Seven Words From The Cross

This is Holy Week, the week in which Christians around the world focus on the events leading up to Jesus’ death and resurrection. Each day this week, we’ll be posting short video reflections based around the themes of Jesus’ seven sayings, seven words, which he spoke as he was being crucified and which are recorded in the Gospels. These will help us explore different aspects of the significance of the Easter message. A new one will go live each day, and we’ll post links to them here, and on our Facebook page. We hope you find them helpful.

And here is our sixth video. Graeme Adams of New Beginnings Church in Moodiesburn shares some thoughts on Jesus’ cry “It is finished” – which is a shout of triumph.

Our fifth video, in which Rev. Mark Malcolm of Chryston Church of Scotland reflects on the theme of Distress, is now available to watch.

Our fourth reflection comes from the Rev. Dave Slater, of Gartcosh and Glenbloig Churches of Scotland. Dave is helping us think about perhaps the bleakest words in Scripture – “My God, why have You forsaken me?”

As Holy Week continues, here is the third in our series, from Rev. Steve Marr of Chryston United Free Church, exploring the theme of relationship.

Here’s the second one, on the theme of salvation, from Rev. Gordon Macrae of Stepps

Here’s the first one, on the theme of forgiveness.

And here’s the second, on salvation, from Rev. Gordon Macrae of Stepps Parish Church

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Into Easter week

Sunday 28th March is Palm Sunday, the start of what many Christians refer to as Holy Week. This is the week in which we focus particularly on the events leading up to Jesus’ crucifixion and his resurrection, culminating in the glorious celebration on Easter Sunday that Jesus is alive, sin is paid for and death is beaten.

You are welcome to join us for our online services this Sunday, the 28th, or next Sunday, April 4th. We meet through Zoom, so if you’d like to connect, send an email to david.millerstonpastor@gmail.com and we’ll send you the link.

We have also resumed our afternoon services at 3.00 pm in the church building itself. We still need to maintan social distancing and wear masks, and we still can’t sing, but for those who come it is a special time. If you would like to join us for this you will be very welcome. To be sure that there is space for you, please contact David, the minister, on the email above, or on 07975531585.

Also this week, David and other local ministers in Stepps, Chryston, Moodiesburn and Gartcosh, will be presenting a series of short online talks based around Jesus’ 7 words from the cross. You can find them posted here or on the church’s Facebook page from Sunday March 28th.

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A time of reflection

A time to remember together

It’s hard to believe it’s been a year since COVID really began to hit us here in Scotland. So, we’re being encouraged to take time on Tuesday 23rd March to remember and reflect. It’s the first anniversary of the lockdown, and it’s been some year – strangeness for us all, and anxiety, loss and sadness for many. This Day of Reflection is being encouraged by the Marie Curie cancer care charity, and many different groups are joining in. The plan is to take a minute’s silence at midday and then light a candle in our windows at 8.00 pm. Sadly we still can’t have any physical gatherings, but the church is having an online act of remembering from 11.50 that day, for about 15 minutes. This is going to be on Zoom, and it’s open to anybody. There’ll be some music, some images to help guide our thoughts, a chance to reflect and remember, and the silence at midday. Maybe most importantly, there’ll be a sense that we can be together in this moment. Everybody is welcome to join us, and here is the link – https://us02web.zoom.us/j/86791224802 . If you’ve not used Zoom before and would like to join in, please contact us and we’ll help you get on to it.

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Happy New Year, or same old same old?

Photos of mist and fog may be very picturesque, but when real life seems foggy and gloomy, it’s a different story. There’s a cartoon of a couple of folk wandering in the desert, and they come across two sets of footprints. After a moment, one of them says to the other – “You know, we’ve been lost here before”.And I guess that’s how it probably feels to many of us at present – the virus running wild, hospital numbers spiralling, the country back in lockdown. Even though we know there are vaccines out there, we also know that there are tough times ahead, before we see a real improvement in the situation. How are we going to get through? We need wisdom…and that’s what we’ll be exploring tomorrow, and in the next few weeks in our online Zoom services. Due to lockdown restrictions our Sunday afternoon Sanctuary Services are suspended, but you are welcome to join us online – just get in touch and we’ll send you the link.

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Christmas 2020 – Comfort and joy?

“The light shines in the darkness…”

It’s been a strange, difficult year, and for some, perhaps for you, a sad one. So, can we still speak about “good tidings of comfort and joy”? Well, we’d say yes. This is because at the heart of all our Christmas celebrations is the birth of Jesus. God himself becomes one of us, entering into our world to share in its joys and its sadness, and to bring us hope of lives – and a world – made new. If you would like to take time to celebrate God’s gift to us, then you’re welcome to join one of our services over the Christmas period, or just check out the video below.

Our Christmas Eve Watchnight Service is at 11.30 pm on December 24th, with carols, Bible readings, and a reflection on the birth of Jesus. It’s a chance to enter Christmas Day with a focus on the Christ child at the heart of Christmas. This will be held in the church (though with some restrictions on numbers) and will also be online, via Zoom. If you’d like to join us in church you are very welcome, though please email or phone us first to make sure there are still spaces for you. If you wish to join us online, please email us and we’ll send you a link, or go via our Facebook page where you’ll find the link from about 10.30 pm.

And if you want something reflective to watch in your own time, here are some Christmas thoughts based around the carol “O Little Town of Bethlehem” https://youtu.be/1Y2Cdvri7Jo

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Light on the horizon

(Sunrise at Hogganfield Loch – Katharine Kilgour)

In our online Sunday morning services we’re thinking about the life of Jospeh (of technicolour dreamcoat fame). He gets sold into slavery by his brothers, then unjustly imprisoned, then misses a chance of freedom because he gets forgottten. He knows a thing or two about lockdowns…and he also knows something about trusting God, and eventually seeing how God is at work though all this. You’re very welcome to join us to hear more and hopefully to find some encouragement in these gloomy times. There IS light on the horizon, and a presence with us in the gloom. If you’d like to join us any Sunday at 11.00 am, drop David, our minster, an email at david.millerstonpastor@gmail.com and we’ll send you a Zoom link.

Also, we now have an afternoon service in the church building itself, at 3.00 pm. Numbers are limited for this, and face coverings are necessary, but you are very welcome to join us. So that we can make sure that we are okay for numbers it will help if you can contact us in advance, either by email or by phone – 07975531585 . (While we are in Tier 4, only those from within Glasgow itself may attend, though we hope that these restrictions will be lifted soon)

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The hope of glory?

So much of our life at present seems to be lived with a mixture of sadness and stress as well as the normal things which bring us joy and contentment. It’s not surprising then that we find our emotions are all over the place. For many of us at Millerston this last week has been a particularly tough one. And for many in society generally, even if we are not dealing with the sadness of bereavement, or fearful of our economic situation, the ongoing stress and uncertainty of these strange times is taking an emotional toll. So in our service this week we’re going to think about two phrases from the Bible, and how they may help settle and encourage us, and lift us beyond the current gloom – “Christ in you, the hope of glory” and “treasure in jars of clay”. We meet via Zoom, at 11.00 am, and if you’d like to join us you’ll be very welcome. Let us know, and we’ll send you a link.

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Uncharted territory

After over three months of significant restrictions, as the pandemic seems to be easing at least for the present, Scotland is moving out of lockdown. However, in some ways this new period may be as hard as lockdown itself – some people are still shielding or are nervous about going out, some people are desperate to get back to work or shopping, while still others wonder if they will have a job to go back to. Nobody really knows how the next few weeks, months and years will work out, as we begin to count the economic, social and personal costs of the strange and sometimes difficult times we are living through. Some talk about the “new normal”. Perhaps we would be wiser to think about a move into uncharted territory.

As a church, we’re continuing our Sunday morning services on Zoom, with plans to move back to worship in and from the church itself when it is safe to do so. At the moment we’re learning some lessons from the experience of the early church in the book of Acts who were also moving into uncharted territory – nobody had ever been church before, so everything was new. There are lots of helpful insights, and some challenges, for us in our situation today If you’d like to join us on any Sunday, please send an email to david.millerstonpastor@gmail.com and we’ll send you the link.

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In perspective…

We’re entering the tenth week of lockdown in the UK, and for many of us it may seem to be dragging. While there are glimpses of light at the end of the tunnel with a possible route map out of lockdown, there’s a long way to go…and who knows what the new normal will look like when we get there?
It’s easy to get overwhelmed by it all, this elephant in the room which can dominate so much of our thinking and send our emotions all over the place. But this week, Christians celebrated Ascension Day – and if we understand that a bit better we’ll find it puts our present situation into a bit of perspective. If you’d like to join us for Sunday worship on May 24th, at 11.00am, then send us an email to david.millerstonpastor@gmail.com and we’ll send you a link. You’ll be very welcome.

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Times and dates

We’re seven weeks into lockdown so far. For all that we understand why it’s important (and it really is!) a lot of folk are getting frustrated and are asking “How much longer?” But the elephant in the room that is COVID-19 keeps getting in the way of our attempt to sort out times and dates. Jesus’ disciples worried about times and dates too as they asked Jesus, after his resurrection, “How long? When are you going to fix things?” That’s what we’re thinking about this Sunday, the 10th of May, and if you’d like to come in and join us on Zoom you’re very welcome. Get in touch, and we’ll send you a link

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