17th September 2020

Church of Scotland Guild Weekly E-News


Where will the extra mile take us?


I spent most of the morning trying to think about what I would write. Sadly I had no inspiration. I even resorted to googling the word inspiration. That did not work either. I thought a break for lunch might help. It did. I realised that the answer was actually staring me in the face. I needed to get words on to paper, so I decided to write about the very thing I needed. Something I have always loved ... words!

Words are something almost as necessary as the air we breathe. Words allow us to communicate with one another, whether spoken or written ... telephone, text, email or letter.

I have been fascinated by language since I was a child. Only later in life did I realise the power of words, though.

Words can be encouraging, comforting, cheering, annoying, upsetting, cruel. A word is like toothpaste, once it is out of the tube we can’t put it back and so we learn how to use words wisely: to heal and not to hurt.

Incidentally, the word extra has a good score in Scrabble, but if we can double it by putting it on a double word square, of course, it will be twice as good. Something "extra" is always worthwhile.

Last year’s Convener’s Challenge was about using words. This year’s Convener’s Challenge involves taking a photograph. Both challenges take their inspiration from Scripture: one connected with the many journeys in the Bible and our current strategy, One Journey, Many Roads; the other taking the rainbow and trees both found in Scripture, as the theme.

One challenge is about words and the other is about pictures, and we say, "a picture is worth a thousand words".

We know the proverb, "actions speak louder than words," but do they? It is easy to say that it is what we do that matters. However let’s not diminish the power of words.

Whether it is words or actions, we have it covered in the Guild. We express our faith in worship, prayer, action and fellowship. We use both words and actions to do this.

Then there is God’s Word, the Scripture which guides us and teaches us. As we begin our third year of One Journey, Many Roads, as we begin to travel the Extra Mile, we think of what that means.

We can all think of a time when someone has gone the extra mile for us and we hope too, that we have gone the extra mile for someone else. Matthew 5:41 says, "When anyone forces you to go one mile, go with them two miles." The origin of this is that a Roman soldier could by law demand that a Jewish citizen carry his pack for up to one mile.

Jesus tells us what God expects of us. We should be prepared to go the extra mile, to do more than the minimum. This is another challenge for us, as Guild members this year. A challenge we can start now, even if we are not yet able to meet together.


Helen Eckford

National Vice-Convener







Zooming along


It was great to see Dumbarton Guilds Together holding their planning meeting using zoom last week. They had the chance to chat to each other and discuss how best to keep in touch with Guilds in their area. Lovely to see you all folks.


Maybe this is something you can try either in your Guild or Guilds Together. Get in touch if you would like more information on how to meet together online safely.


Get more information <mailto:kgillon@churchofscotland.org.uk?subject=Meeting%20online%20safely&body=Please%20get%20in%20touch%20and%20let%20us%20know%20how%20we%20can%20meet%20online%20safely.>







60 years of service to the Guild


Huge congratulations to Rev Margaret Michie, who was recently presented with her long service award to celebrate 60 years of service to the Guild, 30 of them at Kinross Guild. She is pictured with Helena Cant, the Guild Convener at Kinross, who was delighted to pay tribute to a much loved and valued Guild member.







We'll meet again


We loved this table centre that Guild member, Brenda Russell, had in her home when her friend Doris joined her to watch our virtual Annual Gathering. They are both members of Corstorphine Old Guild. The lovely heart is one of a number that were made by folks in the Guild and sent out to members to encourage them whilst they can't see each other in person. Another great idea that your Guild might want to try.







Another good initiative


National Convener, Mabel Wallace, along with National Vice Convener Margaret Muir enjoyed a socially distanced visit with members of St Colm’s at St Michael’s Guild and friends at the local Deaf Action group. The Guild is working with Deaf Action to help develop a community garden where the residents supported by Deaf Action can meet up safely outdoors with Guild members.

The work is being supported through the Guild Initiative Fund. The Guild members are also going to be taught some basic British Sign Language so that the two groups can communicate more effectively with each other.

A great example of community outreach. Is there a group in your community that your Guild could reach out to even in these difficult times with support from our Guild Initiative Fund? Grants of up to £1000 can be applied for by a Guild.


Send me an Initiative Fund application pack <mailto:kgillon@churchofscotland.org.uk?subject=Initiative%20Fund&body=Please%20send%20me%20a%20Guild%20Initiative%20Fund%20application%20pack>







Pray this week


Tuesday: on International Democracy Day, pray for those countries where the COVID 19 pandemic is being used to jeopardise democracy and disenfranchise people from the right to vote freely and fairly.

Wednesday: for all who this week have had to say goodbye to a loved one. Pray that God will draw particularly close to them.

Thursday: for Church of Scotland mission partners, particularly those who have not yet been able to return to the country where they feel they have been called.

Friday: for Guild Senior Administrator, as she gets ready to retire at the end of month, trusting her to God's care and protection and giving thanks for her many years’ service to the Guild.

Saturday: for older folk who are in nursing and residential homes, particularly where visiting is restricted. Praying for a sense of contentment for them and their family members.

Sunday: for young people who have begun their time at university or those who are returning to a very different learning pattern to the one they left. Asking God to protect them and encourage them to be the best people they can be.





Contact us


Phone: 0131 225 5722 <tel:+013120225205722>

121 George Street, Edinburgh, EH2 4YN

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