I almost hesitate to set out for you today the situation we are at in our response to the impact of the Coronavirus as almost on a daily basis - the ‘goalposts’ just keep moving.
But, if you’re sitting comfortably, I will on this the 25 March 2020.
How are you and yours? I trust you are all as well as and coming to terms with the shifting seas that we find ourselves travelling through in these recent days.
Last Sunday morning when we launched our first ‘live streaming’ of an event from the Sanctuary at QPC my opening words were:
“Be strong and courageous. Do not be anxious or afraid and do not be discouraged. For the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go and whatever you have to go through.”
Inspiring and encouraging words to be found in Joshua 1 verse 9 and words spoken by God to Joshua in order to sustain and encourage him as he was about to lead God’s people into a new and unfamiliar land.
We too can be strengthened and encouraged as we hear God speaking such words to us today as we travel forward into, what is for all of us, a new and unfamiliar land.
Over the coming days we hope through our churches to be able to offer one another continued support and encouragement as we move forward on this unexpected journey.
So just how might we do that?
The best place to begin is our two church websites. Here you will find a range of insights and links to help you through the coming days.
The latest news then regarding how we have adapted life in our Churches begins with news that we have managed to establish an online service event going live each Sunday Morning at 10.30am.
This can be accessed by going to: http://www.qpcweb.org/live and for those without such computer technology of their own, as well as accessing it on a computer, it can also be accessed via an ipad, tablet, iphone or smartphone.
Look forward to seeing you on Sunday … ooops – rest assured I won’t be able to see you on Sunday! And fret not should you sleep in, we hope to have the recording on the website by Monday.
This week we took the decision to close down all our church buildings, this with the allowable exception of live streaming from the sanctuary at QPC. With our Church office now closed we’re delighted to reportthat Esther Conner, our Church Secretary, is now able to work from home so the usual services provided by Esther will still be accessible to us all. Just email Esther on firstname.lastname@example.org and she’ll pick up your messages (that’s the email ones not the shopping!).
Speaking of any practical or pastoral needs you may have, it is my understanding that the Scottish Government will issue news of their plans to provide support for folks before the week is out. However please don’t hesitate to contact the church office via email or by phone on 0131 -331 -1100 where phone messages will be checked twice daily and my own number will be on it for anything I or our Associate Minister Ann Inglis can help you with.
We are also hoping to create an opportunity for folks to join in a short act of worship each Thursday Morning at 9.30am, the time of our current Mid-week service. The plan is that we will put on the websites the text of the liturgy and insights that folks can download and read together at the same time as one another - week 1’s text can be found here. Again should the timing not be suitable for you it can be used at a time that does suit.
As is often the case some wise and hopefully inspiring responses to our situation emerge during a time such as this. The Rev Richard Frazer, currently the Moderator of Edinburgh Presbytery, wrote these thoughts to bring something of a spiritual response to the situation. Speaking of Moderators, The Right Rev Colin Sinclair, Moderator of the national Church is offering a live daily reflection on Facebook at 10am (here).
For those of you with access to an iPhone or iPad or equivalent a wonderful daily prayer and reflection app prepared by the team at 24/7 prayer led by Pete Grieg can be found here.
And fed up singing ‘Happy birthday’ when washing your hands especially since its not your birthday – why not pray the Lord’s Prayer… 20 seconds done !
It is also expected that there will be a reflective service broadcast on BBC1 Scotland at 12.15pm, on Sunday 29th March 2020; arrangements to facilitate this are ongoing.
Further opportunity to reflect on the spiritual aspects of the situation we find ourselves in can be accessed via a helpful link sent through from Anne Corbett. This takes us to Christian writer Philip Yancey’s blog which not only offers us his own ponderings on the situation but also that of Martin Luther!
Check it out here : https://philipyancey.com/living-in-plague-times
For our younger viewers I’m delighted to say that following some conversations with the Administrator of Fischy Music (who happens to be my wife Lesley and has her Fischy office set up in the spare room next door !) we can access a whole range of resources for Parents and Children of all ages. Simply go to the link below and this will take you to what Fischy can offer for parents and carers and also children. Here you will find details of their weekly “school” assembly and resources such as their website for children called Fischy Tunes and how to listen to them on Spotify.
So friends, be assured of my and Ann’s prayers and support for you and yours through this time and season and if ever there was a time for us to discover that the church isn’t a building but rather it’s you and me – its’ people, then it is surely going to be now!
Be strong and courageous – for the Lord – your God - is with you,
Rev David Cameron : Minister - Dalmeny and Queensferry Churches of Scotland