Julia writes –
It is perhaps ironic that as I sat down to write this article the silence was interrupted at intervals by a very loud car alarm going off right outside my house. Ironic, because I wanted to share a few thoughts with you about silence! We live in a very noisy world and in a world where it is now possible to listen to your personal choice of music or TV or radio wherever you are…in the car, on the beach, walking down the street, in the bath! In addition, we can always use our phone to talk to someone, catch up with social media or the latest news. It is entirely possible to fill our days and nights with noise and events and other people and never allow ourselves a moment of silence.
Of course, silence is threatening. If you are ever in a room with others and the conversation suddenly lulls there is a real sense of unease until someone takes the plunge and quickly fills the awkward silence. In silence we are suddenly confronted with ourselves, the reality of who we are, what is going on in our heads and bodies and lives and we feel exposed and vulnerable. And so, we quickly move to shut out any self-awareness with noise of any kind.
The Bible has a lot to say about silence. One of my favourite Psalms is 62 which has the repeated phrase running through it…for God alone my soul waits in silence. The prophets knew the value of silence and for Jesus, escaping into the hills to be alone and pray in silence was crucial. Moments of silence are about an awareness of self but also more importantly can be a vehicle to awareness of God and our need for him. There are any number of books written by people of all faiths in which the value of silence as a means of being with God in stillness is discussed and explained. In silence, faced with ourselves in all our vulnerability and need, we can find God as the still and silent centre of the world. And in finding him we find ourselves. As the collect for last week reminded us in those wonderful words from St Augustine; “our hearts are restless until they find themselves in you.”
So try it! Switch off the TV, the phone, the radio. Sit in the silence and… “be still and know that I am God”
The silence of eternity fills me
The quietness of soul love enfolds me
Wrapped in the stillness of solitude
I am at last in peace
And my emptiness is filled
With the riches of your loveliness.
The meeting on 18th July took place at the Parsonage and included a tour of the house to see the many improvements made in the past months. The main items of business were –
- A report from Julia, highlighting her research into the links between churches and the community in our area.
- Initial suggestions from Julia on how we might broaden our own outreach, through a Mission Action Plan. This will be considered further at the Vestry’s next meeting in September.
- A report on the applications to be made for grant funding in respect of current and planned works programmes.
- Endorsement of a proposal to change the arrangements for the Wednesday morning service at St James’, which will now be a said Eucharist starting at 10.15.
- A report on communications and the use of social media, emphasising the potential of Facebook as a means of publicising information on events and activities. The new Facebook address is ‘St James & St Anne – Wyvis Churches’.
- A decision to revert to a two-monthly schedule of Vestry meetings.
There has been an excellent response from the congregation to the appeal to purchase pew bibles, so an order for 50 has now been placed. Only two remain to be funded! Reg Holder can now arrange for memorial inscriptions to be prepared and pasted in, so if you have sponsored a bible in someone’s memory please give the details to Reg as soon as possible.
Concerts and Events
The Autumn and Winter season of concerts and talks at St James’ Church is now largely finalised, so the following dates can be put in your diaries (all events starting at 7.30pm)–
Wednesday 22nd August – Ten Strings Duo
The welcome return of Marianatalia Ruscica (violin) and Davide Sciacca (guitar), with a programme including works by Boutros, Amici, Cipollina and Pujol.
Friday 21st September – Hans Gál Trio
Emma Donald (violin), Katie Johnson (cello) and Ailsa Aitkenhead (piano) – programme to be confirmed.
Saturday 13th October – Davide Sciacca
A classical guitar recital by one half of the Ten Strings Duo
Friday 16th November – Turadh
Emma Donald (fiddle) and Isbel Pendlebury (clarsach), who so delighted us last year with their debut performance of traditional music with a modern twist, return with a new programme of their own compositions.
In addition, dates should soon be established for talks by Jean Davis (on climate change) and Colin Chandler (on his recent visit to Nepal), while further concerts and talks are in planning for the New Year.
Shirleyanne Cumberledge Memorial Prize
An arts prize has been set up in memory of Shirleyanne Cumberledge, whose name will be familiar to many in the congregation, and we understand that three artists have now been chosen, from a field of 28 applicants, to receive the first grants from the scheme – Paul Bloomer, Ellis O’Connor and Corrie Thomson.
Come and Sing!
Come and sing a “Little Jazz Mass” with Bob Chilcott at Inverness Cathedral on Saturday 25th August. Rehearsals start at 11:00. Cost for the full day is £5.00 if you book through the Cathedral office, and you will need to bring your own lunch. If you are only attending the Jazz Mass at 15:00, there is no charge.
Cathedral office email – firstname.lastname@example.org. Cathedral office phone – 01463 225553.
Priest in Charge
Revd. Julia Boothby, 4, Castle Street, Dingwall IV15 9HU
Tel – 01349-862204: E-mail – email@example.com
Revd. Barbara Chandler 01463-831849
Revd. Ruth Flockhart 01463-731580
Revd. Valerie Saunders 01349-865445
Facebook: St James & St Anne – Wyvis Churches
Scottish Charity No SC 009686
Sunday Services in August and September
All will be Sung Eucharists, starting at 10.30am.
Sunday 5th (Pentecost 11) St Anne’s
Sunday 12th (Pentecost 12) St James’
Sunday 19th (Pentecost 13) St Anne’s
Sunday 26th (Pentecost 14) St James’
Sunday 2nd (Pentecost 15) St Anne’s
Sunday 9th (Pentecost 16) St James’
Sunday 16th (Pentecost 17) St Anne’s
Sunday 23rd (Pentecost 18) St James’
Sunday 30th (Pentecost 19) Joint service at St Ninian’s