Westoverland

Oh, the peace of mind to have certainty. 
 
Knowing where you are going, how you will get there and even the estimated time of arrival. These are some of the benefits of the GPS systems our smart phones give us when we need to get somewhere, either by public transport or by car. Or if you are planning to go for a ramble in the countryside, using the weather applications or websites you can have a fairly precise prediction of what the weather over the next 24 hours will look like. Other means of peace of mind that have given us modicums of certainty are the insurance industry which assures us of at least substantial cover in case of adverse events, antibiotics that are normally able to fight off most bacterial infections, and the BBC that gave us the certainty of unbiased, fair journalism.
 
We have been blessed to have experienced multiple generations of relative certainty and predictability here in the UK.
 
Which makes our present day and age all the more challenging to cope with. Knowing that antibiotics are less and less effective, that the BBC is increasingly being accused of bias, and that weather conditions are becoming more volatile and less predictable. These are only some of the indicators of a world that seems to be becoming less predictable and therefor less certain, which in turn increases risk and anxiety.
 
But has life really been all that predictable? And has predictability necessarily meant peace of mind and improved wellbeing? After all, we have had serious market crashes over the last few decades, significant natural and man-made disasters, a predictable rise in pollution and greenhouse gasses, and a predictable rise in the gap between the wealthiest and the poorest sections of society. Something that has meant an increase in instability and discontent.
 
So no, life is not always predictable, and even if it were, it does not always imply improved well-being for all.
 
In such times of increasing dis-ease, increasing insecurity, it helps to remind ourselves as believers that the Lord God is our ROCK and our SALVATION. Our hope is not in our wealth or the illusionary predictability of our lives, but rather in the Giver of all good gifts, in the Author of life. The One who knows the future, the One who was and is and will be, forever the same, forever just and caring.
We might not always know what the future holds, but we can know Who holds the future.
 
 

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

Christian Aid Feedback  
Mike Brough

Thank you to all who contributed to the work of Christian Aid last month.

 
So far, Craigsbank Church of Scotland has raised £705.00 and £806.25 with Gift Aid added. Our original target was £500.00, so we have exceeded it.
 
As you know, the worsening climate crisis is having a devastating impact on communities in Kenya. Right now families struggle to survive without a reliable water source. Every day, they walk further, dig deeper and build stronger to survive. Unrelenting. Determined.
 
All the support to Christian Aid Week means we can stand together with those on the frontlines to battle coronavirus and fight for climate justice.
 
Thank you,
 
Mike Brough
 

General Assembly Feedback  


The Church of Scotland recently held its annual General Assembly. Click here for a link to a four-page summary of the most significant decisions and conversations from the Assembly.
 
Our Presbytery Elder, Carol Turnbull, attended the Assembly this year as a commissioner. If you would like a first hand account or would like to post her a question, please contact her at carol.turnbull3@btinternet.com.
 

Apple Trees 

Earlier this year the Eco Group rustled up support from the congregation and families in the community to plant ten apple trees: five in Craigievar Park and five in Fauldburn Park. The trees were ‘adopted’ by families who will keep an eye on them. Use of East Craigs Community Facebook page has resulted in continuing interest in the project and the East Craigs Primary school has become involved with Eco Group projects with some exciting prospects ahead.

 
The two wee apple orchards are comprised of five trees in each, with ten different cultivars, each with an interesting story. For example, the Bloody Ploughman was first recorded in 1883. It originates from the Carse of Gowrie, Scotland. The story goes that a ploughman was caught stealing apples from the Megginch Estate and shot dead by a gamekeeper. When his body was returned to his wife, she found stolen apples in his pockets and threw them onto a rubbish heap. One of the resulting seedlings bore apples of a deep blood read. This tree gave rise to the apple which was named after the ploughman. Another cultivar is the Katy Dessert. This apple is usually very juicy, and when fresh from the tree the juice goes everywhere as you bite into it. If you have excess fruit it is a particularly good apple for juicing. Katy is an easy going, early season apple originating from Sweden where it is known as Katya, and is well suited to cooler climates. It was developed in 1947.


Forest Church Service  
Gemma King


Launch of Forest Church at Cammo Estate


On Sunday 30th May at 10.30am we held the first of what we hope will be many Forest Church services in Cammo Estate in the copse next to the old Cammo Manor House. Cammo Estate is managed by the Friends of Cammo volunteers and Edinburgh Council. The service was led by Rev. Peter Wood, former locum minister of this congregation, who is now developing the Forest Church initiative in Scotland.
 
It was amazing worshiping outside in God’s creation. Just as Peter opened the service a robin joined the congregation perching on a branch above him. The theme of this first service was appreciating the Spirit of God. A highlight for Alan was bubbles blown during the time of prayer – symbolic of people’s prayers going up to God. Throughout the service the symbol of wind was used to help people think about the Spirit of God. It was a misty start to the day but by the end of the service the mist had burnt off and we closed the service in brilliant sunshine singing ‘Walk in the light!’. The songs were sung a cappella led by John with Jessica on the flute.
 
29 people came along and most folk walked there. Hopefully even more people will come along to the next Forest Church service which will be held on Sunday 29th August. For more information contact Alan AChilds@churchofscotland.org.uk


Weekly In-person Services Resumed   
Elaine Thompson and Carol Turnbull


As of this Sunday, the sixth of June, we will be resuming with weekly in-person services, albeit alternating on a weekly basis at 10:30am between Craigsbank (first and third Sundays of each month) and East Craigs (second and fourth Sundays of each month). This is likely to be the case for the months of June to August, whence it will be reviewed again.
 
Please inform the Church Office at administrator@craigsbankchurch.org.uk  or 0131 334 6365 if you plan to attend an in-person service, as we are still limited to around 25 people at East Craigs and around 75 at Craigsbank, due to the social distancing regulations relevant for the size of the sanctuaries.
 

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.
 
Will you please also pray for this to become a reality?

We plan to have two different sets of activities running this summer to enable us to engage with these families. To make this a success we really need your support and your prayers.

 
Firstly, we hope to have a weeklylate Sunday afternoon adventurous ‘gettogether’ 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 P4 to P7s. We plant to start on the 27th of June and finish on the 15th of August.
A special request we have, is for adults like you who might be willing to share a particular practical skill or interest you have with the children. These could include anything ranging from decoupage to making rope knots, bicycle maintenance to vegetable gardening, origami to bird watching, fly fishing to hair braiding. Over time we hope to engage our church members (regardless of age) with the young families to enable not only interest in practical skills, but to also build relationships with members of the community who are not members of the church. The focus is thus on relationship building rather than on practicing religion. Through building relationships and networks of community, the faith and values we have will be able to be shared naturally as our community networks grow.
Secondly, we are planning a holiday club for the morning of the last week of the summer holiday, the 9th to the 13th of August. The target age range for this 5-day holiday club is 4 to 8 year olds.
 
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 at administrator@craigsbankchurch.org.uk) or Ros (at ros.morrison1@gmail.com).


Reimagining the future 
Alan Childs and Martin Fair 


As we dream about the future of our congregation and remember all the joy and beauty of our collective past, you are invited to participate in considering the way forward as we start to exit lockdown.
 
The Moderator of the General Assembly, Rev Dr Martin Fair, at a recent conference shared an inspirational 10 minute talk about the exciting prospects of renewal. The video can be viewed here on YouTube
 
The Church of Scotland, whilst being historically rooted in our rich heritage and uplifting culture, is experiencing much change just like society at large. In order to stay relevant in a changing society and to keep building the Kingdom of God on earth as it is in heaven, we are embarking on a broader congregation-wide conversation about what our future could look like. You are invited to have a look at the following 18-minute YouTube video in which three areas of interest are identified as possible focus areas for the foreseeable future. Please have a look by clicking here. Think and pray about these concepts and discuss it with your fellow members in the congregation.
 
We had a positive, productive open conversation on the evening of the 2nd of June over Zoom where everyone who attended gave their feedback into a collective gathering. We had also received written submissions from members of the congregation beforehand which formed part of the deliberations. You are welcome to contact the minister or any of the congregation’s leadership if you have feedback, questions or comments.
 
Please note that this video shares ideas for discussion. The content is not set in stone, but offers suggestions to direct our energy and focus as we share the love of God in authentic ways with the community (parish) we find ourselves in.
 

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 light and love of God brighten your journey just as our days keep becoming brighter and longer.

 

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