(The following was circulated electronically and by post (to those without an email address registered with us) on Wednesday, 10/02/2021):
Monday 8th February 2021
I trust that you are all keeping well and safe. It is encouraging to hear that a good number of our congregation have already received the vaccine.
Our church magazine should be published again in March, and so this is a brief update on one or two matters.
- Firstly our Ash Wednesday Service on the 17th February will be on our webpage on Wednesday www.stjohnsdumfries.org.
- Secondly we are offering some Lent Courses via Zoom which can be accessed either by video or by telephone. The following Lent Courses are happening
- Monday 15th February at 7:30 pm via Zoom
- Kay Solaja is leading a group on the material from the book “Saying Yes to Life” which is the Archbishop of Canterbury’s Lent Book 2020. “As people made in the image of God, we are entrusted to look after what God has created: to share in God’s joy and ingenuity in making a difference for good. Ruth Valerio imaginatively draws on the days of creation as she relates themes of water, light, land, the seasons, other creatures, humankind, Sabbath rest and resurrection hope to matters of environmental, ethical and social concern”
- If interested please contact Kay [via the Church Office: 07754 596140].
- Tuesday 23rd February at 6:30 pm via Zoom
- David Kerr is leading a group based on the material from “The Prayers of Jesus” by Amy Boucher Pye.
- It is suggested participants buy the Study Guide, The Prayers of Jesus, obtainable at https://www.waverleyabbeyresources.org/product/cover-to-cover-lent-study-guide-prayers-of-jesus/ (£5.99 + P&P) or through Amazon. Can also be ordered on your behalf, on request.
- Register by calling 07754 596140 / pastadmin AT stjohnsdumfries DOT org
- Thursday 25th February 6:30pm via Zoom
- The Rector is leading a group based on material from the book “Holy Week Voices from the Holy Land.” Poems and Reflections for Lent and Easter by Fr Richard Nesbitt, forewords by Cardinal Vincent Nichols and Archbishop Justin Welby. In each session there is a poem, a Biblical passage and a true life story from the Holy Land. In an imaginative way the poems follow Jesus in his final days leading to his Passion, Death and Resurrection while the reflections connect his experiences with those of the embattled Christian minority still witnessing to Christ in the Holy Land. This book can be purchased for £7.99 from Amazon.
- To take part contact 01387 254126 or 07487 653069 / rector AT stjohnsdumfries DOT org
- Sunday 21st February 3:00-4:00pm via Zoom, (if Covid precautions allow, then the group will meet outdoors as well)
- Simon Lidwell is leading this group based on material from “Knowing Jesus” Published by the Jesuits in Scotland and linked to BBC Radio 4’s Sunday Worship and Daily Worship, under the title, Pathways to God.
- How to join https://www.wordsmithcrafts.co.uk/Quartz/prayers/knowing-jesus/
- Monday 15th February at 7:30 pm via Zoom
- Thirdly we are so grateful to God for his provision, in that we now have a warm church. S&D have installed two new boilers as well as transforming the boiler room by putting in a new cement floor, some new pipes and two new flues. We have a 100kw boiler and a 60kw boiler and at present only the 100kw boiler is connected. We need a greater gas supply to the gas meter before we can connect the other 60kw boiler, so enquiries are currently being made. For now we will work off the one boiler which is what we have been doing for many years. Already we can feel a difference with the new boiler, it is much more effective in heating the church than what we have experienced previously. S&D have done a terrific work and we are appreciative of their hard work and diligence. Thanks to Peter for linking with Stan from S&D and overseeing the work and thanks to David for linking with our insurers. We are still awaiting some money from the insurers but it looks as though most of the cost will be covered.
- Fourthly we have covered the cost of our new lighting. Two loans have now been repaid and once we receive the VAT reclaim from our last bill we will be in a position to repay the third loan.
God has been good to us in so many ways. We are thankful for his unfailing love and kindness to us and for his generous provision to us as a church in material and financial matters.
At present no one knows when our churches will be allowed to reopen. However, I am wondering if in March the church might be open again with restricted numbers for Holy Week and Easter. I have asked Jill and Andrew Baker to do our 12:00-3:00pm Good Friday reflections. If the church is not open, then we will put one of their reflections on our webpage each day in Holy Week.
I do hope we can meet soon in the church, till then take great care.