Pyjama Service - Christmas Eve at 7:00pm

Don your pyjamas (or onesies) and join us for the Christmas fun. You don’t even have to be a child.  Yes, ok, the pyjamas are optional – as is making a Christingle. But here are the instructions anyway:

You will need: 1 orange, 1 small candle (a birthday cake one works), red ribbon to go round the orange, 4 cocktail sticks, a few sweets or some dried fruit.

What you do: Put sweets or dried fruit onto the cocktail sticks, and put the sticks into the orange in four different directions slightly above the fattest part of the orange and pointing slightly upwards. Make a small hole in the top of the orange and put the candle in it. Tie the ribbon round the orange and fasten with a bow, or secure with a pin. Done.

We hope to see you there - with or without a Christingle!

Shout Gladi, Gladi

Thursday 8th December at 7:30pm

We are delighted that Lois Boyle has arranged a screening of a brand new documentary filmed in Malawi and Sierra Leone featuring the work of Freedom From Fistula and Ann Gloag.

Narrated by Academy Award winning actress Meryl Streep, SHOUT GLADI, GLADI celebrates the extraordinary people who rescue African women and girls from obstetric fistula, a medical condition that can turn them into reviled outcasts.  The film presents the patients as they tell stirring tales of their struggles and triumphs. Everything culminates with the exuberant Gladi Gladi ceremony, a singing and dancing blowout that marks the day the women return home cured.

October 2016 - Letter from the Minister

Mission terrifies us. It’s embarrassing enough to speak to another Christian about God, faith or prayer, never mind to a friend or stranger who doesn’t believe.

Ananias, in Acts 9, is known for his actions on one day: crossing a street, going to a house, having a conversation, and offering a prayer. Yet, that one conversation was hugely significant, for he was to speak to Saul, previously a persecutor of the Church, who had met Jesus on the Damascus Road. That conversation began a mission that transformed Europe and wrote much of the New Testament. Yet Ananias was reluctant and with good reason. Going to the home of this Christian-killer was not likely to end well. He was risking life itself, in a way that Christians in many parts of the world still do today. By comparison, we risk so much less.

But if Jesus is good news; if he died to save us from judgement and death; if he is the meaning of life and the hope of the world; then it makes no sense not to share this news. Mission must be the priority of the Church, and our lives, congregation and resources need to be focused upon it. It is a privilege to be called to share God’s great saving plan.

But, it needs to start with little things: crossing a road, asking a question, having a conversation, and leaving the rest to God. Ananias nervously went, and said simply “Brother Saul” – those two words affirming that God was at work in the persecutor’s life – and that he was changing foes into family. How might our simple words encourage, affirm, or cause someone else to have their eyes opened to what God is doing?

With every blessing

Alistair

September 2016 - Letter from the Minister

Over the next weeks we will be looking at the mission of the Church in the Book of Acts. Acts begins with the resurrected Jesus, sending the Holy Spirit, and declaring to his disciples “you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.”

Those words strike fear into the heart of most Christians: “How will we do that? What would we say? They’ll just laugh at us!” We immediately focus on our ignorance and lack of ability. However, this is to misunderstand what it means to be a witness.

If you observe an accident, and the police call you to be a witness, they would be uninterested in your speaking ability, they would only care about what you have seen. So too with the disciples. They had witnessed the ministry of Jesus, his power, his death and his resurrection. It wasn’t that they were to go out and try to be witnesses, it was because of what they had experienced that they were already witnesses of Jesus. The power of the Gospel does not lie in our ability to spread it; it rests in what God has done in Christ. It is because we have witnessed the love and power of God that we have something to share with the world.

Reading the books of Acts also shows us that the Church isn’t called to have a mission plan. It is simply called to grasp God’s heart to seek and save the lost, seen in the ministry of Jesus, and to follow where God is leading. The book of Acts is less the “Acts of the Apostles” and more the “Acts of the Holy Spirit and how the apostles tried to keep up”. I hope as we work through Acts we learn the importance of God’s mission and be excited to be part of it.

With every blessing

Alistair

June 2016 - Letter from the Minister

It was good in May to have so many of us gather for a Saturday to reflect on how we grow together. There’s a report about this congregational gathering inside, but I want to offer some personal reflections. The usual pattern of such gatherings is that they generate a list of suggested activities to build up the life of the congregation. We did some of that, but activity is not what came out of that day for me. What we need isn’t different events. What we need is to be a different people. We need to be mentors, and we need to be evangelists. 

What do I mean? Well, we can run an activity, social or spiritual, to build up the life of the congregation. But what encourages people to participate in that event? It isn’t the planning or the pulpit announcement; it’s the friend who says “come with me”. It’s the person who comes alongside and encourages. We need to be mentoring each other. If you are coming to an event at Church, there will be someone who hasn’t thought to come, who’s not sure if they could. We need you to think who they might be and to come alongside them. We need deliberately and constantly to encourage each other (literally to “give courage”). Could you do that? 

And if we run an outreach, be it a Holiday Club, a daily Café in the Meeting Place, an activity in the park, we need not just a welcoming event, we need evangelists to be there. I’m not talking about Billy Graham, I’m just talking about people who think the gospel is good news and that God wants to be known by folk in the community. I’m just talking about people who are open to talking about their faith when the opportunity arises. I’m talking about people who are willing to take a risk, in the expectation that God might use them, even when they say the wrong things.

We need mentors and we need evangelists in Stonelaw: not specialists, just ordinary Christians who are learning to love each other and long to see each one grow in faith, ordinary Christians growing in the conviction that this Jesus whom they’ve come to know is worth recommending to their neighbours.

Please pray that God will raise up such people among us. Please pray that he will raise up such a spirit within you.

With every blessing,

Rev Alistair May