Covid-19 Update - 24 April 2021
Permission was given on 23 March by the Scottish Government to reopen places of worship under the restrictions currently in place.
The very successful and welcomed recorded services will continue.
The virus continues to be active in the community as you will be aware but we believe that St Paul’s can safely meet the principles outlined in current guidance. We are aware that the guidelines can change very quickly and therefore they will be kept under constant review.
You should not attend church if you are unwell or showing symptoms of Covid-19, if you are isolating or living with someone who is isolating or who is unwell or if you are in the extremely vulnerable (extremely high risk) group. Also you should consider carefully before attending if you are in the vulnerable (higher risk) category.
- In coming to Church there should be no car sharing with anyone from another household.
- You must pre-register and have received confirmation before arriving at the Church.
- There will be no specific children’s programme.
- The joint services, with Baldernock, will start at 10.30am and last approximately 30 minutes.
- Social distancing rules must be adhered to at all times.
- You must obey stewards instructions.
- You must wear an appropriate clean face covering at all times, unless exempt.
- You will be required to sanitise your hands.
- After registration you will be escorted to a seat and must remain there throughout the service.
- Sadly singing is not allowed and there will be no pew bibles although music will be part of the service.
- The pew cushions have been removed.
- Toilet access will be restricted.
- At the end of the service you must remain in your seat until asked to leave by a steward.
- You should disperse quickly on leaving the building and keep the exit clear.
- There will be no tea or coffee after the service.
The above is subject to Government Guidelines and they may change. While we look forward to being with one another again in the Lord’s House on the Lord’s Day we ask for your support and prayers as we go through the process of opening the Church for worship, all be it in unusual circumstances.
If you have any concerns or questions about the reopening please do not hesitate to contact me.
Fergus is still on the Scottish Government's shielding list. In the present restrictions he is directed to work at home.
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 – 17 JUNE 2021
For this reason, since the day we heard about you, we have not stopped praying for you. We continually ask God to fill you with the knowledge of his will through all the wisdom and understanding that the Spirit gives, so that you may live a life worthy of the Lord and please him in every way: bearing fruit in every good work, growing in the knowledge of God, being strengthened with all power according to his glorious might so that you may have great endurance and patience, and giving joyful thanks to the Father, who has qualified you to share in the inheritance of his holy people in the kingdom of light. For he has rescued us from the dominion of darkness and brought us into the kingdom of the Son he loves, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins (Colossians 1:9-14).
Paul, in prison in Rome or Ephesus, has heard from Epaphras of the faith and love of the folk in the young church in Colossae, although he is also aware that they are exposed to much false teaching. He wants to help them to develop as Christians and is doing so by writing to them and, above all, by praying for them. He may not be with the Colossians in person, but the God who is with them is also with him, and through the mystery of prayer he can help their progress towards Christian maturity.
Here Paul tells them what he is praying for. He longs to see young Christians coming to know for themselves what God’s will is. They need wisdom and understanding – an awareness of the new life which they have received from the true God, of how much he loves them and that he wants to shape their lives in a new way. Paul’s prayer then moves on to two other things: behaviour and bearing fruit. Whilst growing in knowledge and understanding is very important, it must lead to right behaviour and Paul prays that the Colossians may live a life worthy of the Lord and please him in every way. He spells out that this involves bearing fruit in every good work and growing in the knowledge of God. Fergus pointed out in a sermon on Sunday that the closer the early believers were to God, the more they were concerned to help others.
Paul emphasises that it is only through the power of God and the work of the Holy Spirit that the Colossians and we present-day Christians can ever live lives that are pleasing to God. We need all the wisdom and understanding that the Spirit gives and to be strengthened with all power according to God’s glorious might so that you may have great endurance and patience. Finally, Paul prays that the Colossians will give joyful thanks to the Father for transferring them from the dominion of darkness to the kingdom of light, the kingdom of the Son he loves, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins. The Rev. W.L. Lane shared this thought many years ago: ‘When you live in a kingdom flooded with light, in which God’s own Son is Ruler, joy and thankfulness are always possible.
GIVE THANKS FOR
· Our families and friends and for the love and support they give us. We are especially grateful that we can meet up with family and friends again; praying that everyone will have a special time.
· Church Services – it is good news that more people can now attend services on Sundays. Give thanks for everyone who attends. Continue to pray for Fergus as he leads worship as well as recording services on line every Sunday.
· Choir in St Paul’s - It is such a blessing for us to hear members of the Choir sing and lead worship - emotional and uplifting for all who attend. I
· Coffee/Chat with our St Paul’s family - it has also been a real encouragement to ‘meet up’ with our friends at St Paul’s for our Coffee/Chat conversations each week.
· Access to God’s Word and the encouragement and blessing we receive from it.
· Continuing roll-out of Vaccination
· The decreasing number of people in hospital with the virus
· The area where we live - we are fortunate that we live in a lovely part of the country, being able to see the beauty of God’s creation. We have also been blessed with great weather!
· Availability of books, films, music etc. – which enrich our lives and give us pleasure.
PRAYERS FOR OUR COMMUNITY AND COUNTRY – pray for
· Our Church family – some are going through a difficult time – pray that we will pray for them individually at this time. Some may be anxious about their health; the health of a loved one; or they have suffered bereavement.
· Police – there has been an increase in the number of attacks on our police officers as they answered emergency and domestic calls – continue to pray for their safety. Pray for them as well as the other emergency services during the ‘Euro2020’ tournament which lasts until 11 July. There will be additional pressures on them during this time.
· Firefighters, Health Professionals, Paramedics – who sometimes work in difficult and tense situations – giving thanks for the work that they do as well as praying for their safety.
· Families who have a loved one who has dementia
· Esther Brown – continue to pray for her family, loved ones and friends after her sudden and shocking death in her home in the Woodlands area of Glasgow. As well as a member of St Silas Episcopal Church, she was a prayer partner for Glasgow Street Pastors. They and all who knew her will miss her. In the midst of the sorrow which will be felt, we give thanks for her life and witness to her Christian faith in her community.
· People who feel vulnerable – especially for people who live alone and/or work from home and they are missing routine and contact with friends. They have also missed contact with support groups who are vital to their well-being.
· Technology - whilst technology can be used to enhance many aspects of our lives, we know that it can also be used to exploit and use the vulnerable, the young and the lonely. We constantly read of new and troubling scams which innocent people fall victim to. Continue to pray that more procedures will be put in place to protect the most vulnerable.
· Glasgow City Mission - The winter night shelter (now called Overnight Welcome Centre) closed at the end of March. This year, thanks to a new staff role, they have been able to keep in touch with the people who used it, help find them long-term accommodation, support them in various ways as they settle in, and connect them with the City Mission activities. Several previously homeless people have benefited greatly from this.
· Lodging House Mission, Preshal and Wild Olive Tree – these places are a lifeline to many lonely and vulnerable people in our city – continue to pray for them and give thanks that they have both the financial and staffing resources they require to meet the needs of the people they come into contact with.
PRAYERS FOR. PEOPLE OF THE WORLD :
· ETHIOPIA – TIGRAY REGION – many people are facing starvation as well as women and young girls being terrorised and brutalised. Aid workers are finding it very difficult, as well dangerous, driving through roadblocks and despite some success in delivering aid to the region, "Millions of people in urgent need of help are simply not getting any. One report confirmed that “The response is still not yet coming close to keeping pace with the mounting needs." This comes at a time when the country prepares for national elections.
· INDIA - although the pandemic may have subsided a little and there have been no recent reports on television, there will still be many people in towns and rural areas who are critically ill with little medicines or vaccines to help them recover. Continue to pray for the loved ones as they look after the sick and for the medical personnel in hospitals that they will have the necessary equipment and medicines to tend to the sick. Pray too for those who have lost loved ones to the virus. Pray too that any supplies of medical equipment, vaccines, and medicines will reach the sick and needy and not be used for profit.
· MYANMAR - Violence continues to this day and many people are still living in fear. In some areas, few shops are open, food has become unaffordable and many people are facing famine having no income and little food.
· NORTH KOREA - The country has been cut off from the outside world more than ever before after sealing its border last year in response to the pandemic. Vital supplies and trade from neighbouring China have almost ground to a halt. Closing their borders means that much needed humanitarian aid cannot get through. Many people are going hungry and for many, this is a desperate situation.
· 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.
· Vine Trust – Pray for the Relaunching of medical volunteering to Peru from September 2021, subject to Covid-19 regulations and travel restrictions. We will also be introducing a new Mental Health Programme which will provide services to the most vulnerable Amazon populations, taking into account their needs and characteristics.
· Mission Aviation Fellowship, Christian Aid - as they seek to bring help and co
- 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.