Hope this finds you well. Things normally start quietening down over the Summer months in terms of weekly church activities but as you would expect, what was normal doesn’t apply this year.
This week’s magazine (no.14) hears from a couple of people for whom the lockdown has had an impact in ways which will be different from the vast majority of Maxwell folk. Whereas some of us have been missing family events and the garden centres being open for others in Glasgow it’s a completely different picture.
Thanks again to Sandra McNicol who has been covering the Catechism for us with regular reflective pieces, and this week's is spot on. We are on a break from the Catechism over the summer in terms of learning new ones but we’ve appreciated Mrs McNicol helping us with revision. Exam timetable to follow no doubt.
Enjoy the mag!
In this week's magazine:
Scott will be on holiday for two weeks from Monday 29th June until 13th July. Rev Joe Kavanagh is covering for funerals. Joe can be contacted on Tel 0141 384 2218, mobile 07508047388.
The midweek prayer meeting PULSE is on a Summer break.
Please use the Pray Now WhatsApp group if you have any matters for urgent prayer. Contact Margaret Boyd if you would like to be added to the group. (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Catechism Corner #12
What does God require in the ninth and tenth commandments?
Ninth, that we do not lie or deceive, but speak the truth in love. Tenth, that we are content, not envying anyone or resenting what God has given them or us.
I have been looking forward to this one: covetousness. I remember at the start of lockdown being so thankful that we have a garden, and within a split second I was irritated that I didn’t have a chiminea and a summerhouse! On our many daily walks around the village, peeking nosily through the hedges of Eaglesham, admiration and appreciation often turned to various family members’ (futile) pleas for trampolines, hot-tubs and (most futile of all) a dog.
The Apostle Paul reflected:
“I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation […] I can do all this through him who gives me strength.” Philippians 4 vs 11-13
The trick is to have your contentment elsewhere – not parked in your driveway or typed on your business card or adorning your physical frame. Status and possessions have been unmasked as imposters again and again; contentment is not a state that can be reached through study, work or clever use of a credit card.
When I was very young, I had a poster on my bedroom wall with a paraphrase of Paul’s closing thought: “Help me to remember, Lord, that nothing is going to happen today that you and I can’t handle together.”
Covetousness leads to more sins which hurt others. Contentment “through Him who gives … strength” allows status and circumstance to be cancelled out of the contentment equation.
Jack and the Glasgow City Mission
For those of you who are not aware, I’m the Marketing & Fundraising Manager for Glasgow City Mission. I had my first anniversary in the role in June and what a year it’s been!
On 23 March we had to close our two buildings to ensure our guests didn’t congregate and could be kept safe. We deal with many vulnerable people so although we found it tough to do, shutting was the only reasonable course of action.
As a result, I immediately started working from home. Not a hardship for me as I did this previously for 13 years and we have a small study in the house. The only strange thing was having Liz working in the dining room - I’m happy to report this has worked well and there has been no domestic strife!
Approximately 70% of the Mission staff have been on furlough for some time or another to try to save money to protect jobs. Unfortunately, it looks like our services are going to be even more important as we go through this crisis with the number of job losses being predicted and health and wellbeing issues, especially mental health, that have occurred during lockdown.
In my role there have been many changes as I was out presenting to churches, businesses and supporters two or three times a week. We had plans to do the Kiltwalk that was cancelled and we had other events that couldn’t take place. Raising funds has mainly been done through social media, our website and Facebook over these months and we’ve applied to, and received, money from trusts that became available specifically because of the crisis.
Our fabulous Project Team have been phoning 223 guests at least once a week, many daily, to keep the connection with folks and react to their needs. We’ve had our online Gathering each Friday at 2pm live on Facebook. Then on Wednesday evening there’s a weekly quiz on Facebook live. Zoom Bible studies are available weekly and various groups get together for English lessons, cookery classes and coffee chats.
Throughout the period we have made food deliveries three times a week to some of our guests. We have also purchased microwaves, mobile phones and top ups as well as loaning out musical instruments and computer equipment to help our guests in isolation.
We're now looking to replace the food deliveries with vouchers for food. This means our guests can go out to the shops and choose the food they want. I’m in discussion with a well-known high street chain of shops who were chosen because they don’t sell alcohol or cigarettes, just in case our guests are tempted. We’re also now meeting guests for social distancing walks and we hope to increase these now as more than two people can meet outdoors.
Plans are in place to reopen our main building in Crimea Street for one-to-one meetings and our nursery in Govan will reopen in August - we have three roles to fill. If anyone is interested please get in touch with me or check out the jobs at www.glasgowcitymission.com/about-us/vacancies.
Please pray for the Mission, our staff, volunteers and especially our guests. We long to fully reopen and see each other again but in the meantime, we’ll serve the people of Glasgow in the best way we can.
Not so sunny Govan
We asked Rev Nicholas Mackison to give us a picture of how lockdown has played out in Govan. Nick has assisted Rev. Norman Mackay since the Govan Free Church (GFC) was planted in 2014,
I have had the privilege of witnessing up close both the highs and lows of ministry within an area of multiple deprivation. These peaks and troughs have only been intensified due to the current crisis surrounding the current global pandemic. What follows is a short description of both the challenges and blessings of ministry in Govan during the lockdown.
In March, when the lockdown measures were announced in Scotland, both Norman and I harboured deep fears as to the continuing viability of the church’s multiple ministries. Many, if not most, of the people within GFC are first generation believers and have come from backgrounds involving drug-abuse, poverty and serious crime. Consequently, much of our work consists of face-to-face discipleship throughout the week. From pastoral visits, to Bible studies, to the outreach café on Tuesdays where we provide free food and counselling to those trapped in cycles of addiction, GFC has grown and been sustained by interpersonal relationships. Norman has sought to adorn the life-giving message of forgiveness through Christ with a missional emphasis on feeding the hungry, clothing the poor, ministering to the sick and visiting those in prison (Matt 25:37-39). The structure provided by through-the-week discipleship has helped those recovering from addiction to stay on the path of Christ-honouring sobriety. Since lockdown however, opportunities for these face-to-face encounters have been withdrawn leaving many of our congregants in testing situations. Living in tenement buildings surrounded by drug addicts and dealers has proved unbearable to some. A collective anxiety has compounded the sense of Isolation and loneliness for many Govanites with chaos playing out in the streets. Only a few weeks ago, one of our congregants looked out of his window and witnessed three stabbings. Another saw his neighbour being stretchered from his home after dying from an overdose. This sad example of relapse and overdose is not uncommon in the recovery community. Indeed, we lost one of our dear members at the beginning of lockdown for this very reason.
However, despite the challenges encountered and the fears harboured by myself and Norman, God has continued his work of grace in the life of the church. Through digital media like zoom, we have been able to continue our interactions with the church online, regularly holding bible studies, prayer meetings and a Sunday service. Men, who were once hardened criminals and who had served most of their adult lives in prison, have continued to persevere with Christ and have grown in their love for the Lord despite, or even because of, these fiery trials. Please remember us in your prayers and ask that the Lord will preserve the bruised reeds (Isa 42:3) to whom we minister and continue to add to our numbers.
Rev. Nicholas Mackison
Ever wondered how to read the Bible in a way to really get a hold of what the passage is saying? Look at the Book (LABs) are short videos which focus on a few verses and with John Piper’s help try to mine what is there in order to understand it better. You look at a Bible text on the screen. You listen to John Piper. You watch his pen “draw out” meaning. You see for yourself whether the meaning is really there. And (we pray!) all that God is for you in Christ explodes with faith, and joy, and love.
They are around 12-16mins each.
You can see from the example below that it’s face to face with text not the speaker and essentially Piper shows us how he reads the text and makes sense of it.
There are a large range of LABs, some one off and some as part of a series. Worth looking at.
Intro: click here For an example from Mark ch 8: click here
We have focussed on the work of St.Luke’s Hospital in Hiranpur over June and want to thank those who have given so generously as they aim to purchase a new ambulance. So far, with Gift Aid included, the total is over £2,100.
If you would still like to contribute there are details are on the hospital’s web page. https://stlukeshiranpur.com/Can-you-help/
To make a bank transfer use the details below and contact Treasurer@fullartonchurch.co.uk if you want to add Gift Aid to your donation.
Account name: Fullarton Parish Church; Account number: 00156004
Sort Code: 83-23-13 Ref: Maxwell
Christianity Explored at Maxwell
Starting 12th July for seven consecutive Sundays we will be running an online version of the Christianity Explored course via Zoom. We aim to start each session at 7pm and end at 8pm.
Christianity Explored is an informal and relaxed course for anyone who wants to think about the meaning of life. It’s completely free, you don’t need to know anything about the Bible, and you won’t be asked to sing or pray or read the Bible out loud. You can ask any question you like or you can just sit and listen. Each week we will watch a video clip presenting one of the claims of Jesus, and then have time for discussion and questions – all from the comfort of your own armchair!
To register interest or receive more information please email
email@example.com and take a look at the short video below.
Please encourage a friend / neighbour / colleague to get in touch!
Pop-Up Charity Bake Sale!
Bake for ECRAD is open for orders for a few more days! We're baking to raise vital funds for our church's partner charity ECRAD Malawi.
To get a menu or if you've any questions or special requests call 07702303317. Anna Clarke
ECRAD’s mission and current news update can be viewed here
We are currently feeding ~420 orphans at our day care centre in Zioya, near Ntcheu, Central Malawi. ECRAD also runs the local primary school located on-site at our Orphan Care Centre providing a Christian education for up to 1,000 children from neighbouring villages.
The Lady Bird book of Maxwell continued