Even though we have moved in to a new phase of lockdown we are still in the world of the online meetings. You can read about how to enjoy the Keswick Convention from your living room this year and there is news too about the online Childrens' Holiday Club. It will just be like the real thing except it's your carpet covered in glue and glitter this year.
And we have a quiz - and just like everything else the prizes are virtual.
Enjoy the mag!
The return to the Church Buildings
A team composed of our church members has been working for a number of weeks now on a series of tasks that will allow Presbytery to authorise our congregation to return to worship in our usual surroundings. This re-opening may outwardly seem like a trivial task however there is a large and often complex list of procedures that must be adhered to before Presbytery grants this authorisation.
The focus of the ‘return’ approach is on the safety of our staff, congregation and visitors. This is paramount, as we have a legal, and more importantly, a moral duty of care to exercise.
With this in mind, the strategy we are taking is to adopt best practice as evidenced by other churches, governments and countries that have been seen to be successful in addressing the risks, i.e.
- Proactive measures
- Small incremental steps
- Slow cautious release
- Limited interaction of ‘Bubbles’ (Groupings of people that use the church buildings)
When we do return the ‘look and feel’ of the church buildings and our congregational interaction (or rather lack of it) will take some getting use to, but over time we will return to something akin to normality.
The question we are sure you will all want to know is 'when will we return to congregational worship’? All we can say just now is watch this space!
Keswick Convention 2020
Virtually Keswick Convention – starts Monday 27th July!
The convention is one of many events which have been hit by the lockdown, but like many others there is an opportunity to diversify and reach out to others who might not otherwise know about or get involved with the convention.
If you don't know, at Keswick (in the Lake District) there are normally 3 weeks worth of Bible teaching for all ages with seminars, and presentations from a wide range of Christian organisations (SU Scotland, London City Mission, missionary organisations etc, etc). Thousands attend each week (with every B&B booked out and the surrounding caravan and camping sites busy too.)
This year it will all be on line and it's well worth taking a look, whether you tune in live each day or catch up at some point. The online Convention will run Monday 27 to Friday 31 July. Join in for five days of encouraging Bible teaching and sung worship for all the family.
All the details can be accessed on the webpage
During Virtually Keswick Convention, sessions will be live-streamed here on this homepage and our Keswick Convention YouTube channel. They will then be available afterwards on the Daily Programmes and Events pages and the YouTube channel.
Virtual Keswick 4 Kids Hope Hunters and Virtual Keswick Youth
As well as great bible teaching for adults there’s a fantastic programme of events for Children and Youth. Check out this link to Virtual Keswick 4 Kids Hope Hunters to see the full programme for the week plus links to additional resources for children aged 3 to 11.
Check out this link to see the full Virtual Keswick Youth programme for the week plus links to additional resources for youth, aged 11 to 18.
For each morning there will be 3 PDFs: a higher and lower ability accompaniment sheet and some discussion questions.
There will also be a set of links for talk bingo cards for the evening sessions.
We hope children and youth will be encouraged and spurred on in their faith!
The links above have introductions to the material for parents and youth leaders each day.
There is also an amazing resource of excellent teaching available - you can access a free library of all the Bible Readings from 2019 to 2008. and lots of other material on the Keswick YouTube page
Thanks again to Sandra McN who is helping us reflect each week on the questions we have looked at so far in 2020.
Since no one can keep the law, what is its purpose?
That we may know the holy nature and will of God, and the sinful nature and disobedience of our hearts; and thus our need of a Saviour. The law also teaches and exhorts us to live a life worthy of our Saviour.
This Question and Answer reminded me of one of those pieces of internet wisdom that the internet thinks Einstein said, but apparently he didn’t: “Everyone is a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid.”
The point that the quote tries to make is that people shouldn’t be set up for failure as it might damage their self esteem – and that people should be judged on the things that they can do rather than the things they can’t. Is this what the law of God does? Does it set us up for failure? Can the bar not be lowered for us, given that we are, effectively, fish being expected to climb trees? What about our self-esteem?
Well exactly, that’s the point. Instead of (as, ahem, might happen in, say, the education system, ahem) felling the tree/lowering the bar – God keeps the bar high; God keeps the bar perfect. There is a standard; there is an ideal. We know what we are aiming for; we know Whom we are aiming for. The fact that no “mere human” is perfect does not mean we should give up trying to live lives worthy of our calling.
When I was in primary school there was a different quote that, had there been the internet, would have been internet wisdom: “Aim for the stars, but you might just hit a tree.”
I like that better than the fish one.
And better still:
When Satan tempts me to despair,
And tells me of the guilt within,
Upward I look, and see Him there
Who made an end of all my sin.
Because the sinless Savior died,
My sinful soul is counted free;
For God, the Just, is satisfied
To look on Him and pardon me
Holiday Club Online
3rd - 7th August for 3-12 year olds
As we are unable to host our usual holiday club this year instead we are having a week of holiday club on our Facebook page. SU Scotland have created daily videos based on the Wonder Zone holiday club material which we will supplement with our own videos and there will be activities for children and families to try too.
There is more information on our news page and look out for the updates on our Facebook page and share the information widely so we can engage with as many families as possible.
We were in Keswick last week - had booked a campsite ages ago to go to the convention.
It's 5 years since we first attended the Keswick Convention and even back then then they were talking with excitement about the purchase of the site of the old Derwent Pencil Factory (see the plans above). This would allow Keswick Ministries to have a central base, allow the work to develop and even at a most practical level it would mean that the 3 week convention would have a central meeting place instead of being spread over the town with the use of marquees. As you can imagine this all came about through a lot of prayer for wisdom as they sought God’s will on this.
Over the last few years the vision and plans became reality with the exciting expectation that the 2020 Convention would be hosted in the new 5,000 seater tent on that site this year. But then…Covid…
That there will be disappointment in life is a truism – it’s inescapable really. Disappointment and regret can be deep seated. For some it will be the first look in the mirror in the morning. For others it starts earlier than that, as they open their eyes to another day. I think one of the saddest lyrics in popular music is from Paul Simon’s 'Slip Slidin' Away’:
“These are the very words she uses to describe her life: She said, ‘A good day ain’t got no rain’. She said, ‘A bad day is when I lie in bed and think of things that might have been.’”
Whether events as tragic as relationship breakdown, business collapse or health issues, right through to the mundane of wet weather on your beach holiday or an offside goal being allowed as your team is ‘robbed’, we live in a world which we can’t really control to any great extent. At any given moment we can be left feeling anything from shell shocked to distinctly glum and the words, 'It's not fair,' are not far away.
And what about the disappointment and frustration for those involved at Keswick; so much time and effort, prayers and tears put into this work and then the rug is pulled out from underneath. And maybe it’s even harder when you think, ‘But God, this was all for your glory, why did you allow this to happen this year?’
How do we avoid losing heart when we are in a world full of real, painful disappointments and regrets?
‘If only God had…’, ‘If only God hadn’t…’, ‘If only God would…’, ‘If God cared about me…’.
Paul tackles this in these verses in 2 Corinthians 4.16,17
So we do not lose heart. Though our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day. For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison,
How do we avoid losing heart? Two things from these verses:
Firstly, recognise it’s not neutral. Work is being done in us. It’s not just ‘you win some, you lose some’. Look at it the verse again - God is ‘preparing us’. What is God's priority? You, trusting Him. You maturing in faith. Even when God is changing our plans ('our plans' - no, don't laugh) it is because He is wise and good.
Secondly, we need to be satisfied most
by God and his promises to us in Jesus. Paul makes the clear comparison, ie. God has weighty, eternal things for us so see your light momentary affliction for what it is. Yes, we know, it is still affliction, but we can battle - and it IS a battle - against the disappointment by asking a better question than ‘God, why have you allowed to this happen?’. We can ask, ‘What are you teaching me today Father? Have I been grasping on to something and it’s become more important to me than You and Your promises?’.
I suppose God could have allowed the shiny new 5,000 seater to be open – of course He could. But maybe He wanted shinier Christians who have grown closer to Him through
disappointment. That’s far more important.
And how is God trying to shine you up through your disappointment in 2020?
City Break Quiz
A Quick Quiz for the holidays based around cities in the Bible.
The citizens of which city attempted to build a tower ‘that reaches to heaven’?
Abraham prayed for which city before it was destroyed?
Which city in Judah did David move out of to establish Jerusalem as capital?
Who was a seller of purple Acts ch16 and in which city? (half pt each)
Bethlehem means the ‘House of _ _ _ _ _ ‘
Which city was Saul/Paul from?
King Xerxes and Esther had their palace in which citadel?
Which 2 cities does the book of Acts start and finish with? (half pt each)
Which city did Paul work as a tentmaker with Aquila and Priscilla?
Where was the man who was helped by the Good Samaritan heading for?
10 pts – did you Google those answers? If not, excellent work!
7-9 pts – not too bad at all, take a bow
5-8 pts - could do better, time to dust down the Bible
3-4 pts – hmmm, we're not angry with you, just disappointed
1-2 pts – book an appointment with Scott immediately
Ladybird Book of Maxwell
1. Babel 2. Sodom 3. Hebron 4. Lydia, Philippi 5. Bread
6. Tarsus 7. Susa 8. Jerusalem / Rome 9. Corinth 10.Jericho