From the early writings of St Paul and St Luke ( author of Acts) we can see an ongoing conflict in the early Church between people who saw themselves as the privileged “insiders” and the Loving Inclusive drive of Jesus and His Gospel to share Love and Goodness with all God’s children. Indeed Jesus taught His disciples to share the love with all creation, plant life, animals, etc. All creation. What a magnificent broad and inclusive Gospel we have to share. Sadly, on this Sunday the issues of Exclusion for people of different race and colour loom large across our cities.
Windrush Day Observance was introduced, mainly by the Churches in the UK in 2018. It was on 22 June (1948) that several hundred people arrived from the Caribbean on board the HMS Empire Windrush to start a new life in Britain. Caribbean people who had served in the British armed forces were encouraged to come to Britain to work. More people followed. It is estimated that around 500,000 people living in the UK are part of the Windrush generation. Windrush Day celebrates these arrivals and seeks to honour the diverse contributions the Caribbean community has made to British society. This is a particularly noticeable today in modern pop music and in a vibrant movement of Gospel Choirs making worship fresh and lively. Like many migrant stories, those who arrived were full of hope. Over time, many faced racism and discrimination. Children were picked on at school and jobs were difficult to obtain. Hence Windrush Day can be broadened to include reflection on forms of exclusion, including insensitive rejection of LBGT people, women in promoted posts, which some Church congregations have been guilty of. What would Jesus think?
This Sunday, we are invited to reflect on what it means to be a hospitable community, welcoming and loving all God’s people and celebrating our glorious technicolour diversity with each other and with the whole of creation, as Jesus taught.
If you have felt excluded in any way, even just given a frosty greeting in a Church, then please feel free to share this with your Minister or Elder.
At St Leonard’s we are being very cautious for our older members as well as following guidelines set out by the Scottish Government. The Lockdown has prevented us from meeting together in worship. However we will continue to provide an Online act of worship, Sunday by Sunday. You can access this via Facebook or YouTube sites under St Leonards Church Forres. At present there is no fixed aspirational date when we may return to worship when we can safely Congregate. However look out for updates on this website at the end of July for further notice. In the meantime, let us love one another, let us hold each other in prayer and may we prayerfully remain open to the Lord’s blessings in our lives.
Welcome to St Leonard’s Church of Scotland new website. Congratulations! You have successfully tracked down our website and we hope you enjoy surfing through our pages and links. Thanks to Emma, our able web manager, we hope to provide links to articles and official Church notices . You are invited to make suggestions to how we might better include relevant information by using our contact form. In the meantime please be patient with us as we continue to build up our new on line outreach. Rev Donald Prentice
During this period of Lockdown, and indeed the absence of Church building based services, we currently rely on Online Services. During the week, Donald, the Minister, and the Elders are conducting, “Telephone Visiting” as part of the Church’s ongoing Pastoral care. If you have not received a call, then we do apologise. Do please contact one of the Elders or let Donald know via our contact form. Hospital visiting is not available to Donald or the Elders, but Dr Gray’s Hospital, Inverness Hospitals and Aberdeen all have resident Hospital Chaplains who can provide Pastoral support and prayers within the Hospitals.