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Dunscore Digest March 09


									                               Dunscore Digest
Dunscore Parish Church Newsletter                                                                       March 2009

                                                            And the “lesson” from this? Well, isn't that what makes
                                                            religion so boring sometimes - there always has to be a
                                                            lesson! But there is one - you have been warned.

                                                            Maybe the lesson is that we are all like truffles (maybe a
                                                            better option than sheep?). God fills us up – fills our lives
                                                            with the wonderful flavours of life. Then he holds us gently
                                                            in his hand and covers us with love.

                                                            Or maybe the lesson is simply that we were made to enjoy
                                                            life. God wants us to have a good time.
   Some of the Dunscore
    Fairtrade supporters
                                                            We can overcomplicate life and faith. Maybe we should
   Full story on page 10                                    simply allow ourselves to appreciate and enjoy what we
                                                            have, and the people around us. And maybe THAT is what
                                                            our Lent “project” could be – stop seeing what is wrong and
                                                            start seeing more of what is right.
Minister’s Musings                                          Maybe! We all have the choice. How we choose to see
                                                            things and how we choose to respond is OUR decision. It
Christine Sime                                              is not dependant on anyone else – our neighbours, our
First Sunday in Lent and what should a respectable          colleagues, or family... So “maybe” we can take
Church of Scotland minister be doing? Preparing             responsibility for how we choose and what we choose and
next week's sermon? Sitting in sackcloth and ashes?         discover that we can make more of life, and enjoy more of
No surprise to tell you that I was not that minister!!      life and faith.

Instead I was at the chocolate factory in Twynholm          The Lent message – discover the Joy of Lent! See the
making truffles. Would it be too technically                positives.
challenging for me? Would I fail in the decoration
stage? Would I be able to refrain from eating the
chocolate such that I would have enough to make             INSIDE THIS ISSUE
even one truffle? The answers: nearly, yes and a
close run thing slot into these questions. But truffles
                                                                   Lubuto Update – School progress and musical
were completed.                                              3
                                                                   instrument use
One of the great joys was being able to get chocolate
all over your hands and once the truffles were coated        5     Angels Corner – Where did the idea come from?
being allowed to lick off the remaining chocolate,
before washing hands to start the next coating. We                 Charity Choice – Working with young people in
went through white, dark and milk chocolate.

Most of you will know that I like Snoopy cartoons,                 Fairtrade Village – You now live in a Fairtrade Village,
identifying particularly with the character called          10
                                                                   here‟s how!
Pigpen. And here was Pigpen in full glory! Allowed
to get mucky. Wonderful.
                                                            14     Homecoming – The Church Without Walls conference

  Minister: Christine Sime Phone: 820245 email:
  Session Clerk: Charlie Macallan Phone: 820877email:
  Editor: Matthew Aitken Phone: 820448 email:
  If you would like a full list of church contacts, just ask your Elder

                           Dunscore Parish Church – Registered Charity Number: SC016060

                                                          Page 1
Sunday             School            Report             Fuerteventura Welcome
                                                        Judith Campbell
Aly Robertson

The Sunday School has been studying people              The following email was received from Judith in December
from the Old Testament this year. We learned            2008.
from Joseph and his adventures and from Job.
We will soon be moving on to Moses.                     Dear Matthew,
                                                        I have just returned from a holiday in Fuerteventura and I
We hope to take a trip up to the Leadhills and          decided to go along to the church service in Corralejo while
Wanlockhead railway later in the year and will be       I was there. It's an Anglican congregation but all Christian
inviting anyone from the Church who is interested       denominations are welcome. I really enjoyed the two
to come and join us.                                    services I attended and I found the congregation every bit
                                                        as friendly as the Dunscore congregation. If anybody is
Christine has been intimating that we need more         going to Corralejo I would strongly recommend them to go
Sunday School teachers as a number of us will           along.
be coming to the end of our involvement in the
summer. If you would like to be involved in this                 A Brief History of The Church of St. James,
worthwhile work with a lovely and lively bunch of       Fuerteventura.
young people please speak to her.                       In 2003 the Chaplain of Lanzarote was approached about
                                                        holding a regular Anglican service in Corralejo. A steady
Food Train                                              flow of visitors turned up each Sunday. Residents too began
                                                        to hear about the service and gradually a nucleus of
                                                        members came together.
Have you heard of the Food Train?
                                                        Slowly a membership list was formed. A further milestone
It is a voluntary organisation providing a grocery      occurred in 2007 when Penny Melville was commissioned
shopping delivery service to elderly, housebound        as a lay assistant. In July 2007 David Dowdell, Reader said
and disabled people in Dumfries and Galloway.           "Today we can look back with thankfulness on how God has
                                                        led us in establishing a Congregation and regular worship
A volunteer calls to collect the shopping list, the     here."
order is packed by the shop and the order is
collected by the volunteer for delivery (along with     The Chaplain's letter can be found, each month, on:
the receipt and list).                        , then click on the Spiritual Life page.

On receipt of the shopping you pay the cost of the      Yours,
shopping plus a small delivery charge (£2 per
delivery). There is also a membership charge of £1      Judith Campbell
per year.
                                                        The following was received shortly thereafter:
Food Train Extra is an additional new service
which, for a charge of £1 - £2 will do small jobs       Dear Judith
around the house such as inside window cleaning,        Thank you for a copy of the email you sent to Matthew
defrosting the freezer, changing light bulbs and so     Aitken. I was so pleased that you felt welcome at the
on.                                                     Church and services. We manage to keep a service going
                                                        there every Sunday evening, either with myself travelling
If you, or someone that you know, could benefit         from Lanzarote, or a Lay Assistant with Extended
from this service, Dunscore is covered by the           Communion (with the Bishop's permission) or an evening
Dumfries branch on 01387 270800. More                   service conducted by our Lay Assistant,Penny Melville.
information is also available on                                 It is good to know that as small as the permanent
                                                        congregation is, you found it
                                                        welcoming and enjoyable. I will forward to Penny and the
                                                        other Assistants who will feel very encouraged by your

                                                        With many thanks and God's blessing for Christmas and the
                                                        New Year.

                                                        Fr Idris Vaughan

                                                      Page 2
Digest Quiz
In the last issue of the Digest there was a quiz where all the answers had a
Christmas theme? Here are the answers:

       Opposite Max – Secret agents?                               Mince Pies
       Laura, daughter of Mr and Mrs Toe                           Mistletoe
       Silent but confused                                         Tinsel
       A vertical pudding                                          Plum
       Found in your imagination                                   Magi
       Jab bus? Yes – the central character but in disarray        Baby Jesus
       A steady place to keep the horse                            Stable
       A very silly biscuit                                        Cracker
       A high flying celebrity                                     Star
       Take a from supervisor and create a trough                  Manger

And as I am writing this while in Arran and thinking of the autumn visit to Iona,
this time all the answers are Scottish islands:

       One third of the men in a boat
       Consider how to make hot wine
       This island is the limit!
       The Oxford detective‟s assistant
       The bar rail concealed this one
       A tangled tube
       Swing low but in reverse
       A badly made kilt – sad!
       Apparently there is brass on this island
       Unusual

Answers on page 16

Lubuto Update                                      Max MacKenzie

When our friends from Lubuto Congregation were about to return to Zambia last September, they were asked to
keep us updated about the growth of the building of their school. They have sent us news and pictures over the past
months of their wonderful hard work to progress the classroom block. This culminated in January 2009, when the
classrooms were weather-tight, fitted out, and the desks installed.

                                                                  The Lubuto United Church of Zambia (UCZ) Pre &
                                                                  Primary School caters for what is known as the „Baby
                                                                  to Grade 4‟ group of children (3 to 7 year-olds).
                                                                  There are over 240 children on the roll, and the
                                                                  school will hopefully meet what is a clear need in the
                                                                  community. From the pictures sent, the children look
                                                                  to be a happy and enthusiastic group. The teachers
                                                                  will certainly have plenty to do in their new

                                                                  We are in contact with the charity “Books Abroad”,
                                                                  based in Aberdeenshire, whose purpose is to help to
                                                                  educate children worldwide by sending suitable
                                                                  schoolbooks free of charge. We hope that our
                                                                  request to the charity for assistance is successful and
                                                                  that our friends in Lubuto can benefit as their school
                  New desks and smiling faces!

                                                         Page 3
Early last summer, we learned that the Boys‟ Brigade Company attached to the Lubuto UCZ were keen to form a
band. As well as enhancing their own organisation, they felt that if they had an opportunity to play for outside
events, they could earn some little money.

As a result, an appeal went out from Dunscore and Moniaive for old and unused musical instruments. You may
recall the requests made in the village. Through the generosity of many, from all corners of the UK, we ended up
with sixteen assorted brass and wind instruments and ten drums. The next problem was – how to get them to
Zambia, and how to minimise the cost of transport.

Fortunately, the arrival of the donations coincided with the departure of our friends back to Lubuto in September, and
they were able to take many of the instruments with them in extra suitcases provided by our congregations. The
remaining drums formed an awkward and rather fragile load, but a few weeks later we managed to airfreight them
separately to Zambia.

The Boys‟ Brigade were excited to receive their new band instruments. They set about learning to play them, under
the training of the Zambian Army, who by chance is based in nearby Ndola. The band was officially launched on
Sunday,25 January 2009.

                                                 The Boys Brigade Band

At the end of January, we received the sad news that our main contact in Lubuto, the minister Revd. Simon
Kasanga, was being transferred to a new UCZ charge at Chililabombwe, a town some 70 miles away. This is a
time of disruption and concern for him, his wife Jessie, and their family. Remember them in your prayers.

We are fortunate in that we have made so many other friends within our twinning, and that our contact will remain
strong during this time of change within the Lubuto congregation. At time of writing, we only have been given the
name of their new minister - Revd. Stephen Simumba – but hope to form a link with him soon.

Please do follow up what has been written above by taking a look at the story in pictures on the display board in
the church which is regularly updated.

Tuli Pamo – we are together.

                                                       Page 4
Angels’ Corner                                                   Community Council Column
Toby Lowery                                                      Colin Mitchell
On Sunday 23 March last year, Gill Allen fell
down and broke her ankle very badly. We shall                    The Community Council continues to work hard on your
gloss over the pain and the attentions of the                    behalf. Below are some of the things we have been
wonderful Marine and move on to the more                         dealing with recently
interesting bits…
                                                                 Proposed Respite Care / Equestrian Facility at
Gill wasn't able to manage at home alone at                      Upper Stepford
first so she moved into a superior Care Home
                                                                 The December public meeting to discuss the proposed
in Townsend Terrace for a few days.
                                                                 development at Upper Stepford was well attended. There
                                                                 was a lot of debate involving members of the Community
During the time that she spent there she had
                                                                 Council and the audience. At the end of the meeting
long conversations with the Manager and they
                                                                 there was a show of hands from the audience to gauge
discovered that they had both had childhood
                                                                 the feeling of the meeting. There were 43 against the
dreams of owning a little shop. Well, there was
                                                                 development, nine for the development and an
just such a little shop empty in Dunscore at the
                                                                 uncounted number of abstentions.
time and that is where the story gets really
                                                                 The Community Council voted four for the development,
                                                                 three against the development and three abstentions.
Together they indulged in flights of fancy about
Lap Dancing, Pole Dancing and Strip Clubs but
                                                                 The Community Council was keen to reflect the potential
finally they decided that what Dunscore really
                                                                 benefits to the whole Community from this proposed
needed was a place to chat and take tea or
                                                                 development. The application is now with the Council
coffee, buy a card or a gift or maybe join a
                                                                 planning department and a decision will be made by
Craft Class!
                                                                 Councillors in the near future.

                                                                 New Community Council Members
                                                                 We are delighted to welcome Kate Duffin and Alistair
                                                                 McFadzean as co-opted members of the Community

                                                                 Dunscore Website
                                                                 We have used some of this year‟s Community Benefit
                                                                 funding from the Dalswinton Windfarm to set up a
                                                                 Dunscore website. This soon will be up and running. It
                                                                 will include a “What‟s on” section and links to other local
                                                                 websites. We are still writing content on local history,
                                                                 local wildlife, local walks, Community Council, Glenriddell
                                                                 Hall Committee etc. If you wish to add anything to the
                                                                 website please speak to Sheila Anderson or Colin

                                                                 We are being consulted about Core paths in our area.
They have had hassle and heartache about it all but              This builds on lots of footpath information collected at the
finally the really, really interesting bit is that on March      Gala day in 2007. We intend to display the map with
21 , almost a year to the day of the accident, the little        proposed paths in the Glenriddell Hall. Your comments
shop will open. Angels Corner is coming to Dunscore              would be very welcome. Watch out for posters giving
and our lives will never be the same again!                      dates and times.

Editor’s comment:                                                Grey Squirrels
                                                                 Our red squirrels are in real and immediate danger from
The mind boggles at so much in this article! Gill and            “squirrel pox” carried by grey squirrels. If you see a grey
Toby pole dancing and the wonderful Marine to name               squirrel in the area please report it to William Crawford
but two.                                                         (820 228) or Geordie Howat (820339).
We all wish you great success at Angels’ Corner!

                                                              Page 5
Sweet and Sour Tagine                              A Chat With…the Alpha Course
Alison Boyes
Although I love reading cookery books, I rarely    The Editor had a chat with both Alpha Course organisers, Richard
follow recipes, preferring to adapt meals to       and Gerry Wilson, to find out a bit about them. Here is the
whatever is in season (or in my cupboards) at      result…
the time.
                                                   What brought you to Dunscore? We were clear that it was the
As we don‟t have a fridge or freezer, everything   right time to sell our farm in Wigtownshire and rent a house before
is prepared as needed (only possible because       emigrating to Canada. But, having travelled to Canada we
we don't eat meat and have a cool cellar to        decided that we did not want to live there! We loved this area,
store food in).                                    had friends here and enjoyed a wonderful welcome in Dunscore
                                                   so decided to settle. Returning from our visit to Canada, we were
Sweet potatoes keep well so I usually have         very quickly asked to run an Alpha course.
some in store for days when everything else
has run out. All the other ingredients are store   How did you become involved in Alpha? In 1995 some friends
cupboard items.                                    went to an Alpha conference in Edinburgh and we were thrilled
                                                   with what we heard from them. It was gospel-sharing in a non-
I love the colour of the sweet potatoes, the       threatening way. We held several courses at our last home (and
tangy yellow lemons and cardamom is my             this has been continued since we left by other C of S leaders in
favourite spice. What's not to like? Only that     the locality).
none of the ingredients can be grown locally.
                                                   What do you particularly like about Alpha? Alpha is a great
Sweet and Sour Tagine                              course taking people from all stages of their “journey” and offering
                                                   each of them something. We have seen so many people blossom
1 large onion thinly sliced                        through the course.
4 tbsp vegetable oil
2 big sweet potatoes                               How many Alpha courses have you run? 10 – Seven in Dunscore
Chilli flakes
Chopped parsley                                    What do you particularly like about Dunscore Church? The
1 bay leaf                                         friendliness. On our first Sunday here, Dick Farish welcomed us
3 cardamom pods                                    and looked after us. Thereafter, people have been really friendly;
1 tsp ground coriander                             services are enjoyable with a great atmosphere. We also enjoy
½ tsp ground nutmeg                                the “to-ing and fro-ing” between Christine and the congregation.
½ tsp ground ginger
½ tsp ground turmeric                              If you could change one thing about the church, what would it be?
2 cinnamon sticks                                  Have an occasional service geared specifically to young people.
½ tbsp honey                                       Remember how they loved the Group from Annan.
Vegetable stock                                    What do you enjoy doing in your spare time? We are short of
150g dried Fairtrade apricots                      spare time! Gerry: Grandchildren, art class (painting and drawing
½ preserved lemon (but I chop up half a fresh      – I started from scratch four years ago and love it) and visiting
one, Fairtrade of course)                          friends. Richard: I help Tim (my son) with his Handyman
2 tbsp pine nuts                                   business and enjoy golf. We enjoy having friends in for meals.
                                                   We find that is a really good way to get to know people.
In a large heavy saucepan, sauté the onion in
the oil for 10 minutes, add the sweet potato       What is your favourite book or film? Gerry: I am enjoying Dorothy
(chopped) and cook for 5 mins. Add herbs,          L Sayers (Lord Peter Wimsey books) at the moment. Richard:
spices, honey and pepper and cover with stock      Mainly non-fiction especially biographies.
and cook for 12 mins.
                                                   Where would you most like to go on holiday? Austria. We met on
Add chopped apricot and lemon and cook             the Austrian ski slopes 45 years ago and recently enjoyed a
another 12 mins or until potato is soft but        summer holiday there. The weather and scenery were
doesn't mash. The sauce should have                magnificent.
thickened slightly by now but, if not, increase
the heat to reduce.                                What is your favourite food and drink? Gerry: Eggs, cheese and
                                                   lamb. I am allergic to alcohol so a favourite drink is Rooibos tea!
Serve over couscous (or rice if preferred) and     Richard: I love a good breakfast with egg and muesli, toast and
garnish with toasted pine nuts. Enjoy!             honey. I am not a drinker but like an occasional lager with friends.
                                                                      Thank you for sharing that with us

                                                       Page 6
Charity Choices                                           Toby Lowery
Continuing our regular series of articles on charities that have a special meaning to members of the congregation, I
asked Toby if she would write a little about her Romanian experiences

When the revolution began in Romania in 1989, I was an Education Tutor on a Nursery Nursing course in Preston
College in Lancashire. I saw the plight of the children and staff in the so called Orphanages. I spoke with my students
and said how frustrated I felt that I was too old to go to help. It was then with some surprise that I was asked by the
Blue Peter charity to put some of the £6 ½ million raised in the Great Blue Peter Bring & Buy Sale, to go to Romania to
set up the first ever foreign course within the Romanian Education system. The brief was to design a course that would
help young Romanians to care for some of the estimated 200,000 children in institutional care in a different way. Within
a few days I had decided to give up my job, learn a little Romanian and persuade John that my being in Romania for a
year alone was at least an acceptable idea if not a good one.

In July of 1991 I was in Bucharest in an apartment that I soon realised was quite “posh” compared to many, though it
was not quite like home! A long, tedious and sometimes very difficult two months followed in which I, the housewife from
Lytham, met the President, Prime Minister and so on and finally at the beginning of October that year I stood in front of
26 young Romanians in a classroom and I am not sure who was the more nervous. I came to know and love these
brave young men and women over that year and when my time came to leave and to go home to England many tears
were shed. I felt that I had only started them on the road to a new way of looking at children and that going home then
was letting them down. John was home alone and did not want me to stay longer but did agree that we needed to
support the young people somehow. So, in 1993 a new Charity, Romania Now was registered and we began work
which continued for 18 years until we officially closed it down last summer.

Since Education was my interest we decided to work with children in that area which made for hard decisions about what
we would take and how it would be funded. My own Church in St Anne‟s had supported me for the year that I was living
in Bucharest and wanted to continue to be the “home” of the new charity. It was the place that I went to pray and so
many prayers were said and answered there that I suppose I shall always think of it as home. Local schools wanted to
be involved and I would spend six weeks in Romania looking at what the children really needed and then come straight
home and tell the children in school and they would respond. I was on Blue Peter several times and do have a Blue
Peter badge and somehow that gave me enormous credibility with the children! I knew that my students were giving the
children love and affection that they had never known before but they could not give them clothes and most of all shoes
so that they could go to school without being stigmatised. So we began there.

We worked in many places but perhaps the most rewarding was the work that we did in Casa Speranta, House of Hope.
This is a boys‟ home which was so violent in 1996 that the drivers of our trucks refused to go inside and thought that
John should know that I was going in! Over the years that we worked there we turned the cold and miserable
dormitories into homes, always with the boys‟ help and advice. We established training workshops where the boys
learned new skills with woodworking tools, sewing machines, computers and most importantly cooking utensils. The
boys asked for a kitchen because they were not allowed into the orphanage kitchen and eventually they would go out
into the world unable to look after themselves. With their help we installed a kitchen and we found someone to teach
them to cook. There was so much enthusiasm to learn that we needed to start another fund to find money for the food
that they needed to practice with! Here we had a real home for boys who were calmer and good to be with; they
demonstrated so clearly that if we showed love and respect for them they would respond in a way that we could not have
imagined. Many of these now young men are working in hotel and restaurant kitchens and are able to support
themselves, which is unusual in Romania where many institutionalised children have been forced out of the only homes
that they have known. The EU directive was to close down the homes in order that Romania could be considered for
entry into the union. The children became like pawns in a game and were sometimes sent back to the families who had
been forced to abandon them as babies. It was not difficult to see that this was doomed from the outset; many of those
young men now live on the street without jobs or hope.

We tried always to be sure that the people who raised the money so willingly for us knew exactly where the money went
and I think that I spent as much time saying thank you and showing photographs as I did raising money. We also
brought teachers and nursery nurses to England to allow them to see good practice here and to get experience in
working in different ways with children. These visitors were able to talk with groups and so our supporters were able to
hear at first hand what their money was doing. In 1997 we established a link between a secondary school in Blackpool
and a High School in the poorest part of Bucharest. This worked well for 10 years and a great deal of learning and
sharing took place. Finally, we decided last year to finish our work. It was a very difficult decision to take but it was
clearly time for John and me to claim back our lives and have a little more time together so we came to Dunscore… I
shall never be able to think of Romania as anything other than my other home and the many friends there as my other
family. I could tell so many sad stories, funny stories, happy stories about my time there and all because I decided to “go
forward with a little faith” in 1991.

                                                         Page 7
Green Electricity –                                       Marital Harmony
Update Matthew Aitken                                     With thanks to Lois Anderson

In the last edition of the Digest, I outlined our plans   A husband and wife were driving along the road, he driving,
to install a micro-hydro scheme on the Auchenage          she knitting. A policeman pulled them over.
                                                          “You were doing 60 mph in a 40 mph limit” said the
Planning work continues. Such a scheme requires           policeman. “Not possible” said the man. “I have cruise
a significant amount of preparation and planning.         control that limits the speed to 40 mph”.
In addition it involves considerable bureaucracy.
                                                          “George” said his wife “don‟t tell lies to the policeman – you
We have nearly finalised the location of the weir to      know that you don‟t have cruise control!” “Shut up” said the
form the intake, have a clearer idea of the likely        man, “that is not helpful”.
route of the pipeline and the decided on the
location of the “power house”.                            Then the policeman said: “I also notice that you are not
                                                          wearing a seatbelt”. “Actually I was but when I pulled in I
The next stages include finalising the route of the       took it off to take out my licence.”
pipeline (requiring levels and digger work); make a
formal application to SEPA (and wait for a licence        “George” said his wife “you are telling lies again.” “You
approving the work); construct the weir / intake and      never wear a seatbelt.”
“power station”; install the pipeline and electricity
cables.                                                   “For heaven‟s sake” said her husband. “You are such a pain
                                                          – why can‟t you mind your own business?”
We hope to make the weir and lay the pipeline in
the late spring / early summer.                           As he started to write out the ticket the policeman
                                                          commented to the woman: “I hope that he doesn‟t speak to
Maybe we will have our first electricity by the           you like that all the time”.
autumn. It will be a big day when that happens!
                                                          “Oh no” said the woman, “Only when he has had too much
                                                          to drink!”
Cairn Valley Community Transport                                             Spring / Summer Excursions

     Date                                          Destination                                  Depart       Cost
Sat 14 Mar       Glasgow – Woodwork Exhibition or shopping                                    9:15          £7.00
Thurs 2 April    Carlisle – Shopping                                                          9:30          £5.00
Fri 17 April     Carlisle area – Houghton Hall garden centre and Gretna Gateway               9:30          £5.00
Sat 2 May        Hellensburgh – Hill House Centre (Nat Trust)                                 8:45          £7.00
Wed 13 May       Peebles and Moffat – Dawyck Botanic Gardens and Moffat                       9:15          £7.00
Sat 23 May       Penrith – Open air market and Rheged visitor centre                          9:15          £7.00
Thurs 28 May     Wanlockhead – Lead mining museum and Leadhills                               11:15         £5.00
Sat 6 June       Wigtown / Whithorn – Book Town / Visitor Centre                              9:15          £7.00
Fri 12 June      Carlisle – Shopping                                                          9:30          £5.00
Sat 20 June      Loch Lomond – Shopping centre and Luss                                       8:45          £7.00
Sat 4 July       Bo‟ness – Bo‟ness and Kinneil Railway                                        9:15          £7.00
Fri 10 July      Ayr – Shpping and Burns Centre                                               9:15          £6.00
Sat 18 July      Penicuik and Biggar – Rosslyn Chapel and Biggar Museum                       9:15          £7.00
Sat 25 July      Flookborough – Flookborough Steam Railway                                    8:30          £7.00
Sat 1 Aug        Kirkcudbright area – Cream o‟ Galloway and Kirkcudbright                     10:15         £5.00
Also Moniave to Castle Douglas on alternate Thursdays

Costs do not include entrance fees. For more information contact Charlie on 820877 or Archie on 820236

Mile of Pennies                                     Walter Patterson
Please continue to put your pennies (and larger coins and notes!) into the green jar in the Green Corner of the
church. All money goes to support work with our friends in Lubuto so continues to be needed greatly.

                                                          Page 8
At the recent Eco Group coffee morning we launched Dunscore Freecycle. Quite simply, if you have something that
you no longer need but think someone else might be able to use, please put a note on the Green notice board in the
church. Likewise, if there is something that you are looking for, again put a notice on the notice board. If you are
happy with the item, please give a donation to the Eco Group charity fund.

If you do not want to simply give the item away, show how much you want for it but please give at least 10% to the
Eco Congregation charity fund.

Periodically, a list of items and wants will be emailed to the church list. If you would like to be added to the list, email

                                               CURRENTLY AVAILABLE
                                   Item                                             Cost                   Who
Baler twine, large bundles                                                    Free                Kath Aitken 820448
Overhead projector (good for painting murals, games or for use as an          Offers              Maggi Goodwin
overhead projector!)
Tote bags (very large sacks could be used for leaves, grass cuttings,         £2.50 to charity    Kath Aitken 820448
small children…)
Two bicycles                                                                  Free                Peter Gunnell
Pye Video Recorder (with scart socket and remote control)                     Free                Mary and Chris Whittle
Selection of wooden doors (various sizes)                                     Free                Alison Boyes
Flowerpots, plastic (all sizes)                                               Free                Alison Boyes

Plant - Callicarpa - Verbena                                                  Swap?               Kath Aitken 820448

Eco Congregation News                                        Alison Boyes

The EcoCongregationGroup met last month to plan this year‟s programme and we have a busy year to look forward

By the time you read this, our coffee morning will have already raised money for the Charity “Engineers Without
Borders” who are equipping orphanages in Cambodia with solar electricity. We will also have launched our
“Freecycle” scheme

On March 19th we are taking a trip to the EcoDeco plant at Lochar Moss to find out what really does happen to our

On Sunday 24th May, there will be a special event at Auchenage Farm - the Alternative Spring Fling. This will be a
chance to visit the farm, see the new lambs, enjoy the peaceful setting and talk about micro-hydro schemes. More
details to follow.

On August 30th, just before some of our congregation go to Iona, we plan to hold a joint service with the theme
“Celtic Connections”. Nothing to do with football but a way of worshipping which will focus on God‟s creation using
elements of Celtic theology inspired by the Iona Community.

All these events will need a lot of energy and planning and as a small group we always welcome help and new
members. Our meetings (next one on April 2 at 11.30) are always lively.

We are currently trying to encourage other churches in the presbytery to become EcoCongregations and are taking
part in the programme at national level. It would be great if you could join us. If you can't give your time, please
read the Green notice board and the EcoSnippets in the CFNs and give us your pennies, printer cartridges, stamps
and milk bottle tops. Thank you!

                                                          Page 9
A Cause for Celebration!                                   Joy Cherkaoui

There wasn‟t quite singing and dancing in the streets in Dunscore on the evening of the 10 February, but if you‟d
listened carefully in the vicinity of the war memorial at around 7pm you might have heard the discrete „pop‟ of a
champagne cork. No, it wasn‟t the celebration of a milestone birthday but in a house nearby, the chair of the
Dunscore Fairtrade Group, Alison Boyes, was sharing news of the group‟s success in their application to become a
Fairtrade village… thus making Dunscore the first Fairtrade community in Dumfries and Galloway and just the 11 in
Scotland. So there certainly was cause for celebration, and the „pop‟ of the (real) champagne cork (courtesy of
Alison) was soon drowned out by cheers and general excitement. So it wasn‟t a milestone birthday, but rather a
milestone in the journey of the Fairtrade group.

You might be forgiven for assuming that now
Dunscore has become a Fairtrade Village the
group would be disbanding, having achieved its
goal but, sadly, the ultimate goal of trade
justice, the guarantee of a fair return for
producers and farmers in the poorest parts of
the world, is still some way off. So there was
just time to pause, toast the group‟s success,
mention a name or two in dispatches and then
move on to discuss the plans for the next stage
of the campaign. There would be no time for
„resting on our laurels‟, as the Fairtrade
Foundation (along with comments and
congratulations on the group‟s progress) had
also made it clear that the due date for the
renewal application would be 10 February
The group has a number of things planned for Fairtrade Fortnight, including:
2010! So it was back to business…
Participation in a „Go Bananas for Fairtrade‟ event which invites villagers to join with others across the country to try
and break the World Fairtrade Banana Eating Record. The village will be hosting a visit from Cornelius Lynch, a
Fairtrade Banana producer and there will be a rock concert in the Glenriddle Village Hall.

Future plans include focusing on the promotion of local produce in addition to Fairtrade products (the group are keen
for a local farming representative to join them) and working with other communities towards Dumfries and Galloway
becoming a Fairtrade Region. This goal does not seem so far off now that Dunscore has achieved Fairtrade status;
Castle Douglas, Wigtown and Dumfries are expected to make similar announcements soon and the local authority
has identified a Fairtrade champion, thus demonstrating a clear commitment to advancing Fairtrade in the region.

So here‟s to the next milestone … and an increase in sales of Fairtrade bubbly (which I happen to have spied in the
Co-op in Thornhill). Maybe I should reserve a bottle now?

                                                         Page 10
It’s a Challenge                 Libby McFadyen             Start of Youth Project- At
                                                            Last Rona Gunnell
Recently something happened which jolted me into
reconsidering the words "What would Jesus Do?" You
may have seen bracelets with the letters WWJD on            A new youth group for 14 to 18 year olds started with a
them.                                                       launch event on Thursday 26th February in the Glenriddell
                                                            Hall, Dunscore. The group is supported by the Churches
Preoccupied with my own thoughts and concerns I             in Mid Nithsdale.
almost passed by a young couple on Dumfries High
Street. Recognising them from some voluntary work I         Nineteen young people came along to the first evening,
do, I stopped and we chatted for a while. The girl          with nine youngsters travelling on the community bus
looked very subdued and eventually admitted her             from Moniaive and Penpont. Corrie Telfer from the
sister had thrown them out of her home. They were           Council’s Leisure and Sport Department organised sport
homeless, and explained exactly what that meant for         activities for half the evening and food was provided by a
them: no family backup (too many bridges burnt              small team of volunteers.
there), no friends' sofas on which to crash (used them
up!), and definitely no chance of help from Housing         The young people decided that they are going to call the
(large rent arrears killed that one). Their only hope       group “Skitter Lane”. They also agreed to set up an
was a private let, and how easy would it be to find         organising committee to put together a programme for
one?                                                        the group.

Looking at them, I felt ashamed that I was not willing      To begin with the group will meet from 7.30 to 9.30pm on
to share my warm and comfortable home with these            the second and fourth Thursdays of each month in
two lost young people. It was easy to find excuses in       Dunscore and it is hoped that it will also be possible for
my head, but just where would they find shelter that        the group to meet on the first and third Thursdays in
night?                                                      Moniaive. The community bus will be used to ferry
                                                            youngsters to and fro.
The thought pushed its way into my head: what
would Jesus do? Somehow, I don't think his response         The club is open to all young people between 14 – 18
would be any of the following:                              years old who live in the Dunscore, Penpont and Moniaive
a) Not my problem                                           areas. The meeting dates for Dunscore are:
b) It's your own fault
c) Grow up and take responsibility for yourselves           March 12th and 26th
d) I'm far too busy                                         April 9th - Easter Holiday, no meeting.
e) Fill in these complicated forms in triplicate            April 23rd
                                                            May 14th and 28th
So what should be our response as Christians when we        June 11th and 25th
are faced with such a situation? I'm ashamed to say
that I left them, after suggesting that they make           The support of the Church and community in Dunscore
amends with her sister. Did I show them the                 has been excellent with a team of twelve people
overflowing love and generous spirit of our God? Not        volunteering to help to lead the group. The local
really... Yet God tells us in Malachi 3 verses 6-10 that    Community Police and Council Youth Work Staff have also
if we give our tithe to him he will throw open the          been very supportive. Many thanks to all who have helped
floodgates of Heaven and pour out so much blessing          – it’s taken a while to get there but we’re up and running
that we will not have enough room for it. We CAN            at last!
take a risk.
                                                            To find out more about the youth group or to volunteer to
Think of the Prodigal Son returning home in some            help provide food or to drive the community bus please
trepidation after squandering his inheritance. He must      contact Rona Gunnell 01387 740326.
have been truly astounded by the colossal welcome
and generosity shown to him by his father. Jesus tells
us to show the same love and acceptance to others -
even if it's not convenient, I guess!

It's a challenge, isn't it?

                                                         Page 11
Auld Alliance Twinning Association
Mary Waugh

The Auld Alliance Twinning Association (composed of the villages of Dunscore, Penpont, Tynron and Keir) is
twinned with four French villages in the Oise region about 60 miles from Paris.

Everyone and anyone from the villages are very welcome to take part in the activities which are based around
themed visits to promote understanding and cultural exchanges. We also have the occasional French evening in
one of the villages to promote the organisation.

The link began over 12 years ago with a visit from the French Primary school-aged children and continues mostly
with an exchange with Penpont School.
                                                   th                nd
This year our French visitors will be coming on 29 April until the 2 May. The theme is „Healthy Food – Healthy
Communities – Healthy Europe‟. We receive funding from the EU so have strict criteria to fulfil. We will be taking
our guests to visit Rosslyn Chapel as well as various farms and food producers in the area including Cream o‟
Galloway, Loch Arthur etc. We are also treating our guests to a bilingual Burns Supper at Elisland – should be

Anyone wishing to find out more about the Auld Alliance please contact Robert Waugh 820301 or e-mail

A Computing Lesson                         With thanks to John Drabble

Jesus and Satan were having an on-going argument about who was better on the computer. They had been going at
it for days, and frankly God was tired of hearing all the bickering. Finally fed up, God said, "THAT'S IT! I have had
enough. I am going to set up a test that will run for two hours, and from those results, I will judge who does the better

So Satan and Jesus sat down at the keyboards and typed away. They moused. They e-mailed. They e-mailed with
attachments. They downloaded. They did spreadsheets. They wrote reports. They created labels and cards. They
created charts and graphs. They did some genealogy reports. They did every job known to man. Jesus worked
with heavenly efficiency and Satan was faster than hell.

Then, ten minutes before their time was up, lightning suddenly flashed across the sky, thunder rolled, rain poured,
and, of course, the power went off... Satan stared at his blank screen and screamed every curse word known in the
underworld. Jesus just sighed.

Finally the electricity came back on, and each of them restarted their computers. Satan started searching frantically,
screaming: "It's gone! It's all GONE! I lost everything when the power went out!"

Meanwhile, Jesus quietly started printing out all of his files from the past two hours of work and Satan observed this
and became irate.

"Wait!" he screamed. "That's not fair! He cheated! How come he has all his work and I don't have any?"

God just shrugged and said, "JESUS SAVES".

Zambian Night
Where: St Ninian‟s Church Hall – Moniave
What: Artists appearing – Hugh Taylor and Dave McFadyen; Uisge Beatha; Clatto Junction
When: Saturday 28 March at 7:30
How: Tickets from Pam Mitchell, Christine Sime and others

                                                        Page 12
A Big Rock Solid Thank You                             Tim Hancock

Our fund-raising event on Friday 20 February was a huge success!

Not only did we raise in excess of £650 but we had a great opportunity to show people who we are, what we do
and how much fun we have!
The kitchen resembled the professional
kitchen scenes in Materchef as a team
of red-faced helpers (including the
Minister) attempted to serve up 70 hot
portions of shepherd‟s pie and
vegetables to a queue of Rock Soliders
who were serving their tables. “Yes

The food was excellent – thank you so
much to all the people involved in
preparing, cooking and serving.

Thank you also to the people who
donated money, gave donations for the
refreshment fund and gave prizes for the
raffle. We were amazed at the prizes
we had been given; no less than three
substantial vouchers for meals at local
restaurants, a luxury hamper, an MP3
player and lots of other items. We do
hope that Toby feels better after her oil
and filter change!                                          In the “Professional” kitchen

                                                      Our trip to Wiston Lodge will take place in May and
                                                      we continue our Friday night sessions as usual
                                                      during term time. New members are very welcome –
                                                      just turn up at 7:30 pm.

                                                      Thank you again from all the Rock Solid members,
                                                      leaders and helpers.

                                                    Editor’s Footnote
                                                    Many thanks to all contributors! It is great to have so
                                                    many people that are prepared to write for the Digest
                                                    usually without the need for too much persuasion!

          The food (and drink) was excellent!
                                                    Thanks, as ever, to the proof-reader. I need to keep in her
                                                    good books! She also gives me someone to blame for
                                                    any errors!

                                                  Page 13
Letter from Lubuto                                Tim and Julie Hancock

Although addressed to us, this letter is really meant for the whole of the Dunscore congregation (and the
congregation of Glencairn and Moniave).

We thought that the best way to share the letter was to publish it in the Dunscore Digest. It has been reproduced
verbatim – enjoy!

Dear Dunscore,

Calvary greetings to you all in the blessed name of our almighty Jehovah Nissi. Here we are OK.

Thank you for your letter which you sent me. It was really wonderful and exciting. And sorry for taking too long to

At our church everything is going fine and you people are excellent and you are providing a good example for people
to follow. Blessed is the hand that giveth (Luke 6:38). You have followed this verse and may the Lord guide you all
where ever you are.

I am the one who took a photo of T shirt on the back written “Taste and See that the Lord is Good” (Psalms 34:4)
and the blue chetenge material which was written in French in (Acts 16:31). That was when we went to Nsobe with
Rev Kasanga and others.

Thank you so much. May the Lord bless you through the blood of his son. We are together (Tuli Pamo).

Love from Lubuto.

Deaths: Henry McFadzean

Homecoming                                        Ann Duff                Engineers without
Church Without Wall Conference                                            Borders
I‟ve been asked to say something about how I found the “Church            Matthew Aitken
Without Walls” get together at Aviemore Conference Centre in
January. The conference was run on the theme of Rabbie Burns              The recent Eco Congregation coffee
250th anniversary and Scotland‟s Homecoming. The church used it           morning raised £78.81. This has been
as their theme: The return of the prodigal son. The conference            donated to the Engineers without
looked at the eldest son who was left behind to look after his father     Borders (EWB) project to install
and the farm and his reaction to his brother‟s return and to the party    photovoltaic panels on an orphanage in
for his younger brother. Each of the speakers had a different view        Cambodia.
on the theme and this made it very interesting to listen to.
                                                                          The orphanage is currently under
The Songs of Praise was magnificent and having a screen to follow         construction to provide a safe home for
what was being sung was helpful. The screen was also used for             street children and will have schooling on
bible readings and the main points made by the speakers making it         the same site. The panels will give a
easier to follow. At mealtimes, we often discussed the talks and          reliable electricity supply to the
this lead to many marvellous debates with the people that you sat         orphanage.
                                                                          The EWB Edinburgh branch are raising
All in all the conference was very well run, the accommodation was        £15,000 for the materials then plan to go
first class and the whole of it was “God Centred”. The spirit             to Cambodian this summer to install the
throughout was a joy to be there with so many Christians from all         panels. Your support is much
walks of life.                                                            appreciated!
If more people could come and support Church Without Walls in the
future, I feel sure they would enjoy it as much as I have.

                                                        Page 14
Annual Golf Match
Rab Marchbank

Annual Golf Match – Thornhill Golf Club on 13 May starting at 10.00a.m.

This year‟s Golf Match is going to be different as it will not be the usual Moniaive against Dunscore competition
and the shield will be marked for this year‟s game in memory of Barney Easton. All will be very welcome - the
more the merrier! Names to make up the teams will be drawn from a hat and the competition will be in the
Stableford format.

Each team will be given a pink ball which will be passed between each of the team members after every hole. The
points of the member who has the pink ball will be doubled. Should the pink ball be lost the tally will stop and the
remainder of the game played on as normal. After the game, refreshments will be available from Janet and
Graham and there will be a prize for the winning team and a raffle.

If you are interested please contact me on 01848 200245, Tim Hancock on 01387 820881 or Richard Wilson on
01387 820596. Tim and Richard are organising the event for the Dunscore area while John Drabble is away.

Your support for this day would be very gratefully received.

Marriage – explained by kids
You have got to find somebody who likes the same stuff. Like, if you like sports, she should like it that you like sports
and she should keep the chips and dip coming.                                                        Alan, age 10

No person really decides before they grow up who they're going to marry. God decides it all way before and you get to
find out later who you're stuck with.                                                           Kristen, age 10

Twenty-three is the best age because you know the person FOREVER by then.                            Camille, age 10

You might have to guess, based on whether they seem to be yelling at the same kids.                  Derrick, age 8

Both don't want any more kids.                                                                       Lori, age 8

Dates are for having fun, and people should use them to get to know each other. Even boys have something to say if
you listen long enough.                                                                        Lynnette, age 8

On the first date, they just tell each other lies and that usually gets them interested enough to go for a second date.
                                                                                                      Martin, age 10
When they're rich.                                                                                    Pam, age 7

The law says you have to be eighteen, so I wouldn't want to mess with that.                          Curt, age 7

The rule goes like this: If you kiss someone, then you should marry them and have kids with them. It's the right thing to
do.                                                                                              Howard, age 8

It's better for girls to be single but not for boys. Boys need someone to clean up after them.       Anita, age 9

There sure would be a lot of kids to explain, wouldn't there?                                        Kelvin, age 8

Tell your wife that she looks pretty, even if she looks like a dump truck.                           Ricky, age 10
                                                         Page 15
Barely Believing
With Thanks to Richard Wilson

An atheist was walking through the woods, thinking to himself,
"How beautiful the animals are!"
"How majestic the trees are!"
"How powerful the rivers are!"
As he walked along the river, he heard rustling in the bushes behind him. He turned and saw an 8-foot grizzly bear
charging towards him. He ran along the path as fast as he could, but when he looked over his shoulder, he saw that
the bear was closing in on him.

He kept running, but when he looked over his shoulder again and the bear was even closer. Then he tripped and fell
on the ground. The bear was right on top of him with his right paw raised to strike him. At that instant, the atheist
cried, "God help me!"

Time stopped.
The bear froze.
The forest was silent.

A bright light shone upon the man and a voice from the sky said, "You've denied my existence for all these years
and have taught others that I don't exist. You've even credited creation to a cosmic accident. Why would you expect
me to help you out of this predicament? Are you now a believer?"

The atheist looked into the light and said, "Well, I would be a hypocrite to suddenly ask You to treat me as a
Christian now, but could you, maybe, make the bear a Christian?" "Very Well," said the voice.

The light went out.
The sounds of the forest resumed.
The bear lowered his right paw and brought both paws together. He bowed his head, and said: "Lord, bless this
food which I am about to receive from Your bounty through Christ our Lord, Amen."

Elementary Food Hygiene Course                                                                  Aly Robertson

A group of ten got together on two afternoons of „Thursday Church‟ to study for their Elementary Food Hygiene

Matthew Aitken of Underwood Consultants was our tutor. After some of Matthew‟s wonderful visual puns (where
we had to guess book titles from pictures) we got down to the serious business of keeping food safe and making
sure that the people who eat it stay healthy.

We had a helpful book called „The Food Hygiene Handbook‟ to keep us right and memorised the temperatures
that bacteria need to multiply and the temperatures that fridges and freezers should be set at.

Due to constant questioning we were prompted to remember „The Danger Zone‟ – the temperature range at
which bacteria multiply (5 - 63ºC). We had a look at the types of bacteria that cause food poisoning and studied
the symptoms.

A particular highlight was Gill modelling protective clothing, to keep bacteria off food. It was also very interesting
to use „Matthew‟s Magic Machine‟ which revealed how much dirt was on our hands both we had washed them
(yuck)! We then looked at correct hand washing techniques.

At the end of the course we took a multiple choice exam.

It was great to have the opportunity to take this interesting and informative course. I will find it very useful both at
home and when I am involved in preparing food for groups. I would certainly recommend it to others. Thanks,
Matthew for spending the time and for sharing your expertise.

Answers to the Digest Quiz: Harris, Mull, Skye, Lewis, Barra, Bute, Bass Rock (OK. a little cryptic that one!), St Kilda, Muck and Rum

                                                                              Page 16
Walk-On Part                                            Dunscore Kirk                     Jimmy Patterson
With thanks to Hazel Oliver-Claydon
                                                        The old Kirk of Dunscore stands proudly upon a high hill;
A boy was excited. When asked why, he                   Surrounded by valleys so peaceful and still.
explained to his mother that they were                  The Kirk‟s seen many changes since days long gone by;
casting the school play that day and he was             From the patter of horses, now it‟s cars running by.
hoping to get a part. His mother was                    It‟s shared treasured moments help ease grief and pain;
delighted and wished him all the best.                  Shedding God‟s light through each window pane.
                                                        It‟s had many congregations some large and some small;
That evening, on his return from school his             But to the good folks of Dunscore, it‟s been home to us all.
mother asked how he had got on.                         Let‟s hope the Kirk is still standing as the years roll on by;
                                                        Our symbol of faith to all who pass by.
“Really well” said the boy “I got a part!”
“That‟s wonderful” said his mother. “What is
the part?”

“I am not too sure” was the reply. “I only
know that it is a man who has been married
for 25 years.”

“I am sure you will do really well” said his
mother “but next year, see if you can get a
speaking part”.

Easter and Beyond…
Diary Dates

         Date                    Event                 Time                           venue
Wednesday 25th March      Resource Day          10:00 am onwards        The Manse, Wallaceton
Saturday 28th March       Zambian Night         7:30 pm                 St Ninian’s Church Hall, Moniave
Sunday 5th April          Palm Sunday           10:00                   Dunscore Church
Wednesday 8th April       Service               1:00   pm               St Ninian’s, Moniave
                          Service               7:00   pm               Dunscore Church
Thursday 9th April        Service               1:00   pm               St Ninian’s, Moniave
                          Service               7:00   pm               Dunscore Church
Friday 10 April           Service               1:00   pm               St Ninian’s, Moniave
                          Service               7:00   pm               Dunscore Church
Saturday 11th April       Have We Got Good      2:00   – 4:00 pm        DG One in Dumfries
                          News for You?
Easter Sunday 12th April Service                8:00 am                 Mast above Wallaceton
                          Family Service        10:00                   Dunscore Church
                          Reflective Service    7:00 pm                 Dunscore Church
                          with Communion
 Morning services continue to be at 10am each   Sunday Morning; with a 7pm service on the second Sunday of each
            Minister: Christine Sime Phone: 820245 email:
            Session Clerk: Charlie Macallan Phone: 820877email:
            Editor: Matthew Aitken Phone: 820448 email:
            If you would like a full list of church contacts, just ask your Elder

                       Dunscore Parish Church – Registered Charity Number: SC016060

                                                       Page 17

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