This exploration of Langholm’s Hugh MacDiarmid’s damning verdict on the church formed the presidential address given in May 2018 by the parish minister at Langholm, Eskdalemuir, Ewes and Westerkirk. The quotation in the title is from ‘A drunk man looks at the thistle’ where the poet accuses the church of keeping Christ to themselves. The paper begins with an analysis of the parish and its people and explores models of ministry, the dangers placed on unity in a parish of several locations, and goes on to question what 'belonging’ to the church means. He asks: 'To what extent does our decline as local congregations reflect our failure to satisfy people's yearnings, and are these yearnings felt by those who self-describe as Christians but do not attend church?'
Volume 53 2018
Subtitled Technology in the service of the praise of God, this is a detailed report of the postponed 2017 Study Day (to March 2018), a consultation of 44 participants, held in the recently refurbished Greyfriars Parish Church in Lanark to consider the current digital landscape and the church's response, particularly in relation to worship. The main input was from Dr Graham Maule who brought the theories of six cultural critics to bear on new and old ‘tool-based’ practices in worship, and this was taken up by a symposium and in general discussion.
This is the full order of worship used at the opening of the study day on technology in worship. It consisted of a re-imagining of the ancient office of Terce and contains scriptural reference to the use of tools, a new litany and collect, with the incorporation of new versions of psalms by Lezley Stewart.
A contribution to a seminar at the Reformation Studies Institute of the University of St Andrews in 2015, the 500th anniversary of the Reformation in Europe. Based on a new edition of the earliest version of the Gude and Godlie Ballatis (1565), edited by Professor Emeritus Alasdair A. MacDonald of Groningen, the seminar explored the nature and purpose of the Ballatis and, given that the original publication did not print the music, brought text and music together for a handful of the items so that they could be sung by the audience.
The Editor interviews the Revd David M Beckett, whose 8 sermons on worship had recently been added to the Church Service Society’s website. These had been preached in 1988 in Greyfriars Kirk of which Beckett was minister.
A tribute to the late Treasurer of the Society, the Revd Jennifer Macrae of Haddington St Mary’s, who died in March 2018, given at the Annual Meeting of 2018. The author had spent time with her as a probationer minister.
Information was given about these titles:
Liturgy on the Edge: Pastoral and attractional worship, ed. Samuel Wells (Canterbury Press)
Liturgical Worship: A basic introduction, Mark Earey (Church House Publishing)
The Language of Liturgy: A ritual poetics, David Jasper (SCM Press)
Visual Arts in the Worshipping Churc, Lisa J DeBoer (Eerdmans)
Grasping the Heel of Heaven: Liturgy, leadership and ministry in today's Church, ed. Aiden Platten (Canterbury Press)
A Diary of Private Prayer: John Baillie, updated and revised, Susanna Wright (Scribner)
Words that Listen: A literary companion to the Lectionary, eds J Barney Hawkins and Ian S Markham (Canterbury Press)