Week Commencing 22 May: General Assembly

  • Give thanks for the willingness of so many elders and other volunteers to give up time and incur expense in going to the General Assembly, and those who are on the Committees, Councils etc that report to the General Assembly
  • Give thanks for Angus Morrison’s work as Moderator over the last year and pray for the new Moderator Russell Barr
  • Pray that Commissioners will be listening for God’s voice so that all the discussions and decisions reflect God’s values and work to build the Kingdom
  • Pray for those who are going as Commissioners for the first time, who feel apprehensive and may not know anyone. May new friendships be forged

Fact box: Timetable for the Assembly

http://www.churchofscotland.org.uk/about_us/general_assembly

Sat 21 Opening – Scottish Bible Society – Overtures – Legal Questions – Council of Assembly
Sun 22 Heart and Soul
Mon 23 World Mission – Social Care – Panel on Review and Reform
Tue 24 Church and Society – Guild – Iona Community
Wed 25 Ecumenical relations – Safeguarding – Ministries
Thu 26 Armed Forces’ Chaplains – Mission and Discipleship – National Youth Assembly 2014 – Theological Forum
Fri 27 General Trustees – Hymn book, pensions etc – Closing

Week Commencing 8 May: Christian Aid Week

Christian Aid

Morsheda is a young mother of four. Her husband has left. She has little land, few assets, and no savings. Living on a low-lying island on the Brahmaputra river, floods are a terrifying part of her everyday life. The single room, corrugated-iron shack she shares with her family has been flooded four times.Christian Aid

Her three daughters and her young son know the dangers the floods bring. One year, huge waves crashed against their house giving her less than an hour to uproot their home and scramble to safety. Racing against time, she gathered her terrified children together and hastily made a raft from a banana tree. At any moment, it could have tipped and plunged them into the swirling waters. She put her youngest child in a cooking pot and clung to it as it floated in the current.

Each year, the floods threaten to sweep away the little she has. Without livestock and a safe place to tend animals and grow crops, the only income Morsheda can get is from doing hard manual labour for as little as 74p a day.

Morsheda’s life is a constant battle, but her faith and her love for her children mean it’s one she’s passionate about fighting.

‘I don’t know where I get my strength to fight on, but I am blessed to have it.

‘God is supporting me. If he wasn’t I would nothave survived. He has given me the support of my neighbours.’

Feroza used to live a life marked by despair and fear. River floods swept away her home seven times. Each time, she, her husband and their three children picked up the pieces and started again. But in 2011, the raging waters left the family with nothing but a goat and the bamboo walls of their tiny house.

A Home Safety Package from Christian Aid changed her life. A grant helped to construct an earth plinth on which to rebuild her home, safely out of reach of future floods. For the first time, her life was free from fear. The grant also meant she could buy a cow, a goat, ducks, chickens, vegetable seeds and a composting wormery. Day by day, these increased her income and her confidence – she’s since turned her original investment into assets worth 10 times the original amount.

 ‘I couldn’t imagine that this kind of change could

happen. I am hard working, but a little bit of money

can really change things.

‘What I have received from Christian Aid has changed

my life. I never dreamed of it. I think it is a blessing.’

Today, Feroza’s family are healthy and thriving, and she no longer needs charity support.

Week Commencing 1 May: Scottish Parliament Election

  • Pray for those who have retired from the Scottish Parliament, as they look for new outlets for their energy and experience. May they continue to contribute to the well-being of the community and country
  • Pray for those who are standing as candidates in this election, that they will have the stamina to cope with the long hours and the strength to cope with the hard knocks, rude comments etc
  • Pray for those who will be elected: that they will serve their community effectively, be able to cope with all the challenges of being an MSP, and pray too for their families, if they live part of the time in London and part in their constituencies
  • Pray for those who are not elected (especially if they were previously the MSP). Help them to cope with the disappointment, and to find new ways of helping others
  • Pray for all those who arrange and administer the election
  • Pray for the outcome, that whatever government is elected it will listen for God’s voice, and be guided to work for justice and peace, wholeness and fullness of life for all

Week commencing 24 April: Couples and single people

  • Lord, you have called us all to belong to your family – whether we live on our own, live with our spouse/ partner/‘other half’, or have an extensive network of children, grandchildren, siblings etc. We are all brothers and sisters, aunts and uncles, nieces and nephews to each other in your family. Thank you for that sense of ‘belonging’ – we are there for each other and can help and support each other
  • We pray for everyone who has an ‘other half’, whether they are part of the church or not. We pray that their relationship may grow and be strong to face the challenges that life can bring. We pray for all who are facing difficulties in their relationships. May we be ready to help, without judging
  • We pray for those who live on their own – some may have lived on their own for a long time, for some it may be a new experience. Living ‘on your own’ is not the same as ‘being lonely’, but some people are lonely, and we pray for them. Help us to be ready to offer friendship and welcome both in church and wherever we are

Week commencing 17 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 10 April 2016: 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

Week commencing 27 March: 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

Holy Week (Week commencing 20 March)

  • 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