Hello here’s this months magazine, the online edition, hope you enjoy reading it.
Issue 277 December 2020
Scottish Charity SC006842
Christmas 2020 is probably going to be different for all of us! At the time of writing we don’t know what relaxations, if any, are going to be allowed and the church and what it would usually provide at Christmas is affected like everything else. However, it is our hope to do our level best to provide as much as we can, perhaps in a different way, to spread some much needed Christmas cheer.
Following a recent Kirk Session and in accordance with current Government guidelines, details of the Christmas services that we have planned are provided below. Due to where in the week Christmas falls and the amount of time required before cleaning the spaces used to minimise the risk of infection, it won’t be possible to have every service in the church.
Services for every Sunday in December will remain exactly the same as they are at the moment. We ask that everyone pre-book with Myra (Tel No 01241 434721, Monday 9-11am, Tuesday 9am-1pm and Thursday 1-5pm) to complete the track and trace details.
Additional Christmas services will take place on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. The Christingle service will be online by Zoom for which a password entry will be required, the Watchnight service will take place in the church and the Christmas Day service will be a recorded service only. If you are unable to watch recorded services on the internet and would like a DVD of the services (Watchnight and Christmas Day) please let Myra know by 13th December so that we can organise the production and distribution of the DVDs.
Sunday 20th December, 11am Nativity Service Church
Christmas Eve – Thursday 24th December, 6.30pm Christingle Service Zoom
Christmas Eve – Thursday 24th December, 11.15pm Watchnight Service Church
Christmas Day – Friday 25th December, 10.30am Recorded
Sunday 27th December, 11am Church Hall
These plans remain subject to announcements that are made after publication of the magazine. You will be able to keep updated should there be any changes via the website, the Facebook page and by phoning the office line.
It’s a real pleasure to be writing for the first time in the Arbroath West Kirk magazine, as your new minister! I’m so grateful for all your good wishes, words and messages of encouragement and smiles behind the masks on a Sunday morning and am really looking forward getting to know people and share God’s love with you and our community. Although we still have boxes to unpack, Mike and I have settled into the manse quickly and already feel very much at home.
We have moved up from Glenrothes where we lived for almost 26 years. Our three daughters, Natalie, Becca and Lizzie were born in Sheffield – Lizzie being just 12 weeks old when we made the move north. None of them are still at home but we do have Sally, our 13-year-old Australian Kelpie who has moved into the manse with us.
Arbroath West Kirk is my first charge, having completed my probation in Methil, Fife, so you will realise that I trained for ministry later in life. Before training I was an elder, Junior Church leader etc. so I fully appreciate all the hard work and time that is given in service by so many to God and to their church.
Like everyone else this year, the last 6 months of my probation and the application process to charges was not what I expected as a result of Covid-19 and the first few months of ministry will also be different with less opportunities to meet people face to face and become familiar with the weekly routine of groups and activities. I hope to phone as many as I can and ask you to make yourselves known to me if you see me out and about which will help to begin to put faces to names.
As I write we are beginning to anticipate the Advent season and Christmas. This is traditionally a time for reflection and preparation as we approach the end of one year and the start of another. Central to that time is the celebration once more of the birth of our Saviour, Jesus Christ and we remember the hope and joy that his birth gives to us all. Perhaps this year, more than others in the recent past, when because of the restrictions we are living with there may be more time to reflect, we should ask ourselves what does hope look like this Christmas? The many challenges that our society has faced in the last year have highlighted inequalities as some have suffered more than others. The loving and generous response of so many has also revealed a depth of kindness and neighbourliness that perhaps we had forgotten. We have an opportunity, when the restrictions are relaxed, to re-imagine how to do things differently; to build back better; to take the hope and promise of the baby born in the stable into the New Year with us.
May the joy and peace of Christ’s birth be yours this Christmas season and into 2021.
Keeping in touch with one another has been one of the things that has been essential for us all this year, whether that has been by phone or letter, by email or one of the many social media channels.
As we continue to live through a time of restrictions which, at the time of writing, look like they’re going to continue for some time yet communication remains a crucial part of our lives – to keep our spirits up, to remind ourselves that we’re all in this together and to tell one another that we care. That’s an important part of what a church family is about – supporting one another and letting the wider community know we’re still available even though the building is only open for worship.
So, in addition to the magazine and the website and the weekly recording of the service on Radio North Angus at 3pm, from the start of Advent – 1st December – there will be a church Facebook page. Because it’s advent there will be something posted each day for reflection and there will also be information about services over the
Christmas period and other events that are going to be happening in the town during what is going to be a very different festive season. If you use Facebook please like and share the page so that as many people as possible can access the information.
We also realise that the Christmas services are often some of the best attended during the year. It’s therefore our intention to record some of them so that they can be watched either from Facebook or from the YouTube link. If you would like to be sent an email with the YouTube link details, then please let Myra know at the office by sending your email address to email@example.com.
Due to Bill Clark’s health issues, he has decided to stand down as Session Clerk. Audrey Shepherd has now been appointed to this position and Bill will support and advise her in this role as he now becomes the Assistant Session Clerk.
All enquiries should now be addressed to Audrey on 01241 870080.
Help us to keep our Church safe
Life for us all is a long way off from the normal as we know it. Lots of rules and regulations. The Church is no different with the Scottish Government and Church of Scotland sets the rules on what we can and can’t do.
It is a joy to see so many of you back at Church and I would like to thank you all for your patience and understanding since we have opened our doors. It is frustrating that we cannot socialise and chat in the vestibule, sanctuary and outside after the Service, a normally enjoyable part of our visit to Church.
The Duty Team are following the set of guidelines given to us and by adhering to them it is important to realise that all these measures are put in to keep us all safe. You will be guided and asked to sit somewhere different to where you normally sit and this is something that we must do for your safety. We do not take these restrictions lightly and ask that you understand why we are doing this. We must maintain our social distancing at all times, sit at the specific markers in the pew as they have all been carefully measured out and by following the Duty Teams requests of seating then we are reducing the crossing over in aisles therefore helping and further reducing the risk of any potential infection.
The Churches are very privileged in being allowed to open their doors…..let us all do what we can to let them remain open.
We can worship
Knowing we are safe
May I take this opportunity on behalf of the Kirk Session to wish you all, in whatever way we will be allowed to celebrate, a safe and peaceful Christmas.
Looking forward to seeing you all in 2021 and may we all pray that we will be as one again soon.
With every blessing
Tier 3 – Church Office
As Angus has now entered Tier 3, we have been advised by the Church of Scotland that the Church office is no longer permitted to be open. To this end, our Church Secretary, Myra Scoular will continue to carry out her duties from her home.
Please continue to contact the Church office in the usual way on 01241 434721 and your call will be automatically diverted to the Church mobile phone whereby Myra will deal with your call.
Alternatively, you can email the Church on:-
Freewill Offering Envelopes : Note to All Elders
2021 envelopes will be ready for collection soon, details to follow. Thank you for your patience.
Freewill Offering Convener
Remembering those we have loved…
As we begin to anticipate the Christmas season, we are reminded that so many have lost loved ones this past year and made arrangements in such difficult circumstances, often without the opportunity to share their grief with family and friends further afield.
In an ordinary year in each magazine the names of friends and members who have died would be included to help everyone to offer love and support to their families. But this has been no ordinary year! It wasn’t possible for us to include these kind of details in the online edition of the magazine as the potential audience is enormous. So let’s remember them now …..
Loving God, we understand what Christmas is,
the celebration of the birth of Christ and the joy that is found in Him.
But when we think of those we have known who won’t share the usual rituals and family traditions associated with this time of year, we’re sad.
Empty spaces in empty places mean that celebrations aren’t the same.
Be with us, and those who mourn, in our loss; surround us with your love and grace;
that this Christmas season we may still feel the peace that only Jesus brings
And reach out to those around us who need to know that presence in their lives. Amen.
A Thank you to the congregation of West Kirk from Mrs Margaret Lakie for the beautiful flowers and the kind comforting words on the death of her husband, Bill.
Pastoral Call and Flowers
If you know of someone who would benefit from receiving a Pastoral Telephone call or the Church flowers, then please can you complete the Pastoral Call/Flowers cards which can be found in the Vestibule. The completed card can be placed in the box situated at door as you exit the Church.
DUTY OFFICE BEARERS
06 Team 08 Alistair Ferguson, Team Leader
13 Team 09 David Langlands, Team Leader
20 Team 10 Audrey Shepherd, Team Leader
27 Team 01 Moira McIntosh, Team Leader
03 Team 02 Barbara Cargill, Team Leader
10 Team 03 David Spink, Team Leader
17 Team 04 Brian Cruickshanks, Team Leader
24 Team 05 Kathleen Lawrence, Team Leader
31 Team 06 Sonia Nelson, Team Leader
Church Flower Rota
December 2020 January 2021
6th Ruth Ferguson 3rd Flower Fund
13th Bill Clark
20th Christmas Flowers
27th Christmas Flowers
Flower Calendar 2021
Anyone wishing to donate flowers for the Church on Sundays, please phone Ruth Ferguson on 870152. The flowers are always appreciated by those who receive them, knowing our Church family are thinking of them.
As you will all remember GIFT DAY is coming up soon.
Due to the present crisis we feel it would be unwise to plan for the usual Coffee Morning but would like to mark Gift day.
The plan is to include a Gift Day envelope with the magazine in February so look out for that.
If you wish to make a donation then the envelope can be put into the plate on any Sunday.
Your donations will be very much appreciated.
Leprosy Mission Scotland
The collections from1st Dec 2019 up to 31st May 2020 amounted to £220-40p which I forwarded on 3rd June 2020. On receipt of this gift to them, they thank us sincerely. They send their blessings along with grateful thanks. Wishing us to stay safe through this pandemic.
Many Blessings to all.
I can now intimate that the amount donated to Leprosy Mission Scotland, from June 2019 up to November 2020 amounted to £202-83p plus the above mentioned collection gives a grand total of £ 423-23p. I am sure you will agree that this will be a much welcomed donation in respect of Leprosy Mission victims. In these difficult months that we have all had to cope with a big thank you for your generosity. Your gifts help greatly in the treatment needed.
God bless you all.
Collector on behalf of The Leprosy Mission Scotland.
One of the main things that we are missing as part of our Sunday worship is being able to sing in church and at Christmas time carols are a big part of our tradition.
So, if you enjoy singing and would like to be able to sing some carols safely from the comfort of your own home, then we have 2 opportunities for you.
In order to hear carols sung in church during December we are looking for musicians – a variety of instruments to record a carol for us in their home. We will send the recording to vocalists who, again in their own home will provide a sound recording to the melody and once put together we will be able to listen in church to carols played and sung by our very own musical stars.
If you would like to request a carol or offer to play an instrument or sing to the melody, then please contact Chris at the manse on 01241 554189 or email Christine.Hay@churchofscotland.org.uk or let me know in person before Sunday 6th December.
The second opportunity is going to be on Sunday 20th December between 6-7.30pm. Radio North Angus will be broadcasting “Doorstep Carols.” The first 10 minutes will be carols sung on the doorstep followed by a nine lessons and carols-type programme with readings drama and reflections. The carol recordings are going to be provided by local churches (we are providing at least one), carol sheets will be available to download from our Facebook page and website and bags of hope containing carol sheets and goodies, like hot chocolate, will be distributed to families in need. Watch out for more publicity in the coming weeks – we hope it will capture the imagination and enthusiasm of the whole community.
The Sunday school will not be having a Christmas party this year. Instead, we are giving the children money to purchase a gift, which is to be donated to the toy appeal.
The Sunday school will be on holiday on Sunday 27 December 2020 and Sunday 3 January 2021, restarting on Sunday 10 January 2021.
We wish everyone a happy and peaceful Christmas.
If you want to submit any of the magazine articles by e-mail then send it to :-
All material for the next issue of the magazine MUST be ready by Sunday 24th January 2021, thank you.
Arbroath West Kirk,
Keptie Street, Arbroath, DD11 3AZ
Tel: 01241 434721
Email address: firstname.lastname@example.org
OFFICE BUSINESS HOURS
Monday 9am – 11am
Tuesday 9am – 1pm
PLEASE NOTE: We are currently operating within tier 3 of the government guidelines. This means that the office is closed and I am working from home. Booking for Sunday services will be taken by telephoning 01241 434721 (call divert will be operating) on Monday & Tuesdays during office hours, thank you,
Myra Scoular, Church Secretary.
Change of Address
If you have moved house recently, or are about to move, either within or out-with the town,
please fill in the address slip below and return to the Rollkeeper, Mr D Atkinson, 3 Seaton Place, DD11 5DS, alternatively you can email your details to email@example.com