(a) our Convener Graham thanks everyone for all the prayers and good wishes while he was off; he is making a good recovery, still has one minor op on his eye to come, so prayers will continue to be appreciated!
(b) Congratulations to Salvation Army Officers Kathryn and Andrew Howe on the birth of their daughter (Lily) on Sunday past; this is their first child, and all are doing well
(d) The Bield will re-open on 11th May, and looks forward to welcoming visitors. Marianne also announces:
The Retreat Association has been given a beautiful icon of Jesus’ encounter with the woman at The Well and it is touring different retreat centres. For this month we are hosting the icon at the Bield and offering some half-hour services around the icon. The remaining ones are on Saturday 17th April at 11am and Wednesday at 21st April 11am. To keep up with Covid precautions, we need to know numbers and names, so if folk are interested in coming along to one of the services, please write to Muriel on firstname.lastname@example.org. You are welcome to walk in the walled garden and grounds in conjunction with the service.
(e) The Baptist Church are eagerly awaiting the arrival of thier new minister Rev Eder Ferraz Goncalves, who is originally from Brazil, and has been for the last few years at South Leith Baptist Church.
(f) The Shawl Ministry has distributed a fair number of shawls during lockdown, and have received a number of letters expressing appreciation of this thoughtfulness. For further info about the Shawl Ministry contact either Moira Laing or Mary Wright.
(g) St Ninian’s Cathedral, like many other of our member churches, is again open for Sunday worship – they are also open for private prayer, generally from 9.30 – 12.30 Monday to Thursday.
(h) Stella from the Society of Friends urged us all to be aware of the many resources available on line for use by churches and religious groups in the run up to COP21. I will also forward an e-mail re Hustings which Stella has asked me to send round all PACT churches.
In addition to the above, we heard that almost all of our churches have re-opened for public worship; many are also using streaming technology, newsletters and other ways of keeping in touch with congregations. The challenges of the restrictions (having to book beforehand, the ban on car-sharing, etc) were balanced against some of the advantages of the new technology which many churches have embraced (reaching a wider audience.) But we acknowledged that all churches will be re-evaluating how we do things as we move out of lockdown, looking to hold on to what has worked well, and developing new ways of doing mission.