15th November 2018
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Shetland Bible Week

Each evening from 2nd to 6th September a meeting was held in Lerwick Methodist Church with the speaker Jonathan Lamb from the Keswick Convention.

His subject was challenge and encouragement for Christians under pressure, based on his exposition of the Bible book of Revelation. Local church leaders led the opening worship each evening. On the last evening a collection was taken for Langham Preaching, a Christian organisation that seeks to resource and train preachers in many parts of the world including Africa, Asia and South America.

Around 140-160 people, young and older, attended each evening with well over 200 on Sunday, from a wide range of Christian churches.

Harvest festival

The Aith Church of Scotland held its annual harvest festival on Sunday 13th September.

The choir area was appropriately festooned with a variety of local (and non-local) foodstuffs, ranging from Shetland black tatties to red chillies. The Rev Tom Macintyre led the service and the Rev Liz McNab gave the message.

The North Ness Boys provided singing items and the event was rounded off by a cup of tea and a hearty selection of home bakes.

United services in Yell

On Battle of Britain Sunday on 13th September Yell congregations met in the Hamnavoe Church of Scotland for a united service.

The Rev David Cooper of the Church of Scotland, assisted by the Rev Keith Henshall and the Rev Jeremy Dare of the Scottish Episcopal and Methodist Churches respectively, led the service.

As well as being a service of thanksgiving for the pilots and aircrew who took part in the Battle of Britain, it was also a commemoration of the crew of Catalina flying boat Z-2148. It was on a wild January night in 1942 that the Catalina crashed on the hillside above the Burn of Arisdale in Yell and burst into flames. Miraculously three of the crew survived, but the pilot, Flight Lieutenant Harry Goolden, and six others died.

The commemorative service ended with the laying of a wreath at the memorial outside the church. A retiral collection was taken in aid of the RAF Association.

This Sunday, folk from throughout the island will again gather in the Hamnavoe Church for a seafarers’ service. Representatives from the various denominations will participate in this act of worship, which has been planned and prepared by the Yell Churches Together group. The service begins at 6pm.

Methodist visitors

The Shetland district of the Methodist Church this month welcomed the Rev Peter Pillinger, chairman of the Plymouth and Exeter district. He spoke to various groups on “Fresh Expressions, Changing Church for a Changing World”.

In October the Rev John Howard, chairman of the Wolverhampton and Shrewsbury district, will be holding a series of meetings from Haroldswick to Walls. Mr Howard will be talking about Rwanda.

Leprosy Mission

The Leprosy Mission Scotland’s area co-ordinator Ian Clark arrived in Shetland on Wednesday and is to be here until 2nd October.

Mr Clark is currently appearing at various churches and schools disseminating information regarding the far-reaching activities of the Leprosy Mission.

Faith Mission

Christians in Shetland have always been eager to welcome representatives of the Faith Mission to our shores so are looking forward to a visit of three in the coming days.

Noel McClintock and John McCartney, who are no strangers to these islands, and Ben Mason – on a first time visit – will be leading various meetings throughout Shetland from 2nd to 19th October.

From Monday 5th until Thursday 8th they are presenting a special series of evening meetings in the Aith Public Hall. These will begin at 7.30pm each night and the theme is to be “Christianity Explained”.

Full details of all forthcoming Faith Mission meetings will be published in The Shetland Times on Friday 2nd October.

Wycliffe work

Many folk in Shetland churches will have followed the work of Mary Gardner who 20 years ago left Orkney – where she taught French – to go and work for Wycliffe Bible Translators.

On joining Wycliffe Mary, along with colleagues from Sweden and the US, learned the Central Togo language of Ife (pronounced Ifay). This was a massive task as Ife was fairly much a spoken-only language; therefore an alphabet and dictionary had to first be created.

Apart from the many other benefits of having a written language to communicate in, the people of Central Togo are eagerly looking forward to 17th October, the date set for the dedication of the first New Testaments translated into Ife.

Crowds of local and national dignitaries will gather on the 17th for a day of great celebration with much feasting, singing and dancing and – most importantly – the chance to read the scriptures in Ife for the very first time.

Christianity Explored

Members of the Ebenezer Hall in Lerwick’s Navy Lane have commenced another 12-week series of “Christianity Explored” evenings.

Similar in many respects to “Alpha” courses run by other churches, these informal evenings begin with a two-course meal followed by a DVD presentation and small group discussion time afterwards. The meetings are at 7pm on Monday nights and anyone is welcome to come along.

Sunday nightcap

Last Sunday around 40 people attended the first Fisherman’s Mission Sunday Nightcap Service in room 12 at Islesburgh.

It was the first nightcap service to be taken with new mission superintendent Aubrey Jamieson at the helm. A rousing selection of hymns was sung and Aubrey spoke authoritatively on a passage from the book of Hebrews.

Aubrey and his two younger brothers Clive and Trevor Jamieson – aka the North Ness Boys – also sang three musical items. The meeting was rounded off by tea and homebakes.

As part of his training Aubrey travelled down to Aberdeen and was met by Aberdeen superintendent Mike Sandison. Having spent the morning with Mr Sandison, Aubrey was then taken up to Fraserburgh to be introduced to senior superintendent Murray Campbell.

For the next three days Aubrey shadowed Mr Campbell, learning about the work of the mission in what is Britain’s busiest fishing port. The Tuesday coincided with the mission’s half-yearly bus trip for pensioners and so this proved to be a useful familiarisation opportunity.

Forres was the first destination, followed by a tour of the Black Isle and Rosehearty, and then an unscheduled stop at Lossiemouth preceded high tea at the Marine Hotel in Buckie.

Wednesday’s busy itinerary included a visit to Fraserburgh Fish Market, where as Aubrey said: “There was a hive of activity down there, a lot of folk, buyers, sellers general workers and hauliers.” And so there followed another fine chance for Aubrey to meet and chat with those involved in bringing the harvest of the seas to our tables.

Thursday saw a few more appointments and some hospital visiting in Aberdeen before returning to the north boat for the journey home. Christians across Shetland are delighted that Aubrey has taken up the post and many have expressed their confidence in his ability to do the job extremely well.

Compiled by Trevor Jamieson