On 2 April Katie Brown and Ailsa Davidson led worship. Even those of us who do not own pets could not fail to be moved by the service; and we were joined by three canine friends who were good ambassadors for their animal friends.
Sometimes I meet people who attended St Mark’s years previously, and I am always impressed by the strength of affection in which these individuals hold our community. I know for myself that there have been key points in my life when Andrew Hill or Maud Robinson have profoundly touched me through their meaningful and inspiring services.
First impressions are important and, on my first visit to the General Assembly of Unitarian and Free Christian Churches (the ‘GA’), I am pleased to report that I was not disappointed.
JOHN CLIFFORD delivered this inspiring address at St Mark’s on Mothering Sunday, 26 March... But today, rather than go into the history of Mothering Sunday and how it differs from Mother's Day, the American holiday that has crossed the Atlantic, I'd like to look at Motherhood and its importance to us as persons and as a society.
Jane Aaronson reports
At our April General Assembly meetings, Rev Charles VanDenBroeder was installed as the GA President for 2017-18. Charles reports that ‘back in 1989, I spent a little over a month in Edinburgh doing some practical training with Rev Andrew Hill and I have fond memories of my time there’. Andrew Hill wrote in November Waymark of that year that Charles was ‘a student for the Unitarian ministry at Manchester College, Oxford’ and that he was ‘an international sort of person.’
We are pleased that nearly thirty years later Charles will return to St Mark’s to lead the service at the SUA annual meetings in St Mark’s on 13 May. His theme will be A Unitarian and Free Christian Theology For Our Time. He states that ‘In a world where our beloved Unitarian and Free Christian movement seems as if it is beginning to unravel, we need to quit tinkering around the edges and take a deep look at the theology that guides us as a movement. We need to develop a theology that will take us together further into the 21st century’.
Everyone is welcome to attend. See Waymark for further details.
The photograph of Charles VanDenBroeder, below, was supplied by him.
What struck me most at the meetings this year were the advantages of social media. As a result of those using social media, the outcome of one of our resolutions concerning the bombing of the Coptic Christian Cathedral in Alexandria on Good Friday was that Unitarians were ahead of the game.
Our General Assembly meetings took place in Birmingham from 9-13 April. A large group of St Mark’s members and friends spent an inspiring few days at the GA. We attended the business meetings and also many interesting lectures and workshops.
will take place in the church
on Sunday 7 May at 13.00
This will be an opportunity to hear more about developments within our
thriving and growing beloved community.
Come and find out what’s new and be part of the planning for our future!
Sandwiches will be provided in the hall before the meeting.
Any home baking would be much appreciated
More information from Margery MacKay, church secretary,
As is our practice, during January and February the good cause in St Mark’s was collected in favour of our partner church in Chennai, South India. In the February edition of Waymark, JON BAGUST reflected on our relationship with the Chennai Unitarian Christian Church, and on 19 February he lit our chalice and gave us more information on its valuable work. JON’S chalice lighting is printed below. JON encouraged us to ‘give as generously as you are able’. Both JON BAGUST and MIKE WEST would like to thank the congregation for that generosity. During these two months £498.74 was collected for the Chennai Fund. The budget for the year is printed on this page.
We live in a divided world and divided society.
That's why is good to come together as a community, with our liberal values to help one another including those less fortunate than ourselves.
Our present 'Good Cause' is our partner church in Chennai, India. By our giving we help support those in their community who are less fortunate. The children of the church and the village school in Ammanambakkam who need teachers, books, snacks to assist their education. The young women of the village who now have sewing classes to make their own clothes and with their new skills are able to find work in the local clothes factory.
I've seen for myself the slums in Chennai, a stone’s throw away from where Harrison the minister and his family live. I've walked into the poorest parts of the village and seen how the people live a dirt poor existence. They come from the Dalit (untouchable) cast. The children and young women are taught the basics in the evening classes which thanks to your giving they receive in a safe environment with running water and good toilets.
Our Chennai Fund is a micro charity registered in Scotland. We have no expenses and therefore guarantee that every penny you give goes to Chennai.
Please give as generously as you are able.
In the words of the Tamil poet Tiru Valluvar,
‘There is nothing more glorious than to persist in the advance of the community’.
I light the peace candle for our friends and partners in Chennai and Ammanambakkam.
Chennai Unitarian Christian Church
Budget for the Year 2017
1. Village Sewing School
One teacher for 2 sessions £244
2. Village Caretaker £122
Cloth, thread, scissors
and other materials for tailoring £102
for deserving students £407
5. Village Night School
One teacher £122
6. Help for old age and widows £102
TOTAL BUDGET FOR 2017 Rs 108,000 = £1,099.00