Page 1


ADVENT 2013 ISSUE 51 Scottish Charity Number – SC003421

Twinspire #51  November 2013

Sunday 1st December - 1st Sunday in Advent Morning service at 11.00am in Church Tuesday 3rd December – Remembering Service 7.00pm in Church Sunday 8th December - 2nd Sunday in Advent Morning service at 11.00am in Church Sunday 15th December - 3rd Sunday in Advent Morning service at 11.00am in Church Messy Church at 5.00pm in Church Halls Sunday 22nd December - 4th Sunday in Advent ‘Lessons & Carols at 11.00am in Church Tuesday 24th December – Christmas Eve Carol singing from 11.00pm in Church Watchnight Service at 11.30pm in Church Sunday 29th December 2014 Morning service at 11.00am in Church


Twinspire #51  November 2013

A Letter to the Church in Polmont From Jerome, a minister of the gospel, to the servants of God and all the saints of Polmont. Grace and peace to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. I give thanks to God for all of you. In all my prayers for all of you, I always pray with joy because of your partnership in the Gospel from the first day until now, convinced that God is working through you and will continue to do so. I also give thanks to God for the time that He enabled me to share this faith journey with you and for all of the things that the Holy Spirit has taught us along the way. As I think on these things, there are some things that I want to commend you for teaching me, some things I would want you to remember always, and some things that we are promised through the Lord Jesus Christ.

THINGS LEARNED Youth Ministry – I love youth ministry. I will let you into a secret. When I first came to Polmont, I had very little experience in ministering to young people, and I had never done a school assembly in my life. I suspect that some people worked that out really quickly. But I soon got to love it, and I think the main reason was because young people are so responsive. That is until they get to half way through their first year at high school: then the kids you knew, suddenly do not recognise you in the street anymore and look at you blankly if you so much as greet them, and they try to edge away. It is alright, though, it seems that towards the end of High School they begin to see you again, you are permitted to speak to them and it might even be cool to do so. But children have been my greatest teachers. They have taught me that the gospel is for everyone and at any age. We delude ourselves if we think that faith is an adult thing and that kids do not understand it. It is not that young people simply accept everything you say. Scottish children are not like that. Their challenging of what you say can sometimes be quite heartless and crushing; but if you speak in words that they can understand (i.e. don’t talk down on them), if you take their points of view seriously, if you can assure them that they really matter, then they are prepared to listen to you and take on board what they are able to cope with. I have learned so much and I am so happy that so many of my best teachers are here today.

Team work: I am one person and I can only do the work of one person. If anything is going to be accomplished in the kingdom of God, it has to be a team effort and people are going to have to work hard together and play nicely with one another. I was told that the definition of a good leader is someone who surrounds himself or herself with people who are much better than him at doing things. If that is true, then I am one of the best leaders in the world, for I have been surrounded from day one with men and women, and not a few young people, who are competent, capable, talented and hard working. You have taken on the role of team players so well, shared in the ministry to God’s people willingly and done a great job: whether in leading services, readings, prayers, feeding the 5000, fund raising, pastoral care, and in all of the activities and gatherings that the Church manages here in Polmont. I have been utterly blessed in sharing this part of our journey together.


Twinspire #51  November 2013 Life is messy: Things do not always go the way one hopes. Expectations are often not realised and sometimes things just go plain wrong. I arrived here with a great many ideas and expected my experience in Africa to translate easily and to produce immediate and phenomenal success. I have since truly learned the meaning of that part of John Stott’s prayer which says, “This day Lord, I give up my selfish ambitions, I take up my cross and follow you”. I have realised that the Christian life is far from easy and that it is not a sprint - it is a long distance marathon. It requires that resources be used wisely and well, and that people pace themselves. Taking on the ministry to a congregation is a huge task and things are not going to happen in a hurry. Like eating an elephant, if you are going to do it, take small bites at a time, coz you cannot swallow it all in one go. Life is very messy, and we need to always make allowances for the mistakes and failings of others, knowing that we, and me in particular, have many failings and produce too many mistakes. It is good to have high standards and anticipate the best from people, but we are just people - just broken, struggling, trying people, and we need to be gentle with one another.

THINGS PREACHED: Bible: Do you remember the time that I brought out and laid on the Communion Table all of the Bibles that were in my possession? There were quite a lot, and as I am in the process of packing them into boxes, I am reminded again at how many there are, and I am already feeling guilty for the poor removal blokes who will have to carry them. I wonder though, if you remember the reason that I did that? There were two reasons. One was to beg of you not to give me any more Bibles as I had enough. It was advice that you did not heed for since then, I have been given three more Bibles, all of which I have accepted: two because there were good reasons for doing so, and one because it is the smallest Bible I have ever seen in that it fits into a match box. The other reason I did that was because I wanted to point out that it does not matter what kind of Bible you have, or how many, or what size, or what type, what matters is that you know what is in it. The Bible is the Christian’s most treasured possession. It is a light to our feet and a lamp to guide us with. In the Book of Joshua, on starting his new adventure on taking over from Moses and entering into the land God had promised his people, Joshua was reminded by God not to let the Book depart from his consciousness. Also, as Paul wrote to Timothy, this book guides us, tells us when we are doing something wrong, corrects us and trains us to do what is good and right. The breath of God is in these words. There is life here. So read the Bible; 3 chapters a day if you want to read it in one year; do what it says and you will have success and prosperity.

Forgiveness: In the season of remembrance I reminded you of the need for forgiveness. I have preached this many times and it is such a necessary thing that we engage in, again and again if necessary. We do cause hurt to one another, and the right thing to do is to let someone know that you have hurt them and allow them the opportunity to put things right and restore the relationship. That is sometimes a very difficult thing to do, but it is the right thing to do. It is easy to take offence and walk off in a huff, perhaps spit a few words or two as you leave, and then nurse your grudge and disappointment until it has grown into full-fledged resentment, bitterness and unforgiveness. That is easy to do, and it is so immature. Grow up, speak to the person about what has happened – do it at the right time and in the right way, do it prayerfully and trust God our Father to ease the way between you. Remember the words of Jesus: ‘If you remember that someone has something against you, leave your sacrifice there at the altar. Go and be reconciled to that person. Then come and offer your sacrifice to God’. And remember the warning of Jesus: “Come to terms with your enemy and settle your differences quickly. Otherwise, you may be handed you over to the judge, who will hand you over to an officer, and you will be thrown into prison. And if that happens, you surely won’t be free again until you have paid the last penny.”


Twinspire #51  November 2013 We forgive, because we are forgiven, we love because we have been so desperately and wonderfully loved, we transform, because we have been transformed.

The Church and its gifts: Remember the words of Paul: ‘The Holy Spirit has given gifts to the people in the church so that we can use them to help one another. Just as each one of us has one body with many parts, and all of these parts work together, so, in Jesus, we are the different parts of one glorious body, and we must all work together for the good of all.’ We have all got gifts. God has placed us where we are to serve His Church with the gifts he has given us. You are so talented, gifted and experienced. Use your gifts. In doing so, you will encourage one another, build one another up and continue to witness to the love and mercy and grace of Jesus.

THINGS TO COME: New ministry: God has called me. Prepared me, made me ready, gave me good teachers, taken me through innumerable experiences, readied Dollar for the changes He will bring and I am looking forward to what He will do there. It is an exciting time. If He has done that for me and Dollar, then He is doing the same for Polmont and the minister whom God is calling. He is calling that person, preparing that person, making that person ready, giving good teachers to that person and taking that person through experiences. God is also readying Polmont for the changes to come. It is an exciting time.

Never goodbye: thousands of years ago, when I was in my early 20’s, my dear friend Gregg invited me to his 21st birthday. I still remember how he ended his speech that night. He said, “I thank my God for my life. That’s 21 years gone and 21 million, billion trillion years still to go!” Gregg understood the truth, the glorious truth and the certain hope, that, through Christ, we shall live forever. Jesus has overcome the power of Death and offers this gift of eternal life to anyone who would trust in Him. To those who have trusted in Christ, they will live forever. So it can never be goodbye, it is only, ‘until we meet again’.

The Church is God’s and He will build it: Early in the church’s life, the religious leaders in Jerusalem wanted to destroy these Christians, lock them up, threaten them, kill a few as an example to others and persecute the church to its end. A wise man by the name of Gamaliel called the leaders together and said, “This has happened before. Some bloke came along and led a few people astray, made a noise and then disappeared to nothing. Just leave these Christians alone. If you leave them alone and they are following their own ends, they will soon come to nothing. But if they are following God, as they say, then you will find yourself fighting against God, and that is a battle you can never win.” 2000 years later, the church of Jesus is still here. It is currently growing faster than ever before; it is currently gaining more followers than ever before and it has proved right the wisdom of wise Gamaliel: the Church is a thing of God. So, look forward to what God is about to do amongst you as He builds His church. Continue to meet together, serve one another, love and forgive one another as followers of Jesus Christ. Keep the Book ever before you. Work together, remembering that life is messy, and the messiest of all, the most vulnerable amongst us, are to be your loving focus. So, when we meet again, as meet we will, I will share in your joy, laughter and stories of what a great God we serve and what He has done in and through you. And now, may the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit, be with you all, and those whom you love, and those whom you have loved, now and forevermore. Amen


Twinspire #51  November 2013



BAPTISMS 3 November 2013 Brogan BUCKHAM Roan John BUCKHAM Eve Georgina BALLOCH

Sunday 15th December Sunday 19 January


5.00pm – 7.00pm in the Church Halls

19 October 2013 Margaret SINCLAIR

*** Fun for all the family ***

1 November 2013 Rita SNEDDON 11 November 2013 Ian JEFFREY 12 November 2013 John LAING

Mondays from 1.30pm – 3.00pm In the Church Hall

Best Wishes for Christmas and 2014

For further information, please speak to Lynda  873528

PLEASE NOTE No Baby group on 23rd & 30th December

From the Ladies of Share-a-Craft God may have created man before woman, but there is always a rough draft before the masterpiece


Polmont Old Parish Church is online @

Twinspire #51  November 2013

DEADLINE FOR NEXT EDITION OF TWINSPIRE The next edition is due for publication on

Sunday 26th January 2014 Deadline for the submission of articles is

Sunday 12th January 2014 @@@@@@@ Send articles by email to: or give to Doreen Baxter or Margaret Connor for typing

‘Let Love Be Found Among Us’ In my September magazine article I said that I hoped the above mentioned hymn – (tune the more familiar “Stand Up, Stand Up for Jesus”) – would be sung sometime at one of our services. I was more than delighted to see the hymn included at the October Communion Service. The congregation certainly did it justice, as they sang the words with great gusto.

‘Thank you’ Jerome (or was it Alison?) who included the hymn for that Sunday – which is about God’s love for us – a more than appropriate conclusion to a communion service we could not have had. Keith C Macdonald

"A New Year's resolution is something that goes in one Year and out the other."

I wish to thank everyone most sincerely for all the kind thoughts, visits, prayers and cards which we received during Ian’s recent illness and his unexpected death. The family also appreciated your support at the service in church to celebrate Ian’s life. Thank you so much. Helen Jeffrey


Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to you all ~~~~~~~~ Tuesday 28th January 2014 The speaker is Brian Dickson and his subject will be “Work of the National Trust & Bannockburn” We meet in the (small) Church Hall, at 7.30pm We look forward to seeing you. Margaret & Grace


Twinspire #51  November 2013

This book was published in memory of Dr James Young who died in June 2012. My thanks to the many who supported and encouraged me. The book has raised £1200. The Food Bank will receive £600 and Strathcarron Hospice also get £600. Thank you Lorna Young (Mrs)

FELLOWSHIP NEWS The Fellowship has made a good start to this session with no less than 48 members on the roll. Our meetings are always lively and informative – with space for fellowship and fun. At the time of writing we are looking forward to seeing films from the Scottish Screen Archive and, of course, our Christmas meal at the Leapark Hotel, Grangemouth, on the 9th December. We will be taking part in the White Christmas Fayre on Saturday, 7th December, when we will be running the Home Baking stall. So the ‘Polmont Great Scottish Bakeoff’ will be happening in homes during the first week in December. If you would like to join in, we will be delighted to receive any donations for our stall. Karen Cannon Fellowship President


ON SALE At the ACTs Counter In the Fellowship Room All proceeds to Mission Projects in Bangladesh & Zimbabwe


Twinspire #51  November 2013

CATERING On Sundays 10th November and 17th November we enjoyed extra special catering after each church service. ACTs used the services of the Claremont Inn to provide a tasty and filling range of sandwiches and piping hot lentil soup on the 10th.. Again on the 17th we enjoyed their good services. We would like to thank Gregor and staff at the Claremont Inn for their kindness and helpful guidance, also for their support in delivering everything to our premises on both occasions.

We are looking for some more people to join the team that operates the audio/visual system on Sunday mornings. ~~~~~~~~~

No experience necessary ~~~~~~~~~

Full training will be given. ~~~~~~~~~

If you are interested, speak to Jamie Lockhart.

Grateful thanks Gregor Margaret Connor We at Polmont Old Parish Church held a coffee morning in our m Church Hall on Saturday 28th September 2013. We had the usual faithful people giving support in setting up before the event. We had a fantastic time preparing and serving and even washing up the after effects. We were well supported with representation from various churches and many local people from the village. Before the event the Crafters group donated a welcome £33. Total collected by the end of the day £939.37. The home baking donated was plentiful and delicious. Many many treats. We had just enough left to have a mini coffee cupcake time with the Baby and Toddler group which added another £30 to the total. Our final total gathered was £1044.90. Grateful thanks to all who donated their time, baking gifts, dishwashing skills and any help given to raise funds for this worthy cause. Thank you Margaret Connor


BLYTHSWOOD SHOE BOX APPEAL I would like to thank everyone who donated filled shoe boxes for the Blythswood Care Shoe Box Appeal. We ended up with over 80 boxes and many money donations. As this was my first year as co-ordinator, it was a learning curve for me. Another time I will order many more leaflets, buy stronger bags for packing boxes, but overall it was very successful. A ‘Big thanks’ to everyone for being so generous to the cause. Betty Glen

Twinspire #51 ď – November 2013

** Available at the ACTs Counter **


Twinspire #51  November 2013

Rev Jerome O’Brien will be admitted to Dollar linked with Glendevon linked with Muckhart on 5th December 2013 (a linked ministry means that each church has its own Kirk Session.) All members are invited to his admission service at 7pm followed by tea/coffee thereafter, where we can meet with members of the parish of Dollar.

We will be producing an updated Electoral Register, which must bear the names of all our members and adherents, who wish to vote when we reach our Sole Nominee date. Our Manse property will be checked for any repairs/decoration required and Falkirk Presbytery will check with 121 George Street that all our Ministry and Mission dues are upto-date.


In the meantime, Falkirk Presbytery has appointed an Interim Moderator for Polmont Old. Monica Macdonald lived in Cape Town, South Africa until 2004, when she migrated to Hamilton Presbytery as a result of her husband’s call to become a Church of Scotland minister. In 2009, George and Monica moved to Bonnybridge, St Helen’s. Monica has trained as a Reader. She has also trained as an elder, who can act as an Interim Moderator and has served as a Locum at Falkirk St James’ for over 2 years. Monica is also the Chaplain for 7th Falkirk BB’s. She is, at present, undertaking training to become an Ordained Local Minister and should qualify in 2014. The Kirk Session will meet with Monica on 10th December 2014 and our Congregational Board on 16th December.


We are required to produce a Church Profile of all our activities and organisations; ie show us at our best, so that we can attract applications for the job in electronic form. The Kirk Session/Board will meet with our Presbytery’s Vacancy Procedures Committee prior to producing a Profile in order to discuss the type of Ministry which is best for Polmont Old in the years ahead. NOMINATING COMMITTEE

Finally, we will form a Nominating Committee (Vacancy) with as broad a set of skills and Church experience as possible (maximum number 13) for Polmont Old. Each member must have a proposer and seconder or a letter of confirmation provided to the Session Clerk. This meeting will be held after a Sunday service (date unknown at present.)


Falkirk Presbytery has made excellent progress in appointing an Interim Moderator, who will chair Kirk Session meetings as well as our Nominating Committee (Vacancy) meetings. Jerome has arranged for pulpit supply for the remaining Sundays in November. Monica has arranged supply for December (several different Ministers) including a Watchnight service on 24th December beginning at 11pm for carol singing, with the service proper beginning at 11.30pm. We are in the process of securing a Locum who begins on 12th January 2014, but we are not in a position to name that person at the time of printing.


In the meantime, please attend church as often as you can. Regular announcements will be made about our progress with the vacancy. It is also the best manner in which you can show your support for our church when we have a Locum and visiting Ministers. Who knows, we may have some surprise visitors checking us out!! In the meantime, the Kirk Session and Board will continue with their work as usual. We intend to operate as if we did not have a Minister. There will be a further update in our next Magazine, but a lot of what you will read will have already happened between November and February 2014.

As members of Polmont Old, we can plan ahead in preparation for proceeding with the vacancy.

Ian W McLean, Session Clerk 10

Twinspire #51  November 2013 Our Church – We have elder-led readings and prayers; we have a Guild-led service once a year; we have an annual Remembering Service for those families who have been bereaved; we have Youth Church (to replace Sunday School); we have Messy Church which offers a more family orientated and informal style of worship; The GRID offers a meeting place for teenagers to watch and discuss movies; we have ACTs offering tea and coffee after morning service in the Fellowship Room, where we also have a Church library; we have modernised the internal layout of the church to allow for a more versatile use of the space, and to offer more comfortable seating! we now have a Congregational Board (consisting of elders and members of the congregation) to look after the more day-to-day aspects of the church – its fabric and general upkeep, its finances and fundraising; we have a Church Admin. Officer and a Hall Keeper to keep the “business” running smoothly.

I have a habit of using the Latin term “Tempus fugit”, meaning “time flies”, which is does in my world!! But this time I am going to use a less well-known Latin phrase - “Tempora mutantur”, which means “times change” – because at this point in the story of Polmont Old, the phrase is very apt. However before I go any further, I would like to add another part to this quote – “nos et mutamur in illis” - which means “and we change with them.” About 10 years ago, our previous minister – Bill McKaig - left for pastures new, and after a vacancy of two years and a couple of locum ministers – Peter Davidge and David Christie we welcomed Jerome as a locum, and shortly after as our minister. Jerome had to make changes – eg. he had to undergo further training to be ‘certified’ as a Church of Scotland minister; he had to familiarise himself with the traditions of the Church nationally and locally; he had to get to know the members of the congregation and the wider community of Polmont; he had the challenge of thinking of how Polmont Old could change into being more community focused, in order to ensure that there would be a church in Polmont in the years to come.

Our Community – we have a Website and Magazine which is accessible to the wider community of Polmont and beyond; Jerome was instrumental in starting the online Polmont Community Newsletter; we have a story-club at St Margaret’s Primary School; Jerome was chaplain at this school as well as at Graeme High; we have a summer holiday club each year during the school holidays; we have regular and very successful fundraising events which are well supported by the local people (eg. a Flower Festival, a Taste of Europe; the Victorian Weekend, Abertillery Male Voice Choir – to name just a few); the Lunch Bunch continues to provide a great menu each week.

We, as a congregation, had to make changes too – we had to get to know a new minister from “foreign” parts! We had to change our attitudes and be open to consider new ways of worship, if we wanted the church in Polmont to be around for many years to come. Has Polmont Old changed during Jerome’s leadership here? I think the answer is undoubtedly “YES”, whether you agree with all the changes or not. 11

Twinspire #51  November 2013


The Wider World – we have entered into a Twinning agreement with Highlands Church in Harare; we support Missions in Bangladesh and Zimbabwe; The Fellowship support a number of mission projects at home and overseas; the Lunch Bunch send donations to support the education of two children in Africa; we support the Blythswood Care Shoebox Appeal.

A group of alumni, highly established in their careers, got together to visit their old university professor. Conversation soon turned into complaints about stress in work and life. Offering his guests coffee, the professor went to the kitchen and returned with a large pot of coffee and an assortment of cups porcelain, plastic, glass, crystal, some plain looking, some expensive, some exquisite telling them to help themselves to the coffee.

And so I could go on ….. Now Jerome will be the first to admit that he is not solely responsible for making or suggesting all of these changes, but many of them have been carried out with his guidance, support and encouragement. As he said on his last Sunday with us, “I am one person and I can only do the work of one person. If anything is going to be accomplished in the kingdom of God, it has to be a team effort ……..”

When all the students had a cup of coffee in hand, the professor said: "If you noticed, all the nice looking expensive cups were taken up, leaving behind the plain and cheap ones. While it is normal for you to want only the best for yourselves, that is the source of your problems and stress. Be assured that the cup itself adds no quality to the coffee. In most cases it is just more expensive and in some cases even hides what we drink. What all of you really wanted was coffee, not the cup, but you consciously went for the best cups... And then you began eyeing each other's cups.

Now, as Jerome moves onto pastures new, with new challenges and changes ahead, we as members of the Polmont congregation will have to think about what changes we may have to make in the near future as we seek a new minister. To amend what I said at the beginning: “Times change and we need to change with them”

Now consider this: Life is the coffee; the jobs, money and position in society are the cups. They are just tools to hold and contain Life, and the type of cup we have does not define, nor change the quality of Life we live.


Sometimes, by concentrating only on the cup, we fail to enjoy the coffee God has provided us."

God brews the coffee, not the cups.......... Enjoy your coffee! 12

Twinspire #51  November 2013

Brass Band Concert On Friday November 8 we welcomed Edinburgh Gorgie Salvation Army Brass Band to Polmont Old Parish Church. The band numbered 25 in total, led by their conductor Keith Johnston. In Keith's introduction, he explained that he was a "local boy", having grown up in the Bog Road area of Falkirk and attended Victoria Primary School and then Graeme High School. His humorous introduction was warmly received by the audience and set the tone for the evening. The concert programme was extremely varied, and featured solo items on the flugel horn, piano, and also a vocal piece. The audience also participated in the programme with the singing of two hymns. The vote of thanks was given by Mel Hawkins, a member of the church choir, who was instrumental in bringing the band to Polmont; he just happens to be the father-in-law of Keith! The audience thoroughly enjoyed the concert, as evidenced by their comments as they left, and the Dry Rot Fund benefitted to the sum of £855.

A WHITE CHRISTMAS WEEKEND December 6th/7th/8th

This is the weekend of our ‘White Christmas’ and plans are now well underway for this event. Three events are planned, taking place in the Church and the Church Hall. Friday 6th December At 7.30pm in the Church A Christmas Carol Before the invention of radio and television, entertainment was often provided in public venues by artistes of different talents. In Victorian times, this often took place in the form of recitals by poets and authors of their most recent works. Continuing in that tradition, a recital of “A Christmas Carol”, written by Charles Dickens, will be performed by the Reverend Jerome O’Brien. Jerome performed a similar event in 2009 at the Victorian Christmas and was a revelation. He brought the story to life and you felt that you were really back in Victorian time. Admission to this event only is £1, payable at the door, unless you have a ticket for the weekend's events. Saturday 7th December From 10am to 12.30pm in the Church Hall A White Christmas Fayre The Fayre will begin at 10am with a musical contribution from the Boys’ Brigade Anchor Boys section, who will then declare the Fayre officially open. With all participants dressed in red and white and the hall decorated in a Christmas theme, this promises to be a very colourful event. A café will be in operation, selling tea, coffee, mincemeat pies and shortbread, 13

Twinspire #51  November 2013 while mulled wine will continue the Christmas theme For those with a sweet tooth, home baking and sweets and jams will also be available. If you are looking for the perfect Christmas gift, the stalls selling crafts, cards, gifts and candles may be your first port of call. There will also be various games and competitions such as guess the weight of the cake, the dog's birthday, and the number of stitches. Admission to the White Christmas Fayre only will be £1, payable at the door, unless you have a ticket for the weekend's events, and children are free to all events. A list of stalls and conveners is shown below and if you feel that you can help or donate to any of the stalls, please approach the appropriate convener or any member of the fundraising committee. Donations to stalls may be made on Friday 6th December from 10am to 12 noon. Donations of home baking can also be made from 9am to 10am on Saturday 7th December. Stall Café Cards Crafts Games Gifts & Candles Home Baking Mulled wine Sweets & Jams

Convener Janet Anderson Sandra Reid Grace Hodge, Margaret Slater Girls’ Brigade Sheena Berry, Isobel Wilson The Fellowship Derrick Turner Mary Lockhart Sunday 8th December At 3pm in the Church ‘Sound of Christmas’ Concert

The final event of the weekend is the ‘Sound of Christmas’ concert. This event brings forward a wide range of choristers and musicians, gathered together by our organist and choir conductor, Alison Hastie. Taking part will be Polmont Old Parish Church choir and Girls Brigade, St. Margaret’s Primary School choir, young musicians from both Graeme High School and Braes High School. There will also be contributions from talented performers both within the Church and parish, as well as performers from further afield, brought together for this special occasion. Admission to the concert only will be £5, unless you have a ticket for the weekend's events.

You will have noticed that reference has been made to the ‘Weekend Ticket’. A weekend ticket will give you admission to all three events and costs £6. For tickets or information regarding these events, please contact any member of the fundraising committee, listed below. Janet Anderson, Ann Fernie, Betty Glen, Grace Hodge, Mary Lockhart, Sandra Reid, Margaret Slater, Evelyn Syson, Alex Watson. Tickets are also available from members of the Church choir. We hope that you will be able to support some, or all, of the above events. Profits from these events will be allocated to the Dry Rot Fund, and hopefully we will raise enough to finally pay off the cost of the dry rot repairs. Alex Watson Fundraising Convener 14

Twinspire #51  November 2013 21 September Report of the week, by Xsara: This week at Girls’ Brigade we were continuing with the rainbow theme. This week was orange, some people brought in orange toys for show and tell. The Brigadiers were continuing with the sock puppets, and started to actually make them, the juniors and explorers made orange smoothies for the orange theme. After all this some parents came in for an information evening while the girls played hockey. We finished off with the Girls’ Brigade prayer. Everyone who can come, remember to be at the church at 10:45 for our opening service.


2 Polmont Girls’ Brigade We have been far more diligent in updating our facebook page this session. The Brigaders have helped with weekly reports some weeks, and we have put up some great photos of the girls enjoying themselves and learning new stuff. I am also intrigued at the facebook feedback and love watching the 'growth' of the interest in our posts as the girls, their families and friends see what we are up to. As only a few pictures can be included here, please look for the 2nd Polmont Girls’ Brigade facebook page, if you are interested in seeing the pictorial record of our activities.

25 September Report of the week, by Charli: Yellow theme tonight! Lots of yellow things appeared, from cuddly toys to a golf club. First we played a game resulting in points being awarded to the winning squad. We then split into our groups, Brigaders, juniors and explorers to continue their various activities. Brigaders continued with their puppets, making a huge mess along the way while the juniors baked some lovely cup cakes and the explorers did some sponge painting.

I thought I'd include the Brigaders’ reports which really give an idea of what we've been up to each week, as we've looked at the colours of the rainbow and explored God's promises to us, talked about what it means to be a Christian, played games, made puppets and iced fairy cakes... as well as heaps of other stuff!

8 October Last week our theme colour was green and we focused on the things God has made and explored our own creativity... the Explorers painted Chinese lanterns and the Juniors played Rapidough as well as icing some green cakes with flowers and butterflies. Meanwhile, the Brigaders had a visit from Central Division's Fiona McPhait who briefed them all on the Duke of Edinburgh Programme!

9 September: Report of the Week by Emma: On Wednesday, we started off the evening with our welcome. We split up into 2 teams and had a game of hockey - the yellow team won. After that, we split up into our 3 age groups. The Brigaders were looking on the internet at different puppet shows to see what ideas they could use for the carol service later on in December. The juniors and explorers were doing other activities in the big hall, they were also making Hama beads. We all joined together at the end for our Girl Brigade prayer. 16 September Report of the week, by Tiegan: Last week at Girls' Brigade, the explorers and juniors continued with our colour theme by bringing in things that are red for a show and tell. Then everyone decorated biscuits using icing sugar and fondant. The Brigaders spent time planning their puppet show for the Christmas service.


Twinspire #51  November 2013 15 October Report of the week by Beth: This week at Girls’ Brigade the theme was blue. This reminds us of heaven. The Juniors and Explorers iced fairy cakes and used bird cutters to put a bird on top. They also played games. The Brigaders made more progress to the puppets. They look good so far!

13 November Jerome's last night as Chaplain to 2nd Polmont will have to be a party... and we've got lots to practise for The Sound of Christmas Concert and the Carol Service. Thank you again to Lorna Farquhar for accompanying us and teaching us the song! 20 November, 27 November and 4 December will be GB as usual - and a chance to polish our Christmas pieces and finish off other craft work before 11 December CHRISTMAS PARTY!

23 October At our Thanksgiving Cowgirl and Indian Party tonight we had a popcorn race, a barn dance, made sparkly headbands AND a totem pole

On 18 December will be the annual Carol Service with 2nd Polmont BB. We'd like to invite the congregation to join Polmont Brigades and their families for the Carol Service and seasonal refreshment. As well as the weekly events, we have joined in the Macmillan Coffee Morning, Remembrance Day Service and the Brigades’ Opening Service. This was a special event as Beth Young, the Divisional Commandant commissioned Lorna O'Connor and Lucy O'Brien as officers. (which I am rather proud of!) We'll have another week for donations to the food bank, so please bring along a store cupboard item if you didn't bring one this week.... 30 October Last night was GB as usual - with the colour theme of INDIGO. There was a good response for the appeal for the Falkirk Food Bank - THANK YOU ALL VERY MUCH! We had lots of fun worshiping, playing hockey, making biscuit hats and puppets... Next week the theme colour is VIOLET! 6 November Tonight we looked at the last colour in the rainbow - VIOLET - and thought about peace by playing a peace (or piece?) relay. We thought about what going to Church means to a Christian and made banners with fabric paint and felt. The Brigaders’ puppet show is coming together and we have started learning our Christmas Alphabet song for the concerts.

Although Jerome and I will be leaving Polmont, I will continue to work in Falkirk and remain as Captain of 2nd Polmont GB for the time being. If anyone wishes to get in touch with me regarding Girls’ Brigade please use our 2nd Polmont mobile phone number 07443567274 or via the company email


Twinspire #51  November 2013

COMPANY SECTION The Company Section has had a great start to the year. We recently held a Quiz Night in the Greenpark Centre which was a great success with everyone present thoroughly enjoying themselves. We raised a very impressive £394 which we were very pleased with, as this was the first time the company had held a Quiz Night, and we are hopeful that this will become a regular event, and are already looking forward to the next one.

Anchor Boys The Anchor Boys have had a busy time since we started back. Our theme this year is “Our Community”. We had a guided walk through Polmont Woods, and thanks to Polmont Conservation Group for taking time to show us lots of interesting things. We also visited our church and Rev O’Brien organised a quiz for us. Many thanks to Mrs Connor for providing refreshments for us.

Earlier in the session the boys from the Company Section went on an outing to the Pro Bowl Centre in Camelon and we all had a fantastic night of bowling. We met together at Polmont Station, and took the train to and from the Centre. We hope to have a few more social events like this in the near future.

We are going to the Pantomime in Grangemouth - “Oh yes we are” - on Saturday 23rd November. All 50 of us are looking forward to that. We have also been filling shoe boxes for the Shoe Box Appeal and are currently collecting tins for the Falkirk Food Bank. Many thanks to everyone who attended our recent Quiz Night. We had a fantastic night whilst raising almost £400. Thank you.

Throughout the session four boys had the opportunity to attend a Manchester City football game at City’s home ground. The boys travelled to Manchester together with an Edinburgh Company and were reported to have been extremely well behaved and were a credit to 2nd Polmont – well done boys!

Forthcoming events for Anchor Boys 5th December - Carol Singing at Ivy Bank Home

To finish, there are a few things to look forward to later in the session, there will be a few more competitions, and the Company will be holding a Burns’ Night in January, to which all family and friends will be invited, and we hope that this will turn out to be as successful as our Quiz Night. I will keep you informed of more events planned for the future in the next newsletter. Craig Fraser

7th December - Singing at the opening of White Christmas Fayre 12th December - Christmas Party Time 18th December - Joint BB/GB Carol Service at Church at 6pm 9th January - Start back Carolyn Plenderleith

Two boys were walking home from Sunday School after hearing a strong message about the devil. One said to the other: “What do you think of all this Satan stuff?” The other boy replied: “Well. You know how Santa Claus turned out. It’s probably just your Dad!”


Twinspire #51  November 2013 We are sorry to be saying farewell to chorister Tracey O’Brien, as the family leave for new pastures at Dollar, and we wish them good fortune on their move. Tracey shall still be involved with the Girls’ Brigade at least until December, though – watch out for their puppet show th on the 8 !

Alison writes: The Choir continues to prepare and perform a variety of anthems for Sunday worship, including recently a setting of Psalm 23, “The Lord’s my Shepherd” – in the traditional “Crimond” melody. We have previously sung Stuart Townend’s version many times, and Howard Goodall’s setting, (the theme music for The Vicar of Dibley) - but it was good to go back to the traditional setting, with the additional treat of cornet descant, provided by Mel Hawkins.

We have been pleased to make use of the kind bequest by ______? for furthering music in the church, with the purchase of a new keyboard, which will offer good back-up in case the pipe organ should falter again; buying music stands, which will come into use at the Christmas concert; and we intend to purchase a set of hymn books, the latest Complete Mission Praise, to replace the rather dog-eared booklets used by the choir at present, and to be available for funerals and other occasions when the Audio-screens may not be available. Also, the search is on for a drum kit for the Praise Band.

The Remembrance Sunday Service is always a big day for the choir – this year, we performed the very effective anthem ‘We will remember them’, by Scottish composer, John Madden, with solo sung by Evelyn Syson. At the Offering, a duet was sung by Helen Jeffrey and her granddaughter Emerald, the ‘Pie Jesu’ from Andrew Lloyd-Webber’s ‘Requiem’.

Other performances coming up are a concert for The Falkirk Blind Club, th on Tuesday 10 December, when we shall be joined by our friends from Linlithgow, flautist David Lunt and pianist Kenneth Robb; the th Maddiston Community Carol Service, 20 December; and the Lessons and Carols in the nd church on Sunday 22 December. We are also planning to sing ‘Gesu Bambino’ by Pietro Yon at the Watchnight Service.

Preparations are well under way for our Christmas music. We have been learning the first movement of Vivaldi’s Gloria in D, as our main piece for our th “Sound of Christmas” concert on 8 December. Some members of the choir attended the Come and Sing event, run by NYCOS (National Youth Choir of Scotland, conductor: Christopher Bell) which featured the full Vivaldi piece, as well as Mozart’s “Ave Verum Corpus”, and Handel’s “Zadok the Priest”. This event was a revelation to some, singing in large groups of massed altos/ tenors/basses. It makes part-singing so much easier when you are in a large section – safety in numbers!

Come and join us – all welcome!

We have been delighted to welcome new members to the choir for our up-coming concert – two young students from The Braes High School, Alison Goodbrand and Susan Hutchison, plus Chyrel McAnish and Helen Jeffrey. The orchestra shall be meeting for first rehearsal next week, with players coming from far and near - great excitement building up.

Christmas Gift Suggestions Author: Oren Arnold To your enemy, forgiveness. To your opponent, tolerance. To your friend, your heart. To a customer, service. To all, charity. To every child, a good example, To yourself, respect

As well as the St Margaret’s Primary School choir, and young soloists, we shall be entertained by young players from Graeme High School guitar ensemble, and string group; and soloists from The Braes High School. Be sure to get your ticket for th Sunday the 8 December – a feast of sound is being laid on for you!


Twinspire #51  November 2013 Heating and Lighting – this covers the energy bills for the church, the hall and the manse. We want our buildings to be warm and welcoming places for people to visit, and we need to make sure that they are kept warm enough in winter to minimise the risk of burst pipes and other frost damage. As you will be aware from your own energy bills, the cost seems to keep going up and up. We need to be as careful as we would be in our own homes about things like making sure lights and appliances are turned off when we leave the hall, or reporting any problems with the heating to the appropriate people (Susan Higgins for the hall, or Fabric Committee members for the church).

When talking to church members about good stewardship and giving to the church, sometimes they want to know more about what the church spends its money on. It’s a good question, so in this article we’re going to give some answers, based on the most recent full year’s accounts, which are for the calendar year 2012. In 2012, our total expenditure was £115,000. The majority of this (almost 80% in fact) fell under three main headings: -

The amounts of money listed above are large, but when you consider the number of people who benefit from the work of the church, or the number of members who contribute towards it, the cost per person is perhaps a more manageable figure. For example, dividing the total expenditure by the number of members gives a figure of around £1 per day, £7 per week or £30 per month.

Ministries and Mission allocation (£57,000) Fabric Repairs and Maintenance (£22,000) Heating and Lighting (£11,000)

While the amounts obviously change from year to year, these three categories will normally be the most significant.

Obviously some members are not in a position to give financially at the moment, while some give less and some give more. We thank everyone who contributes to the work of the church, in cash or in kind, or by giving time and skills.

Ministries and Mission allocation – this is the annual contribution we make to the Church of Scotland centrally. You can think of it as paying for our minister, plus making a contribution towards paying the ministers in less well-off churches, and a contribution towards Christian mission both at home and overseas.

If you have not reviewed your giving for a while, please take a few minutes to do so now. Gift Aid forms and standing order information are available via any member of the Finance Committee.

Fabric Repairs and Maintenance – “Fabric” doesn’t mean the curtains, it means our church buildings in general: our church, our hall and our manse. During 2012 we had some major expenditure on dry rot in the church, and so the amount spent was higher than we normally expect. As we have an old church, the cost of repairs and maintenance is a constant concern, and we always have a list of jobs to be done when resources permit. We are fortunate enough to have some funds in reserve and these normally allow us to carry out urgent and essential work when required. However, discretionary expenditure (the improvements we choose to make) is generally paid for by the results of fundraising activity.

David Park (Treasurer) Lorna Farquhar (Gift Aid co-ordinator) Nancy Rule Lynda McKechnie Justyna Korszen-Bennett

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ "As long as we have memories, Yesterday remains; As long as we have hope, Tomorrow waits; As long as we have friendship, Today is beautiful".

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ 19

Twinspire #51  November 2013 The Grid remains a popular activity among the young folk of the parish with about twenty five turning up for each Grid. Donations of juice, crisps and sweets are often provided and shared around. The boisterous games are still great fun and discussions are, um... interesting... to say the least!

For the O'Briens’ last Grid on 10 November, we decided to have another parent and teen Grid and followed our usual format with a vigorous game of parents versus kids at dodgeball, snacks... The movie was Mr Deeds, which is the story of a media magnate who dies suddenly without a will and a search is carried out for his heir, who turns out to be Longfellow Deeds a pizza shop owner who writes corny greetings card poems and is much loved in his small town community. Deeds gets taken to New York as the heir presumptive, where he gets conned by a journalist who pretends to be someone she's not, to find out more about him... they fall in love and she tries unsuccessfully to change how the media are portraying him... and an unscrupulous employee tries to hoodwink Deeds and the other shareholders. This led to a discussion about the media, sincerity, money, and what is really important in life.

We've had four Grids since the last Twinspire, and have watched: 

The Time Machine (2002 version with Guy Pierce) on the 22 September. It is a dramatization of the Orson Welles story which introduced the idea of 'time travel'. In a nutshell, (with thanks to Beth!) it showed how, no matter how hard you try, you cannot change the past BUT you can change the future BY MODIFYING YOUR BEHAVIOUR AND CHOICES NOW. With this idea in mind, we discussed how we can change our futures.

Spirited Away (an animation by Hayao Miyazaki) on 13 October. Miyazaki's style of animation is quite different to the usual fare put together by Disney and Pixar etc and the Gridders found it very different to what they are used to! Many stories are woven together in a creative and imaginative way.

Rat Race - on 27 October - this very funny movie is a scheme which is set up to inveigle a bunch of folk to carry out a crazy mission to collect some cash from a station locker on the other side of America. The scheme is run by a casino owner who runs bets on who will succeed... the participants are from widely differing backgrounds and have a broad range of ethics... but somehow end up donating the cash to a charity and becoming 'heroes'. Our discussion focused on how giving is better than receiving, and that we should be very careful about what we commit our time and energy to, and are best advised to find things of eternal significance.

Thank you very much to Jaq, Gordon, Doug and Lorna for keeping the Grid together, and we wish the Grid may continue to provide a fun (and thought provoking!) place for our young people to meet with their friends. Thanks to the Grid parents who have offered their help to ensure the Grid can continue to run smoothly (and if anyone else is interested, please contact Jaq or Doug!) Jerome & Tracey

A CHILD’S PRAYER (~ author unknown ~)

The stars that shine at Christmas Shine on throughout the year; Jesus born so long ago Still gathers with us here; We listen to his stories, We learn to say His prayers, We follow in His footsteps And learn to love and share.

‘It takes a great deal of bravery to stand up to your enemies, but a great deal more to stand up to your friends.’ Dumbledore (‘ Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone’)


Twinspire #51  November 2013 Four little churchmen argued heatedly Over ceremonial, then there were three;

TEN LITTLE CHURCHMEN We enter a new faith journey at Polmont Old wondering what the future holds for us as a congregation. But God has a plan for each one of us including our church.

Three little churchmen sang the service through, Got a hymn they didn’t know, then here were two;

As new changes take place (and they surely will) I would encourage you to remain faithful in your Sunday Worship as well as in your daily devotions. We have a faithful God who is the same YESTERDAY, TODAY and FOREVER.

Two little churchmen disputed who should run The next church concert, and then there was one;

I was tidying up some paperwork and came across this poem which is listed below. The poem has been printed in a previous magazine (actually in edition 15 (Ed.), but I thought it was worth including it in our next edition. The poem is very much of a bygone age, but its content is very relevant today – change the ‘flicks’ to cinema world, rambling club to shopping mall etc – you get the idea. I urge you to continue worshipping at Polmont Old and not let “distractions” or other “Gods” entice you away. What letters are missing in this word?


One faithful churchman knowing what to do Got a friend to come to church, then there were two;

Two sincere churchmen each brought in one more, So their number doubled, then there were four;

Four sturdy churchmen simply couldn’t wait Till they found four others, then there were eight;

Eight eager churchmen searching round for souls Working, praying, witnessing, drew others in by shoals;

Shoals and shoals at every service, cramming every pew, O God, supply this grace and zeal in my own parish too!

YOU ARE!!! ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Ten little churchmen went to church when fine, But soon it started raining, then there were nine;

Keith Macdonald

Nine little churchmen stayed up very late, One overslept himself, then there were eight; Eight little churchmen on the road to Heaven, One joined a rambling club, then there were seven; Seven little churchmen heard of Sunday “flicks”, One thought he’d like to go, and then there were six; Six little churchmen kept the place alive, One bought a television set; and then there were five; Five little churchmen seemed loyal to the core, The vicar upset one of them, and then there were four;


Twinspire #51  November 2013

More Girls’ Brigade Activities

Jereome’s last service Jereome’s last Sunday morning service was on 17 th November and our Session Clerk, Ian McLean, presented him with a framed copy of a photo of Jerome dressed in Victorian costume from the very successful fundraising event ‘A Victorian Christmas’ in 2011. Jerome also received a cheque from the members of the congregation. Other presentations were made on behalf of the Anchor Boys and the Junior Section of the Boys’ Brigade. Nancy Rule presented Tracey with a beautiful basket of flowers.


Twinspire #51  November 2013

1. Psalm 119 v. 105: ‘Your word is a lamp for my feet, a light on my path.’ Read the Bible – it is God’s light for our paths... We will get guidance, inspiration, encouragement, understanding and more. I pray that we all may learn what it says, so we can increase our knowledge and direct our efforts in line with God’s Will. I pray too that we are never caught out when temptation crosses our paths!

So long, and thanks.... When I was a drama student at university Douglas Adams’ Hitchhiker’s Guide Trilogy were very popular for end of year assessment prose pieces. I think, at some point or other, my whole class tried our hand (or voice!) on Arthur and Mr Prosser lying in the mud, or Marvin despondently discussing his anodes, or Zaphod and Ford dealing with the selfdestructive cow in the Restaurant at the end of the Galaxy. Finding the right pieces was always tricky – you spent at least a term living with them and practising performing them – and when you had to link them all on a theme - analysing the choices could make you paralytic.

2. 1 Thessalonians 5 v. 16-18: ‘Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.’ Pray every day – several times, in any and all the ways that work for you – write it down, whisper it, shout it, sing it, gasp it... pray by yourself, pray with others, pray for others – but whatever you do, PRAY! (And rejoice and be thankful – it always helps to see the good and be reminded of God’s love and faithfulness, even when your road is long and hard, dark and uphill, lonely and filled with stress!)

Finding a topic for this Bird’s Eye View has been a similar challenge. It seems many of the things I would really like to say, I’ve said already. (It also appears that I am easily distracted at the moment - with planning for change at home and work... clearing out and packing away at home... and doing my best to be gracious and overlook nothing... with varying degrees of success!)

3. Psalm 33 v. 1-3: ‘Praise the Lord with the harp; make music to him on the tenstringed lyre.’ (I just had to choose this one from all the verses about praise and worship in the Bible!) Worship and praise God – love Him with all your heart, soul, mind and strength. See His hand in the world around you, see His face in the people around you... Praise Him for His mighty deeds! Sing old songs, sing new songs, sing of his love and majesty, just sing!

Life, the universe and... Many folk, all far more eloquent than I, have made comments on Life – whether finding the ‘answer to Life the Universe or everything’ or observing that ‘Life is like a box of chocolates; you never know what you are going to get’ (Forrest Gump’s Momma in the movie of Forrest Gump) – however, many would agree that Life is a journey. We all have our own paths to follow – geographically and spiritually - and they will diverge, overlap, cross or run parallel and I am grateful for the way my personal spiritual path has overlapped, crossed and run parallel with the People of Polmont.

4. Hebrews 10 v. 24-26 : ‘And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching.’ Continue in fellowship – do not give up! Gathering is so important to us – remember the story of the coal fire, where the

Like the characters in Douglas Adams’ books we have a ‘Guide’ and here is a wee extract from our very own ‘Hitch-hiker’s guide’: 23

Twinspire #51  November 2013 coals are glowing red hot and radiating heat. Take one away, and it continues to glow for a short time and then fades to grey and very soon can be picked up by hand. We are like those coals, we ‘glow’ best when we are together, on our own we fade and grow cold. Without ‘gathering’ we cannot encourage each other; it is harder to show love and do good deeds in a vacuum, and left to our own devices we will forget what is important... but most of all we need to be together that we may ‘glow’... Gather on Sundays to read, pray and worship together... and make every gathering a Sunday!

As our paths lie before us, sometimes we can see the next steps – sometimes there is a corner or an obstacle we can’t see round and there are plenty of dips or twists we have not taken into consideration. There are times when we plod along on foot, and other times events go so quickly we might have hitched a ride in a space ship or a time machine! But however we travel, where ever we get to and whoever we met on the way, we can be sure of God’s love and provision. We can rest secure too, that we will meet again, in this world or the next... and sometimes looking to the next world can help us make sense of this one!

5. Acts 1 v. 7-9: ‘You will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.’ We have all got a story to tell of our encounters with Jesus on the paths of our lives... we’ve seen Him or heard His voice, we’ve met Him in the saints around... we’ve been party to one of those ‘coincidences’... Tell others your story, show them your changed life and self. If you do not invite them they will not come – nor will they know what they are missing! Church should not be an exclusive club – it is the one place where all are welcome, no matter how old or young or unfit or able or rich in talent and wealth or poor...

C. S. Lewis is a far better author to give your time and energy to! I’d like to leave you with one of the very wise things he said in Mere Christianity: ‘Aim at Heaven and you will get earth ‘thrown in’: aim at earth and you will get neither.’ Wherever our paths take us let us aim at heaven – working together to get to know God more and experience His love and peace in our lives – and so make the most of our earthly one! With all love Tracey

THE THREE KINGS. ~ Alexander Gray ~

Remember too, Jesus has promised ‘you will receive power’ – you don’t have to do it in your own strength, the Holy Spirit is our Helper, Encourager and Inspiration!

There were three kings cam frae the East; They spíered in ilka clachan: ‘O which is the wey to Bethlehem, My bairns, sae bonnily lachin?’

The Restaurant at...

O neither young not auld could tell; They trailled till their feet were weary. They followed a bonny gowden starn, That shone in the lift sae cheery.

When I was first a Christian, I missed the ‘S’ on the ends of the earth in that verse from Acts and thought Jesus was saying we should be his witnesses until the END of the earth (in the sense of time) as opposed to the ENDS of the earth (far flung geographical places). I now think perhaps Jesus meant both – we must keep on telling people until Jesus comes again - even if our journey has taken us no further than our own doorstep!

The starn stude ower the ale-house byre Whaur the stable gear was hingin. The owsen mooed, the bairnie grat, The kings begoud their singin.


Twinspire  November 2013 THE TWELVE DAYS OF CHRISTMAS (again!!) or THE EVERLASTING TURKEY On the first day of Christmas my true love said to me: I`ve bought a big, fresh turkey and a proper Christmas tree. On the second day of Christmas much laughter could be heard as we tucked into our turkey - a most delicious bird. On the third day of Christmas came the people from next door. The turkey tasted just as good as it had been the day before. On the fourth day of Christmas came relations, young and old. We finished up the Christmas pud and had the turkey cold. On the fifth day of Christmas, outside the snowflakes scurried But we were nice and warm inside – we had the turkey curried. On the sixth day of Christmas, the Christmas spirit died As the children fought and bickered – we had turkey rissoles fried. On the seventh day of Christmas my true love he did wince When he sat down at the table and was offered turkey mince. On the eighth day of Christmas the dog had run for shelter He`d seen our turkey pancakes and the glass of Alka Seltzer. On the ninth day of Christmas all I heard were sighs My family saw me making my famous turkey pies. On the tenth day of Christmas we were drinking home-made brew As if that wasn`t bad enough, we were eating turkey stew. On the eleventh day of Christmas the Christmas tree was moulting. With chilli, soy and oyster sauce, the turkey was revolting. On the twelfth day of Christmas we had smiles upon our lips. The guests had gone, the turkey too – we dined on fish chips. Contributed by Nanette Hotchkiss

Laura Moore and I have recently taken over the running of the crèche from the Drackfords so if anyone is unable to do crèche duty please call Jen on 07580041783 and Laura on 07921197154. We have taken the contact details off the rota so if you are unable to do a week and are looking to swap please contact Laura or myself in the first instance and we will arrange cover. Alternatively we are in church most Sundays! We are going to have a major clear out of the toy cupboard – most likely on the 8th of December – so anyone able to help would be most appreciated!! As ever if anyone has any children’s toys or books that they no longer need, then we are always happy for donations! Jen Park 25

Twinspire #51  November 2013


For the bairn that was born that nicht i the staa Cam doon frae Heiven to tak awà Oor fecklessness, and bring us aa Safe hame in the hender-en.

~ Alexander Gray ~ (1882 – 1968)

Lord, at this Yule-tide send us licht, Hae mercy on us and herd us richt. For the sake o the bairnie born that nicht, O, mak us better men!

TEN WAYS TO LOVE Twas a cauld cauld, nicht i the back o the year; The snaw lay deep, and the starns shone clear; And Mary kent that her time was near, As she cam to Bethlehem. When Joseph saw the toun sae thrang, Quo he: ‘I houp I bena wrang, But I’m thinkin we’ll find a place ere lang;’ But there wasna nae room for them. 1. LISTEN without interrupting. (Proverbs 18)

She quo, quo she: ‘O Joseph loon, Rale tired am I, and wad fain lie doun. Is there no a bed i the hail o the toun? For farrer I canna gae.’

2. SPEAK without accusing. (James 1:19) 3. GIVE without sparing. (Proverbs 21:26) 4. PRAY without ceasing. (Colossians 1:9)

At the ale-houss door she keekit ben, But there was sic a steer o fremmyit men, She thocht til hirsel: ‘ I dinna ken What me an my man can dae.’

5. ANSWER without arguing. (Proverbs 17:1) 6. SHARE without pretending. (Ephesians 4:15) 7. ENJOY without complaint. (Philippians 2:14)

And syne she spak: ‘We’ll hae to lie I the byre this nicht amang the kye And the cattle beass, for a body maun try To thole what needs maun be.’

8. TRUST without wavering. (Corinthians 13:7) 9. FORGIVE without punishment. (Colossians 3:13) 10. PROMISE without forgetting. (Proverbs 13:12)

And there amang the strae and the corn, While the owsen mooed, her bairnie was born. O, wasna that a maist joyous morn For sinners like you and me?


Twinspire #51  November 2013 The first man addressed Joseph, ‘Do not give me this gift. Look at me. Anyone who finds me with this gold will think I have stolen it.’


The second man said ‘Do not give me this ointment, I am used to these chains, I am strong because of them. Keep it for this Child because one day he will wear these chains.’

The opening scenes were along the usual lines. The parish priest Fr. Gerard Fitzsimmons, who after a hectic day was reluctant to attend, takes up the story.

The third man said ‘I am lost. I have no faith at all. In the country of the mind I have lost contact with God. Will this incense cure my doubts? Incense will never bring back the God I have lost.’

In Act two, when I saw three figures approaching, I immediately thought that they were the Wise Men from the East, but no, these had come and gone, for I saw their presents near the Crib. These were three strange characters. One was dressed in rags and hobbled along with the aid of a stick. The second was naked except for a tattered pair of shorts and was bound in chains. The third was the most weird. He had a whitened face, wore an unkempt grey wig and an afro shirt. They were certainly no wise men or kings.

The three men then addressed the Child. ‘Little Child you are not from this country of Gold and Frankincense. You belong to the country of want and disease and doubt. You belong to our world. We want to share these things with you.’ The first man, taking off his ragged shirt, said, ‘Take these rags. One day you will need them when they tear your garments and walk you naked.’

As they approached, the chorus of men and women cried out, ‘Close the door, Joseph, they are thieves and vagabonds come to steal all we have.’ But Joseph said, ‘Everybody has a right to this Child, the poor, the rich, the sad, the happy, the trustworthy, the untrustworthy. We cannot keep this Child for ourselves alone. Let them enter.’ The men entered and stood looking at the Child. Joseph picked up the presents the wise men had left.

The second man said, ‘I put my chains at your side. One day you will be led out in chains, but on that day you will undo the chains of many people’. The third man said, ‘I bow before you. Take my doubts, my depression, my loss of faith in God and man. I am not able to carry them alone. They are unbearably heavy. Let us share them. When you grow up, you will take them all and bring them before the throne of God.’

To the first he said, ‘You are poor; take this gold and buy yourselves some food, clothes and a place to sleep... I have a trade. We will not go hungry. We do not need it’.

The three men then bowed and walked away with confident, upright gait. The director them came on and explained:

To the second he said ‘You are in chains and I don’t know how to release you. Take this myrrh. It will help to heal your wounds and the chaffing on your wrists and ankles’.

“The three men now go away like people who have been relieved of a heavy burden. They know that they have found a place where poverty, slavery and the loss of God can be taken away by a little Child. They go away happy, free and full of hope. You and I can feel the same freedom and happiness here with the Babe of Bethlehem”.

To the third he said ‘I don’t know the source of your mental anguish but take this frankincense. Perhaps the smell will sooth your troubled spirit.’

This story first appeared in St. Joseph’s Advocate, the magazine of the Mill Hill Missionaries, in December 2005.

The chorus again cried out, ‘Look at him. He has given away everything that was meant for the Child. He has no right to do that.’

Contributed by Eileen Brown


Twinspire #51  November 2013

Christmas in Heaven I see the countless Christmas trees around the world below With tiny lights, like Heaven's stars, reflecting on the snow. The sight is so spectacular, please wipe away that tear; For I am spending Christmas with Jesus Christ this year. I hear the many Christmas songs that people hold so dear, But the sounds of music can't compare with the Christmas choir up here. I have no words to tell you, the joy their voices bring, For it is beyond description, to hear the angels sing. I know how much you miss me, I see the pain inside your heart. But I am not so far away, we really aren't apart. So be happy for me, dear ones, you know I hold you dear. And be glad I'm spending Christmas with Jesus Christ this year. I send you each a special gift, from my heavenly home above. I send you each a memory of my undying love. After all, love is a gift more precious than pure gold. It was always most important in the stories Jesus told. Please love and keep each other, as my Father said to do. For I can't count the blessings or love He has for you. So have a Merry Christmas and wipe away that tear Remember, I’m spending Christmas with Jesus Christ this year

Contributed by Jean Lock

Somehow we have missed our way, but Christmas points us back To where we lost our first bright vision on life’s winding track; And so our steps we must retrace, until we see once more The moving star that comes to rest above a stable door. Many roads we travel, many wandering stars we see But nothing satisfies the heart that seeks reality Until it looks to Bethlehem a blessing to receive With the shepherds and the angels saying – ‘I believe’. Back to childhood we must go, our starting point to find Recapturing the innocence and purity of mind With which a child unquestioning kneels down on Christmas Day To hail the infant Christ who was the Life, the Truth, the Way.


Twinspire #51  November 2013

9th October Joyce Falconer gave us a superb afternoon, singing and playing the piano and the accordion.

After a lovely summer break we met again Wednesday 11th September. Everyone had been looking forward to meeting up, as all our members miss our ‘get togethers’. Also residents from Ivybank and St Margaret’s House joined us on our first day. Wullie Binnie from Larbert played a selection of well-known songs on the keyboard.

She also had a few recitations to give us - a very talented lady - and we were lucky to get her before she starts rehearsing for the Christmas Panto. Also this day we had a lady with a very special birthday. Anne Liston, was 95 years young the next day, so we had a birthday cake and candles and she received many cards. We all sang to her as she cut the cake. Then everyone enjoyed a slice of cake with a cup of tea. A lovely day enjoyed by all.

18th September A return visit from the Mary Rose Sound was very entertaining, with songs from Mary and her husband Jameson on the guitar. He also likes to do some “Elvis” numbers. 26th September Ian, Margo and friends from Edinburgh were excellent as usual, singing well known songs, and Cathy - the lady with a rechargeable memory - had many funny stories for us. 2nd October Marion Thomson, a fire prevention awareness officer, came along and gave us a very interesting talk about fire safety prevention in the home. She had a lot of items on show and told us how necessary it was to be alert, keep batteries in your smoke alarm, and many more handy tips for keeping safe in your own home. Everyone found her talk very interesting. 8th October This was our autumn afternoon outing and we had decided on a conducted tour of Edinburgh. It was a lovely sunny day and the countryside was beautiful. The trees had started to change colour and we were so lucky with the weather.

23rd October Colin Mailer, well known journalist and editor and now minister gave us a very interesting talk on his life in journalism. He is well known to many at the club and also had a chat to many of our members.

The guide on the bus gave a very informative talk on the places of interest, the Old Town, Parliament buildings and on to the Castle. The bus even went to the top of Arthur’s Seat where the view was ‘Unbelievable’. The day ended with a lovely meal at the Leapark Hotel. Everyone voted the day a resounding success!

30th October Mel and Val from our church choir gave us a lovely afternoon with varied entertainment. They brought along their friend Moira who had a few funny poems. Yet another lady with a great memory. A very happy day with a difference. We look forward to a return visit in the New Year. 29

Twinspire #51  November 2013 6th November A very busy afternoon with over 60 coming along and “The Rhona Blair Singers” from Bridge of Allan were very entertaining. Rhona herself is recovering from a major operation and her singers did her proud with Helen Paton accompanying on piano.

It was with great sadness we learned of the sudden death of John Laing, our treasurer for Age Concern. John has been a dedicated and hardworking member of our committee for twelve years and will leave a big hole to fill.

13th November An excellent afternoon with Ian Scott singing and playing the guitar. He also has a lot of stories to tell. Ian says he feels he is a member of the club, as we have had him entertaining us so often. A surprise visit from Jerome completed our day and we enjoyed having him with us before he moves to pastures new. He came along to lend a hand and chat to our members and residents of Ivybank and St Margaret’s House. We wished him well in his new charge and success for the future.

Our thoughts go out to his wife Margaret and son Stewart at this sad time Betty Glen President

REASON FOR THE SEASON A woman was out Christmas shopping with her two children. After many hours of walking down row after row of toys and after hours of hearing both her children asking for everything they saw on those many shelves, she finally made it to the elevator with her two children.

A big thank, you to all of the committee and helpers for their hard work. Ian, Mary and Alan for their help in the hall too. We could not manage without you all.

She was feeling what so many of us feel during the Christmas season time of the year – overwhelming pressure to go to every party, tasting all the special food and treats, getting that perfect gift for every single person on her shopping list, making sure she didn’t forget anyone on her card list.

We wish everyone A Merry Christmas and Best Wishes for “2014.”

Finally the elevator doors opened, revealing a crowd in the elevator. She pushed her way in and dragged her two children and all the bags of stuff in with her. When the doors closed, she couldn’t take it anymore and blurted out, ‘Whoever started this whole Christmas thing should be found, strung up and shot.’ From the back of the elevator, a quiet, calm voice responded, ‘Don’t worry, we’ve already crucified Him.’ For the rest of the trip down in the elevator, it was so quiet you could have heard a pin drop.

Dates to remember for your diary 11th January Annual Dinner at Greenpark Centre with entertainment from the “Campsie Players”. All members will be notified soon.

This year, don’t forget to keep ‘the One who started this whole Christmas thing’ in your every thought, deed, purchase and word. If we all did it, just think of how much better this whole world would be.

15th January Wednesday Club starts back. Sandra Gow

‘Jesus is the reason for the season’ 30

Twinspire #51 ď – November 2013


Twinspire #51  November 2013 “CLIMB TILL YOUR DREAM COMES TRUE” ~ Helen Steiner Rice (1900 - 1981) ~

The Food Bank was given a gift of a large amount of strawberries from Tesco, and because of lasting quality, they were distributed straight away to the very needy. Many of the children in these families had never before tasted a strawberry! Hard to believe in 2013, and very sad. Such is the need in our own area.

Often your tasks will be many, And more than you think you can do. Often the road will be rugged And the hills insurmountable, too. But always remember, the hills ahead Are never as steep as they seem, And with Faith in your heart start upward And climb 'til you reach your dream.

Also very many thanks to everyone who donated goods at the Harvest Thanksgiving Service in September. This was all forwarded to Falkirk foodbank Doreen ~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Doreen has also received the following email from Alf Collington:

For nothing in life that is worthy Is never too hard to achieve If you have the courage to try it And you have the Faith to believe. For Faith is a force that is greater Than knowledge or power or skill And many defeats turn to triumph If you trust in God's wisdom and will.

Hi folks, Just received this e-mail from the Trussell Trust. "THANK YOU. In the last six months you've helped stop hunger 355,000 times. Thanks to you, more people are being helped back onto their feet.

For Faith is a mover of mountains. There's nothing that God cannot do, So start out today with Faith in your heart And "Climb 'Til Your Dream Comes True”!

Last week the surge in numbers needing foodbanks made headlines: We've helped more people in six months than we did in the whole of last year. People have started giving back food that needs heating up because they can't afford the electricity".

Contributed by John & Margaret Laing

Christmas ~ Anon ~ Every time a hand reaches out To help another…. That is Christmas

Here at Falkirk foodbank people come to us because they have no choice. Most have deep problems with their stagnating incomes and we are unfortunately also experiencing more and more people who cannot afford the electricity to even heat the food. But we are here to help and thank you for standing up to hunger with us.

Every time someone puts anger aside And strives for understanding…. That is Christmas Every time people forget their differences And realize their love for each other…. That is Christmas May this Christmas bring us Closer to the spirit of human understanding, Closer to the blessing of peace!

God Bless Irene


Twinspire #51  November 2013

Welcome Team

Flower Donors

Flower Distributors

DEC. 1st


Festive Flowers



Festive Flowers



Festive Flowers



Festive Flowers



Festive Flowers

JAN. 5th




Jean Glen

Alex Brown



Anne Fernie

Elspeth Wood



Eileen Brown

Eileen Brown


Alex Watson  714493

Mrs E Wardlaw Eileen Brown

Eileen Brown  01324 716124


After Church Teas ACTs

Jean Glen Myra Robbins Jen Park Laura Moore Claire Lawson

Sheena Chisholm Margaret Cowie Sandra Gow Ellen Wilson Maureen Campbell

Myra Turner

Maureen Chisholm

Margaret Slater Diane Dagger Janice Lewis Allison Andrews

Margaret Connor A.N Other Carole Carruthers Michael Tapp

Anne Taylor Susan Higgins Nancy Rule Heather Park Jean Glen Myra Robbins Jen Park Laura Moore Jen Park  07580041783 Laura Moore  07921197154

Volunteers required Sheena Chisholm Margaret Cowie Margaret Day Margaret Laing Volunteers required Margaret Connor  01324 633357

During the Advent Season, the Church will be decorated with festive flowers by a band of willing helpers. But throughout the rest of the year, there are 10 Sundays vacant for flowers. Donations of flowers or money towards the flowers would be much appreciated. There are also only 4 distributors, and it requires at least another 6 people. Please contact: Eileen Brown  01324 716124. Distributors - please remember to take the special ‘flower gift cards’ when you deliver the flowers. These can be found at the ACTs counter or from Eileen.


Twinspire #51  November 2013

DECEMBER Sunday 1st First Sunday in Advent Choir practice * 9.45am * Church Prayer Meeting * 10.30am * Vestry Morning Service * 11.00am Youth Church * 11.00am * Church Crèche * 11.00am * Fellowship Room ACTs * 12noon * Fellowship Room

Sunday 15th Third Sunday in Advent Choir practice * 9.45am * Church Prayer Meeting * 10.30am * Vestry Morning Service * 11.00am NO Youth Church NO Crèche ACTs * 12noon * Fellowship Room Messy Church * 5.00pm - 7.00pm * Church Hall

Monday 2nd Baby Group * 1.30pm – 3.00pm * Church Hall

Monday 16th Baby Group Christmas Party * 1.30pm – 3.00pm * Church Hall * Congregational Board * 7.30pm * Session House

Tuesday 3rd Service of Remembering * 7.00pm * Church

Wednesday 18th BB & GB Carol Service * 6.30pm – 7.30pm * Church


Wednesday 4 Age Scotland Wednesday Club * 2.00pm * Church Hall Girls’ Brigade * 6.00pm - 7.15pm * Church Hall House Group * 7.30pm Thursday 5th Lunch Bunch * 11.30m - 1.00pm * Church Hall BB Anchor Boys * 6.00pm - 7.00pm * Carol Singing at Ivybank Home Jerome’s Induction at Dollar Parish Church * 7.00pm

Sunday 22nd Fourth Sunday in Advent Choir practice * 9.45am * Church Prayer Meeting * 10.30am * Vestry Morning Service * 11.00am * Lessons & Carols NO Youth Church NO Crèche ACTs * 12noon * Fellowship Room The Grid * 6.00pm – 9.00pm * Church Hall

Friday 6th BB Junior Section * 6.45pm - 8.00pm * Greenpark Centre BB Company Section * 6.45pm - 9.30pm * Church Hall *

Tuesday 24th Christmas Eve Carol Singing * 11.00pm * Church Watchnight Service * 11.30pm * Church

Sunday 8th Second Sunday in Advent Choir practice * 9.45am * Church Prayer Meeting * 10.30am * Vestry Morning Service * 11.00am * Youth Church * 11.00am * Church Crèche * 11.00am * Fellowship Room ACTs * 12noon * Fellowship Room The Grid * 6.00pm – 9.00pm * Church Hall

Sunday 29th Choir practice * 9.45am * Church Prayer Meeting * 10.30am * Vestry Morning Service * 11.00am * Church No Youth Church NO Crèche ACTs * 12noon * Fellowship Room

Monday 9th Baby Group * 1.30pm – 3.00pm * Church Hall The Fellowship Christmas Dinner * Leapark Hotel Wednesday 11th Age Scotland Wednesday Club * 2.00pm * Church Hall Girls’ Brigade Christmas Party * 6.00pm - 7.15pm House Group * 7.30pm Thursday 12th Lunch Bunch * 11.30m - 1.00pm * Church Hall BB Anchor Boys’ Christmas Party * 6.00pm - 7.30pm * Church Hall

Here's to the bright New Year, and a fond farewell to the old; here's to the things that are yet to come, and to the memories that we hold."

Friday 13th BB Junior Section * Greenpark Centre BB Company Section * 6.45pm - 9.30pm * Church Hall


Twinspire #51  November 2013 JANUARY Sunday 5th Choir practice * 9.45am * Church Prayer Meeting * 10.30am * Vestry Morning Service * 11.00am Youth Church * 11.00am * Church Crèche * 11.00am * Fellowship Room ACTs * 12noon * Fellowship Room

Sunday 19th Choir practice * 9.45am * Church Prayer Meeting * 10.30am * Vestry Morning Service * 11.00am NO Youth Church NO Crèche ACTs * 12noon * Fellowship Room Messy Church * 5.00pm - 7.00pm * Church Hall

Monday 6th Baby Group * 1.30pm – 3.00pm * Church Hall

Monday 20th Baby Group * 1.30pm – 3.00pm * Church Hall

Wednesday 8th Girls’ Brigade * 6.00pm - 7.15pm * Church Hall House Group * 7.30pm

Wednesday 22nd Age Concern Wednesday Club * 2.00pm * Church Hall Girls’ Brigade * 6.00pm - 7.15pm * Church Hall House Group * 7.30pm

Thursday 9th Lunch Bunch * 11.30m - 1.00pm * Church Hall BB Anchor Boys * 6.00pm - 7.00pm * Church Hall

Thursday 23rd Lunch Bunch * 11.30m - 1.00pm * Church Hall BB Anchor Boys * 6.00pm - 7.00pm * Church Hall

Friday 10th BB Junior Section * 6.45pm - 8.00pm * Greenpark Centre BB Company Section & Seniors * 6.45pm - 9.30pm * Church Hall

Friday 24th Share-a-Craft * 10.00am – 12noon * Church Hall BB Junior Section * 6.45pm - 8.00pm * Greenpark Centre BB Company Section & Seniors * 6.45pm - 9.30pm * Church Hall

Saturday 11th Wednesday Club * Annual Dinner in Greenpark Centre

Sunday 26th Choir practice * 9.45am * Church Prayer Meeting * 10.30am * Vestry Morning Service * 11.00am Youth Church * 11.00am * Church Crèche * 11.00am * Fellowship Room ACTs * 12noon * Fellowship Room Winter edition of ‘Twinspire’ published

Sunday 12th Choir practice * 9.45am * Church Prayer Meeting * 10.30am * Vestry Morning Service * 11.00am Youth Church * 11.00am * Church Crèche * 11.00am * Fellowship Room ACTs * 12noon * Fellowship Room The Grid * 6.00pm – 9.00pm * Church Hall Deadline for ‘Twinspire’ articles

Monday 27th Baby Group * 1.30pm – 3.00pm * Church Hall The Fellowship -* 7.30pm * Church Hall * Falkirk Street

Monday 13th Baby Group * 1.30pm – 3.00pm * Church Hall The Fellowship * 7.30pm * Church Hall * ‘A Visit to Iona’

Pastors * John Daniels

* Bruce Cannon

Tuesday 28th History Group * 7.45pm * Church Hall * ‘Work of the

Wednesday 15th Age Concern Wednesday Club * 2.00pm * Church Hall Girls’ Brigade * 6.00pm - 7.15pm * Church Hall House Group * 7.30pm

National Trust & Bannockburn’ * Brian Dickson Wednesday 29th Girls’ Brigade * 6.00pm - 7.15pm * Church Hall House Group * 7.30pm

Thursday 16th Lunch Bunch * 11.30m - 1.00pm * Church Hall BB Anchor Boys * 6.00pm - 7.00pm * Church Hall

Thursday 30th Lunch Bunch * 11.30m - 1.00pm * Church Hall BB Anchor Boys * 6.00pm - 7.00pm * Church Hall

Friday 17th Share-a-Craft * 10.00am – 12noon * Church Hall BB Junior Section * 6.45pm - 8.00pm * Greenpark Centre BB Company Section & Seniors * 6.45pm - 9.30pm * Church Hall

Friday 31st Share-a-Craft * 10.00am – 12noon * Church Hall BB Junior Section * 6.45pm - 8.00pm * Greenpark Centre BB Company Section & Seniors * 6.45pm - 9.30pm * Church Hall


ADVANCE NOTICE Sunday 2nd February 11.00am * Church 7.00pm * Church Hall

The Greeks celebrate Christmas on 7th January according to the old Julian Calendar, while Christmas presents are opened on New Year’s Day. 35

Communion Sunday

Twinspire | Issue 51  

Advent edition of newsletter from Polmont Old Parish Church