22nd September 2018
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Christian Connection

The future of a long-running fellowship group is hanging in the balance after its leader announced she was standing down from the post.

Christian Connection – formerly known as the Inter-Church Fellowship until a change of name two years ago – is at risk of disappearing altogether when Liz McNab steps down as planned.

The assistant priest at St Magnus Church has remained at the group’s helm for 20 years, despite only agreeing to run it for two years when she took over the role in 1989.

Now she feels it is time to step back and is looking for a small group of people to take over the running of the group and to infuse new blood.

Now in its 36th year, Christian Connection aims to broaden the understanding of Christians on topics relevant to their faith, and increase their understanding of each other.

“It would be sad if a lack of volunteers meant that a group which has enriched the local Christian scene in so many ways – and for so many years – was allowed to disappear after so long.”

In the meantime, the February meeting of Christian Connection was one of the many casualties of the snow earlier this month.

Fortunately it has been possible to reschedule the cancelled meeting and Linda and Peter Davis will now tell the fascinating and challenging story of their time in Ghana on Thursday April 23rd in Saint Margarets Church in Lerwick.

Weather will, hopefully, not be a problem for next month’s meeting on March 12th, when Jeremy Dare will look at the question of unanswered prayer at the Lerwick Baptist Church hall.

All meetings are open to anyone who is interested.

World Day of Prayer

A series of meetings to celebrate World Day of Prayer will be held throughout Shetland next month.

The common day of prayer in over 180 countries is held every year in March, and gives worshippers a chance to show compassion for their fellow Christians in other countries.

Following the theme “In Christ there are many members, yet one body”, this year’s service will be for Papua New Guinea.

Services will begin as the sun rises in the Tonga islands and continue around the world over the next 36 hours until the sun sets over Alaska.

In Scotland, services are held every year in locations as diverse as churches, universities and schools, as well as Sunday schools and youth groups, hospitals, hostels, prisons and shopping centres.

Churches throughout Shetland are expected to be taking part in the event.

Papua New Guinea has a wide mix of cultures across its population. There are several thousand separate communities and more than 800 languages.

Offerings from the services held will be given to Papua New Guinea through the Scottish Bible Society and other projects, including those helping people affected by HIV or AIDS.

This year’s event will take place on Friday 6th March.

March events

Anyone interested in attending Christian events taking place in the isles in March could have a hard time taking it all in – not least because two of them are taking place at the same time.

Acclaimed international Christian speaker and writer Mark Stibbe will visit Shetland from Friday 7th March.

The leader of Christian charity the Father House Trust will be speaking at the Emmanuel Church in Lerwick on Friday 7th March and at the town’s Methodist Church on Sunday 8th March.

Also up that weekend is Rev Andy Scarcliffe, mission adviser to the Scottish Baptist Union.

He will be visiting Baptist churches on the Sunday, following a fellowship supper in Hamnavoe on Saturday night.

At least there is a break before the arrival of Faith Mission man Noel McClintock the following week.

Mr McClintock will be returning to the isles from 15th-22nd March for his latest series of talks at the Garthspool Evangelical Church in Lerwick.

Singapore visit

A Methodist minister who visited Singapore last year when he was asked to represent the British Methodist Church has spoken about his experiences in the North Isles.

Chairman of the Shetland district Jeremy Dare gave a presentation to worshippers of the East Yell chapel on what he had seen and heard during his trip to the South East Asia Methodist conference last September.

Although Mr Dare chaired some of the sessions and also had preaching commitments, he and his wife Sheila still had time to learn a good deal about the way of life in the colony.

His commentary, coupled with a presentation, gave a vivid and fascinating picture of the place. The impression was given of stable government, of national pride, of clean streets and of security. The Church is deeply involved in the financing of schools and hospitals. Singapore is also a place with a sensible and practical approach to religious and inter-faith issues.

There was an opportunity to look at the various mementos Jeremy had brought along.

Morpeth connection

Morpeth may be many miles from Shetland, but there is at least one connection between the two distant communities.

Artist Karen Willis – daughter of Mr and Mrs Tom Sinclair of Lerwick’s King Harald Street – had her work highlighted on the BBC’s Songs of Praise after the Northumberland town was hit by its biggest flood in 100 years.

Karen is married to church minister Mike, who played a massive role in helping the community recover after the flood devastated the area last year.

Mr Willis had not long started his role at the New Life Christian Centre when the flood happened.

Literally thrown in at the deep end, he immediately set about helping those whose homes had been affected by the deluge.

Originally a photographer, Karen took to painting after graduating from Derby Polytechnic.

She was interviewed by Aled Jones after BBC producers began investigating the recovery Morpeth underwent following the flood.

Ryan Taylor