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Welcome to the URC Synod of Scotland monthly e-news.
Welcome to Synod of Scotland Enews.


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Synod Prayer Cycle 2020

Prayers for churches around the Synod and the world are on the synod website and Facebook Page.  Please join with the rest of the Synod in prayer, and pray for the following congregations
 

November

22 1st in Advent (29th)
Light a holy flame of hope, O Lord.
in our weariness give us taste for new beginnings,
in our confusion clarity of heart.
Darn our threadbare longings for your kingdom
and make them fit again for the work of a new year.

Make us strong in patience
resolute in hopeful love,
expectant, incessant,
until the day of dreams. Amen.


29 St Andrew's Day (30th)
God of all things, lover of creation,
on this day of St Andrew,
where we are timid renew in us the impetuous
commitment of Christ’s first-called apostle.
 
God of all people, lover of the nations,
refresh in us a love of nation that is
holy, pure and open -
that seeks the common weal,
that rejoices in the gifts of culture, language and artistry,
that strains forward to what might be,
that seeks justice in our life together,
that nourishes kingdom-love for all the peoples of our world,
and works and longs for light and peace
wherever darkness is. Amen.


December

6   Thurso

When churches had to close for worship in March, a Thurso URC Facebook group was set up to encourage all members, adherents and friends of the church. The aim has been to post something every day, and this has largely been achieved. There have been many hymns with music and words, many recorded Bible readings, links to online services and local devotions from Freswick Castle. Many other items have been shared, slideshows of local scenery set to music, links to the Portrait Gospel project, church cartoons from Dave Walker to name a few.   Our church wishes to maintain a positive, optimistic, adventurous outlook, to do what we can rather than bemoan what we can’t.  It is in that spirit that the church decided to re-open. Worship, even with all the required restrictions such as face-masks, social distancing and no singing, has proved very meaningful and worthwhile.
 
One of our members, Ben MacGregor who is a lay preacher in his late sixties, passed his sea-kayaking leadership assessment at the beginning of October. His favourite motto which should be taken up by all our churches is ‘Live Adventurously’! Even in these times.


Prayer
Father God, thank you for your gifts of life and love and beauty and for all you have done to help and inspire us! We pray for Thurso URC, for those diligently doing all that is needed to open the church for worship, for those leading worship, for those able to attend and for those who cannot attend. We pray that when restrictions ease the church will lead in new and innovative ways to make Jesus known and available to today’s people of all ages.  We pray in His name, Amen.



13  Wishaw
We have come to you, O God, to thank you for your past gifts to us;
To receive strength for the present duties we must do;
To find courage to face anything which the future may bring.
Help us in our lives to have the right attitude to you, to others, to ourselves
And to count our blessings every day.
In Jesus n
ame,
Amen.

20  Christmas

In the days of Caesar 
by Waldo Williams

In the days of Caesar, when his subjects went to be reckoned,
there was a poem made, too dark for him (naive with power) to read.
It was a bunch of shepherds who discovered,
In Bethlehem of Judea, the great music beyond reason or reckoning.

(translated from the Welsh by Rowan Williams)

In these days of Covid, O God, 
when the quietness of quarantine and holiday sacrifice
lies heavy,
give us ears to hear those noiseless bells of joy
eyes for hidden things, for hope and blanketing love
fill our mouths again with songs of joy.

Bind us together with those whom we love,
near at hand and far away.
Let us bring to remembrance those who grieve most deeply
and those who are poor and hungry
or without shelter for heart or body this day.
Let us long for this Child’s kingdom.
Let us hear the whispers of its first fulfilment.
Give us your joy, O One that has come,
Sharer of Divine Life,
God with us at last, and at the Last. Amen.


27  New Year

A Blessing for the New Year

May God make your year a joy-filled one!
Not by shielding you from all sorrows and pain,
But by strengthening you to bear it, as it comes;
Not by making your path easy,
But by making you sturdy to travel any path;
Not by taking hardships from you,
But by taking fear from your heart;
Not by granting you unbroken sunshine,
But by keeping your face bright, even in the shadows;
Not by making your life always pleasant,
But by showing you when people and their causes need you most, 
and by making you anxious to be there to help.
God’s love, peace, hope and joy to you for the year ahead.

Anonymous - from worship words.co.uk

Scottish United Reformed and Congregational College

Deadline for next e-news
is 12 December, 2020. 

Adventures in Faith
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The latest newsletter from the Scottish Churches Disability Group is available on their website
For more information visit: http://www.placeforhope.org.uk/events

 
URC Update and Newsletter
Please click here to join the URC Newsletter.

Supporting Communities Safely 
from Public Health Scotland


The website gives advice for Community Groups, Organisations and Volunteer Networks fighting Covid-19
 
https://www.scdc.org.uk/supporting-communities-safely

URC Children & Youth Newsletter

The bi-monthly newsletter can be downloaded here.
Christian Aid
 https://www.christianaid.org.uk

 
Scottish Churches Housing Action newsletter
 
All the latest news from See Me is available here...

See Me have launched a new resources for young people - "It's Okay". This includes: a video (clean version), a downloadable "What's on your mind" card for young people suggesting ways to explain how they're feeling and places can turn for help and tips to identify good listeners to approach for help and resources for adults and linked to curriculum for excellence including activities that could be used with groups of 11-18yr olds in the 'What's on Your Mind?' pack.
Update of the work of
Synod Committees:-

No Committee updates this month.
Internal Market Bill

On Monday 2nd November, a number of members of the Scottish Church Leaders' Forum wrote to all Scottish MPs and Peers expressing concerns about the Internal Market Bill. Having consulted with the Synod Church and Society Committee and Synod Officers, Lindsey Sanderson signed the letter on behalf of the Synod.

The text is available at http://www.urcscotland.org.uk/internal-market-bill/

 
DramaKirk Nativity available online

If you are looking for ideas for Christmas then Drama Kirk are hard at work filming a short nativity for primary school aged children, "Jerusalem News" by Ray Markham.

In a newsroom in Jerusalem, they are wondering what story to cover. A new angle on the census? Herod's latest palace? And then they hear news nobody expected....from the back of an inn...?!

This resource is available for free to all schools, churches and other community groups.

We are filming with a small team of professional actors. It will be available on YouTube and will last 10/15 mins. email for more details.

 
 
News from Newburgh & Dunning.....
 
Shoe Box Appeal
 

'Yes, we are sending Shoeboxes this year.
The global pandemic has devastated families at home and abroad. Families worst affected are those who live hand to mouth. No work means no food. For their sake the Shoebox appeal must go ahead. For them the gift of a box full of essential, everyday items is more helpful than ever. Soap, shampoo, toothbrushes and toothpaste; needles, threads and a tape measure; balls, playing cards. Simple gifts like these really are invaluable to people in need.'

Once again the ladies in the congregations of Newburgh and Dunning have knitted furiously providing the hats, scarves and gloves for each box. There have been donations of all the simple everyday items we take for granted, enough to fill 176 boxes, which will be ready for collection in early November. Shoeboxes have been in short supply this year because no-one had been able to buy shoes during lockdown! Thanks to all who have contributed.

'We must help the weak and remember the words of Jesus, how he himself said, ''It is more blessed to give than to receive.'''
 
Linda Rice

 
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