I’m very conscious as I write for the summer edition of our magazine of the sense of a set of scales, or perhaps a juggler trying to keep all the balls in the air at one time. As we move out of lockdown there are a whole series of things that need to be balanced to ensure everyone is as safe as possible but at the same time able to reconnect with friends and family and begin activities again.
On the one hand it’s really positive that the 50 maximum attending worship on a Sunday morning has been lifted and that from the start of June, provided we stay in level 2 or below we are permitted to have a small group sing in worship. The guidelines will also permit us to host informal hospitality which means that the Coffee Stop can recommence. The other side of the scales however is that all these activities are all subject to government guidelines and therefore activities can recommence but in not quite the same way as previously. They say that patience is a virtue and that’s certainly something that’s required at the moment! This edition of the magazine is up to date as of the First Minister’s announcements on Tuesday 1st June but obviously there will be changes as we go through summer. We will try to keep you as updated as possible of the changes and developments as they affect us via our website and Facebook pages.
In the meantime, starting with the Kiltwalk at the end of April and throughout the month of May there has been a fantastic effort by everyone to raise the profile of and fundraise for Christian Aid. Our efforts will go to not just this year’s Christian Aid week appeal focus but towards the support of the pandemic in India and the provision of basic items for protection against the virus – soap, masks, hand sanitiser etc, whilst people wait for the vaccine. A HUGE THANK YOU to everyone involved. There has also been a fantastic response to our annual Gift Day appeal. I am humbled by folks’ generosity in such challenging times.
Part of this magazine includes a brief summary of the General Assembly decisions last week (22-27th May). The Church of Scotland, in common with many parts of our society today, is looking at comprehensive restructuring as we emerge from two spells of lockdown. In this Pentecost season, as we reflect on the impact of the Holy Spirit on the lives of Jesus’ disciples and balance all that is required looking to the future, I’m reminded powerfully that it’s vital to listen for the prompting of that same Spirit to guide, challenge
and inspire us, as individuals, as a church family and community and as a national church as we go forward.
So, may I wish you a time of rest, relaxation and refreshment over the summer season and in that quieter time, may you feel the presence and power of that Spirit supporting and showing you the way ahead.
Wednesday 2nd 7.30pm Bible Study
Sunday 6th 11am Sunday worship, 1pm Zoom coffee and chat, 7pm Town Prayer Group on Zoom
Wednesday 9th 7.30pm Bible Study
Friday 11th 10am Coffee Stop
Sunday 13th 11am Sunday worship, 7pm Town Prayer Group on Zoom
Wednesday 16th 7.30pm Bible Study
Friday 18th 10am Coffee Stop
Sunday 20th 11am Sunday worship – Celebration of Holy Communion, 1pm, Zoom Coffee and Chat,
7pm Town Prayer Group on Zoom
Tuesday 22nd 7.30pm Angus Presbytery
Wednesday 23rd 7.30pm Bible Study
Friday 25th 10am Coffee Stop
Sunday 27th 11am Sunday worship – Sunday School End of Year Service & Trip to Discovery,
7pm Town Prayer Group on Zoom
Wednesday 30th 7.30pm Bible Study
Friday 2nd 10am Coffee Stop
Sunday 4th 10am Sunday worship
Friday 9th 10am Coffee Stop
Sunday 11th 10am Sunday worship
Friday 16th 10am Coffee Stop
Sunday 18th 10am Sunday worship
Friday 23rd 10am Coffee Stop
Sunday 25th 10am Sunday Worship
Friday 30th 10am Coffee Stop
Sunday 1st 10am Sunday worship
Friday 6th 10am Coffee Stop
Sunday 8th 10am Sunday worship
Monday 9th 7pm Kirk Session
Friday 13th 10am Coffee Stop
Sunday 15th 11am Sunday worship – Sunday School returns
Friday 20th 10am Coffee Stop
Sunday 22nd 11am Sunday worship
Friday 27th 10am Coffee Stop
Sunday 29th 11am Sunday Worship
Invitation to Communion – Sunday 20th June, 11am.
One of the most complicated things to organise under the current government guidelines is the sacrament of communion as it involves regulations around the elements, advice against elders moving about to distribute the elements and issues around tidying things away afterwards. At the same time celebrating Holy Communion is an important part of our life as Christians and I firmly believe that the Holy Spirit is more than powerful enough to work through whatever practical arrangements we make in order to worship in a service including communion.
As a result, we have decided to celebrate the sacrament of Holy Communion on Sunday 20th June at 11am. It will inevitably be organised differently and as part of that the usual communion cards will not be distributed by elders. However, the welcome will be exactly the same and we look forward to seeing as many of you as feel comfortable to participate in the Lord’s Supper then. The recorded service will also include an online celebration for those worshipping at home.
Reopening our buildings
The church sanctuary is now open for worship every Sunday. The previous maximum limit of 50 has been abolished and we have calculated what is called our “Physical Distance based Capacity Limit” which is the number of people that we can seat comfortably whilst maintain 2m distancing. Using the space in our balconies this is 89 when assuming 89 separate households, rising to 140 with some bubbles for couples and families included. There is no need to reserve a seat and I’m very grateful to our duty teams for ensuring that we follow our safety guidelines with a trace and protect, hand sanitisers, a one-way system and safe entry and exit from the building.
Form Sunday 6th June we will have the additional pleasure of hearing the choir singing the hymns. They will be seated on the chancel withy screens so providing them and everyone else with protection.
If you are unable or are still cautious about returning, our recorded service remains available online, also at 11am on a Sunday and Radio North Angus broadcast the service at 3pm. If you would like an email providing the link each week, please get in touch.
A small group from the Kirk Session are currently calculating the same physical distance limits for all other areas of the building and all groups and users of the premises have been contacted to find out when they would like to recommence. In order to start back every group must provide a risk assessment which meets all the government guidelines for their activity and this small group will work with all organisations to help them achieve this. My thanks to Audrey, Ross, David, Alistair and Myra for all their work in this respect.
We continue to make every effort to keep in touch with and improve our communication with as many as we can. Since we have been in level 2 visiting is now permitted and I have begun to take the opportunity to meet folk in their own environment. At the moment I usually call first to confirm that a visit is something folk are comfortable with. The enduring popularity of the recorded services has instigated the investigation of the possibility and now the installation of cables to facilitate internet access throughout the church buildings. This will allow all groups and potential users of our buildings additional facilities to use and it will also mean that we will be able to live stream our services so that everyone can watch exactly the same service at the same time. A recording will then also be available for those who watch at alternate times. I’m very grateful to Ross for facilitating and organising this.
Zoom still remains the platform for bible study and for coffee and chat after the service on alternate weeks at the moment and for Kirk Session and Presbytery meetings as the relaxations still do not allow for these to be “in-person.”
As the regulations change over the summer months, we will continue to update our website and Facebook page so please follow the following links for current information.
After 5 years representing Arbroath West as presbytery elder, Linda Bird is completing her time at the end of June. As our elder Linda has faithfully attended presbytery meetings and provided a report to our Kirk session which I’ve been really grateful for in the last few months. She has served longer than her term to provide continuity over the last few years and has been an ambassador for us working with members of other churches on presbytery initiatives. We thank Linda for all she has done and hope she won’t miss bi-monthly Tuesday’s at 7.30pm too much!
The opportunity to be still in the church sanctuary, to feel the presence of God and to offer your own prayers in a quiet space is something precious to many people. We are therefore considering opening the building during the week to offer this opportunity. Specific times have yet to be agreed but watch this space we will let you know when this is happening.
Remembering those we have loved…
Even in the short time since the last magazine there have been a number of deaths in the church family. Our thoughts and prayers go to all their friends and family as they adjust to a different life and routine in these uncertain times.
Loving God, as we approach the summer, a season of days out, family get togethers and meet ups with friends, we remember those who have died, their families and friends. Grant all those who have died the grace of your eternal light and life and console all those they have left behind. May they know your comfort and compassion and receive the love and support of friend and stranger so that they may know your peace and surrender those they have lost into your loving care.
CHURCH FLOWER ROTA
|6th – Diane & Justine McGill||4th – Audrey Cherry|
|13th – Lavinia & Leza Gibson||11th – Margaret Anderson|
|20th – Barbara Cargill||18th – VACANT|
|27th – Kath Thoresen||25th – Bowie Family|
|1st – Lorna & Rosemary Parker||5th – Edith Cargill|
|8th – Margaret McAndrew||12th – Karen Dear|
|15th – VACANT|
|22nd – Bill & Eileen McDonald|
|29th – Sonia Nelson|
NOTE WE HAVE 2 VACANT SPOTS IF YOU WOULD LIKE TO PARTICPATE PLEASE CONTACT RUTH FERGUSON DIRECTLY ON 01241 870152
DUTY OFFICE BEARERS
|6th Team 4 – Brian Cruickshanks||4th Team 8 – Alistair Ferguson|
|13th Team 5 – Kathleen Lawrence||11th Team 9 – David Langlands|
|20th Team 6 – Sonia Nelson||18th Team 10 – Audrey Shepherd|
|27th Team 7 – Lavinia Gibson||25th Team 1 – Moira McIntosh|
|1st Team 2 – Barbara Cargill||4th Team 7 – Lavinia Gibson|
|8th Team 3 – David Spink||11th Team 8 – Alistair Ferguson|
|15th Team 4 – Brian Cruickshanks|
|22nd Team 5 – Kathleen Lawrence|
|29th Team 6 – Sonia Nelson|
Pastoral Call & 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. Thank you.
As many of you know there is a box for USED POSTAGE STAMPS under the stair- well leading to the Centre balcony.
As we can now attend Church in greater numbers perhaps you would like to bring your used stamps and put them in the box.
Proceeds from these stamps go to help the work of National Mission.
If possible would you remove used stamps from envelopes leaving a small margin on each side, thank you.
I wish to intimate the collection for LEPROSY MISSION from Dec 1st to 31st May 2021 amounted to £174 -55p which although a lesser amount
than usual, is still very much appreciated. With lockdown affecting Church openings, and limited seating etc., it made it
difficult to maintain collections. Hopefully we shall get back to regular soon.
Sending many blessings to all.
West Kirk Rep for TLM Scotland
Now that we are able to worship every Sunday in our building and our numbers are less restricted, we are able to begin collecting again for the FOODBANK at OLD and ABBEY. Throughout the pandemic the Foodbank has been open, distributing food parcels when it wasn’t possible to access the building. One of the saddest effects of the last 18 months has been the challenges faced by those furloughed for lengthy periods of time, those who have been made redundant and those who have lost their livelihoods together with the small number of job vacancies advertised. The result has been an increase in demand for the support provided by Foodbanks. We’re therefore delighted that Jean, who is a volunteer at Old & Abbey and Earl Russell are prepared to collect our donations after worship and take them down to the Foodbank. If you are able to support this local care for the community by donating tins, packets of pasta, long life milk etc you can be sure it would be well used.
Throughout the time of pandemic there have been a small, dedicated team who have continued to hold individuals and church and community issues in prayer to whom we are all very grateful. May Herron coordinates a regular email highlighting requests which are treated in complete confidence.
Praying at home is something that we can all do, whether we are able to attend worship or not and is a vital and valued part of our church life so if you would like to receive regular updates on matters for prayer, please contact may at firstname.lastname@example.org
If you would like to contact May to let her know of a matter for prayer, please contact her by using the above email address or place your request in the prayer box provided as you enter the church each week. The slips will remain until safe to collect when they will be acted upon.
There’s also a town-wide time of prayer every Sunday evening on Zoom. Hosted by Scott and Elaine Anderson, it’s a great opportunity to join with other churches and pray for our local community. We start using the weekly prayer provided by Scottish church leaders and use that as the theme for each week. Everyone is welcome – Zoom link below.
Meeting ID: 898 7392 3460
The ladies Bowling club are looking for assistance with both laying and lifting the bowling carpeting they use during their sessions. They meet Wednesdays 10am till 12 noon, but not all year round. Please contact Kathleen Lawrence for more details. Your help would very much be appreciated.
As you will have read last month we hope to be able to meet soon for a ‘cuppy’ in the Large Hall.
Restrictions apply to us doing this and therefore much consideration will be needed to ensure the safety of all of us attending and ensuring we adhere strictly to the guide lines.
Look out for an update soon and keep your ear tuned to the intimations.
A very sincere thank you to all who have returned Gift Day envelopes this month. We have so far raised £2,335 and we thank you all for this.
In September we are continuing with our Stewardship Month and there will be more information on that in the September magazine.
Under our banner of “Together Towards Tomorrow“, we will be looking at TIME – how you use this in various different ways.
Best wishes from the Stewardship Group
We are now meeting in person again, in the large hall. We are all excited to be back. We are currently planning our summer trip. The children have chosen to go to either St Andrews Aquarium or RRS Discovery. Whichever one we go to, we will go to the other one in June 2022.
We are starting the Friday Coffee stop again on 11th June. The tables and chairs have been properly spaced out and we should be able to accommodate just over 40 people. Due to the spacing, the chatting will have to be done with fewer people at each table. Always remember we need to be 2 metres apart.
I have been in touch with everyone who is keen to help, and we have four teams – one team still needs one person. The magazine will not have been distributed until the 16th June, so I have given them dates for their Friday teams. I will type out the list and pin it up in the hall.
I am still short of at least four people as we normally have five teams. I’m looking for extra helpers. Let me know if you can help. You would be on duty once every five weeks, but if lots of people want to join in, it might be every six weeks!! We get to the hall between 9.00 and 9.30 and get the coffee/tea made, set the tables, and spend the morning pouring and serving until about 11.30ish then do all the clearing up.
Its good fun, and you can get a bit of chatting too along with the “customers” Thanks, Joan Macgregor
Christian Aid Week 2021
Many, many thanks to all who filled and returned the Christian Aid envelopes which went out with last month’s magazine. In total we raised £751.10. This was a new way of collecting for us but it has certainly proved to be very worthwhile.
Participation in the annual Kiltwalk has raised an additional £1,465 which will be increased by another 50% thanks to The Tom Hunter Foundation. This will see that total go up to over £2,000. Our final fundraiser, the 300,000 Step Challenge has raised £520.00.
We think you will agree that these are all wonderful sums of money. All in all, the West Kirk this year, has had an amazing fundraising week with a combined total in excess of £3,500.
Once again our sincere thanks go to everyone involved whether by donating, walking or helping in any way. As you know it is always a team effort. Thank you one and all!
Thank You NHS and Hospital Chaplaincy
The present Covid-19 pandemic has naturally focused our attention on health and the stresses the virus has placed on the NHS.
The NHS, established in 1948, is surely a wonderful blend of science, technology and personal care born out of a compassionate response to heal or ameliorate illness. Though for most people the physical and mental aspects most readily come to mind, health can also be acknowledged as being about body, mind and spirit. Hospital chaplains know the importance of spiritual care to health and wellbeing. At Ninewells Hospital there is a department of Spiritual Care and Wellbeing with a team of chaplains who support person-centred care built on their understanding that “spiritual care is part of the holistic care of people” and that, “caring and compassion are the focus of spiritual wellbeing”.
I have discovered this personally while receiving treatment at Ninewells and I am so grateful for the support that chaplains give. While the support focuses on spiritual care it is also thoroughly pragmatic and down-to-earth to aid patients, some of whom face a life changing or life ending diagnosis or treatment of serious injuries due to accident. Chaplains listen to life-stories, talk with and pray (by request) with patients, their families and the bereaved, as they share in the patient’s journey wherever that leads.
I will never forget the words of a chaplain on a first visit to me in the oncology day-care unit when he said “with regards to faith this is where the rubber hits the road” a neat phrase which put in a nutshell my feelings and combined with his advice to draw nearer to God, was just the encouragement I needed.
Hospital chaplaincy is a special calling and from personal experience I thank them for drawing alongside those in need of spiritual care at times of ill health, crisis or profound life changes by giving a sense of meaning to a new chapter in people’s lives.
Summer Activities for the Young at Heart
At the end of June our schools break up for the summer holidays. After the last school session, I’m sure that youngsters, teachers and parents are all ready for a break from restrictions, guidelines, and regulations and ready for some time to rest, relax and enjoy a thoroughly deserved break.
Not long into that break, however, it may well be that as children, parents and grandparents you are looking for something to do to make the best use of the holiday time so why not try the following:
Find 2 jam jars and label them – “Do it alone” or “Do with a friend.” Into the jars pop different challenges and activities that you can choose to do over the holiday period when there’s a quiet moment. You could even keep a chart of the activities you complete so that at the end of the holidays you can look back at all that you have completed.
Below are some suggested challenges, but you can make up your own. Though Sunday School also takes a break over the summer, I’ve still included some bible challenges!!
|Go to a park||Cinema and popcorn||Play a board game||Memorize a bible verse|
|Make something for someone else||Organise a treasure hunt for friends||Random act of kindness||Help a neighbour|
|Nature Scavenger Hunt||Water Fun||Go for a picnic||Cloud watching|
|Wash a car||Read a library book||Bake something||Draw a self portrait|
|Pray for someone||Go outside and count your blessings||Thank God for something||Learn to lip sync a song|
|Play hopscotch||Learn a new skill||Invent something||Make a comic book|
|Make a map of your neighbourhood||Make something for someone else||Sponge toss or run through the sprinkler||Tell someone that God loves them|
Arbroath West Kirk,
Keptie Street, Arbroath, DD11 3AZ
Tel: 01241 434721
Email address: email@example.com
On Facebook at Arbroath West Kirk
YouTube channel at http://www.youtube.com/channel/UC3tXCAWSP-YNx5x4Ph7EYfQ
Monday 9am – 11am
Tuesday 9am – 1pm
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. Thank you