30th November 2020

Church of Scotland Guild Weekly E-News


May the God of Hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in Him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit. (Romans 15:13)


The first Advent candle has been lit. Advent season has begun and we prepare our hearts to celebrate the birth of our Saviour and Lord.


The first candle is the candle of Hope. What are we hoping for? Are we confident about tomorrow? The road ahead is filled with unknowns, stress and anxiety but our hope in Jesus always keeps us secure through the storms of life.


Hope is a gift from God. Hope strengthens us and reminds us of the promise of unending perfect happiness and eternal life. Hope inspires what we do. It encourages us and sustains us during times of trouble.


Monday 30 November is also St Andrew’s Day. In the gospels we read about how Jesus was walking by the sea of Galilee when he saw Andrew with his brother Simon and James and John. Jesus called to them and they immediately "left their nets and followed him".


Perhaps they did not know then that this man, Jesus, was the source of all human hope, but as they listened to Jesus, they were touched in their hearts and left everything to begin a completely new journey. A journey which during the rest of their lives would cover all three of our themes in this strategy: seeking the way with Jesus, meeting many companions on the road, and certainly going the extra mile. A journey which brought risk and challenge, suffering, sacrifice and martyrdom.


Andrew, as we know, was crucified in Patras, in Greece. He was bound to a diagonal cross at his request because he felt he was not worthy to be put to death in the same way as Jesus. How did Andrew’s journey end in Scotland? After his death his remains were placed in a tomb in Greece. About 300 years later the emperor Constantine, who had been converted to Christianity, ordered Andrew’s remains to be removed to Constantinople, the new capital of the Roman Empire.


A few hundred years later a monk, St Rule, was advised in a dream to take Andrew’s remains as far away from Constantinople as possible. As instructed, he set off for the ends of the earth. He was shipwrecked and washed ashore off the coast of Fife (other versions of this story are available, but I like this one).


When we meet Jesus we begin the same kind of journey. We embrace the gift of hope and set our eyes on life eternal. At the beginning of this Advent season, let us embrace the gift of hope. Let us leave the old behind, as St Andrew did, and prepare for the coming of the Christ child, God’s life changing gift and promise of hope.


May the gifts of Hope, Peace, Love and Joy bring you many blessings during this Advent season and beyond.


Helen Eckford

National Vice-Convener







Virtual Christmas Big Sing


This Friday 4 December at 3pm, our 'virtual' Christmas Big Sing will be going live on the main Church of Scotland website and on the Facebook page. The event will include carols, readings and a reflection from the Moderator, Rt Rev Dr Martin Fair. National Convener, Mabel Wallace, will also lead us in prayer.


Whilst it is not the same as meeting in person, we hope that you will be able to join us from the comfort of your own home and sing your hearts out to some well known carols.







Bright Hope For Tomorrow


The countdown has begun and, when Advent began on Sunday 29 November running until Thursday 24 December. This year, people from across the Church of Scotland are joining together to look forward to ‘Bright Hope For Tomorrow’ through the church's Advent Calendar.


Meaning 'coming' or 'arrival', Advent is a time of prayer and preparation for the coming of God's Son. It is also a time when many look outwards to the needs of others, spreading joy with friends, families, local communities and further afield.


This year will feel very different to previous years, as Covid-19 restrictions continue across Scotland limiting our opportunities to meet and worship in person. However, we hope that the Advent calendar will help spread a little hope and joy during these dark days.


Bright Hope for Tomorrow

Bright Hope For Tomorrow is the theme of the Church of Scotland’s 2020 Advent calendar, based on the lines ‘Strength for Today, Bright Hope for Tomorrow’ from the hymn 'Great Is Thy Faithfulness'.


Pardon for sin and a peace that endureth,

Thine own dear presence to cheer and to guide;

Strength for today and bright hope for tomorrow,

Blessings all mine, with ten thousand beside!


"Great is Thy faithfulness!" "Great is Thy faithfulness!"

Morning by morning new mercies I see;

All I have needed Thy hand hath provided

"Great is Thy faithfulness, " Lord, unto me!


We hope that you will sign up for the Advent calendar and be encouraged and inspired in the run-up to Christmas.



Sign up for the Advent calendar <https://churchofscotland.us20.list-manage.com/track/click?u=29d4cd56ce6871362e9339137&id=60da25ee1a&e=43d4a1fa0e>







A beautiful 'alternative' harvest celebration


Leven Parish Church's Guild delivered these beautiful arrangements to each member to let them know that although they could not meet in these difficult times they are always thought about.


No Harvest Festival! What do you do?


A member of Leven Parish Guild had the idea to give each Guild member a silk floral arrangement - displayed in a Guild cup and saucer - to cheer them up.


Feedback from members showed that the arrangements were loved and appreciated.


It might be an idea to try over the festive season and give folks a wee reminder of the Guild to add a little sparkle to their Christmas decorations.







Crafty in Calderbank


Last week we shared a craft video by Barbara Ogston of Luce Valley Guild. Hamilton North Guilds Together used the video in their recent Zoom meeting and Joyce MacIver, Convener of Calderbank Guild, sent them this great photo of the jar she has made. A great, simple idea for homemade Christmas gifts.


Watch the video <https://churchofscotland.us20.list-manage.com/track/click?u=29d4cd56ce6871362e9339137&id=9268220c72&e=43d4a1fa0e>







Edinburgh Guilds Together Conference


Edinburgh Guilds Together went ahead with their resource conference and they have shared it so you can watch it and enjoy some of the content. It is an opportunity to hear from our National Convener, Mabel Wallace, and from the Christian charity 'Embrace the Middle East'. We hope that you enjoy it.


Watch the video <https://churchofscotland.us20.list-manage.com/track/click?u=29d4cd56ce6871362e9339137&id=f652db7c14&e=43d4a1fa0e>







Join the conversation


The Guild has a proud record of building relationships with people of other faiths. Edinburgh Interfaith Association has been working to try and unite communities and spread a positive message of togetherness further afield.


They would be delighted if Guild members and friends were able to join them for INTERFAITH: Live every Tuesday @ 1. Streamed from Zoom, it will have hosts and guests from a variety of faiths and cultures.


You are welcome to join them any Tuesday at 1pm and be part of the conversation.


Join the event <https://churchofscotland.us20.list-manage.com/track/click?u=29d4cd56ce6871362e9339137&id=91394dc9ef&e=43d4a1fa0e>







Monday Memories


It's the summer of 2017 this time and we drop in on North Ayrshire Guilds Together at their summer rally in Arran. It was another great day of fellowship and sharing, with some very good home baking as an added bonus. Hopefully it won't be too long until we can have these events again.







O come, o come Emmanuel


As we begin the season on advent we take time to pause and wait.


This hymn encourages us to reflect on the struggles that God's people have encountered and come through. It also reminds us of the coming of the long expected Emmanuel, which means 'God with us'. And the promise of being with Him again either when He comes or calls us home.


Whenever you are struggling this week, remember that the Emmanuel has come and that God is indeed 'with us' through the hard times as well as the good times.


Listen to the hymn <https://churchofscotland.us20.list-manage.com/track/click?u=29d4cd56ce6871362e9339137&id=3a973c07e4&e=43d4a1fa0e>







Send in your sprig of rosemary


During December, the Moderator, Rt Rev Dr Martin Fair, will be inviting people to send a sprig of rosemary, to represent their own personal experience of 2020. These sprigs will then be incorporated into a giant rosemary wreath, a symbol of the nation’s lament for a sorrow-filled year, so that we can all look forward to happier times.


The art installation, called ‘Scented Lament’, which will be 5ft 9inches (the average height of a Scot) in diameter, will be created by Rev Peter Gardner and Heidi Gardner and temporarily exhibited in a number of sites in Glasgow. A television programme on the installation will also be broadcast on BBC Scotland on New Year's Day, as part of 'Resolutions', with the Moderator telling the story of the work of the artwork.


We would ask that the cut sprig of rosemary is sealed inside a sandwich bag, then placed in an envelope and posted to:


Gardner & Gardner, Studio 118, The Briggait, 141 Bridgegate, Glasgow, G1 5HZ


The rosemary should be posted around Thursday 10 December, so that it will arrive at the Gardner & Gardner studio between Monday 14 December and Friday 18 December, as fresh as possible.



Find out more <https://churchofscotland.us20.list-manage.com/track/click?u=29d4cd56ce6871362e9339137&id=73cecec9e9&e=43d4a1fa0e>







Pray this week


Monday: for all who are victims of domestic violence, giving thanks for the work of organisations like Women's Aid who provide vital support to women and children.

Tuesday: remembering all those living with HIV across the globe. Giving thanks for the work of the Church of Scotland HIV programme as it supports people infected and affected by the virus. Continue to pray for further medical breakthroughs.

Wednesday: thinking especially of all who are sleeping rough on our streets tonight. Pray for safety and give thanks for organisations like the City Missions who provide food and shelter to many.

Thursday: especially for all who will be alone this Christmas and who will be unable to join with family.

Friday: for all who have participated in the Virtual Christmas Big Sing, asking God to draw close as people take part at home.

Saturday: thinking especially for all involved in delivering online Messy Church.

Sunday: giving thanks for all involved in sharing in worship in congregations across Scotland.





Contact us


Phone: 0131 225 5722 <tel:+013120225205722>

121 George Street, Edinburgh, EH2 4YN

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