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  • Rev. Caroline

General Assembly Week

Someone is talking. Behind them, we see a large bookcase, filled not only with books but also Ordnance Survey maps, pot plants, ornaments and children’s toys.

That person is succeeded by another. She seems to be in a garden, perhaps her own? Cherry trees in blossom, waving gently in the breeze.

Another speaker. An art lover, it appears, for the wall behind him is filled with framed paintings of seascapes and landscapes.

This is the sort of thing we’ve become used to over the weeks of the lockdown, as different individuals – politicians, scientists, journalists, members of the public – report to the nation on the TV News from their own homes, whether they are in urban or rural areas.

The installation of the Moderator of the General Assembly for 2020-21 also followed this pattern. Taking place yesterday (16th May) it was livestreamed on the Church of Scotland website – if you missed it, you can watch the video.

https://stream1.churchofscotland.org.uk/about_us/general_assembly/


Of course there were very few people in the Assembly Hall, but proper Kirk procedure was followed, and Dr Martin Fair, minister of St Andrew’s, Arbroath is now the Right Reverend Dr Martin Fair.

Following the formalities, various people were “beamed” into the Assembly Hall to offer their good wishes: Martin’s Session Clerk, outside her house; former Moderator the Very Revd James Simpson in the Perthshire countryside; and many more – family, Arbroath folk, the Conveners of the two new Forums.

Two completely different things are making the lockdown bearable for some people: the lovely weather, and technology. With these in mind, let’s pray.


Glorious God, Creator of all

We can’t go off to exotic places right now

It doesn't even make sense to book a holiday

so we look around our more immediate area

and perhaps we are surprised by its beauty

Trees wearing pink blossom

Tulips in regal purple

Blackbird chorus, woodpecker knocking, liquid note of the curlew

Sound of the sea, sight of the sun setting

Wonderful! Thank you, Lord


And thank you for the human ingenuity which has produced the technology

to bring us together when we are apart

Beloved face smiling at us from the screen

Funny stories shared, problems halved

Messages of hope and encouragement passed on

We include in our prayers those known to us who are unable to go out

and those who feel disadvantaged because they don’t have access to the internet

May we find ways to bring joy and hope into their lives

for in this way your Kingdom will come, dear God

through our Lord Jesus Christ; Amen


A wee reminder that if you do have the technology, you can watch this year’s

Heart and Soul live

on the Church of Scotland website

this afternoon, from 2.00 till approx.. 4.20.

https://www.churchofscotland.org.uk/news-and-events/news/2020/watch-a-special-edition-of-heart-and-soul-online


It won't be in Princes Street Gardens like last year but it will bring us together in a different way.

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