March 2011 - St Johns by pengxiang

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									St John’s Ministry Team

The Very Revd Canon Dr John Armes              Rector                   225 5004
                                        john.armes@stjohns-edinburgh.org.uk
                                        Day off usually Friday
The Revd Donald Reid                    Associate Rector                 466 2461
                                        donald.reid@stjohns-edinburgh.org.uk
                                        Day off usually Thursday
The Revd Shona Boardman                 Assistant Curate           07939 305664
                                        shona.boardman@stjohns-edinburgh.org.uk
                                        Day off usually Friday
The Revd Professor Kenneth Boyd           Associate Minister              225 6485
The Revd Clephane Hume                    Associate Minister              667 2996
The Revd Professor Freda Alexander        Associate Minister              557 4474
Amanda Wright                             Lay Reader & Sacristan          317 1252




In this Issue
 3    From the Rector: - Lenten duty or Lenten joy
 6    Retreat in Daily Life
 7    The sardine tin
 8    My favourite Psalm – Anne Booth Clibborn
 9    Notes from a wild garden – George Harris
10    Stories from a sabbatical – Donald Reid
13    From Glory to Glory – choral worship at St John’s – Andrew Wright
15    Edinburgh Clothing Store – Irene MacKenzie
16    Christian Aid – the wider picture – Sue Sellar
19    Congregational News
21    Charity Sunday – Network Rwanda, March 6th –Winifred Wyse
22    Vestry Report – Alistair Dinnie
23    The new development; can we do it? –Marion Goldsmith
24    Notes from St John’s Gardening Group – Fred Mobeck
26    St John’s Walking Group – Veronica Harris
27    Temptation and Denial – what would Jesus do? –Ben Murray
28    Together Christian Aid – Sue Sellar
      News from TOGETHER – Robert Philp; Joe Evans
29    Electing a new Bishop – Malcolm Goldsmith
31    From the Terrace
34    Readings and Rotas


                                           2
                        From the Rector –
                        Lenten Duty or Lenten Joy

                           The arrival of Lent this year coincides with the
                           darkening cloud of economic austerity. It is
                           hard not to confuse the two. Some political
                           leaders have been speaking with relish of the
need to tighten our belts. ‘We’ve been living beyond our means,’ they
tell us, ‘it’s time we learned some of the virtues of “make do and mend”
that our grandparents understood only too well.’

There is more than a hint of sentimentality about this. For many of us,
delaying the purchase of a new car or cutting back to one holiday a
year, or occasionally shopping in Lidl rather than Sainsbury’s is hardly
the end of the world. Conspicuous frugality is a game we may enjoy
playing for a while. It is rather like the way we can approach Lent.
‘Let’s do without chocolate, let’s cut out the alcohol and, isn’t it
wonderful, we’ll lose weight and save money too! And when it’s all
over we can get back to normal.’

Not so much fun, of course, if the public spending cuts have put you
out of work, or if the VAT rise puts you just the wrong side of solvency.
Austerity will cut very deep for some – and in my observation
(admittedly unsystematic) it is already people at the bottom of the pile
who are most profoundly affected. For some there may be no getting
back to normal.

So, I want to affirm that Lent is not about playing at austerity, any more
than it is about making ourselves suffer or losing weight. It is rather
about readjusting our priorities for a while so that we come to realize
what is truly important to us.

                                     3
Sometimes we give things up for Lent. On a more superficial level this
allows us, as Brother Lawrence put it, to ‘practice the presence of
God.’ For example, if we have given up chocolate, every time we
refuse a chocolate biscuit we remember that we are denying ourselves
something we enjoy for the sake of Someone who means far more to
us than chocolate.

On a more profound level, we may give up something that is getting
between us and God, or something that is damaging us, destroying our
relationships, making us less than the person God calls us to be. It
could be alcohol or some other addiction that we need to address. Or
it may be that we have developed an unhealthy working pattern which
limits our time with the people who matter most to us. We might
decide not to spend that extra hour in the office at the end of the day,
or to take less work home, or to take a proper break at lunchtime. Or,
we may decide to start doing something for the community, or review
our energy use, or take more care of our physical health.

The old fashioned word for this is ‘discipline’. Lent is an opportunity to
reflect on our lives and to adopt new disciplines which honour all that
God has given to us and become new patterns of life even when Lent
is finished.

The trouble is that the idea of discipline has negative connotations. It
reminds us of school and rules and being told off. But I remember one
Lent feeling worn down with duty and totally lacking in joy. The wise
advice I received then was to find something each day that gave me
delight. At first, so duty driven had I become, it was hard to find things
to delight in. But then, gradually, I loosened up; a glass of good wine
one day, watching live football on TV the next, or a long hot bath, or a
telephone call to an old friend, or reading a good book. It was
liberating. Gradually, joy insinuated itself into my life again and when
Easter came I was ready to celebrate.



                                    4
Not very Lenten? In its own way this was as much about discipline as
any number of Lenten resolutions to give things up. The Christian life
is about duty but before anything else it is about joy.

Celebrating our volunteers

Lent is a penitential season… which makes it hard for people like me
who do not like services which go on and on about sin. Lent two years
ago I felt was a bit morose so last year we brightened it up, bringing
accusations of Lent Lite. So, further adjustments this year.

But it does seem a good opportunity also to reflect on some the things
that make St John’s the community it is. So, for the first five Sundays
of Lent, at 10.30am, we shall be reflecting on the contribution made by
different groups who are so much a part of our life that we sometimes
do not see them. As follows –

March 13th        Our Eco identity – Presentation of our Eco-
                  Congregation Award
March 20th        Our Pastoral Visitors
March 27th        Our Sunday Worship Teams (hospitality, creativity and
                  liturgy)
April 3rd         Our Sunday School Leaders (Mothering Sunday)
April 10th        Our Guardians

Please note, this is not an exhaustive list. But it is a start.

                                                                    John Armes

Lent Study Groups
Information can be found, in due course on ecumenical@cathedral.net These
start on Monday March 14th using material from Churches Together in Britain
and Ireland – see www.ctbi.org.uk/520

Stop Press – The leader of our Three Hours Devotion on Good Friday (April
22nd) will be the Revd Kathy Galloway, Director of Christian Aid, Scotland and a
former Leader of the Iona Community.
                                       5
                              ‘Retreat in Daily Life’




                  Get Ready for Lent: Get Ready for Spring
                Monday February 28th to Sunday March 6th 2011

 A time to pause, reflect and recharge your batteries; to get in touch with
       what brings you life and what is draining or out of balance.

          Begins at Mr Squirrel’s Nursery, 27 Cargil Terrace, Trinity
                     On Monday February 28th 7.30-9.00pm
            Ends with a final celebration on Sunday March 6th 7pm


In between you pray and reflect for whatever time you can manage in your busy
 daily life. And there are daily individual meetings with a trained retreat guide,
 for about 30 minutes. The time and place of the daily meetings will be arranged
                             to suit you and your guide.


 Flier and more info from:
 Trudy Shaw, 93 Springfield, Edinburgh, EH6 5SD
 0131-553-1247 gmwash@tiscali.co.uk or see www.epiphanygroup.org.uk


                  Open to members of all faiths and none!


 Offered and supported by The Epiphany Group - an ecumenical body of
men and women offering spiritual accompaniment, training in spiritual direction
 and retreats. It is formed in the spirituality of the Ignatian Spiritual Exercises.




                                         6
The sardine tin

Our February Mural was painted for Holocaust Memorial Day. At the centre is a
little sardine tin lamp. This belonged to Ernest Levy who, as a young man
survived seven different concentration camps under the Nazis. The tin itself
was discarded by a German soldier and Ernest fashioned it into a lamp which
gave a tiny light – but often the only light available in the prison. At the time
Ernest felt very distant from God, but that lamp later came to symbolize for him
hope even in the darkest places. Holocaust Memorial Day is not just about the
Nazi genocide but encourages reflection on the prejudice that leads human
beings to destroy others. In this mural the sardine tin helps to tell a story of
both of human failure and of human resilience.

                                                       Mural photo: Marjory Currie




                                       7
My favourite Psalm

My eleven year old granddaughter came back from
school the other week to show us a copy of the New
Testament and Psalms that she had been given by
a visiting speaker – I think possibly the Gideons. It was attractively produced
but I wondered how, and if, she would read it. To encourage her I said that I
would suggest parts that I especially valued. I highlighted passages which
talked of God’s coming to us in love.
I had no hesitation in which Psalm to choose. The 103 rd Psalm has been our
‘family’ Psalm for several generations and, from my childhood I can remember it
being read at times of transition – the death of my grandfather, my leaving to go
into the army, the birth of babies, and as a comfort at funerals.
Growing up in the Church of Scotland Psalms meant the metrical ones set to
music, but the 103rd was always read aloud and the cadences were music in
themselves. ‘Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits’. Right at
the start there was thanksgiving for all the good things that surround us, and
have from the past. This is a God who forgives us, who heals us, who satisfies
us and renews us like eagles; but he is also a God who has a passion for
justice, and cares for the oppressed and calls us to share his passion.

The soaring words like ‘as the heavens are high above the earth so great is his
steadfast love’ and ‘as far as the east is from the west so far has he removed
our transgressions’ are balanced by the intimate picture of the father with his
compassion who ‘knows how we are made’ We mortals are like grass or a
passing flower, but God’s steadfast love is from everlasting to everlasting.

The Psalm ends with a shout of confidence that joins us to the ‘angels, the
mighty ones who do his bidding …the hosts, the ministers, and all his works in
all places of his dominion. Bless the Lord O my soul’.

This is a Psalm which has spoken to me when I have been in dark places,
whose imagery has carried me forward in living the mystery, and which has held
together the fallible human being that I am with the whole of creation in the
forgiving love of God.

This is an Enduring Melody that needs no tune.
                                                            Anne Booth-Clibborn
                                        8
Notes from a wild garden                 – February

(15 mins walk from the West End)

Notes from a wild garden

There are more things in heaven and earth and in wild gardens than are
mentioned in our philosophy. A few days ago a length of backbone appeared,
lying by the pond. There were no ribs attached and it had been picked clean.
From the size I would guess cat or fox, but lack the expertise to know.

One of the recommended features of a garden for wild life is plenty of hiding
places where creatures can lurk. You need the courage of your convictions to
be able to justify them to tidy gardeners who see them as a mess. But the
creepy crawlies love them. We have two piles of brushwood, some heavy
shrubbage behind which no one has ever been, thick ivy over the garage and
                                   piles of dead leaves behind the hedge.
                                   Baby amphibians need somewhere to hide
                                   as soon as they emerge from the pond, for
                                   example, and I once found a dozen little
                                   newts clustered under the same stone.
                                   Peacock and small tortoiseshell butterflies
                                   need somewhere to hibernate. Some
                                   residents are less welcome, like the fox,
                                   which could be smelt from a considerable
distance (it’s gone now). I always hope that a wren might nest in one of the
wood piles; it has not happened yet, though I have seen them inspecting the
location.

Native plants had no trouble coping with the frost and snow. As it melted, there
were revealed fresh leaves budding up from the foxgloves and primroses. But at
this time of year the wild garden is still mostly about birds. I have a note in my
diary for last February saying “black cap”. I refused to believe this, until I read in
our most recent bird book “Increasingly seen at garden bird feeders in late
winter”. But we have been visited by a flock of siskins. They like the nyger seed
put out for goldfinches, and there have been some most unseemly squabbles
round the feeder. As for the sparrows, they empty the “ordinary” feeder in 24
hours.
                                                           George Harris
                                          9
Stories from a sabbatical

After a few days with a diocesan group in the city of Espoo (adjacent to Helsinki
in Finland), the first leg of my travels on sabbatical took me via Tallinn to
Moldova and Romania and then across Bulgaria by train to the great imperial
city of Istanbul. There could hardly be a route more starkly contrasting the
differences within Europe today.

Helsinki, a cold northern capital with a lugubrious people who have emerged
from the dominance of powerful neighbours. Finland today is ordered and
prosperous and while the established Church of Finland reflects both these
qualities, it is also true that, given how few people attend church, one wonders
what the role for Christianity is in such an affluent society. And is there a
correlation between decline in church attendance and affluence?

Here we are on the eastern edge of austere Protestant Europe, where it begins
to shade into the altogether different ethos of Orthodoxy with its colour, smell
and sensational richness. My travels will take me to the historic centre of
Orthodoxy - Constantinople - but also will mean for me a re-visiting of places
and people who have been formative influences in my own life and
conversion. I have stayed once before in Helsinki, in a modern city apartment
of a Finnish Orthodox Archbishop whom I met at a European Churches
conference in Geneva in 1992 - when the eastern churches were expressing
alarm about the influx of missionaries from ‘the West’ to Orthodox lands,
ignoring or usurping these ancient church communities.

In past centuries, perhaps, such interference would have been cause for violent
conflict. Now, thank God, there is ecumenical co-operation and a new Europe
which is at peace.

The modernity – and the reasonableness? - of Europe was exemplified for me
in a discussion in a bar in Tallinn where Kristjan, a young rationally-minded
professional, suggested that religious ways of thinking were ‘old’ and whilst
appropriate for their times, had now been superseded. Ann, his fiancée, was
not so sure. Is religion a medieval relic – a bit like Tallinn itself – or has it
relevance today to people like Kristjan? If the old forms are disappearing, what
is taking their place? How do people like Kristjan and Ann express their
‘spirituality’ and what keeps them going in dark times?           But even as I

                                       10
pondered that question I was aware that the friendly conversation itself had
raised my spirits as I set out on my lone journey.

                              Next to Moldova (former Soviet Republic) and
                              Moldavia (in north eastern Romania). These are
                              the same people divided         by a cold war
                              border. Plans to re-unite have been scuppered by
                              Romania’s accession to the European Union, even
                              as neighbouring Moldova sank into turmoil –
corruption, organized crime, arms dealing, human trafficking. The capital
Chisinau is calmer today, but capital now only of half Moldova’s territory after a
civil war splintered the country in two. The main street is a Soviet boulevard
with Stalinist buildings, parks for the people and – in these capitalist days –
innumerable mobile phone shops and currency exchanges. Oh, and I was in a
hotel next to a huge new shopping centre called Mall Dova. All I wanted was a
decent café.

Though close, the journey from Chisinau to Iasi means ‘entering Europe’,
delayed by security checks as we loitered under the fluttering Romanian and
EU flags. My companions in the crowded minibus were heading for a medical
conference in lasi, nervously clutching visas for Europe. ‘lasi’ in October means
                                            two things: the nascent ‘Iasi
                                            International Film Festival’ and the
                                            feast of Saint Parascheva and
                                            celebrations marking the founding of
                                            the      cavernous        Metropolitan
                                            Cathedral.

                                            Vespers in the mesmerizing Church
                                            of the Three Hierarchs is a sublime
                                            experience and as pilgrims gathered
                                            for the feast of St Parascheva, it is
                                            clear that here religion is deeply
                                            embedded in the identity of the
                                            people. Thousands queue daily to
                                            venerate the relics of the saint – one
                                            source estimates a million in total
                                            will do so. The Moldavian Churches
                                            are picture postcard perfect, with
                                            their painted frescoes on external as
                                       11
well as interior walls. It is a far cry from the minimalism of Finnish Protestantism
and even the marbled modernity of western Catholicism. In these atmospheric
Orthodox Churches it is as if you are in darkened catacombs, surrounded by the
faithful, alive and departed.

At the other festival I saw a wonderful film I have since recommended to the
Edinburgh Filmhouse: ‘Buna! Ce faci?’ (‘Hello! How are you?’). A wonderful,
funny, insightful film about a married couple
facing boredom in their relationship, each
flirting online with a stranger who turns out to
be…Pre-war Iasi was a major Jewish centre
with 127 synagogues but in the pogroms of
1941 the sizeable Jewish community all but
disappeared. At the Jewish Cemetery
overlooking the city I met a Jewish couple who
had lived through these times and had
returned from living in Israel.

Some speak of Bucharest as the Paris of the
East. Many gracious buildings do indeed
exhibit French influence and to emphasis the
point Ceausescu had constructed a 3.2km tree and fountain lined boulevard,
deliberately 6m longer than the Champs Elysees. His wedding cake ‘Palace of
Parliament’, the second largest building in the world with 3100 rooms, stands at
the western end of the boulevard, a monument to his ambition. But the
language sounds more like a cross between Italian and Esperanto (nu
blocati intersectia = do not block the intersection) and there must be some
(Roman) reason why there is a statue of a wolf suckling the babes Romulus
and Remus in central Bucharest.

                                Train is the way to travel in this part of the world,
                                though I baulk a bit at the thought of the 23 hour
                                journey through Bulgaria to Istanbul… the next
                                stop.

                                                                 Donald Reid




                                        12
From Glory to Glory – Choral Worship at St John’s

St John’s is a place of worship; many other things happen in and from our
building but at its core, beating rhythmically, is the worship of God as revealed
to us in the person of Jesus, the Christ. This worship takes on many forms: the
weekday morning office, reflecting on the Word and interceding for the needs of
the world in the day ahead; daily Worship at One, an oasis in the middle of the
working day; the weekly Holy Communion services from the Scottish Book of
Common Prayer that unite us in the body of Christ and whose language
reminds us of the heritage and fellowship we share with our brothers and sisters
through the ages; the weekly Prayer Time that complements our activity in
seeking for social justice by spending time together in silence bringing those
concerns before God.

At the centre of all of this are our Sunday services: the 8am Holy Communion
(Scottish Book of Common Prayer); the 10.30 Sung Eucharist, the main
gathering of the mystical body that is the Church of St John the Evangelist; and
the choral services which envelop it – Matins and Evensong. It is these services
on which I reflect in this article.

                     Perhaps it would be helpful, to make things very clear, to
                     start out by saying something that I believe these services
                     are not – they are not choral performances for the
                     enjoyment of those who are in attendance. Our experience
                     of God can be understood in 2 general ways – experience of
                     a God who is very real, present and imminent and
                     experience of a God who is somehow beyond that, who
                     transcends our normal sensual experience.

 In Matins and Evensong, two of the ancient ‘offices’ of the church, we bring
ourselves into the presence of that transcendent God. As worship begins the
procession of the choir and clergy provides for us a visual symbol of our
approach into God’s presence; the worship focuses heavily on the Word: read
from scripture and sung in the psalms, canticles and anthems. The vehicle that
carries us into this presence is the music that is offered and the words that are
read – this is participation at a spiritual level in which we are invited to let go our
more usual methods of involvement, such as speaking or singing, and enter into
a more contemplative partaking. In this way of being, of experiencing God, we

                                          13
listen not to the music which has been our vehicle, but through the words and
music to God in whose presence we find ourselves.

It would, however, be self-indulgent to do nothing more than this and to simply
bask in this glory. We need to respond to this experience of God and this we do
in a more conventional way: we join together in words used by Christians since
the 5th Century, the Apostles’ Creed and we pray together the Lord’s Prayer and
closing versicles and responses. The service ends with a choral response to the
readings that we heard earlier in the service and then, as symbolically as we
began, the service draws to a close.

Having been drawn into God’s presence we are turned around, literally so in the
movement of the choir as they turn and process again out of the building, and
we too are sent back out into the world. Sent out having experienced something
of God’s transcendent glory to reflect, to live and perhaps even to be that glory
in the world that we serve as Jesus’ body here on earth. To share with those
that we encounter in our regular living an experience of the God who is not only
transcendent but who is here and now, who is imminent and who lives and
moves and has being among us.

So if your main experience of worship is one of the services listed at the
beginning of this article, perhaps I might encourage you to try a new
experience. Choral Matins is directly before the Sung Eucharist and begins at
9.30 on all but the 1st Sunday in the month and Choral Evensong happens
every Sunday at 6.00pm. It would be good to share the experience with you.
                                                               Andrew Wright




                                       14
Edinburgh Clothing Store
What is the Edinburgh Clothing Store?
The Edinburgh Clothing Store (ECS) is a charity, run by volunteers, which offers
free donated clothing and shoes, bedding, towels and soft furnishings to people
in genuine need.
Who can use the Clothing Store?
The ECS is for individuals and families who are on low income or otherwise
vulnerable through personal circumstances.
What makes this free service possible?
In two words, volunteers and donations. The ECS is run entirely by volunteers.
What can you do to help?
With around 1,500 people referred to the Store annually, donations of money
and clothing, bedding, curtains and towels are always needed.
All good quality, clean, fashionable clothing and good quality, clean bedding,
curtains and towels are gratefully received during the Store’s opening hours or
uplift can be arranged.
Is everything second hand?
Most of the stock is second hand which is sorted and checked before it goes on
the shelves. New underwear and socks are bought regularly and occasionally
there are other new items.
Nothing is wasted
Unsuitable items are sold for rags and the money received is used to buy new
underwear, socks and items which are in short supply
How do people get referred to this service?
Anyone needing the help of the ECS has to be referred by a social care or
health agency, through whom an appointment to come to the Store will be
made.
How can members of the Churches help?
By delivering to the Clothing Store clean, unwanted clothing and shoes, bedding
and towels and soft furnishings like curtains.
The Clothing Store is situated at 156 Lower Granton Road, EH5 1EY.
Or phone Irene MacKenzie, one of the Store’s Trustees, (Tel: 0131 315 2113)
who will arrange an uplift from your house.
                                      15
Christian Aid – the wider picture
Christian Aid’s vision is to end poverty. It is a Christian organisation that deeply
believes the world can be changed to one where everyone can live a full life,
free from poverty. Christian Aid works globally to eradicate the causes of
poverty, working towards equality, dignity and freedom for all, whatever their
faith or nationality. Within Scotland, Christian Aid is one of the largest voluntary
organisations, with over 600 volunteer groups and thousands of volunteers who
work all year round to bring the vision of Christian Aid to reality. Christian Aid
Scotland makes sure that its campaigning priorities are represented in the
Scottish Government and Parliament, where relevant. A recent success was
the passing of a strong Scottish Climate Change Act in June 2009.

Christian Aid News
Christian Aid Week 2010 raised around £13.3 million across the UK, well up on
the previous year’s total. This has meant that Christian Aid’s partners in
Matopeni, Nairobi, Kenya have been able to provide new drainage for the
residents there. You can read all about the progress of this project at
www.christianaid.org.uk/whatwedo/matopeni-slum-project/index.aspx. Here is a
short extract from the diary:

                         Matopeni Diary: Having campaigned to bring clean
                         water and good sanitation to the settlement, Arise and
                         Shine, a community group for women living in Matopeni,
                         will play an important role in maintaining the drains and
                         taps. Leadership training has been provided to women
                         within the group to help them take on this role. They will
                         receive further information in early 2011 about Kenyan
                         laws regarding hygiene and the environment to ensure
that the facilities are run in a way that is both legal and benefits the whole
community.

While Arise and Shine have played a central role in securing support for this
project, other groups are also keen to be involved in work that will transform
their lives. Along with members of two other community organisations, women


                                        16
from Arise and Shine will be attending further training in health and hygiene to
reduce the incidence of diseases caused by poor sanitation.

Here is the story of one family whose lives have been transformed by the
project: Blessing Kithuku and her grandmother Lydia are looking forward to
better health in 2011. Charles Kithuku, whose daughter Blessing was seriously
ill with typhoid last year, says, ‘Life can change if people are educated. Once
you get educated, you know how to live and protect your surroundings.’ With
the community’s new drains now complete, work is beginning on bringing clean
water to the settlement and training people to manage their new facilities.

News from Haiti
                            It’s just over twelve months since an earthquake
                            struck Haiti on 12 January 2010, killing over
                            230,000 people and leaving millions homeless.
                            Christian Aid has been working through its partners
                            to respond to the needs of the people most
                            affected by the devastation, helping them rebuild
                            their lives. Working through local organisations,
                            they have been supporting more than 60,000
people whose lives and livelihoods were shattered. Here are the stories of
some of the people that Christian Aid has helped.
A house of rocks and mud. On 12 January 2010 Dinoi Fede returned home
from work to find a deep gash in the earth running along the entire side of his
house. The earthquake had struck – and destroyed what mattered to him most:
his family home. It wasn’t a surprise that his house collapsed in the quake,
given that it was made from a flimsy combination of rocks and mud. So he went
with his family to stay in the local church, spending two weeks there with more
than 100 other people.

Dinoi spent three weeks rebuilding his home, once again using rocks and mud
to construct a simple dwelling with two rooms and an outside area for cooking.
But this has not solved his problems; the family is concerned that the ground is
unstable so they spend their days there but sleep in a camp up the hill at night.

Since the earthquake, Dinoi has been supported by Christian Aid partner
GARR. It has provided him with household goods including cooking pots,
kitchen items and blankets.


                                       17
My house is ‘twisted’: Samantha Cofi, aged 8, described her house as ‘twisted’.
A scrawl of paint on the front wall shows that it is been classified as ‘yellow’,
which in the simple identification system of red, yellow and green means her
house is in need of repairs before it is fully safe to live in.

However, Samantha’s mother Tania has no choice but to shelter her family in
this unsafe house. The walls move when you touch them, and one wall leans
precariously outwards.

New houses, new hope: In 2011, both of these families will receive new,
hurricane-proof and earthquake-resistant homes, with the help of Christian Aid
partners GARR and SSID.

Christian Aid’s emergencies work

2010 was an extraordinarily difficult year for emergencies and disasters. We
grumble about how we have suffered from the effects of the climate this year in
Scotland, but our sufferings are totally insignificant compared with the floods
and droughts that have affected some of the world’s poorest communities:

    Monsoon floods in Pakistan which left an area the size of the UK flooded
     and over 20 million homeless
    Monsoon floods in Northern India which displaced 10 million people and
     destroyed 250,000 hectares of farmland
    A cycle of drought, flood and irregular harvest in West Africa which meant
     that people lost their herds of animals and their crops and were forced to
     scavenge for food, surviving on wild leaves and seeds and drinking dirty
     water.

How can you help?

You can support Christian Aid events run by St John’s and by the City Centre
Churches Together Committee – see elsewhere for news of events coming up
this year. You can donate to Christian Aid on a regular basis: see their
websitewww.christianaid.org.uk. You can get involved in fund-raising events,
challenge yourself and challenge poverty!

There are challenges to suit everyone, from the London to Paris Bike Ride to
the Offa’s Dyke Night Hike. For a full listing of all the challenges for 2011, see
the Christian Aid website.

                                                               Sue Sellar
                                       18
HEARTBEAT

St John’s community
at the heart of the city, at the heart of the nation

Congregational News
The Bishop’s Lent Appeal this year is to be shared between Child Survival in
Malawi and St Columba’s Hospital rebuild scheme.

The Corner Stone Coffee House 40 Years on: The Corner
Stone was set up in May 1971, as a late night coffee house outreach project,
under the auspices of the Council of West End Churches, a forerunner of
TOGETHER. The band of helpers was sizeable and though now more
               scattered, many still keep in touch. Arrangements are in
               hand to mark the 40th anniversary with a reunion of ex
               helpers. There will be an informal lunch on Sunday 5 June,
               following the TOGETHER Joint Service at St John’s.

                If you helped with The Corner Stone in any way and have not
                already received details of the preliminary arrangements for the
reunion, please contact Clephane Hume cah@clephane.plus.com

Kathleen Johnson John Burdett writes: “Kathleen Johnson was one of six
sisters and devoted to her mother and father. I suspect that it was only after her
mother’s death that she felt free to marry Ian. She was fond of dancing and
gardening and tennis. In fact I believe it was tennis that brought her and Ian
together. After their marriage Kitty must have had a very full life, in common
with the lives of most GP’s wives. Apart from tennis, she and Ian shared a love
of walking and mountains. They moved to Edinburgh soon after Ian retired, but
                     sadly, Ian soon started to become increasingly disabled
                     and Kitty devoted her life to caring for him. It was during
                     that time that I first got to know them, and I remember
                     being concerned that Kitty seemed to be becoming
                     increasingly exhausted, while at the same time remaining
resolutely cheerful – at least when I was there.


                                       19
Not long after Ian died, Kitty’s sister, Marjorie, was diagnosed with cancer, and
when she came out of hospital after treatment she lived with Kitty for some
months, making great demands on Kitty’s patience.
It was at this time, I think, that Kitty’s mind began to fail, and she became
increasingly reliant on outside support, especially, during the past four years, on
Jeanette’s devoted care.”
Shona writes: “I visited Kathleen twice. She had very debilitating dementia and
was not able to talk at all. However, she was always alert and sitting up,
dressed lovely, with blankets around her to keep her warm. She was well
looked after by her live-in carer. At each visit, she would listen carefully as I
prayed through the home communion service and she would always put her
hand out to receive. There was nothing else that she would respond to but
each time I visited her I felt deeply grateful that I had been able to share
communion with her.”
Congratulations to Tom and Natalie Usher on the baptism of Felix
           on February 6th and to Harriet Francesca Evans and
           Mark Robert Williams whose marriage was blessed on
           February 5th.
As we were going to press we were very sorry to hear of the death of Isobel
Rainnie, probably one of St John’s oldest members, having joined the
congregation in 1934. There will be a Memorial Service for her in the church on
March 28th at 2pm. An appreciation will follow in next month’s Cornerstone.
Suffering: sharing our wisdom. Pastoral visiting involves sharing our gifts
and insights but often (perhaps always?) it is the visitee who offers wisdom and
support to the visitor. With Naomi Morrison’s permission, Freda Alexander
reports a lovely example of this. Visiting Naomi recently, Freda referred to her
sense of, almost, anger with God that some people suffer so much because of
long term or degenerative illness; she observed that the knowledge that God
suffers with us does bring comfort. Reflecting on this, Naomi offered the
following second verse of a hymn she remembered.

            God is love, and is enfolding
            All the world in one embrace;
            His unfailing grasp is holding
            every child of every race;
            And when human hearts are breaking
            Under sorrow’s iron rod
                                        20
            Then they find that selfsame aching
            Deep within the heart of God.

Naomi sang the melody (Abbott’s Leigh) and sang it beautifully. Both hymn and
melody were unknown to Freda who was delighted. Naomi’s memory didn’t
quite get all of the second last line that afternoon; later, however, with Robert
and Sheena Philp she got the complete words. Now Naomi is sharing it with
you all!! Pity we can’t hear the tune!


Charity Sunday – 6th March
Network Rwanda

Ms Gerda Siann, the Honorary Consul for Rwanda in Scotland, will speak briefly
on the work being undertaken in Rwanda after the 10.30 Service on 6th March.

                         Following the horrendous genocide in 1994, the
                         people are working on a wide variety of projects.
                         With the aid of the Rwanda Scotland Alliance, for
                         example, the David Williamson Rwanda Foundation
                         is working with the communities attached to a
                         coffee-growing co-operative to alleviate poverty and
                         assist in the improvement of health and welfare
                         among the coffee growers and their families. Their
dilemma, however, is one of water. An efficient water infrastructure is now
being set up to be accessed by the community to provide the needs of the
broader community while maximising farmers’ income from coffee.

Developing Rwanda’s capacity in science, health and IT; providing better
educational facilities; setting up fish-farming projects to renew the aquaculture
sector are but a few of the diverse activities being undertaken through the
exchange of ideas and knowledge between Rwanda and Scotland.

Please help to support the people of Rwanda by contributing to the very
worthwhile efforts they are at present undertaking.

                                                        Winifred Wyse
                                            Charity Committee Convenor
                                       21
Vestry Report

                Vestry met at the end of January following its break for
                Christmas. Kenneth MacKenzie, Convener of the Trustees of
                Together and Joe Evans, Together’s Co-ordinator joined us for
                this meeting. We were very pleased to welcome both, and
                Kenneth noted that he had been seeking to speak to St John’s
Vestry, as a body, for some forty years! Kenneth and Joe updated us on the
various project lines Together is pursuing, including the workplace chaplaincy
project and the ongoing homelessness work. Two further projects are currently
on hold. One is Creative Space where we await developments in relation to
funding. The other is Street Angels – volunteers who help to make city centres
safer and more pleasant during the peak periods of the night-time economy on
a Friday and Saturday. Together is currently waiting on feedback from similar
projects run in other parts of the country, an example of which you can read
about at www.streetangelsyork.com.
As signalled in my last magazine update, Vestry considered the
recommendations of the Carbon Audit conducted for the Church by the Earth
Be Glad project. The proposals range from points of policy to modifications to
the Church’s infrastructure and include:
   ensuring that anyone travelling on Church business seeks to use the most
    carbon efficient option (effectively the Church’s practice in any event);
   appointing an eco-champion at Vestry level;
   swapping the church lighting from halogen to LED bulbs;
   changing the Church’s boiler to a more efficient model.
Vestry agreed that all of the Audit recommendations were worthy of serious
examination but that before proceeding we would need further discussion, both
at Vestry and elsewhere, and more information, chiefly in relation to the
relationship between cost and benefit.
We also received an unexpected update from the Earth be Glad Project itself
which, whilst approaching the end of its allocated funding, had received notice
of an opportunity to apply for funding for a further year. Ben Murray, lead
project consultant for Earth Be Glad has devised a bid which, if successful, will
enable the project to continue with all it has been doing up till now but also,
facilitate funding for some of the infrastructure modifications alluded to above.
Fingers crossed for that and I hope to be able to let you know the outcome in
my next update.                              Alistair Dinnie – Vestry Secretary
                                       22
The new development: can we do it?
From a previous Vestry Secretary and Church Administrator

                       In the late 1980s St John’s fabric committee reported to
                       the Vestry that the stained glass windows were at risk of
                       falling out and that it would take some £15,000 to mend
                       and secure them. This struck horror into the hearts of
                       Vestry members and they concluded that it was
                       impossible to fund this work. Luckily there was one
                       dauntless Vestry member - John Watson, Patrick’s father
                       - who disappeared to the south of England and came
                       back with a vision for removing the glass, transporting it to
Salisbury where the cathedral workshop would clean and restore it, and then
bring it back to Edinburgh and re-install it painstakingly piece by piece. Nobody
had heard the like before, not to mention the price. However, the enthusiasm of
the visionary won the day, and the glass you enjoy today on sunny Sunday
mornings is that well-travelled glass. It came originally from Ballantine’s studio
in Glasgow in the 1860s. Little did the craftsmen then imagine, any more than
St John’s Vestry or congregation imaged before John Watson’ intervention, that
the glass would travel so far to restore its glory and extend its life. Thank
goodness that happened.
There was another similar, less costly tale from the late 1980s. The
government environmental agency offered St Johns the money to clean the
black grimy building that was St John’s then. To one man/woman the Vestry
said ‘no’ to the money and called for it to go to fund work with Edinburgh’s poor.
Luckily the then Primus, Richard Holloway, got wind of their altruism and was in
like a dose of salts reminding the Vestry that the view from ‘Binns’ corner at the
West End over St John’s to the Castle was on every shortbread tin lid
throughout the world, and that here was a really great opportunity to put abroad
an image of a sparkling church building designed to glorify God. Suckers for
vision, the Vestry fell for it (-and made capital out of it by using the scaffolding
put up for cleaning to save costs of the restoration work!)
On the first occasion the congregation rose to the Vestry’s call and opened their
wallets to fund their part of a full-scale restoration (which included the roof and
the stonework, the drains and the environs). Subsequently a legacy enabled
the church to be re-decorated and transformed into the sparkling interior we
have today.

                                        23
And now it’s time for the next round........
The staff who worked at St John’s in the 1980s worked underground. St John’s
staff still do. We, and worse still our visitors and those who attend the many
functions that St John’s hosts, still queue for one very sub-standard loo. We, as
a congregation, still pay too much for the output of a very elderly boiler. We
still hope that people renting a city centre venue don’t mind having a rather
limited kitchen and no greenroom on the same level. We still think our kids can
disappear into the bowels of the church for their Christian education, even on
lovely Sundays when they should be enjoying the sunlight and close proximity
to the worshipping community in the church.
The problem is that this development will cost a great deal of money and will
undoubtedly attract a smaller proportion of public money than did the ‘80s
restoration work. But then St John’s Vestry and congregation may well still be
built of stern stuff and be up for raiding their savings and pledging from their
futur income to achieve their new vision, that of an building appropriate for a
worshipping community in the West End of Scotland’s capital city in the first half
of the 21st century.
Can we do it?
                                                               Marion Goldsmith



Notes from St John’s Gardening Group

The Winter time departeth
The early flowers expand.
The Blackbird and the Turtle-dove
Are heard throughout the land.
(Mary Botham Howitt 1799-1888)

Things are stirring in the garden. Plants and bulbs that lay dormant throughout
the cold dreary winter months have woken up from their slumbers.

Spring flowering bulbs are wonderful. They provide the garden with such an
array of colour to lift and cheer our souls. We planted lots of bulbs in the past
two years and now we shall see the efforts of our labours.


                                          24
                                     I love snowdrops! They look so pure and
                                     clean; they belong to the genus Galanthus
                                     and there are lots of cultivars and some
                                     species available. Some of them fetch
                                     large sums of money ranging from £3 per
                                     bulb to around £60. They are best planted
                                     ‘in the green’ - which is immediately after
                                     flowering - in sun or light shade; a good
                                     handful of bone-meal will set the off for a
                                     good start. Snowdrops should be lifted and
                                     replanted about every three or four years.

                                       Watch out for the new Narcissi bulbs that
were planted in the autumn; three cultivars of the cyclamineus type (that is, they
have a long trumpet and the petals turn back) are now in the garden: ‘February
Gold’, ‘Tete a tete’ and ‘Jet Fire’ which has a bright orange trumpet. Three of
the taller flowering narcissi were also added: ‘Birma’, with a yellow perianth and
orange cup, ‘Barrett Browning’, with a creamy white perianth and scarlet orange
cup, and ‘Thalia’, which has white flowers in clusters, three or four to a stem.

The large Camellia which stood in front of the grave of George Burnett, Lord
Lyon King at Arms, has now been moved to a new position in the garden.
Unfortunately the top growth had to be cut off to facilitate the move, in the
process removing the flowering growth for this season. We hope the plant will
survive its move and the new growth that is left will grow up and produce new
flower buds.

All if not most of the new plants, both shrubs and herbaceous, are now
producing shoots and we look forward to the graveyard looking more like a
Garden with interesting items to see. However we shall continue to add to our
collection; a garden is forever changing and there is always room for
improvement, if only to redo our mistakes!

There is now more work to do in the garden as a new season begins - whether
it be tidying up, weeding, re-planting, pruning, or improving the grass in the
Dormitory Garden, so if you wish to join us you will be most welcome! You may
be able to offer some new ideas or advice, or maybe you will pick up some
ideas yourself!

                                                                    Fred Mobeck
                                       25
St John’s Walking Group

                                  A leaflet giving the complete programme of
                                  walks for 2011/12 is now available to collect in
                                  the church porch or hall.

                                  The walks in April and May are listed below.
                                  Further information will be put up on the
                                  noticeboards in the church porch and hall.
                                  Alternatively contact the walk leader. For
                                  general information on the walks please
                                  contact Veronica Harris at walking@stjohns-
                                  edinburgh.org.uk or 0131 228 1016.



Thursday 7 April
Nine Mile Burn circuit. A moderately hilly 4 mile walk on moorland tracks over
Braid Law and back over Moor Rig (Josephine MacLeod: 332 0893).


Saturday16 April
Stoneypath to Johnscleugh (Lammermuirs, 11 miles). A moorland hill
crossing, providing fine views across the county and of the surrounding hills
(Josephine MacLeod: 332 0893).

Thursday 5 May
Montcreiffe Hill. A 5 mile woodland walk just north of Bridge of Earn and
owned by the Woodland Trust (Margaret Brewer: 339 5414).

Saturday 14 May (2nd Saturday)
Abbey St Bathans and Edin’s Hall. Riverside, farm and woodland walk, partly
on the Southern Upland Way, with a suspension bridge and an iron age broch.
Wild flowers (Anna Munro: 229 5138).

                                                                  Veronica Harris



                                       26
Temptation and denial – what would Jesus do?

                                      We’re all familiar with the story of Christ’s
                                      temptation. At the outset of His Ministry,
                                      Christ spent 40 days and nights in the
                                      wilderness, during which time he was
                                      tempted three times by the devil. Each time
                                      he resisted the devil’s offers, and became
                                      stronger as a result.

“Lead us not into temptation”, we implore each time we recite the Lord’s Prayer.
The words are second nature to us, uttered innumerable times during our lives.
But how often do we stop to think how they relate to our own behaviour? How
strong is our wish to be led out of temptation’s way?

We’re surrounded by advertising almost everywhere we look. In newspapers
and magazines, on the radio and television, at the cinema, on the internet –
everywhere we look there are temptations, invitations to take cheap flights or
buy gas guzzling cars, or any one of a million other high-carbon indulgences.
Are these adverts there simply to test our resolve, or are they there because
they work? The truth is that if all this advertising didn’t achieve its desired result,
it simply wouldn’t be there. No, we’re all too eager to be tempted into ever
greater levels of consumption.

And we’re doubly tempted. Once when we’re invited to do all this lovely,
enjoyable, climate damaging stuff. And again when we’re told that we can have
it all without any consequences. There are too many people out there telling us
not to worry about the environment, that global warming is natural, that there’s
no such thing as man-made climate change. And too many of us are still ready
to succumb to this diabolical temptation of denial. It must surely make life much
easier, if you can convince yourself that climate change isn’t an issue.

Next time you’re tempted to behave in a way that’s damaging to the
environment, think of the Lord’s Prayer and the example of Christ in the
wilderness. What would he have done in your situation? Will you be strong
enough to say no?
                                 Ben Murray, Lead Consultant, Earth be Glad


                                          27
News from the Together Christian Aid Committee
The QuizAid night in November 2010 raised over £300. Another event is
planned for November this year, so there’s plenty of time to start swotting! A
marmalade market/baking stall was held on 13 February and we hope to beat
our record-breaking total of last year.

Lenten resources from Christian Aid – “Count your Blessings” will be
available in church shortly.

We are planning to hold a “Souper Soup” bread and soup lunch in one or in
several of the partner churches at the end of March. More information soon.

The annual Forth Bridge Crossing takes place this year on Saturday 30 April
from 2 pm. Last year this event raised an amazing £41,275. Every step you
take makes a vital difference to Christian Aid’s work to eradicate global poverty
and social injustice. You can cross the Bridge as many times as you like!
Blinkers available for those of a nervous disposition or vertigo sufferers.
Sponsorship forms from Sue Sellar (556 2979) or Helen Tait (221 9478).

Christian Aid Week 2011 takes place from 15-21 May. Christian Aid
envelopes will be available in church on Sunday 15 May. Other events will be
planned for this week and will be publicised in the pew notice sheets in church.

Advance notice: Knit Together and Sew On, the Christian Aid Together craft
group, is planning another craft fair, “winter warmers” for the early autumn. A
chance to buy your woolly combinations, knee-cap warmers, mufflers, hats,
socks, gloves and other beautifully hand-made items, guaranteed to keep out
the icy blasts. Be prepared for winter this year! Keep the chilblains at bay!

                                                                      Sue Sellar

News from TOGETHER
Together, in partnership with the Scottish Federation of Housing Associations
and the Chartered Institute of Housing, will be holding a Pre-Election Forum in
March (Homes for All???) on the specific subject of Housing and
Homelessness. This will be on Wednesday March 23rd, at 6 p.m. in St
Andrew's and St George's West in George Street (refreshments from 5.30
p.m.). Dr Alison Elliot, former Moderator of the General Assembly of the Church
of Scotland and current Chair of SCVO will be in the Chair, and the
                                       28
spokespeople for the parties will be Bob Doris (SNP), Paul Edie (Liberal
Democrat), Alex Johnstone (Conservative) and Mary Mulligan (Labour). The
Greens are also hoping to send a representative.
In the light of current cutbacks, this is a crucial issue in the forthcoming
Holyrood Elections, and all are welcome to come along.

Thanks,
Robert Philp

At the start of April TOGETHER are planning a Saturday conference to
investigate what is happening with regards to Emerging Ministries elsewhere,
what we have done in the pst and what we can do in the future. Keep an eye
out for more details in the coming weeks.
                                          Joe Evans – TOGETHER Co-ordinator


Music at St Cuthbert’s
Stainer’s Crucifixion is being performer by the Edinburgh Royal Choral Union
on 10 April in St Cuthberts’ church at 5.00pm

St Cuthbert’s resident organist David Goodenough is playing an eclectic mix of
well known organ music on the magnificent Walker organ in a Saturday
lunchtime series - 23 April, 21 May, 25 June at 1,30pm. Admission free.


Electing a new Bishop:

         The Bishop of Edinburgh recently announced that he would be retiring
         in August, so how will we get our next bishop? Unlike in England,
         where Bishops are appointed, in Scotland they are elected. It’s a
         complicated system but you can check it out under Canon 4 in
www.Scottishepiscopalchurch/canons.       The Primus provides Episcopal
oversight whilst we are without a Bishop.
Basically there are three stages:
1. The Diocesan Standing committee prepares a “Diocesan profile” (as
Charges do when their Rector is to leave) setting out present facts and future
hopes. Also a “preparatory committee” is set up. This consists of the Primus as
                                      29
convenor and one other Bishop, five people from the Provincial panel for
Episcopal elections (the two previously elected from our Diocese and 3 from
other Dioceses) and four elected by our Synod (2 lay, 2 clerical) making eleven
people in all. 6 are from our Diocese and 5 from other parts of the Episcopal
Church – a recognition that the Bishop has a Provincial as well as Diocesan
responsibility. No-one who intends to let their name go forward as a candidate
is able to sit on this committee.
2.    Anyone is free to propose a priest from anywhere in the Anglican
Communion, even without asking them first! The task of the Preparatory
committee is to receive all the names anyone wishes to propose, check out if
they would like to stand, obtain details from them, interview them if they wish,
and come up with a “list of the candidates” which must have at least 3 and not
more than 5 names. Up to this stage all is confidential but these names are
now made public. The Preparatory committee gives information about these
candidates to the Electoral Synod.
3. The Electorial Synod is made up of all clergy with a Licence or a Commission
(not those with a Warrant or a ‘Permission to officiate’) and the Lay
Representatives of each Charge in the Diocese. Amanda Wright is our Lay
Representative.
           (Which clergy have what in terms of licenses is somewhat complex,
           but essentially stipendiary clergy have a Licence; pre-retirement and
           with a defined post in a congregation have a Commission but retired
           and some NSMs have a Warrant; and visitors and a few others simply
           have permission from the Bishop to officiate when invited to do so.)
The Electorial Synod meets three times. There is a preliminary meeting to
discuss all the procedures and fix dates for the two further meetings. The
second is to interview all the candidates and then, within about a week, the
final meeting is the election.
At the election the voting is by Houses (Clerical and Lay) and both houses have
to give an overall majority to the same candidate for an election to be made –
three votes may take place, with the hope that a common mind can be reached.
If this can’t be done (or if a third of either house votes “none”) the whole process
starts over again, and if it fails a second time the election falls to the Bishops
alone.

Let’s hope it all works well and that the vacancy is not too long since during that
time the Dean will have more responsibilities!            Malcolm Goldsmith (in
conversation with former Dean Jim Mein)
                                        30
From the Terrace
One World Shop
This month is dominated by a myriad of events related to: Fairtrade Fortnight
(28th Feb to 13th March) “Show off Your Label”. On the theme of cotton, we
will have a special display of fairtrade and organic cotton baby clothes,
babygrows, babysuits and bibs in very sweet designs in the softest cotton.
During the week of 28th Feb – 6th March, we have free tastings of our delicious
Palestinian olive oil. This is to tie in with a visit from Um Shehadeh, a
Palestinian olive farmer who will be speaking at our public event at Café
Camino, details below.
Join in our Fairtrade Cotton Bunting Competition: drop in to the shop to
design and colour in a piece of cotton bunting and join in the Guinness World
Record of the longest and fairest piece of bunting.
              Thurs 3rd March: All welcome to attend our free Fairtrade
              Brunch at Café Camino, St Mary’s RC Cathedral, Picardy Place,
              Edinburgh from 10am – 11.30am. Stalls, tastings and
              refreshments. Speaker: Um Shehadeh, olive farmer from
              Palestine. Presentation of the Lord Provost City of Edinburgh
              Fairtrade Awards.

Sunday 6th March: Fairtrade Breakfast. 9.30 – 10.15am in St John’s Church
Hall, plus a Fairtrade Stall of foods, drinks and a range of our beautiful cotton
baby clothes. We look forward to seeing you!
We will be closed on Sunday 27th March for stocktaking but we are open every
other Sunday from 12 – 5.30pm.
                                                            Rachel Farey

Cornerstone Bookshop Book Reviews for Lent and
Easter
Although we reviewed selected Lent books in the last magazine, we would like
to remind you that Cornerstone has a wide range of Lent and Easter material.
So if your Lenten resolution is to do some spiritual reading instead of (or as well
as!) giving up chocolate, do come down to the Terrace and visit the bookshop.
New books for the spring:
                                        31
‘Lectio Matters: Before the Burning Bush’
By Mary Margaret Funk OSB 9781441151698 £12.99
Lectio Divina, a form of spiritual reading, has become popular as a
means of helping people grow in and deepen their faith. In this
book we accompany the author in discovering how to approach scripture so it
becomes a real encounter with the living God. She explores how lectio is
related to the spiritual life, and how we can use it to reflect with our own life
experiences too. The subtitle of this book is ‘through the revelatory texts of
scripture, nature and experience’, and this intertwining of the different facets of
life is what makes lectio something that can enrich us through the years.
‘Leaving Church: A Memoir of Faith’’
by Barbara Brown Taylor          9781848250659 £12.99
               Barbara Brown Taylor’s last book, ‘An Altar in the World’ was
               very well received, and this one looks equally interesting. In it
               she reflects on her life and the various unexpected turns her
               path has taken on the way. She ponders how the
               understanding she has of what God and faith mean have
               become less sure, but also deeper, as her life has gone on and
how we so often need to lose something that is precious to us to regain it in a
more profound way. Her book is full of reverence for mystery and the dream of
God, and will speak to many who are uneasy with all too comfortable
certainties.
‘Stepping Out With the Sacred: Human Attempts to Engage the Divine’
By Val Webb                 9781441196422 £14.99

This book describes the ways in which people have engaged the
Divine across religions and centuries, through rituals, art, sacred
places, language and song. The author includes her own
experiences through travel in over fifty countries, as well as drawing
on centuries of theology, literature and travel writing. Val Webb is an artist as
well as a teacher of world religions and art, and in this book she weaves
together the different strands to produce a vividly painted and accessible book
that leads us to a more inclusive appreciation of God, building bridges of
understanding between faiths.



                                        32
‘Peace on Earth: Poems & Prayers for Peace’
by Sophie Piper       9780745961354         £5.99
A little hardback picture book for children, this is a compilation
of short poems and prayers around the theme of peace,
appropriately illustrated by Giuliano Ferri. It would make a good gift for a child
as it encourages the reader to think of peace near at hand, (for example in the
famous ‘Make me an instrument of your peace’, attributed to St Francis of
Assisi) as well as between nations and peoples.
‘The Little White Owl’
By Tracey Corderoy and Jane Chapman                9781848950856 £10.99

                This is a beautifully illustrated hardback picture book telling the
                tale of a little white owl who sets off to see the world. When he
                meets some beautifully rainbow-coloured owls they don’t want
                to be friends with such a plain little owl… It is a delightful story
                that celebrates difference and the beauty inside us all.

Peace and Justice Centre
The Peace and Justice Centre’s co-ordinator, Janet Fenton, is spending the
second half of February and the first half of March in the United States. She is
visiting peace centres of the same kind as our own, learning about the
programmes of the American Friends’ Service Committee and the Women’s
International League for Peace and Freedom, and taking the opportunity of
speaking about Scotland’s role in efforts to secure the complete elimination of
nuclear weapons. She plans to take part in a ‘peace walk’ to witness against the
environmental damage caused by the so-called mountaintop coal mining in the
Appalachian Mountains. This form of open-cast mining is very cheap but
extremely destructive, and is a classic example of the way that business
interests are too often at odds with the creation of a sustainable economy.

We look forward to hearing about her experiences, her encounter with people
whose outlook we share, but who work in a quite different environment. Many
visitors from North America come to see us in the Centre, some of them not
always pleased with the content of the St John’s murals! We are confident that
Janet’s visit will help us to have a better understanding of American
assumptions and expectations at a time when the world is changing so rapidly.

                                                          Geoffrey Carnall - Chair
                                        33
Readings and Rotas

March 6th
10.30am Exodus 24 v12-18; 2 Peter 1 v16-21; Matthew 17 v1-9
6.00pm    2 Kings 2 v1-12; Matthew 17 v9-23

March 13th   Lent 1
9.30am       Jeremiah 18 v 1-11; Luke 18 v9-14
10.30am      Genesis 2 v15-17; & 3v1-7; Romans 5 v12-19; Matthew 4 v1-11
6.00pm       Deuteronomy 6 v4-9; & 16-25; Luke 15 v1-10

March 20th Lent 2
9.30am     Jeremiah 22 v1-9; Matthew 8 v1-13
10.30am Genesis 12 v1-4; Romans 4 v1-5; 13-17; John 3 v 1-17
6.00pm     Numbers 21 v4-9; Luke 14 v 27-33

March 27th Lent 3
 9.30am Amos 7 v10-17; 2 Corinthians 1 v1-11
10.30am Exodus 17 v1-7; Romans 5 v1-11; John 4 v5-42
6.00pm     Joshua 1 v1-9; Ephesians 6 v10-20

Coffee Rota

March 6th J Hill; L Darke; C McArthur

March 13th E Yeo; J Rennie; J McLeod

March 20th A Horsfall; C McNaughton; W Wyse

March 27th M Currie; S Jameson; J McMutrie

April 3rd    D Campbell; V Lobban; M Brewer

April 10th M Warrack; S Jameson; J McMutrie

April 17th S Brand; S Kilbey; C McNaughton

April 24th H Tait; J Rennie; S Brand

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