The July edition of the Non-Subscribing Presbyterian Magazine is available. Below is a comment on the magazine cover, a copy of the table of contents followed by the editorial.
Magazine Cover Photo: We pass on our congratulations and share our pride with Rev Keith Parke for holding the Non-Subscribing Presbyterian Church's first ever Drive-in Service'! With hymns being posted online in advance, and an impressive sound system, it is wonderful to see how this congregation has embraced ways of worshipping 'together but apart’.
Letter to the Editor 3
News of the Churches 6
Video Reflections and Meditations: 9
A Sunday Service from Rev Paul and Mrs Carol Reid
A Prayer for the Healing of the Nations from Rademon
Time for a Story with Rev Sue Steers: Faith the Church Cat
Children's Corner 16
Just for Fun! The Answers 17
Ten Things to Share about Non-subscribing Presbyterianism 19
Obituary — Dr James Riddell 22
New Hymn from Rev Lena Cockcroft 23
Press Release: Faith and Freedom 24
Online Ministry Links and Addresses 26
"There is neither Jew nor Gentile, neither slave nor free, nor is there male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus." — Galatians 3:28
At the time of writing, much of the Western world is torn by a very public death in America: the death of a man named George Floyd, caused by injuries inflicted by police officers as he was arrested. It was not the first time a person's death was caused by people in authority, and I doubt it will be the last, but it raised the profile of the systemic injustices within society; and acted as a spark to light a fire among the unvoiced, unheard communities. Protest, violence and division were the inevitable results. These are not new themes. It seems we humans will always need to compare ourselves to an 'Other', be it those of a different race or theology, gender or social class. We see it throughout the Old Testament, and we witness it throughout the New. One of the most radical aspects of Christianity was that it sought to do away with the practice of `Othering' on these grounds, yet still we find dichotomies — 'what fellowship shall light have with darkness', or the various 'marks' referred to in Revelation. These references, however, are focused on the Eternal Soul which endures within us, and not the physical trappings which surround it. Your understanding of the correct way to worship God should not matter (neither Jew nor Gentile), your social status should not matter (slave nor free), or your gender, eye-colour, skin colour, right-or-left handedness, marital status or age. What matters is our willingness to submit to God's authority with His command to love Him with all our heart, soul, mind and strength, and a recognition that the life, death and teachings of His Son and Spirit are a portrait of His character. I have green eyes. For this, centuries ago, I could have been put to death. I have a skin condition which corresponds with the description of leprosy in Leviticus. For this, I would have been outcast in society, despite the fact that I am not in the least contagious. I am a woman. For this, I would have been viewed as property in many cultures. Yet all those things are temporal, and will expire when I do. God recognised that we humans needed a reminder that it was the spirits of those around us we needed to learn to recognise and be able to discern who would support our faith, and who would endanger it. Through Christ, He held the hand of the leper, the eyes of an outcast woman, the hearts of fishermen and Pharisees. He became the voice of the voiceless and the misrepresented. He was not just the God of the Second Chance, but the Second Look. Perhaps now is a good time to take a second look at the society we are in. Are there those being suppressed, even oppressed? Are there voices being silenced, or drowned out? Why not take the first step, and listen; for in their voice and their story we may hear more similarities than differences and more commonalities with the life-experience of Jesus than we may have expected. What we 'do for the least', we are told, 'we do for Him.' Therefore, when we listen, we both listen as the Lord, and to the Lord.
L. J. Isham said that "listening is an attitude of the heart, a genuine desire to be with another which both attracts and heals," and if anything is required for our world at this time, it is healing.
Let's listen to the Lord, and to each other, and let the healing begin.
Yours in Christ,