Skerries Women’s Guild

On the afternoon of Sunday, 13th December the Women’s Guild in Skerries organised what they call their Big Christmas Sing.

The event was held as part of a nationwide incentive by Christian Aid to encourage people all across the UK to get together and sing and in doing so raise money for the charity.

The Skerries Guild was pleased to welcome a great turnout from around the islands. Eighteen carols were sung (with refreshment breaks), a bring and buy sale was held and £700 was raised. The Skerries Guild also held a Hunger Lunch on 18th October, which raised £362. Therefore the Skerries Guild made a total contribution of £1,062 to Christian Aid in 2009 – a fairly impressive amount for a community so small.

Emmanuel meal deliveries

For many people the festive season is a time to get together with family and friends. For others it can be a rather lonely period, particularly for those with no immediate family.

Members of the Emmanuel Church in Lerwick recognise this and for a few years now have provided festive meals for those who would normally receive meals on wheels.

Members of Emmanuel and other volunteers work together to cover the four days, when the service ceases for the two days at both Christmas and New Year.

Working in conjunction with social services, the Emmanuel prepared and delivered 116 meals to those who might otherwise have gone without.

Ninety not out for Jim

Jim Robertson of North Roe recently celebrated his 90th Birthday. Jim has been an elder of the North Roe Church of Scotland since 1964, back when the Rev. Hamish Brydon was minister.

In those days what was known as a Fast Thursday was still being observed as a day set aside for resting and attending church in preparation for the third Sunday of August, which would be Communion Sunday.

It was on Communion Sunday that any new elders were appointed for that year. Jim’s father was an elder before him and Jim was session clerk until a heart bypass operation 20 years ago.

The Linklines committee wishes Jim a very happy birthday and all the best.

Fund-raising for Haiti

A great deal of worldwide concern has grown for the people of Haiti following the recent earthquakes.

Christians and non-Christians alike are wondering what they can possibly do to help a country so distant and where so much destruction has been caused.

The Walls Methodist Youth have taken this issue to heart and last Saturday they organised a coffee morning in the Walls Public Hall. The event ran from 10am to 12.30pm and included a tombola, bring and buy stalls, a raffle, face-painting, guess the doll’s birthday, weight of the cake, number of sweeties and name the teddy.

A slideshow of parts of Haiti since the disaster was shown on the stage in order to focus people’s attention on why the event was taking place. Ice cream was also sold and generous donations of shellfish came in from two local producers.

Artist Amanda Rae, formerly of Walls but who now lives in the Western Isles, donated a number of her own paintings, which at silent auction raised a substantial amount of money.

Kathy Hazell, who helped the youngsters organise the event, said it went exceptionally well with shops and business giving very generously.

On Friday afternoons the Aith school closes at 2pm and the Walls Methodist Church opens its doors to young people to meet and socialise. It was only two Fridays ago that when the youngsters congregated as usual and were asked what was on their minds that week, they said unequivocally Haiti, and it was decided they should do something about it.

Kathy continued that perhaps even more impressive was that early on Saturday morning when most teenagers prefer to remain in bed . . . here they were busily setting up tables and stalls and getting the hall ready for their event. The young folks and others in the Walls area can be very proud of themselves as at the time of writing the amount raised was well over £2,000 Another event on the same day was held by folks from the Dunrossness Baptist Church, this time a concert on the Saturday evening. Plenty of singing took place led by the Ness Baptist Church band, alongside musical items and poetry.

The North Ness Boys also provided a few songs and the evening was rounded off by a hearty selection of teas, coffees and homebakes. A silent auction was also organised and along with donations the total amount raised on the evening was nearing £3,000.

Parishioners at St Margaret’s in Lerwick have also decided to make aid for Haiti a part of their fund-raising efforts. St Margaret’s will be occupying the old CLAN shop (next to the Skippidock) for the week from Monday 22nd until Saturday 27th February, to raise money for church funds and their usual charities. It has been decided, however, that half of the money raised from the CLAN shop during this time will go toward Haiti.

St Margaret’s is also hosting a talk on Old Lerwick by Douglas Sinclair at the Shetland Museum and a retiring collection for Haiti will also be taken up on this occasion.

Week of Prayer for Christian Unity

Organised through Churches Together in Britain and Ireland and arranged locally by the Lerwick Ministers’ Fraternal, the Week of Prayer For Christian Unity was held in St Columba’s Church in January.

The overall theme for the week was “you are witnesses” and each day this was broken down into sub-themes as follows: witness through, celebrating life, sharing stories, awareness, heritage and tradition, suffering, faithfulness to the scriptures, hope and trust and hospitality. Around these themes there was scripture reading, prayer and sharing with representatives from different churches leading the meeting each night.

Lighthouses of Prayer

The event Lighthouses of Prayer is due to be held shortly and two men from the mainland – both of whom have already undertaken similar work in Orkney – will be here for the first weekend in February.

Derek Jardine and Ola Nordstrom from Pray Scotland will commence at 7.30pm tonight at Lerwick Methodist church with an introduction to Lighthouses of Prayer. Tomorrow is set aside as a training day – again in Lerwick Methodist Church – running from 9.30am to 3pm with a break for lunch.

Sunday afternoon is under discussion as a possible opportunity to informally meet and chat to Ola and Derek with the venue to be decided.

On Monday a time of prayer and praise is planned, this time in the Ebenezer Hall in Navy Lane. This will take place from 11am until 12.30pm and a soup and sandwich lunch is to be provided by the Ebenezer ladies, before Derek and Ola depart once more for Edinburgh on Monday afternoon.

The central aim of the weekend is to encourage the establishment of new prayer groups across Shetland in addition to those already in operation. It is hoped that some of these groups will be a very eclectic mix of denominations and that all areas of Shetland can be covered with what Andrew Harmsworth describes as a blanket of prayer.

Anyone requiring further information on Lighthouses of Prayer or any of the weekend’s events should get in touch with Mr Harmsworth on (01950) 477412.

New members sought

The Linklines committee, which meets once a month to discuss church news, is looking for some new members.

With representatives from churches in the north, central and west of Shetland, the committee would like to further extend representation to gain a better geographical and denominational spread.

The committee would like to ensure that all Christian organisations in Shetland have the opportunity to contribute news of their various activities. Christians with an interest in bringing church news from their area to be included in the Linklines column are welcome to get in touch with the committee by phoning Louis Johnson on (01957) 702392 or Jean Marwick on (01595) 693335.

Out of season nativity

Lerwick Baptist Church’s family nativity service planned for 20th December did in fact turn out to be simply a family service.

The inclement weather over that weekend meant that many of the youngsters who should have taken part in the nativity play could not make it into Lerwick that day.

It was decided to postpone the event, which is now due to be held on Sunday as part of the morning family service at 11am.

Compiled by Trevor Jamieson


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