Sunday 5th April
Thought for the day from Ian.
There won’t be a ‘thought for the day’ during Holy Week. Instead there will be a service online each day, which will hopefully give a ‘thought’. There will also be an All-age section with projects to do throughout the week. Tomorrow will see an attachment with a little quiz for the week, and there is also a competition for decorated eggs planned for next Sunday. Serious and light-hearted, we’ll bring you both
Saturday 28th March
From Dumbarton Churches Together
Information For Church Leaders
Dear Church Leaders,
As you will be aware from previous communication we have been having a number of conversations around how we provide a unified response to the Covid-19 pandemic. These conversations have directly involved Church of Scotland, Rock community Church, St Augustine’s and St Michaels. We have also discussed with Donal Currie, DCT chair, with this being done in the name of Dumbarton Churches Together.
Our focus has been on how we pair those willing to volunteer (both within our congregations and the wider community) with those who need help at the moment. Primarily this will focus on practical help and telephone befriending. We would like you to publicise and promote this to your congregations. Please can you share the relevant documents with those activists and organisers in your church so that the posters can be displayed and cards printed out? We also recognise that many of our congregations are self isolating at the moment but the ability to become telephone befrienders can be a valuable representation of their faith and the love of God in this current climate.
The card document can be emailed to all, and is also intended to reach those who have no internet access or can’t leave their homes. This means that those with printers can produce a physical card to go through letter boxes of those who would otherwise not hear of this support.
We would advise volunteers delivering cards or putting up posters to use gloves, or hand sanitizer, then soap and water as soon as possible to protect themselves and others.
We have a document entitled Role Descriptions and Guidelines which outlines the basics of what is expected, and a Volunteer Log for recording activity. We would encourage volunteers to use professionals as their referees, ideally someone who knows them from a work capacity. Church leaders such as yourselves would also be a valued referee to help ensure safeguarding.
This is a great opportunity to build relationships and we hope this will help to demonstrate the love and care of the body of Christ at this time.
Contact details for the volunteer co-ordinators are as follows:
Maureen Burke, Pastoral Assistant, Church of Scotland, Dumbarton Linkage
Heather Thorp, Volunteer Co-ordinator, Rock Community Church
Phone: 01389 600 245
Role Descriptions and Guidelines for Community Support During Coronavirus
1.Practical Support Volunteer
The Practical Support Volunteer will be able to run errands such as shopping, prescriptions and posting mail. You love to see a need met in an active way and have some time to give back to those in your local community. Ideally you will have your own transport and will work in a pairing with another volunteer.
2.Befriending Support Volunteer
The Befriending Support Volunteer will be responsible for phoning those who are unable to leave their homes, to reduce social isolation. You love to make sure others are coping in difficult times and provide friendly conversation. All calls will be made by withholding your number so that you are in charge of the amount of contact you have. Guidelines for what to say will be provided.
Guidelines and Code of Conduct
Thank you for giving up your time and energy to support others at this time! We will contact your referees and get back to you as soon as possible.
Dumbarton Churches Together will hold your name, contact details and referees under the GDPR, and you have the right to remove this information at any point. You will declare any unspent convictions for safeguarding purposes.
1.I will keep up to date with the accurate government and NHS advice, which I understand may change daily, from https://www.gov.scot/coronavirus-covid-19/ and https://www.nhsinform.scot/coronavirus.
2.I will be polite, friendly and honest in all volunteering activities and I will keep a simple volunteer log on the form provided.
3.If I cannot volunteer, am ill or need support or advice, I will contact Dumbarton Churches Together on 01389 600245, Monday to Friday 9am - 5pm or email email@example.com. Other helpful websites include https://www.readyscotland.org/coronavirus/helping-in-your-community/ and https://www.volunteerscotland.net/about-us/news-blog/news/coronavirus-covid-19-advice-for-volunteers/
4.If I have a safeguarding concern, I will immediately contact the above number or if out of hours, the Dumbarton Area Social Work Office on 01389 73702.
5. I will maintain a distance of two metres from those I help and regularly wash my hands/use hand sanitiser. If making a delivery or collecting mail, you are advised to leave any packages on the doorstep, ring the bell and then move two metres away and wait to see that the resident receives the items. If not, please phone the resident and arrange redelivery.
Tuesday 24th March
From Johnson, C Ian
Sent: 24 March 2020 12:29
Subject: Thought for today (24 March)
A thought for all this week:
We have had to close all activities in our buildings, including worship. People are feeling isolated, frustrated and maybe afraid too. But lets remember, the church is the people, not the building. So the best way to keep the church open is to encourage people to pray at home and serve those who are vulnerable and lonely.
Lord. We thank you today for the care and commitment of health care staff. We pray that they might have the energy and enthusiasm to carry out the work amid all the pressure and stress. Keep them all safe. Amen
Friday 20th March
From: Johnson, C Ian<CJohnson@churchofscotland.org.uk>
Date: Fri, 20 Mar 2020 at 12:34
Subject: Living through the Coronavirus crisis
Our world seems to have changed radically in the last week. We don't know when worship will happen in the St Andrew's building again, we don't know when church activities and hall lets will start up, we don't know when we will be able to have traditional meetings (who would have imagined that we could 'miss' having Session and other meetings!)
It is going to be a challenging time for us as individuals and as the community that make up St Andrew's Parish Church. We are trying to take some steps to respond to this situation:
We will be putting a service on line each week, and daily during Holy Week
Maureen is in consultation with other local churches about setting up a scheme for the churches to help people in the community who need someone to talk to, go messages etc. Further details to follow
We don't know when the Session will next meet in its traditional format. Minutes of Wednesday's meeting (which was largely confined to the essential business of approving the accounts and discussing our response to the Coronavirus situation) will be coming out soon to everyone, together with notes of what would have been said otherwise under the Team Report, plus the report on the last meeting of Presbytery. The meeting granted Christine and me powers to take decisions as required, with the proviso that we tell everyone what has been decided.
An update from Wednesday:
Fergus McLellan is trying to see if we can get electronic copies of the 3 building surveys, which would enable the property conveners and Presbytery reps to hold an electronic 'round-table conference' so that talks about union need not be stalled (which may be important given the financial 'hit' that all churches will be taking)
Over the next few weeks/months people will become lonely or suffer 'cabin fever'. They may need assistance with small tasks. All elders are asked to deploy their pastoral concern as much as possible - Â to their district, to colleagues on the Session, and to friends. You may be 'socially isolated or distanced' yourself, but maybe a phone-call, an e-mail, a letter, a postcard, an Easter Card would really be appreciated â€“ and it might fill your day too.
What lies ahead won't be easy, but we do not travel alone. We have each other. We also have the One who suffered and died on Good Friday and rose to new life on Easter Day. His love and his power surrounded us each day.
Please feel free to contact me, or the Clerk about anything.
We have been advised by '121' that all hall lets should cease during the 'lockdown' period