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Message fae the manse

As I write this we have just entered the beginning of a three week period of tighter lockdown restrictions in the hope that the risk of the virus spreading will be contained to a sufficient level that restrictions will be temporarily relaxed over the Christmas period.

It is still too early to know as to whether these restrictions will have the desired effect, but I hope and pray that the spread of the virus will begin to decrease not just over the next three weeks but beyond.

And whilst some may say that this latest lockdown is only a short-term fix, I am sure that everything that governments, pharmaceutical companies and health care workers are doing at present is done with the long term in mind.

And church is no different. Everything we do as a church should be done with the long term in mind. Whilst some of the projects and initiatives that we undertake may only last for a short season, and others may take months even years to become established, whatever it is we decide to do as a church here in Newton Mearns, we should be doing it as an investment for the long term sustainability of the church here.

No one can say with any certainty what our society, including the church, will look like when the pandemic finally comes under some degree of control and containment, but what is certain is that neither will look like they did at the start of the year, and in many cases the church already looks very different, particularly in the way we are worshipping. But what about in ways that we are the church?

What will our long-term mission plan look like in the coming year? How will we continue to reach out to the vulnerable in our parish, the lonely, the isolated? These are questions that we should always be asking ourselves, and whilst I do not have any easy answers to these questions, I do know that for us to 'be the church' in our community, it is not down to a handful of people, but instead it takes all of us to get involved. We all have a part to play, with different skills, knowledge and abilities to contribute. And we should never forget that we should never stop seeking God's will for not only our own lives, but for the life of the church, so I encourage you to continue to seek God through prayer and reflection in this coming year and beyond.

It just leaves me to wish you God's blessing and peace in the days, weeks and months ahead from myself, Fiona, Blair, Alisdair and Grace.

Prayer Diary

Prayer is vital in the life of a church, and we currently run a monthly online zoom prayer meeting. I understand that this does not suit everyone, so I thought it would be a good idea to start a monthly prayer diary were each week there will be a topic to pray for. So please find the first prayer points below. And if you would like us to include a topic for future prayer diaries please get in contact.

December
Week One: please pray for families who are struggling financially and who are under increased pressure to buy the latest presents for their children. Pray that they will not be tempted to live beyond their means and that they will realise that Christmas is not about how much money you spend

Week Two: Please pray for the staff who work in the Presbytery office, and especially our new Presbytery Clerk, Rev Grant Barclay who is minister just down the road at Orchardhill. Pray for wisdom and discernment for all staff as they have to consider difficult decisions and situations over the next 12 months.

Week Three: Please pray for all those who have suffered discrimination, harassment or marginalisation because of the colour of their skin, gender, orientation or faith

Week Four: Please pray for those continuing to research and develop a vaccine for the Coronavirus. Whilst we have seen some medical breakthroughs, pray that a reliable, safe vaccine will be created to combat this terrible infection

Week Five: Please pray for NMPC, and that as we head towards a New Year, pray that as we prepare for 2021, as a church we will continue to seek and be led by God's will, and that we would all draw closer to God. Pray for guidance and wisdom in the decisions we will have to make.

Your friend in Christ
Rev Stuart Crawford

     
 
     
 
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