After over three months of significant restrictions, as the pandemic seems to be easing at least for the present, Scotland is moving out of lockdown. However, in some ways this new period may be as hard as lockdown itself – some people are still shielding or are nervous about going out, some people are desperate to get back to work or shopping, while still others wonder if they will have a job to go back to. Nobody really knows how the next few weeks, months and years will work out, as we begin to count the economic, social and personal costs of the strange and sometimes difficult times we are living through. Some talk about the “new normal”. Perhaps we would be wiser to think about a move into uncharted territory.
As a church, we’re continuing our Sunday morning services on Zoom, with plans to move back to worship in and from the church itself when it is safe to do so. At the moment we’re learning some lessons from the experience of the early church in the book of Acts who were also moving into uncharted territory – nobody had ever been church before, so everything was new. There are lots of helpful insights, and some challenges, for us in our situation today If you’d like to join us on any Sunday, please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll send you the link.
We’re entering the tenth week of lockdown in the UK, and for many of us it may seem to be dragging. While there are glimpses of light at the end of the tunnel with a possible route map out of lockdown, there’s a long way to go…and who knows what the new normal will look like when we get there? It’s easy to get overwhelmed by it all, this elephant in the room which can dominate so much of our thinking and send our emotions all over the place. But this week, Christians celebrated Ascension Day – and if we understand that a bit better we’ll find it puts our present situation into a bit of perspective. If you’d like to join us for Sunday worship on May 24th, at 11.00am, then send us an email to email@example.com and we’ll send you a link. You’ll be very welcome.
We’re seven weeks into lockdown so far. For all that we understand why it’s important (and it really is!) a lot of folk are getting frustrated and are asking “How much longer?” But the elephant in the room that is COVID-19 keeps getting in the way of our attempt to sort out times and dates. Jesus’ disciples worried about times and dates too as they asked Jesus, after his resurrection, “How long? When are you going to fix things?” That’s what we’re thinking about this Sunday, the 10th of May, and if you’d like to come in and join us on Zoom you’re very welcome. Get in touch, and we’ll send you a link
Normally in the weeks following Easter, we look at some of the post-resurrection stories like the road to Emmaus, Jesus and Thomas, Jesus appearing to his disciples on the beach, and so on, and often, if we’re honest, preach pretty similar sermons each year. But this year, the elephant in the room is Coronavirus, which is affecting everything. But maybe there are things about this particular time of uncertainty which connect us with how the disciples felt after Jesus’ resurrection. In our Sunday worship this week we’ll look at the story of Jesus meeting his disciples after a late night fishing trip. In other words, the elephant is now on the beach… If you’d like to join us, you’ll be very welcome. Send us a message, and we’ll send you the link to our Zoom worship.
Although for obvious reasons the way we celebrate Easter is a bit different this year to most years, the truth that Jesus is alive, sin is paid for and death is defeated, remain true for always. Here’s the final short video in our series, looking at the significance of the Resurrection of Jesus. And if you would like to join us for our online celebration of Easter, please contact David at firstname.lastname@example.org, or go through our Facebook page, and we’ll send you a link to our Zoom gathering
However you spend the day, we hope you have a great Easter. May it be a day in which you encounter the risen Jesus in a fresh way.
Yes it is. Of course, it’s the day between Good Friday and Easter Sunday. But it has a theme of its own, and that’s the idea of waiting. For those who know the truth of Easter, we know that we await the celebration of Jesus’ resurrection. But that first Easter, Jesus’ traumatised followers could have had no idea what God was about to do…
Here’s our fourth short video reflection, in which we think a bit more about why Holy Saturday might have something to say to us in the middle of this pandemic.
Good Friday – the day in which Christians around the world focus particularly on the death of Jesus, and its significance for every person on this planet – the ultimate demonstration of sacrifical love, that brings sinful, broken people back into relationship with the God who loves them.
Our video reflection for today helps us think through something of what the death of Jesus means. And we have two other activities happening today as well, through the wonder of Zoom. The church building is still closed so we meet online. Between 11.00 am and 1.00 pm this Friday there is a chance to join in an online session of reflective prayer. You can log on and take time personally to reflect on the events of the first Good Friday through a combination of Bible readings and works of art on these themes.
Then in the evening, at 7.30 pm we have a service of worship, including communion together. We will all prepare our own elements, a small piece of bread and some wine or juice, and at the appropriate time in the service we will share them together. Everyone who loves Jesus and wants to love Him more is welcome to join us. If you would like to have the link to the Zoom meeting, please email David, the minister, at email@example.com, and he will send the links to you. And if you’ve never used Zoom, don’t worry, we’ll send you instructions as well.
Here’s the second of our short series of videos, which aim to help us reflect on an element of the events of Easter. Today is sometimes known as Maundy Thursday, and it’s the day when we remember Jesus eating the Passover meal with his disciples, and then praying in the Garden of Gethsemane, before his betrayal and arrest.
We’re in what’s often called Holy Week, the week that leads up to the celebration of Easter, with the sombre events of Good Friday, and the joyful surprise of Easter Day. To encourage us to think about some of those events, and how they help us process what’s going on in our nation and our world today with the Coronavirus pandemic, we’re posting some short videos, one a day over the next five days. Here’s the first – It’s Not The End Of The World
For the foreseeable future, the church will not be holding services in the building. So we thank God for technology which means we can continue to meet and worship in cyberspace. Each Sunday we’ll gather for a Zoom-enabled worship time together. If you’d like to join us (and you can turn the camera off and stay in your PJs if you like), contact David at firstname.lastname@example.org and he’ll send you a link to the meeting.