Prayer & Devotions

Prayer Cycle for Churches in Synod September and October 2021

Priesthill URC is slowly returning to life after the long months of lockdown. Given all our activities are based around social activities bringing people together often in the context of food we felt it better to wait until restrictions were either over or at a minimal level. We hope to finally admit two new members who wished to join before lockdown and, of course, we’re going to miss Marie Trubic as she prepares to go to the Bridgewater and Cannington project as their new CRCW. We are waiting to see if another CRCW might be interested in exploring a call to our project.

God of grace
you’ve seen us through the pain of the pandemic
you’ve been with us when we’ve isolated,
you’ve comforted us when we’ve mourned,
you’ve been our shield and protector.
Enable us all to grow in your love,
that we may discern your will for us
as we come to terms with the new realities of our world.

Since November 2017 Righead had been working on a redevelopment project of its site in partnership with East Kilbride Housing Association which would see the present building demolished and a new church/community centre and amenity housing built in its place. In June of this year, aware of some concerns about the viability of the project, the increased frailty of the congregation and delays due in part to the pandemic the Elders decided to take the issue back to the Church Meeting for final decision before significant sums of money were spent. The Church Meeting did not achieve a sufficient majority in favour of proceeding with the project and so we have formally ended the partnership with EKHA. We find ourselves in the ‘liminal times’ the Synod Moderators spoke of in their report to General Assembly as we seek to discern a new direction for our congregation and so we invite you to pray with us and for us…..

God of every time and space, be with us in these liminal times;
accompany us through our discomfort,
reassure us when we feel bewildered,
give us patience to wait and wisdom to discern.
Help us to tell our stories with compassion and commitment
and to continually turn to you, our Source and Guide and Goal.
And when the fog clears and the green shoots begin to emerge grant us courage to trust in what emerges, even if it is not what we want or expect, as we continue to be your faithful people, walking the way, living the life of Jesus today. Amen.

Rutherglen URC is delighted that we are able to accommodate several community groups in our halls and church each week. For over 30 years one of those groups has been the Parent & Toddler Group. In recent years they have struggled with leadership – something which was brought to a head by the lock-down – and so, a couple of months ago, the last remaining member of the management committee decided the group would close. As a result we were left with a large store cupboard full of toys to sort out and dispose of. After approaching other local playgroups to see if anything would be of use to them we came into contact with a local community enterprise called ‘Rain or Shine’ – a charitable organisation which supports families in South Lanarkshire through the provision of toys, children’s clothes, nappies etc. They fund the enterprise through selling toys etc in a shop not far from the church. They were delighted to receive the toys and many have already been passed on to children in the area.
As a result a relationship is now growing between the church and Rain or Shine and we have already made the church available to them as a sorting space and conversations about other ways we can support them in their work are under way.
As the saying goes – as one door closes another opens …..

Loving God,
We thank you for the new opportunities that constantly come our way
the opportunities to support good causes in both practical and financial ways,
the opportunities to be partners with others who care for and are active in our communities,
the opportunities to accept and let go what has been and begin something new,
the opportunities to witness to our communities that you are a God of love and hope,
in Jesus name,

Dear God, help us to be people of integrity. Enable us to speak the truth in love. In this community and in this part of Your world help us to not exaggerate our own importance but to seek Your Kingdom honestly, that we may be lights to the world.
Fraser Wood, Member of Saughtonhall URC.

Lockdown has been difficult for the church as we’ve said farewell to two much loved members who died during this time, recovered from a break in and, in recent weeks, have said farewell to our youngest elder who died after a short, unexpected, illness. We’re keenly aware of the fragility of (church) life. We are cheered by two people considering membership and are blessed with Margaret Higton growing into her NSM role through her training.

God of times and seasons,
we know You are faithful
and haven’t bought us this far to leave us.
We know that, like all living things, we are called to grow and change.
Bless us our congregations across these islands
as we take stock,
assess our new realities and contexts,
and find creative ways to worship, evangelise, witness and serve.

Stewarton has emerged from the pandemic in good heart and generally unscathed.

Eternal One
we thank you for your mercies,
for the way you have sustained us in good times and in bad,
for the gifts you shower upon us.
Inspire us all,
to follow you more closely,
and show our love for you in word and deed.

On October 31st, 1517, Martin Luther, a young professor at Wittenberg University, posted a set of 95 theses on the Church noticeboard. He was hoping to initiate a public debate about what authority the Church could and could not claim for itself when it came to speaking about those who had died (thus the date: All Saints Eve – Hallowe’en).
Such a way of initiating public debate was common practice at the time; but Martin Luther had no idea where that debate would take him, nor the effect it would have on the Church in Western Europe. The 31st October is now celebrated among those who agree with the general terms of Luther’s complaint as ‘Reformation Day’.

Eternal God, you have given us your Word to be a light for our path through life. We thank you that by the inspiration of your Spirit your Word was written down by your faithful servants in ancient times and read down the ages by those who would know your will. We thank you that through the power of that same Spirit your Word is still faithfully preached and received by those who seek you in our own day.

We thank you for those who, in word and in action, faithfully proclaimed your word in days gone by; and we particularly thank you for those whose faithful witness helped us on our own path towards faith in your Son Jesus Christ. May your Spirit act within us today, so that your Word might fill us with faith, hope and love. Open our hearts to hear what you would have us hear, that we may be witnesses of the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ in all we do. This we ask in his name and for his sake. Amen.

A short prayer in the month of COP: the Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Agreement on Climate Change

Sustaining God:
as our species gathers
in your Dear Green Place,
constrained by the damage injustice has wrought:
so strengthen our hope;
our resilience to disappointment.

Move us on from ‘stewardship’ to partnership
with the Life of the world,
giving thanks for every small step;
stirring our impatience for more.

Show us your way of hospitality:
of warning and encouragement
for those who come and those left far behind:
Christ, in the stranger’s guise

Rev David Coleman, Environmental Chaplain, Eco Congregation Scotland



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