Outreach article: Squalor to Scholar

Welcome to Outreach Online!  Articles will be posted here on the St James the Less church website as they become available. When there are enough articles, they will be compiled and printed in limited numbers for people who don’t use the internet. Just click the image below to open the document.

We hope you enjoy reading the articles, and welcome any feedback.

Squalor to Scholar - formatted&edited

What’s that? The beautiful St JtL Peace Pole!

On 21st September, as part of the International Peace One Day celebrations, people will be gathering to dedicate the peace pole commissioned by St James the Less. It has been handcrafted with love and care by Andrew McCaullye, who has repurposed an electricity pole and wax from the remnants of candles burned in church.

Peace Pole
May peace prevail on Earth.

The English phrase, May peace prevail on Earth, spirals around the top of the pole, encouraging onlookers to come close and walk around it. This is matched at the bottom of the pole, with a nod to our Scottish heritage, as we find the phrase in Gallic. Vertically around the pole we find the phrase in Hebrew, a biblical language and a sign of our continuing prayers for all the peoples of the Holy Land. Russian is included in acknowledgement of growing tensions and conflicts in Ukraine and other once-Soviet states, and as a prayer for peace in these lands. Twi is included as a reminder of our diocesan partnership with Ghana, this is one of the most peaceful places in Africa, despite tribes speaking 5 native languages, as well as the official English. Fante, most commonly spoken in Cape Coast is not written down, so Twi serves and reminds us to pray for our partners in Ghana and for peace throughout the continent of Africa. Tibetan is included as we pray for people whose struggle for peace goes on over many years and can all too easily be forgotten.

As we dedicate the pole, we will pray:

Gracious God, hear us.
Sanctify this pole dedicated to the peace you offer through Christ.
Let it be to all who see it a sign that peace will come on earth and a prompt to our prayers and diligent work for peace. Accept here the continual reading of the words “May Peace prevail on earth” as the heartfelt prayers of your people. Grant that all who look upon this pole may be blessed by your spirit of peace. Blessed be your Name, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit; now and for endless ages. Amen. 

I do hope you will lift your heart in prayer and or longing for peace whenever you go past.

To find out more about the Peace Pole project pop over to http://www.maypeaceprevailonearth.org.uk At the time of posting St JtL’s was the newest peace pole.

St JtL Peace Pole

Our vision

Our Vision for St James the Less

God calls us and gives us grace to use the gifts He has given us to grow as a loving and Christ-centred people, faithful in worship, rejoicing in differences, open to the gifts of the Spirit and working as His servants in our communities

Celebrating our vision!untitled-4

God calls us and gives us grace,
We will be open to God’s voice however it may come to us. Through His strength, not our own, we will do His work.

To use the gifts He has given us,
We rejoice in the many gifts that God gives us. We will use our individual and collective talents to reach out, to serve and to communicate the Christian faith to others in ways sensitive to their needs.

To grow as a loving and Christcentred people,
We will grow in our common worship, deepen our understanding of our faith and draw others into our Christian fellowship. In our relationships we will affirm one another’s gifts and strengths. We will be mutually loving and trusting, accepting our own and others’ weaknesses. We will foster good relationships with other Christians in sharing our journey of faith and we will
do all of this with God’s help and grace.

Faithful in worship,
We worship the one God – Father, Son and Holy Spirit. As the only Episcopal church in Penicuik, we will offer worship for all age groups in Liturgy and Sacrament, in Praise and Prayer. We wish to encounter God fully in many forms of worship, with dignity, with joy, with humility, with reverence and with enthusiasm.

Rejoicing in differences,
We acknowledge and value our different experiences of God and the varied routes that our spiritual journeys take, all towards the one God. This diversity is a strength to be cherished and supported. We will explore and embrace the richness of faith as understood in a variety of ways in the Scottish Episcopal Church. We rejoice that we are loved as we are, with all our imperfections and at every stage of faith, forgiven and enabled to fulfil our potential as God’s people.

Open to the gifts of the Spirit,
We wish to be bound together and guided by the Holy Spirit to ever greater understanding of God’s word and purpose for us. We rest our faith on three pillars – the Bible, a living, growing church tradition and our ability to reason.

Working as His servants in our communities.
We will serve our communities humbly and to the best of our abilities, as Christ served. We expect no reward beyond knowing that we are partners in God’s work on earth. We will offer service that respects all people as children of God, irrespective of differences, doubts and disadvantages. We will give our time, talents and resources to help to meet the material, emotional and spiritual needs of people, wherever they are. We will work with other churches to bring as many as possible to the loving mystery, majesty and friendship of God as revealed to us in Jesus Christ.

CHANGING THE WAY IN WHICH WE WORK TOGETHER

We will realise our vision by:

    1. Worshipping God in a variety of ways. Our worship will be consistent with our talents and character in style, music, timing and duration.
    1. Being open to God’s guidance, in particular by improving our ability to listen to one another
    1. Improving the ways in which we communicate amongst ourselves and with the local and global communities in which we engage.
    1. Creating and supporting collective leadership that enables us to live out God’s purpose for us.
    1. Committing to the effective and sensitive management of change.
    1. Reaffirming and embracing our natural diversity of opinion, practice and individual experience of God.
    1. Seeking out and helping to meet the most pressing needs in our communities.
  1. Recognising, “owning”, celebrating and pursuing this new vision. We will shoulder these responsibilities together, from clergy and leaders, through vestry, to every member of the congregation.