On March 16, the Scottish Government advised that ‘people should minimise social contact by avoiding crowded areas and large gatherings, including religious congregations and smaller gatherings.’ In response to this advice, and in light of decisions made by other Churches, the Session reluctantly made the decision to suspend all church and non-church activities, including Sunday worship until further notice. This was an unprecedented decision, but given our Christian duty to care for one another, we believe it was the right thing to do. Since then, the Government has strongly elevated the advisory, strongly advising that all unnecessary contact be avoided at all times, limiting outside activity to shopping for necessities, attending medical appointments, and one period of exercise per day. Most of us have not been used to this level of social isolation, and we are having to adapt to a new kind of normal, at least for the foreseeable future.
Being Church Beyond Our Walls
While we may not be able to meet in person it does not mean that we cannot continue to be a Church. We can reach out and support each other in a variety of ways, including telephone, FaceTime, Skype, text messages, email, and FaceBook. The Session have set up a COVID-19 (Coronavirus) task group to help and support us during this very challenging time in the life of our fellowship. We have called the group KAIROS, which is the Greek word for an opportune time of action. The members of our KAIROS group are: Rev. Mike, George, Margaret, Pauline and Gillian. Please keep them in your thoughts and prayers, as they do all they can to ensure our sense of belonging and community.
We have started three new ministries:
This is a social care ministry in which every member of the congregation will receive an initial telephone call from one of our volunteers. The purpose of the call is to simply let you know that we are thinking of you, and if there is anything that we can do to help. It is intended that you will receive a telephone call from the volunteer on a weekly basis. However, if you prefer less contact you can simply let the volunteer caller know. When the volunteer calls they will identify themselves as calling on behalf of Wilson Memorial Church.
We appreciate that some of you may already be receiving lots of telephone calls from family and friends, so please be patient and understanding of why we are calling…because we care about you. If you have any pastoral concerns or worries let the volunteer know and they will, with your permission, pass these on to our Christian Care Coordinator, and/or Rev. Mike.
2: Here To Help:
This is a practical support ministry offering help with the collection of shopping, prescriptions, and posting letters. It expresses our care and concern for those who having to self-isolate because of age or an underlying health condition. We have a team of volunteers, who are being coordinated by Gillian. You can get in touch using our Church contact email address:
If you have a request for help please contact Gillian, and she will assign a volunteer to help. It is, of course, vital that high levels of hygiene are adhered to during any interaction with the volunteers. This includes hand-washing or using hand sanitiser both before and after purchase/delivery/pick up of items. The statutory 2 meter distance should also be maintained, with items being left on doorsteps or other safe places. The volunteer will telephone prior to delivery/collection. Any payment for shopping should be in cash/cheque left in envelope on the doorstep. Hands should be washed after handling any cash. All of these measures are to keep both you and our volunteers safe and healthy.
3: Church At Home:
We are also doing everything we can to ensure a continued sense of worship and community. Each week Rev. Mike is producing a video sermon, which is uploaded to YouTube. Those who are on email distribution list will receive a weekly email, which contains a link to the video, and a short Order of Worship which you can use at home. Others will receive the materials in the post. In addition, you will also receive occasional emails/letters providing other opportunities to worship, pray, and stay connected. For example, we have already lit candles and placed them in our windows, and stood on our doorsteps and clapped in support of the NHS. We may not be able to worship together in person, but we are all part of the One Body of Christ, no matter where we are. The weekly sermon and any other announcements will also be published on our website.
Throughout this time of uncertainty, our Basics Bank Food Bank will continue to operate every Tuesday as usual, providing essential lifeline products to local people in financial crisis. If you would like to support our Basics Bank, please get in touch using our email or website.