Dear Friends,

 The season of lent is traditionally a period of reflection and repentance.  A time for giving things up and restoring a deeper relationship with God.  It is for saying sorry to those we might have wronged, and to ponder what God might have in store for us.

 We Presbyterians, and the Church of Scotland nationally, are not particularly known for our adherence to the liturgical year.  We are the people of the Word, the Bible and the Sermon.  These are the key things in our liturgy and practice.

 Yet you cannot read the bible noticing that reflection and repentance are certainly very common themes proclaimed by Jesus.  These themes are not meant to be negative, or brutal, but they are intended to be eye opening and lead us into a deeper understanding about who and what God is in the world.

 So, as we have done these past few years, there will be a Daily Lenten Prayer Service at 1045am Monday to Saturday, and our normal service at 1100am each Sunday.  This journey with God is to allow us to draw alongside him and discover something about ourselves and something about God.  It would be great if you could come every day, or if you are only able to get once throughout the period of Lent, that would be great to.

 As part of this reflection throughout Lent, your elder will shortly be delivering some forms for you to complete.  Firstly, we are updating our Congregational Roll and we want to ensure that we have your correct details to help us to keep on the right side of the Data Protection Act. The second form is a survey about the expectations around pastoral visiting by the Minister and the elder. From recent conversations it appears some people don’t feel the need for a visit, and many of our elders report difficulty in accessing some homes because of security systems that do not always function.

 We are living in a different era, and many things are changing.  We want to discover how best we can serve and help our people to grow as disciples and be cared for.

 As a parish church, the minister and congregation have a responsibility to serve everyone in the parish.  This means that any request for support during a time of illness or bereavement, or to celebrate a baptism or a wedding will be met.  People don’t have to be members of the church of Scotland to be supported in these key moments of their life.  If you need the services of the minister at any time, please contact him, or the church office, or your elder.  If no one lets us know about the need, it cannot be presumed that somehow we will be able to respond to it.

 As part of this process we shall in time be updating our pastoral districts, and we shall hopefully be able to cover all those who would require a regular visit from an elder or pastoral visitor.  The numbers able to carry out their district duties have reduced in recent years, so we want to try and encourage people to become part of our visitor teams or our eldership.  Please speak to Anne Louise Keddie or the minister, if you feel you would like to consider such a service to Christ at Sherwood Greenlaw.

Thank you for being supportive of your church, and be patient with us as we respond to the ever changing needs in the Church of today.


God bless


John Murningg