Golden Age Project

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No strangers here, only friends who haven’t met!’

We meet on a Tuesday afternoon from 1 – 3 pm for a time of friendship and fun. All are most welcome to come along for a cuppa and a blether.

The Golden Age next meets on Tuesday 16th February in the small hall, when they’ll be having a Valentines Party with Maria’s Minstrels.  All welcome.

New Day

rsz_1rsz_20160304_113839New Day follows the experience of three friends in their search for answers as they are faced with grief, a struggle with identity and unexpected illness.

Performed by an enthusiastic cast of young Christians, this inspirational musical tackles hard questions in such a way that may cause you to consider each day in a new light!

Tickets £10 each and available at http://www.actoffaith.co.uk/tickets or from the theatre box office.

The Mitchell Theatre – Friday 5 & Saturday 6 February

Eastwood Park Theatre – Thursday 18 – Saturday 20 February

East Kilbride Village Theatre – Friday 26 & Saturday 27 February

Motherwell Theatre – Friday 18 & Saturday 19 March

Howard Centre – Broken Chains Co-ordinator

An Opportunity to Serve

You may already have heard of, or taken part in, Broken Chains which meets at the Howard Centre in Kilmarnock every Sunday afternoon between 3.15 and 4.45pm.

At Broken Chains, we aim to assist people of Kilmarnock and surrounding area who are marginalised through homelessness or substance misuse.  We seek to create a safe place for people to meet and attend a short period of worship followed, at 4pm by a two course nutritional hot meal.

Volunteers from different churches and denominations in Ayrshire support Broken Chains through service and preparation of the meal.

Our Co-ordinators have a key role in Broken Chains – as members of our Committee which meets every two months or so to discuss and plan, and also by taking on one Sunday each month as their “own”.  This means coming along at 2pm to set up, pray with the kitchen team before the doors open, and either lead worship themselves or arrange for someone else to lead worship, then at the end of the afternoon ensure everything is cleared away, usually finishing up not long after 5pm.

We are currently looking for the right person to act as Co-ordinator on the second Sunday of each month.  If you are interested in this form of ministry and service, or know someone who might be, then please contact Rev Alison McBrier at the Howard Centre.  You can get in touch with her by phoning 01563 541337, or emailing her at amcbrier@churchofscotland.org.uk.

From Life and Work – Persecution of Christians

PERSECUTION OF CHRISTIANS WORSENING WORLDWIDE

Wednesday January 13

Over 7000 Christians were killed because of their faith last year, the charity Open Doors said today.

Publishing its annual list of the 50 countries with the worst persecution record against Christians, Open Doors warned that persecution levels across the globe were rising. The charity’s CEO, Lisa Pearce, said: “This year, a country had to score 50 per cent more points than in 2013 to even make it onto the list. This is a cause of great concern.”

According to the list, North Korea remains the worst place to be a Christian, followed by Iraq, Eritrea, Afghanistan, Syria, Pakistan and Somalia. The worst increases in persecution in the past year were in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Tajikistan, Azerbaijan and Eritrea.

Open Doors also warn that India (17th on the list) has seen persecution levels rise rapidly following Hindu national electoral successes.

Lisa Pearce added: “The persecution of Christians is getting worse, in every region in which we work – and it’s getting worse fast.  The trend is stark, as are the consequences for real people – we should not expect that to change unless we are part of changing the situation.

“As a key voice within the international community and a generous provider of aid to a number of the countries on the 2016 World Watch List, I urge our government to do everything possible within their spheres of influence to affect what happens next.  We will not get these days back.”

The Open Doors World Watch List is compiled annually by Open Doors World Watch Unit. Its methodology is designed to track how the exercise of the Christian faith gets squeezed in five areas – private life, family life, community life, national life and church life, as well as covering violence such as rapes, killings and church burnings.

Open Doors records show that worldwide there were well over 7,000 Christians killed for faith-related reasons in the reporting period for the 2016 list. That is a rise of almost 3,000 in comparison to conservative figures for the previous year. This is excluding North Korea, Syria and Iraq, where accurate records do not exist. Statistics also show that around 2,300 churches were attacked or damaged, which is over double the number for last year.

The Church of Scotland has frequently expressed concern for persecuted Christians in recent year. The most recent General Assembly passed a motion ‘Continu(ing) to pray for and support minority communities, especially Christians, as they face extremism, and other challenges to personal, family and community wellbeing, on a daily basis; and instruct(ing) the (World Mission) Council to express at every opportunity loving and prayerful solidarity with churches whose members have been martyred.’