ANN SINCLAIR is seeking volunteers to look after our box office in August. Can you help?

In 2017, the International and Fringe Festivals celebrate seventy years of welcoming performances from across the globe. St Mark’s also reaches its own landmark, celebrating
thirty-five years as a regular Fringe venue. This year, between Thursday 3 August and Saturday 26 August, we will host some sixty performances of twenty-two shows in our church.
Our full programme is included in this edition of Waymark. As you’ll see, we have up to six performances a day. Please take a moment to peruse the programme. We guarantee there is
something for you whether your musical taste is romantic, classical, popular, new compositions, Renaissance song, Scottish piping, experimenting with percussion - or theatre
with the third instalment of the comedy smash-hit, The Gin Chronicles. It’s all waiting for you at St Mark’s this year, from the beloved Richard Michael to a late-night screening of the
1920 silent horror film The Cabinet of Dr Caligari complete with live musical accompaniment.

During the three and a half weeks of the Fringe, St Mark’s is a vibrant, joyous place, welcoming several thousand visitors from all over the world. Most are, naturally, here for a show -
our building’s acoustics are particularly praised - however, others, seeing our open door, simply take the opportunity to have a look around our magnificent church. Often we have
tourists introducing themselves from other Unitarian congregations. Consequently, it would be wonderful to have as many of St Mark’s congregation as possible on site during August. For that reason, I am now seeking volunteers to look after our box office.

Many of last year’s volunteers have already said they want to help again, but I’d love even more of you to take up the opportunity of joining us. Shifts last for around four hours, although if you wish to volunteer for longer, that would be most welcomed. This year, shifts will be available from 09.30 to 23.00. You can do as many, or as few, shifts as you wish.

You can also do shifts alone or with a companion. In return for volunteering, I’m pleased to announce you will receive two free tickets for any show (subject to availability) for
every shift you work!

As a volunteer, you will never be alone on a shift. At least one other member of staff, one experienced in running the church as an arts venue, will be in the building at all times. The work is never pressurised or physically strenuous. On the contrary, as a volunteer of many years standing, I can personally assure you that while staff must be professional, committed
and courteous throughout, we always remember the bottom line: this is a festival! By being a St Mark’s volunteer, we’ll make sure you enjoy being part of the biggest arts festival on
earth!

If you become a volunteer you will:
 See the Festival Fringe from a different perspective
 Represent our Unitarian community and beautiful city of Edinburgh to visitors
 Provide cover that might otherwise have to be paid for, thereby you enhance St Mark’s income

Please do get in touch with me if you would like to discuss being a volunteer. It would be great to have you on the team!

Email annsinclair530@btinternet.com

Thich Nhat Hanh's Message On How to Overcome Anxiety

Someone asked me, ‘aren't you afraid about the state of the world? ‘I allowed myself to breathe and then I said, ‘what is most important is not to allow your anxiety about what happens in the world fill your heart. If your heart is filled with anxiety, you will get sick, and you will not be able to help.’ There are wars - big and small - in many places, and that can cause us to lose our peace. Anxiety is the illness of our age. We worry about ourselves, our family, our friends, our work, and the state of the world. If we allow worry to fill our hearts, sooner or later we will get sick.

Yes, there is tremendous suffering all over the world, but knowing this need not paralyse us. If we practice mindful breathing, mindful walking, mindful sitting, and working in mindfulness, we try our best to help, and we can have peace in our heart. Worrying does not accomplish anything. Even if you worry twenty times more, it will not change the situation of the world. In fact, your anxiety will only make things worse. Even though things are not as we would like, we can still be content, knowing we are trying our best and will continue to do so. If we don't know how to breathe, smile, and live every moment of our life deeply, we will never be able to help anyone. I am happy in the present moment. I do not ask for anything else. I do not expect any additional happiness or conditions that will bring about more happiness. The most important practice is aimlessness, not running after things, not grasping.

We who have been fortunate enough to encounter the practice of mindfulness have a responsibility to bring peace and joy into our own lives, even though not everything in our body, mind or environment is exactly as we would like. Without happiness we cannot be a refuge for others. Ask yourself, what am I waiting for to make me happy? Why am I not happy
right now? My only desire is to help you see this. How can we bring the practice of mindfulness to the widest spectrum of society? How can we give birth to the greatest number of people who are happy and who know how to teach the art of mindful living to others? The number of people who create violence is very great, while the number of people who know how to breathe and create happiness is very small. Every day gives us a wonderful opportunity to be happy ourselves and to become a place of refuge for others.

We don't need to become anything else. We don't need to perform some particular act. We only need to be happy in the present moment, and we can be of service to those we love and to our whole society. Aimlessness is stopping and realising the happiness that is already available. If someone asks us how long we need to practice in order to be happy, we can tell her that she can be happy right now! The practice of aimlessness is the practice of freedom.
Copyright Thich Nhat Hanh. Used by permission. The Heart of the Buddha's Teaching. From ‘ Here and Now’, (the Community of Interbeing magazine).

Thich Nhat Hanh is a Vietnamese Buddhist monk who was in Vietnam during the Indochina wars between 1946 and 1989. He was the leading peace activist during the wars and therefore is able to speak with deep understanding.

Thank you to Jon Bagust for submitting this piece. Jon invites you to come along to St Mark's on any Tuesday between 12.15 - 14.00 in order to share the practice of Mindfulness@Lunchtime; Mindfulness as taught by Thich Nhat Hanh.

Chalice Lighting Words

It is our practice for a different member of our community to light our chalice at the start of Sunday worship. It is an opportunity to highlight important concerns and issues. Susanne Urquhart lit the chalice on 28 May. She was assisted by her children, Sam and Martha. In remembering the victims of the attack in Manchester on the previous Monday, 22 May, Susanne’s theme was peace and hope.

I light the Peace Candle today for the victims of the attack in Manchester on Monday.
My deepest sympathies and thoughts are with those who lost their lives; with those who were injured; with their families and friends; with everyone who was and is affected by this random act of violence.

I also light the candle for hope and for peace. Not the kind of peace that is merely defined by the absence of conflict. Conflicts and differences are a part of life. But the kind of peace that is a constant process of solving these differences through peaceful means; through dialogue, education; and through humane ways.

We speak about conflict and peaceful conflict resolution with Sam and Martha to enable them to develop ways to deal with the tricky situations they may be confronted with at school or nursery. In one of these discussions Sam and Martha concluded that ‘being kind is peace’.
I would like to share two quotes, which give me a sense of hope and guidance in the face of such an incomprehensible and tragic event as has happened in Manchester.

‘No one is born hating another person because of the colour of his skin, or his background, or his religion. People must learn to hate, and if they can learn to hate, they can be taught to love, for love comes more naturally to the human heart than its opposite.’ Nelson Mandela

‘I see the world being slowly transformed into a wilderness; I hear the approaching thunder that, one day, will destroy us too. I feel the suffering of millions. And yet, when I look up at the sky, I somehow feel that everything will change for the better, that this cruelty too shall end, that peace and tranquillity will return once more. How wonderful it is that nobody need wait a single moment before starting to improve the world.’ Anne Frank

What's on the Horizon

July promises to be an remarkable month in St Mark’s, as you will find from reading this issue of Waymark! The interesting themes don’t finish at the end of the month, but spill over into August. Once again, St Mark’s becomes an Edinburgh Festival Fringe venue and ANN SINCLAIR is seeking volunteers to look after our box office.

As a volunteer you will:

 See the Festival Fringe from a different perspective
 Represent our Unitarian community and beautiful city of Edinburgh to visitors
 Provide cover that might otherwise have to be paid for, thereby you enhance
 St Mark’s income

Interested? See Waymark page 7 for more details of how to volunteer

See also pages 5 and 6 of this issue for the Festival Fringe programme at artSpace@StMarks Venue 125

The photograph, supplied by Roger Hartley, is a view of the Shepherd House Garden Inveresk. http://shepherdhousegarden.co.uk/
 

See, also, Lesley Hartley’s address on pages 8 and 9.