Online Worship Archive

Welcome to the online service of worship for The Fifth Sunday After Trinity 2020

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MAYFIELD SALISBURY PARISH CHURCH

EDINBURGH

Online Worship Material Available 8.00am Every Sunday

Sunday 12 July 2020

 

Fifth Sunday after Trinity

 

 BENEDICT

 You sought to start a simple school of prayer,
A modest, gentle, moderate attempt,
With nothing made too harsh or hard to bear,
No treating or retreating with contempt,
A little rule, a small obedience
That sets aside, and tills the chosen ground,
Fruitful humility, chosen innocence,
A binding by which freedom might be found

You call us all to live, and see good days,
Centre in Christ and enter in his peace,
To seek his Way amidst our many ways,
Find blessedness in blessing, peace in praise,
To clear and keep for Love a sacred space
That we might be beginners in God’s grace.

Malcolm Guite Printed with permission from 
The Singing Bowl
, Canterbury Press


                                                                      

                                   .

www.mayfieldsalisbury.org

 AS A DIVERSE PEOPLE, THE CHURCH GATHERS TO WORSHIP ALMIGHTY GOD

 

Welcome Revd Helen Alexander

Good morning to the members and friends of the congregation of Mayfield Salisbury Parish Church, and welcome to this worship online for the 5th Sunday after Trinity.

Yesterday the calendar of the Roman Catholic and Anglican churches commemorated St Benedict whose famous Rule became the basis for one of the great monastic movements in medieval Europe. Noted for its humane and moderate approach to community life based on the twin foundations of work and prayer, the Rule still guides Benedictine communities to the present day.

Here is a sonnet for St Benedict by Malcolm Guite:

You sought to start a simple school of prayer,
A modest, gentle, moderate attempt,
With nothing made too harsh or hard to bear,
No treating or retreating with contempt,
A little rule, a small obedience
That sets aside, and tills the chosen ground,
Fruitful humility, chosen innocence,
A binding by which freedom might be found
You call us all to live, and see good days,
Centre in Christ and enter in his peace,
To seek his Way amidst our many ways,
Find blessedness in blessing, peace in praise,
To clear and keep for Love a sacred space
That we might be beginners in God’s grace.

I invite you now to join me in a short period of silence in preparation for worship.

Scripture Sentences

Let me hear what God the Lord will speak,
for he will speak peace to his people,
to his faithful, to those who turn to him in their hearts.
Surely his salvation is at hand for those who fear him,
that his glory may dwell in our land.
Steadfast love and faithfulness will meet;
righteousness and peace will kiss each other.
Faithfulness will spring from the ground,
and righteousness will look down from the sky.

Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.

 

Let us pray

Father of mercy and of peace, bless us and help us as we seek first to cultivate that attitude of heart receptive to your gracious word, and let us be open to the benediction of this hour.

If we have risen today with sorrowful hearts, or anguish of soul, speak peace to our hearts and calm our restless minds in the name of him who shared our sorrow and suffered pain and anguish for our sakes; even Jesus Christ our Lord.

If we are haunted by regret and the trauma of past memory, bless our hurts and those whose injuries we may have caused, and bless us all with the healing hands of him who preached mercy to the poor in spirit and lightening of the loads of those who are heavy burdened.

If it is hard for us to surrender to a power other than our own, or to raise our eyes beyond the immediate concerns of everyday, help us to know that it is in bending in humility that we are enabled to walk tall with true and supple strength, and that it is in looking beyond ourselves we may be granted a vision of the unity of all things through the grace of the Holy Spirit to whom with you and the Son be glory.

The Collect

Almighty God who has made us for yourself and for whom our hearts are restless until they find their rest in you, grant us peace in your service, and the joy of seeing you face to face in the world to come; through Jesus Christ our Lord who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen.

 

Reading   Psalm 65   Reader: Tom Mole   NRSVA

Thanksgiving for Earth’s Bounty

To the leader. A Psalm of David. A Song.

Praise is due to you,
    O God, in Zion;
and to you shall vows be performed,
O you who answer prayer!
To you all flesh shall come.
When deeds of iniquity overwhelm us,
    you forgive our transgressions.
Happy are those whom you choose and bring near
    to live in your courts.
We shall be satisfied with the goodness of your house,
    your holy temple.

By awesome deeds you answer us with deliverance,
    O God of our salvation;
you are the hope of all the ends of the earth
    and of the farthest seas.
By your strength you established the mountains;
    you are girded with might.
You silence the roaring of the seas,
    the roaring of their waves,
    the tumult of the peoples.
Those who live at earth’s farthest bounds are awed by your signs;
you make the gateways of the morning and the evening shout for joy.

You visit the earth and water it,
    you greatly enrich it;
the river of God is full of water;
    you provide the people with grain,
    for so you have prepared it.
10 You water its furrows abundantly,
    settling its ridges,
softening it with showers,
    and blessing its growth.
11 You crown the year with your bounty;
    your wagon tracks overflow with richness.
12 The pastures of the wilderness overflow,
    the hills gird themselves with joy,
13 the meadows clothe themselves with flocks,
    the valleys deck themselves with grain,
    they shout and sing together for joy.

 

HYMN 124   Praise to the Lord, the Almighty   Lobe den Herren

Praise to the Lord, the Almighty, the King of creation;
praise God, my soul, for in him are your health and salvation;
come all who hear,
into his presence draw near,
joining in glad adoration.

Praise to the Lord, who in all things is wondrously reigning,
shields you from harm and is gently yet firmly sustaining.
Have you not seen
how your heart's wishes have been
granted by God's wise ordaining?

Praise to the Lord, who with blessing and power will defend you;
surely his goodness and mercy shall daily attend you;
ponder anew
what the Almighty can do:
God will for ever befriend you.

Praise to the Lord! O let all that is in me adore him!
All that has life and breath, come now with praises before him!
Let the Amen
sound from God's people again:
gladly for ever adore him.

Joachim Neander (1650-1680)
translated Catherine Winkworth (1827-1878) (alt.)
Played by Kate Pearson
Sung by Susan White

 

WE LISTEN FOR THE SPIRIT OF GOD

 

Readings   

Genesis 25: 19 – 34    Reader: Tom Mole  NRSVA

 

The Birth and Youth of Esau and Jacob

19 These are the descendants of Isaac, Abraham’s son: Abraham was the father of Isaac, 20 and Isaac was forty years old when he married Rebekah, daughter of Bethuel the Aramean of Paddan-aram, sister of Laban the Aramean. 21 Isaac prayed to the Lord for his wife, because she was barren; and the Lord granted his prayer, and his wife Rebekah conceived. 22 The children struggled together within her; and she said, ‘If it is to be this way, why do I live?’ So she went to inquire of the Lord23 And the Lord said to her,

‘Two nations are in your womb,
    and two peoples born of you shall be divided;
one shall be stronger than the other,
    the elder shall serve the younger.’

24 When her time to give birth was at hand, there were twins in her womb. 25 The first came out red, all his body like a hairy mantle; so they named him Esau. 26 Afterwards his brother came out, with his hand gripping Esau’s heel; so he was named Jacob. Isaac was sixty years old when she bore them.

27 When the boys grew up, Esau was a skilful hunter, a man of the field, while Jacob was a quiet man, living in tents. 28 Isaac loved Esau, because he was fond of game; but Rebekah loved Jacob.

Esau Sells His Birthright

29 Once when Jacob was cooking a stew, Esau came in from the field, and he was famished. 30 Esau said to Jacob, ‘Let me eat some of that red stuff, for I am famished!’ (Therefore he was called Edom.) 31 Jacob said, ‘First sell me your birthright.’ 32 Esau said, ‘I am about to die; of what use is a birthright to me?’ 33 Jacob said, ‘Swear to me first.’ So he swore to him, and sold his birthright to Jacob. 34 Then Jacob gave Esau bread and lentil stew, and he ate and drank, and rose and went his way. Thus Esau despised his birthright.

 

Romans 8: 1 – 11     Reader: Kay McIntosh DCS   NRSVA

There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has set you  free from the law of sin and of death. For God has done what the law, weakened by the flesh, could not do: by sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and to deal with sin,  he condemned sin in the flesh, so that the just requirement of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not according to the flesh but according to the Spirit. For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit set their minds on the things of the Spirit. To set the mind on the flesh is death, but to set the mind on the Spirit is life and peace. For this reason the mind that is set on the flesh is hostile to God; it does not submit to God’s law—indeed it cannot, and those who are in the flesh cannot please God.

But you are not in the flesh; you are in the Spirit, since the Spirit of God dwells in you. Anyone who does not have the Spirit of Christ does not belong to him. 10 But if Christ is in you, though the body is dead because of sin, the Spirit is life because of righteousness. 11 If the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, he who raised Christ from the dead will give life to your mortal bodies also through his Spirit that dwells in you.

 

St Matthew 13: 1 – 9     Reader: Kay McIntosh DCS  NRSVA

 The Parable of the Sower

13 That same day Jesus went out of the house and sat beside the lake. Such great crowds gathered around him that he got into a boat and sat there, while the whole crowd stood on the beach. And he told them many things in parables, saying: ‘Listen! A sower went out to sow. And as he sowed, some seeds fell on the path, and the birds came and ate them up. Other seeds fell on rocky ground, where they did not have much soil, and they sprang up quickly, since they had no depth of soil. But when the sun rose, they were scorched; and since they had no root, they withered away. Other seeds fell among thorns, and the thorns grew up and choked them. Other seeds fell on good soil and brought forth grain, some a hundredfold, some sixty, some thirty. Let anyone with ears listen!’

 

 

Reflection   Revd Helen Alexander

Tell me a story. In this century, and moment, of mania, Tell me a story.’ (1)

These words by the 20th Century American writer Robert Penn Warren implicitly acknowledge that narrative has great capacity to teach us about life.

Stories invite us to delve into what it means to be human, whereby for good or ill we may identify with characters and their situations, or learn about other societies, cultures and ways of looking at things that are different from our own. Story can also help us connect to our societal, national and international past. The current popularity of Hilary Mantel’s great trilogy of the life and times of Thomas Cromwell is a contemporary example.

More than half of our Old Testament is narrative in which it can sometimes be hard to distinguish myth, history, folktale and fiction in the unfolding drama of the Hebrew people as the chosen race of the Abrahamic God, and the mixed fortunes of the nation of Israel. However, unless you’re a dedicated textual scholar, what’s important is that we might learn about ourselves, our religious heritage, and how we might open up somehow to the illusive mystery of God.

This week’s story within the Old Testament’s grand-narrative introduces what we might call the Hebrew version of the terrible twins Esau and Jacob whose uneasy relationship began in their mother Rebecca’s womb, continued into adulthood, and was to be seen as the basis for the enmity between the tribes of Edom and Israel.

Their story continues the theme of the purposes of God for the chosen people and the gradual understanding that this purpose was to unfold in surprising ways, often against the cultural norm that favoured the older son in a family. As the fortunes of Israel had rested upon Isaac rather than Abraham’s first born Ishmael, so it was to be with Isaac’s the younger son Jacob rather than his brother Esau, albeit Esau was the senior by a mere whisker. God’s mysterious purposes were unpredictable, as the prophet Isaiah knew: ‘….my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the Lord’ (2) - surely no bad thing for people of any generation to bear in mind.

But the story of Jacob and Esau is no less illuminating for its insights about human nature, specifically family functionality, or dysfunctionality to be more accurate. This ancient nomadic family was no idealised model of domestic bliss. It’s much more true to life.

Read the beautifully told story in Chapter 27 of Genesis along with today’s lesson and you’re led into a skilfully observed family drama featuring intense sibling rivalry, no doubt fostered by parental favouritism whereby Esau was singled out for the attention of his father Isaac, and Jacob was his mother’s boy. Esau’s rough and ready somewhat boorish nature whereby his stomach ruled his head proved no match for Jacob’s devastating ability to use his calculating head to serve his own ends. Perhaps he’d learned from his mother Rebecca who may have been an impressionable doe-eyed beauty when first married but, whether by natural tendency or marital disappointment had turned out to be a first-rate schemer and manipulator for whom her ageing husband, short-sighted in more ways than one was, in a manner of speaking, a complete push-over. While Jacob inveigled his older brother to trade his birth-right for a square meal, Rebecca devised the strategy that made this an actuality, dressing Jacob in his brother’s clothes, wrapping his arms and neck with animal skins to make them feel like Esau’s, and sending him to his blind father with a savoury supper to receive the coveted blessing. Once the deed was done, no hindsight and regret on Isaac and Esau’s part could revoke its effect, and the benefits, material and otherwise belonged forever to Jacob and his descendants.

Thankfully this archetypal pattern isn’t necessarily repeated in most ordinary families. Yet the skilful Biblical narrators were astute observers of human nature. There was no attempt to gloss over human fallibilities and failings. ‘Families and how to survive them’ (3) was the name of the game; and who

would argue that in a great many cases, it still is, to a greater or lesser extent. And difficulties can be passed down through generations, oftentimes with little or no conscious awareness on the part of the participants until some circumstance might prompt investigation and reflection.

We need to tread sensitively. Families can go horribly wrong and when they do, need all the help available. Fortunately however, while some intergenerational conflict is to some extent inevitable, in the end most of us remain more or less content with the family into which we’re born, sometimes valuing family ties more and more as we grow older. And those who become parents generally devote their attention to shaping the future for their children’s benefit and good. As the ancient story tellers of Israel knew, the family is the setting for much pride and joy as well as struggle and disappointment, and their tales can be a source of recognition and relief as well as hope for us today.

Turning to the New Testament, we find that story is central there too in the meta-narrative of the birth, life, death, resurrection and ascension of Jesus Christ, and we prize the individual stories that make up the Gospels, including the particular parabolic tales beloved of Jesus.

The point of his kind of rabbinic teaching is that people are left to make of it as they will. You’ve to work at the answer and apply it to yourself rather than being spoon-fed a single meaning that’s applicable to all.

There are instances in the Gospels when Jesus is heard to explain his parables, though most believe that this reflects the interpretation of early Christian communities written into the finalised text.

Matthew includes such an explanation of the parable of the sower that we heard today whereby the seed is the message of the Gospel, the fruitfulness of which depends on the capacity or willingness of the individual hearers to act upon it.

All well and good, but this isn’t necessarily the only meaning to be read into the parable. It can also be helpful to focus on the harvest that we’re to understand was to be unbelievably large, far in excess of that which would normally be expected from even most fruitful Palestinian field. Looked at this way, the point is not so much the capacity or willingness of each of us to contribute to the work of the kingdom, but more the lavish indiscriminate generosity of the divine sower of the seed. This makes it less about our effectiveness as individuals or even as individual churches and congregations, important as these may be, and more about the generous gift of life to the church universal in which we are all invited to participate.

The abundant blessing that was promised to Jacob and his descendants, despite their shortcomings and failings is of the same order and scale as that promised to the church. It is more dependent on the generosity of God than on our individual or collective achievement.

1. Robert Penn Warren Tell Me a Story New and Selected Poems 1923 – 1985 Random House 1985
2. Isaiah 55: 8
3. John Cleese and Robert Skinner wrote the bestseller Families and How To Survive Them Cedar Books 1993

 

RESPONSE TO THE SPIRIT OF GOD WITHIN

 

Voluntary   played by Kate Pearson -  Lied’ by Louis Vierne (1870-1937)

 

Thanksgiving and Intercession Revd Helen Alexander

We make our prayer for all people of the earth whatever their situation and circumstance, colour and creed, giving thanks for the great diversity of nations, and the gift of each for those who have eyes to see and hearts to receive. We pray for expansion of vision and collaboration in good and useful purpose that the welfare of the whole may prove more than the sum of its parts.

In these difficult and testing times we pray that wisdom and open mindedness may overcome mistrust and competition, and that the clutch of insecurity and fear may be replaced by an openhanded willingness to enter into dialogue and diplomacy for the sake of overcoming poverty, disease and death, and for furthering the cause of peace and security throughout the world.

We pray for leaders of the nations, balancing the welfare of their citizens with their joint responsibilities for the future of the world. And we pray for the earth, shared by us all and with all living things: for wise cultivation and the treasuring of wild places; for the welfare of animals and the valuing of species; for increasing mindfulness in respect of thoughtless policies and developments devised by those who are bent on self-seeking and gain.

On this day that is celebrated by many groups and churches as Sea Sunday, we pray for the oceans of the world and all who do business in their waters: for fishermen and sailors; for those who serve in the great navies of the world; for all who guide ships to safe anchorage and harbour; for great ocean liners connecting people to far- away places even as we think too of tiny vessels upon which livelihoods of families and communities depend.

We remember families in this country and beyond: those struggling with want, unhappiness and fear; children who are neglected and unloved as well as all those millions upon millions who are faithfully nurtured with kindness and care. We delight with all whose partnerships and marriages are graced with loving connection and concern, even as we pray for those that are threatened by pressure, misunderstanding and deep enduring conflict.

We pray for the church here and abroad, cautiously opening doors again for prayer and worship, hospitality and service. We give thinks for lessons learnt: that faith does not depend on buildings, glorious and precious though they may be; that nature can become a great cathedral and the quietness of a small secluded place become a sanctuary of prayer; that faith endures in the hearts and minds of millions upon earth.

We pray for our communities and neighbours, remembering those we love and treasure beyond words. We offer our thoughts and concern for those who are ill or facing an uncertain future; for those who are dying and all who grieve. And we remember with thanksgiving those whom we have loved, lost and love yet who are gathered into the arms of God within the Community of Saints; through Jesus Christ our Lord to whom be glory for ever.

The Lord’s Prayer

Our Father, which art in heaven, hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come; thy will be done on earth, as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread and forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors. Lead us not into temptation but deliver us from evil. For thine is the kingdom, the power, and the glory. For ever and ever. Amen.

 

HYMN 243    Touch the earth lightly     Tenderness

Touch the earth lightly,
use the earth gently,
nourish the life of the world in our care:
gift of great wonder,
ours to surrender,
trust for the children tomorrow will bear.

We who endanger,
who create hunger,
agents of death for all creatures that live,
we who would foster
clouds of disaster,
God of our planet, forestall and forgive!

Let there be greening,
birth from the burning,
water that blesses and air that is sweet,
health in God's garden,
hope in God's children,
regeneration that peace will complete.

God of all living,
God of all loving,
God of the seedling, the snow, and the sun,
teach us, deflect us,
Christ re-connect us,
using us gently and making us one.

Shirley Erena Murray (b.1931)
Words and Music: (c) 1992, Hope Publishing Company. Used by permission.Played by Kate Pearson
Sung by Susan White

 

  BENEDICTION

Deep peace of the running wave to you
Deep peace of the flowing air to you
Deep peace of the quiet earth to you
Deep peace of the shining stars to you
Deep peace of the Son of peace to you
And the blessing of God: Father, Son and Holy Spirit be with you all.

 

AMEN     The Chamber Group

 

 

 

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The writer of today’s second hymn, Shirley Erena Murray, was a New Zealander and fellow of the RSCM and in 2001was awarded the New Zealand Order of Merit for services to the community through hymn writing which encompasses a wide range of subjects including the seasons of the Christian Year, peace-making, human rights and ecology. Her sensitive use of language and its topicality have caused her work to be widely acknowledged throughout the world.

The composer of the tune Tenderness, organist and choir master Colin Gibson also comes from New Zealand and is a fellow holder of the NZOM with Murray with whom he shared enthusiasm for similar themes and frequently collaborated. Of Touch the earth lightly he said:

As often in Shirley Murray’s hymns, the energy of the writing arises from the perceived conflict of values: in this case a Christian theology of creation set against contemporary exploitation and destruction of the environment. In the second verse human beings are characterised as agents of destruction, specifically in the context of contemporary French nuclear testing in the Pacific (‘clouds of disaster’). The final two verses set out a vision of regeneration and ‘greening’ and pray for a reconnection between the human community and the natural world.’ (Source: Hymnquest)

 

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INTIMATIONS

NEXT SUNDAY’S READINGS: Psalm 139: 1 – 12, 23-24, Genesis 28: 10 - 19a, Romans 8: 12 – 25 & St Matthew 13: 24 – 30.

YOUTH UPDATE

Jackbox Game Night: S1-S6 youth are invited to join in a Jackbox game night over Zoom on Sunday 12 July at 7pm. All you need is a mobile phone to take part! 

Virtual Youth Programming: The *virtual* youth schedule for the month of July can be accessed on the church website under the 'Young People' tab. All youth programming will be held over Zoom. New virtual youth consent forms must be sent to Hillary before attending a session. For log-in access to the Zoom sessions, or to get a copy of the consent forms, please contact Hillary!

 

MEMORIES OF MAYFIELD by Sheriff Nigel Thomson C.B.E. (1926-2011) Nigel Thomson's fascinating booklet of recollections and photographs of earlier times at (the then)Mayfield Church can be downloaded and read in its entirety here: Memories of Mayfield.

 

ONLINE OFFERING / DONATION The Church is very grateful to all those who give by standing order enabling us to maintain a large portion of our income through these difficult times. We now offer the ability to contribute to our work electronically through the ‘give.net’ facility which appears on the home page of the Church’s website. This provides the possibility of adding Gift Aid to donations. There is also a direct link to the new system which is: https://www.give.net/20311853                With best wishes, Hugh Somerville, Free Will Offerings Treasurer.

 

PASTORAL CARE Many thanks to all of you who have been in the various phone trees over the past few months. They have been so important and reassuring for so many people.

For those of you making the masks, scrubs and bags. The nursing home have asked me to thank you all for your generosity of time and talents. They now have enough, but are so grateful for your help and response when they were so desperately needing it. Kay

 

 

Forthcoming Deadlines

Order of service for next week: Thursday at 6.00pm.

Next GrapevineFriday 31 July at 6.00pm.

Please send submissions to the Church Manager, William Mearns.

Phone: 0780 801 1234 or email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

 

Books for the Journey

My Sour-Sweet Days: George Herbert and the Journey of the Soul by Mark Oakley.

Luminaries: Twenty lives that illuminate the Christian Way by Rowan Williams.

 

Copyright Notices

SCRIPTURE QUOTATIONS are from New Revised Standard Version Bible: Anglicized Edition, copyright © 1989, 1995 National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

Mayfield Salisbury Parish Church holds a CCLI Streaming License: #88916.

 

  

Social Media

www.facebook.com/MayfieldSalisbury

www.youtube.com/user/MayfieldSalisbChurch

www.flickr.com/photos/98063709@N06/

Youth Instagram: the.msyg

 www.mayfieldsalisbury.org

Scottish Charity Number SC000785

Christian Aid Appeal

christian aid logo Large

 

We recently received the following urgent appeal from Christian Aid, which we very much hope you will consider supporting:

Last year, over 45 million people were forced from their homes by conflict and violence. Families who have suffered so much need your help now more than ever to face the deadly threat of coronavirus. Millions of lives are at stake.

Coronavirus is the latest threat to their safety. Families who have fled conflict and hunger are now living in crowded camps where social distancing is impossible. In these places there is limited access to medical care, clean water or enough food, making people extremely vulnerable to coronavirus. Here, the virus is likely to be even more deadly than it has been in the UK. Deaths are already mounting.

We’ve joined the Disasters Emergency Committee (DEC) to raise urgent funds for communities living in extreme poverty and conflict in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic. Please help us protect refugees and vulnerable people in the world’s most fragile places today.

We’re already responding to the Covid-19 outbreak by delivering life-saving information and hygiene support, personal protective equipment and food packages to communities in need. Your donation can help us to:


• provide families with clean water, soap and information on keeping themselves safe
• give frontline medical and aid workers the equipment and supplies they need to care for the vulnerable and sick
• ensure families get enough food to prevent malnutrition, particularly amongst children


Help families who have lost everything as they face this deadly threat.


If you’d like to contribute, please visit the Christian Aid website at: www.christianaid.org.uk    Cash and cheques cannot currently be accepted, but you can make a donation by telephone on 020 7523 2269.


Thank you!


The Christian Aid Committee

 

Contact Information

Mayfield Salisbury Parish Church,
18 West Mayfield,
Edinburgh,
EH9 1TQ

0131 667 1522 / 0780 801 1234

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
 
Scottish Charity Number: SC000785

Quotations

  • Because God is both knowable and unknowable the tension of the symbol, the multilayers of the myth and the openness of the poetic are all vital to our desire to celebrate the Mystery to whom we relate and in whom we have our being.
    Mark Oakley

  • You must love him as he is: neither God, nor spirit, nor image; even more, the One without commingling, pure, luminous ...

    Meister Eckhart

  • The purpose of our life is God's glory. However lowly a life is, that is what makes it great.
    Oscar Romero

  • Faith may justify bigotry or fanaticism, as Church history tragically witnesses. It needs a safeguard. If it is not animated as it were by the greatest of the theological virtues (love), faith can become defective.
    Thomas Norris

  • Dry not, dry not, your tears of love eternal! Only to eyes that fail to weep does this world seem so dull and dead. Dry not, dry not, those long, sad tears of love.
    Johann von Goette

  • The post modern paradigm manifests itself as a unity which preserves diversity and diversity which strives after unity.
    David Bosch

  • There is only one assertion that requires no evidence. Children are a sacred trust...Unless we care properly for our children, we shall never build a better world.
    'A Good Childhood’ The Children’s Society

  • These are only hints and guesses, hints followed by guesses; and the rest is prayer.
    'The Dry Salvages' T.S.Eliot

  • According to strict truth, God is incomprehensible, and incapable of being measured.
    Origen

  • Myth is a story about the way things never were, but always are.
    Thomas Mann

  • In the darkness ...The child of your love - and now become as the most hated one - the one You have thrown away as unwanted - unloved ..... The darkness is so dark .... I have no faith.
    Mother Teresa

  • I love the Bible. I owe my faith and my life to the Bible and its liberating message. It is in the Bible that I first met Jesus ... I too am included in God's embrace.
    Gene Robinson

  • It is this great absence that is like a presence, that compels me to address it without hope of a reply ....
    R.S. Thomas

  • Faith is not a proud self-consistent philosophy. It involves maintaining oneself between contradictions that can't be solved by analysis. It is therefore a living response to the grace of God as revealed in fragile lives.
    Mark Oakley

  • Any religion which does not say that God is hidden is not true.
    Blaise Pascal

  • The contemporary Church is losing aspects of its wide and generous memory and therefore condemning itself to become a 'swimming pool Church' - one that has all the noise coming from the shallow end.
    Mark Oakley

  • For all your doctrinal headaches take Paradox.
    Mark Oakley

  • The true vision and the true knowledge of what we seek consists precisely in not seeing, in an awareness that our goal transcends all knowledge and is everywhere cut off from us by the darkness of incomprehensibility.
    St Gregory of Nyssa

  • Death, death be hanged, the Lord has promised me that I shall live. This I believe!
    Martin Luther

  • We feel that even when all possible scientific questions have been answered, the problems of life have not been put to rest.
    Wittgenstein

  • Religion is the flight of the alone to the Alone.
    Plotinus

  • Stupid clergymen appeal quite directly to a Bible passage directly understood ....
    Soren Kirkegaard

  • What is the point of the arts of reading and criticism as long as the ecclesiastical interpretation of the Bible, Protestant as well as Catholic, is cultivated as ever?
    Friedrich Nietzsche

  • A figure like Ecclesiast, rugged and luminous, chants in the dark a text that is the answer, although obscure.
    Wallace Stevens

  • Myth is the poetry of the soul.
    Sara Maitland

  • Our loss of the ability to think mythically, poetically, allegorically, creatively, theologically, and artfully is a greater threat to our religious experience than anything good scientists have to report ...
    Sara Maitland

  • In general, Zen attitude is that words and truth are incompatible, or at least that no words can capture truth.
    Douglas Hofstadter

  • 'God' is a one word poem
    Rowan Williams

  • What is today? Today is eternity.
    Meister Eckhart

  • Apprehend God in all things, for God is in all things.
    Meister Eckhart

  • The most powerful hunger we have, mostly suppressed and misdirected, is the hunger for God.
    Miroslav Volf

  • We frequently judge that things are as we wish them to be, for through personal feeling true perspective is easily lost.
    Thomas a Kempis

  • Faith is the bird that feels the light and sings when the dawn is still dark.
    Rabindranath Tagore

  • God is the beyond in our midst.
    Dietrich Bonhoeffer

  • 'God is not the answer, God is the question.'
    Herbert McCabe