Pastor’s Update 29 March 2020
NOTICE about our church pastoral response to COVID-19
Our aim is to respond in a Christ like manner to this current crisis; following the command to love our neighbour and minister to those most vulnerable and in need. We would seek to care for the whole person and help where we can with physical, emotional and spiritually needs. As a Church family we are
- Making a pastoral phone call to all in our church family – by Pastor, elders, home group leaders and pastoral care team.
- Contacting the leaders of the community organisations connected with our church and outreach ministries to raise awareness that we are ready to help if we can.
- The Listening Ear Service will offer emotional support and Janet Logue will assess the need and if we can help.
- Providing a certain amount of “Emergency Care Packs” for the sick / those in hardship
- Providing help with practical needs such as picking up prescriptions / medicines for the housebound and those in isolation.
- Referring on to other agencies if we can’t help.
We have a team of volunteers at CCC ready to serve. We are also working closely with other local churches. We will also highlight the help that is available from Highland Council and Highland Food Bank complimenting the good work that they are doing.
If you want to find out more about this please contact Janet Logue. firstname.lastname@example.org
With every blessing in Christ
Pastor Alasdair Macleod
Pastor’s Update 21 March 2020
As a church family and as a nation we are living in a challenging and unsettling time because of the Coronavirus epidemic. The decision to suspend all church services and activities was a great shock but necessary in order to comply with government instructions to combat the spread of this very infectious disease.
It is a time of great uncertainty:
- We are concerned for young people and students may be anxious about the sudden end of the term and the grades that they will be given for this last year.
- We are concerned about people who are abroad and how they will return. Like Rory and Suzie Dobson in the Philippines.
- We are concerned about the vulnerable in our families and community. Those who are older and those who have underlying medical conditions that put them at a higher risk.
- We are concerned for those who have to self-isolate due to ill health.
- We are concerned about how we will cope with a prolonged period of distance from normal social contact. Parents who have to care for their children for an unknown number of weeks.
- We are concerned about those who are facing financial problems as the economy suffers, as some may go on to unpaid leave.
- We are concerned for those in leadership and authority who will be carrying an extra load during this time. Please pray in particular for those working in the NHS, for politicians, for business leaders and for those involved in the distribution of food and medical supplies
“Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.” 1 Peter 5:7
It is vital that we do not allow our anxiety to stop us from praying. Let us bring each of the situations we are concerned about to our heavenly Father who cares for us and his world.
If you need help to get started why not use some of the headings in this prayer:
We are concerned and yet we need not be afraid because God is with us and God is in control.
“He is our refuge and strength. An ever present help in times of trouble. Therefore we will not fear…” Psalm 46:1
May the Lord use this trial to increase in our land the acknowledgement that God is creator and we are dependent on Him. May God enable the church to be a non-anxious presence, a people whose dependence grows deeper, whose love grows stronger and whose faith shines brighter during this dark time.
As a church family we are in the early stages of adapting to life in the midst of the Covid-19 epidemic. Along with other churches we are seeking creative responses to the challenge of practising worship, fellowship and mission in these new conditions.
What are the implications for our worship, our pastoral care, our homegroups, our outreach to the community, and our prayer life as a church?
How will we worship together?
This Sunday morning at 11am the worship service will be available by Livestream through our church website. Please bear with us as we learn how to do this. We will begin this week with a basic format of prayers and teaching. We are exploring how we can include sung worship in future weeks.
I realise that for some people access to this will not be easy or possible. If you make known to us anyone who you think may be left out, we will try to get the teaching to them in other ways.
How will pastoral care be offered?
We are intending to arrange a phone call to every person in our congregation – to see how you are and if there is anything we can do to help at this uncertain time. This call may be from myself, an elder, a homegroup leader or a member of the pastoral care team. The plan is that person will stay in touch with you over the coming weeks. Janet Logue is coordinating this effort.
Of course, you may contact Janet, myself or an elder directly at any time. We are trying to anticipate the emotional and practical support that members of the fellowship may need help with. Please pray for all us at CCC to be thinking of others and keeping in touch.
How can we love our neighbours?
How can we support you as you become aware people who you want to reach out to with compassion and practical support? We are already connected with a lot of people individually and through our church centre. This may involve offering to pick up shopping or posting mail for those who are isolated in a safe way. We are still working out the scope of what we can do here, as the need is vast, but we will prioritise on existing contacts and work in cooperation with other churches and charities. Please feedback to Janet Logue.
Our listening ear service has now moved to phone call only but we can offer extended opening times and more people able to take phone calls. This is primarily intended for the community but the church is also welcome to use this support. This service offers complete confidentiality and non-judgemental listening support weekly over the phone.
Can we gather for discipleship and fellowship?
At the present time we are advised not to gather physically in small groups. We had our first elders meeting by video conference this week and it was very effective. This format could work for Alpha groups, discipleship groups, and homegroups. Angus Jamieson and William Hamilton are happy to answer queries about how to set up a zoom account.
How can we pray together at this time?
National Prayer Livestream – This Sunday at 7.00pm
There will be a livestream National Prayer Gathering for Scottish Churches at 7pm on Sunday and we encourage you to join in with this if you can. Either click on the CCC website on Sunday or click on this link to get notified when it goes live on Sunday at 7pm.
Even if you are not able to join in with the online prayer we encourage you to set aside Sunday at 7pm for prayer, joining with Christians across the country. Some Christians will be placing a lighted candle in their window at 7pm on Sunday as a visible symbol of the light of life, Jesus Christ, who is our source of hope in these days and in the whole of life.
CCC prayer opportunities
It is our intention to have prayer meetings at CCC using technology rather than physically gathering in the church building. After we livestream our Sunday service for the first time on Sunday our next priority will be to work out how to host a prayer meeting using video technology. We will let you know as soon as we can.
May the Lord show us new ways that we can be keep in touch and build relationships during this time of social distance? It is absolutely vital that everyone is signed up for church communication during this time. If you are reading this on our website and you have not registered for email and telephone contact from the church then please do so here.
If you have any other questions at this time please be in touch with us because we want to be in touch with you.
With every blessing in Christ
Pastor Alasdair Macleod