Christian Aid has made a press release for the Booksale as follows – you might spot it somewhere:
“The Holy Corner book sale is much loved and has been a feature of the Bruntsfield community for many years. This year we’ll be selling an excellent selection of Scottish and collectible books, paperback fiction, history, art and children's books as well as many others. We look forward to opening our doors in May and once again raising money for Christian Aid, a charity that does amazing work with those living in extreme poverty.”
We look forward to welcoming you to the sale at Morningside United Church, in the Main Hall – entry via the lane from Bruntsfield Place.
Saturday 14 May 10am – 5pm (Refreshments available 10am – 4pm in small Hall)
Sunday 15 May 1pm – 5pm or visit us at www.holycornerbooksale.wordpress.com
That gives a good summary of what it’s about and when – anyone able to help during the sale please use the website link – also on the MUC website or speak to David or Lesley Donald. We’re grateful for help from a few strong members of the Romanian Church for box shifting, so the sale tasks are lighter duties. If you can help with refreshments on the Saturday, please speak to Yvonne Burnett.
Our Christian Aid Week Service is on 10.30am 15 May at Marchmont St Giles and includes MUC, the German Church Congregation and St Catherine’s Argyle. Christian Aid Envelopes will be available at that service for you to donate. They will also be available the week before and after at MUC. There are online donation options also on the Christian Aid Website.
Christian Aid also makes individual donation pages for churches - Morningside United Church Christian Aid Week 2022 (give-star.com). We have a ‘Give Star’ device that will let us take contactless card payments at the Booksale also. Donations made by the device, or the special page go direct to Christian Aid and are recorded to our total. Cash or cheques go into our Christian Aid bank account and are paid out to Christian Aid later.
Coffee Mornings – (Small Hall) ...All are welcome for coffee, biscuits and friendship!
Music Performance: Edinburgh Napier University Degree Show – 11 May in the afternoon (TBA)
I am very conscious that some time has passed since we mentioned in worship and by letter that some of us had attended gatherings of our cluster group in February and March.
One of the things that emerged from those meetings was to try and collaborate with St Catherine's and Marchmont St Giles. Negotiations have started in earnest, and we have more meetings this month because a timetable has been framed that requires a draft presbytery plan by June of this year.
In essence the ministry allocation is being halved by 2025.
...This creates many challenges and I think it is fair to say that no congregation will be left unaffected.
Our conversations have been very positive and encouraging and we were working together through Holy week, at Christian Aid and will be worshipping together also. None of us know exactly what will emerge from these discussions, but it is certainly my desire that what is proposed and eventually realised is a plan that will be sustainable, and life-giving and see MUC very much engaged and involved in the mission of the surrounding area as we go forward together. We will keep you up to date with how things are progressing as we go forward.
Please don’t hesitate to be in touch if you would like to discuss this further.
We will do our best to answer any questions or concerns as they arise.
With every blessing,
A Word from the Manse
I recall a conversation with a friend. He had just received the news he had cancer, and the diagnosis was terminal. The doctors were not sure, but perhaps he had months, maybe, a year to live. In the weeks and months that followed his life changed. The reality of this news, very real and present, shaped how he went about the business of living. Plans were brought forward, places and people he wanted to see were made a priority. It got me thinking about how our perception of reality shapes how we live
In the context of the War in Europe, post pandemic life in the UK and the restructuring of our lives and relationships that have followed, our own realities are shaping our lives. In the church this is exacerbated by presbytery plans and closures. Reality can feel bleak, but it doesn’t have to feel this way. Easter is an opportunity given by faith to stop panicking and to live without fear, because it seems to me that much of our living is driven by our fears. Fears about how we look, the future, whether we are loved, our past experiences, jobs, health, homes, children. How much of our living is shaped by the reality of our fears? I know mine is. I can often feel my own fears, their control, oppression, and excitement. But our faith teaches
in the scriptures that God is in all our realities especially when they are challenging.
In the Old Testament, in "Isaiah 43:2. we read "When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and through the rivers, they shall not overwhelm you".
And so, to the promises of Easter and the empty tomb.
In just over two weeks we are invited to remember the Easter story. Its retelling will resound throughout the world. It will tell us how Jesus' suffering on the cross was an act of love that frees us to live in hope,
certain of a different reality of life. You see, the story of the first Easter shaped the lives of those who first encountered it. For the disciples, the thief on the cross, the centurions, the women of Jerusalem, the ordinary people of the time witnessed to the fact that God showed no partiality because Jesus' unfettered love for humanity was compassionate, all encompassing, profligate and unending. Mary Magdalene and the other Mary, paralysed with fear and grief, found themselves somehow strengthened by their encounter with the risen Jesus, and so they were able to respond to this new reality, and went to tell Jesus' friends in Galilee. Jesus' love, made explicit in his death and resurrection, was able to cast out their fears and allowed them to move to a different rhythm of life.
It seems to me then, that experiencing Easter is a bit like experiencing the gift of hope offered by the empty tomb. It does not mean life will be easy or that we won't be taken advantage of as a community or individuals, but it will mean that increasingly we will be able to let Jesus' perfect love cast out our fears, and this means how we live our lives may be profoundly different. We won't have to win that argument, fear the consequences of speaking truth to power, incessantly worry about our future or that of our children or grandchildren. We won't have to exclude this or that group of people, or store up treasures on earth, or, as my friend witnessed, let his terminal diagnosis of cancer crush his remaining life out of him. Easter is for us, the story of the conquering of death and a hope filled life touched by God in the gift of love offered by Jesus.
My prayer for you this Easter is that you will find peace and love, that the risen Lord will help cast out your fears, and transform your lives to live in the moment.
With every blessing,
Church Life at MUC – An Update...
Choral Music and Meditations for Holy Thursday
On Maundy Thursday at 7pm there will be an opportunity for reflection with choral music by Bach, Duruflé, Stainer and Chilcott, interspersed with readings and mediations. The meditations are led by Rev Steven Manders, and the vocal ensemble is directed by Brigitte Harris.
All are welcome.
EASTER CONCERT FUNDRAISER FOR THE BRITISH RED CROSS UKRAINIAN CRISIS APPEAL
The Romanian Orthodox Church warmly invites you to a Charity Choral Concert in aid of the British Red Cross Ukrainian Crisis Appeal, which is currently providing humanitarian relief to people fleeing conflict in Ukraine. Much of their activity is taking place at Ukraine's borders included that shared with Romania, so this charity is particularly meaningful to our congregation.
The concert is on Saturday 16 April at 7pm, at Morningside United Church. We have invited Russkaya Cappella to come over from Glasgow to provide a seasonal programme of music for Lent from the Romanian, Russian, Ukrainian, and Anglican traditions.
welcome your support.
Christian Aid Week 15 -21 May 2022
In the last Link we explained the different format of the Holy Corner Booksale this year - in the Main Hall on Saturday 14 May 10 am – 5 pm and on Sunday 15 May 1pm – 5pm. Teas and coffees will also be available on Saturday14 from 10am to 4pm in the small hall. Many people save up books to donate – which is normally welcomed. However, as already mentioned in last month’s article, this year we are working only with the books we already had collected and stored in the basement. We’re glad to let you know that there is another option to benefit Christian Aid with books you have collected. The George Street Christian Aid Sale run by St Andrew’s and St George’s West Church is also re-starting this year. They have much less space to store books from year to year than we do and are looking for donations for the sale.
The times that donations can be received at St Andrew’s and St George’s West Church are:
As well as books, they take antiques, printed ephemera, maps, stamps, postcards, sheet music, records, CDs and DVDs, toys, games and jigsaws.
The George Street Sale runs on
Many people like to visit both sales. Flyers for both sales are now in MUC vestibule. Please take and distribute to people you know who might be interested.
More information is available from David and Lesley Donald if you are interested in helping. You can also use the contact form on the Booksale website. https://holycornerbooksale.wordpress.com/
ENCC – A Lovely Way to Spend an Evening
You are warmly invited to join the Edinburgh Napier Chamber choir at their first live performance since lockdown. Presenting a varied programme including songs by female composers along with old favourites, the concert will feature works for choir with several solos and small ensembles showcasing our members. Please join us to show your support for what will prove to be A Lovely Way to Spend an Evening.
The concert will begin at 7:30pm on Friday 8 April at Morningside United Church, Edinburgh. Tickets cost £9 per adult, £5 for a concession, and are available on the door. We hope to see you there!
A Prayer for April
Christ the Lord is risen, and as all the world rejoices, singing of his glory with such joyful hearts and voices. May you find that Easter brings you peace and faith and hope anew, and may these blessings fill your heart with joy the whole year through.
Easter reminds us that hope must never be lost, for as dark as the road may seem, there always lies light at the end of it. May all your prayers be fulfilled.
May your Easter be happy,
May your day be bright,
May you enjoy the treats,
And sweet delights.
But remember the meaning,
Remember God’s gift,
Remember the resurrection,
Your soul uplift.
LENT APPEAL Ukraine
Thank you for the generous donations received so far. The money collected
is to be split between:
Cash or cheques in the bucket at church, by post or by electronic payment to the church account are all welcome. If you have a Gift Aid declaration to MUC gift aid this will be claimed and added on – please use a cheque or electronic means, or for cash an envelope with your name on it.
Morningside United Church
Sort Code: 80-02-85 Account No: 00551871
If you use a bank payment, please put the reference “Lent” or “Ukraine”. (Your name will appear anyway). Any cheques should be made payable to MUC – with the account name only on the front of the cheque. If you are posting a cheque and you want to make it clear it is for the appeal rather than a general donation for MUC funds, please put a note separately or on the back of the cheque.
Thank you for your support.
Flowers for April 2022
3 April Mrs Elizabeth MacGregor
10 April Vacant
17 April (Easter) Max Allen
24 April Vacant
If you would like to help arrange the flowers one week, please speak to Maggie McKenzie on 0131 261 4908. Your help would be much appreciated.
The Link Magazine is available on our website to view, and in Church. If you would prefer to
have it emailed to you, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Front page: Fergus McKernan
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Scottish Charity No. 015552
I thank God daily, not just for the beauty we see each day that surrounds us, but also for each other, those we share our lives with. I say this because I have just come in from a lovely walk along the back of Blackford Hill with New College friends; it has been a wonderful afternoon, with the sun shining in a fading winter sky. On the way we saw emerging displays of spring flowers, snowdrops, aconites, crocuses and budding daffodils, standing out against the soil and grass. There was a real lightness in the steps of those people I passed, all enjoying the sunshine and fresh air. There was a sense of Spring in the air and subliminally maybe a sense of new beginnings. Our circumstances are changing and hopefully we can look forward to warmer and longer hope filled days.
It got me thinking, March is just around the corner and the season of Lent is upon us and, for us as Christians, it is significant that the season of Lent always coincides with the arrival of spring; all around we are seeing signs of new beginnings as the earth wakes up from its winter sleep. But the purpose of Lent is traditionally more than just a period of beginning again, it is also a period of reflection, a time for taking stock of our life and our relationship with God. It begins with Ash Wednesday, when we start on our Lenten journey with Christ to the cross, and then on to the joyous Easter dawn and his resurrection. Many Christians, under normal circumstances would celebrate Ash Wednesday saying sorry; resolving with the help of God to turn around their life, change in life’s direction, with the intention to be different from this point forward in a renewed decision to live as disciples of Jesus serving others and renewing efforts to pray. March therefore is a busy month, what with Lent, Mothering Sunday, the clocks going forward an hour, and looking forward to Holy Week and Easter. It is with this in mind that we have much to be grateful for in our parish.
Like many of you I am very relieved that COVID-19 and its effects are slowly dissipating and that we can gather as a worshipping community each Sunday. The work of the congregation continues, many groups are now returning to use the building and the issues of the Presbytery Plan are slowly being resolved.
On a positive note, we hope to appoint Brigitte Harris as our new organist. She has a great deal of experience and was formerly organist at St Andrews and St George's. She is an excellent musician and will work with Evan Cruikshank to re-establish a singing congregation. I am especially happy with the news from the Government that we don't have to wear masks after 21 March. This means people can participate fully in worship and sing and read with gusto, and best of all, we can celebrate the sacraments in person.
March will also see us kick off several new events and groups that will hopefully deepen the spiritual life of the church and congregation.
These events that I have outlined are all part of a bigger plan that I believe the Lord is leading us into this year. The church doors at MUC are open to allow people into the building ecumenically serving people of the parish and University. It is my prayer that we will see more doorways open into the church for those in our community who do not yet know the redemptive love of Jesus. Because that, dear friends, is why we are here: to share that same love with our neighbours, so that they may find themselves caught up in the great story of God. So may you find a way to become a “door” for someone else this Spring so that MUC becomes a true place of welcome in Christ’s name.
With every blessing,
Thank you so much for the generosity of members and friends alike, who, although it was a difficult year, continued to make donations throughout 2021. It is really appreciated by everyone who benefits from our fund raising. Our Lent collection and our Advent collection both raised an incredible amount, and we cannot thank everyone enough for your support and kindness.
Those who have been joining our coffee mornings that recently restarted, helped to raise £180 for Save the Children’s Afghanistan appeal, and a concert arranged by our previous organist, Max, raised £95 for Marie Curie.
Once again, thank you.
The Christian Aid Week activity that MUC hosts is the annual Booksale.
Before Covid, we were able to raise sums in the order of £15k, and obviously, Covid has prevented us from being able to run any kind of sale over the last two years. However, now there is a plan to run the Booksale in 2022. The sale is organised by a committee that spreads wider than MUC, who have spent time thinking and discussing what might be possible.
The aim is of course to raise as much money as possible for Christian Aid. And to this end we really need help in moving the large volumes of books up and down from the basement. If you can help to move books before and after the sale, it really would be appreciated. There are other less strenuous tasks as well, but that is the main need.
More information is available from David and Lesley Donald if you are interested in helping (firstname.lastname@example.org). You can also use the contact form on the Booksale website. (https://holycornerbooksale.wordpress.com/)
Other Christian Aid week activities may be planned later along with Marchmont St Giles and St Catherine’s Argyle in our cluster grouping.
Online services – these will restart Sunday 13 February.
Coffee Mornings – The Thursday coffee mornings continue to be enjoyed by our members, friends and the yoga group who join us after their class. We are very much hoping our local care homes may join us soon. Our next coffee morning will be Thursday 27 January from 10.30am – noon in the Small Hall.
The Link is a monthly publication by members and staff of Morningside United Church.