In the middle of our trouble and hard times here, just knowing how you’re doing keeps us going. Knowing your faith is alive keeps us alive. (1 Thessalonians 3:8, The Message)

 Dear Friends

You’ll probably know by now that Churches can’t meet together because of the Coronavirus. So many people are being affected in so many ways and it’s almost impossible to take in what is happening…

But God is in the midst of us. God says,

‘Don’t panic. I’m with you.

There’s no need to fear for I’m your God. I’ll give you strength. I’ll help you.’ (Isaiah 41:10)

I already know that Lenzie Union is full of faith and love for each other. As we trust in God, God will help us find new creative ways to reach out to each other and those around us with support and practical care. I’ve already seen this over the last few days.

We’ll give regular updates, but here are some details to begin with.

Caring for each other

Even though we can’t meet together, we are still going to be able to look after each other and pray for one another, our community, and the world.

  • Our Pastoral Assistant Donald Macleod (776 6235) can’t continue with pastoral visits. However, has offered to be a 24/7 pastoral support and to make and receive telephone calls to or from anyone who would like a chat or a prayer over the phone. He will try as much as possible to keep in touch by phone with those members he visits on a regular basis.
  • It’s great that people are already volunteering to help those who will find the next weeks and months especially difficult. If you are able and willing to join this list or know of someone else who might, please let your elder know.
  • If you need help at any time, for e.g. collection of prescriptions, letters or parcels, posting mail, shopping, or simply want to chat etc., then your elder is your first point of contact. Your elder will tell you the name of the person who will be helping you with your request. Understandably some elders will be unable to help you on a practical level due to their own situation but they will be able to pass on your concerns and requests to one of the volunteers.

Worshipping God Together

Even though the Church building isn’t open, we are still going to be able to worship together each week. Starting on 22nd March there will be services from Lenzie Union each week. Dan will lead a shorter morning service each week. These services will be recorded in the Church (unless Dan is self-isolating or there are further restrictions on movement and they need to be recorded in the Manse).

  • Watch the service on YouTube – on a computer or smart TV etc search for Lenzie Union Parish Church YouTube. The services will be available from 8am each Sunday morning. Search for this link : https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCsCfV7w5HynqLU7SzJY5T9A and subscribe to it. We’ll email this to all our contacts, and it will be on the Church website and Facebook page.
  • Listen to the service – on the Church website (this is already available)
  • CDs. These will continue to be delivered each week to those who already get them. If you would like to start receiving CDs we’d love to deliver them to you. Please just let your elder know.

Keeping in contact

  • We want to do all we can to keep in contact with everyone who wants to keep in contact with Lenzie Union.
  • One of the easiest ways to keep in touch is Email. If you have email, send an email to your elder or to me (minister@lupc.org) If you’re not  on email you  can phone  your elder to ensure that they have your number.
  • If you are on social media, there will be regular updates and Kim Halliday has already been posting ideas and activities for children and young people

Praying

Church leaders are encouraging Christians to join in a National Day of Prayer on Sunday 22nd March at 7pm. The idea is everyone lights a candle and places it in a widow and joins in this specially written prayer:

For all that is good in life, thank you,

For the love of family and friends, thank you,

For the kindness of good neighbour and Samaritan stranger, thank you.

May those who are vulnerable, hungry or homeless, experience support,

May those who are sick, know healing,

May those who are anxious or bereaved, sense comfort.

Bless and guide political leaders and decision-makers, with wisdom,

Bless and guide health workers and key workers, with strength and well-being, Bless and guide each one of us, as we adapt to a new way of living.

And may the light shining from our windows,

across road and wynd, glen and ben, kyle and isle,

be reflected in our hearts and hands and hopes.

Through Jesus Christ our Lord, Amen.

Let’s keep together and keep in touch. This will really make a difference to all of us, as Paul wrote: ‘In the middle of our trouble and hard times here, just knowing how you’re doing keeps us going. Knowing that your faith is alive keeps us alive.’ (1 Thessalonians 3:8)

With love, and prayers,

Dan Carmichael (776 3831 minister@lupc.org )