News from the

Thought for the Week

Rutherglen Reformer - - News -

Dur­ing Christ­mas we have gone round our fam­i­lies and friends ‘giv­ing’ out our gifts to those we love; now we turn our at­ten­tion to the fu­ture.

We wave goodbye to the old year and we toast the New Year; we make res­o­lu­tions that most of us will for­get once we re­turn to the business of nor­mal every­day life. Christ­mas soon for­got­ten has been put back in its box along with the baubles and the twin­kling fairy lights.

The time for ‘giv­ing’ has passed. We’re now look­ing for­ward to the com­ing year be­cause some­one in the fam­ily is get­ting mar­ried; there’s a 16th birth­day party to at­tend; a golden wed­ding an­niver­sary to cel­e­brate; a sum­mer hol­i­day to look for­ward to.

But for many, next year will be the same as last year. Peo­ple will still be liv­ing in poverty; some­where in the world some­one will still need our help. There will be peo­ple in our own com­mu­nity who will still need to be given food from the lo­cal food bank to see them through the week. Th­ese are things that we can­not put in the box along with the Christ­mas dec­o­ra­tions and the ‘giv­ing’ un­til next year. The time for ‘giv­ing’ hasn’t gone away! It is still needed ev­ery day, more than ever be­fore.

Per­son­ally I am look­ing for­ward to 2015, as it is the 50th an­niver­sary of SCIAF which many Ru­glo­ni­ans will know be­gan its life in the parish of St Colum­bkille’s Church in 1965. A

group of peo­ple came to­gether with the idea of ‘giv­ing’ in an or­gan­ised way, they started with £8000.

To­day SCIAF is an in­ter­na­tion­ally recog­nised char­ity. With its own unique ‘ Wee Box’ an­nual Len­ten ap­peal among its many other fund rais­ing ef­forts SCIAF raises mil­lions of pounds an­nu­ally to tackle poverty in 16 coun­tries across Africa, Asia and Latin Amer­ica pro­vid­ing vi­tal help to some of the poor­est peo­ple in the world, re­gard­less of their re­li­gion.

Nearly half a mil­lion peo­ple af­fected by con­flict and hunger as well as HIV and AIDS ben­e­fited from SCIAF’s long-term aid giv­ing and de­vel­op­ment projects last year. This in­cluded seeds, tools and live­stock to farm­ers, skills train­ing and support in lo­cal health­care, emer­gency aid and trauma coun­selling to those af­fected by war and nat­u­ral dis­as­ters. At home SCIAF ad­dresses the un­der­ly­ing causes of global poverty and in­jus­tice, such as un­fair trade, debt and cli­mate change, through cam­paign­ing and ed­u­ca­tion.

In ac­knowl­edge­ment of SCIAF’s 50 years of giv­ing to those less for­tu­nate than our­selves there will be a Mass of Thanks­giv­ing in St Colum­bkille’s Parish Church, Ruther­glen on Fe­bru­ary 8 2015.

Fi­nally, please re­mem­ber that ‘giv­ing’ isn’t just for Christ­mas, there is still so much more ‘giv­ing’ to be done if we are to erad­i­cate poverty in our world. Rev­erend Dea­con Bill McMil­lan St Colum­bkille’s Parish Church Ruther­glen.

On song Stonelaw Parish Church mem­bers en­joyed car­ols by can­dle­light be­fore Christ­mas

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