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1st June 2020

Church Magazine – June 2020

The June edition of the Church Magazine is now available by clicking on the tab above entitled ‘Church Magazine – June 2020’

 

30th May 2020

A reminder of the youTube link for the Sunday Service on 31st May:

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC-2t9XbLqSNGNRl1U4TdjPA

 

 

29th May 2020

Quiz Night

Alison is hosting a quiz on Zoom next Thursday 4th June at 7.00pm. If you wish to take part contact Alison for sign in details.

 

28th May 2020

Moderators message for Pentecost.

This is a phone number with a local rate for those who wish to listen to the Moderators message for Pentecost.

The dial-in number for those who want to literally phone in and listen to the audio version is:

0131 378 7895

If you’re putting that to members, they should know that there will be nothing there until 10am on Sunday morning – other than me saying ‘come back at 10am on Sunday!’

There will also be the Grangemouth Churches Live on YouTube and on Facebook just after 11am. It appears after 11am as the link doesn’t come through till 11am.

And Reflections on the Quay as usual.

Thank you.

Alison

 

26th May 2020

Scotland’s Churches Trust has sent us a link to a talk by Professor Adam Cumming, who is one of SCT’s trustees and co-organiser of our Church Recording Project.

The talk was originally given at the National Trust for Scotland Edinburgh Members’ Centre and has some interesting information on old Church buildings in Scotland.

https://app.box.com/s/riblxqdezpzmhgkt0ug1yqz5m30ky15l

 

25th May 2020

Zoom

During the pandemic you may have heard of the computer programme called Zoom.

Zoom is not a social media platform like Facebook, Twitter etc. It is computer program that enables people’s PC’s, Mac’s, tablet’s, phone’s etc to all be connected together to enable a group of people to have an online, private meeting, get together, etc.

Alison is planning to organise an online quiz, bible study, meetings and perhaps worship on the Zoom platform.

If you would like to join in with any of these activities you will need to download the programme first of all on to your device whatever it may be. Zoom is currently free to download and is a handy tool to have on your computer. Once you have downloaded it Alison will supply you with a password to join in the activities.

Here is the link to the Zoom website: https://zoom.us/

 

25th May 2020

Church of Scotland Webinar

Here is a link to the Church of Scotland Webinar by the Assembly Trustees.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4GFc50Z_vkc&feature=youtu.be

This is a video clip of a meeting held on Friday 22nd May regarding the Church, led by The Moderator, Rt Rev Dr. Martin Fair.

This is going to be the start of a major talking point and it is recommended that you watch it.

 

22nd May 2020

Mistakes

“The man who makes no mistakes does not actually make anything.”
Edward John Phelps, from a speech in The Mansion House, 1889.

Winston Churchill said on one occasion: “All great men make mistakes.” He should have added that making mistakes is not confined to “great men”, because mere mortals are also inclined to make mistakes too.
I decided to make sure that, however long this lockdown lasted, I would have enough to do to stop me being bored. So, I bought some jigsaws on-line. And, sure enough, when they arrived, they more than adequately served their purpose. I found a particularly interesting one on EBay, a picture from The Magic Roundabout, a children’s TV show I loved when I was young. It only cost a few pounds, including postage. A good buy, I reckoned. The jigsaw arrived in the post a few days ago. But what I expected to be a 1000 piece jigsaw turned out to be a children’s puzzle with only 48 pieces. “Aged 4+” it said on the box, and boy, did I feel very childish when I realised my mistake?

We all make mistakes – the great men Churchill was referring to, and mere mortals who buy jigsaws from EBay. We’re all human and prone to getting things wrong. In Romans 7:19 St Paul puts it this way:
I do not do the good I want to do,
but the evil I do not want to do – this I keep on doing.

Buying the wrong jigsaw isn’t evil, and I’m only a few pounds down on the deal. But I promise you this – I won’t keep on doing it. I’ll forgive myself, laugh at myself, and even encourage you to laugh at me too. But I’ll learn. I’ll do better. I’ll try never to make the same mistake again
.
Oh, and while I’m writing, would anyone like a Magic Roundabout jigsaw; free to a good home; 48 pieces; suitable for a child aged 4+, preferably one who doesn’t make mistakes?

A prayer for today
Forgiving God … yes, you can laugh at me too because of the mistakes I make.
But I know you’ll also forgive me, and encourage me not to make the same mistakes over and over again.

Amen.

An original reflection by © Tom Gordon

 

20th May 2020

Heaven

“All this and heaven too.”
Philip Henry, in ‘Life of Mr Philip Henry’ by Matthew Henry

Working in a hospice, I had many conversations about heaven. For some people, it was an unshakeable belief in eternal life; for others, a fear that they would be “judged” harshly and denied heavenly rest; for many, a vague belief but profound hope. But for one lady, it was complete denial.

Winifred had been admitted to the same floor in the hospice where her only son had died two years before. I had met her back then and had been invited to conduct her son’s funeral. So, I was anxious that she was now a patient, particularly because of the association of the hospice with her son’s death. One day, I found her distressed. She told me that her eldest daughter had been comforting her with the assurance that, when she died, she would meet up with her son again in heaven. “Well?” I responded enquiringly, only to hear her reply: “I don’t believe that!” And she elaborated on what was clearly an atheistic understanding of life in which heaven and a belief in eternity did not figure.

This was no time for a doctrinal debate, though she did ask me what I believed myself. But her belief system remained unaltered, and she was still distressed. Then I noticed a framed photograph of her son on her bedside table. Soon we were holding the picture together and she was talking warmly about the son she had lost. “Do you still love him?” I asked. “More than ever before,” she replied, “and I tell him that every day.” “Maybe that’s what really matters,” I responded. ”If you carry the depth of your relationship with your son towards the conclusion of your life, that will be enough. And, if you do, maybe that’s heaven for you here and now, and you can leave what happens after you die to take care of itself.” Winifred smiled for the first time. And as she held the photo of her son to her chest, she whispered, “That’ll do for me.”
A prayer for today
“So do not fear all that is yet to be:
Heaven is close and God is good.”
John L Bell, from “Who is there to understand?”
An original reflection by © Tom Gordon

There are more wee stories like this from Tom Gordon in the ‘Thoughts and Prayers’ section of this website.

 

16th May 2020

Online Sunday Worship Service on Sunday 17th May by Zetland Church, Abbotsgrange Church & Kirk of the Holyrood will be available on YouTube Channel “Grangemouth Churches Live ”

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC-2t9XbLqSNGNRl1U4TdjPA

 

12th May 2020

Civilisation

“Civilisation is nothing more than the effort
to reduce the use of force to the last resort.”
José Ortega y Gasset, La Rebelión de las Masas

What makes for a civilised society when we’re “allowed” and “not allowed” to do certain things? We debate whether restrictions on us are too harsh, or how long they’ll last, and who should make decisions about our freedoms anyway. For example, when “lockdown” rules begin to be eased, how many people will be permitted to gather, and where will that be, and how often might it be legitimate? And what about our churches? If, say, we’re “allowed” to have ten people together, what happens if there are twelve? And if we’re “allowed” to gather in a certain place, what happens if we choose to go somewhere else? And who will police that?

The Riot Act of 1714 was used regularly in the 19th century to force people to disperse if there was a chance of a riot developing. They needn’t be doing anything, just being together. If twelve or more people were “unlawfully … assembled together” then a “Riot Act Declaration” could be read, giving people an hour to disperse. If anyone remained after that, they could, in law, be killed by troops called in to enforce the Act. And we say restrictions on us now and the policing of them might be draconian? The Riot Act was last read in the UK 1919 – thank God!

Being civilised means not calling on troops to disperse or shoot at people who meet “illegally”. What matters in 2020 is dispensing with an unnecessary use of force, persuasion rather than imposition, a society where fairness and freedom are key. But civilisation also requires cooperation. We need to see the bigger picture, each one of us not doing things because we feel our purpose and rights are more important than everyone else’s. Civilisation is an acceptance that we’re in it together, and have respect for the whole, not just our individual part.

A prayer for today
Loving God, St Paul reminded us we are “one body”. If one part hurts, we all hurt. If one part rejoices, we all rejoice. Help us to work together, as one body, through pain and joy, for the good of the whole. Amen.

An original reflection by © Tom Gordon

 

12th May 2020

God of Justice, Peace and Love

As the United Kingdom is now divided in its approach to Coronavirus be with all of us as we try to keep to the rules to keep this virus under control. Bring peace and unity into this divided and divisive situation.

We think again of our parish ministers, many overwhelmed by the increased workload of funerals. We pray especially for those in their first charge or in a new charge where they are ministering to folk they don’t really know. That’s really being thrown in at the deep end. And Father there are those who are ministering to the bereaved while grieving themselves. Enfold them in Your loving arms to know Your presence with them.

Comfort and console all who have lost loved ones at this time, be with the dying giving them the knowledge that they do not walk through the dark valley alone. Bring healing and wholeness to those who are sick, not just from Covid19 but those who are sick in body mind and spirit and are weary. Give them strength not just to cope but to carry on.

Loving Father, You are our hope, our strength and our shield. You are our Miracle Worker, our Promise Keeper and our Light in the Darkness.

Loving and Healing God draw close to us all in this pandemic crisis and let us feel your healing, loving and gracious presence.

Amen

Evelyn Robertson

10th May 2020

Here is a link to this mornings live service:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yPYQAH0ajvY&feature=share

 

8th May 2020

A message from the Moderator of The Church of Scotland:

Dear All,

This is a note to tell you about two upcoming, on-line worship services which are for the whole Church of Scotland.

Saturday 16 May, 11am – live on the Church of Scotland website and our Facebook page
The Revd Dr Martin Fair will be installed as Moderator of the General Assembly. The ceremony will take place in the Assembly Hall with only a few people physically present because of the COVID-19 restrictions, but followed by thousands of people across Scotland and around the world. The service will be captioned and there will be the option of BSL interpretation. Join us for an historic occasion and a clear statement that the Church is alive and active in these difficult days.

Sunday 31 May, 10-10.30am – Pentecost – streamed on the Church of Scotland website and Facebook page
The Moderator will lead a service to mark the birthday of the Christian Church, with contributions from many different places. Like the disciples on that first Pentecost, here is the invitation to step confidently into whatever the future holds. We would like to invite you to make this the service for your congregation on that Sunday, so that as much of the Church of Scotland as possible will be gathered in fellowship and praise.

Wishing you every blessing,

Rt Revd Colin A M Sinclair
Moderator

 

8th May 2020

Gracious Father

We stop for a few moments in the day to spend time with You. We know that You are our hope and our anchor in this time of crisis but You are our hope and our anchor in the good times too.

We think of our frail and elderly in care homes throughout the country but especially we think of the people of Skye where Covid19 has ravaged a care home in Portree. Comfort and console those who have lost loved ones and sustain and strengthen those who carry on the fight against this virus there. Bring Your healing to all who are ill with the virus. Keep the islanders strong in their faith for it will carry them through.

We ask you blessing on the governments at Holyrood and Westminster as they make plans to release the lockdown. Help them to focus on the economy and getting things moving again while still keeping this scourge of a virus under control. May all their decisions be in accordance with Your will.

Today we give thanks as we remember all who have served their country and its citizens through time, as we celebrate the 75th anniversary of VE day. May we take time to be peaceful and give thanks for life, even at this time- for if it hadn’t been for the sacrifice of so many, we wouldn’t be here today.

Loving Father, You are our hope, our strength and our shield. You are our Miracle Worker, our Promise Keeper and our Light in the Darkness.

Loving and Healing God draw close to us all in this pandemic crisis and let us feel your healing, loving and gracious presence.

Amen

Rev Alison Meikle
Zetland Manse

 

5th May 2020

Moderator

The General Assembly may have been cancelled but we do need a Moderator to be our spokesperson to the world beyond the Church but also to speak into the Church as we step forward on what is really an unmapped road. Martin Fair was chosen last year by the Committee to Nominate the Moderator in very different times but they have given us someone ideally gifted for today. Martin will not be working in the “normal” way but he will be busy at the forefront of the Church’s life.

His installation as Moderator will take place in the General Assembly Hall on Saturday 16th of May at 11am with just a few people physically present.
You can watch the service live on the Church of Scotland website or Facebook page   https://www.churchofscotland.org.uk/

5th May 2020

Churches in Germany are opening up again but they have to meet conditions laid down to enable them to do so. There may be some clues here as to what we may have to do when our Church in Grangemouth eventually reopens:

Guidelines for services in churches / chapels / prayer rooms in the Palatinate during Coronavirus

From May 2020, the celebration of services in churches and parishes will be permissible again.
The presbytery of the respective church congregation decides on the opening of the worship areas and the date of the resumption of the services. Health protection and the responsible handling of risks have top priority. Nobody can be obliged to participate in the service. The presbytery or persons commissioned by it are responsible for compliance with the guidelines.
If services are to take place, you must comply with all of the following requirements:
A. preparation for worship
1. At the start and end of worship, leave doors open, so that people do not need to touch the handles. Handrails and door handles must be disinfected.
2. In order to track possible chains of infection, the visitor’s full name, address or telephone number must be recorded at the entrance. This is done by a person appointed by the presbytery. The data is to be kept in the parish office for 14 days and then destroyed.
3. In order to keep the minimum distance of 2 m between people (next to each other as well as in front of and behind one another), the seats must be clearly marked. For ease of organisation, people from the same household should also keep the minimum distance.
In the entrance and exit area, the 2 m distances must be clearly marked on the floor.
4. There should be no access to the sanctuary and choir/music group areas.
5. Sanitisers should be available at entrances and exits.
6. Before and after the services / devotions, the worship area must be deep cleaned.
7. A small number of face masks must be available for members of the congregation who arrive without face masks. Admission without a face mask is not permitted.
8. Hymn books are not to be used. Hymns must be displayed using a projector or printed on service sheets.
9. If the congregation is too large to comply with the regulations, a second service of worship should be scheduled, so that everyone can be accommodated.
B. Guidelines for a service of worship
1. Stewards at the entrance will manage admission. Once the maximum number of places has been reached, no further visitors can be admitted.
2. Only minimal choirs and music groups are permitted. The minimum distance between singers and musicians must be 4 metres (next to each other as well as in front of and behind each other).
3. Those leading the service are not required to wear face masks but must remain a minimum of 4 metres distant from the front row of the congregation.
4. Services of communion are not permitted.
5. No sharing of the peace or handshaking.
6. Offertory plates are not to be held. There must be hygiene protection for the people who count the offertory.
The service must not exceed one hour in length.

C. Guidelines for other services / devotions
1. The regulations above also apply to baptism, memorial and funeral services.
2. For a service of baptism, the minister must use hand sanitiser before the act of baptism.
Outdoor services can only take place if the local authority permits it and permission must be sought from the authority. Where open-air services are permitted, the hygiene and distancing rules must be observed during set-up and clearing away and during the service itself, adhering to the church service guidelines (Section B).
3. No Sunday School for children for the time being.
4. Confirmation services and similar which attract large congregations should be avoided.

28. April 2020

 

5th May 2020

Below is an update from the Church of Scotland, 121 George Street regarding the current situation:

UPDATE FOR PRESBYTERIES – ISSUE 1 – 5th MAY 2020

Dear Colleagues
Here are some things which are happening away from the public gaze but which I think you should know about. I have not set these items out in order of importance but I hope you find the information helpful
In the coming weeks I would hope to build on this as new information and insights are gained. The next issue may not be so long winded as this one!
I have attached to this a document from the Lutheran Church in Germany describing how they are coming out of lockdown – it is a sobering read!
George Whyte, Principal Clerk
Meetings with the Scottish Government
I have a weekly meeting with the Head of Connected Communities along with Archbishop Cushley and Bishop Mark Strange. We discuss a range of Covid-19 related issues and in doing so are building relationships into the structures of the Scottish Government

On Monday I was able to participate in an interfaith meeting with officials of the Burials and Cremation unit of the government. There was a general view that we are not in position to open churches for funerals because:-
• those we ask to be on duty at church during the week may well be volunteers over 70
• the person on the door would be in charge of deciding how many of those who turned up could get in
• we do not have the know-how to make the building infection-free afterwards
• if we open for a funeral then why not a wedding, or a small service, or a prayer meeting….
Ministers as Key Workers
Angus Mathieson (Interim Head of the Faith Nurture Forum) is currently exploring how ministers might be categorised as “key workers” not only so that there is access to childcare provision but also access to testing so that people know if they are infectious and whether they have had the disease.
More to follow on this.
Keeping in Touch with Presbyteries
Myself and Hazel Hastie (Presbytery Resource Officer) have phoned all the Clerks twice in the last three or four weeks just to hear how things are and if there are ways in which we in the national office could help. These have been useful conversations.

We are now in the middle of a series of virtual meetings with groups of Clerks (is there a collective noun for that?) based on the potential new Presbyteries. These meetings have focused on headings like these:-
• What’s happening where you are? Lessons learned so far?
• need to plan for the longer term – end of the year anyway – what does that mean for Presbytery, Kirk Sessions, sustaining the new things, planning the future
• over 70’s and the shielded may be locked down longer than everyone else – how do we respond to that?
• organising/coordinating on-line what churches are doing on-line – how can we achieve variety and sustainability
• What is the money situation in your area? – steps being taken, projects or congregations imperilled?
• Presbytery Reform – where are we at with process, what can we do in the coming months
• Pressure on Presbytery Plans – the availability of stipend support and people to fill the vacancies is being hit and we have learned many new ways of doing things – how and when can we reshape the Presbytery Plan
• Anything else we should be doing in 121 in terms of resources, information?
Ecumenism
There have been two meetings of Scottish church leaders where we seek to learn from each other’s response to the crisis and find ways of acting together. There is also a very busy WhatsApp group.

There have also been UK wide meetings of church leaders (Our Moderator), “senior officers” aka Principal Clerks and that ilk, Finance Officers, and HR Managers. Again we are trying to learn and share good practice. These are also places where we can talk about how we might move out of lockdown.

I have also met with the other Principal Clerks of the UK’s Presbyterian Churches and they have been very useful meetings with helpful suggestions about how we can work through the pandemic restrictions.
Moderator!
The General Assembly may have been cancelled but we do need a Moderator to be our spokesperson to the world beyond the Church but also to speak into the Church as we step forward on what is really an unmapped road. Martin Fair was chosen last year by the Committee to Nominate the Moderator in very different times but they have given us someone ideally gifted for today. Martin will not be working in the “normal” way but he will be busy at the forefront of the Church’s life.

His installation as Moderator will take place in the General Assembly Hall on Saturday 16th of May at 11am with just a few people physically present.
You can watch the service live on the Church of Scotland website or Facebook page. Could you share that more widely?
The Commission of Assembly
The General Assembly was cancelled but there were still things we needed to decide. We have used the Commission of Assembly elected last year and they have agreed (without meeting) to make the following decisions:-
1. Elect the Rev Dr Martin Fair (Arbroath: St Andrew’s) as Moderator of the General Assembly 2020-2021. (see section 1)
2. Pass an Act uniting the Presbyteries of Dunfermline, Kirkcaldy, and St Andrews to form the Presbytery of Fife as set out in the Overture received from the Presbyteries. (see section 2)
3. Pass an Act uniting the Presbyteries of Aberdeen and Shetland to form the Presbytery of Aberdeen and Shetland as set out in the Overture received from the Presbyteries. (see section 3)
4. Pass an Act uniting the Presbyteries of Dumbarton and Greenock & Paisley to form the Presbytery of Clyde as set out in the Overture received from the Presbyteries. (see section 4)
5. Note the process undertaken to streamline the governance arrangements proposed, agree that membership of the Social Care Council will with effect from 1st June 2020 be reduced to 12 in accordance with a revised nomination process and thank the existing members of the Social Care Council for their outstanding commitment and contributions. (see Report of the Social Care Council at section 5)
6. Appoint the Rev Donald McCorkindale as Convener of the Assembly Business Committee (see Report of the Nomination Committee at section 6)
7. Appoint the Rev Thom Riddell as Convener of the Social Care Council. (see Report of the Nomination Committee at section 6)
8. Make alterations to Standing Committees and Forums as set forth in the Report of Nomination Committee. (see Report of the Nomination Committee at section 6)
9. Make appointments to Trusts as set out in section 7 and as requested by these Trusts. (see section 7)
10. Agree that the Ecumenical Relations Committee shall act on behalf of the General Assembly in the dissolution of Local Ecumenical Partnerships (see Report of the Ecumenical Relations Committee at section 8).
11. Amend Regulation I 2013 in the terms set out in the Appendix to the Report of the Assembly Business Committee.(see Report of the Assembly Business Committee at section 9)
12. Instruct the Nomination Committee to populate the Committee to Nominate the Moderator in terms of the amended Regulation I 2013.
13. Pass the Act amending the Income Protection and Ill-Health Act (Act VI 2019) as set out in the Appendix to the Report of the Faith Nurture Forum. (see Report of the Faith Nurture Forum at section 10).
You can see the Reports and Appendices on the CofS website under General Assembly Publications.
National Office Work
A team of senior managers and officials meets twice a week to coordinate our response to the coronavirus pandemic and to consider ways in which we can assist the Church in these challenging times.
Steps have also been taken to furlough “121” staff so that we can take advantage of Government to save jobs and protect resources for the future.. This inevitably will mean that some services will not be available in the short term.
Assembly Trustees
The Trustees have established three task groups with membership drawn from across the Church. These are as follows:-
• Finance – the Church’s income will be greatly affected by the pandemic lockdown reducing offerings and closing off hall letting. There will be short and longer term difficult decisions to be faced.
• IT and Communications – work is focusing on developing an intranet resource so that we have better channels of communication inside the Church as a whole and on learning how best to develop our online Church presence.
• Presbytery Planning – there is a tremendous pressure now being put on the ability to pay all the stipends suggested by current Presbytery Plans and, as you know, there are not enough ministers to fill the posts. How might we face these challenges and what support would the new Presbyteries need to reframe their Plan in the light of these problems but also in reshaping the life of the Church in the greatly altered landscape which lies before us.
During what would have been General Assembly week the Moderator will host a number of online events where the Trustees will bring you up to date with the challenges that we are facing now and likely to face going into the future. More information on this will be issued shortly.
Ringing Church Bells
I have had a fair number of enquiries about whether church bells can be rung to mark a number of occasions from Clap for Carers through Easter to the 75th Anniversary of VE Day.
This is a typical response which I have sent:-
Dear XXXX
I have been asked about this several times in recent weeks.
My advice to all of these is that we should not be ringing church bells. Firstly it sends the wrong signal – our buildings are closed and then we ring the bell that is meant to call people to worship. And even if people know it is not being rung for that purpose it still says that there is somebody in the building and they are not there for one of the essential activities which have been listed in the regulations – feeding the poor, caring for the homeless, working with local authorities on essential child care or indeed the live streaming of worship. Then there is asking someone to leave their home to go to the church which is not one of the reasons for leaving home listed in the Government’s guidance. And lastly there are questions of access, lone working and cleaning.
So I’m afraid my advice is no ringing of church bells during the current lock down arrangements. Sorry!
Best wishes
George
Stepping Confidently into the Unknown
One of the remarkable features of this emergency has been the way ministers and congregations across the Church have responded with imagination, energy and creativity. Things have been laid down which will not be picked up again and in their place there has been a blossoming of new ideas.

This should be celebrated.

There are plans developing focused around Pentecost for a series of initiatives which will help renew our sense that God is with us on the road ahead. There will be the offer of a national service lead by the Moderator but with contributions from far and near. There will be some new resources which might open fresh possibilities for Church life. And most importantly there will be a chance to listen to each other as we try “not to go back to where we were but to go to where we want to be” (source unknown).

21st April 2020

There are a couple of new items on the website that may take your interest during these difficult times and both can be accessed by clicking their relative tabs above; Hope in the time of Coronavirus” and Thought’s and Prayers.”

 

11th April 2020

The online Easter service will be on the Church Facebook page  tomorrow at 11am.  

Holy Communion will be celebrated. If you wish to partake please have some bread/ biscuit and some eg grape juice/ tea. This service will also be on YouTube-Grangemouth Churches Live. https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC-2t9XbLqSNGNRl1U4TdjPA

Hope to see you here again.

9th April 2020

BBC – Easter TV and radio programmes: 

During these difficult times, the BBC recognises the importance not only of delivering accurate and trusted news but also of providing our audiences with programmes that can help them best cope with the many impacts of the pandemic.

And with social distancing now the norm, it has never been more important for us to reach out, as a public service broadcaster, to those faith communities whose opportunities for public worship have been so curtailed.

That is why, in Scotland, we have introduced a series of new TV and radio programmes and increased the prominence of others within our schedules, offering an opportunity for all to reflect and to worship.

On Easter Sunday, our new and increasingly popular Reflections at the Quay (BBC One Scotland, 11.15AM) will feature the Rt Rev Colin Sinclair, Moderator of the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland, and the Most Reverend Leo Cushley, Archbishop of St Andrews and Edinburgh. Future programmes will reach to other faith communities and contributors.

And we are currently finalising arrangements around a televised broadcast of an Easter Sunday Mass with Fr. Michael Kane from St Augustine’s in Coatbridge.

That day, BBC ALBA will broadcast Ar N-Aran Làitheil (Our Daily Bread) from Kyle Church of Scotland (6.50PM), as Alleluia! brings a mix of hymns, psalms and readings led by Father Seumas MacNeil and Rev Donald Michael MacInnes (7.30PM).

For radio listeners, Radio Scotland will continue to feature Thought for the Day within the Good Morning Scotland news programme each weekday. Every New Sunday has moved forward an hour to a new slot of 7.30AM and Sunday Morning with Cathy Macdonald will continue to feature conversations with guests from across all faith groups.

On Good Friday, the station features Tree of Life, a reflection on how nature can provide a path through pain, at 6.00AM, and Shadows and Half- Light, at 6.30AM, will reflect on how compassion can help us overcome adversity.

For Gaelic listeners, Radio nan Gaidheal celebrates Easter Sunday with Deanamaid Adhradh (Let’s worship) at 9.03AM, repeated again at 3.00PM and a broadcast of the Easter Alleluia! special at 9.00PM.

Looking forward, on Sunday 19 April, the BBC Scotland Channel features Priest School. Narrated by Scots-Italian actor Daniela Nardini, this distinctive observational documentary gained unique access to the inner workings, personnel, seminarians and history of the oldest Scottish institution abroad, Il Pontificio College Scozzese – The Scots College in Rome.

And on the same day, April 19, BBC ALBA will feature Sorchar nan Reul (The Lightener of the Stars – spiritual music) and a new series – Slighe Anndra (St Andrew’s Journey – the story of the Church of Scotland in Europe) – from 31 May.

Across the BBC, our network services will include live worship and virtual church services as well as special new content on the BBC’s flagship religious strands on TV and radio, as well as providing content to mark the major festivals of worship. There’s much more detail to be found on the BBC website

7th April 2020

Zetland Church Facebook – Live

Zetland Facebook will host live services on Thursday 9th and Friday 10th April at 7.00pm

On Maundy Thursday, please have some food and a drink to share online in the sacrament of Holy Communion.

There will be further posts etc each day.

https://www.facebook.com/Zetlandchurchgrangemouth/

7th April 2020

Our Sunday School Teachers have been keeping themselves busy during the Coronavirus outbreak! 🙂

https://www.facebook.com/Zetlandchurchgrangemouth/videos/2893578320722284/

https://www.facebook.com/Zetlandchurchgrangemouth/videos/894729344284183/

27th March 2020: 

A message today from our minister, Alison on the Church Facebook page:

https://m.facebook.com/pg/Zetlandchurchgrangemouth/videos/?ref=page_internal&mt_nav=0

The Moderator’s Reflection:

Every day from 10am, the Moderator of the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland, Rt Rev Colin Sinclair, will be leading a short reflection live on his Facebook page:

  https://www.facebook.com/ModeratoroftheChurchofScotland

24th March 2020:  Notice for Our Congregation:

Good morning everyone,

It is with deep sadness that we have to close our churches completely from today to encourage people to stay safe and stay at home to pray as advised by the prime minister.

The building will no longer be open even for private prayer until further notice.

This includes the daily time of prayer and night church.
I hope you all stay safe and I am wondering what I can do to communicate with those who don’t have access to internet or Facebook. I gave hard copies of a service to 2 members at the weekend who asked for this. But now that isn’t possible. Answers on a postcard please!!! Well post answers here or give me a call?

Thank you.

Alison Meikle
Zetland Manse
Ronaldshay crescent
Grangemouth

March 22; Worship wherever you are.

Welcome to worship! It is good to remember that wherever we gather, there is God.
At home, alone or with your family, we are united in spirit.

You may use these thoughts, prayers, bible readings and hymn words at a time and place that suits you. You may share freely with friends and neighbours.

Today’s reflections are centred around the words of the hymn, “What a Friend we Have in Jesus”, and from St. John’s gospel, chapter 9 1-12.

What a friend we have in Jesus, all our sins and griefs to bear!
What a privilege to carry everything to God in prayer!
Oh, what peace we often forfeit, oh, what needless pain we bear,
all because we do not carry everything to God in prayer!

What a privilege it is, to be able to bring our concerns to God in prayer.
As we gather today, cast your mind back through this week…
What troubled you? Name it. What cheered you? Name it.
What do you now regret? Name it. What would you do differently? Name it.

Prayer; Precious Holy, as we name before you, things that trouble, things that cheered;
As we name before you our regrets and remorse; We seek you comfort, we seek your grace, Forgive us we pray And refresh our souls, as we pray:

Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed by thy name. thy kingdom come, they will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread, and forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors. Lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. For thine is the kingdom, the power and the glory, now and forever more, Amen

Have we trials and temptations, is there trouble anywhere?
We should never be discouraged: take it to the Lord in prayer.
Can we find a friend so faithful, who will all our sorrows share?
Jesus knows our every weakness: take it to the Lord in prayer.

Read John 9: 1-12
The healing of the man born blind.
The disciples wondered, what caused the man’s blindness? His sin? Or his parents’?

It is tempting today to wonder if God has sent our current predicament.
To which I say – NO!!!!
For I truly believe things happen, and God is with us, with all humanity, in that.
God is good. God is love and compassion.
In this time of trial and trouble, we can hand it over to God in prayer; we can ask God to help doctors and nurses; researchers and scientist.

We can remember Jesus’ compassion and love and willingness to come alongside those who were marginalised and outcast, helping them to feel acceptance like never before.

If you are unsure; if you have doubts; remember you are in good company. Even the disciples who witnessed Jesus healing and miracles doubted.
Even those who saw with their own eyes the man born blind with sight restored doubted: “they said to each other, ‘no it’s not him; it’s just someone who looked like him…’”

Are we weak and heavy-laden, cumbered with a load of care?
Jesus is our only refuge: take it to the Lord in prayer.
Do your friends despise, forsake you? Take it to the Lord in prayer!
In his arms he’ll take and shield you; you will find a solace there.

In these strange and uncertain days, three things remain, faith, hope and love.
We all know the greatest of these is love.

However you are feeling today, and in the days to come, take it to the Lord in prayer.

Know that you are loved; you are prayed for. Know that Jesus is our refuge
Know that Jesus hears you . Know that you can find comfort in Jesus
And that even though we are apart – we are together in prayer and spirit.

Rev Alison Meikle
Zetland Manse
Ronaldshay Crescent
Grangemouth
FK3 9JH
01324336729

 

20th March 2020:

Worship Live Streaming/YouTube:   Worship will be live-streamed from KHR at 11am on Zetland Facebook page on Sunday 22nd March.
And will also be Grangemouth Churches live on YouTube. All you need to do is subscribe.  YouTube link – https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC-2t9XbLqSNGNRl1U4TdjPA  You may have to copy and paste this address into your browser.
If you know anyone who doesn’t have access to social media or computer, who would like to know what has been said , please let Alison know.

Church Open for Prayer:   The following church buildings will be open for prayer and reflection between 11-12noon on the following days.
Please come in via the hall door at Zetland, where you can wash your hands in the disabled toilet. You can sit 2 metres from anyone else quite easily!
And you can leave by the front door. All doors will be open so there is no need to touch handles. Hope that is reassuring.

Mon -Abbotsgrange
Tue – St Mary’s
Wed- KHR
Thu- Zetland
Fri -Abbotsgrange
Sat- KHR

Alison Meikle
Zetland Manse
Ronaldshay crescent
Grangemouth

19th March 2020: A video update from our Minister, Alison. https://m.facebook.com/Zetlandchurchgrangemouth/  You may have to copy and paste this address into your web browser.

 

Church of Scotland – Grangemouth Churches, 17 March 2020
Coronavirus and the Church

Dear Member,
As you are no doubt aware these are unprecedented times with the various restrictions arising from Coronavirus (also known as Covid-19), and now with the suspension of all worship services it is even more important that we take care of each other.
We shall be looking at ways in which we can continue to spread God’s word meantime.
It may transpire that you may need to self-isolate and the church is concerned for any spiritual or physical needs you may have during this time.
Should you find yourself in need of support please do not hesitate to contact your minister, or in their absence, indeed any of the Church of Scotland ministers listed below.
None of us know what the immediate future brings but with God’s help and the assistance of everyone in the church family we can overcome many difficulties.

Yours in Christ’s name,

Rev Alison Meikle telephone 01324 336729
Rev Aftab Gohar telephone 01324 482109
Rev Ronald Matandakufa 01324 337885

In all cases it is our prayer that you stay safe and well.

17th March 2020: An update issued earlier this evening by The Church of Scotland, 121 George Street, Edinburgh:

Church of Scotland – Covid-19 Briefing 17th March 2020 – Cancellation of Services and other information

The Church’s Covid-19 Task Group met this morning, and considered the most recent advice from the Scottish Government, issued on the evening of Monday 16th March, available here. This information from the Scottish Government takes precedence over the briefing note issued by myself at 17:53 on 16th March 2020.

The Scottish Government advised that people should minimise social contact by avoiding crowded areas and large gatherings, including religious congregations, and smaller gatherings, listing areas which were of concern.

Worship – Cancellation of Worship Services
In the light of the above, the Church of Scotland Task Group has agreed to ask, in the strongest terms, that all gatherings for worship should cease until further notice, with effect from Wednesday 17th March 2020, or earlier if possible. Other Scottish Churches are taking similar actions. This obviously includes Easter services. Some Presbyteries have already instructed this action. This will include, but not be restricted to, housegroups, meetings for youth work, and church cafes. It will still be possible for an individual to offer a livestreaming of a sermon and prayers. Further information on livestreaming, including information on copyright, can be found in this circular on the Law Department’s webpages here. Sunday broadcasts of a weekly service take place on Radio 4, and also on Radio Scotland; other radio stations are available.

Church buildings can be kept open as a place for people to come and pray. Notices should be clearly displayed asking that visitors observe robust hand hygiene, including washing their hands on entry to the church.

Prayer
The Moderator, the Right Reverend Colin Sinclair, has, along with the Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, and other church leaders, have issued a call for a National Day of Prayer; more details here.

Offerings
The Task Group is aware that closing down worship services will impact on congregational income, and we’d want to encourage people to continue contributing financially as far as possible, and to encourage the increased use of standing orders as an expression of ongoing stewardship.

Funerals The key phrase here is to minimise social contact. Sensitive conversations will need to take place with families and mourners ahead of funeral ceremonies, and to consider the size of groups gathering for funerals. It may be necessary in the future to consider whether funerals should be restricted exclusively to minister, immediate family, and funeral directors. In addition, local guidance from funeral directors and crematorium staff will be critical here. It should be noted that many crematoria have the facility to livestream services and to host a recording of services for a period of time after the cremation service.

Weddings
For weddings, the advice offered in the briefing note of 12th March 2020 remains unchanged; certain venues will be restricting attendance, and it may be that couples have to work through what changes have to made, including in some cases rearranging. Travel restrictions on travel into the UK will also have an effect on guests at weddings. Again, sensitive conversations will be the order of the day.

Pastoral Care Networks
Please find attached a guidance note from the Church’s Safeguarding Department with some useful guidance about setting up small pastoral care networks with a practical outcome. This guidance note contains a postcard which may be useful There are some good ideas here about small groups; such groups can mitigate social isolation, and help people to continue to feel that they are part of the wider community of faith. Previous advice about using tools such as Skype, email, letters, greetings cards, Facetime, and Whatsapp groups are all useful approaches and some of these are particularly helpful where people don’t use technology.

General Assembly
The decision has been taken in the light of Scottish Government advice to cancel the General Assembly of May 2020. The Office of the General Assembly will be in touch with commissioners separately.

Conclusion
The above is offered in the light of current information, and is of course subject to further public health guidance and directives from the Scottish Government. The above has taken some time and care to compile, and at this stage we apologise for not being able to respond to every email.

Task Group Members
The Task Group Members are:
the Rev Dr George Whyte, Principal Clerk;
Dave Kendall, Chief Officer;
Catherine Skinner, Strategic Programmes Officer;
Ruth MacLeod, Head of Communications;
Mary MacLeod, Solicitor of the Church;
Liam Fennell, Head of Facilities;
Elaine McCloghry, Head of HR;
the Rev Angus R. Mathieson, Interim Head of Faith Nurture.

Angus Mathieson (Rev)
Interim Head, Faith Nurture
Church of Scotland
121 George Street
Edinburgh
EH2 4YN

17th March 2020: An update issued this afternoon on The Church of Scotland Facebook Page: “Cancellation of Worship Services:
We are asking that all gatherings for worship should cease until further notice, with effect from today (Wednesday 18th March 2020). This includes all Easter services. Some Presbyteries have already instructed this action. This will include, but not be restricted to, housegroups, meetings for youth work, and church cafes. It will still be possible for an individual to offer a livestreaming of a sermon and prayers. Sunday broadcasts of a weekly service take place on Radio 4, and also on Radio Scotland; other radio stations are available.” 

15th March 2020: All group meetings have been cancelled until further notice ie; Baby Group, Toddlers Groups, Sunday School, Girl’s Brigade, Boy’s Brigade, Stitchers, The Guild, The Choir, The Gardening Club and the Congregational Board Meeting due to Coronavirus concerns.

At the moment Worship next Sunday (22nd March) is still planned to go ahead but this may change during the week so keep checking back here for updates.

14th March 2020: Baby Group and all Toddler Groups have been suspended for the next two weeks.

Morning Service tomorrow morning (Sunday) as per usual.

We are regularly checking the Church of Scotland website for up to date advice for congregations and will update this page as required.

https://www.churchofscotland.org.uk/resources/advice-for-churches-covid-19-coronavirus