Hi, and welcome to the online magazine No.15.
It's the summer - but don't take the magazine's word for it - just take a look at the calendar and be sure to avoid checking a barometer. Having the Hizkidz prize-giving last week helped as a reminder that we have officially moved into the Summer break, and it was a nice touch to have high winds and driving rain on the day that the Troon Trip would normally have been on - there are some things even a pandemic can't change. Never one to be thwarted, Pauline has sent a photo of the 'Troon from your Room with Zoom' outing.
Much has been written on how lockdown has played with our minds, making some days and weeks seem to fly by and others crawl along...I know some of you have missed the annual skiing holiday and the golf tournaments to act as your lodestar. #thestruggleisreal. However, not everything is stopping and we hope that the Christianity Explored group will work well for people to meet weekly through July and August. Details are below. We also have an update from Dorothy with some interesting insights into lockdown at Shotts Prison.
Lastly, it's been good to hear of how Anna has been getting on raising funds for ECRADs ministry in Malawi, so it was with real sadness that we heard of the killing of George Chipeta, the headteacher at ECRAD two days ago. Please pray for his family and the future of the school at this time.
Enjoy the mag!
Rev Joe Kavanagh is covering for funerals.
Tel: 0141 384 2218, mobile 07508047388.
Christianity Explored at Maxwell
Starting 12th July for seven consecutive Sundays we will be running an online version of the Christianity Explored course via Zoom. We aim to start each session at 7pm and end at 8pm.
Christianity Explored is an informal and relaxed course for anyone who wants to think about the meaning of life. It’s completely free, you don’t need to know anything about the Bible, and you won’t be asked to sing or pray or read the Bible out loud. You can ask any question you like or you can just sit and listen. Each week we will watch a video clip presenting one of the claims of Jesus, and then have time for discussion and questions – all from the comfort of your own armchair!
To register interest or receive more information please email
email@example.com and take a look at the short video below.
Please encourage a friend / neighbour / colleague to get in touch!
More and more government restrictions are being lifted and we are beginning to venture out to see loved ones, those shielding and catch up with a few friends. This month has seen the frontline Street Teams, from our partner agencies, begin to venture out and engage with vulnerable individuals in our city centre too. Here at LHM our new normal routine continues, as our dedicated small team of volunteers prepare emergency food and toiletries parcels. We recognise that this important Covid-19 response work is only made possible through the generosity of our supporting congregations, individuals and organisations so please accept our thanks and know we are encouraged by your continued prayers and words of support. Over the summer months we would ordinarily be encouraging our supporters to ‘get on your bike’ for our popular 18 mile Sponsor Cycle Event via Clydebank and the riverside pathway. Sadly, having taken advice from Cycling Scotland we have decided to cancel this year’s event. We know this will come as a disappointment to many of our keen participants but under the current circumstances we felt this was the best way to keep everyone safe.
(Photo Courtesy of Greenbank Church Clarkston)
We continue to post on our Facebook page and celebrate the hard work of our volunteers and partner agencies. If you have not visited our page we would encourage you to ‘like’ and ‘share’ all the work we are involved in to raise awareness of the ways we are making your donations go further and make a positive difference to the lives of those experiencing homelessness.
We ask for your continued prayers for,
the whole Lodging House Mission Family; our vulnerable client group, our staff team who remain on furlough or who are shielding, our dedicated volunteers and the many partner agency staff who we continue to work closely with.
the coming months as we review and adjust to the phased lifting of lockdown restrictions and the impact this will inevitably have on the vulnerable, homeless and socially excluded individuals we seek to support.
a period of rest and holiday for our volunteer and staff team who have continued to work throughout this period in different and often demanding roles.
those in positions of authority who have the power to make homelessness a thing of the past. Measures taken during the peak of the pandemic demonstrate this can be achieved.
Pray for those in power to have the courage to take the radical decisions, backed by action, needed to achieve an end to the scourge of homelessness. In light of recent events at the Park Inn, on Friday 26th July, we ask for prayers for: the emergency services, the individuals relocated from Park Inn and agencies working to offer support, those who sustained injuries in the attack, and their families and friends. May God comfort them and restore peace.
May God bless and keep us all safe until we can gather again.
Deacon Claire Herbert, Chaplain LHM
264 brownies, 100 cupcakes, 22 loaves, 30 desserts and over 150 scones later....
Thanks so much to everyone who donated to the Bake for ECRAD fundraiser!
We’ve raised around £1000
This money is going towards buying vital food for ECRAD’s work after a recently failed maize crop.
Special thanks to Daniel for loading the dishwasher and Cara for adding cookies to the menu!
Now the diets can start...
4 Reasons to Wear a Mask, Even if You Hate It
With the new guidelines and rules concerning phase 2 of lockdown coming into place here is a thoughtful response to wearing a mask (and some other Covid related issues) from Brett McCracken. There are some American references but it's not hard to put into our own context.
“For Christians, though, it’s important to rise above the political partisanship and think through what our faith would call us to with regard to wearing or not wearing masks. What if our view on masks were shaped more by our Christian identity than our political identity? As much as I dislike wearing masks, sympathize with some skepticism about them, and cringe at attempts to shame people into wearing them, my Christian faith leads me to wear one when I’m in indoor public places. When I look at Scripture I don’t see a mandate about masks, of course, but I see an invitation—to do at least four things.
To Love Your Neighbour (Matt. 22:39)
To Respect Authorities (Rom. 13:1–7)
To Honour the Weak in Our Midst (Rom. 14)
To Use Freedom for the Sake of the Gospel (1 Cor. 9:19–23)”
Read the full article '4 Reasons to Wear a Mask, Even if You Hate It' here.
Scottish Government guidelines on face coverings are here.
Honest Evangelism - how to talk about Jesus even when it's tough
The opportunity to invite someone to the Christianity Explored (CE) group might be something you just couldn’t imagine doing. You might tell people you go to church but the idea of speaking to someone about Jesus is something which is just a no go area. If that is the case, well, it needs to change. But how? Rico Tice (who is in the CE videos) has written a very handy book, ‘Honest Evangelism’ to help us get to a place where we see both the need to share our faith, and realise that it IS possible.
“Hostility and hunger—that’s the response to the message of Jesus. The first is painful, the second is wonderful, and Rico Tice is honest about both.
Short, clear, realistic and humorous, this book will challenge you to be honest in your conversations about Jesus, help you to know how to talk about him, and thrill you that God can and will use ordinary people to change eternal destinies.”
Available from 10ofthose.com
Prisons in Lockdown
News from Dorothy at Shotts Prison.
Lockdown in prisons is not an unknown thing, there are a number of reason why a prison may need to go into lockdown but never before has it been for a health crisis and never before for more than a day or two. So this has been as new to us as it has been to the rest of the country.
For us in Shotts it meant prisoners being locked in their cells for 22.5 hours per day, getting out only for 30 minutes of outside exercise and one hour of in hall recreation. Everything else was closed. Only 16 prisoners in each section allowed out together at any one time. Being a closed community the only way COVID was going to come into the prison was through staff and prisoners and staff have been acutely aware of that. Much prayer has been made through the crises by many people and I believe that the Lord has heard these pleas and at HMP Shotts we have remained COVID free throughout.
Like churches outside, our doors were also closed and we have been putting out services and other Christian programmes through the prisoner information channel on the in-cell TV system. This has been a huge learning curve as we have struggled overnight to get to grips with the technology but it has been very worth it as many of the prisoners who would never have come to a service in the chapel are watching the broadcasts behind their cell door. Only today, I was asked to go and see a prisoner who had listened to the testimony of Nick Vujicic last week. He told me that he had prayed the prayer Nick led at the end of the video to ask Jesus into his life - he wanted a Bible because Nick said he should read John’s gospel. It is my prayer that we will see many more men coming up to church once we are able to meet in groups.
Many of the men who come to church have said that they really miss the friendship and fellowship of the church service because that and working out at the gym are the two things that keep them sane. One man has started doing a basic Bible Course during the lockdown to ‘make good use of his time’ and another, thanks to some books provided by Sandy Roger, is learning New Testament Greek.!! A large number of men have experienced a deterioration in their mental health due to the long hours spent in their cell while others have relished it, some saying it makes the days shorter and the time go quicker. Generally speaking though, the prison has been very settled which again is an answer to prayer.
You may have seen on the media that mobile phones were being issued to prisoners but this has still to become a reality in Shotts; virtual visits have now started but there has not been a huge uptake on these. Many prisoners who are facing long sentences find it too upsetting to see into their living room for example and some have said seeing their pets has left them feeling very emotional.
It will be some time before things get back to anywhere near normal in the prison as SPS will move at their own pace but it will be interesting to see the lessons we can learn about how the prison is run. As with businesses and churches outside, things that we thought we could not manage without; things that we thought could only be done in a certain way all went to the wall as we quickly rewrote the protocols and did things in a very different way and the walls did not come crashing down.
It has been a challenge and not something I would want to go through again in a hurry but I believe God has been and is at work in the lives of many men in Shotts and across the whole prison estate. I ask you to pray for a real harvest of lives reached by the Holy Spirit over this lockdown period.
TROON ZOOM in your ROOM
It is Maxwell tradition that after the Hizkidz prizegiving we have an outing to Troon beach. This year instead we 'Zoomed' to Troon and enjoyed some silly games using buckets, spaces and beach balls!
And a trip down memory lane with some previous years photos from our annual outing. Can you name the children?
Can anyone keep the law of God perfectly?
Since the fall, no mere human has been able to keep the law of God perfectly, but consistently breaks it in thought, word, and deed.
In church, we are taking a break from the Catechism; in Catechism Corner we are still going strong. I should be able to catch up over the summer and be word perfect with the first 20 Questions and Answers by the time I go back to whatever Mr Swinney and Ms Sturgeon decide I am doing from mid-August. Word perfect? We shall see. Perfection is a tall order.
This is nowhere more evident than in this Answer – that no one has kept the law – more accurately “no mere human”. This is a bit of a spoiler for where questions 13-20 are headed - which is a relief. Despite the fact that “no mere human” has kept the law – there is the implication that someone who was not a “mere human” was able to keep the law.
The consistent breaking of the law in “thought, word and deed” reminds me of Paul and his struggle with sin:
“For I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out. For I do not do the good I want to do, but the evil I do not want to do—this I keep on doing.”
I think it is fascinating that a couple of thousand years later, every “mere human” finds themselves in this place with Paul; the human experience has not changed in this respect.
“What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body that is subject to death? Thanks be to God, who delivers me through Jesus Christ our Lord!” Romans 7.
We had a further update on the donations St.Luke's hospital in Hiranpur, India have received from members at Maxwell.
A total of £2,015 plus the anticipated tax refunds of £267.50 makes the current total an amazing £2,282.50.
There has been an amazing response from you all. Our hospital ambulance was only half way there before you all came on board, and your gifts have brought it up to 85%. We are so very grateful to each and everyone of you, and we do believe the ambulance is going to be a reality soon.
Actually buying the ambulance and getting it on the road is going to be such an exciting event for all of us.
Thank you all for making this dream become a reality.
Now we need to pray for international flights to open up again, to enable us to return to St Luke's."
(The picture shows a colleague of Lis and Shubhro's working with the children from one of the villages near St.Luke's which will benefit from the Ambulance they are seeking to purchase.)
Ladybird Book of Maxwell