You will see elsewhere in this newsletter an article about the recent visit of Martin and Liza Mondol from Bangladesh. It was a great privilege for me to have them both working in the congregation, as this was something that I had hoped would happen sometime, given the links that we as a congregation have forged with Bangladesh over the years, and which now are being strengthened through the link with the Presbytery of Angus and the Church of Bangladesh. They both quickly settled into the pattern of the ministry here, and it was great when they recognised members of the congregation elsewhere – in the supermarket, in Dundee and in Pizza Hut!
I am sure that these links will continue to be strengthened in the years ahead, and that there will be an exchange visit involving people in the congregation here in the not too distant future.
Closer to home, a number of events are now in the planning stages for later in the year – the Year of Homecoming. We are taking this opportunity to contact every home in our parish area with a leaflet giving details of what is being planned, with an invitation to come and join us in these events, and also on a Sunday morning. I have always valued the strong links that there is with the local parish community, and this is our opportunity to remind folk that there is a vibrant congregation at the centre of their community.
More details will appear later, but we start off with a concert on 18th September and this will be followed with a Heritage Trail on Saturday 26th September where there will be the opportunity to discover more about the history of the congregation – if you have photographs or artefacts of events in the past, would you consider loaning them to us for the day? Please contact me if you have any such items. We are planning to update the booklet that was prepared by Alec Taylor in 1992. The following day is our Harvest Thanksgiving Service which will focus on the local parish community with displays reflecting the rich history of this area, but also reflecting life today.
In October, a special Homecoming Scottish evening is being planned (including a Scottish themed meal) with guest speakers and artistes who will bring a Scottish flavour to the evening. In November, the Homecoming theme will reach its climax with a Winter Flower Festival opening on Thursday evening 26th November until Saturday 28th November, and a special service on 29th November during which we hope to have video messages from across the world – and if it can be arranged, a live link up during the service with someone in Bangladesh. A reminder too, of a previous request for email addresses from people who are associated with Panbride who now live elsewhere, so that they too can be involved in our celebrations. There will also be a lunch after the service. We then move forward into Advent and our Christmas Celebrations.
I feel excited at the prospect of these events as it will give us as a congregation the opportunity to reflect on the past, but also to look forward to the future. But of course, this needs your help too – we need people to act as guides for the Heritage Day, people to deliver the leaflets to the parish, people to help with the technical side of events, people to help with the harvest and Flower Festival Preparations, people to serve teas. If you can help, please get in touch. My email address is above this letter.
With so very little good news appearing in our newspapers at the present time, let us as a congregation help to share THE Good News with our parish – after all, there is plenty of Good News to share!