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cropped Iain closeup in front of curtainPOSS TILE copy 

UPDATE FROM OUR YOUTH AND FAMILIES WORKER ( JULY EKO )

 

As I write this short article, we are now in week 12 of the lockdown to fight against the Coronavirus pandemic.   Here in Scotland we are beginning to see the easing of these restrictions and I hope that by following the safety rules in place things we will gradually return to a new normality with everyone managing to stay safe and well.    

Many of us have had time to reflect recently and I wonder what you have reflected about and what your hopes and dreams are for when we eventually get out of lockdown fully and back to normal – whenever that might be and however that may look.  For me I think that the new normal will be a bit different from what it was.  I hope that we will have learned what is important and what is not, I hope our reliance on the material things in life will diminish and faith in God will increase. I dream of greater equality, fairness and justice and stronger communities supporting those in need.  I believe the Church can be at the forefront of change and I pray there is a desire for changes which improve society as a whole.    Change can be difficult as we are generally creatures of habit and like to remain in our own comfort zone.   However, change can be positive and over the last 3 months as a Church we have had to change the way we engage with each other, the way we meet as a church and for our youngsters the way we do Sunday School. Technology has played its part and our morning worship services led by Anne have been online, on Facebook, on our website – this has been wonderful and many more people are accessing these online services.  Another big change over these past few months has seen a move to an on line version of Sunday School and Sunday activities for the younger members of our congregation. This virtual on line Sunday School session takes place on a Sunday afternoon at 2.30pm using Zoom and has been well received by the children and their families.  This will continue throughout the Summer months of July and August and if required thereafter as well, until we can safely and confidently meet up again in person for such gatherings.   Please do let any families with children aged 3 – 12 years know that this is available and encourage them to join.  While this has been a new activity many people have commented on this venture being a success and it got me thinking about how we determine success.  The following poem reflects success very nicely:

To laugh often and much;

To win the respect of intelligent people and the affection of children;

To earn the appreciation of honest critics and to endure the betrayal

of false friends;

To appreciate beauty;

To find the best in others;

To do something nice for a neighbour or friend every day:

To leave the world a better place than how you found it and to know that even one life has been enhanced because you have lived;

This is to have succeeded.

I hope that much of what the members of EKOPC have been doing within our congregation and in the wider community has been a success.  There is much to reflect on positively including the online Sunday services, the Helping Hands group supporting those needing shopping, prescriptions and friendly chats, the delivery service of church magazines and life and work, the virtual Sunday School sessions, the online resources on the website and the many contacts made by elders, members and the overall care and love that has been shown.  

There is an on line holiday club section on the Church Website which can be accessed from www.ekopc.org.uk and using the Youth tab at the top of the home page. Many people have contributed to this wonderful resource which is for children, teenagers & families and the material is constantly reviewed and updated with new resources and things to do being added all the time to keep it fresh.  There are even tips for families which I think can be useful for all of us.  Here are some of them:

  • ·Start or share a hobby or leisure activity with your child / children,
  • ·Tell your child(ren) every day that you love them,
  • ·Listen to your children when they are 5,6 or 7, then they may listen to you when they are 15, 16 or 17,
  • ·Respect their privacy,
  • ·Create boundaries,
  • ·Develop family traditions: e.g. a TV free evening or baking together with no phone call interruptions,
  • ·Give your children regular praise and encouragement,
  • ·Remember none of us can survive if the past is thrown at us every time we make a new mistake,
  • ·Share values and traditions that are important to your family.

In closing I pray that you will all stay safe and healthy and continue to look after one another.

OUR CHURCH BUILDINGS MAY BE CLOSED FOR WORSHIP BUT OUR CHURCH IS STILL WORSHIPPING AND ALTHOUGH WE MAY BE PHYSICALLY APART, WE ARE STILL VERY MUCH TOGETHER!!

Iain (Youth & Families Worker)
 
 
From the May EKO:
It is with sadness I acknowledge the Coronavirus and the impact it is having on all our lives; however, it is with immense gratitude I acknowledge the many blessings in my life and the many that God continues to bring in these challenging times.
 
Unfortunately, at the moment life is hard and different to what we hoped and planned and therefore Messy Church, The Family Film Evening and the Easter Holiday Club have been postponed until the current situation improves.
 
However, we should not be despondent, we have faith in the God who does and will continue to answer our prayers and bless each and every one of us. As I write I am thankful for so much in my life - the sunshine, my family, for friends, for food, for health, for kindnesses and for a peace in my heart. As you read this think of the things for which you are grateful and as you do this thank God for every blessing. I encourage you to do this daily and feel the benefit.
 
On a practical note it is worth stating: We haven't cancelled worship; what we have done is cancel a religious service at a specific time, in a specific place, on a specific day, but folks can still worship God where they are and when they are caring for grandchildren and walking their dogs; they can worship Jesus as they serve at foodbanks or Youth and Families Worker - picking up groceries for a neighbour; worship when they share the Spirit's peace by having a chat or singing songs over the phone to a parent; worship when they work from home; worship when they endure extra shifts in hospitals or nursing homes; worship when they email someone far away and wave to a stranger across the street; worship when they take toilet paper to a homeless shelter and volunteer to help someone.
 
We haven't cancelled worship, just the "official" part but that may be the smallest part of it all anyway. In everything we do we worship God and this I am confident will continue. EKOPC has amazing people who will rally together and demonstrate their love for God in their acts of kindness for others.
 
We have set up a group to respond to any assistance or support which may be required by any member of the congregation over the coming weeks and months due to the current coronavirus outbreak. The group is offering through, practical and/or pastoral support, any of the following :- collect prescriptions, go for shopping , dog-walking , deliver mail, chat on the phone and/or Skype or Facetime or similar. You may not need to access any of the services on offer immediately but may need to do so as time goes on and this service will be available until the current situation improves and we are back to normal.
 
To request the services of the group the following channels are available for your use - via your church elder, through the church Facebook page , email the church office (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.) or leave a message on the church phone in the office on 01355 279004. The office answer machine is monitored remotely so don’t hesitate to leave messages.
 
For those with children here is some excellent advice for families while the schools are closed: Please don’t feel like you have to immediately start googling curriculums, learning resources and school work. This is going to be a worrying time for everyone, and our children and young people will be able to feel it as well. Trying to force your children to learn rarely works and arguing and fighting with them to do so is likely to make an already stressful situation much worse. Instead why not read to them, sing and dance with them play board games and chat. They will learn that when something bad happens their parents played with them, distracted them and loved them. They will remember this as a time of fun, rather than a scary one. Oh, and please remember to wash your hands whilst singing!!
 
As always, I am very appreciative of all your support and prayers – Thank you. In the meantime, and during the current climate please stay safe and healthy and let us all look after one another and please remember that our Church is still open its only how we worship on a Sunday morning that has changed.
Iain (Youth & Families Worker)
 
 
Note: Iain's full title is Youth and Families Worker, but he has a 'Volunteer Group' focus in response to the pandemic.
 

Church Response Group to the Coronavirus Pandemic - “Helping Hands”

I hope everyone reading this is safe and well and managing to cope with this Coronavirus Pandemic. As a Church we are still very much open and God remains in the midst of all we are doing. In response to the challenges of COVID 19 the “Helping Hands “group was set up to provide practical support for our members. Below is an update of what the group is doing and will continue to do.

It has been incredibly inspiring to see so many people in our Church congregation who are willing to give up their time, energy and love to help others in need in these strange and challenging times.

Local church members have been offering a range of helpful services for those who are self-isolating and are unable to get out. So far, 24 volunteers have joined the EKOPC ‘Helping Hands ‘team and are supporting those who during these unprecedented and difficult times need help or assistance. Some are offering pastoral support by providing friendly telephone calls while others undertake the “out & about tasks” of grocery shopping, prescription collection and delivering mail.

All our volunteers have official ID badges and follow guidelines which keep both volunteer responders and service users safe. As the Response group co-ordinator my role is to match the volunteers and those requiring help. I have been delighted with the uptake for the service and the feedback received so far. It is sometimes too easy to be negative and despair when times are hard but this initiative shows that hope and love are stronger and this is indeed a GOOD NEWS story where the local church community is working together to care for each other.

I extend a big thank you to each and every volunteer and to each and every service user for trusting us to deliver to our motto which is to help those in need quickly and efficiently.

Those who have been self-isolating and benefitted from the service are incredibly pleased to know that people care. One elderly gentleman said he didn’t know what he would have done without the help and another family commented that they were so grateful for the friendly, prompt and efficient service in their time of need.

Additionally, the volunteers are delighted to help and have commented on their joy and sense of purpose at being able to help. One said “it’s great being able to make a real difference in such a simple way” and another added that it has helped her meet new people albeit through a telephone call or outside someone’s door.” There is a real feeling of the church community working together and everyone is gaining in different ways.

Helping Hands, is willing to continue offering help to any church member but also is extending the service to local residents in the EK village area. Anyone requiring help or assistance can contact the Church Office by phoning 01355 279004 or by emailing This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. You can also contact your elder directly and they will arrange support. Alternatively, we have a Church Facebook page which you can message or additionally we can be contacted via the church website if you select ‘Contact us’ at www.ekopc.org.uk .The website is regularly monitored and updated daily.

Iain Shaw - Response Group Co-ordinator

 

APRIL UPDATE

It is with sadness I acknowledge the Coronavirus and the impact it is having on all our lives; however, it is with immense gratitude I acknowledge the many blessings in my life and the many that God continues to bring in these challenging times.

Unfortunately, at the moment life is hard and different to what we hoped and planned and therefore Messy Church, The Family Film Evening and the Easter Holiday Club have been postponed until the current situation improves. However, we should not be despondent, we have faith in the God who does and will continue to answer our prayers and bless each and every one of us. As I write I am thankful for so much in my life - the sunshine, my family, for friends, for food, for health, for kindnesses and for a peace in my heart. As you read this think of the things for which you are grateful and as you do this thank God for every blessing. I encourage you to do this daily and feel the benefit.

On a practical note it is worth stating:

We haven't cancelled worship; what we have done is cancel a religious service at a specific time, in a specific place, on a specific day, but folks can still worship God where they are and when they are caring for grandchildren and walking their dogs; they can worship Jesus as they serve at foodbanks or picking up groceries for a neighbour; worship when they share the Spirit's peace by having a chat or singing songs over the phone to a parent; worship when they work from home; worship when they endure extra shifts in hospitals or nursing homes; worship when they email someone far away and wave to a stranger across the street; worship when they take toilet paper to a homeless shelter and volunteer to help someone.

We haven't cancelled worship, just the "official" part but that may be the smallest part of it all anyway.

In everything we do we worship God and this I am confident will continue. EKOPC has amazing people who will rally together and demonstrate their love for God in their acts of kindness for others.

We have set up a group to respond to any assistance or support which may be required by any member of the congregation over the coming weeks and months due to the current coronavirus outbreak. The group is offering through, practical and/or pastoral support, any of the following :- collect prescriptions, go for shopping , dog-walking , deliver mail, chat on the phone and/or Skype or Facetime or similar.

You may not need to access any of the services on offer immediately but may need to do so as time goes on and this service will be available until the current situation improves and we are back to normal.

To request the services of the group the following channels are available for your use - via your church elder, through the church Facebook page, email the church office (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.) or leave a message on the church phone in the office on 01355 279004. The office answer machine is monitored remotely so don’t hesitate to leave messages.

 

For those with children here is some excellent advice for families while the schools are closed:

Please don’t feel like you have to immediately start googling curriculums, learning resources and school work. This is going to be a worrying time for everyone, and our children and young people will be able to feel it as well.

Trying to force your children to learn rarely works and arguing and fighting with them to do so is likely to make an already stressful situation much worse.

Instead why not read to them, sing and dance with them play board games and chat.

They will learn that when something bad happens their parents played with them, distracted them and loved them. They will remember this as a time of fun, rather than a scary one.

Oh, and please remember to wash your hands whilst singing!!

As always, I am very appreciative of all your support and prayers – Thank you.

In the meantime, and during the current climate please stay safe and healthy and let us all look after one another and please remember that our Church is still open its only how we worship on a Sunday morning that has changed.

Iain (Youth & Families Worker) 

 

MARCH UPDATE

I was travelling from my home to the Church one day during the recent wintry weather. I stopped at a set of traffic lights and noticed that the field to my left was full of snow, totally perfect and untouched with no human or animal having set foot in that field recently. But the road I was travelling on was full of tyre treads, footprints, grit and slush – evidence that many people & motorists had used this road and indeed were still using this road.

That got me thinking about a poem I read at school and a bible verse in Matthew 7 (13 & 14.).

The poem by Robert Frost is entitled “The Road Not Taken” and the verse in the gospel of Matthew is about the narrow and wide gates which leads to a decision about which road we wish to travel along – the one that many have used before or the one used by the few.

Instead of travelling the same road or path as everyone else before us why don’t we choose to take a different path which hopefully will lead to different results and outcomes. In essence it gives us a choice between one of two options. If we always do what we always did we will always get what we always got - the same result and nothing will change.

It’s like that in many Churches and congregations - but let us be bold and take a leap of faith and do something different, perhaps even something that has never been done before. It may not be popular and there may be many dissenting voices but unless we try, we won’t know. Believe in your heart and God will be with you on every step of your journey – in fact Jesus commands us to change – in 2 Corinthians 5 v17 it says “the old has gone - the new is here”.

If you’ve not joined us before at any of the following events – why not give it a go this time – try something different !

Forthcoming events for your diary and support: 

On Sunday 1st March our next Messy Church: entitled “Messy Church is Magic” will take place in the Glebe Street Hall from 4pm - 6pm with the theme of The Miracles of Jesus and how amazing they are. We also hope to have a magician attend to perform some amazing tricks. During the school Easter holidays from Tuesday 14th – Thursday 16th April from 10am until 12 noon it is hoped to run a 3-day holiday club event for children aged 3-12 years. Publicity flyers and registration/consent forms are now available. This will be subject to getting enough volunteers to help - so if your free even for one morning please consider getting involved – a meeting for all those able to help out will be arranged soon.

The Christian charity World Vision 6K ‘Walk for Water’, that many of us did last year – remember the bright orange T shirts?- is almost upon us again and I would encourage anyone interested to sign up to get involved – we will set a date soon and this year it is hoped hope to have a church family picnic at the end of the walk. The walk is open to everyone - children, parents, grandparents, carers and even pets!! Please register your interest on the World Vision website, and a pack with more information including a T shirt will be sent to you.  Click Here to go to the site.

I do hope and pray that you may be able to join us at some or all of these events or at least encourage any families you may know to come along and join in the fun. As always, I am very appreciative of all your support and prayers.Thank you.

Iain (Youth & Families Worker)

 

FEBRUARY UPDATE

I was recently involved in a couple of initiatives which included other leaders, members and volunteers from across the different churches in the town who serve on the Calderglen High School chaplaincy team

Firstly, there is an SU group (called SOLID) who meet for around 45mins every Wednesday in a classroom within the drama department of the school – a few leaders of this group have had to give up for various reasons and I was asked to get involved. There are around 8-12 young people, mainly from the S1 & S2 year groups, and we explore a different Christian / Biblical theme each week through discussion, games and activities.

Secondly, I was involved in the planning and delivery of an event called Headspace, again in Calderglen HS, predominately aimed at S1 pupils but open to everyone including teachers, support staff and parents. This was a week long event with around 15 pupils at a time coming along for sessions lasting 50 mins. These are in a room specially designed for them to explore a vast array of individual stations around mental health and well-being, where they could spend some time reflecting on the topic being discussed at each station. The stations included – Anxiety, Jealously, Sleep, Exercise, Fears, Diet and Positivity, all very relevant topics which affect all young people (and also those not so young!). At the end of each session there was an opportunity, on the way out of the room, 'to throw away into a dustbin', or leave behind, all negative thoughts or things you wanted to stop, or give up, after attending the session / stations.

It was an amazing experience with huge opportunities for those involved to show Jesus’s love in action in very practical ways. There was a very positive response from the school in general, including pupils, teachers and parents. It was a privilege to be part of the team who delivered this event within our community and it was great to witness first-hand the churches working together in such a creative and practical way.

Within our own church and congregation, I am in the early planning stages of creating some new family events for the coming year which hopefully will include sports, drama, music and quizzes as well as family fun events. I still plan to run the current popular family events such as film afternoons and Messy Church and it would be great if you were able to join us at any of these events.

On Sunday 2nd February our first Messy Church of 2020 will take place in the Glebe Street Hall from 4-6pm with the theme of LOVE and the Bible verse for the session being John 3 v 16: For God so LOVED the world. I do hope and pray that you may be able to join us at this event or at least encourage any families you may know to come along and join in the fun.

As always, I am very appreciative of all your support and prayers – Thank you.

Iain (Youth & Families Worker)

 

JANUARY UPDATE 

At the beginning of a new year we tend to reflect on the year just ended and have hopes, dreams and ambitions for the year ahead. My hope for the coming year is that you will all find the hope that Jesus offers – the hope that lasts forever no matter what life throws at you.

We recently held several successful events for all the family. These were all well supported and enjoyed by those who attended. These included our Christmas Messy Church, Family Film afternoon where we watched Mamma Mia & the various family Church services held over the advent period in the lead up to Christmas.

I am in the early planning stages of creating a few new family events for the coming year which hopefully will include sports, drama, and music as well as family fun events as well as continuing to run the current popular family events and it would be great if you were able to join us at any of these events.

A date for your diary is Sunday 2nd February when our first Messy Church of 2020 will take place in the Glebe Street Hall from 4-6pm. 

A new year thought for your consideration – take an empty jar and at the end of each week in 2020 add a note with a good thing that happened that week then on new years eve empty the jar and read the notes to remind yourself of what an amazing year you had.

As always, I am very appreciative of all your support and prayers – Thank you.

I wish you all a happy, peaceful and blessed New Year.

Iain  (Youth & Families Worker)

 

 
 

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