Letter from the Minister (October 2021)

Dear friends,
Very warm greetings to everyone! My apologies for a longer-than-usual message…
The brown leaves blown about by the blustery wind, the chill in the air and the shorter days remind us that we’re into the winter now. We’re making our way very carefully, slowly but steadily towards some kind of “new normal” as far as Covid-19 is concerned and we’re grateful for the freedoms which we’re getting back. The message seems to be “Be cautious, but don’t be afraid.” We’re grateful not only to those who keep us well – doctors, nurses, paramedics and so on – but also to everyone who acts with consideration for the well-being of others and abides by the rules which remain. In particular, I would thank on your behalf the people who’ve looked after us at church week by week, greeting us as we arrive and ensuring that safety rules are kept.
Our online services continue to attract both good numbers of viewers and responses, with a few new people attending church in person and other “well-kent folk” who now live abroad, wishing to keep in touch with us this way. I have been doing some research into the topic of online worship and I’m writing a short paper for the Kirk Session. A big “thank-you” is due to John Macdonald, who’s been editing the online services every week these past couple of months, as he’s the only one at the moment with a computer suitable for the job! 
Pastoral needs exist in many corners of our fellowship and I’m always grateful for a “heads-up” about people who would benefit from a visit or a telephone call from me. If you know someone who’s unwell, grieving or struggling in some way at the moment, please do tell me: they are a priority for me.
St Andrew’s Church, Brussels is part of the Church of Scotland’s International Presbytery, including churches as far afield as Bermuda, Sri Lanka and Malta. We have been told to reduce the number of Church of Scotland ministers we have; at the same time, we’re allowed to call ministers from other denominations. We are in the process of discussing how best to ration out the 5 Scottish ministers we’ll be allowed. We don’t know yet whether this will change things for Brussels.
In case I had any spare time, I’m looking after the administrative side of things in the Scottish church in Amsterdam. This means taking services now and again and attending meetings there.  The Thoughts for the Day – both online, on our Facebook page and via WhatsApp – continue to prompt responses and reactions, for which I’m grateful. They are the fruit of my personal bible study and they often complement the sermons, as I look at related bible passages. If you don’t use Facebook but you have WhatsApp, you can receive them by sending me your telephone number.
Finally, as Advent approaches, the Kirk Session will be discussing what services to hold, and when. More about that in my next message in a few weeks’ time.
On September 26th we celebrated the baptism of Marijn Camfferman.
May you know God’s richest blessing of peace, joy and love!
Rev Eric FoggittMinister, St Andrew’s Church, Brussels
Interim Moderator, ERC Amsterdam