Part of my work here is as an Associate Minister at the Church of Scotland. There is a small ecumenical team of us and we seek both to support each other and the Ministry of the Church of Scotland in the Holy Land. There is the Church of Scotland’s only School – the Tabitha School in Jaffa – and I do assemblies there form time to time, there is St Andrew’s Jerusalem which is my usual place of worship on a Sunday and St Andrews Tiberias where I preach from time to time. I have blogged about this in the past.
The building at Tiberias has been very run down. It is located just a short distance from the Sea of Galilee and many pass it on their way down to the shore line. However it has been greatly in need of renovation, including a new roof. Over the period of the work I was in Tiberias a couple of times and couldn’t get over how they could take the roof off and leave it off for weeks – knowing it wouldn’t rain – you could never do that in Britain!
On 24th January the building was reopened with a warm celebration on site and the building really does look so improved. Some of the original stone work has been revealed, the plaster work has been restored, and painted so that it contrasts with the stone work. The whole building now has a fresh, contemporary feel to it and the small congregation there are very pleased with it. For the opening event the congregation was joined by the Mayor of Tiberias, the local Catholic and Orthodox Priests, a delegation from Scotland, local partners of the Church of Scotland, and the Moderator of the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland, who performed the opening ceremony.
Some photos of the occasion:
Kate – the minister there, asked me to publicise that as well as groups being welcome to join the congregation at 6pm every Sunday – the building is available to be used for communion services – and located next to the Sea of Galilee its a great place to use. So – if you are taking a group to Galilee – why not drop in and use the building!