As I’m sure many of you know, my position with the church was furloughed for the last two months; a decision that was definitely in my, and the church’s, best interests. It has been an exceptional challenge for me not to see all of you and the families of New Laigh Kirk regularly on a Sunday morning as we normally have done. However, I have found it incredible that so many people at this time have managed to adapt to the situation at hand and developed new ways of communicating. I, personally, have been trying to keep in touch with family and friends through virtual chats on Zoom, phone calls, social media messages and even some hand written letters too.
It certainly hasn’t been easy, but these ways of communication have been a great source of comfort to me whilst we have been staying at home to keep everyone safe. I know this has been an exceptionally challenging time for so many of us, in so many different ways, however, I think we have all done so well for those who have kept to the rules and followed guidelines. We’re not only thinking about others that we’re protecting, but we’re also keeping ourselves safe too.
Now that restrictions are easing slightly and we have more scope for get out a bit more, if you can, I encourage you to go for a walk and meet a friend in the park, keeping socially distant. Remember to keep washing your hands and preferably wear masks and gloves if possible. I encourage this because getting out for a walk and chatting for a short while with a friend or family member is so beneficial for our mental health and at this moment, we need to be looking after ourselves the best we can. As of July, I will no longer be furloughed and cannot wait to get connected with everyone again. I’m beginning to plan ahead for the future and although I don’t think there will ever again be a “normal” way to life as it was before, I’m excited to tackle a new way of life that means we can continue to keep everyone safe and healthy, especially whilst worshiping together. Some plans that I had for our children and families will unfortunately not go ahead this year, however, I am not despondent! I have just postponed my plans to next year, not cancelled them, and I am planning new and improved ways to carry out plans for our children and families in healthier ways. I am always encouraged to hear of ideas from the members of NLK, so if you have had a think about something you would like to try “when this is all over”, then why not let me know!? I value others’ ideas to help improve and develop the faith of our children and families in the church.
During lockdown, and furlough, I took it upon myself to try learning some Spanish! Not for any particular reason, but it has given me a purposeful activity to keep me going every day. (The Spanish is slow progress, but I have been enjoying learning it at my own pace). I have also been trying to go for more walks, and I’ve even been cycling more to get myself some fresh air. I also had the privilege of being asked back to the BBC in June, as myself and a friend, Andrew Jones, got to have our say about the difficulties we have faced recently. I want to personally thank all of you who congratulated me and Andrew on our appearance on ‘Reflections at the Quay’. We very much appreciated all the support. If you didn’t get the chance to see it, you can find the programme on BBC iPlayer.