3rd June 2016

Keep up with the Guild in June!

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Dear Friends,

 

As I write this, my first letter to you all, I am sitting in my garden in glorious sunshine and wondering at the beauty of God’s creation around me! There are more shades of green in God’s palette than in all the earthly artists’ put together!

Last week, I was privileged to attend the General Assembly as a Commissioner. One of the highlights of the week was the warmth and interest with which The Guild Report was received. The Guild profile is surely being raised and is generating much more interest than in previous years. As for the Guild Big Sing at the Assembly WOW! The sound of over a thousand voices raised in praise was quite wonderful! We had an unexpected item in Rev Dr Levi Nyondo’s presentation a "pop up" African choir, whose singing and harmonies were amazing! Very Rev Albert Bogle’s reflection on Peace was inspiring especially to an apprehensive new National Convener. At Heart & Soul, the Guild tent was kept busy many Commissioners and others were seen later in the week still sporting their "I love the Guild" tattoos on hands and some even on faces!

I am honoured, humbled and not a little excited to be serving the Guild in the year ahead, and I look forward to meeting many of you up and down the country, and to exploring further the theme "Go in Joy". In the meantime, may I leave you with the thought that the most profound joy of all is that of the knowledge that Jesus Christ is our Lord and Saviour.

 

God Bless!

 

Rosemary Johnston

Guild National Convener

 

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News and updates

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* General Assembly

The General Assembly took place at the end of May. As always, it was a great opportunity to remind the rest of the Church exactly what the Guild is and how we are making great steps forward with the Action Plan! Congratulations to past National Convener, Linda Young, for delivering an inspiring speech which many have praised on Twitter, Facebook and through contacting the Guild Office. Click here <http://theguild.cmail19.com/t/t-l-dhutol-dujtnsj-z/> or on the image below to watch the film about the Guild which was part of Linda's speech to the Assembly.

 

* New Convener & Vice-Convener

We are delighted to welcome new National Convener, Rosemary Johnston and new Vice-Convener, Marge Paterson to their new roles following the General Assembly.

 

* Guild Tartan

The Guild's official tartan was launched at the General Assembly! The Church of Scotland wrote an article about the tartan <http://theguild.cmail19.com/t/t-l-dhutol-dujtnsj-v/> on the Church website, which was also reported in the Herald <http://theguild.cmail19.com/t/t-l-dhutol-dujtnsj-e/> on Monday 23 May. Scarves and ties are not yet available from the Guild Shop, but watch this space for more information!

 

* Heart & Soul

As part of the General Assembly week, Heart & Soul took place in Princes Street Gardens, Edinburgh on Sunday 22 May. The Guild's stand was bigger and bolder than ever before, with temporary tattoos, a colouring competition and lots of space to talk to interested people about the Guild! Lots of photographs <http://theguild.cmail19.com/t/t-l-dhutol-dujtnsj-s/> were taken on the day. A big thank you to everyone who came along or helped at the stand.

 

* Big Sing

The Guild's biggest ever Big Sing took place on 24 May! Over 1000 voices joined together in praise and worship in the Assembly Hall as the Guild hosted a fringe event of the General Assembly 2016. An incredible £3633.74 was raised from the Big Sing offering to benefit the same cause from November 2015's Big Sing in Dunfermline; furnishing rooms in a hostel attached to Louden Teacher Training College in Embangweni, Malawi. The College has a particular focus on helping young women to become teachers. This sum (which includes a generous offering taken at a satellite Big Sing event in Greenock) should be enough to pay for the furnishing in around nine rooms in addition to the five from November. To find out more, read the Church of Scotland's article <http://theguild.cmail19.com/t/t-l-dhutol-dujtnsj-g/> on the event or try to spot yourself in our pictures <http://theguild.cmail19.com/t/t-l-dhutol-dujtnsj-w/> !

 

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News in brief

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The Presbyterial Council Conveners' Conference took place yesterday (2 June) at 121 George Street, Edinburgh. The event is aimed at encouraging and supporting Council Conveners in their important role. General Secretary, Iain Whyte, said, "The Conference saw a lively, enthusiastic and committed group of over 40 people enjoy a day of sharing, reflection and looking ahead. Another example of the spirit of the Guild!" See pictures <http://theguild.cmail19.com/t/t-l-dhutol-dujtnsj-yh/> .

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Annual Gathering tickets for 3 September this year have now been distributed. There are still some tickets remaining, so if you would like additional tickets for anyone, whether another Guild member or perhaps even someone interested in finding out more about the Guild, please get in touch with the Guild office to apply for additional tickets. It will be a wonderful day of celebration and fellowship, so do encourage others to come along!

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As part of the Guild's stand at Heart & Soul, there was a colouring competition for all ages! Entrants were asked to colour a picture of the Guild logo using their imagination, rather than usual colours. We were very impressed by the standard of entry in all categories, so well done to all the worthy winners! The winners are; Children's category: Kirsty Gillies (7), Calum Lindsay (5), Abbie Scott (6) and Esme Reid (5). Adult category: Janet McGhie.

 

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News from you

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On the 11th of May, Buchanan Lodge Nursing Home Guild had their closing social of the session. The Guild started five years ago and their convener is Rona Armonstrong, Past Convener of Dunbartonshire Presbyterial Council. Rona has help from Alison, the Activities Co-ordinator, and Stephen, the Chef who makes lovely afternoon teas, along with other staff and volunteers from the Guild and local churches. We're told the Guild is a huge success, with those attending saying that it's great to see the residents enjoying a catch up about local Guilds. What a wonderful idea!

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Peterhead Old Parish Church Guild recently celebrated its centenary year! Members past and present enjoyed a meal to celebrate at the Albert Hotel in Peterhead. Of the two ladies cutting the cake, Mrs Olive McRobbie (right) is a Past President and Mrs Mary Geddes is the Guild's oldest and longest serving member. Mary is 93 and we're told she has been a regular attender for probably the best part of 40 years! Although Peterheard Old is changing to Peterhead New Parish Church on 10 June when it joins with Trinity Church, we know this incredible legacy will carry the Guild forward.

 

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We know lots of Guilds have supported Christian Aid week with various fundraising activities. We love this picture from Duntocher Trinity Guild showing members and friends who walked the Erskine Bridge in aid of Christian Aid. They tell us they had great fun doing it, too! Well done to everyone pictured here - if your Guild has held a fundraising event and you have some photographs, be sure to send them to us for potential inclusion in Guild e-news, or even the next printed edition of the Guild News magazine.

 

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Projects

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Although our project with Care for the Family is about parents sticking together, the charity also helps to support family life in lots of different ways. In November, they are hosting an event in Edinburgh to support parents who have lost children. The Support Day offers understanding, encouragement and support to any parent who has suffered the death of a son or daughter in any circumstance and at any age. Click here <http://theguild.cmail19.com/t/t-l-dhutol-dujtnsj-yu/> for more information.

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Prospects and Livability UK are joining forces! Motivated by a dynamic and inclusive Christian ethos and with a clear commitment to disability care and social inclusion, both charities have identified significant areas of shared mission and strategic alignment. Merging on 11 May, the charities aim to be fully integrated in two years. Click here <http://theguild.cmail19.com/t/t-l-dhutol-dujtnsj-jl/> to read more.

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Street Pastors is currently running a writing competition with the Association of Christian Writers. They are looking for 1,000 words fiction or non-fiction about people who put the Christian ethos into practical action Today’s Good Samaritans. The closing date is 31 July, so there's still time to put pen to paper and write about Today's Good Samaritans from your point of view. Perhaps it could be about the Guild...?! Click here <http://theguild.cmail19.com/t/t-l-dhutol-dujtnsj-jr/> to read more!

 

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Focus on... Trade Right International

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This month we hear from Trade Right International <http://theguild.cmail19.com/t/t-l-dhutol-dujtnsj-jy/> on the subject of ethical trading:

 

‘Glocal Connections’

 

What’s the connection between 3,200 Ghanaian women and Scottish recovering addicts & ex-offenders?

 

Answer: Nuts or more specifically Shea Nuts used in Shea Butter!

 

You didn’t see that coming did you?

 

But that’s the reality of what the Scottish charity, Trade Right Trust, have achieved. The charity believes social business can bring dignity and freedom to all involved, reducing the effects of poverty and social exclusion. They work with communities in Ghana where women harvest shea nuts to produce shea butter which is then handcrafted into luxurious skincare products by recovering addicts and ex-offenders in Scotland. The charity trades ethically, pays Living Wage, and returns surplus profits into valuable education and community development projects.

 

Patience, one of the Ghanaian cooperative members, told Denice & Trev Gregory, the founders and creativity behind this unique approach, "We cannot believe that we African women are supporting and helping Western men back into work. We’d always assumed our lot as Africans was to receive from Westerners." She went on to explain how being organised into a cooperative means she has regular income to pay for food, education and her children’s medical costs. The local authorities in Ghana are also reporting a reduction in child trafficking because of the increased stability of income for families.

 

Meanwhile in Scotland recovering addicts and ex-offenders are supported as they transition from rehab, or prison through the employability programme based in Greenock. The men are assisted with housing, budgeting, rebuilding relationships with family, and employment skills. On the programme they manufacture handcrafted shea butter skincare and animal grooming products. Trev Gregory says, "We have launched two brands using shea butter: carishea skincare <http://theguild.cmail19.com/t/t-l-dhutol-dujtnsj-jj/> and Naturally Noah pet grooming. Both brands make natural products which contain no nasties parabens or SLS and each has a high content of shea butter."

 

To find out more about this unique approach and the luxurious products, invite Trev or Denice to speak at a Guild meeting.

Email: Trev@traderightinternational.com

Phone: 01475 786059

 

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Meet the Guild

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This month we say hello to Bea Nicholson, an individual Guild member from Duns.

 

What is the name of your Guild?

Unfortunately, the Guild where I was last a member has now closed but rather than lose my links with the Guild I have become an individual member. So perhaps the name of my Guild - and perhaps we need a better name - is the Nomads! Being an individual member enables people who cannot attend a meeting, for whatever reason, the opportunity to stay connected.

How long have you been a Guild member?

When we moved to the Borders in autumn 2002, Foulden & Mordington Guild was the first organisation to offer a no-strings-attached invitation and I joined in 2003 (I wasn’t invited to join the church for a few more years!).

Can you think of something you would say was your 'favourite ever Guild moment'?

It has to be the first Guild Rally I attended at the Concert Hall in Glasgow. To hear so many voices raised in praise was an amazing experience and will stay with me for ever. It was the Guild that introduced me to ‘I the Lord of sea and sky’ maybe that year or perhaps soon after the chorus has definitely become my mantra! This is one of the many joys of the Guild connecting with so many people from right across the land. If you meet a stranger and discover that they too are a Guild member, there is an immediate connection.

Are you an office-bearer in the Guild, and if so what do you think of your role?

I am currently Project Coordinator and Resource Coordinator for Duns Presbyterial Guild Council. The project role I have held since 2009 with a break of a couple of years when I was asked to undertake other roles. It was a joy to get it back though, always such worthwhile causes and so easy to present to our Guilds. I have learnt so much and hope that our Guilds have gained something too. The Resource Coordinator (previously Education Representative) role I took on in 2013, at about the time the position started to evolve. I am looking forward to sharing the direction the Guild is going. Going back to Foulden & Mordington Guild I was Secretary, Treasurer and Convenor each role being added as time moved on until we had to close at the end of the 2007-08 session. Our numbers had reduced to just four but we went out with a big and well attended celebration!

What three words or phrases would you use to sum up the Guild?

Joy in fellowship that sense of belonging.

Powerful we can be.

Innovative - seeking appropriate ways to move forward without losing the essence of the movement.

Why should people join the Guild?

It's a safe environment where folk can share worship. It's a chance to be part of something further reaching than just your own locality, where every Guild member is a friend you just haven’t yet met. It's a place where people can learn about the excellent work being carried out in Christ’s name both here and overseas. It's an opportunity to hear God’s call.

 

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Just for fun!

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Congratulations to May's competition winner, Annis Smith, who correctly told us that Ability Sunday is on 11 September this year! You have won a Guild notebook and pen, Annis - perfect for planning ahead of the new session!

 

This month, the prize you could win is extremely limited edition for the moment and in incredibly high demand: a Guild tartan scarf, as seen modelled by Iain Whyte, General Secretary (right) and also by the Leadership Team at the General Assembly! To be in with a chance of winning this great prize, we are looking for limericks about the Guild, to the traditional meter, something a bit like this:

 

There was a young man from Argyll,

a Guild member too, all the while,

He said, "Whether girl or a boy,

we can all Go in Joy,

and have millions of reasons to smile!"

 

Entries should be sent by email by 12 noon on 30 June. A winner will be chosen from the entries and announced in the next e-newsletter.

 

Well, that's everything for June's edition of Guild e-news! If you have something to contribute for the next e-newsletter then please email guild@churchofscotland.org.uk - we can't wait to hear from you!

 

We're finishing this month with some pictures of folks enjoying Guild tattoos at Heart & Soul, including the Moderator!

 

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