Online Worship Archive

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

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Sunday 23 August 2020


Eleventh Sunday after Trinity 

 St Augustine says that there is a mysterious place
deep in the soul that is beyond time and this world,
a part higher than that which gives life and
movement to the body; true prayer so raises the
heart that God can come into this innermost place,
the most disinterested, intimate, and noble part of
our being, the seat of our unity.

It is His dwelling-place, and into this grand and
mysterious kingdom He pours the sweet delight of
which I have spoken. Then is Man no longer
troubled by anything: he is recollected, quiet, and
really himself, and becomes daily more detached,
spiritualised, and contemplative, for God is within
him, reigning and working in the depths of his soul.

John Tauler
14th century follower of Meister Eckhart


stJ small




Welcome Revd Neil Gardner

Good morning, and welcome. This is Neil Gardner leading worship once again today, in my capacity as Interim Moderator at Mayfield Salisbury Parish Church and I’m glad to be sharing with you in this act of worship. Later in the service we’ll be reflecting on how this would usually be Festival season in Edinburgh, and hearing Christine de Luca read her poem about how it all began. But let’s begin as is the usual custom at Mayfield Salisbury, with a moment of quiet to prepare ourselves, our hearts and our minds, for this time of worship together.

Today’s call to worship comes from the First Letter of John, tucked away towards the back of the New Testament: We know that the Son of God has come and given us understanding to know the true God. Let us pray:

Loving God, help us to put out of our minds for this little while all that has preoccupied us and distracted us in these last days, and wherever we are grant us a sense of your presence, your purpose, your peace. Grant us too we pray a sense of your forgiveness, for those times when we forget to love and serve you, and wander from the path you would have us take; those times when we are careless of your world, and put its life in danger; those times when we talk of our concern for others but fail to match our words with action. Lord have mercy upon us, we pray, and forgive us our sins and lead us on to a better understanding of the true God.

Almighty God, you have taught us that without love
all our doings are worth nothing.
Send your Holy Spirit, and pour into our hearts
that most excellent gift of love,
the true bond of peace and all virtues;
through Jesus Christ our Lord,
who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit,
one God, now and for ever. Amen


All-Age Message Revd Neil Gardner

In one of today’s Bible readings, Jesus looks at Peter, one of his closest friends and followers, and says ‘on this rock I will build my church’. He was meaning that Peter would become the foundation on which Jesus would build the Church in general, but it’s a line that always makes me think of a particular church built on a particular rock. When I became minister of Canongate Kirk I discovered that meant I was also minister for Edinburgh Castle which has been linked to our parish for centuries, even though it’s at the very top of the Royal Mile and we’re almost at the bottom. Being minister for Edinburgh Castle means that I have a responsibility for St Margaret’s Chapel, and that’s the particular church built on a particular rock, that I have in mind this morning. Today St Margaret’s

Chapel is the oldest of all the buildings that are fixed to the Castle rock. It is thought to have been built by King David in honour of his mother Queen Margaret sometime early in the twelfth century, which makes it about 900 years old. It’s also one of the smallest buildings at the Castle, so small that since the Castle reopened a couple of weeks ago but with the number of visitors still very much restricted, only one person at a time is allowed to be in it!

As minister for Edinburgh Castle I am also President of St Margaret’s Chapel Guild, which was set up during the second world war purely so that its members would put fresh flowers in the chapel every week. The chapel had fallen out of use at that time and was looking tired and rather unloved, and it was reckoned that flowers would brighten it up. St Margaret’s Chapel Guild still exists for that same purpose today and rather unusually the only qualification to be a member is that you have to be called Margaret. I wonder if any of you listening at home are called Margaret? It doesn’t have to be your first name, it can be a middle name, and it’s ok if it’s a variation on Margaret, like Margo or Marguerite, but it’s got to be there in your name somewhere or you can’t be a member of St Margaret’s Chapel Guild. Obviously they made an exception for me, and for Princess Anne, our Royal Patron, but she took over from her aunt Princess Margaret, who was very well qualified for the role.

When Jesus told Peter that he was the rock on which the Church would be built, people probably didn’t think he was very well qualified for the role at all. Peter had a reputation for being a bit headstrong, a bit reckless, a bit inclined not to look before he leapt and altogether just a bit unreliable. Nevertheless he was the rock on which Jesus chose to build his Church, a shoogly rock some might say, perhaps the sort you can’t quite trust to take your weight when you’re crossing a stream. But Jesus trusted him all those centuries ago, long before even St Margaret’s Chapel was built on the Castle rock, and that means he trusts us too to be part of the same Church today. You don’t have to be called Peter or Margaret, you don’t have to be perfect or a saint, you just need to be a friend of Jesus, ready to follow in his steps and to walk in his light. The Spirit lives to set us free, our children’s hymn reminds us, he binds us all in unity, walk in the light of the Lord.


HYMN The Spirit lives to set us free

The Spirit lives to set us free,
walk, walk in the light.
He binds us all in unity,
walk, walk in the light.

Walk in the light,
Walk in the light,
Walk in the light,
Walk in the light of the Lord.

Jesus promised life to all,
walk, walk in the light.
The dead were wakened by his call,
walk, walk in the light.

He died in pain on Calvary,
walk, walk in the light,
to save the lost like you and me,
walk, walk in the light.

We know his death was not the end,
walk, walk in the light.
He gave his Spirit to be our friend,
walk, walk in the light.

By Jesus’ love our wounds are healed,
walk, walk in the light.
The Father’s kindness is revealed,
walk, walk in the light.

The Spirit lives in you and me,
walk, walk in the light.
His light will shine for all to see,
walk, walk in the light.

Sung by the Chamber Group
Tune: anon. arr. John Bell Text: Damien Lundy
(c) 1978 Kevin Mayhew Ltd.




Reading  Romans 12: 1 - 8   Lucia Garland  NRSVA

The New Life in Christ

12 I appeal to you therefore, brothers and sisters, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your minds, so that you may discern what is the will of God—what is good and acceptable and perfect.

For by the grace given to me I say to everyone among you not to think of yourself more highly than you ought to think, but to think with sober judgement, each according to the measure of faith that God has assigned. For as in one body we have many members, and not all the members have the same function, so we, who are many, are one body in Christ, and individually we are members one of another. We have gifts that differ according to the grace given to us: prophecy, in proportion to faith; ministry, in ministering; the teacher, in teaching; the exhorter, in exhortation; the giver, in generosity; the leader, in diligence; the compassionate, in cheerfulness.


Reading St Matthew 16: 13 - 20  Kay McIntosh DCS  NRSVA

Peter’s Declaration about Jesus

13 Now when Jesus came into the district of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, ‘Who do people say that the Son of Man is?’ 14 And they said, ‘Some say John the Baptist, but others Elijah, and still others Jeremiah or one of the prophets.’ 15 He said to them, ‘But who do you say that I am?’ 16 Simon Peter answered, ‘You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God.’ 17 And Jesus answered him, ‘Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah! For flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but my Father in heaven. 18 And I tell you, you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of Hades will not prevail against it. 19 I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven.’ 20 Then he sternly ordered the disciples not to tell anyone that he wasthe Messiah.


Reflection Revd Neil Gardner & Christine De Luca 

Spirit of ’47

70 years of the Festival city, i.m. of Rudolf Bing, Harry Harvey Wood of the British Council and Lord Provost Sir John Falconer

They were visionaries in ‘47, special people with dreams of dry bones dancing out of desolation, of creativity revivified. Europe was in lament; so many lives lost. And its art stolen, its orchestras fragmented. Austerity was utility homes, rationed food, little fuel. It was survival that mattered.

These seers knew that politics can fail but stories connect, that the spirit needs elixirs – music, art and dance; surprise part of the enchantment; that we should expect to be shocked as well as thrilled. Some would tut-tut, but yes, Edinburgh would take the risk. Sir Thomas Beecham wouldn’t come, but the Queen graced the Royal box and Kathleen Ferrier sang Mahler. Each obstacle was resolved: water and alcohol in short supply – afternoon tea, darling? Ring the Fire Brigade! Pull a few strings – whisky galore!

The sun shone, audiences filled theatres,
cafés buzzed, the critics were ecstatic.
Bruno Walter conducted his Viennese orchestra:
Haydn, Schubert, Mozart, a waltz by Strauss.

It’s the full spectrum of cultures now: from classical to contemporary to avant-garde; and all the various fringes, spin-offs – they still bring the best from every corner of the world, from continents in flux, people on the move joining forces with us to make a new songbook, a new identity.

Refugees, migrants narrate experience in their own voice; soldiers – former adversaries – peel layers off with honesty, strip down to the minefield of memory. Through them we empathise, feel spirits rise again. We relearn the power of words, of naming: Malvinas, Argentina. Whose story is it? Whose culture, class or creed? Whose song? Art is still the impartial witness, bridge-builder, connecting spark … … Too soon, we’re disbanding, glad to go out with a bang: rockets shimmer like grand chandeliers mirrored in the Assembly Rooms.

So much has changed in 70 years, yet much remains
the same. In days like these it seems we still need
cultural exchange, still long for transformation;
still crave a space and time for celebration.

                                                                                           Christine De Luca


allsmall vert small

Romans 12: 2  be transformed by the renewing of your minds…


How wonderful to hear Christine read her poem, first written three years ago to mark the seventieth anniversary, the three score years and ten in church speak, of the Edinburgh International Festival. Her words remind us not only of what we are missing in the city this month, ‘the full spectrum of cultures’ as she puts it, but of how it all began, as a platform for the flowering of the human spirit. That’s how they described it, the founding fathers, Rudolf Bing and Harry Harvey Wood and Lord Provost Sir John Falconer, those ‘special people with dreams of dry bones dancing out of desolation’ who sought and who fought to build that platform for the flowering of the human spirit in 1947, as Britain and Europe emerged wearily from the war years. So much has changed, Christine concludes,

So much has changed in 70 years, yet much remains
the same. In days like these it seems we still need
cultural exchange, still long for transformation;
still crave a space and time for celebration.

And perhaps in days like these, 73 years on, that rings more true than ever, when the theatres and the concert-halls are in unaccustomed darkness, and the streets themselves relatively empty, we realise we still need cultural exchange, still long for transformation; still crave a space and time for celebration. My usual workspace, Canongate Kirk towards the foot of the Royal Mile, is usually transformed into a concert venue this month, with anything up to a couple of dozen concerts crammed into three weeks, orchestras and choirs, piano and organ and Scots fiddle music all vying for attention from the crowds passing by. Our Church Hall is called the Harry Younger Hall named by the local brewing family who provided the funds for its construction in memory of an officer killed at St Valery in one of the most bleak episodes for Scottish soldiers in the Second World War, but at this time of year the Harry Younger Hall is usually transformed into Venue 13, a cosy little theatre created and run by the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama. In a recent BBC Documentary about the Festival and Fringe, the Scottish and now global star Alan Cumming was asked about the early days of his career, and reminisced about how it all began in the Harry Younger Hall. Keep this to yourselves, please, but personally I’ve always thought it makes a much better theatre than a church hall. But not this August, not this year, when we can but long for such transformation.

be transformed by the renewing of your minds… I’ve got there at last, to the reading of the Epistle for the day, St Paul’s Letter to the Romans, where he writes be transformed by the renewing of your minds…Just as both transformation and renewal were the motivating factors behind the establishment of the Festival in 1947, so were they a priority for St Paul as he wrote to the church in Rome. Do not be conformed to this world, he writes, but be transformed by the renewing of your minds, so that you may discern what is the will of God – what is good and acceptable and perfect. These are the hallmarks of their new life in Christ, moving on from whatever was bad and unacceptable and far from perfect in their old life, and in the lives of those around them in the cosmopolitan melting-pot of 1st century Rome. In 21st century Edinburgh, uncharacteristically uncosmopolitan right now, we have seen a different sort of flowering of the human spirit in the many acts of kindness and good neighbourliness that the pandemic has generated. But it is in the flowering of the Holy Spirit that we may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect in the true transformation for which we all still long. Now may God bless to us this reflection on his Holy Word, and to God be all praise and glory now and forever, Amen.




Voluntary  Kate Pearson

Pastorella, 2nd movement BWV 590, J.S. Bach (1685-1750)   



Thanksgiving and Intercession Revd Neil Gardner 

God of wisdom and love, giver of all good things, we thank you for your loving-kindness and your constant care over all creation. We bless you for the gift of life itself, for your guiding hand upon us, and your sustaining love within us. We thank you for friendship and duty, for good hopes and precious memories, for new ways of working and worshipping, for the joys that cheer us and the trials that teach us to trust in you.

We bless you for Jesus Christ, your Son, our Saviour, for the living presence of your Spirit, for your Church, first built on the rock of Peter, and we pray for the work and witness of the church around the world and for all who are called to serve the Church as leaders today, that through all its branches and denominations the church everywhere may continue to hold out the way of faith and hope and love amidst all the challenges and difficulties of these days. We pray for the Church of Scotland and for our fellow congregations in the Presbytery of Edinburgh and we pray for Mayfield Salisbury, for its ministry team and office-bearers and not least for the members of the Nominating Committee as they take their work forward at this time.

We pray for our city at what should have been Festival time, and for all those whose livelihoods are at risk as a result of current circumstances, musicians and actors and street-entertainers, those who would be working front of house or behind the scenes in our concert-halls and theatres, those who should be working in hotels and restaurants and coffee shops across the city and beyond.

We pray for young people weighing exam results against further opportunities to study or work. We pray for our schools as the new term gets underway again, for teachers and pupils adjusting to a new way of working; and for our universities planning and preparing for the future amidst so much uncertainty.

We pray for The Queen and for all the leaders of the nations, for all those on whose discussions and decisions the lives and livelihoods of so many depend both in this country and around the world. We pray for those working to make the world a safer place and for all who suffer in any way, those who are ill at home or in hospital, those who are lonely or anxious or afraid, those who mourn the loss of a loved one and hanker after days gone by. We pray that each in their own way might know something of your presence.

Finally O God, we give thanks for those who have died in the faith, especially those known to us and dear to us who have entered into the joy of your nearer presence. Grant that we may follow their example in this life and so come to share with them the glory of everlasting life, through Jesus Christ our Lord, in whose words we pray together the family prayer of the Church,

Our Father, who 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. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever. Amen.


HYMN 485  Dear Lord and Father of mankind 

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.

In simple trust like theirs who heard,
beside the Syrian sea,
the gracious calling of the Lord,
let us, like them, without a word
rise up and follow thee.
rise up and follow thee.

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


BENEDICTION  Revd Neil Gardner

And now in the familiar words of the Gaelic Blessing: may the road rise to meet you, may the wind be always at your back; may the sun shine warm upon your face and the rain fall soft upon your fields and until we meet again, may God hold you in the palm of his hand. And the blessing of God almighty, the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit descend upon you and remain with you this day, in all the days to come, and even for evermore. Amen.


AMEN Full Choir






Introducing Mayfield Salisbury Sermons by phone.

Simply call the dedicated phone number 0131 546 4337 and listen on Sundays from 8.00am onwards. Alternatively, the recording may be heard at any other time over the week. Note: there may be a slight pause on connection! Important intimations regarding reopening of the church buildings, the ministerial vacancy and others will be included when appropriate.

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This is a local call so local geographic call charges will apply and will, in most cases, form part of any inclusive minutes or call packages you have i.e. standard local call rates may apply. Please make sure you understand the costs before using this service.

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5 MINUTES’ PEACE RE-OPENING We are delighted to announce that 5 Minutes’ Peace, opening the Sanctuary of Mayfield Salisbury Church to members of the congregation and the wider public for private prayer and meditation, will recommence this week. It will take place every Wednesday from 6:30pm to 8:00pm. Strict social distancing protocols will be in operation and visitors must wear a face covering. Come and experience once again the beauty and peace to be found within our Sanctuary.


BBC RADIO 4 PRAYERS FOR THE DAY A selection of prayers by the Revd Neil Gardner, produced for BBC Radio 4 this past week, is now available on iPlayer. They can be found at:


NEXT SUNDAY’S READINGS Exodus 3: 1 -15 and Romans 12: 9 – 21.



Virtual Youth Programming: The *virtual* youth schedule for the month of August can be accessed on the church website under the 'Young People' tab. All youth programming will be held over Zoom. 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!

Youth Game Night: We'll be having an informal game night and summer catch-up over Zoom tonight. 6.30pm-7.30pm for P6-S1 and 7.30pm-8.30pm for S2-S6. Get in touch with Hillary for the log-in! This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 0745 372 2224


VACANCY UPDATE Over the past few months the Nominating Committee has met several times courtesy of Zoom which on the whole has worked very well for us. As you may be aware the Commission of the General Assembly recently issued guidance to assist congregations and Nominating Committees during the Covid-19 pandemic.

The Nominating Committee will have to rely on different methods for assessing candidates to those normally used but we are confident that we will be able to make progress. When we reach the point of a sole nominee preaching we will do our best to ensure that all those entitled to vote will be able to see and hear the nominee conduct the same act of worship and be able to participate in the vote. Depending on the Covid-19 restrictions applying at the time, this part of the process may take longer than usual and we will issue advice and guidance on the process when we reach that stage.                           Boyd McAdam. Convener


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 ‘’ 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:                  With best wishes, Hugh Somerville, Free Will Offerings Treasurer



Forthcoming Deadlines

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

Next Grapevine: Friday 28 August 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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Contact Information

Mayfield Salisbury Parish Church,
18 West Mayfield,

0131 667 1522 / 0780 801 1234

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Scottish Charity Number: SC000785


  • 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.

  • 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.

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

  • 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