Vestry Letter March 2015



We are now well inside the hundred days leading up to the General Election (Thursday 7th May 2015.) So, on the back page of this month’s Magazine is a prayer for our politicians. The prayer has two catchy refrains: Politics should always be embraced by prayer, not prayer embraced by politics. And May our public figures never be above the criticisms of its citizens or beneath their prayers. They are prayerful reminders that question whether the priorities of our own political leanings are in tune with the priorities of our faith; and the challenge that however much we might disagree or dislike a politician and his/her view, we must continue to hold them in our prayers.


Excitingly, this month (Tuesday 17th March 2015) St Columba’s hosts an Any Questions Evening, with prominent politicians from across all the main political parties. Following on from the great success of last year’s Scottish Independence Referendum Debate, we look forward to drawing another good crowd to Pont Street for the chance to hear, question and consider the message and the messengers.


This month is also encompassed by the season of Lent, preparing us for the celebration of Easter. This year we mark Lent in various ways. The Study Group is looking at the Gospel of Mark, while for the Lent Appeal the Mission Committee has chosen to support the small Just Like Us mental health charity, based in Colston Milton, Glasgow. Our link with this charity is really the upshot of the Stewardship Committee’s invitation last year to the Reverend Christopher Rowe, Minister of Colston Milton, to speak to us during our inaugural Stewardship Month. A lovely example of how one door opens onto another.


At the end of the month, fittingly during Holy Week, we will host a remarkable exhibition. The F Word: Stories of Forgiveness is a thought provoking collection of arresting images and personal narratives exploring forgiveness in the face of atrocity. First launched in London in 2004, it has since been displayed in over 300 venues worldwide. Drawing together voices from South Africa, America, Israel, Palestine, Northern Ireland and England, the exhibition examines forgiveness as a healing process, a journey out of victimhood and, ultimately, a journey of hope.


In Lent we follow the footsteps of the one who journeyed to the cross and beyond; the one who crucified by the political powers and their military might, prayed that they be forgiven. May your own Lenten journey draw you near to that death-defying love. And may St Columba’s continue to provide you with shelter, companions and inspiration along the way.