A DIFFERENT take on worship is how Scalloway man Peter Jamieson described a series of meetings he and a group of fellow Christians have been staging over the last three months.
Peter, who worships at the Emmanuel, is one of 20 men and women who have been visiting some of Shetland’s smaller, more rural churches since July.
The group, many of which have shared powerful testimonies as they have toured around the isles, have been so warmly welcomed they hope to make further visits throughout the winter.
Peter himself has an amazing testimony to tell. A reformed drug dealer who blames alcohol misuse for his descent into addiction and crime, his harrowing story was told in The Shetland Times last year.
Since then he has told the story of how God saved him from his life of despair.
People, it seems, have been listening as well. During the group’s visits to churches in places such as Vidlin, Gruting and the Methodist church at Burra, more and more people have come to hear exactly what they have had to say.
Peter said one man had attended a meeting in Gruting who had not been in a church for 50 years.
“We feel there is more to be got from Christ. It’s all about looking for more and asking for more and receiving more – and believing that there is more.
“It’s about showing a different style of worship and realising it’s okay. Everybody has really enjoyed it and we hope to do more soon.”
Pictures of a man making model Land Rovers is not the first thing you would expect to see in an exhibition centred round Mozambique.
But that was exactly what visitors to the Emmanuel’s exhibition were treated to, when they turned out to see what the church is doing there.
Leaders Christine and Jamie Tonge have been going to the country for the last three years to help in whatever way they can.
They’ve relied on money raised by the church to help lift impoverished areas from the doldrums, by providing practical help and witnessing the gospel at the same time.
The exhibition was held to show visitors how the money donated had been put to good use.
One of the things the cash has been used for is to develop an orphanage and chicken farm in the village of Mieze.
During their previous stays in the city of Pemba, Christine has provided medical help, while Jamie has been teaching in a Bible school.
They are planning to head out to Mozambique again next year, in the hope they can set up a new orphanage in the city of Nampula, which has a great deal of crime and social problems.
The exhibition provided more than just photographs, however. Visitors enjoyed a video display of their work, and could see a down-scaled model of a typical Mozambique house.
The couple had also brought back a capalano – a wrap around skirt commonly worn by African women.
And they were impressed by the resilience and resourcefulness of people in Mozambique – in particular, one man who had taken to building model 4x4s out of old paint tins and other bits of scrap found lying around.
It may not sound like much of a starting point, but the end result was amazingly realistic.
Unst day out
Walls Methodist Church made the most of the sunshine last month when they went to Unst for a church outing.
Over 20 folk between the ages of five and 80 plus enjoyed the weekend event, which saw them relaxing and soaking up the rays on Lund Beach.
The group also enjoyed a spot of fellowship in Haroldswick, when they attended a service taken by minister Nigel Barton.
A puppet show and sketches kept the bairns entertained, while a picnic on Norwick Beach was enjoyed by all.
Methodist minister Jeremy Dare is planning to visit Singapore next month.
The Shetland district chairman has been invited to represent the British Methodist Church at the Asia Pacific Methodist conference.
He won’t have time to sit back and enjoy it, though. Jeremy has been asked to preach on two different occasions during his stay there.
His first sermon will be delivered at the Aldersgate Methodist Church, which takes its name from the place Methodist founder John Wesley had a moving experience with God in 1738.
His message will have to be translated, but a second day of preaching will at the Paya Lebar Chinese Methodist Church will be delivered in plain English.
In between times he will be speaking at the conference for an allotted half hour period.
He will also be visiting a theological training college during his stay there.
West Side minister Tom McIntyre has been appointed moderator of the Church of Scotland’s Shetland presbytery.
His first job was to welcome new North Isles minister Rev David Cooper into the fold, at a special induction service in Cullivoe.