God is the One in whom 'we live and move and have our being'. God is the 'incomprehensible certainty' at the centre of all life. God is a Being who is not a being at all, a Mystery to be discovered through worship, meditation, the study of Scripture, fellowship and the pursuit of justice and peace in the world. At best, theology, liturgy and personal belief are clues and intuitions and together represent our best rational measure and expression of the nature of the One we call God. God is the One in whom we find wholeness and our sense of purpose and fulfilment.
It has been said, ‘For every doctrinal headache, take paradox.’ Jesus Christ is the human image of God: God who, paradoxically, dwells in the darkness of incomprehensibility. Schopenhauer states, ‘Every man takes the limits of his own field of vision for the limits of the world.’ Based on critical intellectual reflection as well as spiritual and emotional openness, the Church has arrived at the view that the Eternal can be encountered, significantly and uniquely, in the life and death of Jesus of Nazareth. His Resurrection and Ascension are theological reflections and insights into the nature of God. H.G Wells said: 'Jesus is easily the dominant figure in history.... A historian without any theological bias whatever should find that he simply cannot portray the progress of humanity without giving a foremost place to a penniless teacher from Nazareth'.
We grow into belief as we mature and continue on our personal spiritual journey. That belief and journey are enriched by engagement with others who are themselves wrestling with questions of the nature of the universe and life, suffering and personal destiny as well as human brokenness. Intellectual honesty and ethical integrity are dominant characteristics of the lifestyle of the community at Mayfield Salisbury Parish Church.
Examples of paragraphs from our Orders of Service
WELCOME TO MAYFIELD SALISBURY PARISH CHURCH
This congregation is part of the Church of Scotland: Reformed in doctrine, Presbyterian in government and a member of the worldwide family of the Christian Church. Whether you are in regular attendance at worship or this is your first visit, welcome to this community and service of worship. God bless you today
PREPARING FOR WORSHIP
Jesus is present with us now. We need to be present to Him. We may arrive at church in a distracted state. However early or late you arrive, take time to prepare. A good starting point is to take heed of the wording at the West Door: ‘Take your sandals off your feet for the place where you stand is holy ground’; ‘Be still and know that I am God’; ‘Jesus said, 'I am the bread if life: he who comes to me shall never hunger.’’ You may have your own prayers which you use to prepare yourself. If not, you can pray verses from the Psalms, such as Psalm 139: 1 – 18; Ps 23, 42, 43, 90, 121, 130 or 144 – 150. You can also meditatively read the hymns for today as a means of preparation. The purpose of all that is done in worship and the preparation of worship is to draw you closer to God.
THE INTERPRETATION OF HOLY SCRIPTURE
Scripture is the blending of myth, theology, spirituality, liturgy and fragments of history. It needs to be read sensitively, knowledgably, and with an open heart. Being Christian involves being shaped by the language of the Christian tradition, including the Bible as the foundation of the tradition. Some in this community understand the Christian language quite literally and factually. Others understand it symbolically and metaphorically. What we share is a common passion for the more-than-literal meaning of the stories and teachings that shape us.
Mayfield Salisbury has just under 450 members, but there are also many people who worship with us regularly who are not members. Entering into full Church membership is an important step for many on their journey of faith. If it is something you have been thinking about why not discuss it with the minster (at present the interim moderator).