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Coronavirus

Information we have regarding the on-going crisis caused by the COVID-19 virus with most recent posts first.

Posted on 16 September

Dear Friends

Today’s Midweek Service will premiere at 16:15 hrs and will be available anytime from then. It is hoped that each week at the same time the Midweek Service will be scheduled for viewing on the Mannofield Church YouTube page. Link to today’s Service below.

https://youtu.be/8k_RN2EMnNA

This coming Sunday we plan our first face-to-face worship, and this will take place at 10am and last no more than 30 minutes. We look forward to welcoming members of the congregation to this Service and together with the Wednesday Worship this pattern will continue through the coming weeks. On a Sunday we plan to incorporate some music, and some creative worship from the volunteers who have been so much part of our worship over the last years. These volunteers will pre record their contributions and we will blend these parts of the Service into the content taking place Live on the day.

Alongside these in-person Services we will continue to collaborate with our neighbouring Cluster Group congregations and provide the weekly Online Service on the Aberdeen West Churches YouTube Page with a scheduled start time of 10.30am. We will not be broadcasting our own Sunday Service for the time being but will continue to broadcast the Wednesday Service. (see below)

You have received the full User Guidelines in a previous email, but I would like to again highlight a few key points:-

·        We ask that you Pre-register your intention to attend on a Wednesday and Sunday. Please use the designated Mobile Number – Phoning or Texting your Name(s) to 07592714891 or emailing office@mannofieldchurch.org.uk

Dependent on how many have pre-booked we may have spare capacity on the day itself, but members are asked to note that the capacity remains at 50 and there will be limited places available should high numbers pre-register.

·        You will need to register each week for that given Service (i.e. maximum of 6 days in advance).

·        You should register 24 hours before the scheduled Wednesday and similarly for a Sunday.

·        You will need to wear a face covering.

·        There will be no singing.

·        You must sanitise hands on entry, stay in your seat, always follow the direction of our Welcome Team, and leave the church and grounds promptly at the end.

·        You should stay 2m away from anyone who is not from your family.

A full list of requirements can be found in the Guide previously y issued.

Wednesday Service will begin at 10.30am and you should arrive at the door no earlier than 10.15am  The service will last no longer than 30 minutes.

Sunday Service (from 20th Sep) will begin at 10am and you should arrive no earlier than 9.45am. This generally is a longer service than a Wednesday lasting 45mintues approximately. The service will last no longer than 30 minutes.

MANNOFIELD CHURCH YouTube CHANNEL (Re-Branded)

This YouTube Channel will allow us to reach further with our Worship and include those not able to be present physically. The intention is to use this for Live and Recorded Worship starting with the Midweek Services .

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UClRocs_aKrUYmmxnF73mGPg/

Stay well – Stay Safe – and God Bless

Keith

Contact Telephone numbers: – 07592 714891 and 07922 831715.

You Tube  Aberdeen West Churches Sunday Worship

 https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCP4UWG4vEAhuLZ0F79-9U2g

Dial-In Sunday Service: Call 01224 013222

Podcast Options:

ANCHOR https://anchor.fm/keith-blackwood
APPLE  https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/mannofield-church-sermons/id1460470663?ign-mpt=uo%3D4
GOOGLE https://podcasts.google.com/?feed=aHR0cHM6Ly9hbmNob3IuZm0vcy9hODA1NTQ4L3BvZGNhc3QvcnNz

SPOTIFY https://open.spotify.com/show/1prNZ2DWoxTg4XzDRS68rL

show/1prNZ2DWoxTg4XzDRS68rL

Twitter: @MannofieldKirk

Keith

Posted on 10 September

Dear Friends

Wednesday 2nd September was the first of our face-to-face Midweek Worship Services, and I am pleased to say that the 2 events held so far have taken place very much according to plan. We have also held one Sunday viewing of the Online Service and another is planned for 10.30 this coming Sunday. Those attending speak positively of their experience!

On Sunday 20th September we plan our first Sunday Service, and this will take place at 10am and last no more than 30 minutes. We look forward to welcoming members of the congregation to this Service and together with the Wednesday Worship this pattern will continue through the coming weeks. On a Sunday we plan to incorporate some music, and some creative worship from the volunteers who have been so much part of our worship over the last years. These volunteers will pre record their contributions and we will blend these parts of the Service into the content taking place Live on the day.

Alongside these in-person Services we will continue to collaborate with our neighbouring Cluster Group congregations and provide the weekly Online Service on the Aberdeen West Churches YouTube Page with a scheduled start time of 10.30am. We will not be broadcasting our own Sunday Service for the time being but will continue to broadcast the Wednesday Service. (see below)

You have received the full User Guidelines in a previous email, but I would like to again highlight a few key points:-

·        We ask that you Pre-register your intention to attend on a Wednesday and Sunday. Please use the designated Mobile Number – Phoning or Texting your Name(s) to 07592714891 or emailing office@mannofieldchurch.org.uk

Dependent on how many have pre-booked we may have spare capacity on the day itself, but members are asked to note that the capacity remains at 50 and there will be limited places available should high numbers pre-register.

·        You will need to register each week for that given Service (i.e. maximum of 6 days in advance).

·        You should register 24 hours before the scheduled Wednesday and similarly for a Sunday.

·        You will need to wear a face covering.

·        There will be no singing.

·        You must sanitise hands on entry, stay in your seat, always follow the direction of our Welcome Team, and leave the church and grounds promptly at the end.

·        You should stay 2m away from anyone who is not from your family.

A full list of requirements can be found in the Guide previously issued.

Wednesday Service will begin at 10.30am and you should arrive at the door no earlier than 10.15am  The service will last no longer than 30 minutes.

Sunday Service (from 20th Sep) will begin at 10am and you should arrive no earlier than 9.45am. This generally is a longer service than a Wednesday lasting 45mintues approximately. The service will last no longer than 30 minutes.

MANNOFIELD CHURCH YouTube CHANNEL (Re-Branded)

This YouTube Channel will allow us to reach further with our Worship and include those not able to be present physically. The intention is to use this for Live and Recorded Worship starting with the Midweek Services .

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UClRocs_aKrUYmmxnF73mGPg/

This week’s Midweek Service can be found at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=735mON7lDZo&feature=youtu.be&fbclid=IwAR3HCipITKlGA-fJr2AhVLndYIHENW0oDPRoeQZlGbbCggQbRt_ktKmO0G8

As always, I include below the links to the different ways that you can keep up to date with Services being produced on Sundays and Midweek.

Stay well – Stay Safe – and God Bless

Keith

Contact Telephone numbers: – 07592 714891 and 07922 831715.

You Tube  Aberdeen West Churches Sunday Worship

 https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCP4UWG4vEAhuLZ0F79-9U2g

Dial-In Sunday Service: Call 01224 013222

 Podcast Options:

ANCHOR https://anchor.fm/keith-blackwood
APPLE  https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/mannofield-church-sermons/id1460470663?ign-mpt=uo%3D4
GOOGLE https://podcasts.google.com/?feed=aHR0cHM6Ly9hbmNob3IuZm0vcy9hODA1NTQ4L3BvZGNhc3QvcnNz

SPOTIFY https://open.spotify.com/show/1prNZ2DWoxTg4XzDRS68rL

show/1prNZ2DWoxTg4XzDRS68rL

Twitter: @MannofieldKirk

Keith

Posted on 25 August

Dear Friends

Aberdeen tomorrow comes out of Local Lockdown. It means that we can now go ahead with the EXCITING PLAN FOR A LIMITED RE-OPENING FOR WORSHIP.

Wednesday 2nd September will be the first weekly Midweek Worship at 10.30am.

Sunday 6th September, we plan to hold a viewing of the Online Worship at 10.30am. We will adopt this plan for a Sunday for a few weeks before hopefully offering our own short physical Worship Service at 10am on a Sunday morning.

In accordance with the Guidelines of the Scottish Government and the Church of Scotland a committee has been working extremely hard and a Risk Assessment has been accepted by Presbytery. You will appreciate that the Guidelines are extremely strict, and it is crucial that we adhere to them in every regard. At this stage it only limited communal worship that can take place within our Church Buildings. This is a restriction of the Scottish Government and is fully endorsed by the Church of Scotland in its own guidance to Presbyteries and Congregations. Echoing the message of the First Minister of Scotland we live in very fragile times as Lockdown Measures are lifted in some areas of society, and we must remain vigilant.

In the attached document you will be able to study the “USER GUIDE” for our Safe-Opening.

I highlight a few key points:-

·        We ask that you Pre-register your intention to attend on a Wednesday and Sunday. Please use the designated Mobile Number – Phoning or Texting your Name(s) to 07592714891 or email the church email address office@mannofieldchurch.org.uk

·        You will need to register each week for that given Service (i.e. maximum of 6 days in advance).

·        You should register at least 24 hours before the scheduled Wednesday and similarly for a Sunday.

·        You will need to wear a face covering.

·        There will be no singing.

·        You must sanitise hands on entry, stay in your seat, always follow the direction of our Welcome Team, and leave the church and grounds promptly at the end.

·        You should stay 2m away from anyone who is not from your family.

A handy tool for assessing your own Risk as you consider whether attending worship is right for you has been created by the Church of Scotland and can be found by clicking on this Link

Wednesday Service will begin at 10.30am and you should arrive at the door no earlier than 10.15am  The service will last no longer than 30 minutes.

The intention for Sundays to begin with, is that this is primarily intended for those church members who cannot watch the Service at home. Again pre-registration is requested. As per the Wednesday Service  – arrival should be after 10.15am. This generally is a longer service than a Wednesday lasting 45mintues approximately. Facemasks will be required.

MANNOFIELD CHURCH YOUTUBE CHANNEL (Re-Branded)

Much like the current AberdeenWestChurches YouTube Channel, we have established a YouTube Channel that will allow us to reach further with our Worship and include those not able to be present physically. The intention is to use this for Live and Recorded Worship.

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UClRocs_aKrUYmmxnF73mGPg/

As always, I include below the links to the different ways that you can keep up to date with Services being produced on Sundays and Midweek.

Stay well – Stay Safe – and God Bless

Keith

Contact Telephone numbers: – 07592 714891 and 07922 831715.

You Tube Sunday Worship https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCP4UWG4vEAhuLZ0F79-9U2g

Dial-In Sunday Service: Call 01224 013222

 Podcast Options:

ANCHOR https://anchor.fm/keith-blackwood
APPLE  https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/mannofield-church-sermons/id1460470663?ign-mpt=uo%3D4
GOOGLE https://podcasts.google.com/?feed=aHR0cHM6Ly9hbmNob3IuZm0vcy9hODA1NTQ4L3BvZGNhc3QvcnNz

SPOTIFY https://open.spotify.com/show/1prNZ2DWoxTg4XzDRS68rL

show/1prNZ2DWoxTg4XzDRS68rL

Twitter: @MannofieldKirk

Keith

Posted on 8 August

Dear Friends

Aberdeen is suddenly the focal point for National news with the local Lockdown that has been set in place after the Covid-19 spike in cases. It is a worrying time for many for so many reasons. We think about the worry that this causes in terms of individual health, and the challenge for the local economy. Our prayers are with all who have concerns.

Until Wednesday 5th, it had been my intention to bring you “EXCITING NEWS OF A LIMITED RE-OPENING FOR WORSHIP”, as we had been working towards re-opening for worship on Wednesday 12th August. However, because of the local Lockdown, we think it appropriate to put this on hold.

We will still share with you the relevant information that has been put together for reopening now and this will give you more time to get to grips with what the arrangements are. When the local Lockdown is over, we will advertise the new reopening date. Watch this space!

Working in terms of Guidelines issued by both the Scottish Government and the Church of Scotland, our Buildings have been checked over and made ready and a Risk Assessment has been prepared to identify and address potential problems. You will appreciate that, for good reasons, the Guidelines are extremely strict, and it is crucial that we adhere to them in every regard. Our work must be scrutinised and approved by Presbytery before we are given approval to reopen our building.

At this stage, as you may be aware, only limited communal worship can take place.

I highlight a few key points:-

·        Total numbers are limited to 50. To enable us to be sure we can accommodate everyone, we would ask that you Pre-register your intention to attend on a Wednesday and a Sunday. This will be done by calling or texting the designated Mobile Number –  07592714891 or by email to the church – office@mannofieldchurch.org.uk,  providing your name and contact details.

·        You should register by a Tuesday morning for Wednesday and Friday morning for a Sunday.

At the Service: –

·        you will need to wear a face covering.

·        There will be no singing.

·        You must sanitise hands on entry, stay in your seat, always follow the direction of our Welcome Team, and leave the church and grounds promptly at the end.

·        You should stay 2m away from anyone who is not from your family.

More step by step details can be found in the “USER GUIDE” by clicking on this link.

Wednesday Service will begin at 10.30am and you should arrive at the door no earlier than 10.15am  The service will last no longer than 30 minutes.

The intention for Sundays initially, is to show on the screen, the West Aberdeen Churches YouTube Service “as Live”, commencing at 10.30am.  This is primarily intended for those church members who cannot watch this Service at home. We are looking to re-open on Sundays gradually, ensuring we can safely accommodate those attending – so, if you can watch the Service at home, you are encouraged to continue to do so. We hope to contact people who do not have access to YouTube to invite them to watch it at the Church on a Sunday. Arrival should be no earlier than 10.15am. This generally is a longer service than a Wednesday lasting 45mins.

A NEW MEMBER OF THE MINISTRY TEAM

From 1st of August, and for a period of 12 months, we welcome Dr Amy Bender to our Team. Amy is to undertake with us her final Placement for Training for Ministry in the Church of Scotland (Probation Period). Amy would love to get to meet some of you over “Zoom”, and she shares the following invitation with you:-

Dear Mannofield Family,

In order to begin my placement and get to know each other during this unusual time, I am proposing 2 separate opportunities on Zoom next week. This will be time set aside (about 30 minutes) for an informal chat for you to introduce yourselves to me and to find out more about each other. I am looking forward to learning about my new worshipping community. Please do join me on one of the links below.

In peace,
Amy

Time: Aug 11, 2020 10:00 AM London

Join Zoom Meeting
https://us04web.zoom.us/j/75227350703?pwd=aHA5YzE4WHVITmRzRW84VVF1dVkxZz09

Meeting ID: 752 2735 0703
Passcode: 5EcBkH

Time: Aug 13, 2020 07:30 PM London

Join Zoom Meeting
https://us04web.zoom.us/j/75888352456?pwd=a213UkxIN2JOdHRXTGlkS2V0TkJpUT09

Meeting ID: 758 8835 2456
Passcode: 0Krq1G

OUTSIDE MEET-UPS WITH MINISTERS

After local Lockdown Restrictions are lifted, Keith, Amy and Dorte would love to arrange meet-ups in the church grounds (or gardens) for one-to-one coffee and chat. Lockdown has meant no pastoral face-to-face meetings and although phone calls/e-mails/ video chats have continued, all of us recognise this is not nearly the same as seeing each other. As we move forward it would be good to connect with each other again in person. The Team would especially enjoy meeting up with people who have found the last months particularly challenging. Perhaps some of you have experienced illness, undergone treatment/ surgery that we do not know about?

If you would like to see us face-to-face (or you know someone who you would think would appreciate this) please phone the following number to arrange:- 07592714891

MANNOFIELD CHURCH YOUTUBE CHANNEL (Re-Branded)

Similar to the Aberdeen West Churches YouTube Channel, we have established our own YouTube Channel that will allow us to reach further with our Worship and include those not able to attend the Church. The intention is to use this to broadcast Live and Recorded Worship.

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UClRocs_aKrUYmmxnF73mGPg/

As always, I include below the links to the different ways that you can keep up to date with Services being produced on Sundays and Midweek.

Stay well – Stay Safe – and God Bless

Keith

Contact Telephone numbers: – 07592 714891 and 07922 831715.

You Tube Sunday Worship https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCP4UWG4vEAhuLZ0F79-9U2g

Dial-In Sunday Service: Call 01224 013222

 

Podcast Options:

ANCHOR https://anchor.fm/keith-blackwood
APPLE  https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/mannofield-church-sermons/id1460470663?ign-mpt=uo%3D4
GOOGLE https://podcasts.google.com/?feed=aHR0cHM6Ly9hbmNob3IuZm0vcy9hODA1NTQ4L3BvZGNhc3QvcnNz

SPOTIFY https://open.spotify.com/show/1prNZ2DWoxTg4XzDRS68rL

show/1prNZ2DWoxTg4XzDRS68rL

Twitter: @MannofieldKirk

 

Keith

Posted on 18 July

Dear Friends

A final update before heading off on Annual Leave for 2 weeks.

MINISTER’S HOLIDAY

From Sunday 19th July until Sunday 2nd August I will be on Holiday and the Rev Kenneth Petrie 01224 315125 will be covering.

A NEW MEMBER OF THE MINISTRY TEAM

From 1st of August and for a period of 12 months we welcome Dr Amy Bender to our Team. Amy is to undertake her final Placement for Training for Ministry in the Church of Scotland (Probation Period) with us. Amy has produced a short video biography of herself as in the current circumstances it will be a few weeks until we are able to welcome her in person. Please follow this Link:-

https://youtu.be/U3pmGLY3Pl0

MANNOFIELD CHURCH YOUTUBE CHANNEL (Re-Branded)

The above video has been shared on the re-branded YouTube Channel for the Church. In the coming months as we hope to return to physical worship in the Sanctuary, we recognise that it will be important to continue to broadcast the Worship online. Much like the current AberdeenWestChurches YouTube Channel, this Channel will allow us to reach further with our Worship and include those not able to be present physically. Please watch the Introductory Video on the Page and ‘Subscribe’ to the Channel so you are ready for future broadcasts – Live and Recorded. https://www.youtube.com/channel/UClRocs_aKrUYmmxnF73mGPg/

SUNDAY WORSHIP

This Sunday and on  26th July we are delighted to announce the Online Worship will feature Services recorded by Rev Dr Martin Fair the Moderator of the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland.

HOLIDAY CLUB

A reminder that the Virtual Holiday Club is to take place 3rd to 7th August. You can pre-register by sending an email here awholidayclub@gmail.com. More information from DGriesse@churchofscotland.org.uk

FUTURE REOPENING

The Kirk Session, together with the Kirk Sessions of Aberdeen West Churches, are working towards mid-August as a possible start date for a limited and safe return to our buildings. Our ambition is to hold our Midweek Service within the Building from 12th August. We have guidelines to follow as issued by the Church of Scotland and the Scottish Government. They have legislated a maximum number of attendees for a scheduled Worship Services of 50. An update will be provided early next month.

CAFÉ CONNECT

Café Connect is open Thursday to Saturday between 10am and 3pm for Takeaway and Order Collections and we really hope that members of the congregation will support the reopening and visit for Takeaway and Orders

As always, I include below the links to the different ways that you can keep up to date with Services being produced on Sundays and Midweek.

Stay well – Stay Safe – and God Bless

Keith

You Tube Worship https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCP4UWG4vEAhuLZ0F79-9U2g

Dial-In Service: Call 01224 013222

 

Podcast Options:

ANCHOR https://anchor.fm/keith-blackwood
APPLE  https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/mannofield-church-sermons/id1460470663?ign-mpt=uo%3D4
GOOGLE https://podcasts.google.com/?feed=aHR0cHM6Ly9hbmNob3IuZm0vcy9hODA1NTQ4L3BvZGNhc3QvcnNz

SPOTIFY https://open.spotify.com/show/1prNZ2DWoxTg4XzDRS68rL

show/1prNZ2DWoxTg4XzDRS68rL

Twitter: @MannofieldKirk

Keith, 

Posted on 9 July

Dear Friends

I hope you are all well.

CAFÉ CONNECT

As we move onwards and see some restrictions lifted across Scotland and the UK, I am delighted to share that Café Connect will see a staggered reopening from next week. Café Connect chose not to offer a Take-away Service during Lockdown to keep staff and customers very safe. As Lockdown Restrictions are eased, the Directors and Team feel it is safe to open for a limited Service from Thursday 16th July. Much care is being taken to keep everyone safe and this will mean all recommendations issued by the Scottish Government will be followed.

We are proud of our Café and we really hope that members of the congregation will support the reopening and visit for Takeaway or Order.

The Café will be open for Takeaway and Order Collections – Thur-Sat 16th-18th July between 10am and 3pm.

Only Staff will have access to the Building. All Orders and Payment will be taken from a Station situated outside and drinks/ food will be brought to you outside. There will be a strict Queueing System that will adhere to Social Distancing Rules. A limited number of outdoor seats/ tables will be available for those waiting. Please always follow the direction of the Staff Member!

Payment should be made by Contactless Payment

Although walk-ins are always welcome, we recommend phoning or messaging the café in advance for quickness and to discuss what you require. A menu is attached, and we also draw you attention to the ‘Specials’ that can be ordered which will save you some cooking! The special for the first opening days (16-18th July) is Cheesy Chilli Nachos. We hope many of you will help us and treat yourself by placing an Order.

To place an Order please phone the Café during opening hours on 01224 318962 or by using the “Send Message” option on the Café Facebook Page https://www.facebook.com/Cafe-Connect-Mannofield-1681669732132171/

MINISTER’S HOLIDAY

From Sunday 19th July until Sunday 2nd August I will be on Holiday and the Rev Kenneth Petrie 01224 315125 will be covering.

SUNDAY WORSHIP

On Sundays 19th and 26th July we are delighted to announce the Online Worship will feature Services recorded by Rev Dr Martin Fair the Moderator of the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland. Martin was very keen that Ministers’ were encouraged to take a holiday  – even in these strange times. His idea was to record 2 full services that could be used ‘off-the-shelf’. Not only will this give the Ministers of Aberdeen West Churches a break from Recording – but also the Editor who puts all the content together.

HOLIDAY CLUB

Attached is also the Flyer for the Holiday Club to take place 3rd to 7th August. You can pre-register by sending an email here awholidayclub@gmail.com.

Click here to see Flyer

FUTURE REOPENING

As I write this, we await news in the first instance from the Scottish Government about the lifting of further Lockdown Restrictions – followed by Guidance from the Church of Scotland. It is anticipated that direct mention will be made about the option for Church Buildings to reopen for small communal Gatherings soon. The Kirk Session, together with the Kirk Sessions of Aberdeen West Churches, are working towards mid-August as a possible start date for a limited and safe return to our buildings. An update will be provided next week.

As always, I include below the links to the different ways that you can keep up to date with Services being produced on Sundays and Midweek.

Stay well – Stay Safe – and God Bless

Keith

Contact Telephone numbers: – 07592 714891 and 07922 831715.

You Tube Worship https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCP4UWG4vEAhuLZ0F79-9U2g

Dial-In Service: Call 01224 013222

 

Podcast Options:

ANCHOR https://anchor.fm/keith-blackwood
APPLE  https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/mannofield-church-sermons/id1460470663?ign-mpt=uo%3D4
GOOGLE https://podcasts.google.com/?feed=aHR0cHM6Ly9hbmNob3IuZm0vcy9hODA1NTQ4L3BvZGNhc3QvcnNz

SPOTIFY https://open.spotify.com/show/1prNZ2DWoxTg4XzDRS68rL

show/1prNZ2DWoxTg4XzDRS68rL

Twitter: @MannofieldKirk

 

Posted on 24 June

Dear Friends

Spring 2020 has come and gone, and it will be one that will be remembered for an awfully long time. Aspects of life we have taken for granted – are absent or not available to us due to the Covid-19 Pandemic. Churches have for the first time in living memory coped with their buildings being closed and as result finding new ways to reach out to people and community.

Although the Virus is still present in our communities – the news is getting better. Not forgetting those who have lost their lives, and those who have lost loved ones, the news that the Infection Rate is falling is very welcome. The Scottish Government has taken the decision that as a country we can move from Phase 1 to Phase 2 and some restrictions as a result have been relaxed.

Despite this as we regularly hear, night after night, there remains the need for care and continued patience.

You will perhaps know that Phase 2 allows the Churches of Scotland to consider opening for Individual Prayer. I say ‘consider’, as the Government Papers on Phase 2 are very clear that it is for the Denominations, Presbyteries and individual Congregations to consider their unique circumstances and ‘responsibility of care for others’ and assess whether it is safe and feasible for a church building to open. The Church of Scotland has published the Guidelines for Opening of Church Buildings through Phase 2, Phase 3, and Phase 4. Aberdeen Presbytery has instructed each Kirk Session to familiarise itself with the guidelines and insist that only after a Risk Assessment is undertaken would it be possible for a Kirk Session to agree to open its Building.

Our Kirk Session discussed this last week. After a Review of the situation we decided not to open our Buildings in Phase 2 but use the time to plan for a safe opening of buildings in Phase 3 when the rules would indicate that a church building could open for small groups of people. On the roadmap of the Scottish Government it is envisaged this would not be before the middle of August.

Clearly some people will be disappointed that the Church Building is not open for Individual Prayer. The Kirk Session were conscious that some people find great solace in a church being open for prayer. However, overwhelmingly it was deemed that at this stage our duty of care to keep people safe is the priority and we do not have the capacity for meeting the regulations at this stage. We also considered the fact that the use of such an opportunity would be limited at this stage given it is for ‘individual prayer’. Phase 3 and the opportunity to meet in small groups is however very much something to look forward to and it was agreed our energy should be committed to being ready for the safe opening of our buildings at that point.

I am not going to run through the Guidelines that a Church is required to follow at Phase 2, 3, or 4 to open safely. (Including the Risk Assessment the document runs to 35 pages!) But I did come across a short post on Facebook that I found helpful and with permission form the original writer and a little adaption I include it below:

Individual Prayer

 

We could now open this Church for Individual Prayer, but we won’t be.

 

Why not?

Because if you came to the Church to Pray, we would need to:

·       Make you wash and sanitise your hands before you entered

·       Instruct you to wear a mask

·       Ask you if you have any covid-19 symptoms, ask if you have underlying health issues, ask if you recently had a Flu Jab –  and turn you away should the answer to these be ‘yes’

·       Tell you the seat you were able to sit in

·       Warn you not to sing, sneeze or cough out into the open

·       Ask you to leave by a separate door and make sure you did not go into any other rooms in the building

·       Warn you not to pick up anything

·       Advise that should you feel upset, become ill, or develop a cough we would need to keep our distance

·       Then clean and disinfect the seat you sat in and any surfaces you touched

 

Alternatively you could:

 

·       carry on talking to God from your own living room

or garden

·       Talk to God as you walk in the open air along the promenade

or in the forest

 

You do not need special objects, special people, special words, or be in special places to talk with God. He loves you – He listens – always!

 

Although the Church Building is shut. The ears of God are never shut.

 

As we wait patiently for our buildings to open – know that much work is being undertaken to ensure that when we do open everyone will be safe.

 

As always, I include below the links to the different ways that you can keep up-to-date with Services being produced on Sundays and Midweek.

Stay well – Stay Safe – and God Bless

Keith

Contact Telephone numbers: – 07592 714891 and 07922 831715.

You Tube Worship https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCP4UWG4vEAhuLZ0F79-9U2g

Dial-In Service: Call 01224 013222

 

Twitter: @MannofieldKirk

 

Podcast Options:

ANCHOR https://anchor.fm/keith-blackwood
APPLE  https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/mannofield-church-sermons/id1460470663?ign-mpt=uo%3D4
GOOGLE https://podcasts.google.com/?feed=aHR0cHM6Ly9hbmNob3IuZm0vcy9hODA1NTQ4L3BvZGNhc3QvcnNz

SPOTIFY https://open.spotify.com/show/1prNZ2DWoxTg4XzDRS68rL

show/1prNZ2DWoxTg4XzDRS68rL

Keith

Posted on 6 June 2020

Dear All, Welcome to the latest Newsletter                                                       6th June 2020

Faith and Equality

It seems inappropriate to jump straight in to publish a new Service available through the Church of Scotland that allows for Online Donations, without recognising the tragedy of inequality and racism in our world. The police brutality against George Floyd, his ultimate death,  and the conversation that developed politically and socially, made clear once again the active scandal of racism and injustice in our world.

It is hard to believe that people do not just get the message that there is no place for this in society. And yet, it exists, and many today can testify to being the victims of physical and emotional victimisation on account of skin colour. It is understandable that so many good people are outraged that some are so disrespected in our society today. Black Lives Matter!

The Church of Scotland response in our own country as been quick and clear.

The Gospel is clear that dehumanising people on account of skin colour, or any other variation in the human characteristics, should not and cannot be tolerated. It has no place in God’s world. A reading of God’s Word makes this clear. The President of the United States should take note that the Bible he holds up as part of an arranged photo opportunity is unequivocal in making plain that both his policies, and his perspective and demeanour, are at odds with much of God’s teaching contained within it.

Today, we pray for the victims of racism. We pray for a change in our world towards complete tolerance, respect and cherishing of all God’s people.

Donating to The Church of Scotland/Mannofield

The Church of Scotland has launched a new way to donate to the Church, both Nationally and locally through their website.

If you wish to use this way of donating, you can use a PayPal account or have a Debit or Credit card to hand and then visit the website of the Church of Scotland. Whilst you could go to the Home page of the Church of Scotland website and click on the red “Donate” box, the direct link to the appropriate page is: –

               https://cos.churchofscotland.org.uk/donate/

When you get there, please note that the default position is to donate to the National Church. If that is what you want, just proceed to Step 2. However, you can donate to any local Church, but to do so, you need to click on “Donate to a Congregation”. That will bring up a search box. Should you wish to donate to Mannofield then start to type that in the box and our details will come up (using our full name of “Aberdeen Mannofield”). Click on that and proceed to Step 2.

At Step 2 there is, again a default position of opting in. If you are not a taxpayer, click on the circle with the sentence starting “No, I am not a UK taxpayer” and proceed to Step 3. If you are a UK taxpayer, simply complete the name and address details at Step 2 and then proceed to Step 3.

Step 3 is simply a case of clicking on the red “Donate” box. This will take you to PayPal. If you have a PayPal account, you can use that to make a payment. There is also an option to create a PayPal account if you wish. However, the more normal way is by debit or credit card which is the lower box. Click on that and this will take you to the details required to make the payment required.

Still Communicating God’s Word

Below is a reminder of all the various ways we are continuing to broadcast and publish God’s Word in lockdown. I urge you to dip into what we offer. A lot of work is spent trying to make use of the technology out there in order that we can still provide good quality worship and spiritual nourishment.

In addition to YouTube Worship, Dial-In Phone Service, Podcasting and Facebook, today I draw your attention to the Twitter handle of the Church. I am trying to use this to provide additional communication and you are welcome to ‘Follow’. @MannofieldKirk

Contact Telephone numbers: – 07592 714891 and 07922 831715.

You Tube Worship https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCP4UWG4vEAhuLZ0F79-9U2g

Dial-In Service: Call 01224 013222

Twitter: @MannofieldKirk

Podcast Options:

ANCHOR https://anchor.fm/keith-blackwood
APPLE  https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/mannofield-church-sermons/id1460470663?ign-mpt=uo%3D4
GOOGLE https://podcasts.google.com/?feed=aHR0cHM6Ly9hbmNob3IuZm0vcy9hODA1NTQ4L3BvZGNhc3QvcnNz

SPOTIFY https://open.spotify.com/show/1prNZ2DWoxTg4XzDRS68rL

show/1prNZ2DWoxTg4XzDRS68rL

Stay safe and God Bless

Keith

Posted on 31 May 2020

Dear Friends

Sunday is the BIRTHDAY of the CHURCH. Otherwise known as PENTECOST SUNDAY. We have a wealth of Worship opportunities that can be watched Live, As Live, or watched Later in the Day/ Week.

Our local Weekly Worship will be broadcast at 10.30am on the usual YouTube Channel. (see below)

Before that however, the National Service arranged and led by the Rev Dr Martin Fair (Moderator of General Assembly) will start at 10am and will be available through the Link on our FACEBOOK PAGE.

At 11am (or when you want to watch it) a special Service with lots of Music will mark the Union of the Presbytery of Aberdeen and the Presbytery of Shetland with our own Moderator Rev Hutton Steel leading Worship. Again this Service will be available through a Link on the Facebook Page.

Sunday would have been the day for ‘Pentecost in the Park’ event. Instead we have created a virtual event ‘Pentecost not in the Park’. It will broadcast here on the Facebook Page and the West Aberdeen Churches YouTube Page at 12 Noon.

All events can be viewed live or later in the day/ week when you have time.

As we move to a lifting of the Restriction of Lockdown many will be wondering about arrangements for the Church. Nationally conversations have started about how to keep people safe in the churches. We will be guided by the National Church and Presbyter. It is clear to me that we are a long time off any kind of normality, and even the most minimal of changes to access to the church building is some way off.

The imperative is to keep people safe. Recognising the age-group of most church attenders the responsibility on the Church is huge. First and foremost our buildings and gatherings must be safe,

This will be a disappointment to many who long for meeting up again in the church building and grounds. It also of courses continues the financial challenge we, like all churches, face. A big thank you to those who have placed FWO Envelopes in the mailbox, written cheques, and arranged new (or increased) Standing Orders. If any member would like to talk about their financial giving please don’t hesitate to get in touch.

As the banner outside the church building says, ‘though the church building is shut the work of the church continues’. We are feeding people spiritually through the Sunday and Wednesday Services, Prayer Group, and online Bible Study. We are caring for people pastorally. We are helping our community through support of Foodbanks on a Thursday.

I pray you stay safe and well and look forward to catching up with you soon.

God Bless

Keith

Contact Telephone numbers: – 07592 714891 and 07922 831715.

You Tube Worship https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCP4UWG4vEAhuLZ0F79-9U2g

Dial-In Service: Call 01224 013222

Podcast Options:

ANCHOR https://anchor.fm/keith-blackwood
APPLE  https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/mannofield-church-sermons/id1460470663?ign-mpt=uo%3D4
GOOGLE https://podcasts.google.com/?feed=aHR0cHM6Ly9hbmNob3IuZm0vcy9hODA1NTQ4L3BvZGNhc3QvcnNz

SPOTIFY https://open.spotify.com/show/1prNZ2DWoxTg4XzDRS68rL

show/1prNZ2DWoxTg4XzDRS68rL

Keith, Church Office

Tel: 01224 310087

Registered Charity No. SC001680

Posted on 14 May 2020

Dear Friends

This week I am delighted to announce the launch of a new dial in” facility for our joint Sunday Services.

This is as simple as dialling the number as you would any other phone call you make. It is especially useful perhaps for those who do not find the Internet and YouTube easy to navigate. This is an easy way to connect with weekly Worship. Please pass on the phone number to people you think will benefit from it and might find it easier to use.

Calls are charged at a standard rate of 1.5p per minute but will be free if people have inclusive minutes on their phone contract (Landline or Mobile). The abridged audio-only version of each service is around 30 minutes.

Call 01224 013222 to access the broadcast.

 A welcome message will greet you, and after a short delay the Service recording will start.

As usual the usual collaborative Service will stream at 10.30am on the new Aberdeen West Churches YouTube channel (Link below).

Finally, I mention the continuation of Christian Aid Week which ends this weekend. There are many ways to support the work of CA. This link takes you to a page where you can make a direct gift. https://www.christianaid.org.uk/give-money/make-donation

On Saturday, the new Moderator of the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland will be installed, and to celebrate he will be at home and presenting a Quiz in aid of Christian Aid. I have mentioned the Quiz he has been running on Saturday evenings before (in aid of NHS Charities) and again this one will be well worth tuning in to. It will be Shared on our own Mannofield Facebook Page, beginning at 8pm.

I continue you to hold you all in prayers and trust you and your families are well.

God Bless

Keith

Contact Telephone numbers: – 07592 714891 and 07922 831715.

You Tube Worship https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCP4UWG4vEAhuLZ0F79-9U2g

Dial-In Service: Call 01224 013222

Podcast Options:

ANCHOR https://anchor.fm/keith-blackwood
APPLE  https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/mannofield-church-sermons/id1460470663?ign-mpt=uo%3D4
GOOGLE https://podcasts.google.com/?feed=aHR0cHM6Ly9hbmNob3IuZm0vcy9hODA1NTQ4L3BvZGNhc3QvcnNz

SPOTIFY https://open.spotify.com/show/1prNZ2DWoxTg4XzDRS68rL

show/1prNZ2DWoxTg4XzDRS68rL

 

Keith

Posted on 9 May

7 May 2020

Hi Folks

We all await the announcement from the Prime Minister (and the First Minister) on the programme for the easing of restrictions. We know that this will not mean the end to the quite different circumstances we live through, but at least the ‘Peak’ appears to be passing.

I pray that you and your families are well. As I reflected on, in this week’s podcast, ‘Perseverance’ is a requirement for God’s people to have, and so we must seek to keep going and continue to look for ways to support each other in the days to come.

Below, I take the opportunity to update you on a few points of interest.

As always you are in my thoughts and prayers.

Keith

 

Sunday Service

Many of you have been enjoying the weekly Sunday Service on You Tube which is produced by a collaborative effort between ourselves and sister congregations of Cults, Kingswells, Peterculter and Cragiebuckler.

Please note that from this Sunday the broadcast will be on a new You Tube Channel. The Link is below, or you can search “Aberdeen West Churches” on You Tube. The new channel will continue to have the previous services hosted on Cults YouTube page. (now found under the ‘Playlist Tab’). We would appreciate if you “Subscribe” to new channel in order that you can easily find it whenever you log on to You Tube as it will appear at the head of your page, and in time Subscribing will allow us to designate an easier link than the one below.

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCP4UWG4vEAhuLZ0F79-9U2g

 

Midweek Service

The midweek Podcast continues and can be found using the links below. This coming Wednesday the service will be broadcast on Zoom and you are welcome to join in through the Link below. Again on Wednesday 27th May we will use the same link for hosting the Wednesday Service and in this occasion we will celebrate the Sacrament of Communion. Please have bread and a suitable drink  any of wine, juice, or water) at your side. Both Zoom services will begin at 10.30 and a Podcast will continue to be published.

https://zoom.us/j/96644814410

 

 

Christian Aid Week 10th -17th May

Christian Aid is a charity we support as a Church. This year there is no door-to-door collection and the challenging circumstances mean that Christian Aid is urgently needing our support next week. The link below will take you to a Page where donations to Christian Aid can be made.

https://donate.christianaid.org.uk/Donate/Step/1?ApproachCode=A035237&_ga=2.135094450.220403047.1588837687-963197072.1588663625

 

Bible Reading Notes

Alan and Anne Thompson have provided these Bible Readings and Notes that you might like to use during this lockdown. If we all read the same passages each day, it brings us together.

 

Posted on 4 April

Dear Friends

As another week passes with us still in lockdown, with the news on the TV telling of an increase in the spread of the virus and our isolation is to continue, we pray that you are keeping healthy and feeling strong.

 The Church and Café Connect are now fully shut and those who worked in the building have been furloughed. A new word for us all, but, at Mannofield, it means that we have told our family of workers that we want them to remain part of our Team and to carry on doing the great work they had been doing and get back to doing it just as soon as we are allowed. We hope and pray it will be safe to do so sooner rather than later. However, in the meantime, as part of the Government Scheme, any financial worry will be eased for them.

The increased workload since “lock down” has continued and brings pressures because, not only is the new work out of the ordinary, but the ways of doing things can be totally different. It has been a sharp learning curve and there is no manual to refer to with a list of things to do and how to do them. The 2 main areas of focus have been helping those in need and looking for ways to stay in touch.

In relation to helping, the help lines are producing an increasing number of calls, (30 in the past 2 weeks – 12 from members of the congregation and 18 from the community). As a reminder the numbers are 07592 714891 and 07922 831715. Please get in touch if you need help. Not only for practical things like collecting prescriptions or provisions, but also if you are feeling affected by isolation and want to hear a familiar, reassuring voice. With the number of calls increasing, a request was put out to help and it is pleasing to report that we now have about 20 volunteers on stand-by to deal with calls. An amazing response and another example of how we all want to help as and where we can.

In relation to staying in touch with one another, we are continuing with our virtual Huddle on Tuesdays at 10am. This reviews what we are doing and looks at ways we can do more. All ideas, thoughts and news on what others are doing are shared. Please pass on to us any ideas which you think may work.

In addition, some form of worship has continued and reports back are that people are enjoying being able to have our own and local forms of Worship. Again, it is a steep learning curve into a new area, but all involved are learning. The Wednesday Service podcasts will continue and the links by Anchor, Apple, Google and Spotify are given below. Some without internet connection, have had the podcast played to them over the phone this week and have found this comforting.

This coming week is, of course, Holy week starting with Palm Sunday on 5th April. As well as the Palm Sunday Worship at 10.30 am on Sunday, the Aberdeen West Ministers are recording a daily message for Holy Week on the same You Tube Cults Church Channel. This will be put on the channel at 7pm each evening during Holy Week and the Thursday broadcast will include a virtual Communion. The You Tube link is repeated below.

Also, we are running a Bible Study following a course produced by Prof. N. T. Wright on Paul’s Letter to the Philippians and a number of people, not only from throughout Aberdeen, but also from across Scotland are “meeting” by video conference to take part. Connections being made, even though we are unable to visit.

For now, have a great weekend and continue to keep safe.

God Bless,

Keith (Minister) and Bob (Session Clerk)

You Tube Worshiphttps://www.youtube.com/channel/UC6aIrjGmvx2kBKjp8QIHchg

 Podcast Options:

ANCHOR https://anchor.fm/keith-blackwood
APPLE  https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/mannofield-church-sermons/id1460470663?ign-mpt=uo%3D4
GOOGLE https://podcasts.google.com/?feed=aHR0cHM6Ly9hbmNob3IuZm0vcy9hODA1NTQ4L3BvZGNhc3QvcnNz

SPOTIFY https://open.spotify.com/show/1prNZ2DWoxTg4XzDRS68rL

 

Posted on 28 March

Dear Friends

I pray that you are keeping healthy  and feeling strong.

On the surface of it, when you think that with Public Worship no longer taking place, the Church and  Café Connect in full shut down, it not being able to make any visits to hospital or to people’s homes – that my working week would be short of things to do. How wrong!

The fact is, as I was discussing with a colleague this week, I don’t think I have had a fortnight with as much intensive  working for a long time. At the latest count in the last 10 days I think I have: convened 12 virtual meetings, dealt with over 350 emails/ messages, continued to contribute to online worship, continued podcasting, set up an online Bible Study and led its first meeting, helped take in food for our Foodbank on Sunday, conducted a Funeral, tried hard to keep communicating through social media, prepared a Grant Application for funding relief, and conducted around 30 phone calls.

In addition to this I am pleased to say that the response to the invitation we circulated, to be used by anybody in the community who needed support, has resulted in a 5 visits to Pharmacists and then delivering these Drugs to people who made the request, 2 phone calls of support; and Dorte our Families Worker has been involved on 2 occasions doing and delivering shopping.

I am not sharing this for any other reason than to let you know that even in these time of Lock Down we as a Church remain very active in worship, in pastoral care and in community care. In other words we are doing what we need to do as ‘Church’,  to support people in need and give people encouragement through the provision of prayer, Bible Study and Worship. Church may be different, but God is still using us! Tomorrow the Trustees will engage in an online meeting to approve the Accounts. We adapt to the times and do what we can.

I remind you again of the joint online Worship that will be available on the Cults Parish Church YouTube Channel tomorrow at 10.30am, and our own Midweek Service that is on Podcast. Plans are in place to provide an online worship each evening during Holy Week (including Communion on Maundy Thursday), and offer an All-Age Family Service on Easter Sunday.

The Church across Scotland is conducting itself with great ingenuity and care and we can be very proud of our denomination. At the end of the week I received a letter from the Trustees of the General Assembly. Like many Businesses and Organisations this current situation places a huge strain on Finances – both at the local level and centrally. I have some ideas in place that I will share with you next week about how we protect ourselves financially locally, and continue to generate the funds that we share with Edinburgh to keep the overall work of the Church of Scotland going, and importantly enabling it to continue to meet the needs of the poorest people of Scotland. I will write more about this next week.

For now have a great weekend and keep safe.

God Bless

Keith

 

Posted on 28 March

Keith and Dorte each have a mobile phone so that anyone in need of help during this crisis can contact them.  They can offer help with picking up shopping, collecting prescriptions and drugs, posting mail or a reassuring friendly phone call.  Their numbers are:

07592 714891 for Keith and 07922 831715 for Dorte.

Posted on 19 March

From: Presbytery of Aberdeen
Subject: Important, Please Read – CANCELLATION OF PUBLIC WORSHIP

At the time of writing, we are waiting for advice from the Church of Scotland Faith Nurture Forum about what is happening regarding public worship.

I am expecting this advice to be that public worship should cease until further notice during the Coronavirus outbreak. However, regardless of the advice, the Presbytery can make its own decisions regarding public worship.

Given the advice from the Scottish and UK Governments (which specifically mentions religious congregations), given the age profile of our membership and the duty of care we have to them all, I have sought powers from the Convener and Vice Convener of the Business and Finance Committee and the Presbytery Moderator to issue the following:

In light of the ongoing crisis caused by the COVID-19 virus, Presbytery:

Instructs all congregations to cease public worship with immediate effect until further notice and to ensure that the Government advice regarding avoiding non essential contact with others is adhered to;
Encourages congregations to continue pastoral care of their members using other means of communication such as phoning, Skyping, Facetime etc. and to seek ways of offering any practical support that that they can for vulnerable members of the community;
Encourages congregations to explore options regarding placing worship resources on their web site or Facebook page if they have one;
Encourages everyone to uphold in prayer all who are suffering as a consequence of the virus.

I would be grateful if you could pass this on to your congregation and feel free to include it on your web site and/or Facebook page.

The Business and Finance Committee will be discussing further practical aspects of the situation and I will be in touch later in the week.

Please do not hesitate to get in touch if you have any questions during what is going to be a very difficult time for us all.

John
Rev Dr John Ferguson, Presbytery Clerk.

Posted on 13 March

Dear Friends

In his broadcast on 12th March, the Prime Minister was quite correct to reiterate that in a time of national challenge it is important that we look out for one another and have special concern for the most vulnerable in our society and world.

In Mannofield I know that a real spirit of fellowship and care exists and it goes without saying that we take seriously our responsibility to look after each other. That is one reason why I believe that keeping the worship and activities of our church running as best we can during this time of challenge is crucial. Church is important not just spiritually but also socially. For many without church there would be much greater sense of isolation and that is not good for anyone.

We have to be sensible and responsible of course. It is not ‘business as usual’ but it must be stressed that church is and will remain ‘open for business’. The business of Worship, Fellowship, Activity and Care.

Below I have summarised a few precautions that we are putting in place and offered some description of what to expect.

Hygiene & Coronavirus

To put people at ease and to reduce the possibility of infection we will be following the latest guidelines from the Scottish Government.

Food will not be left open for communal sharing. This means that at coffee time on Sundays and Wednesdays there will be no open plates of cakes or biscuits but instead biscuits that are individually wrapped will be used where available or no biscuits offered at all.

Milk and Sugar Sachets will be used instead of milk jugs/ bowls.

For the time being the Offering will not be taken using the communal bags but instead can be placed in the Collection Plate before and after Worship.

We will review the holding of the June Communion nearer the time.

Precautions will be taken about the logistics of Communion at the Maundy Thursday service.

Those who count the offering will follow good practice of washing their hands before and after.

Those on door duty will be delighted to make you welcome but there will be no handshakes, hugs or kisses.

It is advised not to use communal Hymns Books and Bibles. The words will appear on the screen as usual.

Whilst there is inevitable anxiety for us during this time there is no reason for us to be fearful of the impact of our Church activities but instead we will remain vigilant and always use best hygiene practices.

There is no reason unless you are unwell to stop coming to Church. If however you develop a new persistent cough or have a fever you should stay away from the church for 7 days.

The services will continue to be available as a Podcast accessed through Facebook, the website or through a search on usual platforms or by using the link https://anchor.fm/keith-blackwood

There may be some drop off in availability for pastoral visits in the event of any developing symptoms of coughs/ fevers etc. and in the coming weeks following Government advice visits to Nursing Homes will be limited to direct referrals.

CAFE CONNECT is taking its lead from the appropriate guidelines and putting in place best practice hygiene. The Staff would appreciate the congregation’s support in attending the Cafe for coffee/ snacks and lunches during this time. Inevitably there might be some drop off in business in some areas, so it would be really helpful to the continued operation of the Café if those who are able can make intentional effort to support the Café as much as possible.

Following these precautions is sensible. Meantime know that Mannofield is definitely ‘open for business’.

God Bless

Keith

Rev Keith Blackwood