Sisters and Brothers,
Today should have been the Ladies Orange Association of Scotland’s Annual Divine Service. It was with a heavy heart that myself and the trustees made the decision to cancel the service in the Glasgow Evangelical Church in the interest of your safety, and in accordance with Government guidelines.
It was hoped to rearrange this to a later date in the year, but that is looking less unlikely as this invisible enemy, Covid 19 is lurking in our midst.
Today we give thanks to those in our health service who are fighting a battle every day, also the care workers, front line staff and all who put their lives in danger so that we do not become victims of this virus.
I also take this opportunity to thank those of our Institution who have volunteered in their communities getting meals, and shopping etc. for the most vulnerable in our society. It goes to show that we do take our obligation to do good to one another very seriously.
Sisters, this year has seen unprecedented trials for our Institution with many events cancelled and life as we know it put to the test, but our faith in the Lord Jesus Christ is seeing us overcome them.
Having spoken with various members since lockdown it is clear that we are all faced with different challenges and circumstances. There are sisters and brothers who are isolated on their own, living in flats and with no means of leaving them even for daily exercise. To those who may have had a new addition to the family and due to social distancing etc. they are unable to get a cuddle, or a wee hold of the a newborn baby and even for those us who are grandparents, unable to even give our grandchildren a hug.
Then there is the saddest part of this situation where we have lost members of our Orange Family who have passed to God’s Glory and have not been able to have the recognition of service to our Institution that they would normally receive, but rest assured sisters and brothers greater is their reward in heaven.
Looking forward I pray that with God’s grace we will come through this a much better society and the community spirit which is so prevalent at this time becomes the norm.
Some say that they are looking forward to getting back to normal, I say look forward to being better than we were before Covid 19.
Sisters and Brothers stay safe until we meet again.
I leave you with this passage from 1st Peter: Chapter 5, verses 6 to 11 “Humble yourselves therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that He may lift you up in due time. Cast all your anxiety on Him because He cares for you. Be self controlled and alert. Your enemy the Devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. Resist him, standing firm in the faith, because you know that your brothers throughout the world are undergoing the same kind of sufferings.
And the God of all grace, who called you to his eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will himself restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast.
To Him be the power for ever and ever. Amen.
Most Worthy Grand Mistress
Sisters and Brothers,