1 Church of Scotland Geneva Newsletter Summer 2010 Being away from home One of the things that keeps life interesting is that we never know what is coming next. Who would have guessed six months ago that the words volcanic ash would have become so significant, or that travelers would become so concerned about which way the wind was blowing? Yet this Icelandic volcano threw the plans of airlines and passengers alike into chaos for weeks at a time. This serves all of us with a reminder that we dare not take for granted a lifestyle which involves flying wherever we want whenever we want. For all our powerful technology, Mother Nature still cannot be ignored. However what struck me in all of this were the stories and images of people who were stranded in places far from home. No matter how pleasant a holiday destination may sound when you are stuck in your office, it quickly loses its appeal when all you can do is watch and wait and try to be ready for any flights that might be able to take off. So the news brought us plenty of tales of people with some special reason to want to get home, or people who had used creative or expensive means to make sure they did get home. While all of this may sound very far removed from the stories we find in the Bible, there are more connections than we might expect. The characters that we read of there also knew what it was like to be away from home, away from the places they wanted to be. From Adam being forced to leave the Garden of Eden to Paul being shipwrecked in Malta, the experience of being homeless and being in a foreign land is a common theme. Jesus himself commented that he had nowhere to lay his head. This physical sense of not being at home can also be a picture of a deeper, spiritual sense in which we often feel lost and far from home in the world. St. Augustine would not have known the frustration associated with reading the word cancelled in an airport lounge, but he would have recognised the feeling of being stranded and impatient. He wrote in a prayer, "God, you have made us for yourself, and our hearts are restless till they find their rest in you." For him, the feeling of being away from the place we call home in the world was a reflection of deeper frustration of feeling lost and alienated in the world. Made to be at one with God, he understood that we will always be unsettled until we are reunited with him. In saying that he was echoing the words of the Psalm writer, who long before had written things like, "my soul is yearning for you, my God" (Ps 42:1), and "O God, you are my God, for you I long" (Ps 63:1). So whatever inconvenience volcanic ash may have brought, it may also have precious lessons to teach us. On a practical level it may teach us to ask questions about our lifestyle and whether all of our travel is really necessary. On a spiritual level it may teach us to ask questions about how much restlessness we feel even in our ordinary daily life, and lead us to put a bit more effort into finding ways to come back to God, the one place where we really can be at peace. I hope your summer travel plans go smoothly, and that your spiritual journey is equally successful and fruitful. With best wishes, Ian Manson Minister: Revd. Ian Manson, 20 Ancienne Route, 1218 Grand Saconnex Tel/Fax Church Office: 6 ch Taverney Tel: geneva.com Church Bank Account: UBS 279-C Events Sunday 13 June: Scottish Afternoon Tea Sunday 13 June: Sunday School potluck picnic Friday, 26 June: Women's Group evening Sunday 27 June: Sunday School service Sunday, 22 August: Brigadoon BBQ Saturday 20 November: Church of Scotland Fair Concerts: In Auditorie: Saturday 5 June Saturday, 12 June Sunday, 13 June Tuesday 22 June
2 Page 2 Church Life Women s Group Last dates of 2010 programme: Monday 7 June : Monthly Lunch at in Open House - Speaker to be announced. Friday 26 June : our evening AGM and BBQ. For more details please contact Christine Bunn ( ) or Carleen Knowlton ( ). Flowers A big thank you to all those who have contributed flowers from the garden, from the farm, or from the florist, to enhance our morning worship. These bouquets have all been much appreciated and those receiving the flowers have been especially grateful for your thought and kindness. There are still several Sundays needing donations of flowers during the summer months. I would be most grateful if you would take a look at the Flower Rota in the Salle and let me know if you can put your name against a particular date. With many thanks, Janet Askew, Flower Coordinator , For if the willingness is there, the gift is acceptable according to what one has, not according to what he does not have 2 Corinthians 8:12 Crèche The crèche group welcomes babies and young children during the church service, thanks to the generous help of volunteers. To keep it running, we are appealing for more volunteers. You do not have to be a parent to help if it is laid upon your heart to do so. Thanks! Christina Passini Fiction & Giftware Stall After this long dreary winter, your bookshelves will surely need rejuvenating. But how, where and when? Easy, get yourself a cup of tea or coffee in the Salle after Sunday service and make your way to our Stall. Browse a wide choice of fiction and selected spiritual materials for all agegroups: young, old, and in-betweens. Spare a few moments as well to check out our giftware, toiletries and handy travel accessories, not forgetting the wide range of cards for multiple occasions. It s true that we do specialize in English texts, but we also have French greetings so there s no excuse for not sending salutations to your francophone colleagues, neighbours et al. Whatever your plans for this summer may be a vacation, a staycation, a daycaution, even a naycation a visit to the Bookstall is a must, if only to stop us getting awfully lonesome without you. Donc, à très bientôt. Di, Mary & Ritchie PS: Looking for a gift that s good value and easy to pack/wrap/post? What about one of last year s bestsellers: The Legacy of Calvin or Calvin in Context. Buy now while stocks last! I was appointed a herald and an apostle Treasurer's Report The Church income from all sources for the first 4 months of 2010 at just over 62,500 CHF is slightly lower than for the same period in 2009 (64,000 CHF). 1 Timothy 2:7 Nearly 2,000 years ago the apostle Paul, one of the earliest Christian missionaries, was shipwrecked on the island of Malta. Mission lies at the heart of the Christian faith and, congregations within the Church of Scotland, in Malta and elsewhere, constantly seek and act on opportunities for new encounters. Whether it is building links with communities overseas, or reaching out to people, young and old, in their own area, Church of Scotland members are responding to the call for discipleship. However, expenditure for the same period is just over 70,000 CHF, and although this is just below budget, the result is a net deficit of roughly 7,500 CHF. The budget for 2010 has been approved by the Annual Congregational Meeting and this anticipates a year end surplus of CHF. We have much work still to do! The Mission Project raised 12,257 CHF: Balance due at : CHF Received to : CHF of which 777 CHF has been specifically identified for Nepal. Thank you again to all those who have helped the church by means of donations, cash or freewill offerings and in other ways. Church Bank Account is UBS 279- C ; IBAN - CH C Robert Walker ( )
3 Page 3 Sunday School These last few months of Sunday School have flown by! We spent March looking again at the Easter story and Palm Sunday saw some of our children taking part in bringing in the palm tree branches and singing in the Junior Choir, with Rebecca doing her usual fantastic job with these young and enthusiastic singers! With the changing demographics of our Sunday School group, we felt the need to create a new structure for the in-betweenies children who were beginning to outgrow our Godly Play sessions, but who were not quite mature enough to participate in the Youth Group. In other words, the pre-teens (aged 11+). One of our teachers, Lidian, very kindly offered to take this group (as yet un-named!), which at the moment consists of three children. Between now and the end of 2010, their numbers look likely to multiply as quite a few children will graduate from Godly Play. This new change is still to be discussed and approved by the Kirk Session, so watch this space for more information! We had another bake sale (see photos) at the beginning of May, and the kids all thoroughly enjoyed decorating buns and biscuits (with icing and sprinkles of every hue!) to sell. The boys seemed particularly interested I think there are some budding Jamie Olivers in our midst! As the lift was out of order that day (more on that later), a few children and a teacher ventured out to entice passers-by with the baked goods. A mini-train full of tourists proved an easy, captive target for the young entrepreneurs. Upstairs, our congregation gave very generously too and we raised a record-breaking CHF for our contribution to the work of the leprosy hospital in Nepal, equipping young leprosy patients with special shoes to ease their pain and help them walk. Here are some end-of-term dates for your diaries: Sunday 6 June: we will be assigning parts for the Sunday School service Sunday 13 June: our Sunday School potluck picnic after church (at Jane Broere s house) all children and their families very welcome Sunday 20 June: games day and rehearsal Sunday 27 June: Sunday School service. Thanks for letting us know if your children will be able to take part in these events. And again, parents don t forget to sign up to our weekly parent helper rota. Just drop an to Starr at LIFT DRAMA! Have you ever seen the notice in the lift that says that children should not use the lift unaccompanied by an adult? Well, young Elikem learnt a quick lesson on why that notice is there, when he recently took the lift by himself and got stuck when it stopped between floors. Thankfully he was able to call the engineer and he remained calm (with help from his mum and Katherine Moreno who were able to talk to him through the crack at the bottom of the lift s outer door in the Salle). So the drama had a happy ending but parents PLEASE make sure your children know that the stairs are the way to go the lift is getting quite temperamental and we don t want any more dramas. Brigadoons Annual BBQ - Picnic The Church's Annual Picnic/ BBQ will be held on Sunday, 22 August, following Church Service. Antonia and Michael Bruce have once again invited us to their lovely home and garden at Mollens in Vaud. Maps and directions will be available in the coming weeks; transport will be organised for those who need it. You are asked to bring only your meat/ chicken/fish (or substitute) for cooking on the barbecues; salads, sauces, and bread will be provided. Please let me know in good time if you plan to attend this popular event and whether you require transport, or can offer car space to those who need a lift. This is always a delightful escape from the city to a pleasant country setting in the foothills of the Jura. Join us! Betty Morris (Secretary) / ;
4 Page 4 Update on Church of Scotland Fair 2010 Stall holder news: The stalls includes such delights as: Homemade Cakes, Jams and Chutneys, Traditional Scottish Gifts, Interesting Objects, Books, Toys, Christmas Stall, Church Gifts, Cards and Calendars, Treasure Hunt and the ever popular Bottle Stall. New for 2010 are Chalet Style Gifts and Animal Magic. And when you are feeling peckish you will have plenty to choose from: African Food, Bacon Rolls, Smoked Salmon with Champagne, Hungarian Goulash; and a great Lunch Menu. And not forgetting your thirst: Irish Coffee, Scottish Bar and of course the Tea Room (with its wonderful selection of cakes, shortbread etc). While you are busy browsing or satisfying your hunger or thirst the kids can be entertained with games, face painting and activity packs. Please start to look at donations for these stalls at home. We ask those of you who are spending time in the UK this summer to try to bring back some Scottish-themed gifts to sell at the Fair: tea towels, porridge spurtles, biscuit tins and the like are excellent sellers. The Christmas stall is happy to receive donations and Christmas crackers are always popular. Some stalls still need a coordinator so if you would like to take on that challenge or if you have an idea for a new stall which you would like bring to the fair please don t hesitate to contact Jane Broere or ) Date: Saturday 20 November Time: 9:30 to 16:00 Place: Salle Communale, Grand Saconnex Evening ceilidh from 19:00 to 22:00 Publicity news: We continue to need recommendations and contacts through which we can advertise the Fair at your places of work, clubs, local shops and the like. These should be sent to Vicky Maltby or Di Wu If you regularly read a magazine which is distributed locally, please let us know, so that we can consider advertising in them. All ideas about how to publicise the Fair are very welcome. The tried and tested tell and bring all your friends is vital! Caring for one another Summer is almost here! For many of us, we can look forward to a time of holidays, a time of relaxation, a time when we can put our day-to-day concerns aside for at least for a while as we enjoy ourselves. "Not a care in the world" is an expression we may want to imagine using during that time "off". For those who can't get away, however, their day-to-day concerns won't necessarily go away either. Indeed, for those who depend on others for any kind of support to be able to live their daily lives, or simply those who are lonely, holiday times can be particularly difficult, as the folk they normally come in contact with, or perhaps even depend upon, are not available in the usual way. As you plan for your holidays, please keep in mind those around you who may not be so fortunate as to be able to get away, and who may actually be looking forward with some trepidation to the coming holiday season. If you are in the situation where you do provide support to someone else even informally, perhaps even without realising you are doing it and are going to be away for a time during the holidays, do please see if there is another person a friend, a family member who can offer to help in a similar way while you are gone. 'Caring for one another' is something that we are called to do all the time even when we are holiday! Christ's great commandment was to love God, and to love our neighbours are ourselves (Mark 12:28-31). As we take care of ourselves this summer, as we enjoy "re-creation", let us not forget our neighbour. Rev. Jim Sharp for the Caring for One Another core group: Terry Angleys, David Asbury, Janet Askew, Christine Bunn, Mary Couper, Hazel Griffith, Jean Murray, Eleanor Strittmatter, Rosaleen Walker, and Rev. Ian Manson.
5 Page 5 Mission Committee Hospital. It has been great having had Graeme and Meena Clugston back among us for a week. They are now back in Nepal serving at the world s busiest Leprosy Whilst here, they explained the full significance of the new Isolation Ward for which we are raising funds. At present leprosy patients, whose immune systems are very low, lie side by side with others who have highly infectious diseases such as typhoid and cholera. They explained that 12,000 CHF should be enough to complete the building, equip it and staff it for one year. Therefore, that is our target figure for In all of this our friends at the Aids Resource Centre Ekwendeni, Malawi, are not being forgotten. This is a building which we paid for and have now been staffing and supporting for around 8 years. As well as our financial support, they are greatly encouraged by our personal interest and support, and after a lot of work we are again able to have a Youth exchange visit in August. Robbie McDonald, David Manson, Alasdair Wood, Rhiannon Donkin and Emma Rietbergen will set off on 29 July, accompanied by Hazel Wood and the Minister. Robbie spoke on behalf of the group. "In 2008, my confirmation group went on a trip to experience a different approach to worship and meet a Scottish church congregation in another European country - Rotterdam, The Netherlands. Now exactly two years later, I am looking forward to sharing another experience with most of these same friends on a different continent, Africa, in Ekwendeni, Malawi. Not only will we be learning about the culture, the congregation and the country, but we will also be finding out about a project that the church has been supporting for many years. Whether it was in a concert given in the Auditoire for the AIDS hospital or during one of the mission reports in the church service, ever since I can remember, I have heard about this project. Now, I am going to find out about it for myself." In the second half of August we will have two Malawian youth with us in the congregation. We do not know much about them other than their names - William Chisambi and Madalitso Njikho. We are sure though that they will be involved with the work of the Resource Centre, and will be able to teach us all a great deal about serving Christ among the world s poor. Please continue to support Graeme and Meena, and all involved in the Ekwendeni exchange trip, with your encouragement and prayers. The Mission Committee Interested in exploring more about your Christian faith? If so, you are not alone. At our recent congregational away day, two of the things people most wanted to happen in our church were: house groups and more structured learning for adults. If you have any interest at all in these areas we would like to hear from you. There will be short meeting after church on Sunday 27 June providing an opportunity for anyone to tell us what type of study or group might interest them. At this stage we simply want to explore possibilities and register interest; whether it be for Bible study, discussion group on ethical issues or particular books, fellowship or prayer groups, or more structured learning. If you can't come to the meeting but are interested please talk to Ian Manson or Alice Tulloch before 27 June. CofS Annual Review This year s Church of Scotland Annual Review issued during the General Assembly makes interesting reading, particularly since it has three features from Europe (Malta, Lisbon & Geneva), and an introduction from John Christie as Moderator which makes full use of these connections and his European experience. It s also a real fund of useful stories and anecdotes for congregational magazines. Here s a link to the whole Review in PDF format: gannrev10.pdf.
6 Page 6 Worship through Music Adult Choir During , the situation of the adult choir evolved in many directions, in leadership and numbers. From September to December, Linda Revkin, Peter Tulloch and Lorna Donkin shared the direction, with one high point being the Carol Service led by Lorna, which was very well attended and uplifting. It gave us enormous pleasure to take part in such a well-prepared choir that sang with such confidence and musicality, and we are very grateful to Lorna for her skill, enthusiasm and attention to detail. Unfortunately, her busy family commitments meant that she stepped down from Choir leadership after Christmas. I will sing with the spirit, and I will also sing with the understanding. (I Corinthians 14:15) Linda and Peter then shared responsibility, working hard to keep the choir going throughout the bitterly cold late winter season and with numbers attending Wednesday practices dropping off severely. Something needed to be done! With inspiration from Terry Angleys, the choir agreed to try a new and innovative pattern from April onwards: 1st Sunday of the month - meet at 10:30 to prepare a simple introit and Communion piece; 2nd Sunday of the month (and 5th if there is one) - meet at 10:30 to prepare the introit; sung anthem is replaced by a sung solo or instrumental piece; 3rd and 4th Sundays of the month - meet at 9:15 to prepare introit, sung anthem and future music. This is working well, and most choir members prefer it to regular Wednesday nights, because it means coming to the Auditoire only once a week, on a quiet Sunday morning, instead of struggling with weekday night traffic. As always, numbers vary greatly from Sunday to Sunday, depending on who is in Geneva each weekend. On average there are 10 to 12, with interesting and eclectic mixtures of voices. However, each week is a surprise we had a wonderful choir of 16 on 23 May! We are delighted to welcome Beth Garrett, Patty Rich, Rebecca Sears and Mark Jeffrey to the choir, reinforcing the soprano, alto and bass lines. We have also heard from two other potential new members who may join us after the summer. We were very sad, with his family and many friends, to lose Peter Barnett earlier this year. Although Peter had not been singing very regularly in recent times, his presence was always very welcome and his wit and humour kept everyone on their marks. We wish Elise and Anthony every blessing for their forthcoming marriage and all good wishes for a very happy life together. Is anyone among you suffering? Let him pray. Is anyone cheerful? Let him sing psalms. (James 5:13) A good choir can make a great contribution to the worship and life of the Church, and be great fun. New members are a joy and an inspiration, and we warmly welcome new members in every voice. The choir will be celebrating the end of its singing season with a combined rehearsal and party on Wednesday 23 June. If you are interested in joining us, please let us know and come along on that occasion, or contact Linda or Peter at any time! Directing the choir can be challenging, but is also extremely rewarding. We are praying that new leadership can soon emerge from the congregation to help bring the choir onwards to continue and renew lively, worshipful music in the CoSG. Children s Choir Peter and Linda The children in our congregation present songs as a contribution to worship during church services about four times a year. This past year, because of enthusiastic requests from younger children to be allowed to join in, it was agreed to open up the choir to children aged five and over, which required more practices to help the little ones learn the music which had to be chosen with their abilities in mind. This learning process was greatly facilitated with the help of Kathryn Moreno, Robbie MacDonald and Nicola Hollyman, assisted by David Manson, to record all the songs in advance on CDs which be given to the children.
7 (Continued from page 6) The children sang in the Sunday School service, the toy service and also at the carol service, with Lorna Donkin inspiring everyone with her confident directing. On Palm Sunday, they again sang, with David Manson taking his first stab at directing! They have sung a variety of music, both lively and soulful, and I am very proud of them all, and hope the congregation appreciates their contribution. Special thanks must go to the parents, who support me in every way, and who had to listen to the children s choir CDs a few more times than they may have wished! Various Concerts: In Auditorie: Sunday 30 May, 17:00 Baroque ensemble music Saturday 5 June, 17:00 Young Pianists (June Allender's star pupils) Rebecca Saturday, 12 June, 15:00 Concert by young musicians in favour of women s shelter Au Coeur des Grottes, organized by Emilie Colliar Sunday, 13 June, 15:00 Scottish Tea followed by "Songs of Praise" at 17:00 Tuesday 22 June, 19:00 SinginGeneva with Ecole de Musique de Thonon.Léman, Peter Jeffes and Rebecca - Pergolesi, "Stabat Mater" Other venues: Weekend June Fête de la Musique "I was in the Spirit on the Lord s Day, and I heard behind me a loud voice, as of a trumpet" (Revelation 1:10) "Au Coeur des Grottes" Concert A young member of our Congregation, Emilie Colliar, age 11, is organizing her second concert in aid of "Au Coeur des Grottes" - the refuge for women and children in Geneva. Page 7 The concert will be performed by musicians who are all under 18 and will include pieces by Chopin, Rodriguez, Debussy and Monti. It will be held in the Auditoire at 15:00 on Saturday, 12 June. Entry is free, but donations of new toys and/or make-up will be appreciated. Scottish Afternoon Tea & Songs of Praise Two years ago we had an afternoon tea in the Salle followed by a Songs of Praise Worship. We are hoping to repeat this very enjoyable experience again. Such delights as smoked salmon sandwiches, oatcakes & cheese, sausage rolls, Scottish pancakes, scones & jam, shortbread, chocolate cake, lemon tarts and plenty more tempting tea-treats will await you. So please come to the Salle Theodore de Beze and the Auditorie on 13 June: Tea is 15:00-17:00; Songs of praise are from 17:00-18:00. Tickets (25 CHF each) for the tea are on sale from Eleanor Strittmatter Association for New Organ of Auditoire de Calvin (AOAC) has received promised from two major donors in Geneva. But 400,000 CHF still needs to be raised. Please contact Rebecca MacDonald if you have any contacts among potential donors, and share any innovative fund-raising ideas you may have. Don't let the music stop!
8 Page 8 After Chad Just recently, several members of the congregation asked where I was now, so I thought I d write a bit about What Suzanne did next Where do I start? At the beginning is always a good idea! So the beginning for me in this beguiling country was February I had left the arid searing hot dust blown environment of eastern Chad to spend a few days with my husband and children in Geneva before heading off to the bitter cold of a Caucasian winter in Georgia. No, not sweet Georgia Brown of the southern states of north America!, instead the striking environment of a former Soviet country that found independence in 1991 only to be torn asunder by not one, but TWO regions wanting to "go it alone" and also be independent. Sixteen years ago, these simultaneous decisions tore apart this little jewel of a country straddling Asia and Europe, leave hundreds dead and thousands displaced. Could it get any worse? Yes it could... August 2008 tensions rose once again and armed conflict broke out between Russia and Georgia over one of these breakaway regions: South Ossetia. Once again death and destruction with thousands more fleeing for their lives. My Organization, with whom I have worked these past 16 years found itself trying to help nearly 350,000 displaced people, not to mention 1,000 refugees from the second Chechen war some ten years ago. Almost one of my first jobs, as External Relations Officer, was to report about what UNHCR had done in 2008 to assist refugees, internally displaced and stateless people in Georgia. Think about that last identity (or non-identity)... stateless means that no one country will recognize you are their citizen!!! But how can this happen?? Remember the story of the man who lived in Paris airport for 16 years, he had become stateless in transit when his country ceased to exist well it is not fiction. People travelling through the mountainous countryside in this part of the world in search of economic and physical safety can often be caught in between different declarations by states which require you to register in order to confirm your citizenship. Not present in the right place at the right time? Shame, you've just lost your claim to citizenship of the country in which you were born! This doesn t' happen in real life? Just ask over 1,600 people in Georgia who are stateless and every time a child is born to them, that child is also born stateless! So as you can imagine, we do not lack work! But it is fascinating and each day when I start work, I never know what is going to hit me next. Does that mean that all work and no play makes Jill (or in this case Suzanne) a dull girl! Not on your life!! Remnants of her destroyed house on the right, she and her family have been living in a small shack in their garden in Abkhazia for 16 years since war tore apart their world Hiking in Shatilil with friends I ve gone walking in the Chechen mountains through ancient hilltop fortress towns and horse-trekked amongst haunting Svan towers in the magnificent Svaneti mountains. I ve explored a rock-hewn 6th century Orthodox monastery with its 9th century frescos straddling the Georgia- Azerbaijan border; and wandered over a cave city built in 1000 BC, and seen Stalin's death mask and visited his private railway carriage. And to relax after all that, well there s always the banya - traditional Russian steam bath including a brisk scrub down (losing a few layers of skin!) with girlfriends then on to a good Georgian meal afterwards. And in June, I will be part of an all-girl team doing a tri-athalon (running / biking / white water rafting) Adventure Race (though we re in it more for the fun, then really competing!). I discovered the Hash House Harriers operate here (that's a drinking club with a running problem!). We meet every 2nd Sunday to visit different areas in or outside of Tbilisi for a two hour run (although a lot of us walk - well we do have to pace ourselves with the children!), followed by silly but amusing rituals. A pastime that is known the world over - my 1st Hash was in Khartoum some twenty years ago with Dougie, baby Ross on my shoulders, and daughter Iona walking along side us with Sancio our Labrador. It's a family occasion
9 Page 9 (Continued from page 8) with gentle, silly English rituals no matter what country you are in - try it some time, there s one near Geneva! Monday evenings are singing night and nothing is allowed to interfere with that! What do we sing? Polyphonic Georgian songs in Georgian of course!! (and I'm not talking Gregorian chant which is something else!). Not quite sure exactly WHAT I m saying (have to believe the translation of our musical director for that!!), but it is a time of great fellowship and our singing can't be that bad as we have been asked to open commercial enterprises and engage in fundraising events! Georgia - an enchanting country with mountains everywhere, with Mediterranean vegetation in one corner and steppe in the other; mountains that soar over 5,000m down to shores of the Black Sea where you can bathe when staying in your summer dacha; former dilapidated Soviet infrastructure; sixth century monasteries; abject poverty with over 70% unemployment and subsistence farming practiced by the vast majority; intermingled with the threat of armed conflict, escalating terrorist acts in North Caucasus just beyond those beautiful snow-tipped mountains, UXOs and snipers near the ceasefire lines with Abkhazia and South Ossetia. All this in juxtaposition with an innate sense of hospitality that will not allow you to pay for dinner, a meal that can go for hours with different delicacies produced for your delight and constant toasts to the health of all (beware the amount of wine / vodka you can inadvertently consume!). This is truly a country of extremes and I am enjoying every minute of it! Suzanne Murray-Jones External Relations Officer UNHCR Tbilisi, Georgia Espace solidaire Paquis The following is an extract from the Newsletter of the Espace solidaire Paquis which our Mission Committee is finding ways to support. It was written by the Deaconess Françoise Bourquin and translated for us by David Winch. It offers a unique insight into a part of the life of our city that we rarely see. Dear friends, Spring is finally here, bird songs awaken us again and the first primroses are enchanting us. The winter was particularly long and hard this year. Especially for those in our city without a roof, who are far too numerous. In March, we still had the Bise wind to deal with! In our Temple, it was barely 17C. I can still recall the two not-so-young Africans trying to warm up by the radiator, with their bare feet exposed, trying to heat up after a night spent outdoors. They had used up their 10 allotted days at the PC (civil protection shelter) and could not return to the Salvation Army. The major concern here, then, is housing. Some manage to find shelter, but only a small room, while others rent just a mattress in a room. We have heard of a room with one mattress and four people -- going for 700 francs a month. And charity shelters close from 8.30 am to 7.30 pm every day. The days are long for those who have neither shelter nor work nor the means to even rest with a hot coffee or tea. The Temple is open, and offers coffee to these itinerant souls. The other problem is getting work. Many have diplomas, including for university studies. But the only work available is always cleaning, construction, elderly care, in restaurants and dry cleaners Many restaurants still use the shocking practice of 4-5 day tryouts with no wages. After several days, the candidates are told they are unsuitable. Wages are just as shocking. Anita, for example, works 9 hours a day taking care of an elderly lady and doing housework, all for 7 francs an hour.. We see every day such slaves of the 21st century. People who are in fact slaves to their families back in the home country, for whom their paid trip is an investment for which they want a return. And slaves to their employers, but also to their own high expectations of what they can achieve here. We strongly urge people to put some money aside, lest they return to home only to find their remittances have been spent unwisely and nothing remains. No house or anything to show for all that effort. They should not labour in vain. The migrants we encounter have left their children behind, and often do not even carry their pictures. They just find it too painful. We offer them French conversation classes, a precious tool for work and life here. Every day several classes are held, but we are always short of people willing to lead such classes. These hours are also used to communicate information about the work world and labour laws, and how to deal with wages, hours and cases of mistreatment and mobbing. We cannot remain passive in the face of such abuses. We should not accept this exploitation in silence. Thank you for the sewing machines that have been donated. Our workshop is very active, and we now have two professional tailors as part of the team. We still need coloured cloth, however, and tablecloths for the Temple. At Eastertime, let us wish our friends a peaceful pilgrimage and unexpected encounters as on the road to Emmaus, with joy despite our travails. Good travels on the Saviour s path!
10 Page 10 Peter James d Abreu Barnett 7 May March 2010 The year 2010 represents a special anniversary for the Barnett family, since it marks the 50th year since Peter came to Geneva in It isalso a special year for the family because this was the year Peter died at the Clinique Beau Séjour after several years of a losing battle against cancer, despite the excellent care given to him by many outstanding doctors and nurses over the last few years, both at home and latterly in hospital. Born in Sydney, Australia, Peter s childhood and early years were spent there and with his mother s family in Melbourne after Sydney harbour was attacked by Japanese submarines in 1942 and World War II made Sydney into a dangerous place for a while. He went on to study at Sydney Boys High School, training at Balmain Teacher s College and initial teaching work in rural areas of New South Wales, followed by travelling to Europe and beyond. His travelling companion on that first ship from Australia to Europe was an athletic young Swiss friend who had stayed with Peter s family in Bondi for a time. He introduced Peter to Switzerland. Peter also spent time teaching and living in London, and then Paris where he did his best to start learning French. Peter s first job in Switzerland was with Collège du Léman in Versoix. After 5 years he moved on to the Grande Boissière campus, International School where he enjoyed working in the Primary School for some 32 years till his retirement in Peter had been a choirboy in a church near his home in Bondi during his early days, and he wanted to join an English-speaking congregation in Geneva. An American colleague introduced him to the Church of Scotland and encouraged him to join the choir - at that time under the able direction of Doreen Potter. Peter began to find how much fun he was having as a member of the tenor section of this choir. He met Sheila in the choir, they were married in Scotland in In addition to the choir, both became enthusiastic participants in many Church of Scotland activities as they took shape, including the Young Adults group, the Brigadoons (where Peter suggested the name), Usher and in due time he was honoured to be appointed as an elder in 1967, serving on the Kirk Session until he retired in Peter became the proud father of three daughters during the 1960s, Initially in the crèche each week, they were all baptised in the Auditoire and subsequently attended Sunday School and a teenage group. Over time the Church of Scotland took its place as the Barnetts family church. Even though the girls finally left school and two moved to Australia and the USA to pursue further educational activities, the role of the Church of Scotland in Geneva remained firm as the Barnett family s family church. All of Peter s grandchildren were brought back to Geneva to be baptised in the Auditoire, except for his grandson in Virginia, where circumstances resulted in the baptism taking place in the Presbyterian Church in North Carolina where the baby s other grandfather is an elder and his much-loved great-grandmother could also attend. If Peter was proud of his daughters, his enormous pride in his four grandchildren was equally strong, and he followed every step of their progress with joy and enthusiasm. His entertaining sense of humour will always be part of everyone s memories. Along the years Peter s interests from childhood in music and the theatre had strengthened and was further nurtured when he became a foundermember of the Geneva Amateur Operatic Society, GAOS, when it was created in His participation in shows, concerts and pantomimes was an important part of his life. His many friends within the ranks of GAOS, colleagues and friends from his teaching environments, his church ties and numerous choral experiences in Geneva, Sydney and other parts of the world brought him great joy and awareness of the marvellous life he had lived that he often spoke of to his family and friends. As Karen included in the glowing and loving eulogy she delivered at her father s flower-filled service of remembrance in the Auditoire on 29 March, his sister Jenny paid tribute to the way he had lived his life the way he wanted to and the rest of us just came along for the ride. What a ride, added Karen, full of love, life and colour. Sheila Barnett 22 May 2010
11 Page 11 I have my priorities straight I am serious I know you won t believe this but Working will make me happy Is a lie and Faire des bêtises is my life I have my priorities straight Fashion Is more important than Friendship Computer games Should come before Homework Family is more important than T.V. Is nonsense Telling the truth will get you into trouble Lying will save you I will not accept that I should put others first Is this true for me? It is unless I choose to reverse it. I should put others first I will not accept that Lying will save you Telling the truth will get you into trouble Is nonsense Family is more important than T.V. Homework Should come before Computer games Friendship Is more important than Fashion I have my priorities straight Faire des bêtises is my life Is a lie and Working will make me happy I know you won t believe this but I am serious A Palindrome by Emily Colliar (aged 11) Lenten Study Course This year, seven groups looked at the York Course material written by Rev. Dr. John Pridmore entitled "When I survey. Christ's cross and ours". It gave us an opportunity to learn more about the Christian faith, tackle the biggest questions facing humanity and to examine your own beliefs, in fellowship with people from other churches. Some of the key themes explored were the place of silence in our noisy world; despair and hope; a suffering world; and the challenge of living as disciples when Christianity is no longer mainstream. The general consensus of those taking part in the small groups was that it was an enriching experience and a wonderful opportunity to discuss our beliefs and some of the problems in today's world. We look forward to next year's course. Reducing Carbon Footprint The 2009 General Assembly instructed presbyteries to work with congregations in reducing their carbon footprint by 5% year on-year. One church has surpassed expectations. When Clydebank Housing Association applied for planning permission to build a Combined Heat and Power Plant (CHP) adjacent to Radnor Park Church, Stuart Cameron, church treasurer and also a plant engineer, saw the potential for the church to be heated from the same system. The CHP plant was designed to produce electricity and heat for seven blocks of flats - engineers worked out how to use surplus heat in the system to heat the church and four halls. Annual costs of 7,000 for oil have been reduced to 3,000 for connecting to the new system. The capital cost of 11,000 has already been recovered. The church has reduced its carbon footprint by 84% from tons of CO 2 a year to 6.43 tons. Stuart Cameron says, It has been an unqualified success both environmentally and financially. Radnor park parish church
12 Page 12 Brigadoons Betty Morris Newsletter Suzanne Murray-Jones Choir Directors Peter Tulloch / Linda Revkin / Prayer Network Ian Manson Church Flowers Janet Askew Session Clerk Alice Tulloch Congregational Secretary Anne Whiteford St Andrews Fair Kathryn Moreno Crèche Christina Passini Sunday Coffee Rota Terry Angleys Cursillo Eleanor Strittmatter Sunday Evening Bible Ian Manson Study Diary Coordinator Carleen Knowlton Sunday School Jane Broere Winch Fiction Bookstall Ritchie Pannetti Treasurer Robert Walker Free Will Offering Felix Allender Ushers Arthur Griffiths Fabric Sub-committee Douglas Murray- Jones Contact List Woman s Group Carleen Knowlton-Winch / Christine Bunn / Mission Projects Eric Gerelle Website Eric Gerelle Kids Corner's WordSearch Puzzle L R E K X G M M G A E L E N E M E A E V O F H M E S W F D O G A P N P T T J U H S Q R N V B A P J O E F N V E J B M C Z K E R L N A A E T C E E G O B P D O E D I V I P X T F H M E C I X R R T N I D C E S O P P U S I S R W S C O Z E T U U F L A M Z A Z T I F F N I A T R E C A P R A U M I L A M D E G Q T T E N A S G S N I A T R E T N E U H K A D O I S S Z H B T G T L R R K N D R M Y C I T L Find the following hidden words: computer, suppose, punish, certain, confuse, drastic, entertain, approximate, video, tomb Mnemonics Because: Big Elephants Can Add Up Sums Easily Friend: Fried Rice Is Excellent Nosh Delicious Said: Sally Anne Is Daft Height: Harry explained I go home tonight Should: Sharon hollered only ugly lads dance! School: Sarah called her orange orangutan Leo. Girls: Granny is really loud sometimes. Used: Ugly sisters explode daily. Bought: Beautiful or ugly girls hate tests. Can you think of mnemonics for these tricky words? incredible friends school definite colour If you have any news / articles of interest for the next newsletter which is due out late August - early September, please do send it to the Editor, who would be happy to include it. Suzanne Murray-Jones,