As a result of Covid-19 church services have been suspended until further notice and the building closed to all organizations.
The Church Office is also closed.
Although the building is closed the Church Community is very much Alive.
Up to date information including recorded Sunday Services, can be found on the website www.stpaulsmilngavie.org.uk
Prayer Meeting : Thursday, 2 July, 2020 Please join us if you can around 8pm
Praise the LORD, my soul; all my inmost being, praise his holy name. Praise the LORD, my soul, and forget not all his benefits - who forgives all your sins and heals all your diseases, who redeems your life from the pit and crowns you with love and compassion, who satisfies your desires with good things so that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s (Psalm 103:1-5). The LORD is compassionate and gracious, slow to anger, abounding in love. He will not always accuse, nor will he harbour his anger for ever; he does not treat us as our sins deserve or repay us according to our iniquities. For as high as the heavens are above the earth, so great is his love for those who fear him; as far as the east is from the west, so far has he removed our transgressions from us. As a father has compassion on his children, so the LORD has compassion on those who fear him (Psalm 103:8-13).
God is good. Do we really believe it? Psalm 103 overflows with descriptions of God’s unfailing love. God is also described as being compassionate like a father with his child, understanding of our weaknesses and, rather than holding our sins against us, ready to forgive and wipe the slate clean. However, it seems that trusting in God’s loving nature was something that required effort even for the psalmist. He reminds himself, at the beginning of the psalm, not to forget all God’s benefits, and he seeks to do that by describing God’s mercies. The psalmist is not alone, of course, in needing to make this effort. It is easy in this troubled world to lose sight of God’s goodness and forget the things he has done for us. By taking time to remind ourselves of how God has blessed us and also to recall what the Bible teaches about his steadfast love and compassion, we, too, can be encouraged and refreshed in how we see things. Let’s spend time thanking God for all he has done for us and for answered prayers, and let’s remember how he has shown us forgiveness and compassion.
Give thanks for
- Fergus, - it is wonderful to see him ‘back home’ in St Paul’s and to hear him preach the Word. Remember everyone who will listen on line; praying that it will go out in power.
- The continued reduction in both the number of cases of people with the virus and the welcome reduction in the number of people who have died, giving us cause for optimism that we have come through the worst of the pandemic.
- The relaxation of restrictions allowing us to meet up with other people – being mindful of maintaining the current level of social distance.
- All staff in our Hospitals and Nursing Homes who work in incredibly challenging times, but still try to make a difference.
- Some medical treatments which are now being restarted – this will be a relief to many people who have been waiting some time for treatment.
Please continue to pray for :
- All health care personnel as they treat and nurse patients who have the virus.
- All politicians at Westminster, Holyrood and in the other devolved governments of the UK
- An effective vaccine to be found in order to eradicate the virus. .
- Police Officers, Fire Fighters, Ambulance and Paramedic workers, and Service Personnel who keep us safe in these trying and difficult times.
- People who work in the service industry and food production and distribution so that we have food to eat each day.
- All the on-line facilities which allow us to keep in touch with our family and friends.
- Fergus as he studies for and delivers the preached Word Sunday by Sunday. Also remember Ramsay Shields, Lynsey Brennan and all ministers and church leaders as they preach the Gospel.
Please remember and pray for :
- All the Christian Organisations who provide practical and spiritual help both locally and nationally.
- SU Scotland – people are getting involved in SU training so that they can provide holiday clubs on-line. Pray that these will be of encouragement to young people and a blessing to many.
- Teen Ranch - From early July they are starting day camps with limited activities. This will include a Christian message.
- Continued work of the Scottish Bible society, including their work abroad.
- All the younger children & babies we would normally see in our varied groups in St Paul’s. . Be close to them and their mums, and grans, and may the love of Jesus surround them.
- St Paul’s Church Family praying that they will continue to keep safe and well.
Prayers for our Community and Country
- All school children who have missed seeing their friends over the past three months. Now that the School Holidays have commenced, pray for them and their parents
- Young people who have received their exam results from University over the last couple of weeks. Some will be pleased that they have been successful but others will not have done so well. Pray for them in their disappointment and concern about taking resits in August. Pray for Final Year students as they try and secure employment in an uncertain job market
- People who are shielding and are finding the restrictions on ‘normal’ life hard to cope with as well as being anxious about the future.
- People who have lost jobs in recent days and others who have been told that their jobs are at risk. It is a very uncertain time for many families. Pray for all Business Owners as they face a challenging time and need to make some difficult decisions.
- People who have serious medical conditions which require surgery but their treatment has been put on hold. Pray that treatments and operations restart soon.
- Business owners – who opened up for trade this week; some have had to adapt to new ways of providing their services - pray for wisdom and guidance for them. Pray also that the public will be sensible and adhere to the guidelines as they travel into towns and city centres on public transport.
Prayers for the peoples of the world :
- Christians in countries where they are being persecuted for their faith.
- Countries where healthcare facilities and treatments are not available to the needy.
- Hong Kong - The unrest is a serious concern with the introduction of new security laws. Pray for fair and just laws, and the safety and right treatment of the people.
- Vine Trust, Tear Fund, Mission Aviation Fellowship (MAF) , Christian Aid – as they seek to bring help and comfort to the most sick and needy
- Yemen - The country now faces a double-emergency: the assault of coronavirus on the already weak healthcare system; and the social, economic and political havoc the pandemic will trigger, including likely increases in hunger and violence, with particular risks to women and young girls. The International Relief Committee (IRC) are working around the clock to rapidly detect, respond and prevent further spread of the disease.
- Bangladesh - At least 25 people have died and many more are missing after a ferry, with approx. 50 passengers, capsized near the capital Dhaka. Rescue officials said the ship, the Morning Bird, overturned after a collision with another vessel.
- Syria faces the risk of mass starvation and/or another mass exodus. - The war-torn country's currency has collapsed and food prices have soared. More than 380,000 people have been killed and 13.2 million others - half the pre-war population - have been displaced inside and outside Syria since an uprising against President Bashar al-Assad began in 2011. Half the refugees are scattered throughout the world, the vast majority of them in Turkey, Lebanon, Jordan, Iraq and Egypt, where the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic has wrought havoc on economies.
Life and Work
During this challenging period, Life and Work is committed to helping keep our Christian community connected and several of the features can be viewed at www.lifeandwork.org.
Highlights from the June issue includes:
▪ REBOOTING CHURCH: The Very Rev Albert Bogle looks at the impact of social distancing etc on the digital church
▪ ON THE FRONTLINE WITH COVID-19
▪ COMING HOME: Jackie Macadam meets Margaret Beetham, daughter of 20th century Church of Scotland missionary and theologian Lesslie Newbigin
▪ 21st CENTURY CHURCHES: Thomas Baldwin looks at some new churches which have been built in the 21st century
- The Guild, Breakaway, The Men’s Association, The Lunch Club, Noah’s Ark, The Girl’s Brigade and Sun Kids have cancelled all meetings until further notice.
- Although the Thursday evening Prayer Group will not meet, a prayer guide will be available on line each week.
- Friendship House is closed until further notice.
- Life magazine has been produced and is available on line. Hard copies will be not be distributed.
The Congregational Board & Kirk Session meetings have been cancelled.
Communication is going to be an issue in the next few weeks and months and if you have access, please check the Church web-site for up to date information.
I would ask you to be aware of and follow the latest guidance issued by the Government and the NHS and would encourage anyone who is in a vulnerable group or who is in close contact with someone else who might be vulnerable, and to anyone who feels even slightly ill, to consider staying at home.
The question arises as this situation develops, is how can we maintain our community, our friendships, the joy of meeting and worshipping with others? There are no easy answers and we won’t really know how this is going develop and affect us for some time. Perhaps we could phone someone for a chat and even pray together because it is more important than ever at this time, to stay connected with each other. Remember not everyone is on social media.
We have little experience of situations like this but the Bible records many similar incidents where people struggle with fear and worry, I urge you to put your Trust in the Lord.