Newsletter 13 Aug 2021

The following items this week:-     

     

Sunday Worship – some restrictions lifted – but booking for services still required and face coverings still to be worn both while seated and singing.  

Future Ministry at Belhaven – brief update  

Prayer for Leaders and Prayer Resources    

The Guild – first meeting Tuesday 5 October 

Jungle Adventures Holiday Club – brief update 

The Assembly Trustees: The Church of Scotland – how to keep abreast of wider developments in the denomination 

Lay Pastors Training Opportunity 

Practical Mission - the Acorn Project – a webinar on 17 August, 7.30 – 8.30pm  

Plastic Bottles – still required  

Please Remember Items – services and online activities.     

  

SUNDAY WORSHIP:  As many of you will know, there have now been substantial reductions in the pandemic restrictions.  However, the key word is caution and a number of the restrictions, some no longer in law, are still advised as continuing good practice for the time being.  Face coverings are still required in some indoor settings, as a matter of law, and so these will still be required in church, both while seated and while singing.  The one meter distancing rule, now not in law, is still advised; the cordons on alternate pews have been removed – but please remain vigilant on distancing. Lastly, we will still be operating a booking system for track and trace purposes – in common with many other places where people gather.  So please adhere to the booking arrangements currently operating; book (each Sunday) ideally by e-mail on This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. by 5pm on the Thursday prior to the Sunday in question.  Please give your name and a contact telephone number. If not able to e-mail please telephone 07484 897871 and leave a message – again with the same information and on the same timescale. 

 

Further changes are to be announced towards the end of the month and it may be that some of the existing restrictions can be removed then.    

  

James Wildgoose 

 

FUTURE MINISTRY AT BELHAVEN:  Earlier in July, I reported that Belhaven representatives would be meeting with Presbytery representatives for an initial exchange on the future ministry at Belhaven.  This meeting took place earlier this week.  It was a good exchange.  We were able to express thoughts freely and received a listening ear.  It is of course very early days in our discussions with no decisions reached; it is likely to be some time before we come to that point.  The Kirk Session will be considering matters further at its meeting at the end of August.  As far as possible we will seek to keep the congregation informed of developments, and, as indicated previously, there will be an opportunity, in due course, for congregational input to discussions on the future. 

 

James Wildgoose  

  

PRAYER FOR LEADERS – AND PRAYER RESOURCES: OnWednesday mornings, 9-10am, some of us meet at The Stables to pray for the people who are leading us through change. Anyone is welcome to attend.  For further information please contact Alison Murray on 07823 469 472 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..  If you are not able to make it to these meetings, a set of prayer cards is available to assist you on your own prayers for our leaders.  If interested in these please again contact Alison as above. 

 

Alison Murray 

  

THE GUILD:  As noted previously, plans have now been laid for restarting Guild meetings.  The first meeting is on Tuesday 5 October. For further information please contact me by e-mail on This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..  Thank you.    

  

Jessie Gold 

 

JUNGLE ADVENTURE HOLIDAY CLUB:   The Holiday Club has just finished a fun week of activities in Lochend Woods. A full report will follow once the team have caught their breath. For now though, many thanks for the prayer support and interest that has spurred the team on and enabled so many children and families to have a great week learning about Jesus. Here’s a few pictures to give a flavour of the activities. 

 

 

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Richard Taylor 

 

THE ASSEMBLY TRUSTEES; THE CHURCH OF SCOTLAND:  As many of you will be aware, the Church of Scotland is going though a period of radical change, a change started well before the pandemic, but given very much renewed impetus by it.  Some key decisions lie ahead. The Assembly Trustees body was established in 2019 after a Special Commission concluded that the existing structures – at the centre of the denomination – could not deliver the radical change needed by the Church. The new trustee body is more powerful than the Council of Assembly.  It has greater transparency and accountability and answers to the General Assembly.  The changes they oversee and recommend are likely to have a profound impact throughout the denomination, so it is very much worth keeping in touch with their thinking.  They regularly publish reports of their work and these can be viewed at the following link: 

 

https://www.churchofscotland.org.uk/about-us/our-structure/assembly-trustees 

 

LAY PASTORS TRAINING OPPORTUNITY:  Lothian Presbytery has developed a lay Pastor scheme.  Six people have just completed their training as Lay Pastors. They found the experience incredibly rich and valuable. One said, ‘I didn’t know what I had and it helped me discover what I had and what I could do.’  Another said, ‘I’m surprised by how far I’ve come.’  A third, ‘It helped me discern the call to serve God.’ 

 

This autumn there will be the opportunity for another group to train as Lay Pastors. Do you 

  • Sense a call from God to serve his Church in the Presbytery? 
  • Wonder whether there might be scope to do this beyond what you are currently doing? 
  • Want to get stuck in but know you aren’t quite ready for it? 

 

If you are interested to find out more, please e-mail me onThis email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and I’ll forward further information. 

 

James Wildgoose 

 

PRACTICAL MISION: THE ACORN PROJECTThis year's General Assembly approved a motion by the Faith Nurture Forum to "Urge congregations to adopt the ACORN Programme as a means to help members practise mission at grass roots level, and through support in small groups, to gain confidence in effective discipleship."  ACORN is a way to connect Christians with the work God is doing in others through caring conversation. It has been trialled in a host of Church of Scotland settings in the last year, and for many, it really works.   

 

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The Faith Nurture Forum is holding a webinar on Tuesday 17th August from 7.30-8.30pm and are delighted to have Michael Harvey (ACORN, Weekend of Invitation, Back to church Sunday) join us, along with Paul Haringman (MDS Inverness Presbytery) for an opportunity to hear more about the Acorn process, as well as first-hand experience from those who have taken part in this over the summer.  Anyone interested in this is welcome to attend the webinar.  

 

For more information on this initiative contact Robbie Morrison (Mission Development Worker (West) on This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..  To register your place on the webinar, please follow this link - https://acorn_update.eventbrite.co.uk  

 

PLASTIC BOTTLES: Thank you very much to all who are bringing plastic bottles to church for Maryclare.   Please could you continue with this until there you see a notice saying that we have enough!  

  

PLEASE REMEMBER    

         

  James Wildgoose

© 2021 Belhaven Church. The Church of Scotland - Scottish Charity number SC011353