Message fae the manse

Dear friend,

Over recent Sundays, we were exploring Jesus’ identity as the Messiah and on whose authority, he had been teaching and healing those around him. And as part of these conversations Jesus himself asks his disciples, ‘Who do you say I am?’

As we prepare to get ready for Advent and Christmas, I wonder if Jesus were to ask that question today what sort of answers he would get. I am certain that some would reply with ‘well Jesus, you are the reason for the season.’

But I fear that for the majority of people in our society today they would reply, ‘I don’t know’, or ‘yes, who are you?’

It is a sad fact that fewer and fewer people are aware of who Jesus is, and more importantly the difference knowing him can make in their lives, and unless we, the church, tell people about him this will only get worse.

And just like anything in life, we will get better and feel more confident telling others about who Jesus is the more we know him. And the way we get to know him more is by spending more time in his presence. It’s the same with anyone.

So, as we start, or continue getting ready for Christmas, planning menus or ordering the food, presents, arranging social events, and also perhaps trying to plan whose house we will visit at what time, may we also take a break from all the busyness and take some time to use the season of Advent as an opportunity to prepare for the ‘reason for the season’ by getting to know him better.

Spending time with Jesus is vital in growing our relationship with him, so I would encourage you to try and do this as often as possible, just to take time and be still in his presence.

And to help you do this, why not use Johnny Baker’s excellent centring prayer below.

be silent, be still
alone empty
before your god
say nothing
ask nothing
be silent, be still
let your god
look upon you
that is all
she knows
she understands
she loves you with
an enormous love
she only wants to
look upon you
with her love
quiet, still

So, as 2023 draws to a close, may I take this opportunity, on behalf of the Crawfords, to wish you and your loved ones a
very Merry Christmas and a peaceful and prosperous New Year

Your friends in Christ,

Stuart, Fiona, Blair, Alisdair and Grace

Café Warm
On every Friday during December and January (with the exception of 29th December) the church will be open to host a warm café space in The Old Hall between 10am-12pm.

This space is open to everyone, is free, and tea, coffee, biscuits, and fellowship will be available.

So, if you, or you know someone who would like to come along then please do, it will be lovely to see you.

Brunch and the Bible
Starting on Tuesday the 12th December, then every 2nd Tuesday in the month, the first in our new monthly gathering called ‘Brunch and the Bible’ will take place between 11.30-13.00 in the vestry. So, come along for a bite of brunch followed by a time of reflection and discussion on a bible passage. If you have any food intolerances, then can you please bring your own food.

PMAP Update
I was very encouraged recently by the number of people who attended our open meeting to give an update on the PMAP and there were some excellent questions asked about the future of the church here in Newton Mearns.

So, for those who were not able to come along let me give you an update on where we are so far.

Glasgow Presbytery approved and re submitted our draft plan last week, so we wait to hear if the Faith Nurture Forum will approve it so we can finally begin to implement the plan on a regional and local level.

On a local level we are still in talks with the neighbouring churches in our cluster as to how the allocation of 3 FTE posts will be distributed amongst the five churches and which building will be chosen as the one centre of worship between the three churches who will be uniting as part of the plan.

No decision has been made surrounding these very important issues yet, although we are hoping they will be made soon, and if our plan is accepted then the decision as to which building will remain as the centre of worship needs to be made by the end of this year.

I would therefore ask that unless you hear news from me or one of the other ministers in the cluster do not believe any stories you may hear about this or that building being sold or closed. These decisions have not yet been made.

And as I have mentioned several times before these conversations up to now have not been easy and I suspect they are going to get more difficult in the coming months so please keep the process and all involved in it in your prayers.

And whilst these will be difficult decisions and whatever is decided will not, please everyone, I ask that you do not lose heart, and more importantly continue to trust in God, for it is him we worship and that should not change.

He has a plan for the church here in Newton Mearns and across the whole nation and we must continue to listen to his voice and follow the plan he has for us.

So, if you have any questions about the process, please do not hesitate to get in touch with me and I will do my best to answer them.


Afternoon Communion
Before the pandemic we offered a shorter afternoon communion service in the Murray Mackay Room at 2pm on the same day we celebrate communion in the morning.

I am thinking of re starting this in March, so if this is something you would be interested in coming to or bringing someone along to please get in touch to let me know either via e-mail or telephone and if there is enough interest these services will re start.

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