Articles taken from the September Edition of the St James’ Monthly Magazine
Parish Grouping Update
Movement towards the union of the churches has been going at a deliberate pace. Rushing into complex and difficult conversations and decisions is not always the best way to engage with all parties or opinions.
However, momentum has begun to pick up as we look ahead to the union of the churches, which will take place sometime in 2014.
Forward movement involving so many people will necessitate a number of meetings and gatherings so all can listen and have their say. Do note that 'listening' comes first!
Here is a list of upcoming meetings. Please do note, especially the Joint Service and Congregational Meeting on Sunday 22 September at St. Philip's.
Sessions and A Place for Hope: Each individual Kirk Session will have met with Hugh Donald from A Place for Hope (APfH) by the time these magazines are published. Hugh is a trained and skilled mediator who will listen carefully to the thoughts and ideas of each session. It provides each session the opportunity to speak candidly about their opinions amongst those with whom they have worshipped for years.
Joint Kirk Session: On Monday 2 September the Kirk Sessions will meet at Portobello Old Parish. At the time of the writing of this article, there may be three topics of conversation. We will review the thoughts of the individual sessions offered to Hugh Donald in an effort to understand more fully how each church is feeling; we will consider more frequent meetings of the Kirk Sessions; and the groundwork will be laid for the meeting of the congregations on September 22.
Joint Service and Congregational Meeting: As indicated above, this meeting is of great importance and members of the congregations are strongly encouraged to attend. The content and structure of the meeting will depend very much on information and ideas gathered by the Parish Grouping Development Team, the individual Kirk Sessions and the Joint Kirk Sessions. It may offer particular ideas to the members, asking them to respond; it may ask for ideas regarding priorities and/or vision; or there may be topics which require detailed consultation. Please keep ears and eyes open for more information, which should be available in mid-September.
And then? Good question. All that is gathered at these meetings will be used to chart a way forward. Not only do we as three congregations need to agree a legal document delineating the details of the union (called the Basis of Union), but, perhaps more importantly, we need to discuss and agree priorities and/or vision that will help guide our way and cement relations.
We will aim to provide information to the congregations through magazines, announcements and websites as it becomes available.
We ask that members of the congregation please avail themselves of the opportunities to be made aware of these developments.
The Parish Grouping Development Team
Junior Church News
We started our session with a Family Service and now move on to the sessions ahead.
There will be a mix of Messy Church, Family Services and Junior Church. Some of the ‘lessons’ will be topics based on movies. The first will be on 'accountability' showing scenes from Shrek, the second will be on 'faith' using The Empire Strikes Back'.
The next few Sunday’s look like this ;
01-Sep-13 Messy Church
08-Sep-13 Junior Church
15-Sep-13 Autumn Holiday
22-Sep-13 Family Service - St P's
29-Sep-13 Junior Church
06-Oct-13 Messy Church
13-Oct-13 October Holiday
All children are welcome anytime at Junior Church and any of the activities. We welcomed several new families to ‘Messy Church’ last year and hope to do so again. This requires us to tell people about it and you can play your part by passing on details, directing people to our banner and simply inviting them along to come and try it !
We have been using CH4 for a while now at St James’. It is advertised as
‘This revision of 'the Church Hymnary' consists of some 100 psalms and 700 hymns, of which nearly a quarter are new items written and composed since the third edition was published in 1973.’
The collection consists of worship songs and material from all round the world, complementing the established hymns and tunes familiar to congregations.
It is has been wonderful to welcome such a resource to St James’ and to discover new hymns and work by new hymn and songwriters.
Some of the songs that were previously ‘Songs of God’s People’ and ‘Common Ground’ have found their way into the new version of the hymn book, a sign of their popularity.
What is also clear is while we have welcomed many new songs into our primary hymn book, there are some from CH3 that were sung on a regular basis that didn’t make it into CH4.
That’s not to say we won’t be singing them again. We have the option of using the previous book but more likely we would simply reproduce words in with the Order of Service.
John Anderson has prepared a list of some of the hymns from CH3 that we have used but didn’t make it into CH4 ;
68 Thou art before me,
70 O hear my prayer
112 Jesus Christ I look to thee
120 Lord of beauty
141 O lord of every shining constellation
162 Before all time
214 Thine arm of lord in days of old
222 Wise men seeking
227 I love to hear the story
272 Welcome happy morning
309 O son of man
322 Thy kingdom come o god
384 Come let us remember
411 My hope is built
449 Looking upward every day
449 was a favourite of mine from Sunday School days. If there is something that you would like to sing at worship, please speak we myself, John or Peter. We don’t wish to lose the joy of singing some of these great hymns.
Saturday, 7th September 2013
Osiligi Maasai Warriors come to St Philip’s on Saturday 7 September at 7.30pm. Come and hear some fantastic music as these Kenyans perform to raise money for their community. Tickets are priced £8 adults and £4 children. More information can be found at www.osiligi.org.
Sunday, 15th September 2013
African Children’s Choir: This fantastic choir returns to St Philips for a concert at 7.30pm. There will be the usual combination of dancing and singing, as well as a few songs sung in conjunction with Towerbank’s choir. Tickets £3/£5/£12 (family). For more details speak to Stewart Weaver.
Saturday 21st September 2013
The Lothian and Borders Police Choir come to St Philip’s again This group returns and, as requested, will provide more music for us. Includes local musician Alec Hodgson as well. 7.30pm in the Sanctuary. Tickets £10. For more information speak to Stewart Weaver