satisfied and impressed public. In all honesty, all I feel I’m able to finish with is that I hope to be fortunate enough to see you all again this time in 2014… Sophie Bryer 21 St Andrew’s and St George’s West Edinburgh September 2013 Diary and Newsletter www.stagw.org.uk


Bill Clinkenbeard, Professor Jim Cox and Ian Gilmour at our second Book Festival Fringe

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Making a difference in the world Arthur Chapman St Andrew’s and St George’s West has a mobile phone mast installed in our tower, for which we receive annual rental from Vodafone. We’re committed to giving away this income to good causes, both in Scotland and overseas. At the end of last year we gave donations to a broad range of charities including Five Talents Microfinance, the Edinburgh Peace and Justice Centre, Hadeel, and the Stafford Centre as well as funding university education for students in Malawi. This year we expect to have between £6000-8000 to allocate. This is a large sum and we are inviting proposals from the congregation for charities to support. The Wider Horizons Group will consider all submitted suggestions and take a proposal to a future Kirk Session. Please send suggestions by the end of September to Arthur Chapman, Convenor of the Wider Horizons Group

A big thank you from one of our charities last year 24 St Andrew’s and St George’s West Edinburgh September 2013 Diary and Newsletter www.stagw.org.uk


Thanks from our Fair Trade Stall Phyllis Thomson and Ruth Forrester Thanks to everyone who bought Kilombero Rice. We’ve now munched through a total of 270kg of rice and helped farmers in Malawi send their children to school. 270kg! How much is that? What do you think? Is it the weight of a person? a giant panda? or an elephant? Anyway, Just Trading Scotland, who import the rice from Malawi, have just been awarded lots of money from the Scottish Government to improve rice farming in Malawi – better seed, better drying facilities and better access to Scottish markets. So look out for … even more rice! And remember, if you’d like to lend a hand at our Fair Trade Stall (usually 2nd and 4th Sundays in the month) Ruth and Phyllis would love to hear from you. 25 St Andrew’s and St George’s West Edinburgh September 2013 Diary and Newsletter www.stagw.org.uk


Exhibition and campaign coming in September to St Andrew’s and St George’s West 26 St Andrew’s and St George’s West Edinburgh September 2013 Diary and Newsletter www.stagw.org.uk


Ageing and Spirituality Selda Dow In July I attended the 5th International Conference on Ageing and Spirituality which took place in Edinburgh. This conference continued a series of international conferences which began in Canberra, Australia in 2000. All have explored aspects of ageing and spirituality. The title of this year's conference was “Creativity, Resilience and Spiritual Care for Older People”. The three organisations which hosted the conference were the Scottish project Faith in Older People, the residential care provider Methodist Homes, and the Edinburgh-based Centre for Theology and Public Issues, which involves linking academic work to the surrounding community and beyond. Much of the discussion was centred on the problems associated with dementia. This is, understandably, still a great fear for most of us and as a result dementia sufferers are often isolated and feel forgotten about. It is time for the stigma associated with dementia to be lifted and the more positive aspects of spending time with dementia sufferers to be explored and better understood. Many “We all need elderly people, with or without dementia, community in can experience despair, often through later life” social isolation. Much importance in the 21st century is placed on individual achievement and goals, but we all need community in later life. A definition of spirituality was given by Dr Elizabeth MacKinlay of Charles Sturt University, Canberra, Australia. The meaning of spirituality, she writes, can be mediated through religion, close relationships with other people and/or God, and creativity and the arts. Spirituality has been shown to promote mental and physical 27 St Andrew’s and St George’s West Edinburgh September 2013 Diary and Newsletter www.stagw.org.uk


health and to lower anxiety about ageing. Dementia sufferers can have spiritual feelings too, though they may not be able to find the words to express them. For example, some will be able to participate in the communion even at an advanced stage. I was especially impressed by the work of John Swinton, Professor in Practical Theology and Pastoral Care at Aberdeen University. Professor Swinton talked about how dementia sufferers fear being forgotten – not only by people but for some by God as well. Friends and other visitors often stop visiting, “To be a person is perhaps because they are afraid of to be remembered the dementia. This leads to further properly” loss of identity, and is essentially “a failure of community”. To be a person, he said, is to be remembered properly. John Swinton also talked about how the body can remember, even when the mind cannot. This point was at a later stage illustrated by the showing of a film in which elderly people with dementia danced to the sensual music of Leonard Cohen, some with just small movements, but others moving freely around the floor. All had expressions of joy on their faces. It was as if their bodies' memories had taken over, lifting them out of and away from their current situation. Another theme explored by Dr MacKinlay was how creativity can be a key to resilience in later life. The very elderly have shown that they can learn a musical instrument, compose poetry and enjoy gardening. Engagement in creativity, it was said, is much more than just doing activities. It can lead to a significant

“Creativity can be a key to resilience in later life”

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reduction of depression levels with better health, and a higher level of social engagement. We all need to understand the need just to be there for people with dementia. If you can find joy and laughter even for a moment with someone who is deeply forgetful, it has been shown that this can give that person a sense of calm for some time after. And the beneficial effects of music on dementia sufferers are already well known. Anne Hewitt, an eldercare chaplain from the Uniting Church in Australia, talked about how she conducts services in care homes for the elderly. She suggested the use of visual images such as photographs of beautiful places, the use always of a microphone to give light and shade (and volume) to the voice, and the use of visual, aural and tactile props (for example a cross to be held in the hand). These can all provoke different reactions. “You can change lives at a late stage” was her view. Anne Hewitt also spoke about the problems associated with conducting these services. She described (with great humour) how the vacuum cleaner may start up just as the service is about to begin, or the staff appear with medication, or one of the members need some other form of attention, but if you persevere you will succeed!

“You can change lives at a late stage”

Here are some quotes from people with dementia, according to John Killick, a freelance writer with a special interest in the subject. They illustrate how people with dementia can express themselves, given the chance, and how important it is that they should be encouraged to do so. Three quotes: “I'm getting better at forgetting.” “I have no worries about tomorrow.” “I have a licence to be free.” 29 St Andrew’s and St George’s West Edinburgh September 2013 Diary and Newsletter www.stagw.org.uk


We are all getting older. We will probably rely increasingly on a sense of community. In community we are not alone. Some of us may develop dementia. This conference made it clear that dementia needs to be seen not as something strange and frightening to be avoided but as a disability with which we all need to become more familiar. There was a sense of hope at this conference that this, in time, can be achieved. Thanks to St Andrew’s and St George’s West for making it possible for me to attend this conference and to share the conference findings with everyone. Selda Dow

Tuesdays with Morrie “a book to be shared with special people” “one of the most inspiring books I have ever read” Ray Baxter would like to draw together an all-age reading group to read and discuss this book. Interested? Have a word with Ray, or leave your name and contact details with the office. If you’d like to co-ordinate the group, even better!

30 St Andrew’s and St George’s West Edinburgh September 2013 Diary and Newsletter www.stagw.org.uk


31 St Andrew’s and St George’s West Edinburgh September 2013 Diary and Newsletter www.stagw.org.uk


Islamic Civilisation Lecture Series Autumn 2013 Garden and Landscape Design in Safavid Iran and Mughal India Fri 4 Oct 6pm at the Royal Botanic Gardens, Edinburgh Writing About Music in Middle Eastern Traditions Tue 29 Oct, 7pm at St Cecelia's Hall “Dancing Under the Beloved’s Sword": classical mystic poetry in modern Iran Thurs 14 Nov, 6pm Scottish Poetry Library “The sense of the original”. Translating the Qur’an in the West Wed 4 Dec, 6pm at the The Playfair Library, Old College Lectures are free but booking is essential. Full details at http://www.ed.ac.uk/schools-departments/literatureslanguages-cultures/alwaleed/islamic-civilisation/islamicci2013

Gifford Lectures 2013-14 Lord Williams of Oystermouth will deliver this year's Gifford Lecture Series on 4, 5, 7, 11, 12, and 14 November 2013 in the Assembly Hall. The series will be entitled 'Making representations: religious faith and the habits of language' Lectures are free but booking is essential. Full details at http://www.ed.ac.uk/schoolsdepartments/humanities-soc-sci/newsevents/lectures/gifford-lectures 32 St Andrew’s and St George’s West Edinburgh September 2013 Diary and Newsletter www.stagw.org.uk


Prayer workshops in Edinburgh Tuning in with Creation. This weekend retreat offers a uniquely personal connection to the creation stories that we have inherited – using words from Genesis and Proverbs in the Old Testament. These stories are shared by the Middle Eastern traditions. 13-15 September £55 (£45 concession) To Book and for more information contact: Jenny Williams Tel: 0131 447 0050 butterfly.greenleaf@gmx.net

Singing Spirit into our Lives 2nd Sunday of the month 2pm-6pm at Morningside United Church Praying with the whole of my being Praying with Aramaic Sounds of the Lord’s Prayer (1) Praying with Aramaic Sounds of the Lord’s Prayer (2)

Oct 13th Nov 10th Dec 8th

£15 (£10) pay on the day but please do book in advance. For more information and to book please contact Jenny Williams jennywilliams@morningsideunitedchurch.org.uk Tel 0131 447 0050

Festival of Prayer 19th October in Haddington a chance to taste different ways of praying, walk a labyrinth, with keynote address by Ray Simpson from Lindisfarne. http://www.brfonline.org.uk/festival-of-prayeredinburgh/ 33 St Andrew’s and St George’s West Edinburgh September 2013 Diary and Newsletter www.stagw.org.uk


The Prayer To Our Father (translated from first century Aramaic) Abwûn "Oh Thou, from whom the breath of life comes, d'bwaschmâja who fills all realms of sound, light and vibration. Nethkâdasch schmach May Your light be experienced in my utmost holiest. Têtê malkuthach. Your Heavenly Domain approaches. Nehwê tzevjânach aikâna d'bwaschmâja af b'arha. Let Your will come true - in the universe (all that vibrates) just as on earth (that is material and dense). Hawvlân lachma d'sûnkanân jaomâna. Give us wisdom (understanding, assistance) for our daily need, Waschboklân chaubên wachtahên aikâna daf chnân schwoken l'chaijabên. detach the fetters of faults that bind us, (karma) like we let go the guilt of others. Wela tachlân l'nesjuna Let us not be lost in superficial things (materialism, common temptations), ela patzân min bischa. but let us be freed from that what keeps us off from our true purpose. Metol dilachie malkutha wahaila wateschbuchta l'ahlâm almîn. From You comes the all-working will, the lively strength to act, the song that beautifies all and renews itself from age to age. Amên. Sealed in trust, faith and truth. (I confirm with my entire being) 34 St Andrew’s and St George’s West Edinburgh September 2013 Diary and Newsletter www.stagw.org.uk


Last look…

35

Thanks to Andy McLauchlan, one of our caretakers, for this photo of his grandparents. The location of the photo was a family mystery – until Andy joined us this year and realised that it was taken on the steps of what was then St Andrew’s Church. Anyone recognise the chap in the background? St Andrew’s and St George’s West Edinburgh September 2013 Diary and Newsletter www.stagw.org.uk


St Andrew’s and St George’s West, 13 George Street Edinburgh EH2 2PA 0131 225 3847 www.stagw.org.uk Office open Church open Undercroft Café

Mon - Fri 9am - 4pm Mon - Fri 10am - 3pm Mon - Fri 10am - 2pm

Sunday worship 9am, 9.45am, 11am Weekday worship 1pm Monday – Friday Minister

Rev Ian Y Gilmour

Joint Session Clerks

George Burgess Barbara Finlayson

Joint Treasurers

John Innes Allan Sim

Director of Music

Brigitte Harris

Church manager

Jean Howard 0131 225 3847 churchmanager@stagw.org.uk

Church secretary

Joyce Garland (Tuesday, Thursday, Friday) 0131 225 3847 info@standrewsandstgeorges.org.uk

TOGETHER Chair TOGETHER City Centre Chaplain

Ian Gilmour Tony Bryer 0131 229 6542 or 07834 748129 tbryer.wpcscotland@gmail.com

TOGETHER Trustees from St Andrew’s and St George’s West Frances Cooper, James McNeill (secretary) and Bill Morrison St Andrew’s and St George's West Church of Scotland, Edinburgh is a registered charity. Charity number SC 008990. 36 St Andrew’s and St George’s West Edinburgh September 2013 Diary and Newsletter www.stagw.org.uk

St Andrew's and St George's West, Edinburgh September 2013 Newsletter  
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