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.