Wednesday, 29 December 2010

Journeying into a New Year.

We spent some time thinking at the service on Christmas Eve about the journeys that were taken that very first Christmas, a pregnant girl, some excited and wondering shepherds, the wise men and God's journey to become Immanuel, God with us. He came to walk our lives, to understand our griefs and trials but to take a path to Calvary so we could know comfort, peace and victory in our lives as we journey into a new year.

The last few weeks have been full of troublesome journeys. Our Christmas Eve service which is normally a time of calm saw us fleeing round the building, ten minutes before we were due to start, trying to work out which toilets would actually flush and not leak .  Ahh, the joys.  Sometimes we do have to battle through to a place of peace.  There are a lot of folks in our communities who are journeying just now with businesses struggling due to the hit they have taken from this weather,  folks who have not been able to work hardly at all this month and others who find this season a stark reminder of all they are missing in their lives. 

On New Years Day our building will be open and there will be a warm welcome there and a hot meal for folks who may find this day more difficult and who would welcome a bit of company. Let's pray that God will draw folks there and that over the next few days posters will be noticed and invites given. The building will be open from twelve and  food served between 1 and 3pm.

The thaw in the weather has helped restore water to all the different parts of the building and a few well timed plumbing procedures by the plumber/pastor has all our facilities back working. We are hopeful that the mop and bucket, which has lived around  the entrance hall for the last few weeks, can be put back in the cupboard.  Both dehumidifiers are now in the creche room and are being emptied most days showing the amount of water that came though this room. We are still waiting to hear from the surveyor and from the restoration team, who hopefully now will just be able to confirm we are on top of the drying process.

Sunday, 19 December 2010

God is good!

We managed it all........curry night, hearing about David and Corne's work, James Bank food pick up, Christmas party and our morning service, and the weather only really played havoc right at the end of it all. We have laughed, talked, prayed, cried some, had a few injuries ( those are stories for another place!), had church and been church.  Our God is good!

As we continue in this advent season we are praying
"May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit."

We have our Carols by Candlelight Christmas Eve at 7pm. Remember too our meal on New Years Day as we seek to give a warm welcome to those who may find this season more difficult. If you can help by donating food items to this contact Mo or the church office.

Thursday, 16 December 2010

Weather Forecasts and Building Update

We have loads of events on over the next few days.  Or we have a lot of things planned.............. the forecast is a little mixed so keep checking back here if there is doubt as to whether things will go ahead. Remember the party on Saturday night 5pm. It will be loads of fun for all ages so come and bring friends. It is a cold finger buffet so please bring plenty to share.

The carpark at Andrew Carnegies birthplace has been ploughed but would appear not to have been gritted. It is parkable but go canny, as in places you could do some pretty spectacular ice skating moves.

Iain and Maureen met the Loss Adjuster in the building to talk through the damage caused by the burst pipe. He was very helpful and will be sending in a restoration team to advise and assist on the drying out of the building to ensure no damp remains to cause later difficulties.  A surveyor is also to be appointed  to help work out the different steps required to get the building back up to scratch. He was clear that the immediate priority was to get the wet carpets and underlay out of the building so that the dehumidifiers could work on drying out the actual building.  With a level of dedicated insanity Iain and Maureen set about getting that done, cutting, carrying, loading and unloading carpets and these are now in the skips at the tip.  Handy hint- carpets and underlay go in separate skips, and not adjoining ones at that!!

Please note that there is now no general  access to the creche due to the concerns about the ceiling.

Saturday, 11 December 2010

Hard work and good progress

 A big thank you to all those who worked so very hard at church today to get it to a place where it is usable for our own activities and the lets during the week. The water to the upstairs kitchen area was isolated and the water to the rest of the building switched back on.  The plumber arrived this afternoon and has done the necessary repair.  We are waiting to hear from the loss adjuster as the building is in the Listed building category and work on the creche ceiling needs to be agreed.
This morning the creche room carpet had a distinct squelch too it and a small amount of water had seeped on to the carpet of the main hall. The vax was busy sucking up more water from this carpet. The carpet here and the youth room need to be thoroughly dried as do the floor boards and ceiling beams.  All the creche toys, and that is no small amount, were hit with a high level of anti bacterial spray, dried and are now either stored in the prayer room or in our temporary creche in the room at the top of the stairs. A small selection of toys are damaged beyond use.

The majority of the Storehouse cupboard has been cleared out and has been dried.  A good amount of stuff we have been able to save, although electrical items and some toiletry items are not salvageable.  We will need to assess where we are at with Starter Packs and storehouse food items this coming week. Thankfully the Christmas Hampers were not bought because of the weather and Jackie was out early this morning doing that.
Our Sunday service will be on tomorrow and will be followed with the AGM. Parking around the building continues to be slightly challenging.  The car park near Skibo court is parkable in part.  The two car parks near Andrew Carnegie's birthplace, at the point of typing this, are still under snow/ice. The two up from the bakers are now both usable.  Directly outside the building there are still a number of ice mounds but these are shrinking all the time.
It will be good to worship God together tomorrow. Come if you can!

Friday, 10 December 2010

Torrential Rain.... inside!

Unfortunately having the heating on 24/7 did not prevent a pipe bursting somewhere in the top floor kitchen of our building.  When Jackie arrived to open for the Friday drama let water was pouring, actually flooding thru down into the creche room and into the Storehouse cupboard below.  Jackie got the water turned off quickly and after about an hour the rain lessened to a light but steady drip and that is how we have left it.

We cleared out the entire creche room into the side hall.  Many of the boxes of toys were completely full of water.  All of this will need washed and dried before it can be used but almost all is usable. The contents of the Storehouse cupboard has taken quite a hit and that is sad. Toiletries, starter packs, food items all wet and it will take time to see what we can salvage.  We will need to think at how we restock. 

The heating is still on and can remain so even tho at this point the water is off.  We have a plumber/engineer coming out at some point tomorrow courtesy of our maintenance contract.

Tomorrow some of us can go in with anti bacterial wipes and clean some creche toys to get a creche functioning for Sunday upstairs. We can also dry some of the others and stack things up in the prayer room.  This clean up party will start at half ten if you can make it. Bring towels or tea towels! We can also finish the clear up of the Storehouse cupboard.

If things can be repaired to a point allowing us to get the water back on then our service will be on as normal on Sunday.  We do have a lot to be thankful for. If the drama had been cancelled this may not have been discovered until much later! Please check back here tomorrow for details.

Thursday, 9 December 2010

The world is beginning to drip

Today we are clearly beginning to see a bit of a thaw after another challenging week.

The snow of Monday meant that we once again had to close the building to lets.  The church office has not be open on either Monday or Tuesday although Ruth has been busy working from home.  Wednesday we managed after a bit of difficulty to get the building open for a group that wanted their class to continue although only one person showed up and the class was then cancelled. 

The conditions around the building even up to lunchtime today (Thursday) remain chaotic.  The huge snow/ice mounds have not been cleared due to the large quantities of cars that are parked there. These mounds are forcing these cars to park a long way from the pavement reducing Priory Lane to a single lane.  The immediate car parks are still under deep snow altho the two car parks up from the bakers are now parkable.

Most of our own church activities have been cancelled this week.  Folks exhausted after getting to work needing time to rest or nowhere to park if you could get there being the main reasons.

We have made the tough decision today to cancel the Go Cracker event for the kids this Saturday.  We have done this reluctantly.  The next day or so should bring marked improvement but there is a significant amount of work needing to be done on the main town cars parks and this will undoubtedly be the main priority likely leaving ours down the list. Our concern was for the safety of the children as they were being dropped off. We also had to take account of the hit that all the preparation had taken and that at least one of our key players can still not get her car out.  While we could have delayed the decision we wanted to give families time to make other plans.

We are fully expecting to be able to hold our Service followed by our AGM on Sunday.  We will have a look around the building on Saturday and advise you here of the parking situation.

In the meantime stay warm and dodge those icicles.

Monday, 6 December 2010

Hey is snowing!

I mean..........again?!

A good number of us made it out to church yesterday but it was not easy. A lot of walking, digging and helping each other out. It was good to be together and to sing "Be thou my vision" and hear of God's deep love for each of us, as it all to easy to get focused on the hassle of the snow.  For many though it was not at all possible to come and that is totally understandable. 

Today's snow has again caught us a bit by surprise and clear driveways are once again gone.  Tonight's leadership meeting is cancelled. Much can be done by email and phone. The prayer meeting tomorrow night is also now cancelled. The difficulties of parking in town will be compounded with this fresh down pour. There is next to no chance this will be resolved by tomorrow. Community groups will be at the discretion of group leaders so expect to hear from them directly.

Psalm 103 is a great read.
"......for as high as the heavens are above the earth so great is his steadfast love towards those who fear him"

Saturday, 4 December 2010

Worshipping together!

We can be church wherever we are but there is something good about coming together to worship God and tomorrow morning our building will be warm and welcoming. The heating has been on 24/7.  The roads are all passable in town. Parking will be more of a challenge.The immediate car parks around Priory Lane as of 1300 today were still under deep snow. Most main town carparks,  City Hotel, Kingsgate multi story, former firestation car park are parkable.  There is also parking at the side of the road on St Margaret's Street (Up from bakers and outside  the vets).  So if you are able to get out your street and are willing to walk a little please come and join us.  Bring your slippers and we will start with a cup of tea and coffee at 10.30am.  There will be a kids programme tomorrow almost as normal.
We have decided that we will pour our energy into tomorrow morning and the meeting scheduled for tomorrow evening in Priory Lane is cancelled.
If you are still snowed in then be safe, get in touch if we can do anything and we pray for a rich sense of God's presence with you.
Pray for our Street Pastors who are out tonight.

Thursday, 2 December 2010

What no snow for the last few hours?

Kind of difficult to know if things are calming down a little. Really depends  on what  weather forecast you watch. We will see what the next few days bring.

This week we officially took over the James Bank food run.  All credit to Liberty church members who used backpacks and sledges to ensure the food got there on Wednesday night.  David is confident that he will be able to use conventional means as he starts off our Friday nights for us. If it snows heavily again tho we may be looking for a few intrepid folks to get there on foot!

We are aiming to have our service on Sunday but will do a good check round of roads and car parks on Saturday and let you know how things are looking.  Check back here.

Wednesday, 1 December 2010

Welcome to the Link Blog

This week has shown us that having a few different forms of instant communication might be quite helpful.  We will work on developing this blog. 

Iain made it into our building today. He tried yesterday and while he could reach it he was unable to park anywhere and got stuck in Comely Bank and forty five minutes later was dug out by his dentist!! Today he parked in the City Hotel car park and walked down, passing a few car parks under a foot and a half of snow. The building is all fine and the heating is now on 24/7, avoiding the risk of burst pipes.

While he was there he took a phonecall from the Salvation Army concerned about a lady in the vicinity of our building distraught as she had little food in. Iain was able to take food, from the Storehouse cupboard  and the local baker, and deliver it to her. The Storehouse Ministry is such a valuable ministry.