Not long until Advent.... And while this year, it might look a bit different,we are planning lots of exciting things that we hope we can all safely engage in, in addition to our services. Read below about our plans, and about how you can get involved:
A Parish Advent Calendar
We would like to make an online advent calendar this December, which can be watched each day, being festive, informative, thought provoking, biblical, musical, or amusing, or all of these, to give some seasonal spirit during the build up to Christmas. For all who are unable to watch online, a DVD or similar will be available.
Edit 6 Nov 2020: Thank you very much to all who have supported this appeal. We delivered 45 boxes from the joint congregations, as well as some generous financial donations - a record for us! Many thanks also to Alison for coordinating and managing it all.
While autumn has its hold over us, it is already that time of year to look ahead.
We would like to once again support the Blythswood Care Shoebox Appeal, which is going ahead as usual this year, although we have to make a few adaptations to the way we deal with the boxes. Any donation would be very much appreciated.
As we cannot hand out the leaflets, we are asking those who can to print a copy themselves for their own or friends' boxes. If you do not have a leaflet, please write a list of the items in your box and include it with your donation of £3 to cover transport costs.
Should you be unable to get hold of a shoebox, a drawstring bag is acceptable provided it is not plastic.
We will collect the boxes at the lunchtime services at Saltoun Church on 14 October and Bolton Church on 28 October; and at Yester Church at the service on 1 November, to be ready for the Blythswood lorry when it comes to East Lothian. If you will not be at church at any of these services, you can also drop a box off at Yester Church on Friday, 30 October, between 9 and 11am, or you can contact us to arrange a pick up from your home.
If you are unable to fill a box this year and would prefer to make a donation, that would be very welcome, too.
Thank you very much for your support!
To support East Lothian Foodbank, we’ll collect donations at our Harvest Thanksgiving service on 4 October at Yester Church, and on 5 October at Bolton, Saltoun and Yester Churches, where you can find collection boxes at the church doors. All donations, big or small, are very much appreciated.
We hope you are well, and that the past few months have not been too hard for you and your loved ones. We'd like to update you on our plans for the churches, now that Scottish Government guidance allows places of worship to reopen, as long as this is done safely.
We are going to start slowly and for the moment, and will offer an in-person service at Yester Church at 11am on the first Sunday of the month only. We will also offer lunchtime services at 12noon on the second Wednesday of the month at Saltoun Church, and on the fourth Wednesday of the month at Bolton Church. The decision to divide services this way is based purely on the capacity of the respective buildings with physical distancing in place. The services will be shorter and follow a slightly different format from the services before lockdown. There are a number of guidelines which must be followed by everyone attending a service and these are set out at the end of this note. Before attending a service, please read and follow these carefully as they are for your own and everyone else’s protection.
At this time, we would simply like to offer in-person services for all who would like to come together in a church building for worship, and especially all who have difficulty in accessing the online services. However, I know that many of us are very anxious about larger gatherings at this time, and nobody should in any way feel pressured to attend these services in person before they feel ready to do so. All of us will have different circumstances and needs. A video recording of the service will be available on our church website from Sunday afternoon, and audio recordings are available on CD on request. Participating in a service online, or through a sound recording, is worship just as much as doing so in a church building.
We hope you will understand that none of these decisions has been taken lightly. These first few weeks of in-person services will be an opportunity for us to work out the practicalities of re-opening, so please bear with us as we try to get it right. We hope we can approach this new phase with our usual good humour and helpfulness. All of the arrangements are for the current time only, and will be reviewed based on our learning and experience, your feedback, and as the wider situation around covid evolves.
If you would like any help or support, or would welcome a conversation by phone, video call or a socially distant visit, please get in touch with Anikó or one of the elders.
In-person services – guidelines for all attendees
These are the guidelines asked of us by the Church of Scotland, in close collaboration with the Government, to keep us all safe and protected.
Update 25.05.2020: In light of the current circumstances around COVID 19, we have come to the difficult decision to cancel the Holiday Club for this summer. It would be very difficult to fully enable social distancing at the Holiday Club, and make sure that everyone is safe. We are very sorry for the disappointment this might cause - but we'll have one again next summer, and look forward to seeing the children again soon.