Call to Prayer 5th July 2020

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CALL TO PRAYER: SUNDAY 5th July 2020
Prayer @ 7pm

‘Come to me, all you that are weary and are carrying heavy burdens, and I will give you rest.’ Matthew 11: 28 (NRSV)

These are words of Jesus that we all need to hear. We need to hear these words because they speak into the depths of the experience of so many of us at this time. The words create a picture in the mind’s eye. The picture is of ourselves in the times when we are indeed weary and burdened by the particular loads that we have to bear. Alongside this, the picture is of the One who offers to us rest. The picture is of human need met by divine promise and finds its context in the affirmation that Jesus is the One who knows the Father and holds in God’s trust all that has been committed to him. He holds our lives in his keeping and offers renewal to those who seek his presence. (Matthew 11: 25-30) Wherever we are and whatever our load, the promise of Jesus is that we will find his renewing presence. We pray:

Lord, we come to you as we are
For we can come no other way.
We come acknowledging the burdens we carry
And trusting in your promise of rest.

Lord, in your mercy,
Hear our prayer.

Lord, we come to you
In the sure knowledge that we are not alone.
We come in the company
Of all who know the challenge of these days.

Lord, in your mercy,
Hear our prayer.

Lord, we come to you
Acknowledging that you have already come to us.
We journey to the place where you are to be found
And rediscover that you have always been with us.

Lord, in your mercy,
Hear our prayer.

Lord, we come to you
As the One who knows our past and sees our present.
Set us free from that which binds us to our past
And liberate us to serve you in the present.

Lord, in your mercy,
Hear our prayer.

Lord, we come to you
Through the One who is the same, yesterday, today and forever.
May he hold our lives safe
As we embrace the future and the promise of his rest.

Lord, in your mercy,
Hear our prayer.

Signed by:

  • Rev. Dr Martin Fair, Moderator of the General Assembly, Church of Scotland
  • Most Rev. Leo Cushley, Archbishop of St. Andrews and Edinburgh, Roman Catholic Church
  • Most Rev. Mark Strange, Primus, on behalf of the College of Bishops, Scottish Episcopal Church
  • John Fulton, Moderator, United Free Church of Scotland
  • Dr David Pickering, Moderator, United Reformed Church (Scotland)
  • Martin Hodson, General Director, Baptist Union of Scotland
  • Mark Slaney, District Chair, Methodist Church (Scotland)
  • May-Kane Logan, Chair, Congregational Federation in Scotland
  • Col. Carol Bailey, Secretary for Scotland, Salvation Army
  • Adwoa Bittle, Religious Society of Friends (Quakers)
  • Jim Ritchie, District Superintendent, British Isles North District, Church of the Nazarene
  • Pastor Chris Gbenle, Provincial Pastor, Province of Scotland, Redeemed Christian Church of God
  • Bishop Francis Alao, Church of God (Scotland)/Minority Ethnic Churches Together in Scotland (MECTIS)
  • Rev Fred Drummond, Director, Evangelical Alliance (Scotland)

 

Call to Prayer 28th June 2020

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The experience of these last three months is one that will remain with us for the rest of our days. We will look back and reflect on the significance of it and undoubtedly we shall ask many questions. Integral to that experience for many has been the physical separation between ourselves and our family and those whom we care for. This physical distancing has been necessary in the face of the risks posed by Covid 19. As we see the easing of the restrictions on Lockdown, we begin to reconnect and rediscover what it is to welcome one another and to give and receive in a social context.

Welcoming, giving and receiving are integral to human experience and reflect something of what it is to be made in the image of God. In Matthew’s Gospel (10: 40-42), Jesus reflects upon this and points to the truth that in welcoming one another we potentially welcome the presence of God. In our welcoming of one another, let us renew the relationships that shape our social community and our communion with the living presence of God. We pray:

Living God, the God who creates,
You have made us in your image
That, in our giving and receiving,
We might better reflect your image.
For this gift we praise and thank you.

Lord, hear us.
Lord, graciously hear us.

Living God, the God who gives,
Your gift to the world
Is revealed in your Son,
The image of the invisible God.
For the renewing presence of your Son, we praise and thank you.

Lord, hear us.
Lord, graciously hear us.

Living God, the God who renews,
You call us to renew our relationships with one another
That, in so doing,
We might renew our relationship with you.
For the welcome you offer in renewal, we praise and thank you.

Lord, hear us.
Lord, graciously hear us.

Living God, the God who welcomes,
You welcome us when we return to you
Weary and heavy laden.
Receive us as we are and forgive us when we stumble.
For the love we experience as we are welcomed, we praise and thank you.

Lord, hear us.
Lord, graciously hear us.

Living God, the God who loves,
You offer us good gifts
And invite us to receive them.
In response, we offer our lives and all that we are.
For the sure promise of your love, we praise and thank you.

Lord, hear us,
Lord, graciously hear us.

Signed by:

  • Rt. Rev. Dr Martin Fair, Moderator of the General Assembly, Church of Scotland
  • Most Rev. Leo Cushley, Archbishop of St. Andrews and Edinburgh, Roman Catholic Church
  • Most Rev. Mark Strange, Primus, on behalf of the College of Bishops, Scottish Episcopal Church
  • Rev. John Fulton, Moderator, United Free Church of Scotland
  • Rev. Dr David Pickering, Moderator, United Reformed Church (Scotland)
  • Rev. Martin Hodson, General Director, Baptist Union of Scotland
  • Rev. Mark Slaney, District Chair, Methodist Church (Scotland)
  • Rev. May-Kane Logan, Chair, Congregational Federation in Scotland
  • Lt. Col. Carol Bailey, Secretary for Scotland, Salvation Army
  • Adwoa Bittle, Religious Society of Friends (Quakers)
  • Rev. Jim Ritchie, District Superintendent, British Isles North District, Church of the Nazarene
  • Pastor Chris Gbenle, Provincial Pastor, Province of Scotland, Redeemed Christian Church of God
  • Bishop Francis Alao, Church of God (Scotland)/Minority Ethnic Churches Together in Scotland (MECTIS)
  • Rev Fred Drummond, Director, Evangelical Alliance (Scotland)

 

Methodist Conference 25 June to 2 July 2020

The Methodist Conference will be held online from 25th June to 2nd July 2020.

  • The presbyteral sessions will be held on Thursday and Friday, with the representative sessions from Saturday to Tuesday.
  • Conference sessions will be streamed live – see https://www.methodist.org.uk/about-us/the-methodist-conference/conference-2020/ – where more details are promised in due course.
  • You can also follow links from there to the conference timetable and agenda papers.
  • There is a variety of fringe events – methods of joining in/registering vary. Click on the relevant links, preferably before the start of the event!

Call to Prayer Sunday 21st June 2020

Prayer @ 7pm – Version for printing

We live in challenging times. In truth, the challenge of these times is one that continues. However, the nature of that challenge has changed. In this present moment, we reflect on where we are now and this allows us to begin to try to understand the past months. Equally, we have the opportunity to anticipate what is to come.

In the Letter to the Romans (6: 1-11), the Apostle Paul reflects on the foundation of the Christian life which is our sharing in the life, death and resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ. As a consequence, the life we live now is one shaped by the present reality of sharing in the life of Christ. As we journey together in the gradual exit from Lockdown, we do so in the sure knowledge that we share in the life of the Risen Christ.

We pray:

Faithful God, we thank you
That you are present with us now
As we share in the life of the Risen Christ.
Continue to be present with us we ask.
Lord, in your mercy,
Hear our prayer.

God who inspires faith, we thank you
That you have been with us
In times of anxiety and uncertainty.
Keep watch over our memories of the past.
Lord, in your mercy,
Hear our prayer.

Faithful God, we thank you
That you will be with us
In the days that are to come.
Journey with us in the days that lie before us.
Lord, in your mercy,
Hear our prayer.

God who inspires faith, we thank you
For the life of your Son
Who for our sakes embraced human form.
May his life shape our lives in these present times.
Lord, in your mercy,
Hear our prayer.

Faithful God, we thank you
For the reassurance that you are merciful and gracious
And that your love abounds.
In your compassion, remember us and those whom we love.
Lord, in your mercy,
Hear our prayer.

God who inspires faith, we thank you
For the knowledge that you will be with us
In all that we now face.
Go before us and provide for us we ask.
Lord, in your mercy,
Hear our prayer.

Signed by:

  • Rt. Rev. Dr Martin Fair, Moderator of the General Assembly, Church of Scotland
  • Most Rev. Leo Cushley, Archbishop of St. Andrews and Edinburgh, Roman Catholic Church
  • Most Rev. Mark Strange, Primus, on behalf of the College of Bishops, Scottish Episcopal Church
  • Rev. John Fulton, Moderator, United Free Church of Scotland
  • Rev. Dr David Pickering, Moderator, United Reformed Church (Scotland)
  • Rev. Martin Hodson, General Director, Baptist Union of Scotland
  • Rev. Mark Slaney, District Chair, Methodist Church (Scotland)
  • Rev. May-Kane Logan, Chair, Congregational Federation in Scotland
  • Lt. Col. Carol Bailey, Secretary for Scotland, Salvation Army
  • Adwoa Bittle, Religious Society of Friends (Quakers)
  • Rev. Jim Ritchie, District Superintendent, British Isles North District, Church of the Nazarene
  • Pastor Chris Gbenle, Provincial Pastor, Province of Scotland, Redeemed Christian Church of God
  • Bishop Francis Alao, Church of God (Scotland)/Minority Ethnic Churches Together in Scotland (MECTIS)
  • Rev Fred Drummond, Director, Evangelical Alliance (Scotland)

Safeguarding on coming out of lockdown

The connexional team has produced guidance on promoting effective safeguarding practice coming out of lockdown. This should be read by anyone considering opening a church building. References to the Government should be taken in Scotland as references to the Scottish Government.

As of 17th June 2020, the Scottish Government has not made an announcement about whether Phase 2 of the lifting of the lockdown, which could include opening churches for individual prayer, can be implemented, nor from what date.

Utilising online platforms for mission

Online Zoom event – Tuesday 7th July 2020 10:00 to 14:00.
led by Ali Johnson, Digital Evangelist at Cliff College.

This is a FREE training day led by Ali Johnson, Digital Evangelist at Cliff College, for those who are interested in developing their knowledge and skills in using social media, websites and lots other platforms for mission!

This training day is not for those beginning to use digital in their church/missional context, but it is for those who are already using social media — those who would like to ‘work smarter’ and advance their skills and knowledge.

Some basic knowledge is needed but it should be accessible for all ministers, administrators and lay workers, as well as volunteers with some digital awareness. As well as develop knowledge of different platforms, it will also help develop awareness of trends, target groups, different contexts and creative ideas for engaging digitally.

Register: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/digital-communication-training-tickets-109599212194

The Spirit might be asking us to be brave, to not cling to the old but to be the pilgrim people of the moment

Jude Levermore’s blog is written in the English context, where places of worship are permitted to open for individual prayer from 13th June 2020. This is not yet the case in Scotland, where an announcement is expected on 18th June confirming whether the country can move to Phase 2 of the lifting of the lockdown, including opening churches for individual prayer.

But Jude’s blog post asks us to think more widely.

Let’s talk – webinar

Let's talk webinar posterIt is a Webinar, hosted by the Strathclyde Methodist Circuit!

Be part of the first one!

COVID 19:  Just blame God?!

5 Methodist people from different professions within Strathclyde begin a conversation on the effect of COVID 19 – and whether a better world could emerge . . .

There will be an opportunity to ask your questions . . .

When?     Tuesday 16th June at 8pm

How?  Register now using this link and you will be given the information you need to join the webinar!

https://us02web.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_1I-IgT3hRMmHhCV0xHOALw

Let’s talk . . . . and then make a difference.