The Parish of Mayfield Salisbury is now vacant

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Session Clerk, Charles Garland, welcomes the Interim Moderator.

This morning we are delighted to have Reverend Neil Gardner with us to lead our worship.  Neil is our Interim Moderator, and he, along with Reverend Helen Alexander, will guide us through our vacancy period.  He is Minister of Canongate Kirk, The Kirk of Holyroodhouse and Edinburgh Castle, and so his Sundays are already busy.  Most of Neil’s work with us may therefore be in ways which may seem less visible, at least to those who are not elders.  He will Moderate our Kirk Session meetings, and will advise us on the creation, and then the work, of the Nominating Committee, whose job it will be to identify a suitable nominee to be our new Minister.  There will be more information on that in the coming weeks.  Of course, this is a process that we have not been through for many years now, and Neil’s guidance will be invaluable and also a great pleasure for us.  We look forward to working with you and to getting to know you better. For today, we are very grateful to you for being with us to take our service, and you are most welcome.

Welcome for Reverend Helen Alexander by Charles Garland, Session Clerk
Good morning and welcome!  Today, as you know, marks the start of our vacancy period after Scott’s induction at St Columba’s in Ayr last Thursday.  Those of you who were able to go will have seen the warm and heartfelt reception he received.  The church was absolutely full.  The congregation was clearly eager for him to begin his time with them.  We also discovered that the internet’s prediction of 1 hour 40 minutes for the trip to Ayr will only apply if you have police outriders the whole way.  But we arrived in the nick of time, and many thanks to the Ian McCallum Fund, and to Wendy for organising the bus and for providing us with sandwiches and biscuits in the traffic jams.  So on this, his first Sunday as minister in Ayr, we wish Scott well.
We also welcome back Hillary and Craig after their wedding in the US last weekend.  Many congratulations!
Now, as we walk along the pavements this week, and spend time in the parks, the trees are a very visible sign of the season.  Green leaves are becoming yellow, red and orange, then swirling in the gusty air to the ground.  The branches become barer and we begin to see the structure of each tree, all trunk and bark and branch, as it prepares for winter and for next year.  Is that a bit like the process we are going through?  Scott has left, and we are now getting ready for a new phase of our collective life here.  In this process, we retain our core selves - our trunk and branches.  In fact all of that becomes more visible.  We can see better who we are as a church community, which will be so important in our search for a new minister.  
However, we need a continued source of sustenance and nurture to ensure that we thrive in this transition phase.  We are therefore absolutely delighted that Reverend Helen Alexander has agreed to join us.  She will be preaching today and most Sundays during the vacancy, and Reverend Neil Gardner, our Interim Moderator, will be with us next week.  Helen has generously come to us having retired earlier this year after a decade as Assistant Minister at St Giles.  I have tried in vain to find a dictionary which defines ‘retirement’ as taking up a new post, and so we are enormously grateful to you, Helen, for giving up your time for us.  We are looking forward to getting to know you better in the coming weeks and months, and to you leading our worship through our transition period.  You are most welcome!

The Parish of Mayfield Salisbury is now vacant.

Revd Dr Scott S. McKenna’s Announcement at the Kirk Session Meeting 
The Minister outlined some of the changes which are likely to arise. MSPC is in good heart and his reason for accepting St Columba’s invitation is to seek a new challenge and also a concern not to stay over-long in one place.  Among the strengths of MSPC the Minister pointed to experienced and dedicated staff and he also acknowledged the support and encouragement of Session.  
  • 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.

  • 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.

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

  • 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

Vacancy Information

Interim Moderator 
Revd Neil N. Gardner
Neil may be contacted by email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or by phone: 0131 556 3515
Locum Preacher 
Revd Helen Alexander
Helen may be contacted by email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or by phone: 0131 346 0685.

During the ministerial vacancy at Mayfield Salisbury, we welcome the Revd Neil Gardner,Minister of Canongate Kirk as Interim Moderator. He will conduct the services on the morning of Sunday 3 November.
We also welcome the Revd Helen Alexander, formerly Assistant Minister at St Giles’ Cathedral, as Locum Preacher. Helen will principally conduct the Sunday services during the vacancy period. 
During this time, please contact the Pastoral Assistant, Kay McIntosh, for pastoral enquires email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or phone: 0790 326 6307.
For all other general enquiries, please contact the Church Manager, William Mearns in the first instance by email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or phone: 0780 801 1234.


'Amazed by Science, illumined by Religion' This booklet is available free of charge.  Details HERE

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