Dear Granton Parish Church
There is no escaping that we live in challenging times. Both at home and all over the world Covid-19 is increasingly disrupting the patterns of life we have all become so accustomed to.
So much is changing so fast with what we are recommended to do and what we are allowed to do that like you we are closely watching for each new update.
Whatever happens we want to assure you that your health and your wellbeing are at the top of our concerns. Alongside that we intend to keep living out Jesus calling to be salt and light in our community as long as we are able. We will not be doing anything that puts either of these at risk.
On Sunday 15th March the Kirk Session met to consider what action we should currently take and you can see what was decided in the following points. Please be assured that as the guidance changes we shall keep these under review:
CLEANING In addition to our regular cleaning we are asking each group that uses our buildings to increase their own cleaning regime. We have prepared and sent to each group a checklist for cleaning the areas they are using and expect them to strictly adhere to this. Cleaning supplies will be made available for any group that does not have their own.
FEELING UNWELL? For anyone who is feeling unwell we are asking they do not come into the building. It’s common sense that if you are unwell you stay at home.
However, please let us know that you are unwell because we want to make sure people are safe, can get supplies, medications etc.
KEEP IN TOUCH There is no need for anyone to be cut off from the community. We are relying on people to tell us though because we don’t have a crystal ball and won’t know unless they do!
SUNDAY SERVICES will continue with a few temporary changes. Starting at 10.30 and open to everyone as usual, we will no longer be shaking hands at the door or at service start. People have been bumping elbows, smiling at each other or using some other form of greeting. What’s important is not the form of greeting but knowing that you are part of our church family and very welcome.
COMMUNION It’s been our practice to celebrate communion once a month using what is known as the common cup. This is where we pass a chalice of wine and a platter of bread from one to another. Rather than stop communion, we have been advised to introduce a temporary change whereas of now we will use individual glasses that can be cleaned, and squares of bread. We will return to our normal common cup as soon as practicable.
We are currently looking to start streaming our Sunday services for anyone who feels they can’t get to church. Over the next few weeks go to the Church Facebook page where you will see how to do this. Please bear with us as this is new and there will probably be a few teething issues. We are also exploring ways of having meetings and groups online.
more about streaming
Outside Sunday we have decided to stop a few things but mostly to keep going with as much as we can. Messy Church will take a break until after the summer as will the Community Film Nights. This week will be the last meeting of the Ladies Fellowship until the autumn. Share ‘n’ Wear, Magic Carpet, Lunch Club, Coffee Morning, Boys’ Brigade, Men’s Bowls and Men’s Breakfast will all continue but with increased emphasis on hygiene and hand washing.
People are afraid of what could happen because so much is unknown. It is natural at such moments to want to spend time with God.
That is why over the next few weeks the church will be open at different times for people to come and sit and pray. Look out for the signs that say, ‘Church open for Prayer’ and just walk in. You will find a quiet space to gather your thoughts and connect with God.
In concluding this update let me add a couple of things.
No one wanted or looked for this situation we now find ourselves in. No one has done anything that deserves it or warrants it. This is not God punishing us or any other silly nonsense like that. If any of us had a choice, we would not choose to be in a time like this. Yet here we are.
Our choice is how do we react? What do we do? Some have chosen to close their doors on everyone else and see to it that they themselves are going to be ok. That is not our way. We are the people of God, followers of Jesus, who were tasked with going into the world and being the good news. Therefore, if you are able, we encourage you to help your neighbours. Be there for each other, show by example the difference faith makes to life. If you yourself need help, do not be too proud to ask. In everything remember, we are family.
We have prepared these two cards for you to use. The first lets us know if you need help. The second you might put through the door of a neighbour so they know you are there to help them.
As the situation evolves we will continue to update you. Please pray for all those affected, for our community and for our church. In everything trust God for he will not let you down.
I’m absolutely convinced that nothing—nothing living or dead, angelic or demonic, today or tomorrow, high or low, thinkable or unthinkable—absolutely nothing can get between us and God’s love because of the way that Jesus our Master has embraced us.
Your Friend and Minister