Thought for the day 1 May

There were many references and photos in the News yesterday to Capt Tom Moore’s 100th birthday. He became well-known because of his fund-raising for NHS charities, doing laps of the garden at the age of 99 with his zimmer. He has been an inspiration to many – if a 99-year-old with a zimmer can do that, what could I, younger and fitter, do to help others? Good question!

Lord, we are never too old, too frail, too anything to be able to think outside ourselves and see what we can do to help others. Help us to remember that; and, instead of thinking about what we can’t do (or can no longer do), focus on what we can do – and use that.

National Day of Prayer – Sunday 22/03/2020 at 7pm

Light a candle and join the rest of Scotland in prayer at 7pm on Sunday as we come together at this difficult time.

Taking place on Sunday 22 March, people of faith are being encouraged to light a candle and place it in their window at 7pm.*

We are all asked to “join in prayerful solidarity with this witness”, describing the candle as “a visible symbol of the light of life, Jesus Christ, the source of hope in this life.”

The following prayer can be used when lighting the candle:

For all that is good in life, thank you,
For the love of family and friends, thank you,
For the kindness of good neighbour and Samaritan stranger, thank you.

May those who are vulnerable, hungry or homeless, experience support,
May those who are sick, know healing,
May those who are anxious or bereaved, sense comfort.

Bless and guide political leaders and decision-makers, with wisdom,
Bless and guide health workers and key workers, with strength and well-being,
Bless and guide each one of us, as we adapt to a new way of living.

And may the light shining from our windows,
across road and wynd, glen and ben, kyle and isle,
be reflected in our hearts and hands and hopes.

Through Jesus Christ our Lord, Amen.

https://www.churchofscotland.org.uk/news-and-events/news/2020/churches-join-together-in-call-for-national-day-of-prayer?fbclid=IwAR3E8Bw2BOa2E07iBnaiXzy1ut2grdwI_uCdZzcI4DESA1VH_70_Y_pFDcY

* Please take all necessary fire precautions when using a lit candle. Ensure you remain with the lit candle at all times, and do not leave it to burn if you leave the room. Ensure there are no fabrics or materials such as curtains near the candle.

Week commencing 23 April: Dalreoch Primary School

  • ‘Oor wee school is a great wee school.’ Give thanks for the community of staff, pupils and parents at Dalreoch Primary School, for their commitment and all that they have achieved
  • The school is now going forward after a period of uncertainty over its future. Give thanks for those who have coped with that uncertainty, while providing a positive learning environment for the children. Pray for them as they plan for the future
  • Give thanks for all that the children have learned at school this year – not just the knowledge but the skills and life skills. Pray that they will continue to want to learn and to grow and develop as members of the school community
  • Pray for the children moving on at the end of term, and for those starting at Dalreoch after the summer

Week commencing 16 April: Easter

  • Christ is risen! He is risen indeed! Hallelujah!
  • If the women and the disciples who went to the empty tomb and met the Risen Jesus struggled to understand  what they had experienced, maybe we have an excuse, Lord, help us to try to get our heads around what happened that day
  • Thank you for the new hope that Easter gives us: the hope that cruelty, indifference, abuse and hatred will not have the last word; the hope that it is worth investing time, effort and suffering into seeking healing and wholeness for the world; the hope that life does not end with death
  • Encountering the risen Jesus transformed the lives of those who met him. Help us to open our hearts and lives that we may be transformed
  • Help your whole church to live out the hope, the message of Easter

Week commencing 9 April 2017 (Holy Week)

Lord Jesus, we wish you would ride into our town, that crowds would welcome you with shouts of “Praise God” – but maybe you would weep over it, as you Jerusalem. We pray for our town and all who live here

  • You drove out the money-changers in the Temple, you created mayhem. You hate corruption, you hate systems that exclude people. You do something about it. Stir us up to action for change
  • You challenged your disciples to have faith. You challenged them to pray earnestly. Help us to do both
  • You faced up to questioners bombarding you from all sides. Often we dodge getting involved in discussions/arguments about our faith. Help us to stop dodging the issue, and help us to be ready to learn more about our faith so that we are not so vulnerable when we do get caught up in arguments
  • You met with your friends for the Passover meal, when the past, the present and the future come together as God’s mighty act of salvation is remembered and celebrated. As we share in bread and wine may we be aware of what you did, of your presence with us now, and your promises for the future
  • In the face of your suffering and love what we say. Forgive us
  • As the disciples were filled with despair by what happened, may we be filled with hope, with courage, with renewed commitment

Week commencing 2 April 2015: Those with problems or issues in our parishes

  • There are people in our parishes who have problems with alcohol, drugs or other substances. They often sit alongside other problems – physical or mental health issues, complex and difficult family relationships, unemployment, difficulty in maintaining regularity or structure in life, poor educational attainment and so on.
  • Pray for them, that they will find the support they need to break out of their addictions and to cope with the other issues in their lives.
  • Pray for their families, friends and neighbours who are trying to cope with their problems.
  • Pray for those who work with people with addiction problems
  • ‘Old age doesn’t come alone’. For some it means physical problems – restricted mobility, chronic pain, difficulty breathing, spells in and out of hospital, adjusting to not being able to do things you used to do, adjusting to losing your independence and having to rely on others. For other people it is the mind that is affected as forgetfulness or dementia develops. It is stressful and distressing.
  • Pray for those who are experiencing the problems of age in their own lives, and those who are having to cope with them in relatives, friends or neighbours.
  • Pray too for those who work with older people who have age-related problems
  • Attitudes to people with disabilities, learning difficulties, ‘conditions’ or ‘syndromes’ have changed markedly over the last two generations. They are now much more readily included in the mainstream of society. But coping with a family member, friend or neighbour can still be hard work.
  • Pray for continuing change in attitudes, and greater inclusion.
  • Pray that those who have disabilities etc will be enabled to reach their full potential.
  • Pray for those who have to cope/ look after them, that they will have the stamina and patience they need

Activities for adults (week commencing 26 March)

  • Week by week dozens of people come to activities in the church halls that reflect the churches’ role as a centre for the community.
  • Give thanks that so many people find friendship, company, a welcome, in the activities that meet in the halls
  • Pray that the organisations and groups may continue to have the support they need to keep operating
  • Pray that we may continue to make them feel welcome
  • Pray that we may be able to find ways for communicating with these ‘hall-users’ so that they can learn what the church is about

Congregational Board (Week commencing 19 March)

  • Being a member of the Congregational Board involves attending meetings, being on rotas, being on committees or working groups. Give thanks for the willingness of elders and members of the congregation to do these things, and pray that they may continue to be willing to do so
  • Pray for those who hold specific offices within the Congregational Board – Clerk, Treasurer, Convener of certain committees or groups

Fact Box

The Congregational Board looks after the financial and fabric matters of the congregation, including fund-raising

In Riverside all elders are members of the Congregational Board, in West Kirk elders serve on the Board by rotation

Members of the congregation are elected, on a rolling basis, at the Stated Annual Meeting to serve for three years. The number of elected members may equal but not exceed the number of elders on the Board

Members of the congregation (week commencing 12 March)

  • Give thanks for those who week by week (or maybe a little less often) share in worship with us, making it a more enriching experience for us all. Pray that they may continue to find friendship in our congregation, and an encounter with God in our worship
  • Give thanks for those who give generously to the church of their time, abilities and money. It is appreciated. Pray that they will continue to feel that it is worthwhile doing so
  • Pray for those who are unable to come to church because of illness or disability. Help us reassure them that they are not forgotten – by us or by God
  • Pray for those who no longer come because they ‘got out of the habit’ or who feel they no longer want to be part of the church family

World Day of Prayer (Week commencing 5 March)

  • God thank you for our brothers and sisters in the Philippines. We ask you to be with us in this service and help us to learn about your kindness to us. We pray that you would help us to show that same kindness to others around us
  • God is not unfair – He is kind, but our world often is unfair. God asks us to help Him by showing the same kindness He has towards others. He wants us to notice when others are being treated unfairly and to do what we can to help them
  • May we notice when things are unfair and help us to be strong enough to speak out for justice

Fact box

Prayers taken from World Day of Prayer service for children – this year held at 2.00pm in St Patrick’s on Friday 3 March (all welcome)

Material prepared by women from The Philippines. The country comprises over 7000 islands and the population is over 100m

Most of the population identify as Christian