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Home  >  Features  >  The Thought That Counts


The Thought That Counts

Monday June 14

The Rev Tom Gordon tells Jackie Macadam how his 'Pandemic Project' has taken on a life of its own.

“I was walking down the street one day when an elderly lady stopped me. She told me that she read my little ‘Thought For The Day’ every morning and said the one-line prayer out loud because: ‘It’s the only prayer I can manage at the moment….’

The Rev Tom Gordon, retired, left the encounter moved beyond belief.

The woman had been referencing his ‘Pandemic Project’ – at least it started that way.

“I was the Interim Moderator for two small and rural churches, at Athelstaneford and Whitekirk (in East Lothian)” he said.

“When the Covid-19 lockdown came, I realised that with the church closures, and the moving of most things online, there were a great many people in these parishes who would lose contact, both with the church, with their community and with each other.

“I decided that I would use some pieces of writing I’d done but not found a place for them, and send them out on a daily basis, to those two small congregations just so folk knew the Church was still there for them, still nurturing them.

“I started on March 18 2020, but very quickly realised that the restrictions were going to be long term in all of our lives, and began sitting down on a daily basis and writing new material for sending out.

“What’s more, other people heard about them and began to ask to be sent them too.

“People from my local parish in Port Seton, folk who’d worked with me previously at the Marie Curie Hospice, they began to send requests to be added to the mailing list. It snowballed quite fast, and now I send out 90 emails every night. I post them on two Facebook groups too and on a daily blog.”

Tom might have started the project as a way of staying in touch with his congregations, but he soon realised that he needed it too,

“As the pandemic wore on, and isolation, fear, anger and despair grew in our local communities, I realised that I needed to sit down daily, and take some time, some quiet time, to myself, to think and consider and reflect. It became a very necessary discipline for me.

“As of June 3 2021, I’ll have completed 465 pieces, each comprising of a thought for the day type reflection, and a short, one-line prayer at the end. Some have been picked up and used in anthologies published by Wild Goose Publications by the Iona Community. And others have been used by ministers in their own on-line and printed reflections. The circles get ever wider …” he says.

“Who’d have thought my little reflection would still be going on well over a year later?”


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