Join “Our Tribe” at Pride

Join “Our Tribe” at Pride in Edinburgh tomorrow, Saturday 22 June.

Meet at Augustine United Church, 41 George IV Bridge, EH1 1EL at 10.15am. We will set of at 10.30 to get to the march assembly point outside Scottish Parliament for 11am. Alternatively meet us there at 11am. Look out for the GOD LOVES ALL placards!! (See below)

Thanks to everyone who donated towards the £300 which allowed us to have these placards specially made for the day. This will hopefully provide an alternative and affirming message to counter the homophobic and transphobic Christian signs we experienced last year.

Windows Pilgrimage comes to AUC

You are invited to take part in a unique pilgrimage around a series of 15 “stained glass windows”, originally created for the Scottish Mental Health and Arts Festival (SMHAF).

For five years from 2014, members of the Community Mental Health Drop-in have produced eye-catching, thought-providing displays in the side entrances to our church. Last year, these window paintings were photographed for the Out of Sight Out of Mind exhibition at Summerhall and the images are being re-hung in the AUC sanctuary during SMHAF this month.

A specially produced pilgrimage around the windows has been produced, which allows time to reflect on their themes. Join us for this experience in May:

  • Friday 10th May 10am – 12.30pm
  • Tuesday 14th May 1.30 – 4 pm
  • Wednesday 22nd May 7 – 9.30pm

The pilgrimage is open to all and you’ll be able to participate in whatever way works for you.

New Website Goes Live

There may still be a few teething problems but our new website is finally ready for use!

We’d be really grateful for any feedback, suggestions or comments so please get in touch if you have any thoughts.

The new website owes a debt of thanks to lots of members of AUC. We’re truly grateful for their time and effort.

Time Flies!

While Fiona delivered the sermon, Junior Church covertly decorated a lovely cake to help mark the occasion.

It was a joy and a blessing to celebrate the 10th anniversary of Fiona’s induction at AUC at the beginning of January.

We reproduce here an edited version of Fiona’s Statement of Call.

Statement of Call

I grew up in Aberdeen, and as a young teenager, thanks to the love, grace and transportation of Marion McKean, joined Mastrick Congregational Church. It was during one of the Youth Assemblies, as I sat on a step in the Chapel of St Andrews University, that I believe I heard the first whispers of a calling to ordained ministry.

Having a deferred place at Edinburgh to study Divinity, I spent a year in Austria working with a small Baptist church. My German improved considerably, but as they did not allow women in leadership, my call to ordained ministry, along with other aspects of my faith, were repeatedly challenged.

I came to New College with a deep sense of calling and doubt, and discovered new ways to engage with theology and scripture, which I experienced as very liberating.

After my second year I was invited to spend a year working as a youth worker in a Presbyterian church in Seattle. “It was a blast” as the kids would have said, and I came home and applied for ordained ministry.

I was ordained in 1996, at which point there were no SCC congregations in the central belt, where my soon-to-be husband Peter was working. For the next five years I was minister to two Methodist churches in Wishaw where I loved the people and the care of the small community. At the end of my stationing, one husband and one child later, we began to look around. I was keen to serve in ministry but had an itch in my feed to do something a bit different.

Peter Macdonald of St George’s West, Church of Scotland, approached me and asked if I would be interested to become their associate and setting up a project to engage with folk coming into the city centre who did not belong to the Church. So followed the seven tremendous years of setting up what became Creative Space. 

I discovered that city centre ministry is in nature and form different to ministry in a residential community and my experience at St George’s West filled my imagination with possibilities. After seven years, with another two children, again my feet began to itch as I recognised within myself the desire to use the wisdom and experience I had gained, largely working with folk outside the church and in the city centre, and to tie together with my experience in building up a congregation. And there was Augustine right on my doorstep!

It is a new chapter in the story of our family and a new chapter in the story of Augustine. If my experience so far is anything to go on, I trust they are adventures in the making.

Fiona Bennett, January 2009