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.
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