“God is light; In him there is no darkness...”
[1 John 1:5]
Interim Moderator's Letter
A bit of disclosure about your current interim moderator; I have a visceral distaste for the cliché, especially the sound bites that worm their way into our brains and spread like the virus that we are all talking about. The clichés like us all living in “unprecedented times” or “unusual circumstances” or even the “new normal” and remember when everyone was once standing “shoulder to shoulder” arrgh! There have been plagues before, no shortage of unusual things throughout history and people have needed to adapt to change, for as long as we have been on the planet. Oh how easy it is to be lulled by a media soundbite into believing that we are the only ones who have ever suffered. Whatever else is said it is more accurate for us to understand that what we are going through has been unexpected, at least for the majority; Bill Gates aside! Few of us expected to be confronted by a modern plague and equally few of us expected to lose a loved one prematurely, regardless of age! On a personal note I want to take this opportunity to thank both the folks of Templehall and Torbain, who held myself and family in prayer, gave condolences and shared kind words on the death of my younger brother. I can assure you in a situation of powerlessness it all helped.
During this lockdown we have seen gross stupidity on the one hand and genius on the other. We have seen incredible selfishness but also heartening community spirit. Mistakes have been made but lessons also need to be learned. Anyone who has even a brushing acquaintance with the prophets of the Old Testament will understand, how they were unafraid to speak to power and prophesy how ignoring God has its consequences. These days we are a bit more reluctant to declare “Thus sayeth the Lord” yet for the believer, it should still be in our gift, to ask what God is saying to us in all of this. Where are the alters at which we have been worshiping as a society. If it be those of the god of mammon, it is clear this idol will not save us from our own folly. Covid 19 has no fear of the balance sheet and the ideologies of profit and loss. People are beginning to see how,that which was undervalued is more precious than gold. Things like our NHS, nursing homes and caring institutions, even the Church has had some recognition Whatever God is saying, whatever we conclude it is clear that there is no going back to Egypt. The Church has been set free to reimagine her mission, to speak up in the name of God and rediscover that Pentecostal power comes from being in the place appointed by the Lord. It is there he is able to bless us in unexpected ways.
My life was unexpectedly changed forever but, like everyone else who suffers loss, I have a choice to either long for the past or look forward in faith to the future. Here the unexpected may be transformed from being one that is disorientated to being one of re-orientation on the path God has set before us. As the apostle Paul reminds us, faith is the hope of things unseen. Be patient, stay safe and keep the faith as we Journey towards our next adventure, as a new congregation, with new parish and ministry team. I won’t be entering the promised land with you but by the Grace of God, will Journey with you to the borders of Canaan.
I wish you every blessing
LATEST FURTHER UPDATE:
We are now working towards opening the church for worship on the 23rd of August.
Following on the Scottish Governments, earlier than expected, announcement that as from today 15th July Churches can now open again for Worship, with a limited number of 50 able to attend any one service, we are now proceeding to work towards this. We are required first to fill in COVID-19 risk assessment and buildings assessment forms and send them to Presbytery for approval, so that we can then safely begin worship again. The Kirk Session under instruction from the Interim Moderator has set up a sub-committee to fill in the forms! It will be for the Interim Moderator and the Kirk Session to then determine once approval is given to us by Presbytery, when we shall begin worship having also put in place all the necessary mitigating arrangements so that we can do so! We will of course do this only after full and careful consideration of the risks involved. Due to social distancing it is also not possible for us to have Joint services with Torbain Church in the meantime, unless they decide to hold more than one service on a Sunday Morning, even though they hope, providing they get approval from Presbytery to do so, to begin worship on the 2nd of August.
It is also likely that it will not be till Phase Four of the Scottish Governments plans that our Halls will be able to be used by any of the Groups including our Guild etc. Sadly, the Church being open is one things, the halls another altogether! But on the positive side we are now able to plan for at least services beginning again in the near future.
Reg Campbell (Locum Minister)
The Fruits of the Spirit Series - Peace
Upcoming Events and Letter from our Interim Moderator
All Events cancelled