United Reformed Church Synod Prayers February & March 2016
January 3rd The Kirk of Saint Nicholas Uniting
At the Mither Kirk of Aberdeen, we are in the process of building an external ramp and indoor accessible toilet facilities in our medieval church.
This is part of our commitment to being a more welcoming and inclusive faith community.
you know the plans you have for us,
plans to give us hope and a future.*
Help us to use our resources
to fulfill your call
and welcome friend and stranger,
so that all who come through our doors
may meet you here.
© 2015 Gillian Trew
* Jeremiah 29:11
10th Airdrie Park
Heavenly and living God, hear our prayer for the people of Park Church, Airdrie, that they will be open to the guidance of your Holy Spirit as they develop ecumenical relationships with Ebenezer and Coatdyke Congregational Churches.
We also pray that their conversations with Coatbridge and Cumbernauld United Reformed Churches will go well and that they will be successful in their efforts to form a three Church Group Pastorate.
We pray for the health and welfare of the Airdrie congregation and for all their sister congregations in the South Link.
We pray in the name of Jesus, our saviour and redeemer. Amen.
17th Week of Prayer for Christian Unity 18th – 25th Jan 2016
Please pray for:
– Congregations in the Synod that are part of a Local Ecumenical Partnership
– Those recently nominated to accompany these ecumenical partnerships
– Situations where denominational differences are a challenge
– Our EMU partnership with the Scottish Episcopal & Methodist Churches in Scotland
– The role of Action of Churches Together in Scotland in helping us work together
– And give thanks for new expressions of Christian partnership emerging locally and nationally
We ask all to pray for Annan as we move back into our refurbished church, giving thanks for those who have given of time, money and talents so generously. We give thought to those who have gone before us, many being remembered with chairs donated in memory of. And as we move forward we pray for guidance as we face the challenge of looking once again for our premises to be a centre of the community and open to all throughout the week.
Augustine United is a congregation made up of people with very diverse life experiences.
We are a people who are:
Poor, rich & in between
Transgender, female & male
Well, unwell, & up& down in our health mentally and physically
Old, young & middle aged
Gay, straight & bi
Of faith, doubt & questioning.
One of our regular activities is a weekly Drop-In run in partnership with the Chaplains from the Royal Edinburgh Psychiatric Hospital, to offer safe space for people experiencing challenges with their mental health. The Drop-In has led to the development of a Mental Health Ministry within AUC which builds community and challenges the stigma of mental illness. Through this Ministry we have all made new friends, learned together that good mental health is an issue which effects all of us and removed many of the barriers which bolster mental health stigma.
Thank you for praying for AUC:
Give thanks to God for our diverse community.
Ask the Spirit’s continued work enabling us to grow together being transformed by each other
Ask for the Spirit’s continued activity enabling us to be salt in the world; drawing out the flavours of Abundant Life for all to taste and savour.
That relations with the local primary schools and community associations might continue to strengthen throughout the coming year.
Loving God, as we journey onwards, show us the way forward for our church.
Help us as we continue to look for ministry in the future in this time of vacancy.
May the possible clusters be the path we need to follow, that with other churches
we may share visions and receive strength from one another.
This we ask in the name of our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ, your Son.
Barrhead URC is in good heart at this point in time. The Cafe has restarted
after the Christmas break; we held a successful Christmas Lunch for members and
friends; we had a successful and enjoyable Burns Supper; and we continue to support
the Food Bank, even though it no longer uses our premises.
That members of the congregation will continue to increase in confidence as they take part in leading worship.
13th Synod Residential Meeting
bless our Synod
as it meets this weekend
to seek you will
and do your work.
Give those who strive to make good decisions
wisdom and discernment,
so they might know what is required
to help us all build your kingdom
for this time
in this place.
Keep us from being stingy,
from hoarding our blessings
from living on our former glories
from denying your generous gift to us all.
Help us instead to be lavish,
in our praise of you
in our pouring out your love
in our sharing the Good News with all.
We pray in Jesus’ name,
in the power of the Holy Spirit.
Loving Father, we would ask that You be near to all who are having tried and troubled times, whether it be the loss of a loved one, to bereavement, drink or drugs, or a visit to the Hospital, may Your healing hand be on them, and give them peace. These things we ask in Jesus’ name. Amen.
Carluke URC has been in vacancy for just over a year, and we have been reflecting on what kind of church we currently are and what we are called to be. We believe the purpose of our congregation is to “joyfully share the love of God with each other and the wider community”.
We are in conversation with other URC churches within the South Link about clustering and the possible formation of a joint pastorate.
We give thanks for:
– the support we have received on our journey so far,
– the love and joy and graciousness that we share amongst each other,
– our outreach into a local Residential Home and the relationships we have been able to build there
– the work we continue to do developing the Spirituality of our young people.
We pray that:
– the Spirit will bring us insight and wisdom as we discuss and plan our way ahead;
– God will give us the courage, strength and faith to step forward in His name.
A whole year has passed since I wrote to you about Cumbernauld, at this time we as a church are coming together hopefully to be of one mind as we become part of a cluster of three churches. This of course is taking us on a journey which we hope will help us keep faith and trust in our Lord Jesus Christ. The two churches who might be joining us have still to arrange meetings with their congregations, so we leave all things in our Heavenly Father’s care, looking forward to what the Lord is going to do in our lives.
You are so great, you are Lord God Almighty and just are your ways. You have given us so much freedom to worship you and filled us with your grace and mercy. We pray for our sister churches at this time, that they may know the touch of your life upon each one of them and feel free to go into their communities to meet with those whom the Lord puts before them, so many people are searching for the truth, help us as part of your family to take time to listen and to seek your will for each person whom we meet, we ask this in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ. Amen.
Each and every day is a special gift from You, Loving God, another day to be sheep: not to be stupid, directionless, defenceless. That’s not Your vision of your flock.
We are your sheep: tender, aware, unique creatures with a range of emotions, attitudes, fears, living and thriving at our best when we are in community. And we can allow ourselves to be led by a Shepherd who understands us, not for what we don’t/ can’t do, but for what we are capable of.
This is just what you had in mind 62 years ago, in leading a group of progressive believers to step out on their faith in a new town, and ignited a flame of grace that we celebrate as we give praise to you and become guests at your table.
And we make ourselves aware of that flame of grace which we carry and we are humbled by the many great works, miracles, spirit of mission, and stories of life and grief represented by each person sitting here, and many more out in the world. The lives were born into this church, the folks who showed up from other journeys in life but stuck around for the long haul; from the most impromptu baptisms to the longest funeral; the folk who may not show up on the days that really matter, but still consider this space and the people who keep it, agents of a Higher Authority, a truer purpose, and a liberating embrace.
As you were made known to those first Easter people in the breaking of bread, be known to us also in the breaking of our hearts and the dawning of our joys. Amen.
8th Duke Street, Leith
Pray for the church members as the church prepares for new ministry and new ways of ministry.
Pray too for the Elders and Management Committee as they work with the Synod team and other local churches to understand ‘clusters’.
The church’s continuing commitment to the homeless is taking up more and more of our time. While it is a good thing that we have volunteers so willing to help, it is a tragic indictment on our society that so many are hungry, homeless and poor. Pray for all our partner organisations committed to social justice Bethany Trust; Fresh Start; Home Start; Scottish Churches Housing Action. May God’s Spirit enfold and uphold us.
May 29th Dundee
Our Heavenly Father
We bring before you our beloved Salem, we thank you for your guidance Lord, we also remember our friends with whom we share services on a Sunday morning, we thank you for your many blessings, as we work together and share the compassion of Christ with those in need, we prayer that you will renew our vision, and give us your guidance and strength, Bless them and all we serve. Help us to continue to show Christian love in action.
June 5th – The Community Church of St. Serf Dunning (United Reformed Church)
Preamble: 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 currently seeking full time ministry.
It is to praise and glorify your Holy name that the people of the Community Church of St. Serf in Dunning have been meeting these 40 years and to learn and live your gospel.
You have been with us in our prosperous times and in our thin times making your purposes known to us and we have kept the faith. Grant us grace to continue our witness while we have the means and the strength so to do and to play our part in the life and work of the Fife and Tayside Group.
In Jesus’ name.
June 12th – East Mains
At a church meeting last year it was suggested that we cancel our Christmas Eve service because so few people had attended the previous year. We remembered that our LMMR visitors had encouraged us to develop further links with the sheltered housing complex along the road as some of the residents already came to the Women’s Guild. It was suggested that we approach Bosfield House and ask whether the church could hold its Christmas Eve service in the resident’s lounge thus providing a time of worship for the congregation and the residents who may not be able to get to their own church. This idea was welcomed by Bosfield House and so the Christmas Eve service was held in the morning of Christmas Eve followed by coffee and Christmas treats. The residents asked if a series of services could be restarted at the complex. East Mains URC also offered a service on Easter Sunday afternoon and we hope other churches in the Village area of the town will be willing to join a rota to offer worship throughout the year.
We invite our sister churches in the Synod to pray with us:
Gracious God, we thank you for the opportunity to offer worship services in Bosfield House for residents who are no longer able to attend their own churches. We thank you for another session of the Guild; for the opportunity it provides for women in our community to gather together for fellowship and friendship. Through each of these activities may we contribute to breaking the isolation that many older people in our community experience and offer a place of welcome and inclusion in Jesus name. Amen.
June 19th – Fraserburgh
Prayers for Fraserburgh:
Pray for those of our congregation who have been in hospital and are recovering from surgery, for those who have been ill at home and for those waiting a date to go into hospital
Pray for those who have been made redundant or whose jobs are under threat because of uncertainty in local industry and the wider oil industry
For the Referendum as we consider the impact of our choice on the local as well as the national economy
June 26th – Giffnock
This Easter we held some events, designed both to bring our ecumenical neighbours closer together, and to reach out to those who are currently not involved in the central life of the church. The first was a Maundy Thursday Agape meal, led jointly with Giffnock South Church of Scotland, and attended by members of all four Giffnock churches. Our small hall was packed on the night, as we shared worship, food and blether. The relationship between our four churches is really important to us, and we’re excited to grow that relationship ever more.
Then on Easter Saturday we hosted Messy Church, for children and their parents/ guardians, followed by an evening Disco, for 10-16 year olds. Messy Church was loads of fun as usual, with a few new faces, who had seen our posters, fliers and online publicity. However, the real challenge was the disco… would anyone turn up? At 7 o’clock, the music was pumping, and the disco lights flashing, in an empty hall. Then, just as our volunteers were conceding defeat, the young people began to arrive! We gave out free drinks and snacks, and enjoyed not just disco dancing, but also an impromtu Gay Gordons! Thanks to our new wifi connection, (and the wonder of Apple Mac,) we were able to play every song that was requested, and the young people seemed to have a great night.
Our minister has become a Scout leader, and this has helped begin to make relationships with young people that aren’t interested in church as it currently is. Working with our local Primary School on a joint backpack project for Mary’s Meals has also been great for making connections. We’re feeling really positive that these events, along with events like Messy Church and the disco, will bring some much appreciated energy and vitality into our church community. Our Scout Troop have recently raised over £1800 for Dementia Awareness projects, and we’re looking forward to working with them further, as we look to set up an ecumenical Dementia Respite Support Project, this autumn.
We would offer the following prayer:
Holy God, we offer you all thanks and praise for the ways that we have been brought together, in Giffnock, with our brothers and sisters in the Church of Scotland. We thank you for the energy that is created when we work together, and for all the opportunities you have given us for that work. We pray that you will open up even more windows for new work, and that you will help us, as we work together on the Dementia Club. We thank you also for all the wonderful young people in our community, particularly those at the Primary School who were so generous in supporting our Mary’s Meals Project, and the Beavers, Cubs, Scouts and Explorers. We thank you for the incredible effort that the Scouts have put into raising so much money for Dementia Awareness.
We offer up to you also our Sunday School and Toddlers Group, and pray for each one of our children – keep them safe, make yourself known to them, and help them as they grow into adults who walk with you. We also pray particularly for the Dementia Club, and ask that you help us to plan and execute it well, taking the best care of both clients and volunteers. We would also remember particularly the families of Douglas Smith and Jill Henderson, who have both sadly passed away in recent months. Please comfort them, and bring them peace and happiness in the years ahead.
In your son’s name we offer all our prayers
July 3rd – Falkirk Grahamston
July 10th – Induction Synod Moderator
We come to You in gratitude for the calling and acceptance of our new Synod Moderator, David.
We are grateful for the gifts and experience that he will bring to us in our mapping of the future of the Synod and to a unique role in pastoral ministry.
We pray for David and his wife, Jan, in their move to a new, yet familiar, country and to a new home. May that home be blessed as together they meet the challenges of the future.
We pray that You will support David in the task ahead and give him the strength, the wisdom, the judgment and the guidance both he and we will require.
We respect the grace and integrity we are discovering in him and look to support him with our care, respect and love.
And we pray for this Synod which we serve. May it be worthy of its call to its new Moderator; may it live out the Aspirations which it has developed and which have played a major part in David’s call; may it truly understand and live out its calling to be a National Synod within a Church in Three Nations.
In looking to our future, we do not neglect our past and are grateful for what has been achieved under our former Moderator, John, which we seek to further and enhance to Your glory.
Lord, we look forward to David’s Induction and the chance to commit ourselves afresh to our calling and your challenge: that we may seek within the Church and within Society to act justly, to love mercy and to walk humbly with our God.
July 17th – Greenock East
As we enter a time of holidays, we pray for those who will have a chance to explore new places and reconnect with family and friends. We also remember those for whom this time is busy, those working outdoors, in our gardens, beaches, and in the tourist industry.
But we remember for others this a difficult time, reminders of fun times with loved ones who are no longer around.
Loving Lord, we thank you for this time of nourishment and pray your blessing on our encounters this summer.
July 24th – Greenock West
July 31st – Hamilton
We thank you for our heritage in Hamilton and beyond and for the
privilege of service.
Guide and inspire us as we explore how we can work and share resources with our neighbouring sister churches thus enabling this small congregation to continue to demonstrate your love for the World.
Help us to see Christ in others and to be Christ for others.
Light up our hearts and our efforts with your presence.
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 have some ‘Mission’ projects which include:
- The ‘Drop-in Centre’ which provides cooked meals, washing facilities and
clothing for anyone who is homeless, and
- The ‘Jubilee Key Scheme’ which helps homeless people get
We support all of these and the Hamilton District Food Bank.
Our buildings are used regularly by different groups including the South Link
and various 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.
We have recently agreed with Righead URC and East Mains URC to form a Joint Pastorate for a trial period of 3 months from September till November with a view to formalising this in 2017 when we would hope to create a ‘Cluster’ including Rutherglen URC, whereby we would support one another in our worship and mission.
September 4th – Forthcoming Synod Meeting
September 11th – Mosspark
September 18th – Nairn
September 25th – Newburgh
October 2nd – Oakshaw Trinity, Paisley
October 9th – Port Glasgow
October 16th – Priesthill
October 23rd – Rutherglen
October 30th – Righead
Lord you are always with us, yesterday, today and tomorrow. Be with all that we come in contact with; all who cross our threshold; all with whom we share the good news in word, thought and action. We thank you for the faith of our fellowships, the hope that other show us; and the love with which you encompass us all, now and forever. Amen.
27th Stewarton, 1st in Advent and St Andrew’s Day
Loving God, we give you thanks for the continuing congregation that is Stewarton United Reformed Church. We give thanks for the commitment of that small congregation, meeting each week to worship you and support one another. We ask for your blessing on them strengthening them to continue and giving them hope for the future.
At this, the beginning of Advent, we all look forward to remembering the gift that came to the world at Christmas time. Jesus Christ our Lord and Saviour. Let us use this time together to look forward and not back, to anticipate that coming again with joy in our hearts.
We remember also the patron Saint of our country, St. Andrew and his bringing others to Jesus. May we follow in his footsteps, being the disciples of Jesus in our own age, and having the courage to speak of our faith and to help others realise their own faith. May we be granted the strength and courage to continue our pilgrimage, in Jesus’ name we ask this prayer. Amen
18th Wishaw and Christmas
Heavenly Father, as life in our home becomes so busy with all the preparations for Christmas, help us not to become overwhelmed with the trappings that we forget that we are celebrating the coming of Jesus, the son of God.
We thank you that happiness lies more in giving than receiving. Help us to find true happiness this Christmas by giving willing service in your name.
25th New Year
We take a moment at the turning of the year to pause
and remember what has gone before.
We give thanks for new steps taken and new lessons learned
and pray for wisdom and discernment as we seek to grow in you.
We praise you for your provision of all that you know we need
and seek forgiveness for our longings for things which we can live without.
We mourn for all that has been lost in this past year
and pray for comfort and a healing touch for those for whom loss has left a lingering sense of despair, pain or anger.
We remember those who have spent this year in a warzone, or fleeing from one,
and those who are now living far from home
with no sense of when they might return.
We take a moment at the turning of the year to pause
and consider what is to come.
We acknowledge the uncertainties with which we face the days and months ahead
placing into your hands all that is beyond our control
and asking for your help to seize with our own hands all that is ours to grasp.
We ask for your blessing on those in positions of authority and power
in whose hands people have placed great responsibility.
May they use their power to seek the common good rather than pursue narrow self-interest.
We pray for communities and nations, asking that fear of the other
be replaced by a desire to embrace the unfamiliar and deepen mutual understanding.
We affirm our desire to seek peace in all our relationships
and to consider others’ needs before our own.
We pray in the name of Christ, in whom we live and move and have our being.