Background: A major refurbishment of the living areas at the Abbey on Iona is already under way. So far the Appeal has raised around £1.4 million; a further £1.7 million is needed. Individual members of the Iona Community have personally made a financial commitment to the work, and local groups of members – called Family Groups – have been charged also with fund raising. Stewart and Mary Smith are part of our local Family Group in Lanarkshire. It’s a small group, and scattered throughout the area. The Kirk Session kindly agreed we could have the hall for the Coffee Morning, and the Men’s Association “volunteered” to take part. Our event was a great success, raising a four figure sum - exact amount coming soon.
VACANCY FOR YOUTH AND FAMILY WORKER (Temporary):
We are looking for a Youth and Family worker to strengthen links with families in the community through increasing the range of activities and support the church currently offers to families and young people. The post will be either full-time or part-time as agreed by negotiation with the successful applicant. Closing Date is 12th May. Informal enquiries may be made to our Minister, Rev Anne Paton. Click Below for more information and application form:
KIRK LIFE EVENTS
Our Cabaret Night on 23rd March raised £417 for church funds as well as providing a great night's entertainment! Helen Stevenson
SUNDAY SCHOOL LENT CHALLENGE
As well as having fun, the Sunday School raised at least £288.55 for Sport Relief with their Easter Egg and Spoon Race (final total to come).
ART AND CRAFTS OPEN MORNING
As well as demonstrating some interesting skills and sharing refreshments, the Open Morning raised over £100 which will go to Church funds.
RAINBOWS AND BROWNIES FUNDRAISER
The Rainbows and Brownies Afternoon Tea fundraising event (on Saturday 10th March - arranged to coincide with Mothering Sunday weekend) raised £435 on the day, and more is still coming in from donations for home baking. The event was to raise funds to cover transport costs to take all the Rainbows and Brownies to a sleepover to Deep Sea World Loch Lomond. Christine Tweedie, Brown Owl
GRAVEYARD RECORDS PROJECT
Anyone interested helping with the Graveyard Records Project is asked to speak to any member of Community Link. Jean Craig, Convenor
Please see relevant The Young at the 'Old': Our Space sections for most youth activities reports/news.
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