The Church of Scotland online Advent calendar will go live on December 1st, and already thousands have submitted their email addresses to receive daily updates.
On each of the 24 days of Advent, the calendar will feature a short video from a Church of Scotland minister. The videos are all inspired by a line from the Bible, a carol or a poem, and are designed as a daily moment of reflection to consider why Christmas is such a special time.
We all like to be independent and do things for ourselves. Some of us reach a stage in life where we need a bit of help and support at home. Some of us need 24-hour support:
thank you that there are Care Homes in our parishes which not only offer care and support, but also strive to respect our dignity and independence
we pray for residents feeling the stress of being somewhere new and different, and not being able to do what they used to do. Give them patience and grace when dealing with staff, family or other residents, and not let frustrations show
Thank you for all the staff and volunteers who work in the homes, cheerfully and helpfully. Be with them, and help them to go on doing that. Give them patience when residents may behave in ways that are challenging
Thank you for the different activities and therapies that happen each day
We ask for your blessing on residents and staff who are not well, or are feeling apprehensive of the future
Thank you for family and friends who are faithful in coming to see us. Help families cope with the mixed feelings they have when someone close goes into a Care Home
Give thanks for those who come to Messy Church and obviously enjoy it. Some are part of the Sunday worshipping community, some go to other churches, some don’t have much of a church connection. Pray that the links will become stronger and that all may be drawn into the life of the wider church
Give thanks for those who organise it and lead the different activities. Pray that others may become involved in the planning and leading – both to include them, and to enable us to have Messy Church more often
With each meal or cup of tea/coffee we have this week we give thanks that we can afford to buy food, it is always in the shops when we need it, we have clean water to drink and it comes out the tap – we don’t need to go and fetch it
We give thanks for all the people who play a part in bringing food and water to our table
We pray for people who cannot afford to buy nutritious food, or worry how they will keep themselves and their family fed
We pray for those who grow their own food and had a bad harvest or worry that it will be a bad harvest this year
We pray that those who grow food will get a fair price for their work
We pray for fishermen who go out in rough seas to catch fish for our tables
We pray for politicians and officials who make decisions about trade arrangements, subsidies, and such like
795m people (more than the combined populations of the EU, USA and Canada) do not have enough food to lead healthy and active lives
More people die from hunger each year than AIDS, malaria and TB combined
1 in 4 people in Sub-Saharan Africa is undernourished
In the UK roughly 1/3rd of food purchased (6.7m tonnes) is wasted each year
There are still quite a lot of people work in Dumbarton, in shops and offices around the town. Give thanks for the work they do.
Pray that they will find fulfilment in their work. Pray for those who have ‘issues’ to face at work (whether coping with personality clashes, uncertainty over the future of their job, or dealing with the public)
Pray for good relations with management, colleagues and clients/customers
On St Columba’s Day (9 June) Dumbarton Churches Together, through their Dumbarton Christian Heritage project, invited all P7 children from Dumbarton schools to visit the Castle together and learn about the town’s history. Lovely sunny day. Provost and Keeper of the Castle attended a short service where children from the school expressed their hopes for the present and future in their prayers.
Give thanks for those who serve our community as MP and MSPs – how many of us would be willing to do their job?
Politicians need to be fairly thick-skinned – people tend to have a not very high opinion of politicians in general, and sometimes this can lead to politicians being subject to abuse and hurtful comments. Pray that we will be respectful and encourage others to be respectful
Living between the constituency and Edinburgh or London is tiring, and can be disruptive of family life. Pray that they may have the stamina to cope. Pray too for their families who have to cope with being in the spotlight, and may not see a family member as much as they would like
Pray for our MP and MSPs that they will work for the good of our community, and for the building of a country and world with peace and justice
Fact box: MP and MSPs for Dumbarton
Martin Docherty MP West Dunbartonshire (SNP)
Jackie Ballie MSP Dumbarton (Labour)
Neil Bibby MSP West of Scotland (Labour)
Jackson Carlaw MSP West of Scotland (Conservative)
Mary Fee MSP West of Scotland (Labour)
Annabel Goldie MSP West of Scotland (Conservative)
Stewart Maxwell MSP West of Scotland (SNP)
Margaret McDougall MSP West of Scotland (Labour)
Stuart McMillan MSP West of Scotland (SNP)