Introduction

8th July 2022, Weekly Update

8th July 2022, Weekly Update

  1. Growing Young Next Steps: Worship Outside the Building – Forrest Church.

One suggestion which many of you thought should be explored was holding Open Air Services at the harbour or on the beach.

The Growing Young team believe that there is really important idea here, which is that we should create an opportunity for people to worship God which does not involve them coming into the church building.  The team do not, however, think that an Open Air Service, which many of us may have experienced in the past, is the best way to achieve this.  Essentially this was a traditional service, with hymns, prayers and a message that was held in a public space. This may have been appropriate in the past. We do not think it will connect with people today.

We think worship outside the church building is important for two reasons. First, it is a form of witness. It is a way of showing that we think worshipping God is really important. Second, we are sure there are people who want to worship God, but who do not connect with the form and style of worship inside our building.  So the question is, is there a way of doing this which is in tune with the patterns and concerns of people in 2022?

One pattern of worship which is developing in parts of Britain is called Forrest Church.  A Forrest Church gathering might take place in the Lodge, the Beach or at the Law. People gather with the intention of encountering Jesus in the natural world around them. It is likely to involve a brief act together – maybe a prayer and a scripture passage – and then people engage in some way with the environment around them, before coming back together for another brief act.

– Is this something that might resonate with people in North Berwick who do not connect with Sunday morning church?

– If, so, what concrete form might this take in North Berwick?

– And is there a small group of people in StAB who might have a passion to begin and sustain this?

That’s three big questions.  Niki McKenzie and Tommy Nelson are keen to find out if there are a few people who would like to explore them so we can discover whether this is an idea that we can take forward.

2)  Open Door

Could you play your part in keeping the High Street door of the church open for visitor’s right through the summer?  Our experience is that there are always a few people – both local and visitors – who will pop into the church building if the door is open when they pass. Being hospitable to visitors has been part of the DNA of our church going back 900 years when it offered sanctuary to pilgrims on their way to St Andrews.

Our Insurers require someone to be in the building if the door is unlocked. That’s why we need a team of people who will take turns to sit in the High Street entrance during the afternoon when the Church Office is closed.  At the moment there are gaps to be filled, particularly Tuesdays 2.00 – 4.00pm, Wednesdays 12.00 – 2.00 and 2.00 – 4.00 and Fridays 12.00 – 2.00 and 2.00 – 4.00.  If you would be willing to express your faith in this way please contact Barbara Clark (details in the Church Directory or let Julie in the office know).  Barbara will be delighted to explain you how straight forward and rewarding this can be,

3)  Douglas Hamilton

The congregation of Traprain have called Douglas to be their next minister.  We congratulate Douglas and continue to pray for him, Suzanne, Jack and Grace as they prepare for this next chapter in their lives.

Thursday 8 September is the provisional date for Douglas’ ordination and induction.

4)  New Elders

On Sunday 10 July, Chris Finlayson, BG Hill-Jowett, Donna Kellock, Elaine Martin and Lynda Tulloch will be admitted to the Kirk Session at the 10.30 am service. We thank each one of them for their willingness to serve and pray that God will give them the faith, courage and imagination they will need.

5)  Prayer Gathering

Each Wednesday on Zoom between for 30 minutes starting at 7 pm.

Contact Julie in the office for access.

 

Neil

Rev Dr Neil Dougall

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