Church Magazine – April 2022

 

Hello Everyone,                                                                                                                                                The Manse

                                                                                                                                                                           April 2022

 

It’s been a long time since we have had a magazine, and so thank you to the team who are putting this together and to Mr and Mrs Lumsden who carefully edited the magazine for many years. Thank you for your time. We are now in Lent 2022, the last magazine as such would have been Lent 2020, although you have had a few letters from myself, and from the Church of Scotland ministers/Session Clerks keeping you up-to-date with what has been happening. Now we have to wait for the new Presbytery Mission Plan, which is being discussed at present and which means meetings and more work etc.

It’s also been a long time since we have seen many of you. I do hope you are well and have been kept up-to-date with what has been happening in church by your elders. Please give me a call if you need anything, want to chat or as we begin “living with Covid”- if you feel you would like a visit? Our student at present, Susan Galloway, (who has put something in the magazine) and I, would love to visit in-person again, but still taking precautions.

As we prepare for the future in Zetland, the congregation agreed to adopt the Unitary Constitution, which means the Congregational Board, as an entity is now part of the Kirk Session. And so, members of the original Congregational Board and members of the congregation can serve on the new groups, if they wish. Please ask Woody Speirs or myself if you would like to take an active part in church life.

When you receive this letter, Easter will almost be upon us and is the time we should reflect on what God in Christ has done for us. If you read the Bible at home, or listen to Bible passages being read, think about John 19; 25-27, 30, 33-34 in Holy Week. I wonder have you ever wondered about Jesus’ mother, Mary’s experience? What was Jesus’ desolation and pain like? Mary saw it all. Jesus cried out, and he encourages us to do the same. Once he had told his Father, he was able to trust his spirit into the Father’s hands, He was able to pour out his spirit, too, on the new faith community, the new relationships he had established, where his faithful followers could find support. In Jesus’ death, he reaches out to comfort us, and to commission us to comfort others.

And so in Mark 16;2- we hear that the Marys’ and Salome went to the tomb, but Jesus wasn’t there- He had risen! When we feel down, alone, exasperated and lost as we do- let’s make the choice to look to the Son and believe he has risen.

Get in touch with the Spirit of Jesus within us, through baptism and “rejoice in the Lord always”. As Jesus did, he went down, he experienced the evil of this world, but didn’t stay there, He rose again! It’s the same for us- we don’t have to stay down there; we can find Him alive and well. His Spirit can raise us up. I will finish with a little prayer;

“Oh God, help me to look up to the son and to see the new grass, the new daffodils, crocuses and hyacinths budding and flowering. Help me to see, not only the footprints of Jesus on the paths and streets of our lives, but help us to meet him on them, and to walk with him, along them, aware of His presence and alive through the burning of my heart within me. Help me to become an Alleluia person, constantly giving thanks and rejoicing in the marvels you work for everyone, for me, through your risen son Jesus, My Lord. Amen.”

I hope you all enjoy a happy Easter.     God bless.

 Alison.

 

 

DIARY DATES

 

April

Sun    03       Worship at 10.30am led by Susan Galloway.

Fri       08       Wedding of Euan Meikle and Sarah Saum at 1pm.

Sun    10       Palm Sunday

 

Holy Week services

Tue     12       Zetland Church at 7pm

Wed   13       Abbotsgrange Church at 7pm

Thurs 14       Kirk of the Holy Rood at 7pm

Fri       15       Good Friday Vigil at St Mary’s from 12noon to 3pm.

                       (come and go as you please)

Sun    17       Easter morning in the park at 9am. Meet at the

                       Cenotaph.

                       Worship including Holy Communion at 10.30am

 

Sun    24       Worship at 10.30am

 

May

Sun    29       Bi-monthly Pulpit Exchange within the Churches of

                       Scotland.

June

Sun    05       Hopefully Praise in the Park on the Queen’s Platinum

                       Jubilee weekend

CHURCH REGISTER

 

Baptised “in the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit.”

 

Feb     06       Clay Stirling, Infant Son of Ross and Emma.

Feb     27       Arabella Rose Grundison,

                      Infant Daughter of Rory and Lauren.

Mar     20       James Joseph Houghton,

                       Infant Son of Ivan and Joanne.

 

“Entered into God’s Heavenly Peace.”

 

Dec    24       SheenaCalder,          prev. Crichton Dr.

Jan     06       Minella Stevenson,   Waverley Cres.

Jan     13       Jim Scott,                   S Marshall St.

Jan     22       Ellen Blake,                Carrondale N Home.

Feb     08       Janice Fowlis,            Saltcoats Dr.

Mar     09       Jim Hendry,               Camelon.

 We uphold all families in our prayers.

 

For information; This intimation was read out in the 3 Churches of Scotland on Sun Jan 16th.

“The Churches in Grangemouth have been working hard at planning for the union of the 3 churches in the town. In particular the property group have given a significant amount of time to assess the buildings to bring a recommendation of which building would best meet the needs of our future Church. However, at the commencement of our new Presbytery at the beginning of January we have been advised that the property assessments should cease until further notice from them. This is extremely disappointing in view of the progress we have made but Kirk Sessions are to be sent a video presentation and questionnaire to complete in February to give us an opportunity to share our mission, discussions and hopes and plans for the future.

This will have an effect on the timescales, which we had set out but it is hoped that after completing the questionnaires we will be given clear instruction on the way forward. Please be assured that we will continue to keep you all informed of any updates we receive from Presbytery.”

 

 

About Susan…..

 

Where to begin, well at the beginning I suppose.

I was born in Edinburgh, a long time ago, around the time Nelson was a cabin boy!

I was educated in Edinburgh but was never a fan of the girlie subjects, no cooking, sewing or typing for me, I was always much more interested in science and artistic things. Although having said that, I love cooking and baking, and I can and do sew.

After studying Biology at Edinburgh University, I began working with the Scottish National Blood Transfusion Service, and boy was I in my element.  It was one of the most satisfying things I could ever imagine myself doing.

But it was never a case of all work and no joy as I have a great love of music and have been very lucky to enjoy preforming with many operatic and musical companies over the years, as well as just sitting in an audience appreciating music and drama.  I also love reading, photography and walking, especially with my two dogs, Brodie and Storm.

My Christian faith has always been very important to me, and I slowly came to a realisation that I was being called to do more in the service of God although I had never imagined that he would call me to enter ministry in any way!  I felt drawn however, to share God’s love and so I eventually summoned the courage, with a lot of prayerful support, to enquire about training for Ordained Local Ministry and the rest, as they say is history.

I have now found a passion that has given me an opportunity to turn my faith into action. I feel extremely blessed to have been given the opportunity of working within the church and the community to share with others, something of the love of God.

 Susan

 

 

ELDER’S LONG SERVICE AWARDS

 On Sunday 6th March during morning worship, three of our Church Elders were all presented with a Long Service Certificate.

Each of our Elders have served the Church in many roles during their years and we are very grateful to them for their faithful and dedicated service over the years.

John Deans, who was ordained in 1971, received a Long Service Certificate for 50 years’ service.

Tom Robertson was ordained in 1981 and received a Long Service Certificate for 40 years’ service.

Donald Paterson was ordained in 1982, and also received a Long Service Certificate for 40 years’ service.

The three Elders were presented with their Long Service Certificates in the presence of our Minister, the Rev. Alison Meikle and our Session Clerk Woody Speirs on Sunday 6th February 2022 at Zetland Parish Church, Grangemouth

 

FINANCE REPORT MARCH 2022

The impact of the pandemic on our congregation’s financial position has been significant.  However, we are fortunate to hold reserve funds, which eased the financial pressures on our congregation’s General Account in 2021.

During 2021 freewill offerings were 7.6% lower than in 2020.  Compared to 2018 the reduction is 22%. 

The reduction in offering income had a knock on effect on Gift Aid income, which was £1,358 lower in 2021 than in 2020.

Can we appeal to anyone who is a UK taxpayer to consider signing up for Gift Aid if you haven’t already done so?  This boosts the congregation’s income at no additional cost to individuals. Our Gift Aid convener Leslie Henderson can confirm whether or not you are currently on the gift aid register. A Church of Scotland Gift Aid Declaration form is printed below and can be completed and returned to either the treasurer or to your elder.

At the end of 2021 the surplus on the General account was £15,573. Please note that this was only achieved by funding heating lighting and insurance costs of £11,977 from the Union Fund Reserve.                                       contd

This has had a significant impact on the Union Fund balance. The detailed 2021 annual report on the full financial position of Zetland will be available to the congregation by the end of March.

 

 

HEALTH AND SAFETY

Since the last edition of the Church magazine was published in September 2020 our Church, as well as other Churches in the UK, have gone through unprecedented times. Whoever would have thought that our Church here in Grangemouth would have been forced to close for weeks on end due to a global pandemic?

After the first lockdown was announced earlier in 2020 our Church reopened again on 20th September 2020 with a restricted total capacity of 47 people and a telephone booking system to reserve one of the 42  seats available for worship which were spaced two metres apart.

Unfortunately this situation did not last long as on 19th December 2020 due to the worsening Covid situation Churches were again forced by the Scottish Government to close immediately for a three week period but sadly this ended up being extended until Sunday 2nd May 2021 when we opened again for Sunday Service.  Again, the seating capacity restriction was still in place along with the other Covid requirements.

During summer 2021 we received permission to use the Church Hall again subject to Covid restrictions and since then groups have gradually returned to using the Church Hall with the exception of the Girls Brigade and the Baby Group.

Yet again, this situation did not last long and in December 2021, due to the arrival of Omicron, all meetings of our groups had to stop and unfortunately due to strict Church cleaning requirements our Christmas Eve service had to be made online.

Covid conditions improved during January 2022 and groups were then allowed to meet again in the Church Hall and since then our groups have been meeting again on a regular basis.

At time of writing this report (15th March) our Church is still operating under Covid restrictions of one metre distancing, track & trace, face coverings etc but this is due to change on 21st March when most Covid restrictions in Scotland are due to be lifted. Updated Covid guidance for Places of Worship from 21st March is not yet currently available but there are two Church of Scotland meetings planned for later this week to assist Churches to decide the way forward and to keep all of us in Church as safe as possible, particularly during the continuing Covid situation.

 Robert Weir

15th March 2022

 

WEBSITE

 The Church website has been a useful resource for our Church during times of Covid and it has been well used during this period by Church members looking for up to date information on Covid restrictions that have been affecting Church life. Following a dip in website viewing figures during the pandemic the numbers viewing over the last 6 months are slowly increasing again.

 Two popular pages on the website recently are “Ruth in Nepal” and “Church Artefacts”.

 Ruth Webster works in the Communication section of the United Mission to Nepal (MN) who endeavours to address poverty as it serves the people of Nepal in the name and spirit of Jesus Christ.

 UMN was established in 1954 and is a joint effort between the people of Nepal and a large number of Christian organisations from around 20 countries. Multicultural teams of Nepali nationals and volunteer expatriate staff work alongside local organisations in less developed areas of the country, building partnerships that lead to healthy, strong and empowered individuals, families, and communities.

UMN runs two rural hospitals in Tansen and Okhaldhunga and works holistically through six ‘clusters’ and 20 local organisations in another seven districts of Nepal – in Education, Good Governance, Health, Integral Development, Livelihoods and Peacebuilding. The Church of Scotland is a supporting partner of the United Mission to Nepal and Ruth Webster keeps in touch with Elspeth on a regular basis to keep her up to date with the UMN’s work in Nepal.

The “Church Artefacts” page on our website is a collection of various documents that relate to our Church and are kept in the two display cabinets in the entrance to our Church. These documents have been scanned and uploaded onto our website for all to see and some of them go back to 1911. Other historic documents have been loaned to us by Church members to allow us to scan them and also upload them onto the website and for this we are very grateful.

If you do have any documents relating to our Church that you would like to have published on our website, please get in touch.

Robert Weir

 

 

SUNDAY SCHOOL

 Sunday School leaders welcomed back our 6 children on Sunday 20th February following the lifting of restrictions.  Children were happy to be back and were full of chat with all that had happened over Christmas and New Year and they were keen to come into church too, which is reassuring!

Last time we were together was at the Nativity! However we were fortunate to spend some special time with the kids at rehearsals where we shared some snacks with a special visitor!

We are using the Spill the Beans material for lessons going into Lent and Easter – mostly in stories, play and craft as our ages range from 4 to 9!

Kids are looking forward to Easter and we hope to work towards something special on Easter Sunday in Church!

Hopefully have more to share next time.

Karen & Sunday School Leaders

 

CHURCH GARDEN GROUP

It’s that time again for the Garden Group to Spring into life now that the weather is improving, buds and shoots are appearing everywhere.

The group looks after the gardens by mowing the grass, trimming the edges, hoeing / raking the borders, weeding, rose pruning, feeding and spraying as well as general tidying up.

We spend 1 hour on the gardens every Wednesday morning from 9am to 10am and pre-covid we used to enjoy a cuppa, some cakes and a blether in the church hall afterwards, hopefully we can get back to that this year.

It is a small group of 8 people, Christine and Morton are taking a well-earned break from gardening duties after their 10 year stint, so we are looking for any volunteers who would like to come along and help. No gardening experience is necessary and all tools are supplied. We will be starting again on Wednesday 30th March, anyone interested in helping can just come along any Wednesday morning or get in touch with myself for further information.

 

Tom Davidson

07914 834229

7th GRANGEMOUTH BOYS BRIGADE

 

It is so lovely to be able to write in the magazine about the Boys Brigade.  It is still not too late, if you know of any boys who would like to join, please bring them along any Tuesday at 6.30 pm, where they will be made most welcome. Listed below are the times and the school years for all boys.

Anchor Boys, Primary 1, 2 and 3 from 6.30 – 7.30

Junior Section, Primary 4, 5 and 6 from 6.30 – 8.00

Company Section, Primary 7 – 18 years old from 6.30 – 8.00.

We managed to start back in September last year and have steadily increased to 27 boys. 16 Anchor Boys, 10 Junior Section and 1 Company Section Boy.

It was very hard at first, with all the rules and cleaning, but the boys have settled well into the routine.  We had a Halloween party and the boys dressed up in fancy dress costume, we managed to sort of dook for apples, and the highlight was trying to eat doughnuts with their hands behind their back (not easy) but they all managed to eat their doughnut.

We even managed a Christmas Party before we were all locked out again. Luckily, we were able to open up again in January.  We also managed a sort of Burns supper with Irn-bru and shortbread, the boy’s poems were brilliant. On Pancake Tuesday we had pancakes, jam and cream, and surprisingly the boys had to eat them with their hands behind their backs as well, no problem this time they are all getting good at it, faces were a bit messy though.

They all love playing games, their favourite being dodge the ball, they are learning to march and have all been busy working for their badges. They are all interested in everything they do and it is a blessing to be able to be with the boys every Tuesday Night.

If any person would like to come and help us on a Tuesday night, please speak to any officer or come along on a Tuesday night where you will be made most welcome. We would love for you to come.

Officers

7th Grangemouth Boys Brigade

 

June’s Activities : CAN YOU HELP

Spectacles – I know people have been handing in used spectacles again and they are being accepted by the charity. So, any spectacles can be given to me or left at the Church.

Stamps – Used stamps are also being collected again for the R.N.I.B. as above either hand them to me or leave them in the Church.

Bra’s – Bras are also being collected again and given to the charity concerned. They do not have to be new but in good condition please.

Thank you, June.

 

 

THE GUILD

The Guild is resuming again on 16th March at 2.00p.m.

This is not the Guild as we had in the past, as, until we can get a Treasurer, we cannot call ourselves a Guild.

The Committee decided that we would meet as a group every second Wednesday at 2.00pm starting on the 16th March. We will have at home days until the end of May and then hopefully start the Guild again in Sept. when I feel sure someone will take on the responsibility of Treasurer. As has been said, the Treasurer does not have to be a member of the Guild, it could be a husband, brother, sister etc.

We have written to the Women’s Association at the K.H.R. inviting any of the members to come along to our meetings. We hope a number of the ladies will accept the invitation.

Anyone is welcome to come along female or male and one does not need to be a member of the Church to attend. Please come along, you will be made most welcome and in the meantime, please bring your own cup! We hope this will change soon but if you could bring a cup along it would be a great help.

June.

 

 

 

ZETLAND STITCHERS

The Stitchers meet every 2nd Tuesday afternoon, from 2-4pm.

We have around 25 members; which includes 6 members who joined when we returned to meeting towards the end of last year. Unfortunately, we also lost a few members due to medical issues and/or the pandemic.

The members are currently knitting baby garments – premature baby hats and cardigans, and slightly bigger baby hats and cardigans.  These go to Forth Valley Royal Hospital Baby Unit. One of our church members works in the Baby Unit and she delivers them for us.

Some of our members are working on projects of their own, which are normally related to charity work.

If you are interested in sewing, knitting etc, and enjoy a cup of tea and a blether, then we would love to see you!

Our meeting dates are 22nd March, 5th April, 19th April, 3rd May, 17th May and 31st May.

If you have any questions, feel free to contact me.

Joan Hermse

01324 472980

 

 

SUNDAY TEA & COFFEE

This has been up and running now for the past few months and the team of volunteers have adapted well to the changes required to be compliant with covid guidelines.

I’m sure their efforts are very much appreciated as many of the congregations enjoy their cuppa and fellowship with friends after the service.

If you’re able and would like to volunteer, please contact Margaret Campbell or Alison. Please note men are also welcome to join the team.

Margaret Campbell

 

 

 

SOCIAL AND FUNDRAISING COMMITTEE

The members of our committee would like to extend our best wishes to everyone. We have really missed organising events where everyone can socialise.

Hopefully in the near future we can continue where we left off.

We look forward to seeing you all soon.

Best wishes.

Jessie Crosson

This magazine has been delivered by your District Elder who has called and tried to see you personally but may have failed to get you at home. If the latter is the case and you need to, or would like to make contact with your District Elder, the name and address (and telephone number if applicable) are below:-
 
District Elder’s Name: ______________________________________
 
Address:                                                                Tel:_________________

 

CHURCH ORGANISATIONS

SUNDAY    
10.30 am   Morning Worship, Sunday School.

Coffee.

Minister’s Vestry Hour.

     
MONDAY   Nothing at the moment
     
TUESDAY    
2.00 pm   Zetland Stitchers (Fortnightly)
6.30 pm   Boys’ Brigade Anchor Boys
6.30 pm   Boys’ Brigade Junior Section
6.30 pm   Boys’ Brigade Company Section
     
WEDNESDAY    
2.00 pm   The Guild (Fortnightly)
7.00 pm   Bible Study (Zoom)
     
THURSDAY    
7.00 pm   Choir Practice.
     
FRIDAY    
9.15 am   Zetland Toddler Group.