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East Kilbride

Old Parish

Church

 

News

MINISTER'S ABSENCE
See the Pastoral Letter below for a New Year update from our Minister herself. It's great to hear from you Anne.
However, on Sunday members of the congregation heard the news of your father's passing. We pray for you and your family as you face this further trial. 

Under Church of Scotland regulations the Presbytery have appointed an Interim Moderator - Rev.Sarah Ross of Blantyre Old, to oversee the functioning of our congregational life during Anne’s incapacity. Also, Rev. Stewart Smith's appointment as part-time locum to cover Anne's absence has been made official.

CHRISTIAN AID BOXES – SMALL CHANGE – BIG DIFFERENCE
Many thanks to all who keep handing in their boxes, full of small change. The total contributed so far from July to December is £222.24. New boxes are available at the front door of the Church.
Mary Smith

LEPROSY MISSION
Many thanks to those who have made use of the blue tubs to give financial support to the work of Leprosy Mission Scotland. Some people have been making their own donations for a very long time, but since the blue tubs came on the scene, I’ve been keeping a note of what’s been given. From the 4th of June till November 26th, the total has come to £191.97, which is a wonderful figure. We hope to observe World Leprosy Day on the last Sunday in January - 28th as in previous years. Stewart Smith

COMMUNITY LINK  
A good New Year to you all and thank you for supporting us in helping those less fortunate than ourselves!
The Appeal Day funds (19th November) from the congregation, friends and traders, enabled us, on the 27th November, to deliver 40 bags of food in total. 20 to Women’s Aid and 20 to Lindsey House with enough food for a family of four in each. For the children we had 20 gift bags with sweets, puzzle books, toothpaste and brush in each. The larger soft toys and games were in three large carrier bags for children’s groups to deal with their distribution.
Food and Toys Extra 
Rev S Smith passed an email contact to me via Glasgow Presbytery Office for Cathcart Old Parish Church. The Rev Neil Galbraith is minister there and is involved in all kinds of charity work. The charity involved is ‘Glasgow the Caring City Toys Appeal’. The Rev Galbraith was expecting deliveries of food and toys - two van loads of each! The first lot was gone in a trice however I got an email saying a second delivery was on its way! We were so blessed. We got thirty odd toys, large, small, some wrapped others just straight out of suppliers boxes, for all ages, from babies rattles and soft toys. Alan’s car was filled to overflowing with toys! The icing on the cake was two large carrier bags with Tunnock’s caramel wafers! Women’s Aid was thrilled with this extra delivery. For us, this is another contact to help us help others. Great what comes from Stewart passing on an email contact!
Reflection Service
In addition to other items of news, 21st December saw the church open for a reflection period and a Reflection Service began at 12.00 followed by lunch at 12.30 We had approximately fifty for lunch after the service and the atmosphere was so good!
Coalburn Silver Band visited on Sunday 10th December and their music during the Service was as usual a lovely, uplifting day in the celebration of our Christmas journey. Our team provided mulled wine and shortbread for the congregation after the service, and tea and coffee was also available, all in the church hall. Lunch was also served to the band in the Upper Hall. 
Good News Leaflets
Many thanks to the team of organisers and distributors of the Good News Leaflets. They have been delivered by hand to homes in our parish, spreading the word of God at this special time in our worship calendar.
Bubble Gum and Fluff 
The Chaplaincy Group takes this programme to various schools for a week.  Members of Community Link act as a support to the Team of School Chaplains, and we worked with Halfmerke and Maxwellton Schools on Tuesday 5th December at the Baptist Church.

KIRK LIFE EVENTS - BRUCE DAVIES CONCERT
A good night of super entertainment was had by all who attended the Bruce Davies Concert. The music and singing were superb! Here's a review posted by Alistair W.: "As well as frequent performances in small church halls, Bruce has performed over the years with many “big names” in the country music business both in the home of country music, Nashville, and at international concerts around the world. On 2 December, he treated the audience to a selection of well-known classics by artists such as Pete Seeger and Bob Dylan as well as some of his own compositions, all peppered with amusing background anecdotes. His presentation and choice of music and his warm, rich voice and his mastery of both 6 & 12 string acoustic guitars made for a most enjoyable evening". Thanks to Kirk Life for organising this and all those other enjoyable social evenings throughout the year! 

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 - and check the Noticeboard on the Home Page for details of our first meeting on 7rh February, 10.30, Church Hall.

SOME GOOD NEWS
I recently visited China as part of a Churches Together in Britain and Ireland official visit. During the two weeks of extensive travelling across that vast country, we met many interesting and inspiring people and heard several encouraging stories. Let me share just one – about Beishi (North City) Christian Church in Shenyang. During the “Cultural Revolution” (like almost all places of worship at the time) Beishi Church was closed and used as a factory. In 1979, when the prohibition on “religious activities” ended, the church began to meet again – with about 25 members. But then it began to grow.
In 1996 a new church building was constructed and is shared with a 7th Day Adventist Congregation. Beishi now has around 3,000 members! There are three services of worship held each Sunday. We attended one of these services and were surprised to hear a Chinese hymn being sung to the Scottish Psalm tune “Kilmarnock”! The welcome was warm and sincere.
Later we met with the senior pastor, the Rev Ho Huang, whose personal faith journey was truly inspiring, and we asked her why she thought the church had grown so rapidly. Her answer was profoundly simple: “We love God and we love the people. Others come along to find out why.” Ian Cunningham Convenor of the Church’s World Mission Council

BROWNIES, GUIDES, RAINBOWS
Shoebox Appeal

We continue to link up with Blythswood Care, a Christian Charity transforming lives with care for body and soul. Last year Blythswood distributed 121,474 boxes and you helped make that happen! This appeal only works with your support. Once again, this year the generosity of our Church Family has been overwhelming: With your help and donations the Rainbows, Brownies and Guides packed a grand total of 210 boxes and cash donations of £410. (gift aid to be added) Absolutely fantastic! A huge ‘thank you’ to everyone who helped and a special mention to the lovely ladies who helped with packing and the other team of ladies who so very kindly wrapped the boxes. We couldn't do this without your continued help and support!
Baden Powell Challenge Award
We are delighted to report that two of our Guides, Beth Andrew and Katie Currie, were presented with their Baden Powell Challenge Award, by our County Commissioner, Lyndsay Strang, at the West Lanarkshire County’s Annual review, held on Sunday 26th November 2017. More details will appear on their 'Your Space' section.
New Flower Bed at Glebe St Hall
At the end of November, our newest Brownies made their 'Promise' and invited parents and family to come along. As part of their promise preparation, they planted the flower bed at the Glebe St Hall along with some additional planters we hope you like what we have done.  

YOUTH UPDATES

Please see relevant The Young at the 'Old': Our Space sections for most youth activities reports/news.












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 



Pastoral Letter for December

Dear Friends,
As we all know, Advent is the season in the Christian Year which leads up to Christmas and by the time most people read this, the season of Advent will already have begun. On that first SundayDecember 3rd – the first Advent Candle will have been lit, and we will have started on our journey together towards the wonder of Christmas. And what a journey it promises to be!
At the opening of each of the four Sundays in Advent, taking us to Christmas Eve which is the fourth Sunday, two of our young people will light the candles, along with a reading and a prayer. On our first Sunday, the central part of the service will be the Christmas Story presented in readings and songs by our excellent Choir, led by our Organist and Choirmaster, Colin Thomas.
On Sunday 10th December, it will be a great pleasure to welcome back our friends from the Coalburn Silver Band, whose superb playing will accompany all our carols and who will provide our music both before and after the service.
On that second Sunday in Advent, we will also welcome to the service the Royal Electrical Mechanical Engineers 106 Battalion (REME) whose Headquarters are here in East Kilbride, at Kitchener House, Whitemoss. Their Patron Saint is Saint Elegius, and we will be thinking about him that morning. Also that same morning, we will welcome a representative from the Kilbryde Hospice, to whom we will present the cheque from the recent Art Exhibition – a very substantial cheque – so, well done to all helped and supported that special event last month.  
The third Sunday in Advent, December 17th, will be the Family Service, which will include a Nativity Play, presented by our children and young people – and a few others – in what has been described as a “Cecil B DeMille production”. Members of the Youth Group will be providing support. The play is entitled “A Very Special Night”; that Sunday promises to be a very special morning!
On Thursday 21st, the Church will be open for people to come in and sit quietly for a while, with the Church decorated for Christmas, and the Tree lights shining brightly.
At 12 noon, there will be half-hour Advent Reflection, followed by lunch in the Hall, provided by the Community Link Team, whose soups are always so good.
The fourth Sunday is Christmas Eve. The morning service will be at the usual time of 11am. In the evening, we will have the by now traditional Christingle Service at 7pm, with our Brownies attending. Later, the Christmas Eve service will be at 11.30pm, with carol singing beforehand, starting at 11pm.
And so to Christmas Day, with a morning service starting at 10.30am.

This is one of the times when we send out to the whole parish an invitation to come to Church at some point, and well done to all the people who delivered the Christmas leaflets. At the same time, wouldn’t it be good if we could ourselves encourage someone we know to join us at one of the services? The personal word of invitation can be so important. Equally important is the warmth of welcome when people do come, whether for the first time, or for the first time in a long time.   I’m sure we will all want to do our part in making this Advent and Christmas season a time of Christian faith in action, as we celebrate the wonder of Christ’s birth.

I’m sure also we will continue to keep in our thoughts and prayers Anne, our Minister, along with Tom and the family. Anne is recovering steadily, but it will be into the New Year before she is able to be back with us in full strength. We wish her God’s continued blessing, and trust that 2018 will see her restored to health and wholeness again.

Here is a verse from one of the songs to be sung at the Choir service, “Would I miss the Miracle?”

If angels filled the skies tonight, would I hear them sing?
Would tomorrow find me saying it was all a dream?
Would I leave my bed and go outside to hear their song?
Would I go on sleeping, until the morning dawned?
Would I miss the miracle?   Would I see the King?

May this season of Advent and Christmas be a time of blessing for us all, and may we not miss the miracle, and may we sense again the presence in our lives of the King of Love.
With every good wish
Yours sincerely
Stewart


Pastoral Letter for November

Dear Friends,

This month brings us to the season of Remembrance. Sunday 12 November is Remembrance Sunday and, as has been the custom for many years, there will be a service at the War Memorial, beginning at 10.45am. During the ceremony, wreaths will be laid, and the two minutes’ Silence observed. This will be followed by Morning Worship in the Old Parish, attended by members of the East Kilbride Parish Branch of the Royal British Legion, members of South Lanarkshire Council, our Member of Parliament, Members of the Scottish Parliament, together with other units and organisations. The Service will be at the later time of 11.30am.

What is the content of our remembering?   I’m sure no one reading this took part in the Great War of 1914-18, and fewer and fewer people actually remember the 2nd World War 1939-45. And yet there have been conflicts ever since, in which people have suffered. In my previous congregation, there were two men who had been on active service in Korea. They felt left out, they said, because the Korean conflict was the “Forgotten War”. Remembering is important, because it’s about people, real people, of all ages, both military and civilian, and their courage, sacrifice, suffering and loss.

In the current issue of the magazine of the Royal British Legion Scotland, there’s an article about the War Memorial in Inverkip. The village of Inverkip lies on the Clyde coast, about half-way between the Cloch Lighthouse and the Wemyss Bay pier. It has a special place in our family story, because our first house as a married couple was in Inverkip, in a house on the Ardgowan Estate. So I’ve seen that War Memorial often, but I’ve never really looked at it.

However, someone has been looking at it very carefully, and has done research into the names inscribed on that Memorial. One of the names from World War 1 is the name of Michael Anderson. He was in the Gordon Highlanders, he was killed at the Battle of the Somme, he was 17 years old, and he lived on the Ardgowan Estate where his father worked as a wood-cutter. He must have known the house in which we eventually came to live.

So the content of our remembering must surely be gratitude and sorrow for those who gave and lost their lives, compassion for all who knew the pain of bereavement, and a desire to help and support all who still bear in themselves the scars of war.

And something else.   Something to do with making peace, with being peace makers, with remembering who it was once said this –“Blessed are the peace-makers; they shall be called the daughters and sons of God”.

Our daughter, Fiona, runs a Scout troop in Dundee. It’s a mixed troop, boys and girls, and they take part in something called JOTI. It stands for Jamboree On The Internet. On their computers at their own camp site, they connect with Scouts across the world, trying to build bridges of friendship, rather than walls of exclusion. We too, in whatever ways are open to us, must surely be challenged and encouraged once again at this Remembrance time, to keep on working for peace in our still troubled world.

With every good wish
Yours sincerely,
Stewart

Pastoral Letter for October

Dear Friends,

This month brings us to the season of Remembrance. Sunday 12 November is Remembrance Sunday and, as has been the custom for many years, there will be a service at the War Memorial, beginning at 10.45am. During the ceremony, wreaths will be laid, and the two minutes’ Silence observed. This will be followed by Morning Worship in the Old Parish, attended by members of the East Kilbride Parish Branch of the Royal British Legion, members of South Lanarkshire Council, our Member of Parliament, Members of the Scottish Parliament, together with other units and organisations. The Service will be at the later time of 11.30am.

What is the content of our remembering?   I’m sure no one reading this took part in the Great War of 1914-18, and fewer and fewer people actually remember the 2nd World War 1939-45. And yet there have been conflicts ever since, in which people have suffered. In my previous congregation, there were two men who had been on active service in Korea. They felt left out, they said, because the Korean conflict was the “Forgotten War”. Remembering is important, because it’s about people, real people, of all ages, both military and civilian, and their courage, sacrifice, suffering and loss.

In the current issue of the magazine of the Royal British Legion Scotland, there’s an article about the War Memorial in Inverkip. The village of Inverkip lies on the Clyde coast, about half-way between the Cloch Lighthouse and the Wemyss Bay pier. It has a special place in our family story, because our first house as a married couple was in Inverkip, in a house on the Ardgowan Estate. So I’ve seen that War Memorial often, but I’ve never really looked at it.

However, someone has been looking at it very carefully, and has done research into the names inscribed on that Memorial. One of the names from World War 1 is the name of Michael Anderson. He was in the Gordon Highlanders, he was killed at the Battle of the Somme, he was 17 years old, and he lived on the Ardgowan Estate where his father worked as a wood-cutter. He must have known the house in which we eventually came to live.

So the content of our remembering must surely be gratitude and sorrow for those who gave and lost their lives, compassion for all who knew the pain of bereavement, and a desire to help and support all who still bear in themselves the scars of war.

And something else.   Something to do with making peace, with being peace makers, with remembering who it was once said this – “Blessed are the peace-makers; they shall be called the daughters and sons of God”.

Our daughter, Fiona, runs a Scout troop in Dundee. It’s a mixed troop, boys and girls, and they take part in something called JOTI. It stands for Jamboree On The Internet. On their computers at their own camp site, they connect with Scouts across the world, trying to build bridges of friendship, rather than walls of exclusion. We too, in whatever ways are open to us, must surely be challenged and encouraged once again at this Remembrance time, to keep on working for peace in our still troubled world.

With every good wish
Yours sincerely,
Stewart

Pastoral Letter for October

Dear Friends,
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
Yours sincerely,
Stewart Smith








 

 


East Kilbride Old Parish Church
Montgomery Street
The Village
East Kilbride
Scotland
G74 4JS

Telephone:
01355 279004
Office opening times:
Tuesday & Friday
9:30am to 12:30pm
Email:
ekopc.office@btconnect.com

 

cos

 

Scottish Charity No: SC000609