Wednesday, October 2
You may have heard of Greyfriars Bobby or even visited historic Greyfriars Church in Edinburgh. Imagination is turning its Kirkhouse into an exciting new mission venture—the Grassmarket Community Project.
Rigid pews crammed in to provide maximum capacity for worshipers flocking to hear a long sermon and then depart again no longer suit the many congregations in Scotland that are dwindling in numbers and want to use some of that seating space for creative movement or informal fellowship before and after services. So what’s to be done with those unneeded relics? The Greyfriars Recycling of Wood (GRoW) project started in 2008 and works with trainees who have had long-term social exclusion (homelessness, dependency, mental health issues) to transform unwanted pews into beautiful, bespoke pieces of furniture.
At 17, Brian found himself moving around hostels. His vulnerability meant he was soon sucked into addiction to heroin, which subsequently lead him into crime. Through support from a local agency, Brian managed to become stabilized on a methadone program. The same agency referred him to GRoW. He quickly realized that structure was what had been lacking in his life. Brian volunteers at the project every day, works within all guidelines, and has great pride in what he produces. Always keen to speak to visitors, Brian says that GRoW has allowed him to change his life. He is now looking forward to a career in woodwork and has started applying for jobs and college placements.
Let us join in prayer for:
PC(USA) People in Mission
Rev. Douglas Baker, regional liaison, Ireland and the United Kingdom/YAV site coordinator, World Mission, Elaine Baker, team ministry • Oxford Centre for Mission Studies: Judith and Rev. Dr. Thomas Harvey, academic deans
United Reformed Church [England]: Rev. Roberta Rominger, general secretary • Presbyterian Church in Wales: Rev. Ifan Roberts, clerk • Church of Scotland: Rev. John Chalmers, principal clerk • Churches Together in Britain and Ireland: Rev. Robert Fyffe, general secretary • Iona Community [Scotland]: Rev. Peter McDonald, leader • Oxford Centre for Mission Studies: Rev. Dr. Wonsuk Ma, executive director
PC(USA) Agencies’ Staff
Tim Quinn, PMA
Alexis Racek, BOP
Bernice Radecke, BOP
Let us pray
Jesus, who worked in a carpenter’s shop and understands what is needed to turn rough-hewn wood into objects of beauty, bless those who use similar skills to bring out of rough lives the beauty of your image. Amen.