Returning to the Building

From Seeds April 2021

Following the Scottish government’s recent announcement, Church Council has taken the decision to start streaming our worship services from the building once again from April 11th.

From May we hope to offer a monthly service, with limited numbers for folk to attend in person if they wish. We’ll be using the same booking system as before and we’ll advertise the link well in advance.

The number of in-building services will be reviewed each month in response to the Covid rates, the appetite for in-building worship, and the willingness of people to steward.

Hearing Wisdom’s voice

By Rev Fiona Bennett (From Seeds April 2021)

One of the passages we discussed in Contextual Bible Study last month was Proverbs 8, where wisdom is described as a woman.

She is standing by crossroads and public areas full of people making choices and decisions, calling on people (somewhat frustratedly) to listen to her. She reminds people that she is the way of justice and righteousness, and she is treasure worth more than gold. It is a wonderful passage and a striking image of Wisdom speaking out to us, if we choose to listen.

As the vaccines gradually begin to take effect in the UK, it seems that now is a good time to start thinking and planning for a time when schools, shops, cafes and even churches will be open again.

Before we rush back into old habits, there is a short time of grace to consider how we want things to be when they re-open. Are there things we have gained or learned during this pandemic that we do not want to forget or lose? What has Wisdom been saying to us through the past year that can steer us toward her paths of justice and righteousness for the present and future?

At Church Meeting on March 9th, we began asking these questions and have followed them up with letters and emails toward the end of March. The three key questions were:

  • What do you want to carry from 2020 into the future, which you would be sad to lose?
  • What do you want to reclaim from 2019, which you have missed through 2020?
  • What insights might the 2020 experience offer AUC about our calling and the future shape of our ministry and mission?

A next stage will be to re-visit the Shaping a Healthy Future Report produced for us in February 2020, in light of these responses. As with many adventures with God, this year has taken us to places we did not expect to be, but through it all God has been with us and Wisdom has been speaking to us.

Can we take time to listen carefully to her voice and allow her insight to shape our individual, congregational and societal life in our gradually unlocking world?

AUC Christmas Gifts

By Rev Fiona Bennett

Each Advent, Augustine United Church makes gifts to support a number of different projects. We hope this giving and support will continue this year, but perhaps in slightly different forms.

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Fresh Start re-open to donations

By Anne MacKenzie (From Seeds Issue 99 – November 2020)

Although the Fresh Start warehouse at Ferry Road has been closed since March, the staff, based at the Community Hub, have been busy working with the local community serving those in need with food parcels and in many other supportive ways.

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Sustaining Hope

By Rev Fiona Bennett (From Seeds Issue 99 – November 2020)

In November worship at AUC we mark the Season of Remembrance. This season offers a time to look back at the year past, to give thanks, to acknowledge loss and to learn wisdom to equip us for the year ahead. So what do I remember looking back at this year?

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A Vision of Agape

By Rev Fiona Bennett (From Seeds Issue 97 – September 2020)

From the Gospel of Mark, chapter 12:

One of the teachers of the law came and heard them debating. Noticing that Jesus had given them a good answer, he asked him, “Of all the commandments, which is the most important?” “The most important one,” answered Jesus, “is this: ‘Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’ The second is this: ‘Love your neighbour as yourself.’ There is no commandment greater than these.”’

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Lift the Ban

(From Seeds Issue 97 – September 2020)

The ecumenical Joint Public Issues Team is promoting a new report from the Lift the Ban coalition. It provides new evidence of the benefits of ending the ban on asylum seekers working in the UK.

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