In this week's discussion evening we were thinking about other practical ways of developing our own sense of gratitude. Here is another series of ideas that can be used to cultivate gratitude. This list is proposed by Mary Jo Leddy (in a book called "Radical Gratitude) as ten "habits of being that can help us live with spirit in a dispirited time and place."
This is not a list that you need to complete, it is a more a bowl of ideas from which you pick the one(s) that will work for you.
- Begin before you are ready. “Beginning steps in gratitude so not have to be great or grand. They need only to be real.”
- Practice gratitude in prayers, reflections, chants, and meditations.
- Gather with “like-spirited” people. Find or start a group committed to practicing gratefulness as a way of life.
- Live more simply. Let go of material things that burden you.
- Look for examples of grateful people in your life and from history learn from them.
- Think with your heart. Trust your feelings of gratefulness and your longings for a better way of life.
- See differently. Develop “soft eyes.”
- Be connected to a longer wisdom tradition, one that helps you understand the spiritual insights of the past.
- Find a beloved community, a neighbourhood, a town, a place of worship, and be part of it, really part of it.
- “Contemplate the face of the world.” Gratitude empowers us to stare at reality and overcome what is challenging, violent, and evil.
You can donate cans or jars of food to assist our Riverside Harvest 1000 Can Appeal to support Instant Neighbour Foodbank on Wednesdays at Ferryhill Parish Church (1-2 p.m. and 7-8 p.m.) through all of October. Any financial donation to this appeal will be used to purchase more cans.
In this evening's discussion gathering with our second session in the "Grateful" series we discussed an ancient practice of self-reflection that comes from St Ignatius of Loyola, called the Daily Examen. This is a short time taken each night to review, select, and offer thanksgiving. It came about in St Ignatius' time because he found many folks just did not have time during the day to dedicate to prayer, so he offered this alternative practice which is still valuable today.
Peter gives a guided tour of the church to show the changes that have been made and precautions that have been taken to enable people to gather for worship at Ferryhill Kirk.
Due to the ever rising number of cases being recorded in Scotland and our concerns to ensure we keep each other safe, we are not going to continue our plans at the moment for fortnightly services at 10 a.m. The team has put in a wonderful effort to make sure that all the precautions we needed were in place but we are anxious to see the numbers of daily cases trending back downwards before we re-open the church building for gathered worship. This is very disappointing, we know. We will continue to monitor this with the hope that we can provide gathered worship soon.
In the meantime, remember that we have now supplemented the existing online worship with a phone in service and we have started to produce weekly worship leaflets particularly for those unable to participate in these other ways.
Here's an advance preview of the video created for Ferryhill Primary related to Harvest Thanksgiving and the 1,000 Can Appeal that we are running with Ruthrieston West and South Holburn Parish Churches.
Throughout October we're hoping to collect over 1,000 can, tins, jars of food for Instant Neighbour Foodbank. You can drop off donations directly to us at Ferryhill Church at the usual times of 1-2 p.m. and 7-8 p.m. every Wednesday. (Note that in the evenings now that it is getting dark please come in through the main doors of the church to drop off your items in the foyer).
You can also drop off donations at South Holburn Parish Church on Holburn Street on Tuesdays (10-11 a.m.), Thursdays (7-8 p.m.) and Saturdays (11-12 noon).
The Harvest Thanksgiving Service at Ferryhill will be on 11 October, streamed live online at 11 a.m.
A big thank you to Rev Dr Julia Pizzuto-Pomaco and Rev David Stewart for their vocal acting!
We have a new service available whereby you can listen over the phone to the weekly bible reading and message, along with a reflection when available on that theme. This is ideal for those who cannot access the online service over the internet.
The phone number to use is 01224 002502. This local number means costs will be minimal or free for those calling. This allows access both to the current week's reading and sermon, and to the previous week's by pressing "1" when asked.
Please do pass this information on to family, friends or neighbours who you think might appreciate listening to these parts of the Sunday service. Note that it is available at any time with the audio updated each weekend.
Together with our friends at South Holburn we are running a short six session evening series that is based around the theme of being "Grateful". It is based around the book of the same title by Diana Butler Bass. You do not need to have read the book to participate in these discussions, but you may find it an additional aid: it is a great book.
Each session has a video in which Diana Butler Bass will introduce an aspect of why gratitude is missing as a modern spiritual practice, offer practical suggestions for reclaiming it, and illuminate how the shared practice of gratitude can lead to greater connection with God, our world, and our own souls.
We will be meeting online using Zoom and welcome you to join us on this shared journey of exploration as we listen to and learn from each other in the company of God.
Sunday 27 September to 1 November 2020.
Zoom direct link: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/85939788247?pwd=VDRLSXVJV0FmdWlTamtyclpnajhldz09
Meeting ID: 859 3978 8247
FOR THE FRESHNESS OF THIS NEW DAY
FOR THE FRESHNESS OF THIS NEW DAY
THANKS BE TO YOU, O GOD.
FOR MORNING’S GIFT OF CLARITY
ITS LIGHT LIKE THE FIRST DAY’S DAWN
THANKS BE TO YOU.
IN THIS NEWBORN LIGHT
LET US SEE AFRESH.
IN THIS GATEWAY ONTO WHAT HAS NEVER BEEN BEFORE
LET OUR SOUL BREATHE HOPE
FOR THE EARTH
FOR THE CREATURES
FOR THE HUMAN FAMILY.
LET OUR SOUL BREATHE HOPE.
(John Phillip Newell)
If you are interested in getting a copy of the book "Grateful", it is available online at
You would also be able to order it from a local bookseller.
We share a prayer from the Rt Rev Dr Martin Fair, Moderator of the Church of Scotland General Assembly, following the train derailment outside Stonehaven yesterday. Our thoughts are with the family and friends of those who lost their lives, and with those who were injured as a result of this tragedy. We also thank the emergency services who responded in such challenging circumstances.
Thanks to everyone who participated in our latest virtual choir and orchestra anthem.
The anthem is John Rutter's "As the bridegroom to his chosen", words by Johannes Tauler, arrangement by Kevin Haggart.
Our yarnbombing community art project will come to a close for knitted submissions at the end of July. We would like to thank all those folks who have contributed – your creativity has been tremendous, with many noting to us their enjoyment of the variety of colours and designs. We hope that the project lifted people’s spirits in this very difficult time while providing people in the community with an avenue to be creative and keep busy at home even during the lockdown.
We acknowledge the patience of those who did not approve of the project but would like to assure everyone that the knitting, when removed, will be washed and fashioned into blankets and other items that will be a remembrance of this challenging time, giving it a long and useful second life.
Fresh from the editing computer is our latest musical endeavour for your enjoyment and uplift. It is a wonderful upbeat song with a real summer vibe from Fischy Music, arranged by our own Kevin Haggart, with a very important message about the One we believe in. This song was written as part of the collaboration between Spill the Beans and Fischy Music and is featured in the current issue of Spill the Beans.
Thanks to all the musicians and singers (some joining us for the first time from Blantyre and Canada) for their contributions.
If you want to use the song in your own online worship, then please feel free to do so either using the YouTube video itself or you can download a HD copy here (file size 377MB, download from Dropbox service).
For those missing our time of fellowship following Sunday worship, we invite you to join us for a cup of tea (you'll have to supply your own!) and a chat online. We have set up a weekly Zoom meeting which you can access on a PC, tablet or mobile phone using this link and login:-
Meeting ID: 929 6607 6568, and password: 005056
Alternatively you can call 0131 460 1196 to dial in to the conversation (you will need a note of the meeting ID and password above).
Our Zoom fellowship will begin at 1 p.m. for about an hour.
An update from Peter on what we are planning over the next couple of months.
You are welcome to join us online for morning worship (or catch up later).
See you online!
Every Wednesday from 15 April, there will be a chance for you to donate food for local charity Instant Neighbour at the church. Non perishable food items and toiletries can be dropped off between 1 and 2 p.m. and between 7 and 8 p.m. Items will be distributed to vulnerable and housebound people at this difficult time. Distancing instructions will be adhered to at all times. Thank you.