16th August 2020
Dear friends in Crail and St Ayle,
We are settling in to life here, and that is greatly aided by all the hard work and care that has been lavished on the manse and gardens in the last six months or so. Neilian and I are very grateful for all the attention, thought and action and all done in a challenging time for such a project. Thank you to all involved! We (between unpacking!), have been exploring the area, as well as starting to meet some of you in the parishes. Of course, it’s a strange way to come to be your minister, by zoom induction, and without the usual services of worship, yet we are all, to varying extent, now operating in a changed way of life, the’ new normal’ as some have said.
As I was preparing the Reflection for this Sunday, I thought about this idea of ‘left-overs’. That word can point us to something ‘less and diminished’, yet can also lead us to imaginative use what we have in the moment. We all know what tasty meals can come from left-overs! I think that these last six months or so can leave us all reeling a bit, and we are surviving on what is ‘left over’, and what we can glean. Yet consider Ruth and the Canaanite woman in our readings today, what changed outcomes: who would have thought! They were tenacious and kept going in faith, kindness and compassion. Good lessons here for us.
And I know that many of you will be wondering as to what this means in terms of church worship. From the head offices of the church, has come much information/guidelines regarding what is permissible regarding re-opening. This advice is forever changing. Suffice to say that both Kirk Sessions - in Crail and St Ayle, are shortly, at the beginning of the week commencing 24th August, going to meet separately to consider what is preferable, for each parish. In this coming week, there will be informal discussions locally as to what physical form worship could take, what social distancing is required, what protection would be necessary, the question of limited numbers etc.
It is very fitting then that the Moderator of the General Assembly has called for this coming week to be a week of prayer for church and country. So, in these days of next week may we listen attentively to what the Spirit of God will say to us. Every day of the week there will be reflections on the Church of Scotland website - churchofscotland.org – please look if you can, and be assured that we will keep everyone informed of how we will all go forward.
And in the meantime, let us all move on in faith in uncertain times, with a lightness of touch and with a spirit of trust in the Lord to lead us in the right paths.
Best wishes to you all