With autumn upon us, it is nearly time to start thinking about (whisper it!) Advent and Christmas. Again this year, we are supporting the Blythswood Care Shoebox Appeal. You will have an opportunity to fill a shoebox with presents for a person in need, and bring it to the church by 27 October. You can download a checklist with suggestions for items to include here. Every donation is hugely appreciated.
At Messy Church yesterday, we had visitors from Fostering Compassion, who told us about their work with foster animals and children in care. You can find out more about their work here. We made up boxes full of treats, toys and useful items such as blankets as presents for dogs who are yet awaiting their forever home. Daisy and Toby, who both are therapy dogs, joined us, and the kids really enjoyed the cuddles with them. We also made memory jars, to put some favourite memories in (and which we can add to as we go along) - which we can then help to encourage and cheer us when we are feeling sad or downhearted. From closer to home, Faegan the pony, Sparky the budgie and Worcester the dog joined us, and we enjoyed getting to know them. We were also grateful to Kelly and James, two vets who live in our parish (and incidentally mum and dad to three of the kids), for telling us a bit more about how we can show compassion to animals. We thought about what compassion means, and how we are asked by God to be responsible for creation - looking after each other, after the needs of animals, and taking care of the world. You can read more about what we discussed here. We then all sang 'All things bright and beautiful', before gathering around the dinner table for sausages, beans and mash, followed by strawberry jelly.
Thank you to all who came along, and to all helpers - and especially to all the volunteers from Fostering Compassion!
To shorten the wait until the next Messy Church, we'll have all age services in Humbie Church on Sunday, 6 October, 9.30am (followed by coffees and teas) and in Yester Church on Sunday, 27 October, 11am (with coffees and teas beforehand).
Save the date! Our next Messy Church takes place on Sunday, 8 September, 4-6pm in Humbie Village Hall.
This time, we'll have visitors from Fostering Compassion, an East Lothian charity that supports children in care and helps rescue animals. We'll also have local pets - possibly a dog or two, a kitten, a budgie, and perhaps even ferrets and a pony - and a vet visiting. Please contact us if you'd like more information. The afternoon will have a slightly different format, but children of all ages will be able to join in with the activities, and we'll have a song and prayer, and supper together, as usual.
All children are very welcome, and must be accompanied by an adult.
Cabin crew please take your seats for take off!
We have had a very exciting few days at Holiday Club flying to three wonderfully exotic countries – Jamaica, Italy and South Korea. Every morning we have boarded our plane (mercifully not affected by strikes and power cuts) to take us to our new destination, singing songs along the way to keep our rather dozy pilot awake. We have learnt a little bit about each country as we visit it and Anikó has been helping us engage with the themes of love, hope and peace within these countries. With the help of Jenny’s brilliance we have made some beautiful crafts including love clouds, hope/love/peace bracelets, hanging baskets, a fantastic flame filled burning bush, and doves of peace. Margo’s magnificent meals have kept us all going as we listened to Cressida tell us stories about Moses in relation to our themes. We also have managed to get outside to play and dance around the church despite the tempestuous weather! We landed safely back in Scotland after three packed filled days – and are much looking forward to new adventures next year!
After an invitation by Scottish Faiths Action for Refugees (SFAR), the Kirk Sessions of our linked parishes would like to support a pilot project for New Scots Holidays. In participating in this project, we hope to host some of the Syrian refugees who have been settled in Scotland, for a short break, and to provide a space for rest and recreation. After a talk by David Bradwell of SFAR in our services on 14 July, we are currently shaping the team from the congregation and local community who would like to participate in the hosting. If you would be interested in getting involved, come along to an info evening on Tuesday, 6 August, at 7pm in the Humbie Hub, where there'll be an opportunity to explore the situation of refugees in Scotland and to discuss how we can get involved, and also a space for discussion and questions (and a chance to taste some lovely Syrian treats!). If you'd like to come along, please RSVP to firstname.lastname@example.org.