Westoverland

 
 
 
We will endure much discomfort for our imminent comfort
 
Really, I honestly reckon that as humans we are uncomfortable with our discomfort, to the point of being willing to endure discomfort as long as we can endure comfort soon enough.
 
Whether for better or for worse.
 
For better will include enduring a strict weight loss programme to ensure I have a healthy BMI weight, or washing the windows inside and outside to ensure not only that I can see properly into the garden, but also to have the sense of accomplishment knowing my house (windows at least) are clean and blemish free. For worse will be what most modern day parents (including myself) have done when changing the soiled nappies of our babies since the 1990s, simply use single use synthetic ones in stead of washing the cloth ones. Another for worse trait is generally replacing faulty electric and electronic goods in stead of fixing them.
 
But this is true not only of lifestyle paraphernalia and habits, but also of our souls.
 
How often do we shun trials, or being disciplined or pruned because of the pain and challenging emotions that is likely to be part of the purifying furnace of tribulations? So much so that the fake promise offered by the individualised theology of a prosperity religion has become all to prevalent in Christian circles. As if God’s role is to see to my wellbeing and my happiness. As if God is a genie in a lamp that will adhere to our beck and call granting us three (or more often unlimited) wishes as long as we say Halleluja every now and again.
 
But that is not the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. Nor the God that Jesus exemplified nor called Father. It definitely is not the God that steadfastly committed Himself to the cross and to the grave.
 
As a Presbyterian I wish we would be more willing to see Jesus on the Cross in our sanctuaries, and even on our necklaces. Having purged our version or the Christian religion from any possible temptation of 'idol worship' we have retained the pulpit, the organ, the baptismal font and the cross in our church buildings, but we have ensured that there are few-to-no images of a dying God on the cross anymore.
 
As if suffering is now something of the past. As if we do not suffer. As if God does not have compassion with our passion. Meegevoel in Afrikaans, Mitleider in German. Suffering with.
 
For when one suffers, there is much strength and comfort to be found in the knowledge that you really are not walking through the valley of sorrow alone. Strength to go through the valleys of discomfort is often found in knowing why one has to go through the trial. Yet, often we do not have the reason, sometimes we do not even have a reason. But knowing that I am being accompanied in the fiery furnace, in the flood and if needs be even into and beyond the grave, that strengthens and comforts me.
 
As the inspirational Catherine of Sienna once wrote: ‘As I cried “My God and Lord, where were you when my heart was in darkness and in mire?” I heard this answer “My daughter, you did not feel it? I was in your heart”.' 
 
I could spray the poison on the weeds, or I could pull the weeds up. I could decide not to phone the grumpy cousin, or I could call and remain interested in his wellbeing. The hassle is sometimes worth the effort, even if for the knowledge that effort in itself can be a blessing.
 
 

Information about the goings on and
well-being of the church


Weekly In-person Services Resumed   
Elaine Thompson and Carol Turnbull


Having resumed our weekly in-person services, this weekend’s service (1 August) at 10:30am is planned for the Craigsbank Church Centre whilst next week’s is scheduled to be at the East Craigs Church Centre.
 

Summer Plans for Children’s Clubs   
Ros Morrison and Alan Childs

The summer holiday is an ideal time to share the love of God with our community’s children in fun, creative ways. As a congregation we hope to build new relationships with children and their parents and carers as society starts to exit from the long lockdown.
 
Aware of the fact that we have very few children and young families as members in our church, yet that there are very many such children and young families living in the community, we hope and pray that we can build new, life affirming relationships with these families. Please pray for this to become a reality.
  • We are planning to restart our Summer Holiday Club again this year. The theme is Eco Warriors and it is planned to run at East Craigs Church Centre from 10am to 12.30pm from Monday the 2nd of August to Friday the 6th of August for children aged 4 to 7 years old. To register send an email to the Gemma at administrator@craigsbankchurch.org.uk or phone 0131 334 6365.
  • On Sunday afternoons from 4 to 6pm, we have adventurous gettogethers for children and their parent(s)/carer(s) for the duration of the summer holiday. The target age range for this weekly adventure gettogether is 8 to 12 year olds. Visit the DD Adventures website here. This Sunday we plan to visit the archaeological dig at the Cammo Estate and are meeting up at 4pm at the south side car part of the Cammo Estate.
  • If you have a teenager in the house or in your network that would like to get out of the house during the summer holidays for a few hours of wholesome activity on Tuesday or Wednesday afternoons, then please direct them to the Edinburgh City Council’s local youth activities for the summertime. Called Park Life, these groups are held at Gyle Park (Tuesdays) and Clermiston’s Park (Wednesdays) for teenagers in the year groups P7 to S3. Click here for more details.
If you want more information, would like to participate or know of a family in your street or network that might have children that could be interested, please inform Gemma (at the church office administrator@craigsbankchurch.org.uk) or Ros (ros.morrison1@gmail.com).
 

Family Summer BBQ   
Mike Brough


You are invited to join in the annual Family Summer BBQ on Sunday 15 August at 6pm at East Craigs Church Centre. Feel free to bring a friend along. The meal is provided free of charge (but donations are welcome).

Eco Congregation Scotland
Anne Currie

 

COP 26 is due to be hosted in Glasgow in November. There are opportunities for congregations across Scotland to become involved in preparing for this event, and as we look forward to a just, green future beyond.
 
One of the ways to support a drive towards a cleaner, greener future, is to support divesting from fossil fuel based industries. The ‘Scotland Churches Pledge COP26’ is in support of such divestment and the justice and green recovery. Click here to sign online on The Eco Congregation website.
 
If you are interested in praying along with folks from the congregation for the wellbeing of our ecology, there is a fortnightly, Tuesday early morning 30-minute prayer meeting over Zoom. If you would like to participate, please contact Liz Brash or Esther Davidson.
 

Sermon series
Alan Childs


You might remember that our online worship services for January and February were themed around the Patriarchs and Matriarchs of our faith, March and April focused on Rights and Responsibilities from the Book of Deuteronomy and in May and July we looked at the Book of Isaiah.
 
The church office has now produced a sermon series booklet for each of these three series. It can be downloaded as a PDF document here from our church website, or it can be ordered from the church office. If you prefer to listen to sermons, rather than read them, the sermon series audio files are available here on our website.
 
Our upcoming series is on the exciting and dynamic book of Acts. If you would like to start preparing for our sermons on Acts, you are invited to start reading some of the passages in Acts during the months of July and August.
 

Thank you


Thank you for all your prayers, interest in the well-being of one another, viewing of the services, helping behind the scenes, your financial giving and all other forms of support you have given the church congregation and one another as brothers and sisters in Christ.
 
It is a privilege to be a part of a faith community that lives out in practical ways the existence of God as love.
 
May the passage of time bring you ever closer to the very heart of God’s love and beauty
 
Alan Childs
 
 

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