Communion

Easter at Cumbernauld Old

As we approach the culmination of the Easter celebration, just a short note to let you know about our worship services over the next few days:

Maundy Thursday Communion – Thursday 24th March at 7.30pm in the Parish Church
Good Friday Walk of Witness – Friday 25th March – starts from outside Dunnes Store in the Town Centre at 11.00am and will finish at the United Reformed Church around 1.00pm
Good Friday Vigil – from 12 noon to 3.00pm the church will be open for prayer and reflection with Bible readings and meditations on the hour and half-hour. Feel free to drop in and leave at any time
Easter Day – Sunday 27th March – come and celebrate with us at services in the Parish Church at 10.15am and the Forge Centre, Balloch at 11.45am. Note that the J Team in the Village won’t be meeting this Sunday.

Sacrament of Holy Communion

We’ll be celebrating the Sacrament of Holy Communion in church next Sunday, 7th September with a joint service in the Parish Church at 11.00am. This replaces our usual two services at 10.15am and 11.45am. Anyone wishing a lift from Balloch should please meet at the Forge Centre by 10.30am. The J Team should meet at the church at 10.45am. (The Sunday School at Balloch starts the following Sunday, 14th September.)

There will also be a less-formal Communion Service at 6.30pm in the Parish Church and non-alcoholic wine will be used at this service. All are welcome at either or both services.

Kirk news update – May 2009

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.

Christian Aid Week 10-16 May 2009

Christian Aid Week 10-16 May 2009

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 Church of Scotland

The Church of Scotland

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.

Kirk news update – April 2009

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.