SEECAT Awareness Evening

SEECAT is holding an Information Evening on Children and Families in South Edinburgh on Monday 26th October from 7 – 9pm.
This will be in Liberton Kirk Centre, Kirkgate, and there will be light refreshments. Bethany Christian Trust and Safe Families for Children Scotland will be facilitating the evening along with someone from the Edinburgh South Social Work Team.
Do come along to discuss together how our churches can work with the community to strengthen and support families in our local area.

FAREWELL MESSAGE TO LIBERTON NORTHFILED PARISH CHURCH

 

Grace to you and peace from God who is, who was and who is to come!

We thank the Holy Triune God whose sustaining presence has brought us this far and for which we must be grateful. Almost two years ago on January 12th 2014, I began my ministry as Locum Minister here in Liberton Northfield Parish Church. In April 15th of the same year, Florence, Larry, Talitha-Zerah and Reuel-Gilead joined me, and on the 9th May 2014, Arielle was born. It is this family of six that you have had amongst you for almost two years and whom you have greatly supported and encouraged.

As we leave you for other assignments and following the appointment of Mike Taylor to full time ministry in the parish, I am aware of the mixed feelings that are in our heart as a family and possibly in the hearts of some parishioners! We have had a great time of ministry among you and so it is difficult for my family and I to say goodbye to you despite the compelling circumstances because of which we must go! I lack appropriate words to thank you for the love, kindness and support you have shown to us during these twenty-one months. Your love, constant love and lavish hospitality toward us has been extraordinary and we wonder how especially our children would cope without the friends and family they have now become so used to at Liberton Northfield Church. Through our shared worship and ministry I have had the privilege to experience God’s love, and the presence of the Risen Saviour in our midst. I have seen the Holy Spirit made manifest as we have prayed and studied the word of God together, Sunday by Sunday and I have been blessed to be able to visit some of you in your homes, baptise a new child, and to conduct funerals of those we have loved. For all these opportunities I thank God who gives us the strength and I thank you all for ministering with me and sharing the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

I am especially grateful to all of you who have visited, sent my family and I notes, cards, gifts in kind and cash-sometimes anonymously and e-mails. Many of you have been thanking God for having us and have affirmed my ministry on many occasions. All these have been of tremendous encouragement to us in this task of proclaiming God’s word in a new and different geo-cultural context. Your expressions of kindness and gestures of love mean more to me than you can ever imagine. Please know that we love you, our family will always love this church and will miss you terribly. Some of you have asked how you might be in touch with us. I can be reached at amosbongadu@gmail.com.

As we now separate, I wish to ask your forgiveness for any mistakes I might have made during my time here at Liberton Church and that may have caused any problems. I will always remain grateful for the ways my ministerial gifts have been acknowledged among you, and will forever carry with me all that I have learned and experienced, all of the love which in the end, is what needs to be remembered most here after.

I think the best way you can honour my brief ministry amongst you is to remain faithful to the revealed word of God through Jesus Christ, to support this parish and the new minister-Mike Taylor. It is my sincere prayer that the Liberton Northfield Parish Church will remain a citadel of God’s dwelling, a beacon of hope for the dispossessed of society and a jewel in the midst of gold. Therefore be strong and of good courage and be the church that is truly alive for ‘…I am confident that the one who began the good work among you will bring it to completion by the day of Christ Jesus’ (Philippians 1:3-6).

May the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, the love of God and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with us now and forever more.

Yours in the service of the Kingdom,

Peace,

Rev. Amos Bongadu Chewachong.

02/09/2015

Visitation team

 

If you notice the person who usually sits near you, in front or behind you and has not been to church for a week or two please let us know. Hopefully we would be able to contact them and arrange a visit. If you would like a visit from one of the visitation team please see Irene or Rachael. IRENE HOY 664 8413 RACHAEL WHYTE 664 5974

 

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.