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Youth Column: 'Back to Normal'

Youth Column: 'Back to Normal'

Tuesday September 20

Kirsty Hamilton describes how the Ukraine crisis has spurred her church into action


The phrase ‘getting back to normal’ has become extremely familiar to us over the last 18 months. Yet the process of ‘getting back to normal’ seems to be never-ending. Even now, more than two years after the pandemic began, there are things we’re doing again for the first time: attending graduations, weddings, baptisms, going on holidays and also resuming parts of church life.

In Newton Mearns Parish Church, like many churches, worship was carried out via livestream for most of 2020, and although worship has been back in-person for some time now, some aspects of church life are only just beginning to recommence.

Community has suffered due to the pandemic and the social life of the church lay dormant for nearly two years. It seemed that whenever plans were made or events organised, a fresh lockdown would push us all back into isolation and church activities would be frozen once again.

For NMPC, the thawing of the church’s social life came at the beginning of Spring, spurred into action by the atrocities unfolding in Ukraine.

Despite reduced media coverage in recent months, the war in eastern Europe rages on, and the death toll continues to climb. Aiding those suffering is at the forefront of our duty as Christians, and raising money for the DEC Ukraine appeal has provided opportunity to revive the outreach efforts of the church and bring the local community together.

Newton Mearns Parish Church has done just that, and has been creative while doing it.

A concert was held in the church at the beginning of May featuring live classical music pieces by Brahms, Clara Schumann, Mozart, Handel and more. The concert was organised by the church’s organist Karolina Kubalkova and soprano Ruth Hoare (both are graduates of the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland). In total, this fantastic afternoon provided some well-needed entertainment and an opportunity to socialise with friends and new faces while raising £704 for an important cause.

The 79th Glasgow Boys’ Brigade is a busy and active youth organisation within NMPC with just over 80 members. The BB Company decided that they wanted to get involved with the efforts for Ukraine. They raised £481 in donations as well as collecting items for Ukrainian refugees such as school supplies.

In May our coffee morning to aid the Ukraine crisis (and the first since before the pandemic began) was a roaring success. There was masses of home baking, a bottle stall, a raffle (with excellent prizes including skiing lessons and gym passes) and plenty of tea and coffee. Organised and overseen by a dedicated team of church members, the coffee morning raised over £2581.

In total, with the addition of weekly church collections in aid of Ukraine, NMPC have raised a fantastic £4692 for the Ukrainian DEC, and the total continues to climb!

All of these social events hosted by NMPC were a chance for the church to reconnect with the local community after two cloistered years, provide a social space, and a chance for some of the most isolated in our community to meet new people, enjoy themselves and raise money for a vital cause.

Mission is a key part of church life, reaching the local communities that surround our church building but also communities abroad. Getting ‘back to normal’ after the pandemic is about more than just doing things again for the first time; it’s also about reviving the church’s mission efforts and outreach and extending a hand to those in need, both on our doorstep and thousands of miles away.


If you are under 30 with a Church of Scotland connection, and would like to write for this column, please email us on magazine@lifeandwork.org