I wish you every blessing on this Easter Monday. This is a day of rest after an unusual Easter season and a time to give thanks for all that was accomplished in the past weeks. It has been the strangest Easter I have ever experienced but to focus on what we couldn't do would be to ignore all the good and the blessings received.
I am extremely grateful to those who participated in our broadcast worship – Mary, Alex and Marion plus the readers and the Young Church leaders. The viewing figures on the website and Facebook were very encouraging.
The ‘coffee’ meeting after the service on Zoom was appreciated by those who participated, and we will repeat this again on Sunday from 11:30 onwards.
We publicised the Good Friday worship and the summary from Facebook is below. An amazing number of people looked at the video at least for a little while, most of whom were in the younger age groups which is very encouraging.
The viewing figures for Sunday’s Easter worship were also high, though without the Facebook placement they were smaller – but Facebook still reported 250 views of the service to which can be added the 12 people who viewed from the website.
Most of our staff, Helen, Amy, Anne and Marion are now furloughed, i.e. they will continue to receive their pay and we as a congregation will receive 80% of the costs back through the system of support which the Government announced. This will go a little way to filling the rather large hole left by the removal of rental income, the cancellation of the Fringe, and of course the Sunday envelope and cash collection.
Alex, Mary and I met this morning to prepare for the coming weeks, and arrange a rota of events. We will continue to prepare Sunday worship, and also a midweek meditation so we could say that the Wednesday services will continue, though people need to provide their own lunch. We encourage everyone to share the services by liking the and sharing them where appropriate.
In calling round many people in the congregation these past few weeks I have discovered that others have done the same and encourage you to continue to do this. The period of lockdown is very likely to be extended for a while longer and people will continue to need encouragement and support. We are aware of the many needs people have, especially those who are isolated, struggling with work or ensuring they have food and other necessities. In my calling around I have not come across anyone who had neither a family member nor neighbour helping them to get food supplies so supplies do not appear to be a problem at this stage, but please be on the alert and let me know if you find anyone in that situation. A number of younger members have offered to shop and deliver food.
A greater problem outside our area is that foodbanks are running out of supplies, but rather than organise something separately I would encourage people to donate cash directly to foodbanks online.
Finally, and sadly I received news from Rachel this morning that Margaret McGregor’s brother-in-law has died aged 91. I spoke to Margaret myself this afternoon and the death was not unexpected, but it is sad that she cannot visit her sister who lives nearby. Our sympathy and prayers are with Margaret and her family.