1st September 2020

Church of Scotland Guild Weekly E-News

 

Listen... Listen...

 

I’ve heard it said that in many places over the past few months the silence has been audible. Noise pollution from air and land traffic has lessened, people have been out and about more in quieter rural areas and urban beauty spots, and there is a new awareness of just listening for something, for anything, for silence.

 

Living as I do in Shetland, it is relatively easy for me to experience silence. But is that the same as listening? I may hear nothing, but am I really listening?

 

Listening is not a passive state, but an active one asking ‘What can I hear as I listen?’ It may be the screech of the terns, the hum of a distant lawn mower, the bleating of lambs, the surge of the sea.

 

Listen… listen...

Listening for human sounds is also an active state new parents listen for the cry of their baby; grandparents listen for the joyous squeal of grandchildren at play; we listen to the wise counsel of an aged friend or relative, or to the whisper of a loved-one.

 

Listen... listen…

But, as well as listening to these familiar well-loved sounds and voices, we also need to listen to the tough issues and harsh realities that are more and more evident in our world; upsurges in violence and abuse, issues of discrimination and injustice, creation of division between peoples and religions, famine, poverty and war. These issues have many voices and sometimes we block them out because they overwhelm us and we can’t face them. These voices are crying out, and we can’t silence them we must respond in solidarity, in action, and in faith as God calls us to.

 

Listen… listen…

I’m a talker by nature - the only misdemeanour I ever got the belt for at school was talking! I’m also often accused of interrupting (mea culpa) and so I constantly need to practise listening listening to my friends, family and colleagues. And I need to practise listening to God.

 

Listen… listen...

And that still small voice comes when I least expect it, even when I’m not really listening. It says: ‘Be still and know that I am God’. It says: ’All will be well’. It says: ‘Do not be afraid’.

 

And so,

 

Listen… listen…

It has been a wonderful experience leading the Guild this past year, or 15 months. My final Guild News message to you as National Convener is this: listen to one another, listen to those you seek to serve... and listen to God. May you hear His voice clearly as you set out with Him on the extra mile.

 

Marian Macintyre,

National Convener

 

 

 

 

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It is almost time for the Annual Gathering

 

We have been working hard to get the 'virtual' Annual Gathering ready for you this Saturday (5 September) from 11am. We have a great programme with contributions from the Moderator, Rt Rev Dr Martin Fair, the chief officer of the Church of Scotland, Dave Kendall, as well as our own Marian Macintyre and Mabel Wallace.

 

Music will come from the Dundee Gospel Choir and the Govan Songsters and, of course, some great hymns from Annual Gatherings over the past few years. We will conclude with the celebration of Holy Communion, so please have something ready so you can be part of the Communion.

 

The event is being hosted on the Church of Scotland website and you can use the link below on Saturday morning from 11am to take you to the right place.

 

Take me to the Church of Scotland website <https://churchofscotland.us20.list-manage.com/track/click?u=29d4cd56ce6871362e9339137&id=91f6c34f52&e=43d4a1fa0e>

 

 

 

 

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Watch the Annual Gathering on Facebook, too

 

You will also be able to watch the Annual Gathering through Facebook. You might have that on your phone, tablet or iPad and you are familiar with it. Again, you can access the Annual Gathering at 11am on Saturday by using the link below.

 

It will also be able to watch again later on the Guild's Facebook page <https://churchofscotland.us20.list-manage.com/track/click?u=29d4cd56ce6871362e9339137&id=c355e805a2&e=43d4a1fa0e> if you can't make it at 11am.

 

Take me to the Church of Scotland Facebook page <https://churchofscotland.us20.list-manage.com/track/click?u=29d4cd56ce6871362e9339137&id=95603f917d&e=43d4a1fa0e>

 

 

 

 

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Making the news

 

Inverclyde Guilds Together has been blowing the Guild trumpet in their local paper this week to let people know about the Guild and about the Annual Gathering.

 

Here is a taste of what they said - it might give you some ideas for your own local paper.

 

"We want to take the opportunity to tell people in Inverclyde who don’t already know about us, exactly what we do. So what are we? What is a Guild? A Guild is a club, an organisation, or a fellowship. The Guild is all of these and more. An organisation is a group of people who do the same job or have the same interests. That is the Guild. Fellowship is a group of people who share an interest. That is the Guild."

 

They then go on to explain where the local Guilds are, what the Guild does nationally, and which projects they have supported locally:

 

"As a national organisation, we also support projects in Scotland and abroad. We support each project for three years and raise over £100,000 for each project. Unfortunately, though, this is something else which is suffering because of lockdown. We are not able to get together to fundraise the way we normally would.

 

"At the moment, our projects are: helping CrossReach to tackle the problems of loneliness and social isolation in Scotland; the Sailors’ Society to fund a chaplain in every port to bring hope and comfort to sailors arriving in Scottish ports; and the Boys Brigade in their work with young people.

 

"We also support young farmers in Malawi to lift them out of poverty; rescue street children and trafficked women in Pune in India; and support teenage mothers in Zambia to build a life for themselves and their children. Telegraph readers might remember the articles about two Guild members from Inverclyde who visited Zambia earlier this year just before lockdown and saw how this project is helping the girls."

 

So, this is just an idea of what kind of things you might want to say about the Guild and things that you can localise to your particular situation. The article ends with a contact email and number that people can call if they want more information about the Guild.

 

Please let us know if you need any more information, if you manage to get an article in your local paper, or if you need help in putting something together.

 

Get in touch <mailto:kgillon@churchofscotland.org.uk>

 

 

 

 

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Another Way to Remember with Christian Aid Scotland

 

Every September, Christian Aid Scotland hosts an annual remembering walk. This is a moment to make space and remember loved ones no longer with us. This year, more than ever, it feels important to make time.

 

Last year we embarked on an ambitious walk from Logie Kirk in Stirling up to Lossburn Reservoir in the Ochils. It was a beautiful sunny day and we enjoyed walking together and making new friends, while remembering friends and loved ones.

 

Mindful of the current pandemic, this year’s walk in memory will go ahead albeit differently. Another Way to Remember 2020 will have two parts: a local walk and an online reflection.

 

We are inviting people to walk somewhere special but local to them on the morning of Saturday 12 September. At midday, we will come together for a short online event when we will light candles together and say prayers.

 

Another Way to Remember is about making time and space to remember the light our loved ones shone in our lives and to strengthen us, as we come together to share in that grief, during a year that has been very challenging.

 

If you would like to register to take part please sign up via the link below.

 

Register to take part <https://churchofscotland.us20.list-manage.com/track/click?u=29d4cd56ce6871362e9339137&id=4d040ce5c5&e=43d4a1fa0e>

 

 

 

 

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September challenge

 

Thank you to all of you who sent us your photos of where you should have been. This is Elspeth Carss and her husband who should have been in San Francisco for their son’s wedding. Instead they had to dress up in their own garden and "Zoom into" the ceremony which went ahead with only three guests. Congratulations to the happy couple.

 

This month's challenge is to share a Bible verse or verse from a hymn that you have found particularly uplifting or encouraging over the last six months. We look forward to reading what has inspired you.

 

My inspirational verse or hymn <mailto:kgillon@churchofscotland.org.uk?subject=My%20inspirational%20verse%20or%20hymn>

 

 

 

 

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Pray this week

 

Tuesday: asking God to place his hand on the situation in the USA, and bring peace to communities and justice for those who have been victims of violence or discrimination.

Wednesday: the staff of CrossReach as they continue to support vulnerable people, struggling with isolation and loneliness.

Thursday: asking God's richest blessing on Marian Macintyre as she prepares to stand down as National Convener. Giving thanks for all that she has given in her year leading the Guild.

Friday: particularly for all participating in the Virtual Annual Gathering, asking that the messages they convey will comfort, inspire and enthuse those who watch.

Saturday: remembering all watching the Virtual Annual Gathering. Pray that the technology will work and people will be blessed by the event and encouraged to go the extra mile in the coming year.

Sunday: thinking especially of Mabel Wallace, as she begins her term of office in a very different way. Asking that God will walk with her during her term of office.

 

 

 

 

Contact us

 

Phone: 0131 225 5722 <tel:+013120225205722>

121 George Street, Edinburgh, EH2 4YN


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