A Christmas Concert with Alastair McDonald

Alastair McDonaldWe’re delighted to welcome back Alastair McDonald for a Christmas celebration concert in the church on Thursday December 15th. Alastair is a singer, an entertainer and a storyteller, who has appeared in numerous TV programmes, notably co-hosting “Songs of Scotland”. In this concert he will bring us a mixture of folk songs and traditional seasonal material, as we prepare to celebrate Christmas. It’s so easy for Christmas to become simply a festival of food and “stuff”, so this concert  gives us a chance to spend time to laugh, to sing, and to focus on God’s gift of his son to us.

The concert is on Thursday December 15th, at 7.00 pmcandle. Tickets cost £5.00, with part of the price going towards Glasgow City Mission’s Winter Night Shelter project – read more about that here. You can purchase tickets on the door, or if you wish to reserve them in advance please phone 07975531585 or email david.millerstonpastor@gmail.com.

 

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Our new playgroup

We’re delplaygroup-2ighted that our new playgroup, Little Butterflies, has just begun. The first get-together of this group for mums (and Grans or dads or other carers) and their pre-school children was on Wednesday 2nd November, with around a dozen wee ones there. The playgroup meets in Millerston Church Hall each Wednesday from 11.00 to 12.00, and its a chance for the children to play and interact with each other and for their parents or carers to meet up and have a blether at the same time.

The group is coordinated by Donna Todd and Lizzie Stephenson. If you’d like to know more, please contact Donna on 07469235272 or by email at millerstonchurchplaygroup@gmail.com  .

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Alpha Course starts

http://www.stpeters-ruddington.org/2015/wp-content/uploads/2014/01/timthumb.jpgThe Alpha course is a well-known  course which introduces people to the basics of Christian faith and life. Over a series of weekly gatherings over a meal and discussion of DVD material, those who come get an understanding of what life is all about and what it means to live life in relationship with Jesus Christ.

What happens on Alpha? We will meet at 6.30 (and it’s okay to come a bit later if you like), we’ll have a meal together and then watch a 30 minute programme which explores an aspect of faith and life. Then we have a chance to talk together and to ask further questions (and any question is okay). You are welcome to come and try it out for an evening and see if this is a course for you. Our theme for this first week is

“Christianity – boring, untrue, irrelevant?”

Who is it for? For anyone, whether you think of yourself as religious or not, who wants a chance to think about the big questions of life and Christian faith. We will be running the course here at Millerston church on Monday evenings through the autumn, beginning on October 3rd.  Sadly Bear Grylls will not be appearing in person in Millerston, but he is one of many people who have done the Alpha course and found that their faith came alive through it. You can hear his story here.

If you would like more information, please contact David Miller, the minister, on 077975531585

 

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Our “new” minister

On Tuesday September 6th, David Miller was ordained in a service at the church and  appointed as minister of the congregation of Millerston Church. Actually David and his wife Jeanette have been with us since January 2014. David served as lay pastor while he completed his ministerial studies and training , working under the guidance of Rev. John Fulton. The service was attended by over 100, including members of the congregation, members of other United Free Congregations, family and friends – a joyous celebration and a time to look forward to the next stage of the life of the church. David is the latest in a long line of minsters and pastors who have brought God’s Word to the congregation (and the wider community of Millerston) since the church was established back in 1856 – we are 160 yeas old this year!

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Starts this Thursday – The Jesus I Never Knew

“The JesusThe Jesus I Never Knew - image I Never Knew” is a six part DVD series where the American writer Philip Yancey helps us think through this question of who Jesus really is. He shares his own research and introduces clips from some well known Hollywood films about Jesus, and gets us to look again at the Gospels to help us see Jesus more clearly.

For six  Thursday evenings, starting this week, May 5th, we’ll gather to watch the DVD, look at some key parts of the Gospels, share our thoughts together and, we hope, will all grow in our understanding of Jesus and our love for him. We’ll meet at 7.30 for about an hour. And for anyone who would like there will be food available from 6.30 onwards – everyone is welcome to join us.

For more information and to see the rest of the dates when we meet click here. And to see a trailer for the DVD please click here.

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Easter – the day that changes everything

It’s a bold claim to make – I’m not sure how the church stands under the Trades Descriptions Act in claiming this. Yet, if the resurrection message is true, then Easter day, the day of resurrection, is truly the day that changes everything. Perhaps the message of the empty tomb where Jesus’ body had been buried and then the claims that he had been seen alive, perhaps these were all made up. Yet consider this. Nobody was expecting it or thought it could happen, and the disciples of Jesus either died proclaiming it, or ended their lives in exile. They didn’t make any money out of it either! Why give your life for something you knew to be made up! So, what happened, and why does it matter?

Though at first it may seem impossible, there is actually good evidence that Jesus rose from the dead. If this is true, as the disciples claimed and as Christians have believed ever since, then it means that death is not the end, and in Jesus is new life. It means that our sins, which lead us to eternal death, need no longer hold us – they can be forgiven. It means that we can share in relationship with God through Jesus. The first person to see Jesus alive was a woman called Mary Magdalene. When Jesus spoke to her he described God as “your God” and “your Father”. The story is told in John’s Gospel, chapter 20. In other words, God is not some distant, scary or ineffectual figure. He is our God and our Father

And ever since then, Christians have made this claim – that in Jesus, God is knowable, and God can become our Father. Whatever mess we have made of things, however alone we may feel, however anxious about the future we may be, all these things are changed and our lives can be made new when we search for and find Jesus, who is alive today and for ever. That’s why we claim what we do about Easter – that the events of the first Easter really do change everything. Will you let the Easter message change things for you?

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I’m not religious, but…

“I’m not religious!” Lots of people say this these days. Sometimes it’s a way to steer the conversation away from getting too personal about their own beliefs. Maybe it’s because their own experience of religion or what they see of religion on television and in the media. puts them right off. Sometimes I feel “Who can blame folk for that?” There’s a lot of stuff that gets done in the name of “religion” that is pretty shameful. “Religion” at best can seem like a list of rules, and at worst, like an excuse to harm or abuse others.

But then, if we’re being honest, we need to admit there’s lots generally that humans do that’s pretty shameful. Perhaps we need to see that the problem isn’t necessarily with “religion” but with something about humans in general. And at the same time, many people also feel a longing for something more, something better. That’s why, when people say “I’m not religious” they sometimes add “…but I am spiritual” or even just a wistful, longing “but…”, as if they’d like there to be something more.

And what if there is something more? At the moment in our Sunday morning services we’re looking at John’s Gospel. John was one of Jesus’ followers, and he wrote an account of Jesus’ life. In it he tells of a number of different people who met Jesus. Some of them we would class as being very religious and some of them were not religious at all. But when they met Jesus they found that he had the answer to what they were looking for. In fact, they discovered more than that – they discovered that he was the answer to what they were looking for. And people are still discovering that today. So, when you’re tempted to say “I’m not religious”, listen for that little voice inside you saying “but…”, that little voice that tells you that you’re made for something more and that this world is not all there is. What you’re looking for is not going to be found in a system of rules – that’s “religion” – but it is found in getting to know a person, Jesus Christ.

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Ring in the new

Welcome to 2016. The Christmas and New Year holidays are over, and we’re back to “normal”. For many people, January and February are times of stress and gloom as they struggle with paying off the cost of Christmas and try to work off the over-eating, all in the middle of a wet and cloudy winter. Well, we can’t change the weather, but the good news of Jesus is that even if society’s Christmas celebrations are over, what we celebrate at Christmas is never over. John’s Gospel tells us that “the Word became flesh and made his home among us.” He goes on to say that “no one has seen God, but the one and only Son…has made him known.”  So, the baby whose birth we celebrate at Christmas is the one who is still here, one with us and God with us, so that through him we may know the Father. Over the next few months on Sunday mornings as we head towards Easter we’re going to continue to think about who Jesus is and how we may enter into and grow in our relationship with him. We’ll do that as we continue to follow the story that John tells in his account of the life of Jesus. So, whether you have been following Jesus for many years, or whether you are simply wanting to find out more about him, we hope that you will find him to be the one who makes all things new – including our hearts.

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Advent – the light shines in the darkness

candle - croppedSunday November 29th is the first Sunday in Advent, the season of the year in which Christians think about the coming of Christ, both his first coming as a baby born in Bethlehem, and his return again in power, to judge the world and to make all things new. This Sunday we will think about the wonder of the phrase “The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us” from John’s Gospel. Often we may look at the world around us and ask the question, “Where is Jesus in all this?” But in His people, and by His Spirit, he is here, a light shining in even the darkest places.

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Alastair McDonald in Concert

Alastair McDonaldOn Thursday November 26th Alastair McDonald, the singer, entertainer and broadcaster, performed here in Millerston Church. He sang a mixture of traditional and more modern Scottish songs, told stories, made us laugh, and made folk with longer memories nostalgic for the Glasgow we remember from our childhood. He talked about his faith as well, and in his words and in his manner he helped us to see something of what it’s like to commit our lives to “the best of hands.”

If you would like us to let you know about similar events whihc we may have in the future, please do get in touch.

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