Call to Prayer 31st May 2020

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Though we are moving into the first stages of the easing of lockdown, we continue to be painfully aware that there’s a long way to go and that what lies at the end of it all remains unclear.

And so we proceed in faith, believing that God always goes before us and knows the end from the beginning.

On this Day of Pentecost we give thanks for the gift of the Holy Spirit, believing that it is by the Spirit that God guides us.

We pray:

Almighty God, by your Spirit, you brought order from chaos. By your brooding Spirit, hovering over the void, you spoke and there was … something rather than nothing.
Create and recreate in and through us, we pray.

Almighty God, by your Spirit, you equipped and gifted and led our ancestors to know you and to serve you and to glorify you.
Continue to equip and enable us, we pray.

And then, Almighty God, as promised by the prophets and as never before, you poured out your Spirit on these first believers – on men and women, on the old and the young; and they were transformed and made alive, as dry bones brought to life.
Pour out your Spirit on us, we pray.

Almighty God, in these turbulent and uncertain times, send us the Comforter, that we might know you to be near. Grant us your healing touch and help us to know the rest that comes from resting in you.
For the loving touch of your Spirit, we pray.

Almighty God, by what seemed as a rushing wind and as tongues of fire you brought your Church to life. Come to your Church now, we pray, that by the same Spirit we might be renewed and refreshed and remade and revived.
Yes, Lord, grant us a fresh outpouring of your Spirit, we pray.

And all our prayers we offer in the name of our Lord and Saviour, none other than Jesus Christ.  Amen.

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)
  • Fred Drummond, Director, Evangelical Alliance (Scotland)

 

Call to Prayer 24th May 2020

Prayer @ 7pm

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At this present time, we are especially conscious of the need to protect and to be protected. Indeed, our collective awareness of the need to protect life and the lives of those whom we love has perhaps never been so heightened. In response to the threat posed by Covid 19, we seek to protect and shield those whom we care for most deeply.

In the Gospel of John (17: 1-11), Jesus prays for his disciples in anticipation of the time when he will no longer be with them. What is it that he prays for? Jesus asks the Father to ‘protect’ his friends. Whilst he was with them, Jesus protected and shielded the disciples and later in his prayer he prays for each one of us. The ascended Lord Jesus continues to pray for us and assures us that his presence will be renewed through the gift of the Holy Spirit.

We pray:

Living God and gracious Father,
Protect and shield us.
Living God, protect and shield
All whom we love,
Through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Living God, your Son now sits in your presence
And shares in your glory and honour.
We thank you for the promise
That his presence shall be renewed for us,
Through the gift of the Holy Spirit.

Living God, we thank you that Jesus prayed for us
And that he continues to intercede for us.
We thank you that he continues to pray
For us and for our protection,
Through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Living God, we pray for the life of the world.
We thank you for all those who, in these days,
Strive to protect and shield us.
Renew them in heart and soul, and mind and strength,
Through the gift of the Holy Spirit.

Living God, renew us we pray and renew the life of the world.
For you so loved the world that you gave your Son
That we might share in the life of the world to come.
Hear our prayer, now and always,
Through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

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)

Call to Prayer 17th May 2020

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In the days following the first Easter Sunday, the disciples of Jesus would have gone through any number of different reactions, from uncertainty and anxiety to joy and celebration, through incomprehension and fear to recognition and hope. If the Cross had robbed them of his presence, the Resurrection has restored his presence. Surely Jesus will continue to be with them always?

The Gospel of John (14: 1-21) portrays the disciples wrestling with the dawning reality that Jesus will not continue to be physically present to them. It would seem that they are again to be left bereft and ‘orphaned’. Uncertainty and anxiety threaten once more. In response, Jesus speaks into their incomprehension and fear with the promise of the gift of the Holy Spirit. Jesus reassures them that they are not alone and that his spiritual presence will be renewed in this world through the Spirit. Jesus, through the Spirit, continues with us always as the assurance of God’s love for us.

Let us pray:

Living God, you are our Creator and our Maker
And the very breath of life is given as your gift.
We thank you for the gift of life
And we embrace and treasure that gift.

Living God, you are the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ
Whose presence in the world reveals your love for us.
In the giving of your Son,
You reveal the depths of your love.

Living God, your Son embraced the Cross
And the depths of human suffering.
We thank you that you delivered him
On the day of Resurrection.

Living God, as you spoke to the bereft and the orphaned in days past,
Speak to the bereft and the orphaned in days present.
Speak to the uncertain and the anxious.
Speak into the depths of our incomprehension and fear.

Living God, your promise
Is that we will not be left alone to face the world.
We thank you that through the gift of your Spirit
That promise is fulfilled.

Living God, be with all who sustain our common life at this time,
Carers and nurses, cleaners and porters,
Doctors and ambulance staff, delivery drivers and posties.
Through their giving our common life is sustained.

Living God, as you have watched over us in the past,
Watch over us in the present.
As once more we thank you, that through Christ
And by your Holy Spirit, we are not alone. Amen.

Signed by:

  • Rt. Rev. Colin Sinclair, 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)

Call to Prayer 10 May 2020

SUNDAY 10th MAY Prayer @ 7pm

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As Scotland locked down in March, so our usual way of life came shuddering to a halt. Travel was restricted to an extent not experienced in any living lifetime. Our way of life changed too. Some faced traumatic, heart-rending personal situations, from illness to hospitalisation, anxiousness for and separation from loved ones. Others experienced new risk through their roles, including those serving in hospitals and care homes, and key workers in other sectors that are vital for life. Yet others faced difficult personal situations: hunger, tension in relationships and worse, and overnight, everyone had to find a new way of living life.

Today’s gospel reading from John Chapter 14, tells of a traumatic time in the life of the disciples and Jesus. After three years travelling together around Galilee, they arrive in Jerusalem amidst an atmosphere heavy with threat. Gathering behind a closed door, in the hour of his own need, Jesus sought to offer comfort and guidance to his followers and friends, telling them of a place in God’s house, and that he was going ahead to prepare a place for them. Thomas, bless him, asked the question which is on the hearts of so many, “Lord, we do not know where you are going. Howcan we know the way? To which Jesus replied: “I am the way, the truth and the life.”

“Today, in these times, we pray that we may sense Christ’s guiding presence:

Come, Jesus Christ, come my way;
showing me your way, through these disorientating days,
and opening my eyes to your accompanying presence.

Come, Jesus Christ, come my way;
teaching me your truth, through these confounding days
and opening my mind to your living Word.

Come Jesus Christ, come my way;
revealing to me your life, through these bewildering days,
and opening my heart to the fulness of your being.

Amen.

Signed by:

  • Rt. Rev. Colin Sinclair, 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)

Call to Prayer 3rd May 2020 @ 7pm

African shepherd

Photo by Lionel Titu

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In these challenging days: Is there anyone watching over us who really understands who we are and what we are experiencing at this time?

The imagery of the Lord as Shepherd and of Jesus Christ as the Good Shepherd is woven into the heart of Scripture. The resonance of the ancient, yet immediately present, words of the Psalmist can be sensed, such that even now we can hear those words in the very depths of our being: ‘The Lord is my Shepherd…Even though I walk through the darkest valley…Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me’. (Psalm 23) The imagery is taken up in the Gospelof John where the Good Shepherd watches over us and calls us by our name. He does so because he knows us and knows what we are experiencing at this time.(John 10) Jesus said: ‘I am the good shepherd’ and so we pray:

Good Shepherd, watch over us today
In all we face and experience.
Never leave us or forsake us
And journey with us always.

Lord in your mercy, Hear our prayer.

Good Shepherd, you know us
As no-one else knows us.
Guard us and keep us,
As you guard and keep those whom we love.

Lord in your mercy,Hear our prayer.

Good Shepherd, we pray for the sick and the lonely;
For the anxious and the bereaved;
For those whose pain is beyond our comprehension.
We stand with them and commend them to your care.

Lord in your mercy,Hear our prayer.

Good Shepherd, we pray for the carers in hospitals and in homes
And for all who serve the needs of others.
May the example of living compassion
Inspire us in our care for others.

Lord in your mercy, Hear our prayer.

Good Shepherd, you know the depths of our heart
And the fears which are ours.
Speak into the depths of our heart
And calm our fears.

Lord in your mercy, Hear our prayer.

Good Shepherd, you know us by our name
And our identity is not hidden from you.
Gather us to yourself as a Shepherd gathers the sheep,
That we might know your Name.

Lord in your mercy,Hear our prayer.

Signed by:

Rt. Rev. Colin Sinclair, 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)

Call to Prayer 26th April 2020

National Call to Prayer: Sundays at 7 pm A Prayer for 26 April 2020

As we continue to journey through this challenging time, we are conscious that the course of our journey will take us to different places.

At some points, we will have greater clarity as to where that journey is taking us. At other points, we will be less sure.

The two disciples who left Jerusalem to journey to Emmaus were definitely in the latter category (Luke 24: 13-35).

As they journey, they try to make sense of all that they are currently experiencing and, in truth, they are finding it difficult. It is as if the source of their hope has gone.

Unexpectedly, they then find themselves in the presence of someone whom they do not recognise.

The unrecognised presence listens to their story and, having listened, begins to offer a new way of understanding that story.

As they come towards the end of their journey, the unrecognised is revealed as therisen Lord: ‘The Lord has risen indeed’!

The Lord is always with us on our journey and so we pray…

Lord, we are those who journey
And who find that journey hard today. We are those who journey
And long to find our hope renewed.

Lord in your mercy, Hear our prayer.

Lord, whether in our own company or with companions beside us, We journey on.
Whether sure, or unsure, as to our journey’s end,
Come beside us through the risen Lord.

Lord in your mercy, Hear our prayer.

Lord, we pray for others;
For carers of the living and of the dying;
For the bereaved and for the anxious;
For those fearing loss of work and of business.

Lord in your mercy, Hear our prayer.

Lord, we pray for scientists and researchers;
For those seeking to understand the challenge we face; For those creating potential vaccines;
For those advising decision-makers.

Lord in your mercy, Hear our prayer.

Lord, we pray for those who shape our common life:
In local Councils and in Scottish Government
And in the Government of the United Kingdom.
Grant to them wisdom, compassion and understanding.

Lord in your mercy, Hear our prayer.

Lord, we pray for your Kingdom to come And for your will to be done,
On earth
As it is in heaven.

Lord in your mercy, Hear our prayer.

Amen.

The statement and prayer is signed by:

Rt. Rev. Colin Sinclair, 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)

Call to Prayer 19th April 2020

CALL TO PRAYER: SUNDAY 19th APRIL

Prayer @ 7pm

As we find ourselves living through a renewed phase of Lockdown, we see in the Gospel of John (20: 19-23) that, in part, the experience of the disciples, even on the day of Resurrection, was one in which they found themselves locked in and behind closed doors.

Their experience of Lockdown was interrupted by the presence of Jesus as he came and stood among them. He speaks into the depths of their fears and anxieties: ‘Peace be with you.’ We hear these words and know that they speak to us. We listen again for what he will say and discover that Jesus simply repeats himself: ‘Peace be with you.’ As we still ourselves, we hear those words of peace spoken and sense that they are spoken to us and to all who long to hear a word that heals and reassures: ‘Peace be with you.’

We pray:

Living God, speak into the depths of our experience,
Speak the word that stills our fears
And calms our anxieties:
‘Peace be with you.’

Speak your word to the lonely and to the broken,
To the bereaved and to those whose world has crumbled:
‘Peace be with you.’

Faithful God, speak to us behind locked doors
As we remember others, who risk their own safety,
In order to serve others:
Peace be with them.

Carers and nurses, doctors and ambulance drivers,
Delivery drivers and shop assistants:
Peace be with them.

God who inspires Hope, speak to us in the present
And speak to us of the future,
For though the doors are locked, in time they shall be open:
Peace shall be renewed.

For those who lead the life of our Nation: Our Queen Elizabeth,
First Minister and Prime Minister, and all who shape our common life,
For us all: Peace shall be renewed.

God whose name is love and whose gift is love,
Open our hearts to know you and to love you,
To love you and to love our neighbour
And as we do, to hear again: ‘Peace be with you.’

As we come to the end of our own strength
May we find our strength in you and hear again:
‘Peace be with you.’

Signed by:

  • Rev. Colin Sinclair, 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)
  • Donald G. MacDonald, Moderator, Free Church of Scotland

 

Call to Prayer Palm Sunday

CALL TO PRAYER: SUNDAY 6th APRIL (PALM SUNDAY)
Prayer @ 7pm

As we continue to live through this time of trial, we sense an ever renewed Call to Prayer. We are not alone in hearing this call. Rather, it is a Call being heard and responded to across the nations of our island and across the nations of our world. This being so, we invite you to pray in solidarity with others at 7pm on Sunday 6th April, which is Palm Sunday. We offer a prayer at this time:

Living God, for the precious gift of life that you have given to us,
We give you thanks.
For the enduring presence of your love in this world,
We give you thanks.
For the knowledge that you are with us at the close of the day,
We give you thanks.

On this day, we hear the Gospel words that speak of hope,
We hear the cry: Hosanna!
We hear the Gospel words that speak of promise,
We hear the cry: Blessed is the One who comes in the name of the Lord!
On this day, we journey in hope as we trust in your promise.

Lord, as we journey into the Holy Week to come,
We are conscious that we share in the life of the world.
We are conscious of the presence of those who are near to us,
And of those from whom we are apart.
Whether near, or far, embrace us all in your love.

Lord, we are conscious of others,
Whose life and work is woven into the fabric of our society,
And upon whom we now depend.
We pray for them:

For delivery drivers and posties,
For bin men and cleaners,
For police officers and care workers,
Protect them and keep them safe.

For nurses and doctors,
For scientists and surgeons,
For midwives and ambulance drivers,
Protect them and watch over them.

For those who govern on our behalf,
For those who make decisions that impact upon us all,
For all who shape our common life,
Protect them and increase their wisdom and understanding.

Lord, in your mercy, hear our prayer.
And grant us faith to journey into the week to come,
Assured of the presence of the crucified and risen Lord,
Jesus Christ. Amen.

Signed by:

  • Rt. Rev. Colin Sinclair, 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. Donald G. MacDonald, Moderator, Free Church of Scotland

Scottish National Day of Prayer 22 March 2020

On behalf of the churches that we serve across Scotland, we warmly commend the Call to a National Day of Prayer, in response to the Covid-19 pandemic, and invite people of faith across our nation, to join in prayerful solidarity with this witness.

The invitation is to light a candle at 7pm this Sunday, 22nd March, in the window of our homes as a visible symbol of the light of life, Jesus Christ, the source of hope in this life.

We offer a prayer to use when lighting your 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.

Candle Safety Note: 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. If you are able to use a small electric ‘candle’ instead, that will be safe to leave unattended.