See the Pastoral Letters for an update.
Under Church of Scotland regulations the Presbytery will appoint an Interim Moderator (a local minister) to oversee the functioning of our congregational life during Anne’s incapacity.
Enclosed in this month's magazine is an envelope for your donation to our Harvest Appeal on Sunday 8th October, but you could use any envelope marked 'Harvest Offering'. We have decided to split the money, half to Loaves and Fishes, a local group who run one of the Food Banks in East Kilbride and half to Christian Aid who have issued an emergency appeal after all the disastrous flooding in Bangladesh Nepal and India.
NEW MEMBERS GROUP
A group for people thinking about joining the Church by profession of faith will start on Thursday 12th October, at 7.30pm, in the Lounge at the Church Halls. The group will meet for four Thursday nights in all, with a service of Admission probably on November 5th. The group is also for people who aren’t sure yet whether they want to join the Church and want to know more. It’s also for anyone who has come into the Old Parish in recent months from another congregation and would like to learn more about what we do here.
If this is for you, then please speak to either Stewart or Sheena or any of the office bearers on duty any Sunday morning. And if you know of someone who might be interested, please tell them about it.
SHOE BOX APPEAL COMES ROUND AGAIN - Go to WWW.BLYTHSWOOD.ORG
Last year Blythswood distributed 121,474 boxes and you helped make that happen! This appeal only works with your support.
We continue to link up with Blythswood Care, a Christian Charity transforming lives with care for body and soul. In this month’s EKO you will find a copy of the Shoe Box leaflet containing the important checklist. Containers for your donations will be available in both halls from Sunday 8th - Sunday 29th October. If you would like to donate a full box that would be wonderful but any items would be appreciated as the Rainbows, Brownies & Guides will have great fun packing on Tuesday 7th November as well as earning a specially designed badge.
> We always need shoe boxes so if you have any - we can find them a new home!
> If you are unable to bring your donations to the halls please call me and I will happily collect.
With your help & support we can bring joy into the lives of those who feel left out and make someone happy this Christmas. Christine Tweedie, Brown Owl
KIRK LIFE'S LADIES’ NIGHT
Once again our Ladies’ Night was a tremendous success! There can be no doubt that a great night was had by all and we raised £619 for our church funds.
COMMUNITY LINK APPEAL
Our next Appeal Day will be Sunday 17th November. On that day we will once again ask if you can give us an affordable donation towards food and a small gift for the children of the families who are displaced at this time. We already have toothpaste and toothbrushes in hand which have been kindly donated. Shopping will be done online in order to make buying and packing easier. Once again thank for your continued support for those in need.
GRAVEYARD RECORDS PROJECT
Our church graveyard is of real historical value and we hold extensive records, compiled by various people over the years. In order to pass on more ordered details to future generations, we need to overhaul and catalogue the many files and maps. a very interesting project, but one which may take some time to complete, so we would like to form a group – one which has the history of our yard and church at heart - to bring all the various sources of information up to date and make them more accessible.
Anyone interested and up for this challenge is asked to speak to any member of Community Link.
THE 14th EK COMMUNITY ARTS EXHIBITION
The 14th East Kilbride Community Arts Exhibition is fast approaching and will be in support of the Kilbryde Hospice this year. As always, all forms of artwork will be on display and available to purchase ranging from paintings in various mediums, photography, textiles to stained glass in all shapes and forms by Sandra Lindsey, the beautiful work Silk by Lilias from Lilias Conroy, Ceramics/pottery by Isabel Ballantyne. The popular tearoom will be open during the weekend where you can indulge in coffee/tea and some home baking while admiring the surrounding artwork. It's a lovely way to meet friends and family for a catch up and maybe think about original gifts as Christmas approaches, while helping such a deserving and much needed local cause.
See further down this column for link to the Entry Form - also available in the vestibule of the Church, East Kilbride Arts Centre and the Kilbryde Hospice. All information and instructions are detailed in the entry form as well as the very important closing date for entries, 17th October 2017.
CHRISTMAS CARD SCHEME RE-OPENS
Anyone wishing to participate in the ‘Christmas Card Scheme’ can add their names to the list on Sundays after the morning service from 30th September.
CHURCH ACTIVITIES RESTART
Most of our activities takes a break in summer. Please look under each item - where a restart date is known, it is shown, either on the main page, or on the Our Space page for young people. A new 'Weekly Schedule' will be published in due course.
Please see relevant The Young at the 'Old' Our Space sections for most youth activities reports/news.
We all know how to pronounce the word Milngavie. But do we know what it means?
It seems that it is a contraction of the words “Gavin’s Mill”. (In Scotland, Gavin is often pronounced Guy). Gavin’s Mill is still there, and it has been renovated into a splendid outlet for Fairtrade goods, crafts and all sorts of other items, including a new café. It replaces its predecessor, which was in Balmore, at the Coach House, and it looks well worth a visit: Gavin’s Mill Fair Trade Shop and Café, 3 Gavin’s Mill Road, Milngavie, G62 6NB. More info from their website – www.gavinsmill.org
COALBURN SILVER BAND
The Coalburn Silver Band Summer Concert, held on June 2nd, was a huge success and the usual excellent music was further enhanced by Anne Heywood’s singing!
Thanks to all who helped.We raised the sum of £548.03 for church funds!
COMMUNITY LINK APPEALS
Following the summer appeal, we delivered 20 start-up boxes to Lindsay House and 20 to Woman’s Aid, and they were well-received. The boxes help people starting off in new accommodation with very little, containing two of each: dinner and tea plates, soup bowls, mugs, knives and forks, soup, desert and tea spoons, dish and kitchen towels.
Our November appeal will be for food, but we will ask for a small cash donation instead of goods. The stores will deliver direct to us for packing - a big benefit last year and we are most grateful for your contributions.
THE 14th EK COMMUNITY ARTS EXHIBITION
Returns 4th and 5th November 2017
Venue: Glebe St Hall. Saturday 4th November 10am - 4pm and Sunday 5th November 12noon - 4pm. Entrance £3* to include tea/coffee and home baking.
Open to all artists - all artwork accepted, ranging from paintings, drawings, photography, textiles,ceramics,etc. Entry forms will be available from 17th September onwards from East Kilbride Arts Centre, Kilbryde Hospice, the Old Parish Church and this website. They will include full information including closing date (17th October).
There will also be an Exclusive Evening of Music and Art on Saturday 4th November at 8pm, with a limited number of tickets available at a cost of £10* to include refreshments, nibbles etc. This promises to be a very special evening, with a chance to enjoy the exhibition and mingle before a musical performance by 'Brats and Callets'. This highly acclaimed vocal ensemble will present an evening of popular songs and ballads ranging from Glen Miller and Cole Porter to Lennon and McCartney.
All proceeds of this evening event and the exhibition will support the work of the Kilbryde Hospice.
Look out for the poster featuring an image of the Old Parish clocktower - an original pastel entitled 'Hope and Peace' by Isobel MacKinnon. (05/06/17)
Pastoral Letter for October
The whole Congregation will be pleased to learn that our much-loved Minister, the Rev Anne Paton, is making a steady recovery from her injuries. It’s too early yet to say when she will be fully recovered, but she is making good progress. I’m sure we will continue to keep Anne and Tom in our prayers.
The month of October begins with our Communion Services on Sunday October 1st, so by the time you read this EKO, that date will probably be past. However, as I write, it is still to come, and it gives me the opportunity of saying what a privilege it is to celebrate the Sacrament with you all. Ministers of the Church of Scotland are ordained to the ministry of Word and Sacrament – not one or the other, but both together and it’s a great joy to be able to exercise that ministry at the Lord’s Table here in the Old Parish Church, with its long history stretching back these hundreds of years.
And it is a joy! Communion is not a sad occasion, despite the dark clothes worn by the Elders. It is, in fact, the very opposite - a time of deep gladness, for here at the Lord’s Table, we are re-united with him in dramatic and visual form, in the broken bread and shared cup. And at the same time, we are re-united with each other. In faith, Communion becomes Community!
Many years ago, while visiting our dear friends in Hamburg, we visited a wonderful art gallery, dedicated to the work of the German Expressionist Sculptor, Ernst Barlach. There we saw a wonderful sculpture of two people – Doubting Thomas and the Risen Christ – at the moment when Thomas meets Jesus again and exclaims “My Lord and my God!”.
The title of the piece is in German – “Das Wiedersehen”. In German, as we all know, to say goodbye or cheerio is “Auf Wiedersehen”. It means literally “to the seeing again”- that is, till we meet again. But “Das Wiedersehen” means “The Seeing Again” – that is, the Meeting Again, the Reunion. And that’s what happens at Communion, and it’s anything but sad!
The Sunday after Communion is our Harvest Thanksgiving and it’s good that they are close together because there’s a link between them, isn’t there? At Communion, we give thanks for Jesus Christ, the Bread of Life; and at Harvest, we give thanks for our daily bread. And just as at Communion we share the bread together, so at Harvest we also think about sharing. As in past years, we are invited to make a donation as an expression of our sharing, and there’s a note inside the magazine about that. I’m sure we will want to respond to that appeal as generously as we can. And whatever our gift, it will be a sign of living faith, for the action of breaking bread and sharing it takes us to the very mind and heart of the God who is love.
With every good wish
Pastoral Letter for September
As many members of the Congregation will be aware, our much-loved Minister, the Rev Anne Paton, is unable to write this letter, having been in hospital, badly injured as the result of a fall.
She and Tom were in Edinburgh, at the start of a week’s holiday, when Anne lost her footing on one of the steep escalators at Waverley Station and fell down. Amongst other injuries, three ribs were broken and her lung was punctured, and she was admitted to the Intensive Care Unit at Edinburgh Royal Infirmary.
The very good news, however, is that Anne has been discharged, and is now at home. At the same time, there is still a long way to go, and we can well understand that the process of recovery will not be quick. I’m sure we will all be holding Anne in our prayers, along with Tom and all the family, praying that God’s grace will be with her through all that these coming days will bring, and that she will be soon be restored to good health again.
Naturally, everyone wants to express their own sympathy and support for Anne, and now that she is home, we can send our messages of love and support to the Manse. In the meantime, we’ve sent a card on behalf of the whole Congregation. Anne knows we’re all thinking of her.
As far Sunday services are concerned, these of course have to go on. Between Sheena Bell, Alastair Lusk and myself, we have arranged to conduct the services over the next few weeks, till the end of October, if need be. We’ll also look after all the pastoral duties. We may need to make plans beyond that date, and we’ll decide on that as we go through the weeks ahead. Two dates in October to be noted are Sunday 1st, which is Communion Sunday, and Sunday 8th, which will be our Harvest Thanksgiving Service.
The important thing is for all of us to keep on being the committed, involved and energetic Congregation Anne knows us to be.
September and October will see the start of all our organisations and agencies, and it’s vital that everyone continues to take their part in developing the Congregation’s life and helping each other in the process of growing in faith.
With every good wish,
Pastoral Letter for June
As I write this, the General Assembly is meeting in Edinburgh. On the Tuesday, there was an additional session after the close of business and one of the guest speakers was Rev Dr Sam Wells, Church of England Vicar of St Martins in the Field, just off Trafalgar Square. His topic was “Creating Kingdom Communities,” and during his talk, he told this story:
He was approached by an elderly lady in her nineties, who wanted to start coming to church, so he went to visit her. He was intrigued as to why she wanted to start coming to church, so he asked her about it. She told him how she had been brought up in Wales and the church had been a big part of her life as a child, but in her later teenage years she stopped going. Sam assumed that like many young people, she had just gradually drifted away, but that’s not the case. She said that she stopped going to church because the minister refused to marry her and her future husband. “Had your husband been married before?” Sam asked her. “No,” she said, “Here’s why,” and she showed him her hand. She explained that she had worked in a mill and had been in an accident, and lost three fingers of her left hand, so she only had a thumb and an index finger left. The minister wouldn’t marry them because she had nowhere to put a wedding ring.
Sam said he almost laughed because the story was so ridiculous. But the story isn’t funny, it’s horrifying. She went on to tell him that she had been away from the church for 75 years, but all that time she believed that God was bigger than the church, so now she wanted to forgive it for what it had done to her. Sam Wells said that 75 years away was pretty lenient. He ended with asking, “What if the lapsed and astray are that way because of the church?”
Often we tend to see ourselves as a church as reaching out to others, but that story stuck with me and I share it with you to urge you to ponder it too. Let’s examine ourselves, and think about our own context. And let’s hope that the lapsed and astray are not that way because of anything we do as a church.
Yours in love, Anne Paton