As I write this letter I can see three fox cubs playing in our garden whilst their mother sits on our garden wall diligently watching over them. They appear each evening through a gap in our fence and they have brought us delight but also damage as the mother has dug a few deep holes in our grass to store their food! When the fox clubs play, she is never far away, keeping a watchful eye upon them from above whether sitting on the wall or the top of our garage.
Presently we are living through uncertain times. At times we feel afraid and anxious, we miss loved ones, going to social groups, days out, meeting a friend for a coffee. We hear mixed messages from the news and we are told that even when things get back to some kind of normality, social distancing will need to continue. Sometimes we feel lonely and isolated and the days can seem long and unending. Or perhaps we are worrying about our family and friends, those whom we know who are key-workers, those who are currently serving on the front line?
As a church family we miss being together, gathering on a Sunday in our beautiful church. People are missing our dementia friendly singing group, our Thursday Club, Time Out and other groups which meet during the week in our church halls. We miss our music, our choir and organist. There is so much that we miss but throughout it all we know that God is still with us. Like the mother fox who diligently watches over her cubs in our garden, God is with us at all times, every second of the day and every moment of the night. There is never a time when God is not beside us during this pandemic, holding us, caring for us, strengthening us, loving us.
As a church we have had to adapt to this pandemic in a very short period of time with no warning. Worship has now moved online and can be accessed through our website and Facebook page and our prayer group and Bible study meet via online through Zoom. Each Thursday evening at 8pm Mary and David Calder ring our church bells in gratitude for all our key workers.
During this lockdown building maintenance continues and we have just had a new boiler fitted. We look forward to that glorious day when we are able to meet again in our beautiful sanctuary, but meantime we do our best to be church in a completely different way. We are journeying through unknown territory but we know that God is with us and this promise gives us hope.
If you or your family need any help and assistance with regard to shopping, collecting prescriptions, or posting letters then please telephone myself on 0141 573 5006. We have a group of volunteers in our church who would be delighted to help you in any way that they can.
Also if you need a chat and a listening ear then don’t hesitate to call myself on the number highlighted above. If I am out, then please leave a message on the answering machine and I will return your call as soon as I can. The prayer group is also happy to pray for anyone whom you are concerned about on a regular basis. If you would like the prayer group to pray for a person or situation then please contact the minister. Your request will be treated with the utmost confidentiality.
God promises that whatever we face in life, he is forever with us and each one of us is never alone. I leave you with the beautiful words of Psalm 121 for you to gain comfort from during this uncertain time, words which echo this eternal promise:
‘If I lift up my eyes to the hills-
where does my help come from?
My help comes from the Lord,
the Maker of heaven and earth.
He will not let your foot stumble-
he who watches over you will not slumber,
indeed, he who watches over Israel
will neither slumbers nor sleep.
The Lord watches over you-
the Lord is your guardian at your right hand;
the sun will not harm you by day,
nor the moon by night.
The Lord will keep you from all harm-
he will watch over your life;
the Lord will watch over your coming and going
both now and forevermore.’
May God bless you abundantly and keep you safe,
Your minister and friend,