Greetings to you all.  I do hope that you have enjoyed some of the glorious summer sunshine and enjoyed a holiday away for a few days.

Easter Day brought tragedy to our world in the awful Christian church bombings in Sri Lanka.  Over 250 people lost their lives, and over 500 injured, many with life changing injuries, whilst celebrating and living their faith in Jesus Christ.  We are so lucky to be able to come to Maxwelltown West Church in safety and know we have the freedom to do so.

It is estimated that well over 200 million Christians worldwide worship God on Sundays in fear and are often being intimidated and harassed all because they love our Lord Jesus Christ.  This is the 21st century and yet go back 2,000 years and you will find The People of the Way (as the early Christians were called) also facing death and being harassed and intimidated.  So sadly, humankind has not learnt to love each other as Jesus taught those he met.  He told the people “Love your neighbour as you love yourself.”  How my prayer is for the world to heed Jesus’ words of wisdom.

We held a very joyous Easter Service in Maxwelltown West and it was followed by a feast and great “craic”.

Due to pressure of time and educational curriculum, Laurieknowe School held their Easter Service after the Easter Holidays on 24th April.  The reading chosen was “The Road to Emmaus” – St Luke ch 24 v 13-35 and was expertly read by P7 pupils.  Well done to you all.  Again, it was good to see many families of the children in church coming to support them and Laurieknowe School.  We look forward to welcoming Laurieknowe School again at Christmas time.

We held a special service as our “2 Stars” of Sunday club ended their year. Indeed, for Georgia it is also a time for her to say farewell to Laurieknowe School and soon she will start at Dumfries Academy.  Our sincere and grateful thanks go to Dawn McLeod for her inspiration of working with Georgia and Blair to find out what they would like to do for year 2019/20.  They were both presented with a bible of their choice along with study materials and backpack bag to carry their “stuff” to church.  They, along with Dawn, are going explore and learn their way through the books of the bible and learn more about God.  I wish them well and look forward to exploring our bible with them before they head off to join Dawn on Sunday mornings.  May God bless them on their exciting journey.

Of course it would be great to see some more children coming along to church and we offer a warm friendly welcome.

Over the summer weeks, we as church on Sunday mornings have journeyed through the Book of Hebrews.  Hebrews is a book of encouragement and offers so much wisdom for us to learn and show us how to live our Christian lives.

For example Hebrews ch 10 vs 24, 25

“24. Let us be concerned for one another, to help one another to show love and to do good.  25. Let us not give up the habit of meeting together, as some are doing.  Instead, let us encourage one another all the more, since you see that the Day of the Lord is coming nearer”.

Once again I thank everyone who has made me very welcome into your homes or bedside in Hospital or Nursing Home, as I have visited.  I always feel blessed when I visit our members, and indeed I am often inspired and encouraged by your strong, resolute faith in spite of hardships of health etc.

As I said at the beginning of this article, we are so fortunate to enjoy freedom to come and worship our Lord God.  Please come and join us.  Give time for God and God will bless you with love, joy and peace.  On 1st September Rev Sally Russell will lead the Service of Celebration of the Sacrament of Holy Communion.

May I suggest to those who have not attended for a while, please come along and feel the brotherly/sisterly love of fellow members on this special service.

Harvest Thanksgiving Service along with our Guild Dedication will be held on Sunday 29th September.  Again, a perfect time to return to Maxwelltown West Church and worship and praise our Lord for his blessings of food and clean water we all enjoy.

God Bless you all,

Your Brother in Christ,

David Matheson