This will be held during the early part of Morning Service on 10th June to mark the closure of the Sunday School for the summer. Family and friends are invited. Note: the creche will continue over the summer.
Thanks for the donations of bags of silver and bronze coin over the year which total £121.98. (Sheena Wilson)
THREE FUNDRAISING REPORTS FROM STEWART SMITH:
Since 11thJune last year, the little blue tubs for the Leprosy Mission Scotland have produced £358.51p. Spare ones are at the front door of the Church.
The final total for the figure raised at the Coffee Morning for the renovations at Iona Abbey is a wonderful £1,600. Deepest thanks to everyone who gave such great support.
CHRISTIAN AID WEEK
We started our Christian Aid fund-raising a week early, when our COFFEE MORNING took place on Thursday 10thMay. Many thanks to all who helped and supported it, raising a total of £288.
Then, on Christian Aid Sunday, 13th May, 46 collectors set off to undertake the HOUSE-TO-HOUSE COLLECTION. Well done to each and all for taking on this important task, and many thanks to all who have contributed at the Church itself. The total to date is £3,126.55 And many thanks also to the Team who did the counting of it all.
On the evening of Christian Aid Sunday, a special service took place in our Church. That was the BIG SING for Christian Aid. There was a big congregation from various Churches in the town, and a united choir of nearly 50 singers. Conducted by Mary Coles from Greenhills Church and by our own Organist and Choirmaster, Colin Thomas, the choir was in excellent voice. Afterwards, refreshments were served to a great multitude in the Glebe Street Hall, bringing a very happy evening to a close. The retiring offering amounted to £623.50 – well done to everyone.
The WINDOW DISPLAYwas well designed, showing the need for strongly built houses in Haiti, where the risk of earthquake and hurricane is ever present. Many thanks to the team for their creativity.
WORLD MISSION STAMP APPEAL 2018
We’ve received a nice letter of thanks from World Mission for all the used stamps we’ve sent in over the past year. Last year’s stamps realised £2,194, which has been sent to help with the training of divinity students for the Presbyterian Church of South Sudan.
This year’s Appeal will go to the Hungarian Reformed Church in Transcarpathia (Ukraine), for their work with a number of day-care centres for children and young people with disabilities, providing assistance for their individual needs, and supporting their families at the same time. The Government of Ukraine is unable to provide that support and the Church is therefore relied upon to help.
So, please keep putting your used stamps into the boxes at the Church vestibule and hall, and into the pocket on the notice board at the Glebe St Hall.
As can be seen from our latest Accounts , East Kilbride Old Parish Church is in a healthy position as regards overall Funds. This is in particular brought about by the level of legacies we have very fortunately and gratefully received in the past few years. These funds however have been set aside or earmarked for special projects and specific purposes outwith the normal everyday working capital and day to day running of our church. With this in mind it is important not to be complacent or take our finances for granted..
Our General Fund is the “Bread and Butter” source through which we fund, maintain and contribute to the running of our Church and the Church of Scotland nationally. In 2017 our General Fund Incomes i.e. Offerings, Donations and other Sundry Incomes amounted to £128,536 which equates to an average of £2,471 per week. In 2017 our General Fund Expenditure amounted to £136,177 which equates to an average of £2,619 per week. These figures are of course averages and can fluctuate month to month. However they do demonstrate the importance of our Offerings and Donations and highlights the continual need for all members to review their individual commitment to their contributions.
When we became members of the Church we promised to give a fitting proportion of our money, talents and time for the Church’s work in our Parish and in the world, and we give in a number of different ways:
> Individual Donations
> Weekly Free Offerings (Envelopes)
> Open Plate in the Church
> Gift Aid (Envelopes and Bank Standing Orders)
Offerings made under the Gift Aid Scheme are by far the most beneficial way of giving: Gift Aid Offerings together with the recovered tax accounted for 67% of our total General Fund Incomes last year.
What is Gift Aid ?
This is a Government scheme which allows the congregation (as a registered charity) to reclaim the tax you have already paid on the money you give in your offering.
How does the Church benefit ?
While the basic rate of Income Tax is 20%, the congregation can recover tax at the rate of 25%.
> Every £1 given becomes £1.25...
> £4 becomes £5.
> £12 becomes £15.
> £20 becomes £25.
> £40 becomes £50.
> £100 becomes £125.
> £500 becomes £625.
> £1000 becomes £1250.
If members of the congregation give £50,000 as Gift Aid contributions, the tax refund will increase this to £62,500.
If members of the congregation give £100,000 as Gift Aid contributions, the tax refund will increase this to £125,000.
Anyone who pays Income Tax or Capital Gains Tax can give through Gift Aid. (You must pay an amount of tax in the tax year which is at least equal to the tax which the congregation reclaims on your offering).
Setting up Gift Aid is very simple and easy:
Simply sign a Gift Aid Declaration form. Then give your offering using Offering Envelopes, or by Bank Standing Order, or by cheque to provide the Church with the necessary record of your giving.
You do not need to promise to give a particular amount, nor to promise to give for a specified period - you can cancel your Gift Aid Declaration at any time.
Note: All Gift Aid offerings are completely confidential.
Giving your offering as a Gift Aid contribution increases the value of your offering and I would encourage members having assessed their own levels of contribution to give in this manner where possible.
I would take this opportunity also to ask those members already using the Gift Aid scheme to ensure that I am informed of any change to their circumstances - no longer a taxpayer, change of address etc.
Des Laverty, (Finance Convenor / Gift Aid Co-ordinator)
Please see relevant The Young at the 'Old': Our Space sections for most youth activities reports/news.
Pastoral Letter for June
There is a story told of a wagon train on its way from St. Louis to Oregon. Its members were devout Christians, so the whole group observed the habit of stopping for the Sabbath day. Winter was approaching quickly, however, and some among the group began to panic in fear that they wouldn't reach their destination before the heavy snows. Consequently, several members proposed to the rest of the group that they should stop their practice of resting on the Sabbath and continue driving onward seven days a week.
This proposal triggered a lot of contention in the community, so finally it was suggested that the wagon train should split into two groups - those who wanted to observe the Sabbath and those who preferred to travel on that day. The proposal was accepted, and both groups set out and travelled together until the next Sabbath day, when one group continued while the other remained at rest. Guess which group got to Oregon first? You're right. The ones who kept the Sabbath reached their destination first. Both the people and the horses were so rested by their Sabbath observance that they could travel much more vigorously and effectively the other six days of the week.
Too often we measure the importance of our lives by how busy we are. I have too many colleagues who love to “boast” that they haven’t had a day off for weeks. Without rest and time to re-energise, we will not fulfil our potential.
With the summer months approaching and many of our church activities taking a break, I hope and pray that we will all find some time to rest and re-energise. Jesus said, “Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me—watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly.” (Matthew 11, 28-30, The Message)
Yours in love, Anne Paton
Pastoral Letter for May
As I’m sure you know we are in the process of moving out of the manse to allow for a refurbishment of the rear of the house which will include a new toilet/shower room and a new kitchen and utility room. To that end, we have been looking at different options for the layout of the different areas, and often on a Saturday you’ll find us in B&Q wandering around the kitchen area looking at different sinks and worktops. I don’t know if you’ve been there recently, but we were astounded to discover that there are almost 200 different taps you can buy for your sink. 200 taps! They range from the basic ones, to taps with expanding cables on them so that you can wash your pots without actually having to put them in the sink! What taps to choose? What a dilemma!
I’m sure you’ve heard the phrase, “First World Problems.” (These are problems only those in the developed world have.) When so many in our world do not have access to clean water, how can we complain about a dilemma of which taps to choose. We just need a tap that we can turn on and water will flow out.
I would guess that everyone reading this has a number of taps in their house from which water flows. (If you’ve got the one with the long cable, let me know if it’s any good.) But I would guess that most of the time you, like us, take that for granted. Well if you do, let me tell you the story of Vilia.
Vilia lost her mum and her home when the earthquake struck Port-au-Prince in 2010. Bereaved and homeless, she went back to her home town with her husband and children. But life was a struggle, and they had nowhere safe to live. Christian Aid partner KORAL built her a new home that was strong enough to stand up to natural disasters. On the terrifying night when Hurricane Matthew hit, Vilia’s neighbours fled to shelter with her. As the storm raged, she shared her home with more than 50 of her neighbours for several days. Despite the ferocity of the hurricane, which swept away surrounding homes, her house was barely damaged. Vilia allowed her home to become an emergency shelter. She is incredibly grateful for the help she’s received but worries about those without a secure home. (You can find out more at www.christianaid.org.uk ) See also Stewart’s article on page six. Christian Aid week comes round once every year, and it is our opportunity to make a difference. So every time you turn on one of your many taps in your home, remember Vilia, and remember the difference you can make to her life and to countless others like her.
Yours in love, Anne Paton
As I write this, Palm Sunday and the events of Holy Week are ahead of us, but as you read this, Easter is behind you. I’m in the place where I’m preparing for the darkness leading up to the crucifixion, but you are in the place where you can dream dreams and expect new beginnings because of the events of the empty tomb, and the resurrection and the assurances that brings.
Every year we walk this well-trodden road through the last week of Jesus’ life, yet it strikes me that no two journeys are the same because a whole year has elapsed and life has treated us differently over the last year. So we come to this journey perhaps in a different mind-set than we were in last year. That’s certainly true for me, but perhaps it’s also true for you too as you reflect on the events that have happened in your life since we last walked the road from Palm Sunday to Easter Day.
In the days following my accident, I was focussing on being back to work for Harvest. Then I was focussing on being back for Remembrance Sunday. Then I was adamant I would be back for Christmas, yet here I am, back for Easter. While that’s frustrating in many ways, what better time is there to be back preaching than being able to preach about the message of Easter?
We have to walk through the Good Friday road, to come out the other side triumphant on Easter Day. In the world of Good Friday tragedies, it’s now time for Easter dreams. So dream that whatever circumstances you find yourself in, the resurrected Christ is walking with you, and dream that he can transform any situation. Then remind yourself that it’s not a dream, it’s the heart of the Christian faith.
Yours in love, Anne Paton
Pastoral Letter For March
One of the ways in which I’m making a recovery is by going out walking, which has been good because before the accident I certainly did not walk enough. I’ve discovered that East Kilbride new town is designed around pedestrians rather than drivers; and I’ve found paths and underpasses I didn’t know existed.
Now the better weather is coming in, it’s going to be easier to get motivated to walk more as I found it difficult to get out when it was very cold, or very icy. As I write this, I’m just back from a walk through the streets of East Mains, and it says something about the speed I walk at (slowly!) that today I really noticed the changes in the gardens. New shoots are coming up everywhere. We’ve had snowdrops for a while now, but the start of the crocus shoots and daffodil shoots can clearly be seen.
Don’t we just take the wonder of creation for granted? Right now there are signs of new life all around us, and I would guess that none of us thought that there wouldn’t be any spring flowers this year. Of course we will see daffodils soon, and if we didn’t, we would certainly notice then. But are we able to stop and really appreciate all that is around us?
The same goes for our health. I am delighted to get out and walk because the past few months have taught me that I’ve taken that ability for granted in the past. Then there are our loved ones and the people we share our daily lives with. Do we ever stop and give thanks for all they do for us. We would certainly miss them if they stopped doing it.
We’re in the midst of Lent, and as Alistair Lusk told us on Sunday, the first words of Jesus recorded in the gospels are not “It’s OK, I love you just as you are.” No, the first recorded word of Jesus is “Repent.” Perhaps in this time of preparation for Easter, we might take time to look around us and repent of our ingratitude and instead take time to appreciate and give thanks for all God has given to us.
Yours in Love, Anne Paton
Pastoral Letter for February
Let me introduce myself. My name is Anne, and a long time ago I was your minister! That’s what I feel like sometimes, I’m sure you do too. It’s been a long six months since we were last together.
Well the good news is that February will see me back as your minister, although on a phased basis for the first six weeks. I’m still not quite at peak fitness (If I ever was!) but am definitely ready to get back to work. So we have a plan. Stewart will still continue to coordinate leaders for worship, but every Sunday I will be participating too, maybe small parts in the early days, but hopefully building it up. I will also be back doing some of the pastoral work. The plan agreed with the Ministries Council is that the first two weeks will involve a Sunday and one day a week, then for the next fortnight a Sunday and two days a week, then finally for the last fortnight it will be a Sunday and three days. After that I will be back full time which according to them is a Sunday and four days. Hmm, we’ll see. Ministry is not about hours worked, but if we all have an understanding that it’s going to take me a wee while to get up and running then we will be fine.
The past six months has given me time to reflect on what it means to be a part of this church family, and indeed part of this community. It has been a blessing. I know having walked the road with you for all these years, that many if not most of you have all had your times of trial, and have found a great comfort in being part of this family of faith.
Now that I’m feeling much better, Tom and I have been travelling around different churches on a Sunday morning. A couple of weeks ago we found ourselves at Greenbank in Clarkston. We sat in the pew and a very elderly gentleman sat down next to us. He introduced himself, asked if we were visitors and then gave us a wee history of the church. Afterwards he took us through for tea and introduced us to some people, gave us a tour of the halls and some literature. He even invited us to the Burns Supper! He was delightful, and if we were seeking a church family, we would certainly be back there. I hope and pray that we will do the same for visitors in our midst.
I know that during the next wee while you will be patient with me, and I am so happy to be returning to you to see what God has been doing among you, and will continue to do as we restart our journey together.
Yours in love, Anne Paton
Pastoral Letter for January
At the beginning of a New Year it is customary for us to greet each other with "Happy New Year!" We don’t say, “Healthy New Year!” or “Prosperous New Year!”, we say “Happy New Year!” Do you think it’s possible to be happy for a whole year? How can you be happy for a whole year when the forecast for the New Year may predict unhappy times? Can you be happy if in the coming year you may have less to eat, if you must make old clothes do for another year, if a holiday is out of the question and if you worry about the bills coming in? Can you be happy in the coming year if you or your loved ones have health issues and don’t actually know if you can make it through another year?
Who would have known back at the start of 2017 when we were wishing each other a happy New Year just what a year it would be for me and my family! We had our happy times in 2017, especially Jamie and Nicole’s wedding day, but mostly it felt like a year where happiness was not high on the agenda: my parents’ health failing and both going to live in the nursing home, then obviously my fall. Happy 2017, I’m not sure.
However, as I come to the end of the year, and take time to really reflect and look beneath the surface, 2017 will be remembered as a time of blessings too. My mother had to go into the nursing home as an emergency and it was the only place available in their local authority. Yet the care both she and subsequently my dad have experienced is second to none. They both say that it was the best thing that ever happened to them. My fall was horrific, but I had no spinal injuries, or head injuries, and while I’m not yet back to normal, everything is eventually fixable.
Regardless of conditions, we do want to be happy, and as we go into this New Year, remember that Christians have good reason to be the happiest people in the world. Their happiness is not based upon the condition of the world around them but upon the condition of the heart. They are happy because of God and not because of circumstances they find themselves in. They are also happy because they are part of a Christian community, and above all 2017 will be remembered as a year of Christian love through the community we are part of.
A memory of Jamie and Nicole’s wedding was the part played by the Christian community in offering genuine hospitality. Similarly I have been overwhelmed by the messages of love and support, not just from our own church family, but by the wider Christian Community in East Kilbride. I also have the assurance that you are all being well looked after by Stewart, Sheena and Alistair. How blessed we are to be a part of East Kilbride Old.
Goodbye 2017, Happy New Year 2018. “Forget the former things, do not dwell on the past. See I am doing a new thing.” (Isaiah 43: 18-19)
I hope to be back with you soon, and I wish you all a blessed 2018.
Yours in Love, Anne Paton