As a result of Covid-19 St Paul's will be NOT be open for worship.
Fergus is still on the Scottish Government's shielding list. In the present restrictions he is directed to work at home. This means he cannot be involved in recorded services from any Church building. Efforts will be made for the recorded services to continue with Fergus making his contribution from home. This is a new and challenging development. Prayer would be appreciated.
The building is 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 Sunday Services, can be found on the website www.stpaulsmilngavie.org.uk
St. Paul’s Prayer Meeting – 21 January 2021
The Lord reigns for ever; he has established his throne for judgement. He will judge the world in righteousness; he will govern the peoples with justice. The Lord is a refuge for the oppressed, a stronghold in times of trouble. Those who know your name will trust in you, for you, Lord, have never forsaken those who seek you (Psalm 9:7-10).
Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light (Matthew 11:28-30).
Many times throughout the Bible God is referred to as ‘the Sovereign Lord’. He is in ultimate control of the universe, as the Psalmist emphasises here. We may never know in this life why God allows some awful things to happen, but it is a great comfort to know that a loving God is ultimately in control. We are to trust in God’s sovereignty and keep on believing that he will never forsake us. It is a wonderful fact that in a stressful world where so many are ‘weary and burdened’ Jesus promises us rest. He offers to take our burdens and replace them with his own. The yoke, of which he speaks, was a wooden frame joining two animals (usually oxen) at the neck, so that they could pull a plough or cart together. The purpose of the yoke is to make burdens easier to carry. Jesus invites us to walk in step with him, sharing our burdens, so that the trials to be faced and the battles to be fought are ‘easy’ and ‘light’ by comparison. The Christian writer, Joyce Meyer, who has come through many difficult times, gives this advice from her experience: ‘Just relax and let God be God.’ Easier said than done perhaps, but this is very much the message of these two Bible passages. If we are tired and worn out, Jesus promises that, by coming to him and giving him our burdens, we will find rest for our souls.
Give thanks for
• Our families and friends and for the love and support that they give us.
• Zoom/Facetime – keeping us in touched with loved ones, both here and overseas • Friendships which have been strengthened in the last few months as we have gone through this experience together and kept each other’s spirits up.
• Fergus recording services at home – so grateful that the new process for recording the services has gone well. We give thanks for answer to prayer that all the planning and preparation went so well.
• People with no previous church connection, who have been watching services online. Pray that they would know God’s blessing and go back to church, when able to do so.
• Access to God’s Word and for the encouragement and blessing we receive from it • Roll-out of vaccines to the population – giving thanks for the 4 million people who have had the vaccine in the UK.
• Warm homes and ample food each day.
• Books and music – which enhance our lives and give us pleasure
Prayers for our Community and Country – continue to pray for
• Fergus - as he prepares and preaches the Word on line each week.
• Our Church Family – who are missing meeting up with friends at Church, in each other’s homes and being involved in social events. Continue to pray for those waiting on hospital treatments, test results; recovering from surgery or coping with bereavement.
• Young People in our churches – giving thanks for the contacts that are being maintained – continuing to pray that they will keep safe and will not be too overwhelmed during this time of restriction when they are not able to meet each Sunday.
• Doctors, Nurses, Health Professionals, Paramedics – huge spike in the number of cases of the virus – all health care workers are under increasing pressure, continue to pray for them and for their safety.
• Vaccines – continuing to pray for all Scientists and research workers who are working to create other vaccines - giving hope to millions of people. Pray for the army of volunteers who have been trained and are ready to administer the vaccine. Pray that there will be a good uptake of people willing to receive the vaccine.
• Teachers - as they prepare to deliver lessons on line and for pupils to be able to get involved again with Home Schooling. Pray too for parents who don’t find this easy.
• Young people – who live in chaotic and difficult households and will really miss their school friends and the routine of school. Pray that this time will not have a long- term effect on their education and prospects.
• People who have been made redundant – they and their families must be really concerned just now and for the future.
• People have been evacuated from their homes overnight amid widespread flooding across England and Wales caused by Storm Christoph. About 2000 homes ihn areas of Manchester, North Wales, and Merseyside are affected. There are more than 200 flood warnings in place - five of them severe - and weather alerts for rain and snow. Pray for the people who are affected and for the emergency services who will need to work flat out to assist – and all during the pandemic!
• People who are carers – this has been an extremely difficult time for them during this time of limitation with very little external facilities open and there is very little respite for them.
• People with a serious addiction as well as others who are homeless – especially during winter.
• Glasgow City Mission's Overnight Welcome Centre in a Glasgow hotel is providing comfortable accommodation for the homeless. Also, almost two thirds of the guests using the Centre before Christmas have been placed in more permanent accommodation ,for which we give thanks.
• Preshal, Lodging House Mission as they seek to provide some vital services.
Prayers for the peoples of the world :
• Fair and equal distribution of vaccines, and that any supplies will not solely be dependent on the peoples’ ability to pay.
• Aid Workers throughout the world – the world is a dangerous place in many parts of the world. Continue to pray for Aid Workers in countries where there is war, natural disasters, drought and famine and they often risk their own lives – pray for their protection, whilst giving help and support to the most vulnerable.
• Brazil – since the beginning of March 2020, over 8.4 million people have tested positive with Covid-19 and there have been almost 210,000 deaths. This, in a country where, in many areas, there is a lack of medical facilities – pray for the doctors and nurses as they treat the many patients who need medical treatment.
• China – 12 miners have been trapped in a gold mine in China for the past week after an explosion. Give thanks they are still alive. There is a high level of underground water. The fate of another 10 is unclear. Some food and supplies have reached them and strenuous efforts are taking place to try to free them. Pray for their safe recovery.
• Ethiopia – there is real concern about the lack of food and resources in the Tigray region following years of conflict. Humanitarian workers in the region are concerned that many thousands of people could starve to death if supplies are not made available to them.
• Indonesia – after the passenger plane which crashed into the sea, with a loss of 62 people on board, the people of Indonesia have been hit with another catastrophe. On Friday, there was a powerful earthquake on the Sulawesi Island, resulting in 78 people losing their lives and heavy rain is hampering the search for survivors. There are also fears of a Covid-19 outbreak!
• Japan – as well as entering the 3rd wave of Covid-19, there has been a 16% increase in the number of people committing suicide. This is a harrowing time for all their families.
• Sudan – clashes between different ethnic groups in Sudan’s West Darfur State have resulted in over 80 people losing their lives. The fighting in the state capital, El Geneina began after a row in which a man was stabbed to death. A state of emergency has been imposed. A conflict in the region began in 2003 when millions were forced to flee and, despite a peace process, tensions remain. Continue to pray for stability in the country and for the people to be able to live in peace.
• USA – pray for all the security and administrative staff involved in the preparation and execution of the Inauguration of the new President. Tensions are running high – pray that the event will run smoothly with no issues regarding everyone’s safety.
• Persecuted Church – continue to pray for our Brothers and Sisters who love the Lord Jesus but are separated from their family, friends and loved ones – some are also imprisoned for their faith. •
Tear Fund, Mission Aviation Fellowship (MAF) , Christian Aid – as they seek to bring help and comfort to the most sick and needy.
- 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 are available on request.
- DVD copies of the recorded Sunday services are available on request from the Treasurer.
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.