Call to Prayer

PRAYER WITH THE CHAIR – a Year of Prayer

The Methodist Conference has declared 2020/2021 a year of prayer so that our Church-wide commitments to evangelism, church growth, church at the margins, and pioneering and church planting will flow from a deep, contemplative orientation to God’s grace and love.

Be part of this movement of prayer as we ask the Holy Spirit to help us be a growing, evangelistic, inclusive, justice-seeking Church of gospel people.

As part of this call to join a movement of prayer Rev Mark Slaney, Chair of the Methodist Church in Scotland (Scotland District / Shetland District) is releasing the first in a short series of ‘how to’ videos aimed at helping you develop and deepen your practice of prayer. This is available online from 12noon on Thurs 3rd December and can be accessed using the link below:

Video One: What’s in a name? Prayer

Prayers for the Prayer Handbook

The theme for the Methodist Prayer Handbook 2021/2022 is ‘a place for all’.

A Place for All

No one was excluded from Jesus’ table and eating with him was a sign of the kingdom of heaven and an invitation to meet God and to be transformed. We recognise that we do not always offer such generous welcome or listen to the voices on the margins.

As the Church strives to be God’s people in a world changed by a global pandemic, we invite prayers of thanksgiving and intercession, penitence and resolve that, with God’s help, we may recognise and repent of our exclusivity, and that then we may be reconciling, open to all and ready to listen to all voices equally. Together, we pray to become a more inclusive and diverse Church, creating communities of greater respect and compassion.

In addition to prayers on the theme of the Handbook, we invite prayers of thanksgiving, adoration and confession and prayers on the themes of justice, times of life and times of day and the comforting presence of God for the opening pages of the Handbook.

Prayers must be no longer than 120 words.

Please also email photographs that will help to bring our theme to life. Photographs with people in are particularly welcome. Photographs should be sent in their original size. Please provide a caption and state where the photograph was taken.

The deadline for submission of prayers and photos is 11 January 2021.  

The exception to this is prayers and photos from schools. For schools only the deadline is 29 January.

Please send contributions to: prayerhandbook@methodistchurch.org.uk. Please also provide your name, postal address and how you would like to be described.

Before sending contributions, please read the full submission guidelines at: www.methodist.org.uk/prayerhandbook

Advent Bible Study

Join an Advent bible study online with Methodists from all over Scotland!

Advent bible study poster

We would like to facilitate 4 sessions to travel together through Advent 2020 in Scotland as those who live life with a Methodist flavour.
There will be a presentation, using material from Paula Gooder’s book “Journey to the Manger”, and then discussion groups when we can share and learn together.

All sessions on Thursdays at 7pm

  • Genealogies – 26th Nov
  • Announcements – 3rd Dec
  • Arrivals – 10th Dec
  • Aftermaths – 17th Dec

If you send me a message, expressing interest, then I shall send you the Zoom link.
amb.strathclyde@btinternet.com
Andrew Baker; Nik Wooller; Laurent Vernet

Action for Children – be a Secret Santa

Action for Children’s Christmas fundraising campaign invites you to be a Secret Santa, donating money either directly, or through a virtual gift to a friend, to enable children with whom the charity has contact to enjoy Christmas.

For the campaign see https://secretsanta.actionforchildren.org.uk/about/

Read about the services provided by Action for Children in Scotland.

 

Methodist Podcasts

Each week, the Methodist Church produces a podcast of Methodist news. See the list; there are opportunities to subscribe or listen to a podcast of your choosing.

The podcast for 15th October includes a report from Methodist Council, prisons week, Anthony Reddie and eating disorders.

Scotland’s faith leaders call for social security reforms to ease pressure of poverty

As Challenge Poverty Week draws to a close, Scotland’s faith leaders have issued a joint statement calling on the UK and Scottish Governments to make changes to the social security system to stem the rising tide of poverty.

In the statement, issued today, senior representatives from Scotland’s major faith groups urged both Westminster and Holyrood to take action “that would reflect the care, compassion and support shown by people across the country into changes that would make a real difference to families and individuals living in the grip of poverty.”
They call for specific reforms to the social security system to “boost the incomes of those most in need”.

The signatories included The Moderator of the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland, Chief Imam of Scottish Ahlul Bayt Society, the Roman Catholic Bishop of Galloway, Primus of the Scottish Episcopal Church, Sensei at Cloud Water Zen Centre (Buddhist community), Chair of the Methodist Church in Scotland, Moderator-Elect of the National Synod of Scotland of the United Reformed Church and the representative of Sikhs in Scotland on the Scottish Religious Leaders Forum.

The leaders urge the UK Government to end the Benefit Cap and the two-child limit and retain the temporary increase in the Universal Credit basic allowance.
This comes as last month 50 children’s charities, food bank providers, housing organisations, benefit and debt advisors, disability groups, and others wrote to the Chancellor, Rishi Sunak, urging him not to withdraw this essential lifeline. Modelling by the Joseph Rowntree Foundation found that scrapping the temporary increase would drive 700,000 more people into poverty across the UK, while a further 500,000 of those already living in poverty would be living below 50 per cent of the poverty line.
The statement also calls on the Scottish Government to “play its role” by increasing the Carers Allowance Supplement. It goes on, “This would recognise that carers are often locked into poverty, and in response to the additional financial pressures placed on them by the pandemic.”
“By boosting the incomes of people struggling to stay afloat, our Governments can relieve the pressure and stress that so many are now experiencing. We encourage those in power to listen to people who are affected by poverty now and take the steps we need to begin to redesign our social security to provide the support that everyone one needs.”

Responding to the statement, Peter Kelly, Director of Poverty Alliance said:
“The pandemic has shown us how much we want to look after each other. But it’s also highlighted the gaps in our system of social protection.
“This intervention from Scotland’s faith leaders is a welcome contribution to the mounting calls on both the UK and Scottish Governments to fix our social security system so it acts as a lifeline to help people stay afloat.
“Even before the Covid-19 crisis, one in five people in Scotland were living in poverty. Without urgent action, this can only be expected to get worse.”

Faith leaders’ statement

Challenge Poverty Week 2020: Statement from Scotland’s Faith Leaders

The response to the coronavirus pandemic highlighted much of what is best in our society. At its outset, we saw an outpouring of compassion and care for one another. Communities, neighbours, and families worked together to try and ensure that those most in need have not been left behind. All levels of government recognised the economic and social effects the pandemic would have, and quickly put in place measures to cushion some of its worst impacts.

During Challenge Poverty Week we are reminded that there is still much to do to help all those who are living with the constant pressure of poverty, and that despite the care and support that has been shown over the last six months we know that further action is needed to loosen the grip of poverty on people’s lives.

We are calling on both the UK Government and Scottish Government to take action that would reflect the care, compassion and support shown by people across the country into changes that would make a real difference to families and individuals living in the grip of poverty.

By ending the Benefit Cap and the two child limit the UK Government will boost the incomes of families most in need. They should also retain the increase in the Universal Credit basic allowance, maintaining the financial support that will still be needed for many as our economy recovers.

The Scottish Government can play its role by increasing the Carers Allowance Supplement. This would recognise that carers are often locked into poverty, and in response to the additional financial pressures placed on them by the pandemic.
By boosting the incomes of people struggling to stay afloat, our Governments can relieve the pressure and stress that so many are now experiencing. We encourage those in power to listen to people who are affected by poverty now and take the steps we need to begin to redesign our social security to provide the support that everyone one needs.

Signed by:

  • The Right Rev Dr Martin Fair, Moderator of the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland
  • Imam Razawi, Chief Imam and Director General, Scottish Ahlul Bayt Society
  • The Right Rev William Nolan, Bishop of Galloway
  • Sensei Karl Kaliski, Cloud Water Zen Centre (Buddhist community)
  • The Most Revd Mark Strange, Primus of the Scottish Episcopal Church
  • Ravinder Kaur Nijjar, Sikhs in Scotland, Member of Scottish Religious Leaders Forum
  • The Revd Mark Slaney, Chair Scotland District & Shetland District, Methodist Church in Scotland
  • Revd Paul Whittle, Moderator-Elect of the National Synod of Scotland of the United Reformed Church

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