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.