A Significant Weekend – 13th and 14th November 2021

How To Grow & Care for your Poppies | lovethegarden

This weekend is a very significant one as we mark Remembrance Sunday in our communities with outdoor services both at the war memorial at Easthouses and in the park at Newtongrange from 10.45am leading up to the silence at 11am. There will then be a service in the church at Mayfield and Easthouses at 11.30am (you can also join on zoom by accessing the link under “November Worship Programme” on the website. At these services we will give thanks for the sacrifice of the fallen who gave their lives to make the world a better place for subsequent generations.

In this year of 2021, this weekend is also significant because the COP 26 conference in Glasgow on Climate Justice concludes. In 2019, Newbattle Parish signed up to a green pledge and became an Eco-Congregation. As you may have noticed, the land and hall site at the back of the church at Newtongrange is now up for sale but as we progress plans for the redevelopment of the church at Newtongrange, we are doing with an intentional green agenda. Solar panels, non carbon heating and charging points for electric cars are all included in our designs because we want to act like a church that believes God created the world and that we are stewards of that creation. Although the church building at Newtongrange is closed for the redevelopment work, the church is a people who are active in caring for the earth and all it’s inhabitants. As you pass by the church you will now see our Climate Justice banner. Every time you see it, think about things you are already doing that you could do more of, or things you are not yet doing that you could start to do, to take better care of our planet now and for the sake of our young people and future generations.

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COP 26 – Acting like a church that believes God created this wonderful world

COP26 and the Church of Scotland | The Church of Scotland

We join in with COP 26 as a community of faith with so many other communities of faith this fortnight trying to be a church that acts as though we believe that God made the earth in all it’s wonder.

The Moderator, Lord Wallace, has written to encourage every congregation in the Church of Scotland to do all that we can do to ensure that this gathering succeeds in addressing the huge challenges that we are facing as a planet. And we’re going to play our part as Newbattle Parish.

A call to prayer and worship

We want to encourage people to pray; to focus on the climate in our worship and preaching around COP26, and to join the many opportunities for in-person and online worship that have been planned, across Glasgow and elsewhere, We are also arranging a local event where people can come together to pray for justice for the poorest and for our planet. Last week, as we are already a registered Eco Congregation, I registered us for the church’s COP 26 campaign and pledged that we will have a special prayer service on Tuesday the 9th November at 10am, in person at Mayfield and Easthouses church during the COP.

At this prayer meeting, we will pray for our leaders involved in momentous decisions; for those whose lives are most blighted by climate injustice; and for the earth which is part of God’s beautiful creation. We will also remember in our prayers all those working on behalf of our Church in relation to COP26, including the chaplaincy provision offered through Glasgow Cathedral, which will be open to any who would value an opportunity to reflect in a safe and sacred space. This Chaplaincy is involved in arranging a special COP26 ecumenical service to be held this Sunday on the  7th November at Glasgow Cathedral, which will be live-streamed.

A call to witness on the streets

The Moderator wanted to encourage as many people from congregations to take part in the global day of action and mass mobilisation which will take place on the 6th November next Saturday in Glasgow and around the world.

Pray for the rally which will gather in Kelvingrove Park from 11.30am and will parade through the city streets, arriving in Glasgow Green at 3pm. Faith and belief communities will be a specific part of this rally and many congregations will be there but of course, as the pandemic rules out travelling and gathering in large numbers for members of congregations, and those unable to travel for other reasons, we are invited to do something visible outside our own churches as a public sign of solidarity and support for climate justice and care for creation. Our church will be at The Pool in Newtongrange that day where we will have our climate justice banner displayed. This banner will then move to outside Mayfield and Easthouses church for the special service on the 9th.

COP26 and the Church of Scotland | The Church of Scotland
  • Hear the voices of those people most deeply impacted

The third request from the Moderator is to ensure that the wisdom and experience of our sisters and brothers in the countries most affected by global warming and in societies least able to cope with measures to mitigate the impact, is uppermost in our thoughts and actions. Because with climate change, it is the poorest who are often excluded from decisions which hurt them most. There is a real fear that this will be even more the case in Glasgow where many people will be unable to travel to the UK because of COVID restrictions.

As a church we have a specific commitment to the poorest and most marginalised and we want to ensure that their voices are heard. In partnership with Christian Aid, SCIAF, Tearfund and the Church of Scotland, Glasgow Churches Together COP26 Group have produced some short videos to help the voices of the poorest to be heard to ensure that the reality and plight of those most deeply impacted by climate injustice is heard over these coming weeks. Because we stand, with Christ, in solidarity with them, we commit to really listen and we will watch some short videos from these countries at our special service.

We recognise that there are many demands on people’s time and energy, but we hope that you will agree that the future of God’s sacred earth, and the decisions which will be taken over coming weeks, are amongst the most urgent.

Let us together pray and strive to be a church that acts as if we believe that God made the earth in all its wonder.

Worship Programme November 2021

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In this season of Remembrance, please remember that the church strives to be a safe place for all. A place where we safeguard the vulnerable. A place where we seek to serve the needs of our community. A place where we want to support people during this time of unprecedented change and challenge caused by the pandemic.

The Transition Minister and Kirk Session review our Covid regulations every month, considering the needs of our staff, volunteers, congregation and partner groups. We were recently informed that someone who had been in the church building at one of our activities, tested positive for Covid-19. The procedure for this occurring in the church was followed with NHS Test and Protect informed of their attendance at the church building in order that effective contact tracing could take place.  This reminded us that although it can be frustrating and tiring at times, employing good practice, beyond the legal requirements, enables us to keep the church environment safe for all. We have worked hard to ensure that we have in place all the recommended infection prevention and control measures and a thorough cleaning programme for our church building.

It remains important to remember that mixing socially in the community without maintaining physical distancing measures helps the virus to spread widely. It is therefore important that people remain vigilant and follow the guidance from the Scottish Government to keep a physical distance from those in other households as well as wear face coverings wherever possible. Individuals should continue to wash their hands thoroughly and regularly using soap and water for 20 seconds. Professor Jason Leitch has the following message for Scotland’s Faith and Belief Communities:

The Scottish Government are actively encouraging everyone to undertake two Lateral Flow tests a week even if they do not display Covid-19 symptoms. We recommend that you follow this advice and home testing kits are available from most local community pharmacies or online at www.gov.uk/order-coronavirus-rapid-lateral-flow-tests

Individuals who experience any Covid-19 symptoms such as a cough, fever or loss of taste or smell, even if they are mild, should stay isolate immediately and get tested. Information on how to access testing is available at: www.gov.uk/get-coronavirus-test.

If you have any questions about coronavirus please visit www.nhsinform.scot in the first instance, or call the helpline on 0800 028 2816.”

The worship programme below, takes seriously the message from the government that we need to exercise, more than ever, care and caution as we enter the winter period.

Worship Programme
Sunday 21st November – zoom service with joining instructions below. .

The Kirk Session discussed and decided at their October meeting that during November there will be 2 Sunday services in the building alongside the zoom services. These will be:

Sunday 14th November – following acts of remembrance at the war memorials at Newtongrange and at Easthouses at 10.45am preceding the 11am silence there will be a Remembrance Sunday service at Mayfield and Easthouses church at the slightly later time of 11.30am.

Sunday the 28th November – 11am at Mayfield and Easthouses, morning worship including the sacrament of baptism.

We will be on zoom every Sunday in October and November and the joining instructions and link (below) will be the same for each week.

Join Zoom Meeting

Meeting ID: 882 0690 0197
Passcode: 488647
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