Dear beloved member of Johnstone High
The Kirk Session met by Zoom on Tuesday 21 July to discuss the reopening of the church. A considerable amount of work had gone into the planning of how it could work, but the final conclusion was that it wasn’t the right time or the right way in which to gather for worship. We know that many of you will be disappointed, but we also know that an even greater number of you will be relieved. We have many elderly members who are not in the best of health and we had to consider whether or not they would be able, or even willing, to come to church at this time. In the current climate, the reality is that it’s just not safe enough to reopen the church, and worship would be so curtailed with all the restrictions that it would surely be a disappointment to you. Worship will still be offered weekly via our Facebook page, and our Church Website. This worship from the safety and comfort of your own home seems the safest and most sensible option for the time being, so get the kettle on!
However, we do have a worry about finance. We knew we were struggling, even before we received an email from Presbytery. Edinburgh is concerned at how far behind we are with our payments. In round figures, we should have paid Edinburgh £30,000 by this time, and we’ve only managed £14,000.
We know that many of you have been saving up your ‘collection’. For those who have been chucking their envelopes in the back of a drawer somewhere, please contact your Elder, and he or she will make arrangements to have them uplifted. If you have envelopes, please put them in a plastic bag, similarly with cash if you normally put your offering in the plate, and your Elder will arrange collection. If the Elder cannot do this personally, they will let you know who will collect on their behalf. Each Elder will then pass everything to Mrs Jeanette Crawford who is the Offerings Convener.
If you haven’t already done so, please consider giving by regular Standing Order or BACS payment for single donations. It is actually possible to give in this way for a short time and then to cancel whenever you want. Contact Ann MacMillan Email firstname.lastname@example.org 01505 342725 or 07847 312896 for the details you need to set this up.
Ann is also happy to accept cheques made out to Johnstone High Parish Church. Send to: Mrs Ann MacMillan, 36d High Street, Johnstone, PA5 8AH
I am glad to say that Barrhead: St Andrews has a Sole Nominee. His name is Revd Tim Mineard, who will preach for them on Sunday 16th August. This is good news for the congregation who have been vacant since the end of June last year. Only 50 of the congregation will be in the church on that Sunday so everyone else will have to hear Tim via internet and live webcast. Normally there would be a vote after the service, but this will have to be done by post. Interesting and challenging times, but at least my job there as Interim Moderator may be over in a couple of months.
Next week’s service, 2nd August, will come from the Moderator of the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland, and on the following Sunday, 9th August, the service will be conducted by Christine Johnstone. I hope to be on holiday for these two Sundays so I won’t be doing a letter for these weeks. Pastoral cover will be given by Revd Gray Fletcher.
I may have some administration for Barrhead: St Andrew’s as things progress for them, but hopefully I’ll still get a break. The last two occasions when I should have been on holiday didn’t happen, so fingers crossed this time. My nephew and his family are coming down from Skye so that should be nice. I’ll need to pray for sunshine.
Finally, on behalf of the Kirk Session, we are really sorry that the church isn’t opening yet. When we eventually return to worship we want to do so with a healthy congregation, so please keep the faith, and keep well.