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The Church of Scotland
Presbyterian church which seeks to inspire through Jesus Christ
Presbyterian church which seeks to inspire through Jesus Christ
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The Kirk has welcomed the news that 1,000 #refugees have been given safe haven in Scotland. But it said more should be done by the UK Government to help people fleeing war and persecution in countries like #Syria. David Bradwell, Refugee Co-ordinator for Scottish Faiths Action for Refugees, has urged people to sign a petition and say a prayer in churches calling for progress. (full text below) A thousand people is a significant number - 1,000 lives changed by coming to Scotland," he said. "A thousand chances for protection from war and violence and persecution. "A thousand people to teach us more about the world." Mr Bradwell, who is married to a Kirk minister and based at 121 George Street, said the response from local communities across Scotland has been "phenomenal". "Yesterday I was in Aberdeen hearing about how volunteers are working with Syrian families to support their settling into life, with everything from offering lifts, babysitting, to supporting kids with their school homework," he added. "Churches and church members are often at the heart of this response, many motivated by Jesus’ words to his follwers that ‘whatever you did for the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you do it for me’. "A thousand people is worth marking – and thanking all those who have helped make a difference. "But it is still a tiny number compared with the people in desperate need." Mr Bradwell said Church of Scotland members can do two things as later this month the United Nations in New York will consider again what the world can do to help refugees. The first is to sign the #WithRefugees petitionhttp://buff.ly/2bFjiYq And the second is to pray for progress, particularly on Peacemaking Sunday, which this year is on 18 September, just before the UN talks. Special resources have been prepared for those leading worship in churches on this Sunday, and prayer has been offered for people to use in the run-up to the summit: Almighty God, inspire the leaders of the nations of the world and those with authority with love and wisdom, and open our hearts and hands to welcome the stranger, love our enemies and to do to others what we want them to do to us. May your Holy Spirit reign in the hearts of those who have the power to end strife and conflict and may your presence be with those who seek to serve those in desperate need. We ask you to bless the international summits taking place in New York on Monday 19 and Tuesday 20 September. Be in the conversation and the conferencing and in all things remind the mighty and powerful rulers of the desperate situation facing some of the most vulnerable and marginalised people on earth. We pray especially for the United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and the President of the United States Barak Obama as they seek to work for diplomacy, peace and the common good of all humankind. In the name of Christ, who declared “Blessed are the Peacemakers, for they shall be known as children of God”, Amen.
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Congratulations to Rev Prof John Swinton, chair in Divinity and Religious Studies at the University of Aberdeen. He is a professor of Practical Theology and Pastoral Care and a member of Aberdeen Presbytery. Prof Swinton contributed to the Learn publication titled Learning Disabilities - a discussion starter. #dementia #learningdisability
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Christians across the world are preparing to celebrate Creation Time, the period from 1 September to 4 October dedicated to worshipping our Creator and protecting all of Creation. This year, we will be getting inspiration from Creation Time prayers and worship resources written in Scotland, which have been adopted by the World Council of Churches. Using the theme, Followers of Jesus Caring for Creation, the writings, which are based on the Gospel of Luke, offer prayers, sermon themes and templates for congregational worship. Rt Rev Dr Russell Barr encouraged church members to download and use the worship resources, which are available online from both the Eco Congregation and the World Council of Churches. He said: “Creation Time: It’s a chance to give thanks for the wonder and beauty of God’s Creation and to pray for its health and wellbeing. “Creation Time: a chance to think about some of the challenges of climate change and how best we can promote sustainable lifestyles. “Creation Time: It’s supported ecumenically; it’s supported internationally; its worship resources are excellent—and as Moderator of the General Assembly, I am delighted to commend it to your use.” Toward the end of Creation Time the World Mission Council has organised a two-day consultation in Edinburgh during which representatives from the Kirk, Christian Aid, and overseas partner churches will take part in a lobby event at the Scottish Parliament. The consultation will be followed by a (three)day conference at Bridge of Allan on 1 October. The conference will feature speakers from countries experiencing severe consequences of climate change including Bangladesh, Malawi, and our own country of Scotland, where we suffered unprecedented flooding last winter. The group of four writers, include two Church of Scotland ministers – Rev Jenny Adams minister of Duffus, Spynie & Hopeman Parish, in Moray and Rev Janet Foggie, minister of St Andrew’s Parish Church of Scotland in Dundee; as well as Richard Murray, a lay reader in the Scottish Episcopal Church who is a board member of Eco Congregation Scotland and Rev Trevor Jamison, the United Reformed Church Minister who serves as Environmental Chaplain for Eco Congregation Scotland. Rev Jamison says Creation Time is a call to prayer. “The world thinks about these concerns as environmental issues,” he says. “But for us it’s about Creation, our Creator and about our response to Creation. As a church it is about our worship and our prayer.” First proposed by the Orthodox Church in 1989, Creation Time was envisaged as ‘a day of protection for the natural environment’. Then in 2007, the 3rd European Ecumenical Assembly in Sibiu, Romania, recommended that Creation Time should be “dedicated to prayer for the protection of Creation and the promotion of sustainable lifestyles that reverse our contribution to climate change.” Last year Pope Francis called on Catholics to observe 1 September as a World Day of Prayer for the Care of Creation. The date of 4 October, the culmination of Creation Time, is recognised by many Western churches as the feast of St Francis of Assisi, patron saint of animals. Rev Jamison is working with the Mission and Discipleship Council to contribute to the daily inspirational prayers and blessings that are posted to the Church of Scotland’s social media streams each morning. Rev Jamison’s inspirational messages on the theme of Creation Time will be available on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, every morning for the week beginning 14 September. View and download the Creation Time worship resources from the Eco Conregation Scotla
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Kirk ministers took a stand at a wedding fair in Dunfermline, Fife yesterday to promote the wider benefits of getting married in church. For full story follow this link. #wedding #church
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Two Kirk ministers are taking the unusual step of promoting the wider benefits of getting married in church at a wedding fair in Fife tomorrow. Rev Mary Ann Rennie and Rev Monika Redman have taken an information stand at the Glen Wedding Show at the Glen Pavilion in Dunfermline to explain to couples why they should consider getting married in a “safe, sacred place”. The Courier has published the story today and an editorial.
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The staggering extent of bomb damage caused to properties owned by the Church of Scotland during the Second World War has been revealed in a unique ledger. It has prompted one woman to recall how the sky was alight as her beloved local church was completely destroyed 75 years ago. Audrey Taylor, 81, was cowering under a dining table at home with her mother and grandmother when Bearsden South Church near Glasgow was directly hit by a German bomb in March, 1941. The Register of War Damaged Properties records in meticulous handwritten detail every incident that befell churches, manses and halls across the country at the hands of the Luftwaffe in the 1940s. It sets out the date, the extent of damage caused to around 800 properties and the cost of temporary and permanent repairs in communities including Peterhead, Fraserburgh, Aberdeen, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Greenock, Clydebank, Lossiemouth, London, Kirkcudbright and Kirkcaldy. The ledger, which has been preserved for decades in the basement of the Kirk’s offices in Edinburgh, also outlines moveable property damaged in church buildings such as organs, sewing machines, scenery for amateur dramatics, writing desks and pews. It will soon be deposited in the National Archives of Scotland to enable historians to pore over it for the first time. Dr Jeremy Crang , a senior lecturer at the University of Edinburgh’s School of History, Classics and Archaeology, said the “fascinating” tome casts fresh light on the impact of the war on Scotland. He added that the black hardback bound ledger, which measures 18ins by 18 ins and is 1.5inches thick, illustrated that the Kirk was “very much in the front line” and provided an “insight into the great challenges and trauma” that members faced. Dr Crang, who is married to Dundee University chaplain Rev Dr Fiona Douglas, said: “The geographical spread of the war damage to churches recorded in the ledger reminds us that the German air force ranged far and wide across Scotland during its bombing campaign. “There is a sense here of bureaucratic defiance - that order had to maintained in the midst of chaos.” A total of 89 cities and towns were bombed across Scotland by the Luftwaffe during the war and official figures suggest that an estimated 2,298 people were killed, 2,167 seriously injured and 3,558 slightly injured. Research carried out by Les Taylor, author of a book titled Luftwaffe Over Scotland who said the fatality and serious injury figures were likely incomplete, revealed that the vast majority of casualties occurred during a two-night raid on Clydebank in March 13-14, 1941 – an incident that left 528 civilians dead and more than 617 severely injured. The ledger, which is believed to be more than 70 years old, shows that many buildings in the Dumbarton Presbytery area were severely damaged during the Blitz. Bearsden South Church now known as Bearsden Cross Church, had to be rebuilt after it was hit by an incendiary bomb dropped by a German warplane returning from the bombing raid on Clydebank. The ledger states: “Totally destroyed – only walls standing.” Audrey Taylor, who has been attending the church since she was three-years –old, vividly remembers the night of the attack. “The air raid warning went off and my father was out on duty on the road with the other men because he was an Air Raid Precautions (ARP) warden ,” she recalled. “My mother, my grandmother, who was staying with us, and I were under the dining room table in case a bomb dropped on us. “That’s what we did because the Anderson shelter in the garden was always water logged and full of frogs. “When the siren went off my mother always made sure she had her engagement ring and her fur coat on just in case she needed to sell them to buy food. “My father came back in and said there was a fire at Bearsden Cross because the sky was alight and it turned out the church had been hit by an incendiary bomb.” Mrs Taylor, who recalled going to school with a gas mask round her neck, said she had been told the Church had been turned into a make-shift refugee centre for people affected by the Clydebank Blitz and was full of straw mattresses. “It was devastating for Bearsden because it is was the only building hit," she added. “But it brought the community together and people really rallied round and we just soldiered on." Her husband Peter Taylor, 84, said; “I remember being terrified because I was outside in the garden that night looking up and could see planes flying overhead. “The skies were very clear and I was worried the bombs would come right down on top of me.” The original Cardross Old Church in Dumbarton (pictured) was hit by a bomb on May 6, 1941 and the ledger entry merely states “completely destroyed”. It was never re-built. St Columba's Church of Scotland in London’s Pont Street, built in 1884, was destroyed in a matter of hours on the night of May 10, 1941 during wartime bombing. The ledger entry states: “Totally destroyed”. The building was later rebuilt and the …
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Moderator of the General Assembly Right Rev Dr Russell Barr is attending the service.
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Around Scotland – examples of war damaged property. Drumchapel (New church) Porch and gable collapsed, shattering foundations. Church will require to be rebuilt. March 13-14,1941 Duntocher Trinity Church. Roof collapsed and lying over galleries and in area of church leaving the walls standing. Front wall leaning inwards, steeple clock damaged. Regarding the manse, it states: “Completely destroyed inside. Damage to roof, slating and serious damage to plasterwork. Window glass all shattered – uninhabitable”. March 13-14,1941 Boquhanran Church in Clydebank. Whole building with exception of front and south walls will require to be demolished and rebuilt. Hall completely demolished. March 13-14,1941 Dalmuir Old Church in Dalmuir/Clydebank. South and part of east walls and roof demolished, stained glass windows destroyed. The Hall, which was made of wood and corregated iron, was “almost entirely destroyed - total loss”. March 13-14, 1941 Perth Presbytery - Orwell Church. Damage to church, hall, manse and outbuildings. Broken windows, slates off roof. Fractured roof, damage to Windows and doors and plasterwork. November 1, 1941. Moray Presbytery – Portknockie. Windows damaged at church and manse. February 19, 1941. Dowanhill, Glasgow. Manse - uninhabitable and scheduled by local authority as unrepairable. Regarded as total loss. March 13, 1941. Old Patrick church, Glasgow. Church and manse damaged. Church - windows blown out, doors shattered, roof lead dislocated. Manse - almost all glass shattered, damage to woodwork and plasterwork, slates dislodged, conservatory and outbuildings severely damaged. March 13-14, 1941. Langbank Church in Greenock Presbytery. Church - extensive damage to roof, ceiling, plasterwork and Windows. March 13-14, 1941 Greenlaw Old Church in Duns. Roof damage, 16 windows were smashed and doors, plasterwork and paintwork damaged. Tower “considerably damaged”. April 7, 1941. Holytown Church in Hamilton Presbytery. Part of ceiling down and six panes of opaque glass were cracked. April 7, 1941. North Leith Church in Edinburgh. Church - roofs and windows damaged. The window blackout frames and two leaded panels and doors were damaged at the church halls. Windows broken and outer door split at the Session House. April 7-8, 1941. St Thomas in Leith, Edinburgh during the same period as above. Church and hall - windows broken, slates blown off roof, ceilings and doors damaged along with blackout frames destroyed. St James Church in Edinburgh. Roof of the manse was pierced by part of land mine. Ceiling and plasterwork damaged. April 8, 1941. St Fitticks Aberdeen. Church - damage to roof slating and lead work. Hall - damage to roof and windows. April 29, 1940. Causewayend Church, Aberdeen. Front of building down, whole church interior wrecked. Hall damaged by blast – glass, plaster, roofs, walls and doors of halls damaged. April 21, 1943 Broadford House, a Kirk-run home for boys in Aberdeen. “Main walls forced outwards. Severe damage to roof, windows and internal partitions. Will probably require to be demolished and rebuilt”. April 21,1943. Gallowgate Church and halls, Aberdeen destroyed on April 25, 1942. St Machar Cathedral and the manse, Aberdeen sustained roof and window damage. April 21, 1943. Peterhead Old Church and manse – damage to windows. June 23, 1941. Fraserburgh Old Church and halls. Damage to roof, windows and floor in two separate raids. July 16, 1940 and June 26, 1941. Cardross Old church Dumbarton - church completely destroyed. Manse - damage to roof, Windows, doors, chimney head badly shaken. Glebe cottage / two ceilings down and window broken. May 6, 1941. St James Church in Lossiemouth. Glass and plasterwork damaged at the church. . Manse - damage to Windows and doors, walls and chimney and missing slates. July 12, 1941. St Ninians Church in Arbroath. Damage to the drawing room ceiling and cornices in the manse “Whole ceiling requires renewal.” October 27, 1940. Baxter Park Church, Dundee. Church and Hall – roof slating and windows damaged. November 4, 1940. St Abbs Church in Coldingham. Damage to windows, roof tiles and rhone pipes. November 3, 1941. St Stephens Church, Auchtermuchty. Damage to manse, garden wall demolished and plaster in washing house broken. July 17, 1940. Auld Kirk, Eyemouth. Church windows and roof damaged. Clock face blown out and south wall damaged. Damage to manse and hall. January 13, 1942. St Olafs and St Ringans’s, Lerwick, Shetland. Broken windows at the manse. January 23-24, 1942. Sandwick, Shetland. Damage to window glass and wood framing at church. December 14, 1944. Greengairs Parish Church near Airdrie. Undisclosed damage to church. March 1941.
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A minister who allowed her manse to be turned into a makeshift medical practice after a nearby GP burned down is returning to her native Germany. Rev Tabea Baader, who decided to act to prevent poorly residents in Fort Augustus near Loch Ness in the Highlands being forced to travel more than an hour to Inverness or Fort William for treatment last October, is taking up a new chaplain role at the University of Augsburg. In this blog for the Presbytery of Lochaber, she reflects on her time working in a small Highland community. Click here to read more about Rev Tabea Baader and why she decided to allow her manse to be turned into a makeshift GP surgery. http://buff.ly/2bzcgST #Highland #Lochaber
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