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Christmas Celebration

Join us on Zoom for our special Christmas Day celebration! 

As we can’t have our usual service, we’re having a short informal time online at 10.30am for everyone to get together and give thanks.So you can share what you got from Santa, show off your Christmas jumpers, get some last minute turkey cooking tips and have a blether with friends. 

All are welcome to join us – we’ll share the meeting details nearer the time.

Christingle

Join us on Zoom for our special family event to mark the final hours to Christmas! 🎄

Our annual Christingle event is designed for children and families to celebrate Christmas in a fun and unique way.During the service, every child is invited to make a Christingle Orange. The orange symbolises the world while the light remembers Jesus, the light of the world.

We’re working on ways that you can collect and make your christingle oranges during the event so look out for more details soon.

It’s always an extremely popular highlight of our calendar and, though we can’t do it in our normal way, we invite you all to join us online for an event of fun, surprises and more! 

Bake Sale – Orders Closed!

What an amazing response for tomorrows Christmas bake sale!

We’ve had almost 100 boxes ordered plus calendars and CD’s! Thanks for your incredible support 🙂

If you’re ordered then here’s a reminder of how it’ll work on the day:

📦Collection: Our safe collection point will be at the Old Kirk car park from 12pm to 2pm. Pop along at your chosen time and our team will have your box(es) ready to go.

🚪Delivery: If you’ve chosen delivery then our friendly team will stop by your house between 12noon and 2pm with your box(es).

💷Payments: Payment will be collected upon delivery/collection. If possible, please have the exact amount available as we won’t be able to give change (to minimise contact/handling)

Bake Sale – Orders now open!

Following the success of our ‘Social Distanced Bake Sale’ in June, we’re having another bake sale on Saturday 5th December to mark the countdown to Christmas.

Orders are now open here with collection and delivery options available.

📦Collection:Our safe collection point will be at the Old Kirk car park from 12pm to 2pm. Collections are easier for our team so if you can pop down then we’d appreciate it.

🚪Delivery:If you can’t make it, or you’re shielding etc, then we’ll deliver your cakes to you between 12pm and 2pm. Just pop in your address on our order site and we’ll drop them off safely at your door on the day.

💷Payments:Payment will be collected upon delivery/collection. If possible, please have the exact amount available as we won’t be able to give change (to minimise contact/handling).

We also have some special gifts on sale which you can order online or buy on the day:

📅Amanda has created ‘A Walker’s Eye View’ a special calendar of her stunning photos during her adventures across Scotland (£10)

💿‘Sing Along Christmas’ is a selection of festive carols made by Pamela and some of our talented musicians (£5)

As always, we’ll be making sure that everything is safe including food prep, collection and delivery. Your support is greatly appreciated and we can’t wait to see you all (from a distance!).

Christmas Bake Sale

Following the success of our ‘Social Distance Bake Sale’ in June, we’re having a Christmas Bake Sale on Saturday 5 December in aid of church funds.

As per last time, we’re selling boxes of cakes for £5 each which you can order here. Collection and Delivery options are available (details below) and we promise another batch of tasty treats from our team of star bakers. We also have some special gifts on sale which you can add to your order or buy on the day:


📅Amanda has created ‘A Walker’s Eye View’ a special calendar of her stunning photos during her adventures across Scotland (£10)

💿‘Sing Along Christmas’ is a selection of festive carols made by Pamela and some of our talented musicians (£5)

We’ll be making sure that everything is safe including food prep, collection and delivery. Your support is greatly appreciated and we can’t wait to see you all (from a distance!).

📦Collection:
Our safe collection point will be at the Old Kirk car park from 12pm to 2pm. Collections are easier for our team so if you can pop down then we’d appreciate it.

🚪Delivery:
If you can’t make it, or you’re shielding etc, then we’ll deliver your cakes to you between 12pm and 2pm. Just pop in your address on our order site and we’ll drop them off safely at your door on the day.

💷Payments:
Payment will be collected upon delivery/collection. If possible, please have the exact amount available as we won’t be able to give change (to minimise contact/handling)

Remembrance Sunday

We may not be gathering in person in the church building on Panbrae Road this Remembrance Sunday as we usually do, but the Old Kirk will still gather together to remember.

You can gather with us online for our Sunday Reflections, which this week will be a time of Remembrance, and then following that on the Bo’ness Community Council web page at 12:15pm there will be a service recorded this week at the war memorial which everyone is invited to tune into.

Even in the midst of a global pandemic it is still important to remember.

Lest We Forget.

Proposed Changes to Presbytery Plan

In advance of the next meeting of Falkirk Presbytery, we’ve been asked to make you all aware of the following citation regarding the Presbytery Plan:

“Intimation is hereby given that the Presbytery of Falkirk will hold a virtual meeting at which the matter of revising the current Presbytery Plan will be debated on Tuesday the 27th day of October 2020 at 7.00pm o’clock, and that the congregation are hereby cited to observe the meeting online through the Presbytery website (www.falkirkpresbytery.org.uk) and Facebook page (www.facebook.com/falkirkpresbytery) for their interests.”

This weeks online worship

With Amanda being on annual leave, we won’t be posting a ‘Sunday Reflections’ video on Sunday Morning this weekend. After 8 months of weekly video editing, we wanted to give our Multimedia Team a much deserved wee break 😀

But don’t worry, many Church of Scotland congregations will be offering live worship this weekend including our friends at St Andrews who post live streams on their Facebook page. If you’re looking for something like the format we use on ‘Sunday Reflections’ then have a look at Falkirk Trinity and also check out this Church of Scotland page which has a great list of online service providers.

Harvest – Thank you!

What an amazing day at our Harvest Thanksgiving Service! 😀❤️

After a deluge of rain, the clouds finally disappeared and we had a great turnout for our first ever drive in service at Bowmains Farm.

It was lovely to see so many familiar faces (through their car windows 👋🚘) and we celebrated harvest by giving thanks and thinking more about what we’re grateful more. We also had a bumper load of donations for the Community Pantry 🙌
Huge thanks to Robert and his family for hosting us at the farm and for providing car snacks for everyone. Thanks also to Steedsy for providing such great audio.
What a great Church family ❤️

Online Booking

You may have noticed some changes to our website this week…

While it’s great news to be able to make a return to the Old Kirk building, we will only be able to admit a limited number of people for services and events at present. This is in accordance with the latest Scottish Government guidelines and to ensure a safe and secure environment for everyone.

As such, to help manage numbers and aid NHS test and protect requirements, we’ve launched a new seat booking system which you can access here.

If you have any difficulty booking via the system then please call (TBC) on who will also be happy to assist with bookings. Please also share this information with anyone you know who does not have access to the internet.

In light of the ever changing restrictions, things may vary in the weeks ahead but we’ll keep you updated. Thank you to all our team for their hard work in making this possible and to our everyone for their support during this trying time.

Sunday Reflections

Since the closing of our building due to COVID-19 restrictions, we’ve been providing a weekly ‘Sunday Reflections’ video series which you can check out here.

We posted our 26th video at the weekend and, in total, our video series has had an incredible 12342 views on Facebook and Youtube combined!

A huge thankyou to everyone who’s checked them out, commented, like and shared – thats not bad for a wee Church in central Scotland!

Special thanks to Amanda for all her hard work over the last period and to all our contributors who’ve made our video series such a success.

Twilio Phone Service

We know not everyone in our Church Family is online so we’ve created a new way for people to enjoy our services via the telephone.

The audio from our weekly ‘Sunday Reflections’ video series is available to listen to via our twilio phone service. Just call 01506 536797 and the audio from this weeks reflection will play automatically (calls charged at local rate).

It’s simple and easy to use so if you know anyone who’d benefit from this service then let me know.

Diane’s Thoughts: Saturday 11 July

Lockdown reflections from our Session Clerk

It’s been a long time since March when we were all in the Old Kirk building and while I have missed seeing everyone it has been good to keep in touch through these newsletters.  As I reflect back on this period, I realise how much has changed, for us as a church and for me personally.

This is normally the time when I am very busy with preparations for our annual Holiday Club, when about 120 young people and a large group of volunteers meet for a fun filled week at the end of July.  I usually go in to a bit of a panic at this point(as my family will confirm!) as I think this will be the year everything will go wrong!  Over the years we have had a fantastic time at our Holiday Clubs with a great team of volunteers and it’s become a highlight of our church calendar.  Sadly, there is no Holiday Club this year and I will really miss being with all the children and leaders, however, we will have activities for children as soon as it is safe to do so.

Instead of preparing for Holiday Club, I have been busy with our emergency foodbank, the Food Pantry.  I now spend Monday mornings at the church car park with Allison and Kerry as we collect donations at our drop off point and, once a week, I am a shift leader at the Food Pantry, arranging deliveries to families.  It’s a big change for me and I feel humbled and privileged to be able to serve the Lord and our community in this way and I am thankful that as a church we were willing to overcome challenges to make this happen and we didn’t leave it to others.

Many people in our town are struggling and are very appreciative of the help we can give them.  Jesus calls us all to help the needy and feed the hungry and it is so encouraging that we are able to provide help.  We are very grateful for all your donations and for all the volunteers.  The need has not got away, so please help with donations if you can.  Our drop off point is open every Monday from 11am to 1pm at the church car park and each week we post a list of the items we are short off on our facebook page as well as in this newsletter.  We will have to move out of the Town Hall soon and are already planning a move in the church hall on a temporary basis.

I normally go away for a short holiday after Holiday Club (to recover from the mayhem) but my holiday plans have all been cancelled.  Instead I am looking forward to being able to spend some more time with my grandson as he is now allowed in our house and I can finally return to helping with childcare.

We are having a short break from the newsletters and I wish to thank everyone who has helped and particularly, Barrie, who puts everything together as well as the videos for our Sunday Reflections and facebook. 

Diane

Musings From The Manse

A reflection for these days of a church in Lockdown.

Hello!

At last, some weather where it’s warm enough to sit out in the garden without wrapping up as though it’s October and not July!

This will be our last of these weekly newsletters for a while, I’m going to use some of my annual leave over the next couple of weeks and try and enjoy some rest away from all of the technology and the busyness and stress of these last few months.

Today also sees the end of our journeying theme which we’ve been following on Sundays for the last 6 weeks.

But does a journey ever really end?

Relieved that the 5 mile driving limit for leisure purposes had been relaxed, on Friday I dug my hill walking boots out from the depths of the cupboard under the stairs where they’d been hibernating since their last outing in November. I headed for Ben Vorlich on the south shore of Loch Earn, a hill I’ve climbed before but which I knew would give my legs the stretch they were needing if I want to get out in the hills again.

It was busy, and I didn’t get the sense of silence and solitude that I was craving but I did get a good walk and the views at the top were worth it. On my way back down to the car I was reflecting on the idea of journeys.

That one journey up the hill and down again was just one small part of the bigger journey of my life…even the journey of that day. And many had shared the journey that day, as we passed each other on the path, I didn’t know any of them, but as our paths crossed again and again we came to recognise one another, there was the man and his teenage daughter who hadn’t done a munro before, there was the group of noisy students who set out just ahead of us and made good progress up the hill, there was the multiple family group who set out behind us, and who reached the top just as we were going down, and there was the dad with 2 wee boys who passed us, then we passed them, then they passed us and we passed them, who took their time and slowly step by encouraging step were almost at the top when we passed them again for the last time on the path. Journeys which intermingled and paths which were shared for that moment only.

In the book of Ecclesiastes we find these words…

“Two people are better off than one, for they can help each other succeed. If one person falls, the other can reach out and help. But someone who falls alone is in real trouble. Likewise, two people lying close together can keep each other warm. But how can one be warm alone? A person standing alone can be attacked and defeated, but two can stand back-to-back and conquer. Three are even better, for a triple-braided cord is not easily broken.”

Ecclesiastes 4:9-12 NLT Wise words!

Think of how many people have been part of your journey over your life, how many were only part of it for a short time, but have remained in your memory? Or who crossed your path only once but taught you something in the process?

Think of all of those who have been part of your journey. Who have made the most lasting impact? Who has encouraged you?

Who have kept you warm, who have picked you up when you’ve fallen?

Why not give God thanks for them now? For their encouragements, for their companionship, for their love and support.

Father,

As we journey through the days and years of our lives, We share our paths with others, Some only for a short time, Others for a longer time. We thank you for all of those who cross our paths, And particularly for those who journey beside us. Those whose days and lives are intertwined with ours. Thank you for their friendship, their companionship, And may we find the words to tell them what they mean to us, and not take them for granted. May they truly know the blessing that they are to us.

In Jesus name, Amen.

Amanda

Musings From The Manse

A reflection for these days of a church in Lockdown.

Last Sunday we thought about joy and where it comes from. Joy and happiness are often confused but they are different. It is possible to be joyful even when we are unhappy. Joy comes from gratitude welling up deep within us.

Many of us are struggling just now. Struggling with the frustration of lockdown, struggling with the uncertainty of what lies ahead, struggling with the restrictions still in place and so, it can be a challenge to find things to be thankful for.

Gratitude and thankfulness are a spiritual discipline which bring great joy, try it….

Wednesday saw the beginning of the month of July and as a wee encouragement and a wee challenge, on our Facebook page we launched #joyfuljuly a whole month of being joyful. Each day we plan to share a wee thought about thankfulness and encourage us to find our inner joy.

Why not join us for the journey through July and share the things which bring you joy with us so that together we can encourage one another.

For the joy of the Lord is our strength. (Nehemiah 8:10)

Amanda