What’s on in and around the Village
STRATHKINNESS CHURCH has reopened post lockdown. Every Sunday morning at 11:45am. FACEMASKS MUST BE WORN!
- 23/05/2021 – Community Trust 9 – 11am in the Community Garden
- 30/05/2021 – Community Trust 9 – 11am in the Community Garden
- 09/06/2021 – Community Council AGM
- 31/10/2021 – Halloween
- 05/11/2021 – Bonfire Night
- 11/11/2021 – Remembrance Day
- 25/12/2021 – Christmas Day
School Holidays and In-Service days – opens in a new tab
From the Manse
As you know after decades of production the congregation was unable to continue publishing Kirk and Community. So let me start by thanking everyone who over the years both produced and distributed it allowing everyone in the village to be kept up to date with what was going on. I also want to say how good this new website is. Thanks to everyone involved in all the hard work establishing it. It’s clearly laid out and filled with much helpful information. I wish it every success and hope everyone who uses the site benefits from it.
This has been a strange period and the covid-19 pandemic has brought its own unique challenges and pressures to each and every one of us. The story everyone has to tell is different and will no doubt involve downs and ups. I sincerely hope and pray that, with such a large vaccine take up, as the country gently emerges from lockdown things will continue to steadily improve in terms of what we are allowed to do. One example, I’m pleased to say, is that 11.45am Sunday worship has been taking place in the church again since Palm Sunday. Congregational singing is not yet happening (at the tie of writing) and masks have still to be worn but it’s good to be worshipping beside others once more. Those who are hesitant to attend can still watch the live streamed worship from our linked church St Andrews: Hope Park and Martyrs at 9.45am each Sunday morning (www.hpmchurch.org.uk/worship) or if you have no internet access you can listen to the Sunday morning worship anytime by dialling 01334 585226.
The pandemic has had consequences on many groups and bodies. Take for example Debenhams a high street household name throughout all of our lives and yet now its shops are now closed. The Church of Scotland was talking about radical change before the pandemic and I have no doubt that emerging from lockdown will necessarily further hasten change. Many fewer people are training for ministry than are due to retire. Indeed 35% of ministers will be or will have reached the age of 65 by 2026. At present there are around 1000 ministerial posts (either filled or vacant) and this will be cut to around 600 filled and 60 vacant by 2025.
The Kirk’s General Assembly met in May and made big decisions about the future shape of the Church of Scotland. Let me quote from the Kirk’s national magazine Life and Work to give you a feel for the depth of the challenge that faces the church. The General Assembly “heard multiple stark warnings about the current state of the church and the urgent need for reform. The Convener of the Assembly Trustees, the Very Rev Dr John Chalmers admitted that the reforms would cause pain throughout the Church. He said: “We are well aware that this is not an easy ask. Every one of us is a member or minister serving in parishes that will be affected by this. We know reshaping the Church around this will involve painful decisions. But in the goodness and grace of God we trust.” The Rev Rosie Frew, Convener of the Faith Nurture Forum, said: “We are draining the resources of the Church – people, morale, finance – just to keep this broken system going. Without a radical treatment plan the Church of Scotland will not survive.” I do believe however that if in the church we do our best to discern and then faithfully follow the prompting of God’s Spirit then a changing landscape is also a place of opportunity.
I am writing this in sunshine in early June – after a cold May hopefully this warmth will continue and allow us to enjoy sunny summer months.
Take good care and stay safe. God bless you and those you love.