15 March 2020

In light of the ever-changing situation, some of the church groups have taken the decision to suspend meetings for now. These are the Boy’s Brigade, Men’s Group and Guild. Other groups are reviewing their positions. The Presbytery meeting scheduled for Tuesday 17 March (Three Towns Mission Meeting) has been postponed.

Other changes which will come into effect next Sunday. Collection plates will not be passed around during the service but will be left at the door for your offerings as you come in to the church. You will also be asked to collect a hymn book and intimation sheet as you come in to minimise the number of people handling them. Our kitchen is already maintained to the highest standard but from next Sunday only individually wrapped cakes and biscuits will be available.

A small team is being put together as an emergency committee to deal with the changing requirements precipitated by the COVID-19 pandemic. Efforts are being made to obtain hand sanitiser for use at the doors and as a supplement to hand-washing.

If you are unable to come into the service, please know that you are in our thoughts. It would be great if you joined an online service on a Sunday. HERE IS A LINK to various Church of Scotland online services. Not listed but also available is West Kilbride Parish Church or the totally online Church of Scotland community at Sanctuary First.

Next week (22 March) will be a Family Service including a Baptism . There will be a meeting for both Board and Session after the service.

Today’s Sermon

We continued reading about the stoning of Stephen, the first Christian Martyr, in Acts and our first introduction to Saul, who approved the killing. There was considerable and understandable distress amongst Christ’s followers as persecution escalated and they dispersed across the region. Saul we bent on destroying the church, pulling people from their own homes and imprisoning them.

The believers who fled took the Good News with them and rather than the message becoming suppressed, the faith expanded.

Philip, who like Stephen was one of the originally appointed deacons, became more missional and preached in Sumeria, which had become a safe refuge for fleeing Christians, where there was a good relationship between them and the Samaritans. This was possibly helped by the earlier experiences they had with Christ (see John 4: 4-42).