General Secretary Writes to Church in Korea
With the rising tensions in the Korean Peninsula John Proctor (General Secretary) has written to the Church in Korea expressing the concerns of the United Reformed Church for this situation and asking for prayers for peace in the region and for the Korean community in Korea and the UK
If you wish to submit a short prayer relating to the current season or an event please use the contact box. Please also indicate that you are happy to have your name used. Not all prayers submitted will be used.
United Reformed Church Daily Devotions
Every day of the year, early each morning, the URC sends out, by email, a Daily Devotion consisting of a reading, reflection and short prayer. You can read them on your computer, phone, or tablet and they provide inspiration in your inbox! The Devotions are written by a team of over 90 people from a range of perspectives and places within the URC. If you would like to receive them you can sign up using the link below and filling in the form.United Reformed Church Daily Devotions Today’s Devotions
Prayer Cycle for Churches in Synod
Please please include the congregation and all involved with the Churches in your prayers
Recently Greenock East has taken the difficult decision to decommission our building and worship elsewhere while we decide what our future needs and mission are.
So we pray for all who have no home to call their own. We think especially of those who live on the streets or move from one night shelter to another, relying on the compassion of strangers; those who ‘sofa-surf’, relying on the kindness of friends.
May they know the love of God surrounding and comforting them during uncertain times. Amen
From elder Agnes Park, describing the Walk of Witnesses on Good Friday……
During Lent we shared study sessions on encounter with other faiths with our EMU neighbours. Our Good Friday ecumenical Walk of Witness, which was an initiative from Greenock West, was held once more following a revised route, starting with Prayers at St Mary’s Catholic Church, then following the cross carried by representatives from the area churches. We stopped for ‘stations’ prepared by Rev David Coleman, at churches, a schools, and Ardgowan Hospice, and the readings and meditations were read by walkers from churches in the area. The closing service was held in St John’s Episcopal Church, after which refreshments were serves. Chatting to others on the road, and building friendships among the walkers helped us to learn to work together for future shared witness, as did coverage in local press.
Living God, help us grasp the gifts of today, and to be the church you have given to this time and place; not intimidated or disappointed by what we’re not, but encouraged and affirmed by what, by your grace, we are. Amen.
There are several ecumenical committees in Hamilton, mainly for fundraising, such as Christian Aid, National Bible Society for Scotland and to promote Fairtrade, as Hamilton is a Fairtrade town.
Hamilton Churches Together also run some ‘Mission’ projects which include:
- The ‘Drop-in Centre’ which provides cooked meals, washing facilities andclothing for anyone who is homeless, and
- The ‘Jubilee Key Scheme’ which helps homeless people get housing.
We support all of these and the Hamilton District Food Bank.
Our buildings are used regularly by different voluntary and commercial organisations providing services to the community. We are continually looking at how this resource can be used more to support the community.
We are proud of our link with the overseas church through the life and witness of our most famous ‘son’, Dr. David Livingstone, who is commemorated in the ‘Livingstone Corner’ within the church. One of our members is a governor of the David Livingstone Trust, Blantyre.
In February we were delighted to unite with our neighbouring URC churches, Righead and East Mains, to create the Joint Pastorate of East Kilbride and Hamilton. We are now exploring further how we can support each other in our worship, ministry and mission.
We thank you for the heritage of Hamilton URC as the members continue to strive to see Christ in others and to be Christ for others.
Guide and inspire them as they explore how they can work and share resources with their neighbouring sister churches as part of the East Kilbride and Hamilton Joint Pastorate thus enabling this small congregation to continue to demonstrate your love for the World.
Light up their hearts and their efforts with your presence.
Please pray that Helensburgh URC will maintain the impetus of its worship and witness during the summer months as it awaits the induction of Rev. Mitchell Bunting to a new joint pastorate with Dumbarton URC.
The name Peedie Kirk has its roots in local dialect, PEEDIE means small. A small church made up of mostly local people a church that has made a place for herself in the hearts of the community over many generations, a church that plays her part ecumenically – and also is very socially aware and is involved in many activities e.g. youth orders, chaplaincy at the local school, the members taking a very active part in the Dementia Awareness group, also local charities e.g. deafness in children and more, and recently with the arrival of our Minister a greater awareness of the need to be ever active in the community. We also run social events coffee mornings – fund raising events where we meet with the towns people socially which is very important – We are a close family at the Peedie Kirk, this is who we are.
Loving God, made known to us, through words and song through worship and many shared experiences. alive within us the energetic and creative part of our senses, the weaver of a multitude of colourful threads that link us to a rich tapestry of life, all woven through with love, for this and so much more we thank you, , Lord, make this time that we share together, a time that we are aware of you part of our worship part of our lives through the presence of the Holy Spirit – hear our prayers- our words through our risen Lord our friend Jesus Christ. AMEN.
1st January St Nicholas Uniting Aberdeen
8th January Airdrie Park
15th January Week of Prayer
As we begin the year and journey together through the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity let us give thanks for the growing understanding in the Word Church that we are all called to participate in God’s Mission in the world, to be a sign of unity in Christ so that people might believe (Jn 17.21) and to share in the task of helping people have the possibility of living life in all its fullness (Jn 10.10).
We give thanks too for deepening patterns of partnership in Scotland especially in the areas of Church & Society and Education & Learning.
We pray for the ‘Education Forum’ and the new appointment of Peter McEnhill as an Education Consultant or ‘Animateur’ for the Scottish Churches.
We pray for the new ‘Church and Society Forum’ being developed by ACTS and ask God’s blessings on the many campaigns and projects where we co-operate with partner Churches.
Please hold in your prayers the following Local Ecumenical Partnerships that are to be reviewed in 2017:
Kirk of St Nicholas Uniting in Aberdeen
Morningside United in Edinburgh
Mosspark United in Glasgow
Oakshaw Trinity in Paisley
Grahmston United, have just completed a review and Granton United Church will undertake a review in a year or so.
Give thanks for the work and witness of these united Churches and for all local expressions of Christian partnership, formal and informal. We especially remember Stonehouse United Church currently in vacancy and seeking a new minister and the recently formed Murray Partnership in East Kilbride.
Finally your prayers are asked for the national Ecumenical Officer Team. Both Sheilagh Kesting (Church of Scotland) and Elspeth Davey (Scottish Episcopal Church) have recently retired. We thank God for all they have achieved and all that God has achieved through them. We welcome Miriam Weibye (Scottish Episopal Church) as the newest member of the team ask God to fruitfully bless her new ecumenical ministry.
Week of Prayer for Christian Unity 18th – 25th Jan 2017
22nd January Annan
29th January Augustine United
Meeting people from many lands is a great privilege. They are generally people we will only every meet once, but please pray that in every encounter visitors have with AUC they would be awakened to Jesus’ message of God’s radical Love and Hope for them as individuals and for our world. And pray for us as a congregation that we would also continue to grow in that same radical Love and Hope.
Augustine United Church Heritage Exhibition
Based in the heart of Edinburgh’s Old Town, 1000’s of visitors / tourists pass the doors of Augustine United every week, keen to learn about the heritage of our city and the origins of Harry Potter (the café opposite was one of JK Rowling’s writing spots). Attracted by AUC’s gothic tower (which does not reflect the rest of the building at all!) many people pop into AUC to see what they can find. So in 2016 we had some research done into the history of our congregation and locality, and had a small exhibition created to engage with the visitors. The exhibition consists of display boards, a booklet and a film which stand just inside our open front doors and which can been seen on AUC’s website. Every day we have tourists dropping in to look at the exhibition and in Dec we offered guided tours as a day in Edinburgh City’s Advent Open Doors.
5th February Avonbridge
We are still making slow progress towards the renovation of our building. The Christmas Eve service saw an encouraging participation of many who rarely come to church.
Prayer: At Avonbridge we pray for the guidance of the Holy Spirit as we seek to live the Gospel message in Avonbridge and the surrounding area. We pray for closer relationships with Christians in other denominations, and for ways of strengthening our ties with the local community. We give God thanks for the fellowship we share as a congregation.
12th February Barrhead
Loving God, we thank you for giving us the opportunity to meet together and to share worship and fellowship, breaking down any barriers which may keep us apart.
We thank you also for the friendship we find in our growing relationships through the Southside Cluster and we ask that you unite us in love.
The “flagship” activity of Barrhead United Reformed Church is our Community Café which has been operating for many years, currently open Wednesdays and Thursdays 10 am until 1 pm, offering good basic food, including home-made soup and home baking, at basic prices. Many of our customers have been with us since day one, no mean feat, as have our band of willing volunteers. The café is also a hub for enjoying an hour or two of fellowship, and many friendships have been formed as a result of first meeting at the café. Our hall is also used extensively during the week by some half dozen local organizations, young and not so young, and again many friendships have been formed as a result of the Church offering the use of the hall to these groups.
19th February – Bathgate
Services for Advent, Christmas and Epiphany were prepared in large part by a group of Church members, who put a lot of effort into finding material and selecting readings, prayers and hymns. The success of all this just goes to show that ordinary Church members are capable of collaborating in the leadership of worship, to the benefit of all the congregation (minister included!)
Prayer: We pray for minister, elders, and all who have responsibilities in the life of our congregation. We pray for those who cannot be with us regularly for worship, due to illness or other factors, and for those who join with us only occasionally, that all may feel welcomed and part of our fellowship.
26th February Beith – Please pray for all involved in the Church in Beith
5th March – Carluke
For a number of years, Carluke URC has been leading a short act of public worship in a local residential care home for the elderly. When our Minister moved to another pastorate two years ago, we took up the challenge to maintain this ministry, and a small group of loyal and committed members has continued to visit the home each month. It has been an interesting experience, full of ups and downs as we have worked to develop a worship format that we can sustain, and one which is meaningful to the residents. We have also put effort into improving our engagement with both staff and residents. Throughout, we have been able to witness the Holy Spirit at work as we have worked and worshipped together.
Living Lord, we give thanks for your Spirit moving amongst us, challenging us to step outside our “comfort zone”, trusting only in Your guidance and support.
We give thanks too for opportunities to serve You and proclaim the message brought to us through Jesus Christ, your son.
We ask your blessing on those coming to the end of their earthly lives, especially those who are no longer able to look after themselves due to physical infirmity or through declining mental capacity. May they continue to know of Your love for them.
Bless too all those who take on the task of caring for others. Grant them enduring patience, fathomless love, and the joy that comes from selfless giving.
We ask this in the name of Jesus Christ. Amen.
12th March Residential Synod Meeting
Thank you God, for accompanying people along the way…
through the wilderness to the Promised Land,
in Galilean days through Jesus Christ,
and ever since through your guiding Spirit.
Be with us as we follow anew the way of the cross this Lent
and be with us as we prepare for our Synod.
May our gathering be
and hope inspiring. Amen.
19th March Clydebank Morison Memorial
Lord God, you do not make things easy, but you do make life full.
You do not make life without challenge and test, but you do wipe tears and lift up bowed down heads.
You know we aren’t perfect, yet you claim our heart.
You come at us from the inside, challenging our points of view, our intentions and observations; reaching our core, from the inside out.
Help us be your people living lives that are blessings to you and all around us. Amen.
and hope inspiring. Amen.
26th March Coaltown-of-Balgonie
At this time, Coaltown-of-Balgonie, along with the other Churches in the Fife and Tayside Pastorate, are looking at the past, future and developing ecumenical links. Sometimes it can be hard looking to the past and seeing what has now gone, but exciting looking forward at the potential we have as a congregation
Lord God, you continue to give opportunities down through the generations for your Church on earth. We give thanks for the work and activities of our Church in previous years and place into your hands the activities we are no longer able to continue.
Open our hearts and minds to the opportunities you are now giving us to move forward in this place. Grant us the grace to not look backwards but forwards, to not hold onto things because we like them but to hold onto these things which reflect your love and your works.
2nd April Coatbridge
Holy and loving God, creator and provider, we praise you for giving us this abundant earth, and for all its life sustaining bounty. We are grateful for your son, our saviour, Jesus Christ who came to show us a better way, a caring way, a loving way. We are thankful too that your Holy Spirit abides with us and within us. Help us, we pray, to discern your will for us as we seek new premises in which to worship, and help us to remember that it is not our will, but your will, that we should be seeking to fulfil. In Jesus name we pray. Amen.
9th April Cumbernauld
Lord God, you are our creator, our sustainer, and through your son, our saviour. Help us to be open to new or different ways of doing things, that we might serve you in this world today, and make ourselves and our church relevant in the lives of those who no longer come to our church, or who haven’t yet come to share in worship. Challenge us, and help us to be open to strangers, those whose lives or lifestyles are not like ours. Help us to remember that all, including us, are numbered as your children, and all are equal regardless of social standing or financial wealth. Help us to grow our church and to serve your kingdom throughout our lives. Amen.
Omnipotent and Omniscient God, we love you with all our heart, will all our soul and with all our mind. We praise you that each year we get the opportunity to celebrate anew the resurrection of our Lord. For he who once was slain, is slain no more; he in whom we put our trust, he who suffered and died on that twisted ugly cross, he whom we thought would rise up and bring an end to tyranny, but who went like a lamb to the slaughter, has risen again to show us that your love is more powerful than death, and to help us recognise that death is not the end but merely a transit station through which we all must pass.
Loving Lord God, you helped us to realise that our hope did not die with the man, Jesus, on that cross but, through the resurrection of the redeemer, our hope has taken on new meaning as we accept our forgiveness and offer it on to those others against whom we have been harbouring grudges.
Loving God, for new life, for new beginnings, for new and renewed hope we offer our grateful thanks, and our praise, now and forever, Amen!
16th April Essenside Drumchapel
“This is the time of the pause…the place of universal stopping.” [Alice Walker]
For so many, Loving God, Lent seems like a call to take ourselves seriously. Jesus call is to take You seriously, and ourselves less so.
We don’t have ashes, but we do have ourselves, the broken pieces of our lives and the broken lives of others. God you are in power to change us. You created us, you breathed into us. And it is you who continues to create anew.
Let us not only repent of sins that mar our emotions, our inner being, our dark points hiding within; but let us repent of sins that mar our humanity and dishonour the humanity of others, especially the most vulnerable in the world. Give us the strength in this season to unlearn opinions and stereotypes.
Give us the courage to realise fully as you see us and as you call us to live. Amen.
23rd April Duke Street
Please pray for Duke Street as the church enters a period of interregnum on the retirement from pastoral ministry of its minister Leslie Morrison;
Please pray for the Elders, Management Committee and members and they discern God’s will for the future;
please pray for continuing conversations with other URC churches in Edinburgh;
please pray for Church Together in Leith and Edinburgh Churches Together and please pray for our continuing work with homeless people and the organisations with whom we work especially Scottish Churches Housing Action as it seeks to develop a way forward in spite of difficult financial constraints.
Please pray for God’s Spirit to permeate all that we say and do in the name of Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
30th April Dumbarton
7th May Dunfermline
This was written in Holy Week just after we found we have a mouse in our Church kitchen. Although we haven’t seen it the evidence is there and as we discussed at elders meeting (light-heartedly) the subject of fear came up and we had a more serious discussion.
Anyone can be frightened: sometimes a noise, the sight of an impending incident, an exciting film, all of these can bring on fear. It is not just humans who experience fear as animals, birds and even mic can show signs. Perhaps, Jesus, you were apprehensive as you were on your way to the cross. You said ‘Father, can this suffering be taken from me? But your will, not mine.’ Help us when we are afraid to remember that as Jesus trusted in God his Father, so can we.
14th May Dundee
Everyone within our church family is really excited/positive to see where the next chapter of church life will take us. Having Alan, our relatively new minister, here helping and encouraging us to take the next step in our journey, we can’t wait to see what will happen next.
As Christians we are never alone and we pray that everyone involved in your church here and around the world take strength in the knowledge that you are always there to help and encourage us in all that we do.
21st May Dunning
Dunning has been in existence for just over 40 years beginning as a break- away group from the local St. Serf’s Church and meeting in the village hall it is now small in numbers. It meets fortnightly, still in the village hall and is one of the group of 5 Fife and Tayside Cluster
New life in spring time is very noticeable in a village surrounded by farmland, as Dunning is, and we give thanks for that new life which comes round each year. As we enter the period after Easter we look forward, not knowing everything we will be facing, just as the disciples did not know what they were facing. We recall your resurrection and the hope in new life that you gave to all. Give us space today to simply stop and look around us at all that is coming to bloom and give thanks for all you have given to us.
28th May East Mains East Kilbride
At the beginning of March, a teenager who had grown up in the church family asked to have her daughter baptised. She herself had not been baptised and decided that this was something she would like to have for herself as well. The church was packed with family and friends who gathered for the service. Many people in the congregation that Sunday had little or no contact with the church, or much experience of worship. The young woman’s readiness to stand up before her friends and make baptismal promises for herself and her daughter was a true expression of faith and a courageous act.
We invite our sister churches in the Synod to pray with us:
Gracious God, we thank you that you continue to call people to be your disciples and that you walk with us on that pathway of discipleship. Whether it is a journey we have just begun, or one which we travelled for many years help us always to learn more of your love for us and for the world. In this season of Easter, through our words and actions may we share the good news of your Son’s resurrection and the promise of abundant life which he offers to all. Amen.
4th June Fraserburgh
What does “Clusters” mean to us in Fraserburgh? This has been an on/off conversation over the last 18 months and although we have not come up with an answer we do recognise that for us it means looking to our ecumenical partners rather than another URC Congregation. We are hoping to have our first conversation with a local Church of Scotland at the beginning of June and we would value your prayers.
Loving God, we celebrate the diversity that is your Church, for the richness of tradition and for the renewing energy of the Holy Spirit that challenges us to think beyond what makes us comfortable. We come with anxiety and excitement in equal measure to seek your guidance and blessing for our initial conversations. Help us to be open to working together, to seek new ways of doing together what we struggle to do separately and to be alert to the promptings of your Spirit that leads us into the unfamiliar. May we seek your ways in all that we say and do. Amen.
11th June Giffnock
As we approach summer time, Giffnock URC is looking forward to another Holiday at Home. Holiday at Home is a 3 day programme of activities for older folk, designed to be exactly what it says on the tin! We’ll be having a trip away with lunch included, singing and music, games, story telling, arts and craft, a daily “thought for the day” and, of course, great company! It’s a great week, with volunteers from across the 4 Giffnock churches. We’re hoping that this will be great preparation for the launch of our Dementia Respite club in the autumn. The club will run weekly, and will offer a few hours of respite to carers, as well as a nice lunch, fun activities and good company for our guests.
We ask for your blessing for the ongoing work Giffnock URC are doing with older people.
We thank you for all the work, care and prayer that goes into all the members do
As well as for the opportunities that you put in their way.
We pray for all those involved
From the URC, Church of Scotland, East Renfrewshire Council and beyond
That you will give them the energy and vision that they need
As they serve their community.
In Jesus name we dedicate to you their service