Discipline is a choosing to do in order to move towards a goal, not simply as a means to an end, but as an important act in an of itself. But discipline is a way of life. Discipline is a way of life to which we need to commit in the time of Corona. … More Discipline

Ministers Blog by the Rev Dr Norman Shanks

Whenever older people get together, at some point the occasion often becomes something of an ‘organ recital’ – a sharing of news of current aches and pains, medications, hospital and GP appointments. At present, however, nineteen weeks after lockdown, as friends and families meet again, conversation is likely at some point also to turn to an exchange of experience – looking back to how things were before 23 March, reflecting on these past weeks, looking forward to the possibility of a ‘new normal’. … More Ministers Blog by the Rev Dr Norman Shanks

Feeding 5000

I don’t know what your breakfast table conversations usually sound like, but ours this morning (which was not at all unusual) involved discussing the Edinburgh Zoo, Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, Peppa Pig’s new neighbours (the Wolf family), and the Feeding of the Five Thousand. (The last had the greatest share of the adult attention). … More Feeding 5000

Ministers Blog by the Rev Dr Norman Shanks

Today – the 15th July – is a big day! Many of the lockdown restrictions are being eased and lifted. Pubs and restaurants can open again, museums, galleries and cinemas too; and last week’s government announcement opened the way, earlier than expected, for churches also to open for public worship, subject to restrictions – keeping a safe distance from each other, and no singing! We can now meet together too in bigger groups with family and friends. … More Ministers Blog by the Rev Dr Norman Shanks

Future Normal

Currently I’m hearing a lot of people talking about ‘normal’. There’s talk of the ‘new normal’, and talk of ‘returning to normal’. I’m not really prepared to embrace either of those ideas. This, right now, is so far from ideal that I would not want to perpetuate it as a sustained normal in the future. But, just as much, I would say what was was not ideal. We have been given a poorly packaged gift in this lockdown. Life as it was has stopped and we can choose how we get it going again. … More Future Normal

Ministers Blog by the Rev Dr Norman Shanks

Do not worry about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.  Philippians 4.6 Rejoice always; pray without ceasing. 1 Thessalonians 5.16-17 By my reckoning we are now into the fourteenth week of the ‘lockdown’ and gradually both the Holyrood and Westminster governments are easing … More Ministers Blog by the Rev Dr Norman Shanks

Evening Prayer

Lord You bless us as we restRestore us as we sleepYou care for us as we drift offAnd make our dreaming sweet You are the safest placeYou are the God of GraceForgiven, loved and held by youIs each small seed of faith You know our thoughts and feelingsYou see our deep desiresYou understand our wearinessAnd … More Evening Prayer

Juneteenth: A day to celebrate, A day to be inspired

It wasn’t until I moved to North Carolina in 1999 that I realised that Juneteenth wasn’t ‘a thing’ anywhere but Texas.  It stands to reason, I suppose.  It is the celebration of the day (June 19th 1865) the news of the Emancipation Proclamation reached Texas (two months after the defeat of the Confederate States and Lincoln’s famous speech in April), but Juneteenth had been such a big deal, so obviously worthy of celebration, that I had assumed the whole country would celebrate.  … More Juneteenth: A day to celebrate, A day to be inspired