By Rob Jones, Minister at Kelso Baptist Church
Lockdown itself has brought about the need to reinvent how to begin with this wonderful wee church of around a dozen believers and a rebirthed mission within the market town of Kelso. Being unable to move from Fife to the Borders at time of writing I have inevitably focussed on the need to quickly get a website up and running, with all the associated social media needed.
However, re-imagining what mission will look like after lockdown in a place like Kelso is the true challenge. There are no roadmaps for this. As both pastor and workplace chaplain I am all-too-aware that during lockdown there is an on-going process of collective trauma occurring within society. People are losing jobs; there is uncertainty, grief, anger, disbelief, but on a more positive note, perhaps a revaluation of life’s priorities.
Therefore, one of the first things on my list is to mailshot all the town businesses, offering chaplaincy support and a listening ear in the midst of the aftermath of this pandemic (Kelso has the largest town square in Scotland hosts over 50 independent trading shops). It is also my hope that our small building in the Knowes car-park (near to the town square) can become a place of refuge during the week for those who need to retreat to a quiet space. People are friendly in Kelso, but (I’ve been told) they won’t come to church, however, perhaps church can come to them, so we will be searching out new ways to make this possible. Prayer will be freely offered for people in community and prayer will be at the heart of each missional step we take.
It will take time to build trust, but my hope is, as some re-evaluate their life priorities, that our shared experience of this pandemic will open the door of faith: That people will hear the call of Jesus on their lives and join us as followers of the one who saves us from all ills.
If anyone feels called to join us in this type of mission, please do get in touch via our Facebook page.