Covid-19 Update - 23 August 2021
Permission was given on 23 March by the Scottish Government to reopen places of worship under the restrictions currently in place.
Following a successful application to Clyde Presbytery to reopen St Paul’s, a service will be held each Sunday morning in St Paul’s starting at 10.30am.
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.
- The children’s programme is due to resume on 5 September.
- Social distancing rules have been removed but you are asked to respect other people's space.
- 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.
- Trace & Protect regulations continue
- There will be no pew bibles.
- 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.
Up to date information including Sunday Services, can be found on the website www.stpaulsmilngavie.org.uk
- The Thursday evening Worship & Prayer Group meet at 8pm in Jubilee Hall. All welcome.
- The Lunch Club will restarted on Wednesday 1 September at 12 noon in the Large Hall.
- The Guild, Breakaway, The Men’s Association, Noah’s Ark, The Girl’s Brigade and Sun Kids plan to resume meetings in the next few weeks.
- 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 Chris Scott.
- Friendship House is open on Thursday and Friday only, 10am - 4pm.
The Congregational Board & Kirk Session meetings have been cancelled.
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.
St. Paul’s Prayer Notes
Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God. Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love. This is how God showed his love among us: he sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him. This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins. Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. No one has ever seen God; but if we love one another, God lives in us and his love is made complete in us. This is how we know that we live in him and he in us: he has given us of his Spirit (1 John 4:7-13).
It’s been suggested that, if we were asked to summarise in one word what the Bible is all about – apart from the word ‘Jesus’ – the word to choose would be ‘love’. In these verses, as John writes of God’s love and ours, he uses the word ‘love’ in various forms thirteen times. The heart of his message is that God is love and that all true love comes from him. We see evidence of God’s love all around us in his wonderful creation, but above all he has shown his love to us in sending his Son to be the Saviour of the world.
Alex Buchanan was a profoundly deaf minister who became well known as ‘a pastor to the pastors.’ In a talk about God’s love he kept repeating, ‘God loves you unconditionally, whole- heartedly and continually.’ God does not want us to live in fear but to have confidence before him because we know that Jesus has taken the condemnation which we deserved for our sins. Knowing that we are unconditionally loved by God gives us the confidence to start truly living. The Holy Spirit gives us the experience of God’s love for us and helps us to love one another: This is how we know that we live in him and he in us: he has given us of his Spirit. We show the reality of our love for God by loving one another.
For many of us there are times when we don’t see or feel God’s love, but we need to continue to believe in his love at such times and remember and recall that God is love. Just as we believe in the sun even when it is not shining, we continue to believe in God’s love even in times of darkness when we don’t feel his love. Let us thank God that he loves us unconditionally, whole- heartedly and continually.
GIVE THANKS FOR
· Our families and friends and for the love and support they give us.
· Country opening up – enabling family reunions, holidays/short breaks being enjoyed.
· Church Services – more people are coming to St Paul’s on a Sunday. Pray for everyone who attends. Pray for Alex who will lead worship this Sunday.
· Fergus and Gabrielle
· Choir in St Paul’s - great to see the increase in the number of people able to take part in leading the worship – it has been such a blessing.
· Access to God’s Word and the encouragement and blessing we receive from it.
· 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 have recently undergone surgery; some have recently been bereaved; and others are anxious about their health; and some are anxious about doing things which were second nature to them before the pandemic, but are more anxious about meeting up.
· Churches – both local and national – as they welcome people again this Sunday – praying that the Word of God will go out in power and be a blessing and comfort to those who hear.
· Police, Firefighters, Health Professionals, Paramedics – it has been a difficult time for the emergency services as they deal with people who can be anxious, angry, hurting and tense and they never know what kind of situation they are responding to. We give thanks for their willingness to serve in this way, and pray that they will be kept safe.
· Families who have a loved one who has dementia – some are still living at home and the ‘carer’ is struggling to cope as they have very little time to themselves; and others have a loved one in a Nursing Home and need to plan their visits. Either circumstance is not easy and we pray that they will be given the grace and strength to cope.
· Young People of St Paul’s
· Teen Ranch and Scripture Union – pray for any events which they hope to put on over the summer months.
· Glasgow City Mission, Lodging House Mission, Preshal and Wild Olive Tree –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 :
· AFGHANISTAN – news changes daily with the Taliban taking control. The Taliban have rejected international calls for a ceasefire with more than 1,000 civilians killed in the conflict in the past month. Some 136 children were also injured in these areas over the past three days. "Afghanistan has long been one of the worst places on Earth to be a child but in recent weeks that's got a lot worse. Children have been killed and injured in roadside bombs and in the crossfire. Many children are also sleeping outside after fleeing their homes. UNICEF has called on all sides to ensure that children are protected.
· BELARUS – Situation is tense again in the country - President Lukashenko denied claims that his security services were involved in the death of dissident Vitaly Shishov. There were anti-Lukashenko rallies after the disputed election vote a year ago. The weeks of mass protests were the biggest challenge o the President’s 27-year rule. Last year police detained thousands of protestors as they broke up the demonstrations – more than 600 political prisoners are still in jail.
· GREECE/TURKEY - Wildfires are continuing to rip through the Greek island of Evia, prompting residents to flee to safety by sea. More than 2,000 people have been evacuated, with elderly residents carried on to ferries. Local officials said more help was needed to fight the fires that have destroyed parts of the island. The EU said it was mobilising one of its biggest responses to tackle the wildfires affecting Greece and a number of other European nations. Greece and neighbouring Turkey have been battling devastating blazes for nearly two weeks as the region suffers its worst heatwave in decades. Temperatures have risen to 45C (113F) in Greece.
· LEBANON – The city of Beirut, and the country as a whole, is still in the grip of one of the world’s worst economic crises in more than a century. Its currency has collapsed and it is estimated that more than half of its people can no longer afford enough food. Medicine, electricity and fuel are scarce. There are no resources to help the people who are sick of the virus or any other illness.
· Bible Society, Mission Aviation Fellowship, Christian Aid, Tearfund, - as they seek to bring help and comfort to the most sick and needy