Good to hear from you, and interesting to hear the reasons behind some of the SMC decisions. They are like most things in Struthers including wearing hats, drinking wine, going on holiday, the appointment of leaders and the purpose off the coffee shops. No-one ever talks about the purpose and the reasons for decisions openly, as they would then have to explain any change in position.
Interesting that you should mention the "big green van" as well. I know there was one that came from Falkirk most weeks, so not sure if that is the same one or a different one.
One thing that is fascinating is that quite a few people said the real reason they kept going to meetings was the fun and fellowship in the van, rather than the actual meetings. I only discovered this years later, but thought it was quite interesting, and it perhaps also quite relevant in the current turbulent times.
The reason I say this is that I think people need social contact but many people who go to Struthers have very little outside their own family. That is not so bad for those in one of the core families where they have a number of people they can mix with, but I do feel sorry for those who are isolated - the faithful ones who turn up to every meeting but do not really speak to anyone as they are considered as spiritually inferior.
I wonder if this might be a time for people in (and out of!) Struthers to do something about that - to reach out not to those they see as their spiritual equals (what an appalling idea!) but to those in more need than themselves. As it says in Luke 6:
32 If you love those who love you, what credit is that to you? Even sinners love those who love them. 33And if you do good to those who are good to you, what credit is that to you? Even sinners do that. 34And if you lend to those from whom you expect repayment, what credit is that to you? Even sinners lend to sinners, expecting to be repaid in full. 35But love your enemies, do good to them, and lend to them without expecting to get anything back. Then your reward will be great, and you will be children of the Most High, because he is kind to the ungrateful and wicked. 36Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful.
The outcome of this might be quite interesting.
So, what about it folks - what about reaching out to others to understand their needs and offer then support? You know, show a bit of compassion
- the emotion most associated with Jesus in the four gospels.
If people in Struthers do learn to relate to each other and carry each other's burdens (Galatians 6v2) Struthers will never be the same, as the members will recognise the appalling harm that is done by their Spanish Inquisition approach (we are right to cause you pain, as the may lead to repentance).
Hope you are all staying safe in these challenging times.