Dear Friends in the Northwest,
This Sunday is the Sixth Sunday of Easter and we are keeping it as Rogation Sunday – more of that in today’s reflection. In addition to the usual services in Ullapool this week, there is also a service on Thursday at 11.00am for Ascension Day. This is one of the principal festivals of the church and it would be good to see you if you are able to come. As usual, please let me know if you are planning to attend.
This coming week, 10th-16th May, is Christian Aid Week, raising money to help provide reliable water supplies for communities in Kenya. I am not aware of any organised fund-raising in this area but, if you wish, donations can be made by their website or by phone 0845 700 0300.
Situation in India: Some of you may remember Rev’d Dr Hamilton Inbadas and his family from Forres who have stayed in Ullapool. Fr Hamilton has provided the diocese with the following update and suggestion.
As you are aware the situation in India continues to be worrying. When you hear journalists say that the real number of infections and deaths are far higher than shown, that is not an exaggeration. The past few weeks have been difficult for us too. Almost daily we kept hearing about hospitalisations, ICU admissions and deaths of people we have studied/worked with and those whom we know.
Our parents on both sides managed to get the second doses of the Oxford vaccines just before our villages hit an acute shortage of vaccines. That is a relief. The number of infections seems to be stabilizing. But as we well know even if this signals the turn of the tide, there is still a lot to deal with for the next few months, at least. Please continue to pray.
Several of you have asked if there is a charity I could recommend for making a donation. The Christian Medical College in Vellore, South India is a teaching hospital that provides excellent care for anyone regardless of religion or caste. CMC also has clinics in rural areas where otherwise there would be no access to medical care. Grace and I had the privilege of working as palliative care chaplains there for several years. If you wish to make a donation, please follow this link. Donations are received through Friends of Vellore UK, which makes transferring funds easier: https://givecmc.org/covid-19/?fbclid=IwAR0IdQpxcAoLJcbSFLRWm9yU1ghMu5ymaAp6pXfPi4Fn6Jc1THhqSF_4bJM
I propose that we have a collection basket for this at our service in Ullapool this Sunday, and at Ullapool and Achiltibuie next Sunday, should you wish to donate, or you may do so via the link. If you wish to donate but are unable to do so by either of these methods, please let me know and we will work something out.
For both Christian Aid and India, I am aware that while, for some, the lockdown has meant less opportunity to spend while income has remained constant, for others there had been great hardship due to reduced income. These are opportunities to donate to worthwhile causes for those who are able. Please do not see them as pressure to do so.
With love and prayers,
Please click the link below for this week’s reflection