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Chapter Seven

Youth


From its earliest days the congregation at Kenmure encouraged young people to take part in meetings. The word teenager was not used in the 19th century, it came into vogue in the 1950s. Young people would include those in their early twenties. There was a Young People's Saturday Night Meeting and a Young Peoples' Monday Night Meeting with speakers and discussion to strengthen their faith, prayer, testimony and the study of God's Word set up in the 1920s. These groups were held in Kenmure Hall and were led by Andrew Rankin, who was then in his thirties and many years later in 1935 he was ordained as a minister.

The first Young Worshipper's League was established in 1931. All children attending church could register and they received a card which was stamped at the church door when they attended a service. It covered the entire year and prizes were awarded for good attendance. It was revived in 1978 when Ailie Kidd and Aileen Beveridge organized it. In 1982-83 Shelagh McCall completed 7 years perfect attendance.

A Girls' Club is mentioned once, in the 1943 Financial Report, which seems to have been a gathering to produce craftwork. This they sold and donated the money to church funds.


Youth Fellowship

The first mention of a Youth Fellowship with the aim to guide young people into a mature Christian life was in 1947 but there is no further mention until 1951 when they met on a Sunday evening at 7.30pm. The minimum age was 15.


YF Outing 1951


In the mid-50s the Youth Fellowship was led by the Church Officer of the time, Mr John Owen. Mr Owen was a godly and dedicated man with much experience of mission work in Glasgow amongst people of all ages and backgrounds. Under his leadership the YF had a clear Gospel emphasis and several young people came to a personal faith in Jesus at this time. Among these were Rev Jack Owen, one of Mr Owen's sons and Rev Sandy MacDonald, a recent moderator of the Church of Scotland; both of whom will participate in our special Centenary Service. Others are still serving the Lord in a variety of positions both in Kenmure and in other parts of the country.

The 1960s folk nights which were held in the loft of Kenmure Hall when guitars were strummed by local talent. In 1962 they met on Sunday from 7.30=9.30pm in the Williamson Hall, the Chairman being George Reid, the present Session Clerk, and the Secretary, Nan Macfarlane. The programme consisted of talks from ministers from most of the principal denominations, missionaries including Eric Owen, Lagos, a Kenmure member who went out to Africa in 1959, films and discussions. Mr and Mrs Heriot regularly attended. On Wednesdays a games evening was held in Viewfield Hall. In December they took children from Quarrier's Homes to the Circus and Pantomine and went out carol singing on Christmas Eve around the parish. They held a Young People's Social for 18-35 age group charging 2/6 (12p) on Thursday, 27th December.

The President in 1963/64 was Alex B. McIntyre. They ventured to Carberry Towers, the Church of Scotland Centre in Musselburgh to a training conference where they enjoyed 'meetings social as well as spiritual'. A Parable of the Talents Challenge was set up to raise funds for Carberry Towers. Every member was given a £1 note and asked to treble it. Also on 2nd March 1963 the Girls ran a coffee morning in the Bishop's House, which stood on the Low Road and was demolished in the late 60s, and the boys offered a car washing service in the car park. In the evening Mr and Mrs Heriot ran a social at the manse.

The programme in 1965 included a talk from a Probation Officer and a Woman Police Sergeant and visits included Glasgow Cathedral and the YMCA. A dance in conjunction with BB was held at Christmas in aid of the New Hall Fund.

In 1966 the President was Rosemary Kinniburgh and they were still raising money for the new hall with a Fashion Show in November which raised £18. On Sunday 27th November 1966 they conducted a Songs of Praise in the church 'competently and with due decorum' and on 16th Dec. a dance was held in the Memorial Hall. It was reported that the numbers attending had increased. Outreach was the aim in 1973 when they held a monthly service at Woodilee Hospital and visited patients at Stobhill Hospital. They also met with elderly members of Kenmure and visited the sick. They took part in a student's panel at a Woman's Guild meeting and joined in youth rallies with other YFs. Some members spent their summer holiday working with the Churches Seaside Mission when they teamed up with the YF at St Rollox Church. However the YF folded for some years at the end of the 70s.

Revival came in 1980 when Bob Wilson led the group. Outreach was re-established when they visited St Mary's School, Bishopbriggs giving testimonies and talks to inmates including those in the 'closed' wing, two of whom asked to have Bibles. Surprisingly perhaps there were more boys than girls attending. They designed a banner as their entry for the Luis Palau Crusade competition - Jesus is the key to your life. They displayed their Map of the World project, about the locations of the missionary partners of churches in the Glasgow Presbytery, giving details of their work including photographs, at a Presbytery meeting.

In 1981 a YF Prayer Group met on Wednesday evenings led by Martin McAfferty and in August a YF Service in the church was attended by several groups. This was repeated in December when Putting Christ back in Christmas was the title of a Youth Fellowship Service held at Kenmure jointly with other YFs.

An unfortunate incident occurred during a summer BBQ when two boys who were carrying tables back to the hall were assaulted by a group from Milton. Sadly some of them had joined in eating the food and listening to the singing.

In 1981 a tape of each Sunday Service was produced by the Youth Fellowship and distributed to those who were housebound or who lived outwith the Parish. Gareth Rees organized the recording and edited and Duncan Stevenson was responsible for distribution and lending.

In 1982 a YF Gospel Rock Concert took place in Kenmure Hall on 20th November with an attendance of 150 young people. They also hosted the Christian Aid lunch held after morning service each year.

1983 saw them organize a summer mission, the Swing Park Evangelists from 26th-28th August.


Many of you will already know that we held a Mission in the Bishopbriggs Swing Park in August but not many will know more about it than the fact that a large tent appeared there for one weekend. This article, then, will hopefully tell you a little more, about the aims and events of the Mission. We set out with the chief aim of interesting children of the age range 6-14 in Sunday School and in learning about God. We planned that the Mission would take place on the evening of Friday 26th August, the afternoon and evening of Saturday the 27th and the afternoon of Sunday 28th, but a week before the 26th we were still in a state of complete disorder. By the 26th, however, we had hired a 20' x 20' tent and had it erected by 5.00 p.m. By 6.00 p.m. a crowd of onlookers had appeared and by 7.00 p.m. we were ready to start with a Grand Treasure Hunt after which we returned to the tent where we sang choruses and finished with a talk by one of our- 'missionaries' Martin McCafferty. By 9.30 p.m. the tent was packed away and we all went home to our beds, tired but happy. Next day, the tent was up by 1.00pm and we started promptly at 2.00pm with Superteams featuring a Tug of War, Memory Test and Beat the Goalie. We closed the afternoon meeting by singing choruses, handing out drinks and sweets and listening to another talk by Martin. The following afternoon we put up the tent for the last time and started the final meeting with a homemade 'Generation Game' during which some older children tried unsuccessfully to take down the tent: Then we had sketches and a prize giving at which all the winners of the various competitions were presented with prizes by our surprise guest - Martyn Jones. Then Martin McCafferty gave a final talk and we sang choruses to close the meeting after which we packed away the tent for the very last time [sob:]. The children thought the Mission 'great fun' although we probably will never know what spiritual good it has done. We did find, however, that the Mission brought us closer together as a fellowship and has shown us what is possible by placing faith in the Lord. Finally, we hope you will bring along your children to the NEXT Mission.
Marion MacLeod (MacMillan)


Youth Fellowhip

It happened after one of the Church prayer meetings, when the minister was on holiday and we had been discussing 1st Corinthians chapter 2 verse 2 that a few of us decided we should go and tell some youngsters in the park about Jesus. The dozen or so who gathered for the Youth Fellowship meeting the following Sunday may have been apprehensive but, inspired by the enthusiasm of the few who had made the decision, agreed to go.

And so it was that Kenmure Church Youth Fellowship marched, Bibles in hand, into the swing park at Churchill Way. The tactics? - To know nothing except Jesus Christ and Him crucified! You'd be surprised at the reaction one gets when one walks up to a complete stranger and asks him if he knows Jesus as his personal Saviour. The reaction we observed was great interest as several youngsters spent over an hour discussing with us the message of Salvation and the great truths of Scripture.

The pattern repeated itself for a few weeks. Each week there were different people to talk to as well as a few youngsters who came back to hear more. Sometimes the YF members did not have things all their own way. They were asked difficult questions, they met challenges from other faiths and, very occasionally, (and I mean VERY occasionally) people just did not want to know. Week by week we noticed that the number of youngsters in the park was increasing but it still came as a surprise to us when we were met by over 50 youngsters who had come together to listen to what was being said or to enjoy the entertainment. Up until that time we had been faced with one to one situations: this was different so we acted different. We preached, then we spoke to the individuals. We handed out tracts and we made friends. We had another two weeks of talking and preaching - not in church pulpit sense because we were taunted, shouted at, even laughed at by some of the young folk - but still some people listened. Although we will never know the full effect of our swing park evangelism we have seen some positive encouragements.

Four girls who had listened and questioned have started to attend the evening service and have come along to join the Youth Fellowship. One of them has given her heart to the Lord Jesus that news makes all the time spent in prayer and talking worth while. The benefits to the Youth Fellowship have been a greater sense of togetherness, an opportunity to tell others about the Gospel and the challenge of having to think about the difficult questions and different situations with which the members were faced.


Bob Wilson


Strathclyde District Outreach and Renewal programme saw the YF sharing faith with many other units and training as witnesses in 1984 and a visit to Doulos, the missionary ship tied up at King George Vth Dock was of great interest.

Jack Campbell and Wilma Cox, who were willing to oversee the formation of a new YF by holding training meetings, sent invitations to 50 pupils of local secondary schools with connections to Kenmure in 1998.


The 1900 Club

A club was opened in 1982 for those between 12-14 years on a Sunday at 7pm in Viewfield Hall by Alec and Lynne Carstairs. The aim was to learn about an individual's faith in Jesus Christ and it hoped to have discussions on Christian approaches to world affairs. It held a sponsored badminton marathon in 1983. It soldiered on until 1987.


Youth Groups

Another attempt to provide for teenagers was made in 1989 when Jim and Sandra Borland with Jonathan Willis and Christine James tried to promote the Gospel as exciting and relevant. They met on the 2nd and 4th Sunday of the month in the foyer of the New Hall. Again, after a good beginning it faltered until 1993 when Evelyn Johnston held two informal meetings in September and around 15 members joined. Rena James donated a TV and radio; there was a tuck shop, music and discussion on Sundays from 7.45-9.30pm.

Ruth Laing, George Reid and Gordon Strong participated. The next group was set up in 1998 by David Muir and was called Network.


Youth Worker

A decision was taken in December 2000 to employ a part-time student as a youth worker.

Cara Smith held the post for 3 years and her enthusiasm and dedication attracted many young people to a variety of initiatives with modern names such as Whyred [wired] which was a youth discipleship programme and included arts and crafts on Sunday evenings after the service. Peacemakers was on a Wednesday for P7-S1. Welcome, worship, word and witness were explored through games, stories and jokes. Scripture Union material, Pitstop, was used. This dealt with bullying, anger, friends and prejudice. Enigma also on a Wednesday was for girls S3>. Big Cheese Productions offered social events at Cafe Chenia; ceilidhs, visit to the cinema, Lazer Quest, bouncy castle and a BBQ at the Watson's abode at Huntershill. Cara married Mark in 2004 and is now a full-time Youth Worker at Cathcart Baptist Church.

She paved the way for Linda Buchan to join Kenmure and carry on the good work.


Linda Buchan

Linda has the congregation waving their arms, bobbing up and down and doing the actions to hymns along with the young people. She has brought her own ideas and has been well received by the teenagers.

A decision was taken at the April 2006 Kirk Session Meeting that with sufficient financial aid from the congregation a full-time youth worker would be employed in the future.

Linda was appointed to the post of full-time Youth Worker in August 2006.






In Their Own Words - December 2005

Inspired
On a Thursday night most of the young people at Kenmure go to Inspired. It is not just an opportunity to meet with friends but it is also a good opportunity to meet with God. We like to show what we do at Inspired by doing dance and drama on a Sunday morning for the congregation. At inspired we like to listen to modern Christian music while we pray in pairs. This is good for people who may find it difficult to take time to talk to God. We have all learnt different dances which we enjoy and are always up a new one. We do these dances as another way to worship God. At inspired we like to do drama sketches. Most of these sketches show how Christians can live for God; this is good as we can all learn from the sketches. We got the name 'inspired' because we are all inspired by God when we are doing the dances and acting out the sketches.

Being part of Inspired has really got me thinking of different ways of worshipping God. Before going to Inspired I really didn't know that dance and drama could be a way of worshipping God.

Inspired enlightened us to the real meaning of Christmas by performing a sketch on 15th December 2005 in the church.
Pamela Buchanan



Anathallo
On a Sunday at 7.30, just after evening service, I go along to a new group called Anathallo. For all those who don't know, Anathallo, means 'to flourish and grow'. As the name suggests, the group is for teenagers who want to grow in their faith and know more about Jesus.

Each night, a different subject is introduced. While we listen to this introduction, crisps and snacks are available to eat and beanbags are available to sit on. Afterwards we split into different groups and talk about the subject that night. In the four weeks the group has been running, the kinds of things we've talked about so far are:

Anathallo - an introduction
Christianity - Boring, Irrelevant and Untrue?
Who is Jesus?
Why did Jesus die?

All that is needed for this group is a 50p collection for the crisps and snacks, a Bible, if you've got one, and an open mind. Leaders are Linda, Heather and Andy.
Pamela Campbell



Catalyst
Every month or so, some of the young people at Kenmure church go to Catalyst. It's held on a Sunday evening at different churches across Glasgow and it attracts young folk from all over the city, all with one thing in common - praising God. For the first while, we sing Christian music until around half way through when we stop and listen to a talk. The talks are always very interesting and the speaker always manages to capture everyone's attention and keep it for the entire talk and in a roomful of young folk, it's no mean feat. After that it's back to the singing. It's great because it doesn't matter if you are the best or the worst singer in the room, you give it everything you've got anyway because you know you are doing it for God. Catalyst is a great place to worship and all the young folk who go love it.
Pamela Campbell



Youth Band
The music sensation that's sweeping the congregation The Youth Band consists of one piano, trumpet, saxophones, guitar, a drum kit and ten 'young people'. Linda herself thinks that at twenty-one she doesn't qualify as young. She's wrong.

We meet every Monday night in the church and practice various songs. I thoroughly enjoy myself and feel that as a group we all enjoy praising God and the music we make. We have just entered our third year as a band together, which I find extremely hard to believe, and have only now decided on a name.

A long time ago we all recognized it as not of top priority. Instead, at our beginning, we decided our aim was to worship God in a way comfortable to us, whilst having fun - perhaps introducing some new worship music to the congregation along the way. As far as I am concerned, this is still the aim of the band, an aim I think we achieve every Monday night - although I did keep pushing for a name.

We are called WTL. Originally standing for Way, Truth, Life - it still does for me - it obviously refers to Jesus. He is our way, our truth and our life. For some members of the band, the name stands for Worship the Lord - our aim, again.

We don't only achieve our aim on Monday nights. We have played at some Sunday morning services and are hoping to lead the worship more frequently at evening services. However, you needn't wait 'til then! We encourage any and all to come and worship God with us on a Monday night. From 7.30 'til 9 o'clock you will find us in the church. Always feel free to come Worship the Lord with us.
Lauren McCormack



Youth Assembly
In September, for the second time, Linda and myself went to the Church of Scotland's Youth Assembly, sort of like the General Assembly but for youth. During the weekend we attended seminars for teaching, different worship session, social events and most importantly the debates. I feel that I got a lot more out of this yearÕs experiences, I knew what to expect.

This year there was more involvement by the Scottish Bible Society and I went to their seminars which I really enjoyed as I learned all about Habakkuk, Micah and Zephaniah. Doug Campbell from the SBS also gave an interesting talk at the morning worship each day and this along with the praise set us up each day focused on God. My highlight of the weekend was late night worship, which I went to twice, and it was just a small group of us with an acoustic guitar praising God together to finish off our day and was very helpful. The debates were on each of the four new councils in the C of S: Mission and Discipleship, Crossreach, Ministries, Church and Society and a report of our views will be presented to the General Assembly in May. All in all I had a very good weekend and learned a lot about the Church of Scotland today and about God's word.


Heather Strong



Summer Missions

Cumnock
On the 6th August three young people from the church travelled down to Cumnock to begin their first ever mission and what would become a huge life-changing experience.

There they met with other Christians from all over the country, all with different gifts and talents, who they would spend the next eight days living with, working with and getting to know. But, the real reason they were there was to shine like stars for God.

During the week the mission team ran a youth cafe for the young people in the area. The team also encouraged the young people to attend Bible Study in the mornings and Worship in the evenings. Throughout the week many young people walked through the doors of the church and into a place where God's presence could not only be felt but seen through the mission team and the work that they were doing there. Each person, who came along to the youth cafe was special and unique and the team prayed for every one of them, so that they may feel God's presence and grow in their faith.

Prayer was a big part of the week, because without God, and without spending time with him, the mission wouldn't have happened. Throughout the week God was always faithful and gave the team the strength and confidence they needed to make it through the week, and God made it possible for the team to let him shine through them and show everyone how awesome God really is.
Catriona Johnston



Cumbria and Kilkeel, Northern Ireland
Scripture Union is an organization committed to the spread of the Gospel among children in over 100 nations worldwide. Specifically in Scotland, SU has just completed its programme of Summer camps and missions. Every year fifty camps and twenty missions go ahead. Involving 8,000+ young people in Scotland. Despite these impressive figures, SU estimates that 80% of children (around 750,000) remain unreached by the Gospel. I myself travelled down to be a group leader at a residential camp in Braithwaite, Cumbria. I was assigned a group of six children from the Borders to look after. I led them at group times where we look at a Bible passage and discuss how it is relevant to them. I also led activities such as archery, mountain-biking and the ropes course, in both rain and sunshine. I later flew across to Northern Ireland to be a leader at a two week SU mission near the town of Kilkeel. I was leading the Tiddlers, the youngest age group [4-7] and told stories, taught memory verses and played games. Some days over a hundred Tiddlers turned up and it could be a struggle to stay in control.

However, in the midst of near chaos it was encouraging that even at this young age, some of them had an understanding of God's love for them and what they had to do about it. At many camps and missions, both run by the SU and other organizations, children came to accept Christ into their lives. We all too often hear of tragic incidents where children's lives are cut short. This makes our work with children all the more important, in Summer, but also every Sunday at Junior Church and at home. I ask for your prayers that SU's work will be expanded in order to reach this 80% of children. Also, that work with children and teenagers in our own Church will be successful with enough leaders and attendees. Finally pray for Christian parents who may find it difficult to instil their faith to their offspring. I am hugely grateful to my own parents for doing that, although it is with God's help.


Andrew Strong



Bible Classes
Mr Heriot and Mr H Bell held a Bible class for 12-17 year olds which began in October 1963 in the vestry at 12.45pm. In 1964 the ages were divided and a class for 12-14 met at 10.15am. In 1966 there were 17 seniors attending. Mr Jones reports in 1973 that there were 15 members, one played the piano, one acted as treasurer and they had donated money to 3 charities. He expresses the hope that the older members would go on to join the Youth Fellowship. It seemed to continue into the 1980s but then there is no further mention. Ruth Laing, Wilma Cox and Sheena Murphy started a Junior Bible Class in 1994 with 6 girls which has been most successful and by 2001 there were 25 members, including several boy, from 14-17 regularly attending each Sunday. They met in the church and left during the service for their own class.

In 1996 Gemma Gallacher, Jill Hamilton, and Alison Cowan held a 24 hour sponsored fast for World Vision and raised over £100. The Junior Bible Class has grown from very small beginnings to an encouraging 25 young people today. It started off around 13 years ago with three girls when Ruth Laing realised that after the girls had out grown Junior Church there was need for something else for them on a Sunday morning, as they were growing into teenage years; a time of many challenges when God's word and direction could help equip them for adulthood. The boys at that time attended the Boy's Brigade bible class. Ruth approached Sheena Reid and myself to join her in setting up this new venture, and after much prayer we both agreed knowing that God would equip us for the task ahead. So the Bible Class began !!

Ruth sadly had to leave us and Sheena and I continued until the numbers grew so much that we had to recruit another leader and we invited Mary Docherty to join us. A number of years later Sheena had to give up and was replaced by Cara Smith, a student Youth Worker employed for three years by the Church. Cara had a great influence on the Class and introduced many new ideas and satellite groups.

By this time many boys had joined us and we were glad to welcome Alistair Laing to our team of leaders, (a great help with the boys!) Cara was replaced by Linda, our present student Youth Worker, who has developed yet more new ideas and who has encouraged the young people to develop their faith through music, drama and dance.

We have recently been joined by Andrew Laing and his help is also much appreciated. We would also like to thank Jacqueline Murray and Iain Mcmillian for their help over the years in developing the bible class.

We continue to look to God for guidance and inspiration and trust that with His help the young people will come to know Him and that the Bible Class will continue to grow and go from strength to strength.
Wilma Cox, Andrew Laing and Linda Buchan



Chapter Eight





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