Designed by the artist Colin Stevenson and donated by Mr & Mrs Hamilton of Dullatur in celebration of their Golden Wedding Anniversary, the window takes its inspiration from the ‘Rainbow Window’ in the church vestibule and represents the Holy Spirit in the form of a dove. A colourful, powerful and welcome addition to our church, I’m sure you’ll agree!
With summer now well and truly upon us, things in the kirk are a bit quieter than normal. That, perhaps, is no bad thing given how busy we were during the first six months of the year. However, there is still a lot going on behind the scenes and there are two particular events to which I would like to draw your attention:
The Stated Annual Meeting of the congregation is on Wednesday 15th July at 7.30pm in the Parish Church. As well as the opportunity to look back at the congregation’s life over the past year, we hope to have a presentation showing the progress of our “Year in the Life” photo journal of our 350th Anniversary Year.
And the Prayer & Launch Event for Connect 2009 will be on Friday 7th August at 7.00pm in Seafar House. This will consist of presentations from the various Steering Groups to pass on information about the events planned for this year and how we can all be involved. There will also be time for prayer for the Connect events taking place in September. We will feature Connect more fully in a future ‘update’.
A selection of photographs from this year’s Garden Fete and June’s 350th Anniversary celebrations have now been posted onto the kirk’s website. To see pictures from the Birthday Party that followed the worship service on 7th June click on the “next page” link at the foot of the Anniversary Service page.
The July edition of the Church of Scotland’s Good News magazine includes a special report from Edinburgh Presbytery that argues the Church of Scotland can seize on the challenges of a secular society, and also the convener of the Panel on Review and Reform, Reverend David S. Cameron, explains how congregations can help cultivate change in the Kirk. You can download Good News from here.
The Ekklesia news service reports that The Church of Scotland has welcomed the Scottish Government’s new climate change targets but warned they were doomed to fail unless the people of Scotland were involved at a grassroots level. Speaking a day after the Scottish Parliament approved the trail-blazing Scottish Climate Change Bill, The Rev Ian Galloway, Convener of the Kirk’s Church and Society Council, said: “We warmly welcome the amendment to the Bill requiring the Scottish Government to publish a strategy for public engagement. Without an effective strategy the new law stands little chance of success. Congregations across Scotland, particularly Eco-Congregations, will have [a] vital role to play in coming months to help the Government get this right.” Read the full article here.
Ecumenical News International (ENI) reports that the Methodist Church, the third largest in Britain, has become the first church in the country to ban its members from belonging to the British National Party, which Methodism deems to be a group advocating racism. The church said on 9 July that its annual conference in Wolverhampton had passed a resolution that none of the church’s 265,000 members could be a member of a political party whose constitution, aims or objectives promote racism. This specifically includes, but is not solely limited to, the BNP. More on this here.
ENI also reports that Protestant Christians are celebrating the 500th anniversary of the birth of Jean Calvin, the French-born church reformer who inspired a movement that now has tens of millions of adherents worldwide. Calvin was born on 10 July 1509 at Noyon in northern France, and is known throughout the world for his role in the Reformation while he lived in Geneva, a once independent city state that is now part of Switzerland. Religious and political leaders gathered on 10 July at Geneva’s Cathedral of St Pierre, the church where Calvin preached during the Reformation, where they heard a call for the theologian to be commemorated as a source for a contemporary response to social issues. Read the full article here.
WOW – what a weekend that was. I am referring, of course, to the weekend of 6/7 June which saw our annual summer fete followed by a worship service commemorating 350 years of continuous worship in our present church building followed, in turn, by our birthday party on the manse lawn. Phew, one can get tired out just by thinking about it. But it was a marvellous weekend and the culmination of many hours of hard work and effort by lots of different people. And, to them all, we say “thanks”.
First up was the Summer Fete on Saturday 6th June. As the hailstones battered the manse garden on Saturday morning, serious doubts about the success of this year’s event must have been going through many people’s minds. But the skies began to clear as opening time approached and, as the afternoon wore on, the showers gave way to bright sunshine. By 4pm over three hundred people had thronged the gardens and tearoom and over £2205 was raised for church funds. Radio Heartbeat provided the musical entertainment, the official opening was performed Rev. Alan Sorensen from Greenock Wellpark Church (better known for his radio programme on Clyde 2) and our usual stalls did a roaring trade. The cheerleaders J C Pom Poms amazed us by their athleticism and the children’s fancy dress competition was yet another highlight of what turned out to be a brilliant day. We have got a lot of pictures from the event and they will be added to our website over the summer.
On Sunday 7th June we had the second of our worship services celebrating 350 years of continuous worship in the present church building. The service was led by our worship team and the Very Rev. David Lunan, until very recently the Moderator of the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland. The theme focused on how we are all parts of Christ’s body – the church – and how we each have a part to play. The children and young people provided drawings of what it means to them to be part of this body (see the poem at the end of this update); there was a musical solo from Claire Dalling on the flute; Graeme Currie (trumpet) and Lucy McDonald took part in one of the meditations; and various members of the congregation came forward with items representing different contributions we all make to the life of the church. During the service, our new specially-commissioned Pulpit Fall was dedicated. Pictures of the new fall have been added to our website along with Maggie Dobie’s description of what the various elements represent, while the remaining pictures from the anniversary service and the birthday party will be added to the kirk website over the summer.
Leading up to the anniversary weekend, we had asked members to send the church a Birthday Card and invited them to make a donation of one penny for each year of the church’s history (£3.50) or whatever they felt they could give. The birthday cards were displayed in the church on the day of the service and we were delighted that £2034 had been donated. Some of this money will pay for our new pulpit fall and the rest will be used for the mission work of the church. We will be able to give you more information about this in a later bulletin.
While most of the committees and councils are taking a well-earned break after the General Assembly, there is some news to report. The June edition of Good News contains a summary of, and pictures from, the main proceedings at the General Assembly and contains news of an East Lothian kirk that has become the first Church of Scotland congregation to open a debt counselling centre for parishioners struggling with their finances. There is also news of a fund-raising scheme in Caithness Presbytery for a hospital in Malawi that prevents and reduces the major causes of blindness.
The kirk’s Church & Society Council has produced its June news update. This contains a simple checklist to enable churches to measure their carbon footprint and more about the Eco-Congregation Scheme. There is also news from the Poverty Truth Commission that was launched in Glasgow in March.
Finally, the latest newsletter from the World Mission Council – WM29 – features news on what it is like to be a Christian in a country where Christians are not only the minority but face hardship for their faith. With features on India, Pakistan and China among others, WM29 provides much of interest as well as topics for prayer.
Could this be the biggest weekend in Cumbernauld Old’s history? Maybe so, maybe not; but it’s still a big one nevertheless. And you are invited to join in!
First up is our annual Garden Fete on Saturday 6th June. It promises to be bigger and better than ever: with a children’s fancy dress parade, birds of prey, cheerleaders the JC Pom Poms, Radio Heartbeat and more. All the regular activities will also be there: a bouncy castle, tearoom with home baking, book sale, bottle, plant and soft goods stalls and prizes galore. Doors open on Saturday at 1.30pm with the formal opening of the fete at 2.00pm by Rev. Alan Sorensen, who hosts Radio Clyde 2’s Sunday morning “Down to Earth” programme. Entry £1 for adults, 25p for children.
On Sunday 7th June we have a joint service at 11am to celebrate the 350th Anniversary of continuous worship in the Parish Church building. Worship will be led by Very Rev. David Lunan until very recently the Moderator of the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland. After the service the celebrations will continue with a birthday party in the Manse garden. As you would expect, there will be a birthday cake and even jelly and ice cream.
It’s just SO last century! It’s our 20th century quiz, of course. To coincide with our 350th anniversary our planning group have devised a quiz (with prizes) where each answer relates to one year year in the 20th century (we thought a question for each of the last 350 years would be a bit much!) Pick up your entry forms at church, just £1 per entry), or request one from church members. Completed entries should be handed in by 30th August.
My, doesn’t time fly? Holy Week and Easter almost seem a distant memory but it’s worth remembering, before moving on, that they are the reason that the church exists. Everything we are as a church, and everything we do, is as a result of the events of that one weekend in the life of our Lord. At the end of this month, on Sunday 31st May, the Christian church celebrates the feast of Pentecost when the promised Holy Spirit came to Jesus’ disciples in Jerusalem, and so the church was born.
Sunday 31st May, the Day of Pentecost, is also the day when we will celebrate the Sacrament of Holy Communion at services in the Parish Church at 11am and 6.30pm. We usually celebrate Communion on the first Sunday in June but have other plans for that day, as you may have heard! The 11am service replaces our two usual weekly services at 10.15 and 11.45, while at the 6.30pm service, non-alcohol wine will be used.
Before then, though, May is rather a busy month in the life of the congregation
Yesterday, Sunday 10th May, there was a gathering of the five Church of Scotland congregations in Cumbernauld. Faced with the challenge of creating a joint plan for the future, this was the first “staging post” (to use an expression of Peter Neilson, our mission enabler) and the turnout of members from Cumbernauld Old was impressive. At this first meeting, we learned a bit more about each of the five congregations and discussed our common challenges. These will be reviewed by the Steering Group, further activity will take place over the summer and the next “staging post” gathering is scheduled for September.
We are now into Christian Aid Week. Over the next few days, until Saturday 16th May, volunteer collectors from our congregation will join others across the UK and Ireland delivering envelopes, visiting houses and asking for donations. Should an authorised collector call at your house, please give them a warm welcome and a generous response (preferably with a Gift-Aid signature).
On Thursday 14th May our Boys’ Brigade company hold their Annual Display in the Forge Community Centre starting at 7.00pm. Please come along and show your support.
On Sunday 17th May, the Scottish Bible Society are having a celebration of their 200th Anniversary at St. Mungo’s Parish Church at 2.30pm. The entertainment will be provided by the Kilsyth Praise Group and tickets, priced at £2 include tea or coffee. All proceeds to the SBS’s current Brazil Project.
The General Assembly of the Church of Scotland meets in Edinburgh from Thursday 21st to Wednesday 27th May. Due to space constraints, not all congregations can send ‘commissioners’ (as they are called) so a rota system operates within presbyteries. This year Cumbernauld Old has the opportunity to send two commissioners, and our minister and one of our elders will be travelling through to Edinburgh for each day’s debates and discussions. You can keep up with everything that’s happening at the General Assembly through the Church of Scotland’s dedicated web pages.
And so into June, and our 350th Anniversary weekend.
The action all starts off with our annual Garden Fete on Saturday 6th June in the Manse grounds. Doors open at 1.30pm with the official opening at 2pm by Rev. Alan Sorensen, presenter of Radio Clyde’s “Down to Earth” programme.
Then on Sunday 7th June we have a special joint 350th Anniversary Worship Service in the Parish Church at 11am and led by Very Rev. David Lunan, the current Moderator of the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland. By the time he reaches Cumbernauld, his term of office will have ended, but Immediate Past Moderator of the General Assembly, etc. doesn’t roll off the tongue quite as easily! Following our worship service we will have our 350th Birthday Party in the Manse Grounds. Invitations will be on their way in the near future.
For several weeks now, we have been inviting members to send us a Birthday Card and we are glad to report that quite a few have been received. We have also been asking those who can to send us a donation of one penny for each year of the church’s 350 years (i.e. a gift of £3.50). That appeal has also been very well supported. There is still time to send us a card (and a donation if you wish) – just hand it to any office-bearer or hand it in to the church any Sunday. The cards will be displayed in church at our Anniversary Service and the money raised will be shared between the cost of a specially-commissioned pulpit fall and the mission work of the church.
News of the Garden Fete and our 350th Anniversary plans is contained in the May 2009 edition of the church newsletter, available for delivery to members shortly but already available online from our church’s website.
With the General Assembly on the near horizon, a few of the kirk’s councils are issuing summaries of their reports in newsletter form. I have provided links to a few of them here (courtesy of the Falkirk Presbytery website). In addition, though, the regular bulletins continue to be published and I am delighted to pass them on.
First up is the May edition of the kirk’s Good News magazine. Among the articles in the seven-page newsletter is a call for the church to face up to the reality of HIV/AIDS, news of a march (with a difference) through the streets of Larkhall, and thoughts on love from the Moderator, Rev. David Lunan.
The Mission & Discipleship Council’s enews for May 2009 contains details of more than 30 events, resources and websites to explore. Among the events listed is a conference on ‘Emerging Church’ – building a church for the 21st century – Fresh Horizons, which (it says) is a conference for ‘third-agers’ and how they may be used in ministry and mission; and information about Open Farm Sunday. I also liked the materials produced by Scripture Union for children about to enter primary school and for young people making the transition from primary to secondary education.
The kirk’s Church & Society Council has produced a short newsletter to coincide with the General Assembly, as has the Committee on Ecumenical Relations. Both can be downloaded from the Falkirk Presbytery website.
A recent World Mission Council news update highlighted the forthcoming World Week of action for peace for Israel and Palestine. The news article reads: World Week for Peace in Palestine and Israel, 4-10 June 2009, is intended to generate joint church action for a just peace. Churches in 20 countries have already sent news of their plans to the conveners, the World Council of Churches (WCC). A Palestinian community organisation is offering a way for many more countries to join – by sending peace prayers to Bethlehem.
People and parishes around the world are invited to send peace prayers to Bethlehem. A church-related community organisation there will share the prayers for worldwide use online during World Week and to be read aloud locally at the Wall, near settlements, and in Palestinian parishes and schools including in Gaza.
The WCC-led week of action is in its fourth year. Participants are invited to pray, educate and advocate, inspired by the theme “It’s time for Palestine”. A prayer offered by the Heads of Churches in Jerusalem has been sent to more than 120 countries, along with invitations to join World Week. For 2009 participants are encouraged to focus on Israeli settlements in occupied territory. Links to the topic as well as a message, prayers and liturgies for the week are available on the WCC website.
Oh, and did I mention this was Christian Aid Week? Just a reminder that their website will take online donations, just in case no-one comes to your door or you don’t get a chance to return your red envelope or you can’t make it to church next Sunday.
The director of Christian Aid, Dr Daleep Mukarji will preach in Glasgow Cathedral on Sunday 17th May at 6.30pm as the Cathedral hosts a service reflecting on the work of Christian Aid. There is more about this service on the Ekklesia website.
So here we go then; the first attempt at putting our monthly news update online. The aim is to use this blog for updates from Cumbernauld Old and the wider church at home and abroad, while retaining our main website (see link on right) for information about our church and its activities. As with all blogs, though, we’d love to hear your comments.
With the celebrations of Easter still fresh in our minds and the focus for our worship for the next few weeks, we are also now in the countdown to our Garden Fete on Saturday 6th June and our Birthday Party on Sunday 7th June. This would be a good opportunity to mention our Birthday Card Appeal. We are asking as many members as possible to send a Birthday Card to our church along with a gift of one penny for every year (i.e. £3.50, more if you can afford it, or whatever you are able to give). The cards we receive will all be displayed in church at our birthday party service on Sunday 7th June and the money raised will be shared between the cost of a pulpit fall and the mission work of the church.
If the start of June appears to be busy, then the same can certainly be said about the month of May. Better get your diaries ready!
First up is a gathering of the five Church of Scotland congregations in Cumbernauld on the afternoon of Sunday 10th May to discuss the future shape and staffing of the Church in Cumbernauld. The importance of this meeting for all of us cannot be stressed highly enough. We would like as many people as possible to take an active part in these discussions as the aim over the next 12 – 18 months is to create a joint plan for the five congregations which we can put before Falkirk Presbytery. This meeting on 10th May will be the first opportunity for many members to discuss and decide how best to proceed.
Sunday 10th May also marks the start of Christian Aid Week (it runs to Saturday 16th). As always, we are looking for volunteers to help either in the door-to-door collection or with the money-count. Even if you can help for just a couple of hours, it will be greatly appreciated.
That same week our Boys’ Brigade company hold their Annual Display. It will be in the Forge Community Centre on Thursday 14th May starting at 7.00pm. Several of the young men in the Company have been working hard towards their Queen’s Badge and we hope to have more news of their progress in a future edition of this ‘update’.
Three of our local primary schools are coming together for a concert to be held in St. Andrew’s / Cumbernauld Primary Schools on Wednesday 20th May. More details will be announced soon but you might want to pencil that date in your diaries meantime.
Finally on the subject of diaries, please note that the next celebration of the Sacrament of Holy Communion will be on Sunday 31st May (that’s a week earlier than usual to accommodate the arrangements for our Birthday service). Services will take place at 11am and 6.30pm as usual.
The Church of Scotland‘s April edition of their Good News newsletter contains six pages of news from around the Church of Scotland. Included in this edition are articles about a Church of Scotland minister who recently preached to five thousand people as he led Sunday morning worship at a church in South Korea. Reverend Andrew Anderson, minister of Greenside Parish Church, gave the sermon in front of an estimated 5,000 people at the Young Nak Presbyterian Church in Seoul, on Sunday 22nd March. The Korean church’s membership roll exceeds 40,000. There is also a report on how an Edinburgh church is helping people with memory-loss issues to remember their family and friends through an innovative picture book project. Volunteers from Vision for Leith, based at South Leith Parish Church in Edinburgh, are assisting dementia sufferers to compile photo albums of loved ones, in the hope that they will retain more of their cherished past. Good News can be downloaded from the Church of Scotland website.
The kirk’s Mission & Discipleship Council enews for April is packed full of information about upcoming events and useful resources. Have a read at your leisure: you will be amazed at the number of things going on. The following items give a flavour of the topics covered:
- GOD AT WORK is a new course designed specifically to help Christians in the workplace, created by Alpha UK and based on the book ‘God at Work’ by Ken Costa. The Scottish launch will take place on 22 April, 7-9.30pm, at Renfield St Stephen’s, Glasgow. £5. To book, visit www.godatwork.org.uk
- THE GLASGOW PASSION. Cutting Edge Theatre Company is bringing two performances of this play to Kelvingrove Park, Glasgow. Saturday 15 May at 10.30am and Sunday 16 May at 2pm. Please note: the first performance is currently booked to capacity (due to an overwhelming response from schools), so please plan your visit for the second date. For further information, visit www.suscotland.org.uk
- THE BIBLE… MORE INTRIGUING THAN YOU THINK is the tagline used by the Scottish Bible Society on a new range of Bible merchandise which includes mugs, tea towels and ‘bags for life’. The idea is to get the Bible into places it wouldn’t normally go, and the colourful designs incorporate the words of Isaiah 55:1-2. Available from May, but pre-ordering is possible now. To order, contact the SBS Resource Centre on 0131 347 9808. For general information, visit www.scottishbiblesociety.org
- CrossReach, the social care arm of the Church of Scotland, has launched its own ‘118′ number – 118 599 – and needs YOU to make it a ringing success! Please use it for all your Directory Enquiries and ask everyone you know to help by using it too. Each call costs 40p, of which 9p per daytime call and 10p per evening/weekend call will help CrossReach to care for people across Scotland. “Please help us to help them”. For further information on CrossReach, visit www.crossreach.org.uk
And last but not least in this section, the latest World Mission Council newsletter WM28 has just been published. This edition focuses on ‘Homecoming, Twinning and Mission’. The Moderator, Rev David Lunan, contributes his thoughts about the ‘Year of Homecoming’ as this issue also considers the impact of church and presbytery Twinnings, Edinburgh 2010, and working and volunteering abroad.
Finally, a couple of snippets of news from the wider church:
The World Council of Churches (WCC) reports that “exactly forty years after the Conference which laid the ground for the WCC Programme to Combat Racism, some fifty church leaders, activists and theologians working on issues related to racism and related forms of exclusion, will meet in the Dutch village of Doorn, municipality of Utrecht, to look at the forms and features of racism today and come up with action plans for the churches. The beginning will be marked by a public Thanksgiving Service for the witness through the Programme to Combat Racism on Sunday, 14 June at the Maartenskerk in Doorn. The programme contributed to the struggles to end apartheid in South Africa and has inspired and supported indigenous people in different parts of the world, oppressed groups in Australia, New Zealand, North and South America, as well as the Dalit communities in India.”
Also from the World Council of Churches: “WCC member churches, related organizations and ecumenical networks will make a common international witness for peace in Palestine and Israel through a week of action in early June 2009. Churches and related organizations in Palestine and Israel are at the centre of the initiative, including the Ecumenical Accompaniment Programme of the WCC, parish and national groups in Australia, North America, Europe, South Africa and the Middle East. More information is available from the WCC website.