Pastoral Letter to Belmont Congregation
St. Patrick’s Day, 2020
Dear Members of Belmont,
On behalf of Kirk Session we are writing to inform of the following guidance from the UK Government and the Moderator and Clerk of the General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church in Ireland:
- Until further notice, all congregational organisations and activities will cease
- Until further notice, all Sunday services for worship will cease
- Until further notice, steps will be taken to ensure that numbers attending funerals are kept as low as possible.
Members of our staff team will be working off site, to keep personal contact to a minimum:
- Rev. Nigel Craig will seek to give pastoral care over the phone, or via email or text. He will also be available for critical pastoral situations, as appropriate, and funerals. Manse: 028 90653365, Mobile: 07763567965 firstname.lastname@example.org
- Chris Barron will seek to give pastoral care over the phone: 028 90283198 07784761076
- Ali Boyd will be overseeing the administration of the congregation from home, using the church laptop. She will be available to answer calls on her regular working hours, Monday to Friday, 9am-2pm, using the Mobile: 07391021083 email@example.com
- Rachel will be in regular contact with the young people and their families via phone and social media: 07879057604
- Hannah will be in touch with families with children via social media.
Members of Kirk Session will attempt to disseminate this information via phone, or mail, to those members who do not have access to email or Facebook. Please feel free to share this with other members of the congregation, if you think they do not have an email account, or access to Facebook.
We would encourage all our members to follow the current Public Health guidance. Those who display symptoms, such as a high temperature and new continuous cough, should self-isolate for 7 days, or if you live with others, for 14 days. If you feel you cannot cope with your symptoms at home, or if your condition gets worse and does not get better after 7 days ring 111. Those who are over 70, or are vulnerable, should avoid social settings, or welcoming people into their homes. Further guidance may be found on www.nhs.uk
It is of vital importance at this time that we look out for one another, by regular phone calls, emails, letters and by praying for one another. If you are unable to leave your home and need assistance in getting provisions, please do not hesitate to contact your elder, the church office, or the pastoral team. If you are feeling very anxious at this time, please contact Rev. Nigel or Chris who will be more than willing to bring you words of spiritual comfort.
Rev. Nigel is currently working with members of the Audio-Visual team to see how best we can, using the latest technology, encourage one another from God’s Word on Sundays and throughout the week. Currently Nigel is posting Podcasts on our Belmont Presbyterian Church Facebook Page. Please make sure you avail of these. The website of the Presbyterian Church in Ireland will also be providing devotional materials.
On Sunday past Rev. Nigel directed our thoughts to Matthew 8:23-27.
Jesus Christ, the divine Son of God, who knows all things, led his disciples into a seismic storm. Let us not despair, all things are under God’s sovereign control – even this current storm.
Jesus Christ hears our cry for mercy: “Save us, Lord; we are perishing.” He has the power to still storms and bring about calm; he has the power to protect his people from harm and to bring healing, if it is his will; he is with us in the storm; most of all he has the power to save us from perishing spiritually in this life and the next. He has made this possible by his death on the cross and resurrection.
Jesus Christ asks us: “Why are you afraid, o you of little faith?” He calls us to trust him as Saviour and to entrust our lives and destinies to him as our Lord. May the Holy Spirit use this crisis to deepen our trust in the Lord, and to bring many to a living faith in Jesus Christ, to whom be all the praise!
The Lord bless and keep you all in this storm,
Mary Rose Gibson (Clerk of Session)
Covid-19 Belmont Kirk Session Task Group
Rev. Nigel Craig (Minister)