This is not the start to the year that many of us would have hoped for. Rather like soldiers in the First World War, many of us had hoped that the pandemic “would all be over by Christmas.” Sadly that has not happened, and we are now in a second national lockdown.
We as a Church community are here for you and for our neighbours during this difficult time. If you need support then please don’t hesitate to get in touch with your elder, or at email@example.com
No matter our situation, God meets and loves us where we. Yet while God meets us where we are, he doesn’t leave us there. That is why we are starting a new sermon series called Hope and Lament. In it, we will be acknowledging and marking all that we have lost during the pandemic, but also looking ahead to all that will be again. That is our hope as church community that while the present can’t be ignored, neither can the hope of tomorrow.
Remember that the service is available by phone. Just dial 01506 306 036 and the audio recording of the service starts immediately
CDs and printed copies of the Sunday service are also available to those without internet. Please check in with neighbours and friends to see if they would like a copy and contact the office: firstname.lastname@example.org
Christmas with a Difference
Christmas 2020 was certainly unusual, but Trish Archibald (Youth & Family Outreach Worker) and others found several new ways to communicate the message of the child in the manger. Thanks to the efforts of all our knitters, St Michael’s angel packs were gifted to staff and P1 pupils in both Low Port and Springfield Primaries. 300 Christingle gift bags were created and distributed to Seedlings and Toddler families, and handed out to children at The Cross.
You may also have noticed the beautiful Christmas Story Stones. These were sourced and prepared by Ian and Sheila Musgrave, then painted with Nativity scenes by Brian and Trish Lightbody. We’re grateful to Historic Environment Scotland for permission to place them around the church and palace grounds. Hopefully they will become part of Linlithgow’s Christmas traditions.
Reel-y Good Fun
A grand evening in was enjoyed by everyone who joined the St Michael’s online family ceilidh on Saturday 16th January. Who knew you could have such a good time on Zoom? Musical items and dance tunes were interspersed with recitations, jokes, dancing elves and even an appearance from Rev I M Jolly, and contributors ranged from age 6 to... well, 60 plus. The Mission and Outreach Team thank all participants. It’s not too early to start rehearsing a wee number for next year!
Lorraine Orr, our new Pioneer and Community Outreach Worker, is already developing her first ‘fresh expressions’ project: forest church. Lorraine says “Forest church is designed to get us back into nature. Adults and children alike need time and space outdoors to understand their relationship with the world, to see the love of God through nature and in nature.
Groups may take different forms and may be more structured or ‘go with the flow’. But the common thread is that by spending even short times in open spaces we can learn more about God, ourselves and each other. As the Book of Job says, ‘Ask the animals... the birds... the plants... and they will tell you: which of these doesn’t know that the hand of the Lord has done this?’”
West Lothian Foodbank have thanked all churches in West Lothian Presbytery for their support over the last 12 months. Over 8,600 people used the Foodbank during 2020: a 27% increase on the previous year. Putting it another way, roughly 1 household in every 17 received support for at least 1 week in 2020. Numbers in the first week of 2021 were almost 50% higher than last year’s equivalent.
It’s good to know that our support for the Foodbank is very much valued – but also sobering to realise just how extensive the needs are.
ST. MICHAELS PARISH CHURCH OFFICE
CROSS HOUSE, LINLITHGOW United Kingdom
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