The Church Office is closed.
Sunday Services are online, both on the St Paul's Website and the St Luke's website.
Prayer Meeting : Thursday, 28 May, 2020 Please join us if you can around 8pm
It has been said that ‘the reader with a disturbed conscience is likely to find more help in Hebrews than almost anywhere in scripture.’ The writer to the Hebrews is a great theologian, but he is always eager to show the practical application of his teaching to Christian living, as he does in the following verses: Therefore, brothers and sisters, since we have confidence to enter the Most Holy Place by the blood of Jesus, by a new and living way opened for us through the curtain, that is, his body, and since we have a great priest over the house of God, let us draw near to God with a sincere heart and with the full assurance that faith brings, having our hearts sprinkled to cleanse us from a guilty conscience and having our bodies washed with pure water (Hebrews 10: 19-22).
Our confidence to come to God and worship him is based on Jesus’ sacrifice. Just as the heavy temple curtain, which kept people from the Most Holy Place, was torn from top to bottom on that first Good Friday, so the pure and spotless body of Jesus was torn for us. He shed his blood so that the approach to God might not be barred as in earlier centuries, but open to all. The way into God’s presence is a new and living way, because, although Jesus died, he is alive for ever. At this moment he intercedes for us, he prays for us, as a great high priest over the house of God. It is wonderful to know that the sacrifice of Jesus has the power, as we accept it in faith and trust, to wash every stain from our consciences, so that we can come to God in prayer without any shadow falling across our relationship. As Charles Wesley wrote in his hymn, ‘His blood can make the foulest clean, his blood availed for me’.
Give thanks for :
- Answers to prayer over the past number of weeks
- Signs that the coronavirus is decreasing within the population giving cause for ‘cautious optimism’.
- People who have recovered from the virus and are now back home – pray for their continued improvement and restoration to full health and strength.
- All the on-line facilities which allow us to keep in touch with our family and friends.
- People who have been creative in developing on-line services for people who struggle with mental health and need someone to talk to and interact with.
- Acts of help and kindness which have been shown throughout communities.
- The ministry of Fergus through his Blog and the teaching, encouragement and help which we receive from it.
- Opportunities to share the Gospel on line – remembering Ramsay Shields, John Wilson, Lynsey Brennan and all ministers and church leaders as they preach the Gospel in a new way, both locally and around the world.
Please continue to pray for :
- Doctors, nurses and social care workers as they treat and nurse patients with the virus.
- An ample supply of personal protective equipment for all the key workers in the NHS as well as all staff in Health and Social Care
- All politicians at Westminster, Holyrood and in the other devolved governments of the UK, medical experts, scientists and civil servants leading the response to the coronavirus pandemic.
- Police Officers, Fire Fighters, Ambulance and Paramedic workers, and Service Personnel
- People who work in food production and distribution to keep us fed day by day.
Please remember and pray for :
- People who have suffered the loss of loved ones at this time – when they had not been able to be with them in the hospital or care home.
- People who are finding it difficult to cope and are fearful and anxious about the future.
- People who are struggling with the restrictions to their normal life and routine and are missing their ‘normal’ contact with their family and loved ones
- People suffering from serious non-covid conditions such as cancer, or very painful conditions requiring surgery whose treatment has been put on hold, praying that it would be possible for these treatments and operations to restart soon. This also includes painful dental conditions which are not being treated at present.
- Children/young people who have additional support needs and do not have the same contact with carers.
- Children/young people who live in abusive households and are, at present, feeling vulnerable as well as less visible to teachers and social workers
- Young people at University who have just sat examinations (on line) and are concerned about how well they have done. Pray also for final year students as they seek to start a career in a depressed employment market.
- Families who are struggling with home-schooling, who maybe don’t have the technical equipment or broadband, time or patience, to facilitate this.
- Glasgow City Mission, The Simon Community and Preshal who provide practical and spiritual help; Glasgow Street Pastors who receive calls on their weekend phone-line from people who need to talk to someone; Stauros who are involved in counselling recovered or recovering alcoholics; CrossReach - who are under extra pressure at this time especially with their work with the elderly, vulnerable and those shielding.
- Fergus and Gabrielle, our Church Family, and Lorna Ferguson and others known to us.
- The Youth Organisations in church. This is a difficult time for families with small children. Pray that they are getting the support they need and that they will join with us again when we are able to resume services and activities.
Prayers for the peoples of the world :
- Christians in countries where they are being persecuted for their faith.
- Poor countries in the world where healthcare facilities and treatments are not available to everyone who needs it.
- Western Australia – heavy rainfall and destructive winds have caused widespread damage. Cyclone Mangga collided with a cold front, resulting in what was described as a ‘once-in-a-decade- storm. At the beginning of 2020 Australia endured multiple bush fires, claiming lives as well as causing extensive damage to homes, personal possessions and livestock.
- Vine Trust, Tear Fund, Christian Aid – as they seek to bring help and comfort to the most sick and needy
Bible Societies - Nigeria, the Arab-Israeli Bible society; Mexico, Pakistan, & Scotland.
Life and Work
During this challenging period, Life and Work is committed to helping keep our Christian community connected and so we have made the May 2020 issue available on our website. This can be accessed by clicking here or visiting https://www.lifeandwork.org/resources/free-download-may-2020.
The action to share is unique and in response to the exceptional time period in which we are operating. We have deliberately not provided the full digital experience as enjoyed by our loyal online subscribers and equally to protect our subscribers of the print edition.
It has been a challenge for my editorial colleagues to shift direction of their content at the last minute in response to the speed of which the Covid-19 pandemic has impacted daily life. This also includes a change to what would have been coverage of the timetable and fringe diary of the General Assembly, of course it reads rather differently this year. What they have created will become an important historical record for the magazine of the Church of Scotland.
Highlights from this issue includes:
▪ FEEDING THE HUNGRY: Reflection on foodbanks and impact of Covid-19
▪ ‘GOD HAS NOT FINISHED WITH SCOTLAND’: The Moderator-Designate, the Rev Dr Martin Fair
▪ ASSEMBLY CANCELLATION: Church’s business meeting cancelled for first time in over 300 years
▪ WAR’S END: The role of churches in peacebuilding across Europe on the 75th anniversary of VE Day
We trust you and your congregation will enjoy reading this issue.
Best wishes Life and Work Team
- 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.
- April 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.