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Earlier this week the news broke that Jean Vanier, Founder of L’Arche, died aged 90.
“The son of a Canadian diplomat, Jean Vanier embarked upon a naval career that saw him serve during World War Two. But in 1950 he resigned his commission saying that he wanted “to follow Jesus”.
He studied theology and philosophy, completing his doctoral studies on happiness in the ethics of Aristotle. He became a teaching professor at St Michael’s College in Toronto.
“During the Christmas holidays of 1964, he visited a friend who was working as a chaplain for men with learning difficulties just outside Paris. Disturbed by conditions in which 80 men did nothing but walk around in circles, he bought a small house nearby and invited two men from the institution to join him. L’Arche – the Ark – was born.” (Martin Bashir: BBC Religion editor 07 May 2019)
From these simple beginnings a significant worldwide organisation grew. L’Arche is a worldwide federation of people, with and without learning disabilities, working together for a world where all belong
There was no Bible Alphabet this week but we did consider the work of Christian Aid as we come towards Christian Aid Week (today until 18 May). The minister took the time to speak to Graham and Liz Sutherland who have coordinated efforts in our church since 2007. They explained that all Christian denominations come together to provide coordinated help to ALL in need (irrelevant of faith) around the world. There are plenty of fundraising activities going on both locally and across the UK as well as the street collections. This year’s appeal focusses on pregnancy care in Sierra Leone, “the world’s most dangerous place to give birth”.
Our readings today were taken from Micah 6: 6-8 (“And what does the LORD require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God”) and Matthew 25: 31-46 (“Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.”) and the address further expanded how our actions to help others, in whatever way we are able, will be done in Jesus’ name.
Delightfully we were told that, so far, £1900.00 has been raised from the Plant Sale. Grateful thanks were offered to Ann, and her helpers, for all her work.
Any contributions for the next issue of the Church Magazine, which will be the last until September, should be with William by next Sunday, 19th May.
While encouraging us all to keep up to date with this year’s General Assembly and, if possible, come along to the Heart & Soul event in Princes Street Gardens (see previous posts), we were also asked to think about this year’s National Youth Assembly in August (follow this LINK for more information). The National Youth Assembly is a platform for young adults to voice their opinions and actively participate in decision making within the Church of Scotland. If you know anyone in the age group 17-25 who might be interested, please speak to the minister.
If you wish to understand more about the 2019 General Assembly, please follow THIS LINK.
The General Assembly is a significant annual event in the Church of Scotland calendar. Throughout the week, commissioners to the General Assembly (which this year includes our minister, Sarah) examine its work and laws and make decisions that affect the future of the Church. You can watch the live webcasts, catch up using the daily updates or download the ‘Blue Book’ to see all the reports and proposed deliverances.
This morning the children had brought some more words from the Bible for “Q”, “R” & “S”.
“Q” – Queen; Quirinius (the governor of Syria at the time of the first census); quail (caught and eaten during the exodus from Egypt); quiet and quietness.
“R” Ruth; Rebecca; Rachel; Romans; Revelations; risen and resurrection.
“S” Spirit; Solomon; Samuel; Sarah; Sea; Sunday; seraphim; sky; sanctuary and stable (also Satan).
Today’s Bible readings and sermon were thinking about the encounter on the Emmaus Road (Luke 24: 13-49) “Christ IS risen; He is risen indeed”. During the offering we heard Stuart Townend’s “With a prayer (Love incarnate)“
Please see separate post about a trip to Heart & Soul on 19th May and other information about the General Assembly (2019).