Charity Number SC009095
Symington Kirk
We seek to inspire the people of the Parish and beyond with the Good News of Jesus Christ through our enthusiastic, worshipping and serving congregation
One of the Tinto Parishes
This is to let you know that GOING FOR GROWTH - a campaign to raise our church income, is set to begin in 2015. The outcome we hope for is growth in faith and commitment leading to increased giving, and you will be hearing more about this during the programme. The planning group has already worked out a timetable focusing on a main event at the end of May and every member will be invited. Everyone will be involved and we plan to keep you updated as more details are worked out. Robert Carson, Planning Group Chairman Rev George Shand
Update 11th January 2015 The sub - committee appointed by the Congregational Board has been busy already and has met to review developments in our proposed Stewardship campaign for later this year. You received a leaflet giving you notice of this with your last FOCUS. We sing often that ‘We have a gospel to proclaim’ and indeed this is central to all that we do in the church. We also however have the great task of maintaining a Christian presence in this village and of ensuring that the work of the church in all its aspects, continues. We face the prospect of a continually falling roll but continually rising costs and it is our sincere hope that we can continue to weather this. We can only do so of course with your support and very practical help and we hope to take you along with us as we strive to maintain the income of the church at a level which will enable us to meet our commitments. You will receive more information over the coming months about our plans to address this and I would ask not only for your attention to these, but your prayers and commitment to helping us to achieve our goals. Update 23rd February 2015
Over the next couple of months we will be producing three information leaflets about the work of our church. In this first leaflet we want to start with a look at the work of our church in our parish. In later leaflets we will tell you about other work we have a stake in. As a congregation of the Church of Scotland we are part of something bigger, and help the church elsewhere in Scotland and m the world. THE CHURCH IN OUR COMMUNITY Gathering together at our church building on a Sunday is central to the life of our congregation. The fellowship over tea and coffee helps strengthen our care and commitment to each other. And our worship enables us to open ourselves up to God, and receive encouragement and challenge for our daily living. We are a very engaged congregation, with an excellent Choir, and an active Worship group. But church is more than just 5unday, and we seek to be a blessing and support to our community in many different ways. BEING A BLESSING TO OUR COMMUNITY Our Minister In our partnership with the other two churches in the Tinto Parishes (Cairngryffe, and Libberton £ Quothguan) we share a minister. This partnership enables us to maintain our identity as Symington Kjrk, and the minister is: a resource for the whole congregation - whenever the congregation gathers, and for celebrations like baptism and weddings, and for support through times of sorrow a resource for leadership - encouraging spiritual growth; helping the church to have a sense of direction; training to develop skills a link between our congregation and our community a link between our congregation and the wider church and world available to anyone in our community whenever needed Our Visiting Group We have a strong and developing group of people who take on the role of visiting ill and housebound people and those in the local care homes. We have a real concern to ensure that people who can no longer come to the church know that the church will come to them, and keep them up to date with news. However, we do not just visit members of the church and are always keen to make new contacts in the community. Our Guild The Guild meets regularly. Its members keep up to date with local and wider issues through a series of invited speakers, and contribute to the wider work of the Guild as part of the ‘A World to Serve’ programme. Our Choir Our choir also attracts members from outside our congregation, and has a schedule of visits to Guilds and other groups to represent our church and to entertain. This is always well received by local people, especially the elderly and isolated. Our Links with the Local Primary Schools The local primary schools are the future for our communities, and we seek to contribute to the work of our schools in building up our youngsters and equipping them with values for living, so that they have a healthy view of themselves and can grow to contribute positively to the communities they will live and work in. Members of our congregation volunteer in the schools, and we offer support for local families during In-Service Days at the school by running a full day club in the church hall, and also by providing a snack lunch for the teachers. Our minister is chaplain at the local schools and leads in assemblies and hosts the schools in the church for Easter or Christmas services. Our Links with Local Organisations Village Day. Members of the church are very active in many ways in supporting the annual Village Day, and it is the Guild, together with the WRI, who provide teas in the Sports Club. New Beginnings and the local Food Dank. Both these organisations support people throughout South Lanarkshire who have financial and/or housing problems, and our congregation is active with practical help, volunteering, and donations. Our Broader Links Over this last year the congregation has been active in supporting the work of Christian Aid through coffee mornings and also collections at Christmas worship. And as part of the Tmto Parishes in early 201 5 we are supporting the ‘A Place at the Table’ initiative, which is assisting Churches in the Lebanon to help Syrian refugees who have fled their own country because of the war, and are living in refugee camps. Our congregation seeks to make a positive contribution to our community, and to touch people’s lives at a time when they need it. Our beautiful church building is our inheritance. As you reflect on the work of our church today and its contribution to our local community, please give thanks for the people of the past, whose faith, commitment and sacrifice gave us our church the people of today, whose giving, work and prayer have enabled our church to grow the people of tomorrow, whose spiritual wealth will be the fruit of our dedication today Update 22nd March 2015 This is our second information leaflet about the activities of our church. Here we look at the broader work we have a stake in throughout Scotland. THE CHURCH IN SCOTLAND WORKING TOGETHER THE VISION of the Church of Scotland is to maintain a parish system across the whole country, so that every person has access locally to a minister and congregation. This also means congregations such as ours are linked in a supportive relationship to every other congregation in Scotland, through: local geographical networks of churches –Presbyteries, and a Scotland wide sharing of support and development services. A COMMON PURPOSE THE PRESBYTERY OF LANARK has been a resource to sustain us over the last few years, providing practical help during the illness of our previous minister, and during our vacancy. Presbytery appointed Bill Love as our Interim Moderator to give us continuity of support, and Ann Lyall as Deacon to all the churches from Blackmount to Abington to help initiate new activities, such as the innovative In-service Day Clubs for our Primary Schools. Linking us together with Cairngryffe and Libberton as the Tinto Parishes, and providing training for individuals as worship leaders, were creative ways of enabling us to maintain our identity and our building. The backing Presbytery offers is not always seen on a day to day basis by the ordinary worshipper, but is a great strength behind our congregation. MAKING CONNECTIONS – THE COUNCILS OF THE CHURCH At a national level, the work of the Councils of the Church ensures our influence in important areas of national life, and our contribution to important issues and individual lives. CHURCH AND SOCIETY - provides a means of articulating the Church’s voice on the national, political and social issues affecting Scotland and the world today. Most recently, for example, the church has lead the agenda on issues of poverty, immigration, our justice system, and assisted suicide. The church now has a Parliamentary office, to ensure our opinions and concerns are heard at Parliament. MINISTRIES - supports a variety of ministries for the Church, from the first stirring of a ‘call’ through to retirement. This is not only parish ministry. It supports chaplains in prisons, in hospitals and in industry, and encourages new forms of ministry. CROSSREACH offers services in Christ’s name and specialist resources to further the caring work of the church to people in need, such as the elderly, children, families and those with learning difficulties. It also helps to identify areas of need and to guide the Church in pioneering new approaches to relevant problems in society, such as addiction support and recovery. Crossreach now has over 2,000 staff serving the needy. Contributions from congregations amount to just 1% of its funding, but this sustains the service and enables it to draw in further funding from statutory sources and through legacies and donations. MISSION AND DISCIPLESHIP - helps the whole church to maintain a focus on mission and developing resources for congregations. WORLD MISSION - works throughout the world to share the gospel, support theological education and encourage holistic ministry. We know a little about this through previous contact with Christians from around the world, and our Minister served the Church in Jerusalem. THE GUILD - with over 24,000 members, the Guild is Scotland’s largest voluntary Christian group, supporting Scottish and international projects. The central staff and annually elected President administer and resource this movement. OTHER DEPARTMENTS - Within the church headquarters are many other resources to assist congregation in matters of law, property, finance and stewardship, safeguarding, and much more. “ good, be rich in good works, generous and ready to share…so you make take hold of the life that really is life.” I Timothy 6:18 adapted. Our congregation is part of the national network of churches called the Church of Scotland. We are enriched by all the helpful and positive relationships which we support and receive support from. Our congregation seeks to make a positive contribution to our world, and to touch people’s lives at a time when they need it. Our beautiful church building is our inheritance. As you reflect on the work of our church today, its contribution to our local community, and our involvement in the wider work of the church, which we support and receive support from, please give prayerful thanks for, the people of the past, whose faith, commitment and sacrifice gave us our church the people of today, whose giving, work and prayer have enabled our church to grow the people of tomorrow, whose spiritual wealth will be the fruit of our dedication today
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Update 23rd April - CONNECTED PEOPLE Before the name ‘Christian’ came into common use, the followers of Jesus often described themselves as followers of ‘The Way.’ (Acts 24:14) This ‘Way’ explained their lifestyle choice of compassionate living of living with gratitude, thanksgiving, and welcome modelling their lives on the vision of the love and generosity of God that they saw in the ministry of Jesus. This journey of faith we each explore calls us to make choices about the way we will live, and to mirror in our lives the priorities and the values we too see in Jesus. It is not a journey we make alone. We are in good company, connected to: compassionate and committed people down through the ages, people today, in our local congregations, throughout Scotland, and across the world, all of whom have shaped and continue to shape the contribution of the church to the world we live in. RECEIVING AND SHARING GOD’S GIFTS “See what love the father has given us, that we should be called children of God.” I John 3:1
A crucial word in that sentence is the word WE. As individuals, as a congregation, WE are part of the ‘Body of Christ’, united across the world, and throughout time receiving the gift of faith, of love of God; expressing that gift in our care for each other and for all God’s children; and passing the gift on to future generations. Together, WE have so much to offer. In the first two leaflets you received, we have tried to show some of the many things that we achieve together through the work of our congregation in our local community, and through congregations working together throughout our nation. Now we consider the partnerships that have been established in our name through the broader international work of the church. CHRISTIAN AID was set up in 1945 by churches in the UK and Ireland concerned about refugees and people made homeless in mainland Europe because of the devastation of war. It is part of the WE response to the issues of today’s world. Now it funds projects in some of the world’s poorest countries, to help people improve their own lives and to tackle the causes of poverty and injustice. freedom and hope, of power over their own lives. Christian Aid has a vision - an end to poverty - and we believe that vision can become a reality Our congregation has participated in the work of Christian Aid for many years, originally with door to door collections, and now with events such as coffee mornings and retiral collections after Christmas worship. Christian Aid’s Vision Poverty is an outrage against humanity. It robs LISTENING AND WALKING ALONGSIDE Through the work of the World Mission Council, many congregations now have Partnership Links with churches in other parts of the world. The Council sends volunteers and Mission Partners to support churches and congregations in Africa, Asia and the Middle East. It is tasked with ‘attentive accompaniment’ walking alongside our partners and sharing their experience. A few years ago a church leader from Bangladesh spoke at the General Assembly in Edinburgh and told us that whilst a Global warming rise in temperatures of 2% might seem an attractive prospect when thinking about Scottish winters, it would lead to such a rise in sea levels that the whole of his country would be permanently under water, “and what then shall become of my grandchildren?” The work of the World Mission Council helps us to maintain a global not parochial – perspective on life. FAIR TRADE. It has been through the dedicated work of many people in congregations throughout the country that the fair trade movement has grown from small beginnings to its place today, where it is a powerful influence in the mainstream economy for just relationships. Over this last year in our Tinto Churches we continue our support for Christian Aid, have supported charities that have links through World Mission Council, such as the West Bank childcare project ‘Jayyous Future Generations’ and ‘A Place at the Table’ where World Mission is supporting the Churches in Lebanon in their work with Syrian Refugees. And we have supported WaterAid through ‘an act of gratitude’.
WE and THE WAY Together, ‘we’ becomes ‘the church’. And the impact of the church is a direct result of what we contribute of our time, talents and finances. The less we each contribute, the less the church is. And if we contribute nothing, we cannot be surprised if there is then no church. Similarly, the more we contribute, the more the church achieves. As well as being part of the WE of the church, where our values of sharing and unity can be fully expressed, we also draw some of our values from what has often been called the ME-first society. So it is not surprising that every so often we need to step back and reexamine our own personal contribution towards the WE of our church. We hope you will take the opportunity now, as part of our ‘Going for Growth’ campaign, to reconsider what you offer, in the light of our hopes for the future of this church which WE build together, and through which we express our commitment to be people of ‘The Way’, the way of Christ’s compassion. Registered Charity no. SC009095 This is our final information sharing leaflet where we highlight activities our church has a stake in locally, nationally and internationally.