By Rev Fiona Bennett (From Seeds June 2022)
The 2’s seem quite significant in AUC’s history.
2022 marks 220 years since the congregation of what was then called the North College Street Chapel was founded in 1802.
2022 marks 30 years since this congregation became part of the URC, through its union with Dalkeith Road URC. The name Augustine United Church was born in 1992 through this union – so we have been ‘AUC’ for 30 years.
2022 also marks 50 years of the wider United Reformed Church, which was formed in 1972 when the Congregational Churches in Wales and England united with the Presbyterian Church in England.
Both the URC and AUC are patchwork quilts composed of the legacies of several denominations and local churches.
For AUC, apart from Dalkeith Rd URC, there were joinings with Bristo Place church in 1941; Hope Park and Buccleuch Congregational church in 1979; Dalry Congregational in 2005; and the Metropolitan Community Church of Edinburgh in 2009. Of course, each of these local churches also has their own patchwork legacy of congregations who have been birthed from, or who have joined with, them.
It is sometimes cleaner to think about our patchwork heritage through the structure of organisation, but that’s like looking at a photo of a quilt rather than feeling it around you or hearing what other people felt when they had that quilt around them.
People: the Church is about a community of people supporting and challenging each other to live Jesus’ good news and to share it with the world. AUC itself is full of people who are wrestling with how to build bridges and community throughout our society and world. I wonder, as you think back over your time in AUC, or as part of other churches, who are the people and the stories that have stuck with you and shaped you? Who has supported and challenged you to live out and share the message of acceptance, abundance and hope which Jesus came to bring?
“AUC is still full of people wrestling with how to build bridges and community”
These people are the many threads that make up the patches in the quilt of our history.
As we celebrate many 2’s in 2022, I would encourage us to remember and share these thread stories of people and the legacy they have left us.