It’s almost the end of July, and many of our organisations start back after the summer break towards the end of August. If you or someone you know is interested in any of the organisations or activities going on at Riverside, the start of the new session is a good time to join. Keep an eye out for our notice in the Community Advertiser, see below, and contact the church office by email, phone, or send us a facebook message if you would like to know more and we will put you in touch with the relevant leaders.
Only installed yesterday, we now have bright and attractive professionally designed signs and noticeboards facing Church Street, Castle Street and the High Street, helping to keep everyone up to date on the many activities and events going on at the Church and in the halls.
New indoor signs to match have also been installed to help people find their way around our Church and halls complex.
Many thanks to our member Simon for helping to organise and to Davina and her colleagues at West Dunbartonshire Council (see West Dunbartonshire Council Information and Updates) for their help in getting generous financial assistance from the Common Good Fund.
With the new Council offices under construction, the start of the development at the harbour site next door and plans for new shops along Castle Street, the whole area around our Church is under development, and will hopefully help to re-vitalise Dumbarton Town centre
A new online Advent calendar will bring the true spirit of Christmas to life with 25 specially created videos made by members of the Church of Scotland ministries team.
Each of the thought provoking, often hard-hitting, films feature trainee ministers, probationers, a deacon and youth workers from across the country who reflect on a word that symbolises the true meaning of the season.
Half of the daily messages, which are also inspiring and uplifting, have been recorded by women and follow on from the Church’s successful Advent campaign last year which saw 24 short videos viewed more than 180,000 times.
Nearly 6,000 people signed up to receive the high quality films last year and early indications suggest that this year’s campaign, which is bigger in scope, will prove even more popular.
The tone of the films ranges from the joyful to the spiritual and are aimed at helping people seeking to find the true festive spirit amid the “rampant commercialism” which now dominates the weeks of Advent.
The Moderator of the General Assembly Right Rev Dr Russell Barr features in the first video, which was recorded in Glasgow’s Queen Street train station, and focuses on the word “Journey”.
He also features in the last video, recorded at the site of the old Rottenrow maternity Hospital in Glasgow near Strathclyde University where he was born, which is being released on Christmas Day and will reflect on the word “Shelter”.
It is a pertinent theme for Dr Barr because he is using his year in office to highlight homelessness and the Tomorrow’s Calling campaign, which encourages people to consider entering the ministry.
“The Advent season is when the church picks up the Christmas story and turns its attention towards Bethlehem,” he said.
“Beginning in Glasgow’s Queen Street station, the Advent Video project will take you on a fascinating journey of discovery.
“As the series explores some of the background to the birth of Jesus, you will learn so much more about the deep meaning of Christmas and so much more about yourself.
“And when the journey ends outside a broken down maternity hospital, your heart will be filled with wonder and you will be glad to join with the shepherds and angels, and with people the world over, celebrating the birth of the Christ child.”
Louise Purden, who is currently studying for the ministry at New College in Edinburgh, will focus on the word “Goodwill”, British Army chaplain Rev Chris Kellock, who worked in an Ebola field hospital in Sierra Leone in 2014, is reflecting on the word “Separation” and Deacon Angela Brydson of Dumfries is concentrating on the meaning of “Joy”.
Rev Rosie Addis, chaplain to deaf people in the east of Scotland, will focus on the word “Holy” to promote the Albany Church for the Deaf in Edinburgh.
And Rev Shuna Dicks of Aberlour Parish in Moray, who is heavily involved in supporting Syrian families who have moved to Forres, is reflecting on the word “Refugee”.
The minister, who is the spokeswoman of the Moray Supports Refugees group, said: “When you become a refugee you leave your old life behind and have to begin again.
“It is therefore important that we help our new neighbours, that they feel welcomed and valued.”
Jesus provides stability
Rev Valerie Allen, convener of the Church of Scotland’s Violence Against Women Task Group, is focusing on the word “Endurance”.
She recently bagged all the country’s 282 Munro mountains to raise more than £4,500 for charities which work to tackle domestic abuse. Ms Allen said:
“Endurance is a quality which, in many contexts, is one we can celebrate and admire.
“However, in the context of violence against women, endurance is more problematic.
“No woman should have to endure violence, in this context endurance is neither to be celebrated or admired.
“Rather the reason why some have to endure should be challenged.
“I hope this Advent meditation will help us reflect on the various contexts in which people endure.
“I hope it will break the silence surrounding the violence that many women needlessly endure.
“I hope it will inspire us to act to eradicate violence against women and to strive for fullness of life.
“And I hope it will communicate to women who are survivors that the church truly cares and will support them.”
Secretary of Ministries council, Rev Dr Jayne Scott, says this year’s Advent calendar reflects the spirit of the whole church in this festive season.
“It is a privilege for me to build on the success of last year’s Advent calendar.
“It has been quite a year, and as we approach the end of 2016 it leaves many communities across the world polarised, divided and unsure of what the future holds.
“As Christians, we have our faith to make sense of what is going on and Jesus to provide stability in our lives.
“Our online Advent calendar will help us share this message, not only with each other but also with a larger audience than ever before of people who will benefit from hearing this good news.
“We will have wonderful videos from the Moderator, other ministers, ministries development staff and the deaconate. I hope you will join me in supporting the calendar throughout Advent and liking and sharing these messages on social media.”
We are still seeking more leaders to help re-establish the popular Youth Group in Dumbarton – without enough leaders to take turns co-ordinating and supervising we cannot safely restart the sessions. Adverts have been placed through the local Volunteer Centre WDCVS, Volunteer Scotland and on our own website dumbartonriverside.org.uk/…/wanted-youth-group-leaders
If you, or anyone you know, would be interested please get in touch via facebook, by email (firstname.lastname@example.org) or phone 01389 742551 weekday mornings.
This is a great opportunity to make a real impact, giving local kids a fun & sociable evening in a safe & structured environment – evening sessions are under 2 hours and you would not need to commit yourself every single week.
Following on from the taster sessions held in June this year our development group are keen to establish the Riverside Youth Group on a more permanent basis, aimed initially at the P6 to S2 age range. With Marie Clare on maternity leave we have a number of people offering to help out until she returns, but we could really do with more volunteer leaders to help on a rota to help spread the load a bit. Adverts are being placed through the local Volunteer Centre and although a Riverside Church connection would not be essential helpers would have to go through the usual Safeguarding procedures.
If you, or anyone you know, would be interested please get in touch via facebook, by email (email@example.com) or phone 01389 742551 weekday mornings or see the advert at volunteerscotland.net/find-an-opportunity
Initial Taster Sessions will take place on Fridays in June
(These will help us plan the main sessions beginning when the schools restart after the summer break)
Age group: Primary 6 & 7
Cost: £2 (incl. a drink & snack)
Dates: 3rd/10th/17th/24th June
Times: 7:30pm – 9:30pm (after the Badminton Group which is run on Fridays for the same age group)
Youth Group Activities:
Listening to Music
Team Games including “The Parachute”
Potential for Computer Games as group develops
End of Term Disco on 24th June
Riverside Halls are very spacious and flexible and can cater for many other activities if there is demand;
our games hall is marked for a range of sports including basketball, the rear hall also has badminton
court markings, and the main hall has a large stage for putting on shows or for film nights.
Juice/Crisps/Fizzy Water/Fun Size Bars will be provided for the taster sessions during a break in
organised activities – a tuck shop will be set up once the group is established in the Autumn.
On arrival each night, name and contact details of a parent or carer will be taken, with all club members
to be dropped off and picked up by a nominated parent or carer.
After many years of delays the development of the old distillery site is beginning to move on – a Public Consultation for Dumbarton Harbour Planning Application will be held in our Main Hall on Thursday 9th June from 2pm. All are welcome to come and view the plans as well as provide any comments to the developers about the plans.