Newsletter – 14th February 2021
Outside, the sky was almost brown The clouds were hanging low.
Then all of a sudden it happened:
The air was full of snow.
The children rushed to the windows. The teacher let them go,
Though she teased them for their foolishness.
After all, it was only snow.
Newsletter – 7th February 2021, Fifth after Epiphany
This week we took down the Nativity set, crafted some years ago, by staff and students of Hill House School. Normally, we do that immediately following Epiphany, on January 6th (Twelve Days of Christmas etc.) This year it felt appropriate to keep it throughout the season of Epiphany, letting its warmth and colour act as a focus, during our live stream services.
The official season of Epiphany concluded on Tuesday, February 2nd; in some traditions known as the Feast of the Presentation of Christ in the Temple, or more usually, Candlemas. It celebrates the story, recorded in Luke 2:22-40, of the elderly Simeon in the Jerusalem Temple, taking the baby Jesus in his arms and recognising the infant as: “A Light to lighten the Gentiles and the glory of thy people Israel.”
Newsletter – 31st January 2021
“Pleasant words are as an honeycomb, sweet to the soul, and health to the bones.”
In the first of this season’s Coffee Morning Zoom talks, St Columba’s elder, Kate McNish enlightened attenders about the amazing world of bees. From a Church of Scotland blog this week came further input about creating a Bee Water Station. Bees need water, especially on hot days to supplement the pollen and the nectar. They use it for their digestion. In addition, it is used in the hive to dilute the honey to the right constituency and to cool down the hive when it becomes hot. This is achieved by an appropriate flapping of wings. Bees are susceptible to drowning in bird baths and garden ponds. So, they need shallow water and an easy way to access it. Placing stones, as suitable landing spots, in a terracotta dish fits the bill. The bees work extremely hard, flying at 16 miles per hour and flapping their wings 230 times per second. A summer worker bee only lives for 6 weeks and only goes out foraging for the last 3 weeks of her life. In that time, going out every day to forage all the daylight hours, she will bring home enough nectar to make just one twelfth of a teaspoonful of honey.
E-Newsletter – 24th January 2021
For God alone my soul waits in silence;
from him comes my salvation.
He alone is my rock and my salvation, my fortress;
I shall never be shaken. (Psalm 62:1-2)
This week our headlines have been full of Presidential Inauguration, and you may have seen Amanda Gorman become the youngest poet ever to perform at a presidential inauguration. The 22-year-old delivered her work The Hill We Climb to both the dignitaries present in Washington DC and a watching global audience. Her five-minute poem began: "When day comes, we ask ourselves where can we find light in this never-ending shade?" She went on to reference the storming of the Capitol earlier this month. "We've seen a force that would shatter our nation rather than share it, would destroy our country if it meant delaying democracy," she declared. "And this effort very nearly succeeded. But while democracy can be periodically delayed, it can never be permanently defeated." Overall, her poem called for "unity and togetherness."