CHURCH AUDIO VISUAL UPGRADE

The long overdue upgrade to the Church Audio-Visual system has now been completed. There has been a remarkable improvement in the clarity of the graphics and video presentations thanks to the new screens, and the overall sound quality throughout the building is also greatly improved. Feedback from our congregation has been extremely positive.

We now require volunteers to become trained to operate the various components (PowerPoint presenter, T.V. studio and cameras and sound mixing desk + Zoom). Training will be given. If you are able to help with this important contribution to our Worship Services, please e-mail: newseditor@kirkcudbrightchurchofscotland.uk
 

CANCELLED - WORLD CHURCH TEAM COFFEE MORNING

Our first Coffee Morning since March 2020 will take place on Saturday, 4th September from 10.00am to 12 noon in the Parish Church Hall.  The suggested donation of £3.00 will go to our Mission Partner Gary Brough in Malawi for a project supporting the education of a group of young girl orphans.  CANCELLED DUE TO CURRENT UPSURGE IN COVID CASES IN DUMFRIES AND GALLOWAY

Barbara Sykes
 

GARY BROUGH - LIVE OPPORTUNITY TO MEET AND CHAT TO OUR MISSIONARY PARTNER

Church of Scotland have arranged with your Mission Partner Gary Brough to speak to his partner congregations at two zoom events. The first will be on 31st August at 10.30am and it will be repeated on 1st September at 7.00pm. This should hopefully give opportunity for you to choose a time that suits. We have run similar events with other Mission partners in their Presbytery areas and these have been well received as a way to gain updated information about their work. There will be an opportunity for people to ask questions also. As Gary has two Presbytery areas there will be representatives from both at the two meetings.

If you would like to attend please email nskinner@churchofscotland.org.uk with the date which suits you. Nearer the time we will send out a link to the meeting. 
 

PASTORAL CARE - REACHING OUT TO THOSE IN NEED

In the last edition of the Newsletter, I was reflecting on counting our blessings, and this month I have more reason than ever to do that, although not in a way I could have anticipated.

On what was in every other respect a normal Tuesday morning four weeks ago, Andrew had a heart attack, but thanks to the skill of the wonderful NHS, and to prayers answered, he is now at home recovering. With this in mind, and with sincere thanks to those of you who have supported us, I am thinking about Michael Rosen’s poem reminding us of the dedication of the wonderful NHS that is there for all of us when we need it. Indeed, Michael Rosen himself had cause to be particularly grateful when he recently spent forty -seven days in an induced coma following a severe bout of Covid-19. If like me, someone you love has been ill, or if you or someone you care about has worries or concerns that it would help to share (in confidence), please let Irene know and like Andrew and I, you could find yourself on the receiving end of the power of prayer, or a beautiful bouquet of flowers from the church, or both!

A reminder that you are being thought about whatever it is you are experiencing. Pastoral care at its finest!

Alison Best

Diary Note: We hope to resume Friendship Club meetings from Wednesday 20th October and look forward to seeing all of you then. More information in October Newsletter. 
 

NEWS FROM THE BROUGHS IN MALAWI

Climate change is high on the agenda this year with Glasgow hosting the COP26. And there we have it, one sentence in and we already have an acronym and a conference. It seems the conversation around climate change has become burdened by the political dialogue that is meant to address it and shrouded by the science which is meant to evidence it.

Climate change is not the battle for control of the global central heating thermostat. Limiting the change in global temperature is a key measure but it is not the only one. Yes, it ‘simplifies’ a complex problem but it does so in abstract terms. At the other end of the rhetorical spectrum is the language of crisis and emergency. While I agree this is a fair assessment, many of us get trapped in the inertia between the climate crisis and peer reviewed statistics. And this allows us the comfort of not seeing climate change for what it really is, a human problem with devastating human consequences.

For me, the most succinct description of climate change came from a smallholder farmer in Nkhoma, Malawi. She explained it like this:

“I used to get five bags of maize from my garden every year. Now, I’m fortunate if I get two.”

Or in the summary of a colleague describing changing weather conditions around Mzuzu: “We used to get rain throughout the year, but now we don’t. So we can’t grow the crops that we used to.”

I understand these descriptions of climate change. They don’t hide human consequences like increased hunger and prolonged poverty.

In drafting a research questionnaire this year, a colleague from outside Malawi queried a question which included the term climate change. She was understandably concerned that a technical term may need explanation. But as the statements above suggest, you can go around Malawi and you’ll find that people understand very clearly what climate change looks like and means for their household.

I could share statistics of temperature and rainfall as evidence. But the evidence is much clearer than that with increasingly unpredictable weather patterns. A community struck by drought this year, could be affected by floods next year. The national statistics tell you that the maize harvest can vary by as much as 10-30% year to year. But at a local level that might mean next to no harvest at all for whole communities or districts.

Agriculture is a huge part of Malawi life and the nation’s economy. A third of GDP, more than 80% of employment and 80% of foreign exports. The national budget is measured in the harvests of tobacco, maize, coffee, tea and groundnuts, among other things. So when that harvest is pressed and squeezed by a changing climate then so are the funds available to pay for schools, doctors and roads.

“Is it too late to turn the tide of climate change?” This is an increasingly urgent question. But it’s a political one. Too late or not the damage has been done, is still being done. That damage is being felt among some of the world’s poorest communities. As a Christian, I don’t need an answer to a political question, more scientific evidence or a global climate accord. Scripture tells me:
‘The earth is the Lord’s and everything in it, the world and all who live in it; for he founded it on the seas and established it on the waters…’ (Psalm 24:1-2)

So wherever we’ve got to as a planet is a measure of our success or failure as stewards of God’s creation. It is still His creation, ‘the world and all who live in it’. How we respond now reflects not just our love for God’s created earth but also for His cherished people.

Climate change is a justice issue and the stories of countless people in Malawi make that clear. They don’t have the loudest political voices. Proverbs 31:9 says: ‘Speak up and judge fairly; defend the rights of the poor and needy.’ So we must do what we can, when we can, to give a voice to those for whom climate change is evidenced by daily lived experience and not statistics.

Gary Brough