Live by God’s Rules

A God of love, we should behold
This in the Holy Bible we are told.
First love God and then your brother
Worship God and no other.

Live a life of heavenly love
Taught by God who lives above.
Endeavour through life to do no evil
Help God’s laws, overcome the devil.

If you sin, God will forgive you
He is aware of everything we do.
Repentance is what God will expect
Believe in this and show regret.

Man has succumbed to earthly sin
From the time earth did begin.
Be at all times faithful to God
Serve Him with love and give him laud.

Alex Drysdale

 

 

Children’s Group Updates

*Trailblazers*

*During May, the Trailblazers have been learning about some of the things
Jesus taught us in John chapters 14 to 16. While all age groups have been
considering the same verses, they have done so in slightly different ways.
For the All Stars group, these chapters were considered under the headings
“true path”, “true growth” and “true guide”.*

*During June, the Trailblazers will be considering the life of the early
church in Acts chapters 13 to 16.*

*Advance notice of dates for the diary: There will be an “end of school
year” family service on Sunday 21st June. The next meeting of Trailblazer
leaders and helpers has been scheduled for Tuesday 22nd September at 7:30.*

*We would welcome any new additions to the team of leaders and helpers
working with the Trailblazers. If this is something that you could get
involved in then please contact Margaret Padfield or Rona Lawson for an
informal chat about what this involves.*

*Trailblazers summer event*

*A “crafts and sports” afternoon is being organised for the Trailblazers on
Saturday 13th June. It will take place in the Liberton Northfield church
hall from 3:30 to 5:30pm and all of the children will be very welcome.*

*Training for leaders and helpers involved in children’s work*

*A training morning for all the leaders and helpers involved in the
children’s work at Liberton Northfield was held on Saturday 9th May. There
was a good turnout, with 15 people attending, and we took time to consider
a diverse range of topics. Amos opened the day with a Bible reading and
message to focus our attention on why the children’s work is so important.
Jenny Fepuleai gave us some new ideas on ways to tell Bible stories to
children, and encouraged us in a practical exercise. Ann MacLeod from St
Paul’s church in Glasgow then gave us a presentation on food handling – and
we all did well in the quiz at the end, although we do have a couple of
practical suggestions to follow up on. After coffee, Helen Palmer led us in
considering the purpose of crafts in our sessions with the children, and
gave us the opportunity to make some for ourselves. Angus Morrison (who
leads the Scripture Union holiday club we run in October) came through from
Glasgow to give us some points to consider on the way we interact with the
children. On a practical note, Jeff Hodgson talked us through the Liberton
Northfield fire policy, and then we all learned a new song from Fischy
music – “Sing a new song” – which we have since sung with the children
during the Sunday morning service. The morning was rounded off with an
excellent lunch prepared by Rebecca and we all headed home happy but with
lots to think about. Several of the presentations were accompanied by
handouts – please contact Margaret Padfield if you would like a copy of
these.*

 Awaken to the Gifts of Nature!

 

When my loved sister Dene sent me the poem by William Wordsworth- “The Tables Turned” – and commented in her accompanying note, “….I knew that you, being a nature lover would get a lot from it,” I knew that I had to recount my own reaction to that beautiful poem. It speaks essentially of how busy we all are for far too much of the time, our noses stuck in books (….or more frequently smartphones, iPads or mobile phones, which of course were an as yet unimagined invention in Wordsworth’s day). It refers to our often complete oblivion to the ‘Nature-al’ world around us; we are so busy hurrying here and there, cramming our lives with a lot of inconsequential matter; keeping our eyes on the time, racing from one activity to another, trying to pack in as much as we can; faster, faster, faster. Everything is ‘instant’…..which, for many, is still too slow.

As I write, it is to the accompaniment of the rich, flutey, yet quietening call of a returning blackbird to our garden for the summer. It is after nine o’clock in the evening, but being early spring, it is still quite light and not yet time for bed for him. As early as 3.30am – and sometimes even earlier – I might awaken to the sweet chortling of a robin joyously proclaiming first light…. And during the weekends, when I am at home more often, the soft whisper of the bluetit and lazy, warm, cricket-like trill of a greenfinch in the hedges, evoke comforting hopes of warm and sunny days ahead.

On my ride into work on the bus each weekday, as I look around a good many folk are either beating out a text message, rolling their small screens up and down looking at past photographs taken, or playing a “solitary game” on their phones. I look out of the window. There are no wires suspended from my ears pouring music into them. I have time and space and if I’m lucky, the relative quietness to sit back and fill my soul with the wonders of Nature in all her Spring glory:

– the large, white-blossomed trees quite awesome (in the true sense of the word), like the billowing white frock of a lucky bride, extravagantly chiffoned, outdoing everything else in the garden with its wondrous beauty
– the long-awaited blue of a Scottish sky on an early spring day; the soft, sweet fragrance of the air outside.

When I alight from the bus at last at Murrayfield, and walk along the footpath to the stadium where I work, ‘clouds of deep pink’ line the far side of green Roseburn Park. The trees over on that side have given way to the stark ‘black lace’ effect of winter; the cherry trees are richly endowed in frothy pink, their very petals serrated and softly clustered, like creamy puffs – always the same, year after year.

All about me – daily – there is newness in growth everywhere, and I give thanks for the gift of sight and sound, for the freedom to go at my own pace before I reach the office and get shunted into the ‘day’s doings’. I stop to look over the edge of the bridge railings that span this particular reach of the Water of Leith, past Murrayfield, and I am fascinated to see the goosanders and mallards swimming about…..or fishing….or sleeping on one leg in the sunshine, head tucked under wing.

The daffodils may be over, but their yellow cheerfulness is replaced by the lush, sweet fragrance of newly mown grass in the park, and the young rowan trees flaunting their first tiny and tender green buds of spring.

There is a deep rejoicing in my heart, born of taking my eyes out of the world’s flurried media and publications, disconnecting myself from electronics, and drinking in, in large gulps, this brand new season……looking forward to late rosy sunsets, sun-drenched days, and ripe, luscious fruits of summer, before the gold of autumn will surely follow on. Almost six months of this beauty, if we’re lucky!

It’s worth keeping my eyes and ears fully open for!

Kathleen Munroe

Fancy learning how to operate the sound and projection systems?

Fancy learning how to operate the sound and projection systems?

 

As you know, Peter Austin and David Inglis do a great job every week operating the church sound and projection systems but what would happen if they were both away at the same time – the service quality would suffer.  We are therefore looking for volunteers to learn how to operate these systems in order to act as emergency cover.  Having an email address is essential and if you are interested, please talk to either Peter or David.

 

MESSAGE FROM THE MINSTER’S DESK

John 20: 10-18

Why are you crying?

The title of this message ‘why are you crying’, reflects our every day mood especially as we are committed to face all kinds of challenges through life. Some of these challenges may so heart breaking that we want to hide in our little corners and cry! But in the context of John 20:10-18, It is a post-resurrection question, which was first asked by the angels and then by the risen Christ to Mary Magdalene on that first Easter morning at Jesus’s graveside. Mary had come to the tomb to anoint the body of Jesus and when she failed to find it, she concluded that some unknown persons might have taken it away and so she burst into tears, crying!

But why was Mary crying? May be because she had observed the brutality with which Jesus had been handled and then crucified, or because she had been denied the opportunity to pay her last respect to the body of Jesus. She wept because she feared that the grave rubbers might have done some sacrilege to the sacred body of Jesus, she wept because she was alone! Above all else, I think Mary wept because she thought she had lost the only man who had ever truly understood and loved her, the Saviour who had delivered her from bondage and given her a new life. She wept because she couldn’t face the future without this Almighty Saviour, the light had gone out of her life and she was in deep darkness of grief and even of despair. But of course, Jesus had not left her as she thought! Jesus had risen, he was there by her very side, and if only she knew who it was then her tears would quickly have been dried.

Now I don’t know why you may be crying even as you read this message, I wonder if some of us may see ourselves in Mary Magdalene! Surely there is a great deal to weep about in this dark world! Think of the massive destruction in terms of property and human live that is going on in parts of the world: The brutal killings of human beings by so called Islamic state fanatics in the Middle East and the boko haram insurgence in West Africa. Think of the recent Xenophobic attacks in South Africa, the drowning of desperate Africans in the Mediterranean travelling to Europe in quest of the golden fleece! Think of natural disasters like the Ebola virus and the recent earthquake in Nepal, the emaciated bodies of people in parts of the world who are suffering from poverty and malnutrition, no doubt we cry!

But some of us may be crying because of our past, our failures, and our sense of shame over what we have been and done, our guilt. And there are biblical suggestions for us to weep over our sense of sin and shame (James 4:9-11). But our grief over sin also touches the heart of our heavenly father and attracts his compassion over us! Charles Spurgeon would have been right when he commented that:

A child’s cry touches a father’s heart, and our King is the father of his people. If we can do no more than cry it will bring omnipotence to our aid. A cry is the native language of a spiritually needy soul, it has done with fine phrases and long orations, and it takes to sobs and moans, and so, indeed, it grasps the most potent of all weapons, for heaven always yields to such artillery.

May be some of us are weeping over our savage temptations and heavy responsibilities, or maybe it is our fears and anxieties about the unknown future that makes us want to cry! No doubt we weep and we shall go on weeping until the risen Lord says to us, why are you weeping, stop weeping, there is no need to weep, be of good cheer, it is I, be not afraid!

What I personally learn from Mary’s encounter with the risen Christ is that Christianity is a personal relationship with Christ. Without a personal relationship with Christ, we go on our way weeping through life and nothing could dry our tears if he was dead and gone and never risen. So let us try to develop this special relationship with our Lord by studying the word of God daily and seeking to know Christ more closely, so that we can shout with Thomas, ‘my lord and my God’!

May God lead us peacefully throughout this month and let us hear the echo of his voice in our different situations, woman, man why are you crying’. Oh stop crying because he is alive and standing beside you!

Shalom!

Rev Amos Bongadu Chewachong

Locum Minister

Charles H. Spurgeon, The Treasure of David: Spurgeon’s Classic Work on the Psalms, (edited) by David O. Fuller, 2004.

 

42nd Annual Book Sale

At St Andrew’s and St George’s West Church, 13 George Street, Edinburgh there is the 42nd Annual Book Sale with Art and Collectables on Saturday 9th May, 10am to 4pm, Monday 11th May to Friday 15th May, 10am to 3.30pm with late night opening to 7pm on Thursday 14th May.

The Undercroft Café is open all day, with prayers at 1pm each day.

 

What happens when we place £10 in the offering plate on Sunday?  

I thought the content in a Church of Scotland information leaflet titled ‘What happens when we place £10 in the offering plate on Sunday?’ would be of interest, as follows:

It provides a powerful ministry, locally, nationally and globally:
£4.20 is kept by the local church
£5.00 pays for our Ministers and
£0.80  goes to important help for congregations and supports the mission of the Church.

Let’s look at this in more detail:
> About £4.20 is kept by the local church for all sorts of costs including maintaining the building, mission, worship and supporting church groups.
> About £5.00 goes to the Parish Ministries Fund. This ensures we have ministries in every part of the country.
> About 80p supports congregations with services such as Safeguarding, Law Department, General Trustees, and Stewardship and Finance. Some of this money also ensures the mission of the Church is strengthen through the work of Councils.

7p Mission Discipleship

4p Church and Society

6p Social Care (CrossReach)

11p World Mission

40p Support and Services to your church (legal advice, accounting, safeguarding)

5p General Assembly and Moderator

7p Special Contributions

Some interesting facts:

In 2015, the cost of a Minister at the top of the stipend scale is £41,048.

If your Ministries and Mission contribution is £47,730 or more, you are meeting your costs in full.

If is less than £47,730 you are receiving financial support from other congregations. (Liberton Northfield Church receives financial support.)

In 2015, the Church of Scotland will spend £110 million.

Congregations will contribute £47 million of this.

Ian Messer

 

Training for leaders and helpers involved in children’s work*

We are planning a training morning for all the leaders and helpers involved in the children’s work at Liberton Northfield. It will be held in the church hall on *Saturday 9th May, from 9:30am to 1:45pm and will include lunch.* We are aiming to make the event fairly practical, and tailored to our needs, including topics such as “storytelling for children” and “food handling awareness”.

If you are able to attend then please sign your name on the registration sheet on the notice board in the Friendship Hall, or email Margaret Padfield (Margaret.macleod@gmail.com) so that we can get an idea of the numbers for catering.

 

Church Hall Polling Station

As you probably know, there is a General Election on Thursday 7th May. Our church hall is being used as a polling station and we are looking for volunteers on Election Day to be on duty. The duties are in two-hour timeslots between 6.30am and 10.30pm and there is a sheet pinned on the church noticeboard in the Hall of Friendship just waiting to be populated with names. Your help representing our church on Election Day is greatly appreciated. If you have any questions, please contact Ian Messer.

 

June Communion Retiral Offering

The June 28th 2015 Communion retiral offering will go to the Barnabas Fund. The Barnabas Fund website at https://barnabasfund.org provides the following information:

We give: The main ministry of Barnabas Fund is to send financial support to projects which help Christians where they suffer discrimination, oppression and persecution as a consequence of their faith. The projects aim to strengthen Christian individuals, churches and their communities by providing material and spiritual support in response to needs identified by local Christian leaders.
Encourage prayer: We seek to encourage and facilitate prayer by providing prayer information, prayer requests and resources in many different forms and formats.
Raise awareness: This ministry makes known the plight of the persecuted Church, particularly in the Muslim world, by a wide variety of means, in order to educate Christians and others about the current situation and needs as well as the background and causal factors.
Contest injustice:  When requested by Christians in the contexts concerned, we engage in speaking on their behalf. This can be by public petitions and letter-writing campaigns or discreet contacts behind the scenes.

 

 

Another Spring Cleaning Surprise

The first surprise was the Liberton Northfield Parish Church 1869 – 1969, Service of Thanksgiving in the March newsletter, well it’s not that I’m busy cleaning all the time but hiding at the bottom of my bedroom unit drawer for almost exactly 46 years was my copy of the Liberton Northfield Church Youth Fellowship Summer Syllabus, May to September 1969. The Youth Fellowship was a church organisation of teenagers (minimum age was 15) and young adults, I think the maximum age was mid-twenties. The catchment was mainly boys and girls from the Guides, Girls Guildry and Boys Brigade plus their friends. There was a President, Vice-President, Treasurer and Secretary, along with a four-person committee.

In the syllabus the first Sunday of the month was always a visit to Southfield Hospital where we would sing a few old favourite hymns for the patients in 3 or 4 wards. Hikes in the Pentland Hills were always popular; the 25th May was a day hike from West Linton to Balerno. The 6th September was a midnight hike; two volunteers would setup a base camp comprising two tents if you were lucky and the hikers would set off around 10.30pm and navigate to the campsite by torch, map and stars. If the weather was good, you’d sleep out under the stars, looking forward to a hearty fried breakfast – great fun.
Day trips in the syllabus included:

8th June: Visit to Stirling Castle

22nd June: Day at the seaside – Silverknowes

29th June: Ten-pin Bowling at the Alma Bowl in Kirkcaldy – a train journey. This was the nearest ten-pin bowling hall to Edinburgh in 1969!!

13th July: Visit to a Fire Station (Lauriston Place) – the Vice-President was a Fireman.

26/27th July was a week-end away to Gean House, Alloa. Gean House was owned by the Scottish Temperance Alliance and used as a conference and study centre.

It must have been easy to get tickets for the Tattoo as we were there on Saturday 23rd August.

Quizzes, social nights with other Youth Fellowships, sausage sizzles and film nights were also popular events in the syllabus. We had a ‘night-in’ when Apollo 11 was about to land on the Moon, much more exciting.

Here’s a photo of some members circa 1968 in our church hall located in Walter Scott Avenue, now St. Gregory’s RC Church.  There is one member of our congregation today in this photo.

Church Group 1968

The Youth Fellowship spawned lots of romances as it was a great meeting place, I can think of at least six marriages including Marion and I – it’s got a lot to answer for!

Ian Messer