2nd December 2016
The Big Sing And So Much More!
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Christmas greetings from Rosemary Johnston
"Hark the glad sound! The Saviour comes" we sang on Sunday – the first Sunday in Advent . So far I have been able to resist the persistent demands to celebrate since the beginning of October! Now I can truly begin to prepare for the coming of the Christ Child.
Whilst it is good to celebrate, we must make sure we know exactly what we are celebrating! All the trappings, the stress and the expense of Christmas can distract us from what it is all about. For many this is a sad and lonely time of year; it is a time when we can feel inadequate if we fail to produce what is expected. In war-torn areas, in famine or poverty stricken countries, in refugee camps - it is just another day of misery.
We can endeavour to re-capture the excitement and promise of the first Christmas in Bethlehem – the promise of God’s love for us in good times and bad, not just at Christmas, but throughout the year, every year of our lives. When Christ comes, hearts can be mended and spirits lifted and the darkness transformed into light, giving comfort, hope and joy.
With every blessing for a peaceful and joyous Christmas!
The Big Sing comes to Greenock
1000 voices joined together in a fabulous celebration of The Guild at the Big Sing in Westburn Parish Church in Greenock. We had a great selection of hymns and readings that reflected our Theme, 'Go in Joy'. We were also joined by Grey Sidira, from Livingstonia Synod Aids Project (LISAP), who shared something of their work to support people infected and affected by HIV, particularly during the current hunger crisis. Over £2500 was raised for LISAP at the Big Sing and at events in Edinburgh, Tarves and Dingwall. We are grateful to the Minister, Kirk Session and congregation at Westburn for all that they did to make the day possible.
We were also joined on the day from students from the West College Scotland, who videoed the day. If you would like to relive the day or join in for the first time you can. Just click! <http://theguild.cmail19.com/t/t-l-hiitoy-dujtnsj-f/>
Alternatively the service can be provided on a usb stick to Guilds at a cost of just £6. Please email Karen, firstname.lastname@example.org if you would like to order a copy for yourself or your Guild.
Some Big Sing photos
Meeting up wih old friends
Karen interviews Gray.
Even the flowers 'Go in Joy'!
Moderator joins the Guild
Rt Rev Dr Russell Barr became the first Moderator to join the Guild during his Moderatorial year. Dr Barr decided to join the Church of Scotland Guild as an individual member as his home church has no Guild at present.
We were delighted to present him with his certificate to celebrate the occasion.
Happy birthday Iain!
We are delighted to wish General Secretary Iain Whyte a very happy 60th birthday today.
He certainly doesn't look his age!
Iain has been looking forward to getting his new bus pass and he promises to make the most of it in the months ahead!
Cooking up a stir
The Guild at Old and St Paul's, Galashiels helped organise a soup and sweet lunch to celebrate Guild week.
There was a fabulous selection of soups and sweets on offer.
The event was enjoyed by everyone who went along.
Long Service at Broughty Ferry New Kirk Guild
Broughty Ferry New Kirk Guild was delighted to celebrate the long service of a number of their members during Guild week.
Some 16 ladies received Long Service Certificates, totalling 547 years of service.
What a remarkable total and what a wealth of experience just in one Guild!
By Royal Proclamation
Friends at Duntocher Trinity Guild got a lovely surprise this week when they recieved a letter of thanks from Buckingham Palace.
In the letter and card the Queen expressed her gratitude to the folks at Duntocher for thinking about her and for sending their good wishes for her 90th birthday.
The Guild had held a party to celebrate the Queens 90th Birthday which had been enjoyed by everyone.
Recycle and Reuse!
Shetland Presbyterial Council Guilds have come up with an innovative idea for Guild week, an Annual Gathering DVD relay.
Pictured are members of Sandwick Guild where the relay was launched.
It has now made its way to Burra, and will then go from Weisdale to Brae then Nestin, followed by Island of Whalsay, then onto Vidlin. From there it will go to South Yell then to North Yell followed by Unst before finally reaching its last destination on the Out Skerries.
It will be a well watched DVD after all of those visits!
Bothwell Parish Long Service
Our National Convener was able to join folks at Bothwell Parish Church on Sunday 20 November.
During a special service to mark Guild Week, Rosemary presented the following long service badges: Una McLundie, 60 years; Louise McLean, 53 years and Sheena Cook, 60 years. Also featured with Rosemary is the Bothwell President, Doreen Gibson.
Christmas comes early
Houston & Killellan Kirk Guild at their Victorian Christmas Market last Saturday. A wonderful atmosphere and a very successful day indeed.
Their oldest member, Marion, who is over 100 was delighted to join them. Marion comes to support everything at the Guild. What a star!
Erskine Church Guild
Erskine Parish Church Guild held an open night on 9th November to raise funds for Guild projects.
Guild members were joined by friends from Inchinnan Parish Church Guild and Houston and Killellan Kirk Guild as well as members of the congregation and local community.
A wonderful evening of entertainment was provided by Erskine Community Choir and supper was served. Not only was a total of £272 raised for Guild projects but a good time was had by all and the evening certainly lived up to the theme ' Go in Joy'
Adrossan 'Fair presents' Fayre
Ardrossan Presbyterial Council hosted a fabulous "Fair Presents" event.
The event gave people an opportunity to source alternative Christmas gifts locally.
There was a wide range of stalls on offer, including fair trade stalls, Bible Bring and Buy, CrossReach pick up point and, of course, a very tasty lunch.
Everyone agreed that it was a great way to encourage people to think differently about what they choose as gifts this year.
More from Guild week across the country....
Members of the Guild at Forfar East & Old gave their minister, Rev Barbara Ann Sweetin, a break this week by taking the Sunday morning service, giving the congregation an opportunity to find out more about the organisation.They highlighted all that is being done by the Guild to ‘make a difference’ the length and breadth of Scotland and internationally.
To celebrate Guild Week and Interfaith Week, New Monkland Guild met with four ladies from the local Abrahamic Roots Group as their guests. One of the ladies from the group told them about their group being formed and how it had developed and another spoke about the Quran and similarities and differences in our faiths which brought about a very interesting discussion. All of this was followed by lovely food, in vast quantities, prepared and brought along by the ladies.
Gatehouse of Fleet Guild held a special event to mark their 120th anniversary as a Guild.
It was a fabulous celebration and an opportunity to reflect that has been done by the Guild both locally and nationally by the Guild in thsoe intervening 120 years.
Stow Brae Kirk Guild
Stow Brae Kirk Guild in Paisley have just completed a very busy week of Guild Week Celebrations.
They started with a visit from Ivy Blair, who spoke very eloquently about one of our supported Projects, "All Friends Together."
On Sunday 20th November the Convener, Pat Colga,n led the Morning Service, supported by various members of the committee and the sermon was delivered by hospital Chaplain, Carol Campbell, who urged everyone to "Go in Joy. "
After the service they held a Soup and Sweet Lunch, and managed to feed approx 60 people with food supplied freely by the committee. It was good fun, good food and good fellowship. The proceeds of this lunch will be divided between chosen projects.
They have certainly had a busy and enjoyable Guild week and always remember "whose we are and whom we serve"
Just for fun
Thank you to all who entered our competition last month and to all who correctly identified Prestwick South as the Guild where Marge Paterson was on 10th November.
Our lucky winner is: Norma McIntyre, Nairn St Ninian's Guild. Well done Norma and commiserations to those who also got the right answer!
This month: Can you tell us the 4th venue for the Shetland DVD relay?
Answers to the Guild office by Wednesday 4th January for your chance to win some Guild goodies.
December Prayer Diary
Please pray for ...
Monday 5 Dec: Project partner Care for the Family,as they support families, particularly in the run up to Christmas.
Tuesday 6 Dec: All who are lonely this Christmas, that God may use us to provide a warm word or a hand of friendship.
Wednesday 7 Dec: Guilds across Scotland as they celebrate Christmas in meals, concerts and services.
Thursday 8 Dec: Children involved in sharing the true meaning of Christmas in schools across Scotland.
Friday 9 Dec: Iain and Karen as they meet with the Sailors Society to hear more about their work.
Saturday 10 Dec: Project partner Street Pastors as they support vulnerable people on the streets of our cities.
Sunday 11 Dec: That God will give us the commitment of the Kings as we search for a closer relationship with him.
Monday 12 Dec: Rosemary and Iain as they attend the Feeds the Minds Carol concert and celebration in London
Tuesday 13 Dec: Playlist for LIfe as they support and encourage those living with and working with people with dementia.
Wednesday 14 December: Guild conveners as they support and lead Guilds.
Thursday 15 Dec: Our friends in Livingstonia Synod, CCAP, as they prepare for Christmas.
Friday 16 Dec: National Convener Rosemary Johnston, as she reflects on her first 6 months as Convener.
Saturday 17 Dec: that we will show the loyalty of Joseph to our friends and family.
Sunday 18 Dec: For services in congregations across Scotland.
Monday 19 Dec: For Marian MacIntyre and members of the Communications and Marketing Group.
Tuesday 20 Dec: Project partner Christian Aid, supporting women in Bolivia affected by the impact of changes to the climate.
Wenesday 21 Dec: Project partner, Prospects, as they encourage and support adults with learning difficulties to share in the worship of our church, especially at this season of advent.
Thursday 22 Dec: For Project partner, Mission International, supporting people in Haiti.
Friday 23 Dec: For the office staff, that they may be refreshed and renewed during this period of holiday.
Saturday 24 Dec: That we each may know the love that Mary showed for the new-born Christ this Christmas.
Sunday 25 Dec: that God will bless us especially today as we celebrate the birth of his Son.
A Prayer for Advent
We give thanks to you, O God,
that day after day, year after year,
we can have absolute confidence
in your love for us
and in your understanding of our lives.
We thank you that we find your faithfulness
in your servants
who have proclaimed, who still proclaim, who will proclaim
the great news of the coming on earth of your kingdom –
the kingdom where the oppressed and the marginalised,
the poor in spirit and poor in material wealth,
and all those who count for little in the ways of our world
will be accepted and loved.
And we praise you that all people – we -
are invited to lift our heads above the trials of life
and celebrate the sunrise of your arrival on the horizons of our world.
Our hearts are filled with gratitude for this – the gift of the Messiah,
the promise of the Kingdom.
Thanks be to you, O God. Amen
Starters for Sunday, Alternativity
Well, that's everything for September's edition of Guild e-news! If you have something to contribute for the next e-newsletter then please email email@example.com <mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org?subject=e-newsletter%20contribution> - we can't wait to hear from you!
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