Call to Prayer 1st August 2021

Print Version

‘I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will never be hungry and whoever believes in me will never be thirsty.’

The words of the Gospel resonate in the hearts of all who have searched for spiritual sustenance in a dry land. They are words spoken to those who searched for Jesus and could not, at first, find Him. They are words spoken to those who are ‘looking for Jesus’. On finding Him, Jesus speaks to them of the ‘bread from heaven’ and in turn they ask: ‘Sir, give us this bread always.’ In response, Jesus says: ‘I am the bread of life.’ (John 6: 24-35)

It is to those who continue to seek the presence of Jesus in a dry land that He offers Himself as the ‘bread from heaven’. We stand with those who sing:

‘Bread of heaven, Bread of heaven,
Feed me till my want is o’er.’

We pray:

Gracious Father,
Who gives to us bread from heaven,
Hear us when we hunger
And cry out to the One who is the bread of life.
Renew us by Your gift and restore us by Your presence.
Lord, in Your mercy,
Hear our prayer.

Gracious Father,
Who gives to us bread from heaven,
Hear the cry of all who hunger this day
And who long for the gifts that renew and restore life.
Renew our concern for Your Creation and for all who inhabit the earth.
Lord, in Your mercy,
Hear our prayer.

Gracious Father,
Who gives to us bread from heaven,
Hear us when we thirst
And long for living water.
May all who thirst drink deep from the rivers of living water.
Lord, in Your mercy,
Hear our prayer.

Gracious Father,
Who gives to us bread from heaven,
Hear the cries of those who long for clean water
And who live in parched lands.
May all who thirst find living water for daily life.
Lord, in Your mercy,
Hear our prayer.

Gracious Father,
Who gives to us bread from heaven,
Hear our cry to the One
Who is the bread of life:
Give us this bread always.
Lord, in Your mercy,
Hear our prayer.

Signed by:

  • Lord Wallace, 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. Dr David Miller, Moderator, United Free Church of Scotland
  • Rev. Neil MacMillan, Moderator, Free Church of Scotland
  • Rev. Paul Whittle, Moderator, United Reformed Church (Scotland)
  • Rev. Martin Hodson, General Director, Baptist Union of Scotland
  • Rev. Mark Slaney, District Chair, Methodist Church (Scotland)
  • Rev. Thomas R. Wilson, Chair, Congregational Federation in Scotland
  • Lt. Col. Carol Bailey, Secretary for Scotland, Salvation Army
  • Adwoa Bittle, Religious Society of Friends (Quakers)
  • Rev. Ruth Turner, 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)

Prayer in the Evening

As the Methodist Church in Scotland prepares to be involved in new ways in the Connexional Evangelism and Growth strategy we have been encouraged to pray, perhaps finding new and varied ways to pray together.

As one small offering towards the wider prayer menu of the whole district, Andrew and Jill Baker  plan to offer ‘Prayer in the Evening’ on each of the following Saturday evenings – and if you would like to join us on Zoom to share in that, you would be very welcome.

  • Saturday 31st July
  • Saturday 7th August
  • Saturday 14th August
  • Saturday 21st August

A Zoom link (the same for each week) is available from either of us or from the District Administrator, Sue Marshall-Jennings.

ejillbaker@btinternet.com
amb.strathclyde@btinternet.com  or
districtadmin@methodistchurchinscotland.net

Our hope is that different people attending the prayer time would read/lead various sections of the worship.  The liturgy will be based on the one found at pp15-25 in the Methodist Worship Book and will be posted in the chat for each meeting and sent out with the Zoom link (although any printed copies must be destroyed after the meetings for copyright reasons).

The whole service takes less than 15 minutes; the Zoom room will open at 9pm on the dates above, allowing a short time for conversation/sharing concerns for prayer and the liturgy will begin at 9:15pm after which participants will depart in silence, with the meeting closing by 9:30pm.

So do contact one of us or Sue if you would like to give this a try on one or more of the Saturday evenings over the summer period.

With all good wishes,

Jill

Call to Prayer Sunday 25th July 2021

Call to Prayer: Sunday 25th July 2021 Prayer @ 7pm

Print version

The Psalmist says of the Lord: ‘You open your hand, satisfying the desire of every living thing.’ The imagery embodied in the words of the Psalmist speaks of a God whose will is to sustain and nurture all creation. The God who so wills is a God whose ‘kingdom is an everlasting kingdom’ and one that endures throughout all time. (Psalm 145: 10-18) As our eyes turn to God, we see that intention expressed in the good gifts that we receive in the course of our lives. Equally, we are conscious that the gifts we receive are not thereafter to be kept and retained by our closing our hands and keeping the gifts to ourselves. The goodness of God is a gift to be shared with others.

Within the community of which we are a part, we are called to reflect the One in whose image we are made and whose hand is open towards us. We pray:

Living God,
You open your hand towards us
And offer to us good gifts.
We accept your gifts with gratitude And respond with thanks and praise. Lord, in your mercy,
Hear our prayer.

Living God,
You open your hand towards us
And offer to us the gift of life.
We acknowledge that we are made in your image
And recognise your image in the life of each person upon the earth.
Lord, in your mercy,
Hear our prayer.

Living God,
You open your hand towards us
And offer life to the world.
We receive your offer
As a sign of your faithfulness towards us.
Lord, in your mercy,
Hear our prayer.

Living God,
You open your hand towards us
And offer your gifts to all.
We resolve to share the gifts we have received
And not to close our hand towards others.
Lord, in your mercy,
Hear our prayer.

Living God,
You open your hand towards us
And offer to us signs of your kingdom.
We pledge to bear witness to your enduring kingdom
And to your abundant grace.
Lord, in your mercy,
Hear our prayer.

Signed by:

  • Lord Wallace, 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. Dr David Miller, Moderator, United Free Church of Scotland
  • Rev. Neil MacMillan, Moderator, Free Church of Scotland
  • Rev. Paul Whittle, Moderator, United Reformed Church (Scotland)
  • Rev. Martin Hodson, General Director, Baptist Union of Scotland
  • Rev. Mark Slaney, District Chair, Methodist Church (Scotland)
  • Rev. Thomas R. Wilson, Chair, Congregational Federation in Scotland
  • Lt. Col. Carol Bailey, Secretary for Scotland, Salvation Army
  • Adwoa Bittle, Religious Society of Friends (Quakers)
  • Rev. Ruth Turner, 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)

A Christian campaigning response to the Nationality and Borders Bill

Are you interested in being part of a campaigning response to the government’s proposals for reform of the asylum system?

You may well be aware that following the government’s consultation on its ‘New Plan for Immigration’ earlier this year, a Nationality & Borders Bill has now been introduced in parliament, which would have a major effect on the way this country responds to those in need of sanctuary. The Joint Public Issues Team, and many others working in this area, have serious concerns about these proposals (see JPIT’s briefing). We are looking to build strength and deepen our political influence as the Bill goes through its parliamentary processes.

We think it is vitally important that the voices and experiences of refugees and asylum seekers, and those who work with and support them, are heard as part of the discussion of these proposals. We are also keen to equip local church leaders, congregations and individuals to contribute to political influencing – through sharing stories, learning together about the Bill, and raising awareness of its consequences in our Christian communities. We hope we can build a network that will also work together to raise our concerns with the government through MPs and other actions.

It will be a group hosted by the Joint Public Issues Team, but open to all churches and their members, whatever their denominational affiliations.

If this would be of interest to you, please attend a meeting over Zoom on Thursday 22nd July at 8pm. Register here

Call to Prayer 18th July 2021

Call to Prayer: Sunday 18th July 2021 Prayer @ 7pm

Print version

Where do we find ourselves today? Does the light of the day still shine and does the way ahead seem clear and certain? Or; does darkness fall and the way ahead seem uncertain and hidden in the shadows? In whatever situation we find ourselves, the Psalms speak to us and the Psalms speak for us. They speak to us and for us in every situation of life.

Perhaps there is nowhere that this is more evident than in the 23rd Psalm. The resonance of the ancient, yet immediately present, words of the Psalmist can be sensed, such that even now we can hear those words speaking into the depths of who we are: ‘The Lord is my Shepherd…Even though I walk through the darkest valley…Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me’. (Psalm 23) To read and to hear the words evokes a response in the very depths of our being. We are addressed by God and the Psalm offers to us words of response: ‘Even though I walk through the darkest valley…I fear no evil’. ‘Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me…and I shall dwell in the house of the Lord’. Wherever we find ourselves today, the Lord speaks to us and graciously offers us words of response. We pray:

Gracious Lord
And faithful Shepherd,
Lead us to the place of your presence
And speak to us your word that brings life.
Lord, in your mercy,
Hear our prayer.

Gracious Lord
And faithful Shepherd,
Lead us to the place of still waters And restore our troubled souls.
Lord, in your mercy,
Hear our prayer.

Gracious Lord
And faithful Shepherd,
Lead us on the paths of righteousness
And deliver us from evil.
Lord, in your mercy,
Hear our prayer.

Gracious Lord
And faithful Shepherd,
Lead us through the valley of shadows
And bring us to the place of safety.
Lord, in your mercy,
Hear our prayer.

Gracious Lord
And faithful Shepherd,
Lead us to the place where the table is renewed
And the cup overflows for all.
Lord, in your mercy,
Hear our prayer.

Gracious Lord
And faithful Shepherd,
Lead us to the place where goodness and mercy abide
And to the house of the Lord forever.
Lord, in your mercy,
Hear our prayer.

Signed by:

  • Lord Wallace, 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. Dr David Miller, Moderator, United Free Church of Scotland
  • Rev. Neil MacMillan, Moderator, Free Church of Scotland
  • Rev. Paul Whittle, Moderator, United Reformed Church (Scotland)
  • Rev. Martin Hodson, General Director, Baptist Union of Scotland
  • Rev. Mark Slaney, District Chair, Methodist Church (Scotland)
  • Rev. Thomas R. Wilson, Chair, Congregational Federation in Scotland
  • Lt. Col. Carol Bailey, Secretary for Scotland, Salvation Army
  • Adwoa Bittle, Religious Society of Friends (Quakers)
  • Rev. Ruth Turner, 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)

3Generate will meet in October 2021

We are delighted to let you know that 3Generate, the children and youth assembly, will be going ahead at the NEC Birmingham from Friday 29 – Sunday 31 October 2021.

There will be a number of ways children and young people can participate as follows:

  • Attending the event on a residential basis, staying in camping villages with others in their group, for the weekend.
  • Joining the whole event on a daily basis, travelling to and from the venue but not staying overnight.
  • Participating in person just for the day on Saturday 30 October.

Phoebe Parkin, Youth President, said

“It’s such great news that 3Generate can go ahead in October and children and young people will be able to meet each other, worship together and explore faith in God. They’ve had to wait a long time to do this in person, it’s going to be a really special weekend!”

Tickets for 3Generate 2021 go on sale on Wednesday 14 July and we’d be encouraging all churches and groups to begin having conversations about how they may be able to take part. Please encourage groups to register for tickets in plenty of time as we are expecting demand for tickets to be high.

In an exciting new development for this year we are planning to welcome 4 to 7 year olds and their parents/carers or significant adults. There’ll be a chance for them to explore faith and spirituality – alongside the main event – as part of an intentionally intergenerational space on Saturday 30 October.

We continue working closely with District Ambassadors and, through the advocating work they do, building an even better sense of connection with children and young people at a local level. We’d welcome your prayers for the ongoing planning of the event being done through satellite groups, as well as for all our children and young people. Our hope is that 3Generate will offer them a wonderful opportunity to encounter God, gather together and be reminded of their vital place within the wider Methodist Church.

Please be assured we will continue to monitor the situation regarding Covid-19 and will respond to any change in guidance over the coming weeks and months.

Do keep an eye on the event webpages as further information is made available and tickets go on sale.

 

Call to Prayer 11 July 2021

Call to Prayer: Sunday 11th July 2021 Prayer @ 7pm

Print version

What is the future shape of the society in which we live? To ask the question is to invite any number of different answers and many of the answers will reflect the uncertainty of the times. In all of our lives, there is perhaps a greater element of uncertainty than there has been in previous years. Each of us will respond to the challenges of our times in different ways and many will ponder the question and ask: What does the future hold?

The Apostle Paul lived within the society of his time and offers us a vision of our place within the world. That vision is shaped by an understanding of how we share in the purpose and plan of the ‘God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ’. We share in that understanding as those who have received the ‘promised Holy Spirit’. Within this vision, we find that we are adopted as the children of God and discover our place according to the purpose and plan of God. (Ephesians 1: 3- 14) If we cannot yet describe the future shape of our society, we know that, whatever the future holds, we live as those whose destiny is shaped by the purpose and plan of God. We pray:

God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ,
You adopt us as your children
And include us within your purposes.
May we find our place in the world and purpose for our lives
As we respond to your gracious initiative in Christ.

Lord, in your mercy,
Hear our prayer.

God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ,
You adopt us as your children
And offer to us forgiveness.
May we know the healing power of forgiveness
And offer forgiveness according to the measure that we have been forgiven.

Lord, in your mercy,
Hear our prayer.

God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ,
You adopt us as your children
And make known your intention
To gather together all things in heaven and earth.
May our lives on earth reflect the life of the world that is to come.

Lord, in your mercy,
Hear our prayer.

God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ,
You adopt us as your children
And make known to us the word of truth.
May we always speak according to the truth
And may our words reflect the One who came to us full of grace and truth.

Lord, in your mercy,
Hear our prayer.

God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ,
You adopt us as your children
And seal us with the promised Holy Spirit
May we rediscover our place in the world and renew the purpose of our lives
As we receive the gracious gift of your Spirit.

Lord, in your mercy,
Hear our prayer.

Signed by:

  • Lord Wallace, 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. Dr David Miller, Moderator, United Free Church of Scotland Rev. Neil MacMillan, Moderator, Free Church of Scotland
  • Rev. Paul Whittle, Moderator, United Reformed Church (Scotland)
  • Rev. Martin Hodson, General Director, Baptist Union of Scotland
  • Rev. Mark Slaney, District Chair, Methodist Church (Scotland)
  • Rev. Thomas R. Wilson, Chair, Congregational Federation in Scotland
  • Lt. Col. Carol Bailey, Secretary for Scotland, Salvation Army
  • Adwoa Bittle, Religious Society of Friends (Quakers)
  • Rev. Ruth Turner, 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 4th July 2021

Print Version

At certain times in our experience we are especially conscious of our strengths and, at other times, of our weaknesses. In our times of perceived strength, we are confident of our capacities and abilities. In our times of perceived weakness, it is often otherwise. We might easily imagine that it is in the former situation that God is especially close to us. However, the experience of faith and of the grace of God suggests otherwise.

The Apostle Paul discovered this in the course of his own spiritual experience and came to realise the sufficiency of the grace of God in his life. This discovery is madein the times when he senses that he is at his weakest and not in his times of perceived strength. (2 Corinthians 12: 9) In the spiritual journey that each one of us makes, the sufficiency of God is often known when we come to the end of our own strength and discover the ever-renewed grace of God.

We pray:

God, whose grace is revealed,
In the One who embraces the Cross,
May we know the sufficiency of your grace
In the times of our deepest need.
Lord, in your mercy,
Hear our prayer.

God, whose grace is revealed,
In the One who embraces the Cross,
May we walk in the company of those who suffer
And so share in the grace that you provide.
Lord, in your mercy,
Hear our prayer.

God, whose grace is revealed,
In the One who embraces the Cross,
May we experience the strength you provide
In the times of our greatest weakness.
Lord, in your mercy,
Hear our prayer.

God, whose grace is revealed,
In the One who embraces the Cross,
May our lives be renewed as we live out our response to your grace
And so share in the community of grace.
Lord, in your mercy,
Hear our prayer.

God, whose grace is revealed,
In the One who embraces the Cross,
May your grace, sufficient in days past,
Be sufficient in all the days that are to come.
Lord, in your mercy,
Hear our prayer.

Signed by:

  • Lord Wallace, 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. Dr David Miller, Moderator, United Free Church of Scotland
  • Rev. Neil MacMillan, Moderator, Free Church of Scotland
  • Rev. Paul Whittle, Moderator, United Reformed Church (Scotland)
  • Rev. Martin Hodson, General Director, Baptist Union of Scotland
  • Rev. Mark Slaney, District Chair, Methodist Church (Scotland)
  • Rev. Thomas R. Wilson, Chair, Congregational Federation in Scotland
  • Lt. Col. Carol Bailey, Secretary for Scotland, Salvation Army
  • Adwoa Bittle, Religious Society of Friends (Quakers)
  • Rev. Ruth Turner, 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)