Online Worship Archive

Welcome to the online service of worship for The Sixth Sunday After Trinity 2020

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MAYFIELD SALISBURY PARISH CHURCH

EDINBURGH

Online Worship Material Available 8.00am Every Sunday

Sunday 19 July 2020

 

Sixth Sunday after Trinity 

 

Away to Sweet Felpham for Heaven is there
The Ladder of Angels descends thro the air
On the Turret its spiral does softly descend
Thro’ the village then winds at My Cot it does end
You stand in the village & look up to heaven
The precious stones glitter on flights seventy seven
And My Brother is there & My Friend & Thine
Descend & Ascend with the Bread & the Wine

                                                 William Blake

William Blake moved from London to Felpham in 1800 and wrote this poem for his friend Ann Flaxman.

                                                                    

                                   .

www.mayfieldsalisbury.org

 AS A DIVERSE PEOPLE, THE CHURCH GATHERS TO WORSHIP ALMIGHTY GOD

 

Ringing of the church bell

 

Welcome Revd Helen Alexander

‘Begin the song exactly where you are.
Remain within the world of which you’re made….’

Good morning to the members and friends of the congregation of Mayfield Salisbury Parish Church, and welcome to this worship online for the 6th Sunday after Trinity.

The Anglican priest Malcolm Guite begins a poem in his collection entitled The Singing Bowl with these words:

Good words, I suggest with which to begin a period of worship. For when we begin anything, be it sacred or secular – if indeed you can make a sensible distinction between the two - then we can only really begin where we are: with whatever we’re thinking or feeling, for good or ill; and wherever we are in the world. Exactly where we are is where we must begin.

Guite goes to write:

‘Accept it all and let it be for good.
Start with the very breath you breathe in now….’

And so I invite you now to join me in a short period of silence in preparation for worship.

 

Scripture Sentences

There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.

As you therefore have received Christ Jesus the Lord, continue to live your lives in him, rooted and built up in him and established in the faith, just as you were taught, abounding in thanksgiving.

 

Let us pray

Help us, good Lord, never to lose the grace of gratitude, that whatever our circumstance we may look for seeds of help and hope and count our blessings, naming them one by one in thankful acknowledgement and quiet contemplation.

When our minds become clouded by criticisms and false imaginings, restore us in our right mind, and grant us a sense of proportion.

When our words tell half-truths and wound the ones we love, forgive us and help us to make amends.

When we do what we don’t want to do, and fail to do the good, help us to come to ourselves, and by your Spirit, open our hearts to ways of hope and grace.

Assure us of your loving kindness. Guide our minds and hearts to understand what matters most, and breathe your spirit upon us that we may recover lost equilibrium, lost courage, lost peace; to the coming of the kingdom.

 

The Collect

Almighty God, by whose Son Jesus Christ a new and living way into your presence has been opened to us, grant us pure hearts and constant wills to worship you in spirit and in truth; through the same Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever.

 

Reading Psalm 139: 1 – 12, 23-24  NRSVA   George Ross 

The Inescapable God
To the leader. Of David. A Psalm.

1 O Lord, you have searched me and known me.
2 You know when I sit down and when I rise up;
you discern my thoughts from far away.
3 You search out my path and my lying down,
and are acquainted with all my ways.
4 Even before a word is on my tongue,
O Lord, you know it completely.
5 You hem me in, behind and before,
and lay your hand upon me.
6 Such knowledge is too wonderful for me;
it is so high that I cannot attain it.

7 Where can I go from your spirit?
Or where can I flee from your presence?
8 If I ascend to heaven, you are there;
if I make my bed in Sheol, you are there.
9 If I take the wings of the morning
and settle at the farthest limits of the sea,
10 even there your hand shall lead me,
and your right hand shall hold me fast.
11 If I say, ‘Surely the darkness shall cover me,
and the light around me become night’,
12 even the darkness is not dark to you;
the night is as bright as the day,
for darkness is as light to you.

 

HYMN Dear Lord and Father of mankind   Repton   

Dear Lord and Father of mankind,
forgive our foolish ways;
reclothe us in our rightful mind;
in purer lives thy service find,
in deeper reverence, praise.
in deeper reverence, praise.

O Sabbath rest by Galilee!
O calm of hills above,
where Jesus knelt to share with thee
the silence of eternity,
interpreted by love!
interpreted by love!

With that deep hush subduing all
our words and works that drown
the tender whisper of thy call,
as noiseless let thy blessing fall
as fell thy manna down.
as fell thy manna down.

Drop thy still dews of quietness,
till all our strivings cease;
take from our souls the strain and stress,
and let our ordered lives confess
the beauty of thy peace.
the beauty of thy peace.

Breathe through the heats of our desire
thy coolness and thy balm;
let sense be dumb, let flesh retire;
speak through the earthquake, wind and fire,
O still small voice of calm!
O still small voice of calm!

John Greenleaf Whittier (1807-1892)
Played by Kate Pearson
Sung by Julie Morrice

 

WE LISTEN FOR THE SPIRIT OF GOD

jacob s ladder Jacob's Dream painted by William Blake (1757–1827)

 

Reading Genesis 28: 10 - 19a NRSVA   George Ross

Jacob’s Dream at Bethel

10 Jacob left Beer-sheba and went towards Haran. 11 He came to a certain place and stayed there for the night, because the sun had set. Taking one of the stones of the place, he put it under his head and lay down in that place. 12 And he dreamed that there was a ladder set up on the earth, the top of it reaching to heaven; and the angels of God were ascending and descending on it. 13 And the Lord stood beside him and said, ‘I am the Lord, the God of Abraham your father and the God of Isaac; the land on which you lie I will give to you and to your offspring; 14 and your offspring shall be like the dust of the earth, and you shall spread abroad to the west and to the east and to the north and to the south; and all the families of the earth shall be blessed in you and in your offspring. 15 Know that I am with you and will keep you wherever you go, and will bring you back to this land; for I will not leave you until I have done what I have promised you.’ 16 Then Jacob woke from his sleep and said, ‘Surely the Lord is in this place—and I did not know it!’ 17 And he was afraid, and said, ‘How awesome is this place! This is none other than the house of God, and this is the gate of heaven.’

18 So Jacob rose early in the morning, and he took the stone that he had put under his head and set it up for a pillar and poured oil on the top of it. 19 He called that place Bethel; but the name of the city was Luz at the first.

 

Reading Romans 8: 12 – 25  NRSVA  Kay Mcintosh DCS 

12 So then, brothers and sisters, we are debtors, not to the flesh, to live according to the flesh— 13 for if you live according to the flesh, you will die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body, you will live. 14 For all who are led by the Spirit of God are children of God. 15 For you did not receive a spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you have received a spirit of adoption. When we cry, ‘Abba! Father!’ 16 it is that very Spirit bearing witness with our spirit that we are children of God, 17 and if children, then heirs, heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ—if, in fact, we suffer with him so that we may also be glorified with him.

Future Glory

18 I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory about to be revealed to us. 19 For the creation waits with eager longing for the revealing of the children of God; 20 for the creation was subjected to futility, not of its own will but by the will of the one who subjected it, in hope 21 that the creation itself will be set free from its bondage to decay and will obtain the freedom of the glory of the children of God. 22 We know that the whole creation has been groaning in labour pains until now; 23 and not only the creation, but we ourselves, who have the first fruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly while we wait for adoption, the redemption of our bodies. 24 For in hope we were saved. Now hope that is seen is not hope. For who hopes for what is seen? 25 But if we hope for what we do not see, we wait for it with patience.

 

Reading   St Matthew 13: 24 – 30 NRSVA   Kay Mcintosh DCS

 The Parable of Weeds among the Wheat

24 He put before them another parable: ‘The kingdom of heaven may be compared to someone who sowed good seed in his field; 25 but while everybody was asleep, an enemy came and sowed weeds among the wheat, and then went away. 26 So when the plants came up and bore grain, then the weeds appeared as well. 27 And the slaves of the householder came and said to him, “Master, did you not sow good seed in your field? Where, then, did these weeds come from?” 28 He answered, “An enemy has done this.” The slaves said to him, “Then do you want us to go and gather them?” 29 But he replied, “No; for in gathering the weeds you would uproot the wheat along with them. 30 Let both of them grow together until the harvest; and at harvest time I will tell the reapers, Collect the weeds first and bind them in bundles to be burned, but gather the wheat into my barn.”’

Reflection   Revd Helen Alexander

For some time now, I’ve been unable to read the parable of the wheat and the weeds, or ‘tares’ as the KJAV calls them without thinking of Edwin Muir’s striking poem ‘One Foot in Eden’. Here’s how it starts:

‘One foot in Eden still, I stand
And look across this other land….’

From this beginning the poet takes us back to the fields of Christ’s parable in which, he writes:

.... nothing now can separate
The corn and tares compactly grown. (1)

As he wrote this Muir was surely also thinking back to his youth on the Orcadian island of Wyre, where his father held the tenancy of the Bu farm in the closing years of the 19th Century. Like most of the Orkneys, the island of Wyre is fertile and a good harvest would have been expected. Yet in those days before the widespread use of pesticides, there would doubtless have been a lively infiltration of weeds and wild flowers taking root alongside the sown crop, and making the fields look very different to the vast uninterrupted waves of ripening corn that we know in Scotland at this time of year these days.

The weeds to which St Matthew’s Christ referred may have been darnel, a poisonous plant that looks very like the wheat with which it habitually grows. In the Palestine of those days it was frequently rooted out, sometimes more than once before the harvest, and used as a form of fuel. By contrast, in the parable the reaping and destruction of the weeds was not to take place until everything was harvested. The story would thus seem to emphasise the importance of being prepared to wait; to put up with the messy nature of human affairs. The final divine judgement, which from the beginning the church believed would be executed through Christ, was ultimately God’s alone, and would come in God’s own time. Only then would the righteous be separated from the unrighteous. There are resonances here with the Sermon on the Mount: ‘Judge not, that ye be not judged.’ (2)

Belief in a final denouement at the end of time, viewed in cosmic as well as personal terms is common to Jewish and Christian thought. Early Christian belief in the Resurrection added a transformational dimension to this, lyrically expressed in the words of St Paul that we’ve heard today whereby he pictured the whole creation groaning in travail and pain, yet destined to be ‘set free from its bondage to decay’ in the last days through the activity of the Spirit of God in Christ. This is no pie in the sky when you die’ (which incidentally is a travesty of the Christian view of salvation however commonly it may be construed as such.) The vision of which St Paul wrote is that of universal transfiguration in an intense and unimaginable type and scale, a kind of vast cosmological Eden. If most of us have difficulty with this as a future possibility in any literal sense, it might be helpful to consider that if the Eden of Genesis is generally regarded in mythical terms, it’s not unthinkable to regard Paul’s second Eden in the same way.(3) The apostle’s poetic words might yet point us in the direction of trust in some kind of final fulfilment, who knows how or when.

When all’s said and done, we might prefer to leave a theological conundrum of this nature to theologians of a systematic disposition, and get on with taking Jesus the carpenter-turned-teacher’s advice to concentrate simply on the business of doing our best, rooted as we are in the here and now. In the field of life as we know it, we’re connected to people of various dispositions, good and bad, like wheat and weeds; and perhaps more importantly, we may also acknowledge that we possess healthy and not so healthy characteristics inside ourselves; in other words, that each of us is a bit like a messy plot of weeds and wheat that grow together and sometimes jostle for supremacy in one situation or another. We all carry a mixture of good and not so good within us, as well as having our share of struggle and difficulty alongside pleasure and joy.

But Edwin Muir’s poem ‘One Foot in Eden’ has more to say. While still thinking longingly of the paradisiacal myth of Eden, in the second stanza of his poem he muses on the insight that such a perfect setting could never produce the human qualities that can emerge from pain and suffering in the world as we know it. Of this world, he writes:

But famished field and blackened tree
Bear flowers in Eden never known.
Blossoms of grief and charity
Bloom in these darkened fields alone.
What had Eden ever to say
Of hope and faith and pity and love……?

John Keats came up with the term ‘Vale of Soul-making’ in recognition that hardship and suffering appear to be capable of producing the very qualities of healing and hope that are needed to transcend such difficult realities. (4)

Now, this suggestion doesn’t offer the definitive answer to suffering. Nonetheless it’s possible to see some truth in it: that we live in a word where acts of supreme kindness are sometimes found in situations of the direst difficulty; and that new insight and good can emerge from the agony of despair and grief.

Yet, we need to tread carefully. For example, it would be crassitude of the worst order to suppose that young victims of internet bullying, or mothers mounting vigil over a dying child in Yemen or any other hell-hole on earth, or patients desperately ill in hospitals and homes without the presence of loving family or friends are all improvingly engaged in character-forming journeys through the Vale of Soul-making.

Yet, thank God, we also know that many a dying patient has received care from a nurse or doctor as if from a son or a daughter; that families in dreadful circumstances in war-torn lands throughout the world sometimes do receive help and care, albeit almost always too little and often too late; and that throughout this country and beyond, parents and teachers and sometimes young people themselves take arms against the dark power of bullying online and in the playground.

All of which might just encourage the belief that the itinerant preacher from Galilee was onto something when, along with others who have thought the same way before and since, he encouraged his followers not only to wait, but continually to work for the flowering of goodness and grace within situations of deepest difficulty and need.

1  Edwin Muir One Foot in Eden Collected Poems Faber and Faber 1984
2  St Matthew 7.1
3  I am indebted to the Very Rev Dr Gilleasbuig Macmillan for prompting this thought in his book A Workable Belief: Thoughts on the Apostles’ Creed St Andrew Press 1993 P 48
4  John Keats Letter 92 to George and Georgiana Keats Feb 14 – May 3 1819 Letters of John Keats to His Family and Friends Ed. Sidney Colvin Macmillan and Co Ltd 1925 pp 477 - 484

 

RESPONSE TO THE SPIRIT OF GOD WITHIN

 


‘Allegro from Sonata in F, Carlos Seixas (1704 - 1742)  Kate Pearson 

 

Thanksgiving and Intercession Revd Helen Alexander

For the gift of wisdom and understanding wherever it is found we offer gratitude and thanksgiving; for faith and hope and integrity of heart, however that faith and hope is articulated; wherever the seeds of mercy and truth and goodness are sown.

For food and rest and the light of day; and for all solace and delight that we experience with those who share our lives, we offer the thanksgivings of our hearts.

For people who help us with tasks great and small; for those with whom we are in close connection; for those who have come into our lives in recent weeks or with whom we have gladly renewed long-lost ties of friendship; for those without whom we’re not sure how we may have got on in past months; for all such we give much thanks.

And we pray for ourselves as we do for all in this country and beyond who are gradually opening up to something of a new normal: for people venturing out from the confines of their homes; for generations joyfully yet carefully meeting up again face to face and with loving embrace; for sacred places being made ready for worship; for businesses pulling up their shutters and preparing workplaces for safe operation and service; for all those making late plans for holidays even as the calendar year steadily progresses as ever it did.

And we remember all who fear the future: those who worry about their ability to re-engage with a half-forgotten way of life; those facing redundancy or its threat despite earlier hopes of restoration and recovery; those watching savings fall and security diminishing; and all who work in health services throughout the world who are still battling with daily surges in disease, or who may breathe more easily now, but are aware of the possibility of a second wave of fear and death.

We pray for people and lands brought specially to our recent attention: the appallingly pitiful horror of Yemen; the disaster facing the people of Hong Kong; the filth and neglect of hospitals in South Africa and other lands; unprecedented fires in Siberia and minute-by- minute collapse of glaciers in the Arctic; and people anywhere and everywhere who don’t know where their next meal will come from, and where or how they will sleep tonight.

And we offer heartfelt prayers for all who seek to help, seeking to know if and how we might with them play a part in helping, however small.

We pray for the church here and throughout the world, giving thanks that where two or three or more are gathered together remotely or in person, the faith of Jesus Christ continues to be celebrated, and life and hope is offered, exchanged, received in his name. We pray for all in the communion of Mayfield Salisbury and that of other churches throughout the land who are planning and working for a future whereby the welfare of all will continue to be of first consideration.

For the peace of those known and unknown who are troubled and in difficulty we make our prayer; for people who are ill and dying; for those who mourn great loss; for our homes and families and all we hold very dear; for those who bring us untold joy: for all we make our prayer.

And we rejoice in the Communion of Saints past, present and to come in the faith of Jesus Christ our Lord.

The Lord’s Prayer

Our Father, which art in heaven, hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come; thy will be done on earth, as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread and forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors. Lead us not into temptation but deliver us from evil. For thine is the kingdom, the power, and the glory. For ever and ever. Amen.

 

HYMN The Saviour died, but rose again    St Andrew

 PARAPHRASE 48, verses 5-9

The Saviour died, but rose again
triumphant from the grave;
and pleads our cause at God's right hand,
omnipotent to save.

Who then can e'er divide us more
from Jesus and his love,
or break the sacred chain that binds
the earth to heaven above?

Let troubles rise, and terrors frown,
and days of darkness fall;
through him all dangers we'll defy,
and more than conquer all.

Nor death nor life, nor earth nor hell,
nor time's destroying sway,
can e'er efface us from his heart,
or make his love decay.

Each future period that will bless,
as it has blessed the past:
he loved us from the first of time,
he loves us to the last.

Scottish Paraphrases,1781
Romans 8: 34 - end
Played by Kate Pearson
Sung by Julie Morrice

  

  BENEDICTION

Deep peace of the running wave to you
Deep peace of the flowing air to you
Deep peace of the quiet earth to you
Deep peace of the shining stars to you
Deep peace of the Son of peace to you
And the blessing of God: Father, Son and Holy Spirit be with you all.

 

AMEN The Children

 

 

 

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INTIMATIONS

 

NEXT SUNDAY’S READINGS Genesis 29: 15 - 28, Romans 8: 26 - 39 & St Matthew 13: 31 - 33, 44 - 52.

PASTORAL CARE The Revd Neil Gardner may be contacted with pastoral care enquiries on 0131 556 3515.

YOUTH UPDATE

Youth & Parent Surveys now available:  Hillary has created surveys for the parents and youth looking over the 2019-20 youth programming term, including the virtual programming since March. These are very helpful to continually improve youth programming at MSPC, and to aid with the planning process for the upcoming term, so if you haven't gotten a copy and would like to take part, please get in touch with Hillary!

Virtual Youth Programming: The *virtual* youth schedule for the month of July can be accessed on the church website under the 'Young People' tab. All youth programming will be held over Zoom. New virtual youth consent forms must be sent to Hillary before attending a session. For log-in access to the Zoom sessions, or to get a copy of the consent forms, please contact Hillary!

ONLINE OFFERING / DONATION The Church is very grateful to all those who give by standing order enabling us to maintain a large portion of our income through these difficult times. We now offer the ability to contribute to our work electronically through the ‘give.net’ facility which appears on the home page of the Church’s website. This provides the possibility of adding Gift Aid to donations. There is also a direct link to the new system which is: https://www.give.net/20311853

With best wishes, Hugh Somerville, Free Will Offerings Treasurer.

 

 

Forthcoming Deadlines

Order of service for next week: Thursday at 6.00pm.

Next GrapevineFriday 31 July at 6.00pm.

Please send submissions to the Church Manager, William Mearns.

Phone: 0780 801 1234 or email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

 

Books for the Journey

My Sour-Sweet Days: George Herbert and the Journey of the Soul by Mark Oakley.

Luminaries: Twenty lives that illuminate the Christian Way by Rowan Williams.

 

Copyright Notices

SCRIPTURE QUOTATIONS are from New Revised Standard Version Bible: Anglicized Edition, copyright © 1989, 1995 National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

Mayfield Salisbury Parish Church holds a CCLI Streaming License: #88916.

 

  

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Scottish Charity Number SC000785

Online Offering

Contact Information

Mayfield Salisbury Parish Church,
18 West Mayfield,
Edinburgh,
EH9 1TQ

0131 667 1522 / 0780 801 1234

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Scottish Charity Number: SC000785

Quotations

  • Because God is both knowable and unknowable the tension of the symbol, the multilayers of the myth and the openness of the poetic are all vital to our desire to celebrate the Mystery to whom we relate and in whom we have our being.
    Mark Oakley

  • You must love him as he is: neither God, nor spirit, nor image; even more, the One without commingling, pure, luminous ...

    Meister Eckhart

  • The purpose of our life is God's glory. However lowly a life is, that is what makes it great.
    Oscar Romero

  • Faith may justify bigotry or fanaticism, as Church history tragically witnesses. It needs a safeguard. If it is not animated as it were by the greatest of the theological virtues (love), faith can become defective.
    Thomas Norris

  • Dry not, dry not, your tears of love eternal! Only to eyes that fail to weep does this world seem so dull and dead. Dry not, dry not, those long, sad tears of love.
    Johann von Goette

  • The post modern paradigm manifests itself as a unity which preserves diversity and diversity which strives after unity.
    David Bosch

  • There is only one assertion that requires no evidence. Children are a sacred trust...Unless we care properly for our children, we shall never build a better world.
    'A Good Childhood’ The Children’s Society

  • These are only hints and guesses, hints followed by guesses; and the rest is prayer.
    'The Dry Salvages' T.S.Eliot

  • According to strict truth, God is incomprehensible, and incapable of being measured.
    Origen

  • Myth is a story about the way things never were, but always are.
    Thomas Mann

  • In the darkness ...The child of your love - and now become as the most hated one - the one You have thrown away as unwanted - unloved ..... The darkness is so dark .... I have no faith.
    Mother Teresa

  • I love the Bible. I owe my faith and my life to the Bible and its liberating message. It is in the Bible that I first met Jesus ... I too am included in God's embrace.
    Gene Robinson

  • It is this great absence that is like a presence, that compels me to address it without hope of a reply ....
    R.S. Thomas

  • Faith is not a proud self-consistent philosophy. It involves maintaining oneself between contradictions that can't be solved by analysis. It is therefore a living response to the grace of God as revealed in fragile lives.
    Mark Oakley

  • Any religion which does not say that God is hidden is not true.
    Blaise Pascal

  • The contemporary Church is losing aspects of its wide and generous memory and therefore condemning itself to become a 'swimming pool Church' - one that has all the noise coming from the shallow end.
    Mark Oakley

  • For all your doctrinal headaches take Paradox.
    Mark Oakley

  • The true vision and the true knowledge of what we seek consists precisely in not seeing, in an awareness that our goal transcends all knowledge and is everywhere cut off from us by the darkness of incomprehensibility.
    St Gregory of Nyssa

  • Death, death be hanged, the Lord has promised me that I shall live. This I believe!
    Martin Luther

  • We feel that even when all possible scientific questions have been answered, the problems of life have not been put to rest.
    Wittgenstein

  • Religion is the flight of the alone to the Alone.
    Plotinus

  • Stupid clergymen appeal quite directly to a Bible passage directly understood ....
    Soren Kirkegaard

  • What is the point of the arts of reading and criticism as long as the ecclesiastical interpretation of the Bible, Protestant as well as Catholic, is cultivated as ever?
    Friedrich Nietzsche

  • A figure like Ecclesiast, rugged and luminous, chants in the dark a text that is the answer, although obscure.
    Wallace Stevens

  • Myth is the poetry of the soul.
    Sara Maitland

  • Our loss of the ability to think mythically, poetically, allegorically, creatively, theologically, and artfully is a greater threat to our religious experience than anything good scientists have to report ...
    Sara Maitland

  • In general, Zen attitude is that words and truth are incompatible, or at least that no words can capture truth.
    Douglas Hofstadter

  • 'God' is a one word poem
    Rowan Williams

  • What is today? Today is eternity.
    Meister Eckhart

  • Apprehend God in all things, for God is in all things.
    Meister Eckhart

  • The most powerful hunger we have, mostly suppressed and misdirected, is the hunger for God.
    Miroslav Volf

  • We frequently judge that things are as we wish them to be, for through personal feeling true perspective is easily lost.
    Thomas a Kempis

  • Faith is the bird that feels the light and sings when the dawn is still dark.
    Rabindranath Tagore

  • God is the beyond in our midst.
    Dietrich Bonhoeffer

  • 'God is not the answer, God is the question.'
    Herbert McCabe