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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 2021

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

August

1   Morningside United
Please pray for the congregation and elders at Morningside United Church remembering the ongoing development work at Edinburgh Napier University Chaplaincy.
Please pray for the development of our work with Christchurch Episcopal Church, Marchmont St Giles  Parish Church, the Malawian prayer group and the Romanian Orthodox Church 
Please pray too for the relaunch of our childrens ministry 

 
8   Nairn

15  Newburgh

Newburgh URC building re-opened for worship on Pentecost Sunday; up to then worship has been a Fife and Tayside Pastorate service available on Zoom or You Tube. Although numbers attending in person remain small it is good to be back together in person and, since moving to Covid Level 1, to be able to join in singing once again – albeit rather muted. We do have a number of difficult decisions to make in the coming weeks as it is clear things have changed considerably during the pandemic. We have a decision to make about how far we go with our refurbishment of the interior of the building and we have a decision to make about our relationship with the Church of Scotland in town and, hopefully, the Episcopal Church which whilst it has no building in Newburgh has been part of discussions we have had. We are worshipping together once a month and again are looking to consider how far we go with this. It is a challenging and exciting time to be ‘church’ in Newburgh.
 
Caring God,
We give thanks for the ways you held us, and many other congregations, together over the last 16 months and we pray that as we are able to welcome more into the building that we ensure that in all we do we pause to hear the voice of the Holy Spirit in our conversations. We give thanks for our relationships with the Church of Scotland and the Episcopal Church and all we have shared together – pre-lockdown; during lockdown and beyond.
 
We recognise that there are other churches making decisions not too dissimilar to our own and hold them in our prayers as we are all to aware of the challenges such discussions can be.
Amen


22  Oakshaw Trinity
I am pleased to announce that Oakshaw Trinity Church has recently been awarded the Eco Congregation Scotland Silver Award. A lot of work has taken place during lockdown to ensure that we can continue to lower the carbon footprint of our church as we continue to worship and praise God for his goodness to us.

PRAYER: Almighty and everlasting God, who of your compassionate love toward humankind, sent your Son to be our Saviour and Lord, open our hearts and our minds to his presence

Living and Eternal God, whose Spirit has called your people at Oakshaw Trinity to join with others to worship you, we offer our lives to you in this fellowship of your people.

Accept our love and devotion and do for us and in us what you know we need.

Particularly at this time, we thank you for all your gifts of creation and rejoice that our congregation has been awarded the Eco Church Silver Award.

Thank you for that light that has shone in our hearts and the hearts others that we can thoughtfully and careful continue to serve you, and share  the knowledge of your glory in the face of Jesus Christ. Amen.

29  Peedie Kirk
We are in the summer months where we have long hours of daylight. Folk have been re-united with family. 😊 This prayer was used in a recent Newsletter. We thought we would share it.
 
Loving God, Creator of all, thank You for summer!
Thank you for the warmth of the sun
and the increased daylight.
Thank You for the beauty I see all around me
and for the opportunity to be outside and enjoy Your creation.
Thank You for the increased time I have to be with my friends and family,
and for the more casual pace of the summer season.
Draw me closer to You this summer.
Teach me how I can pray, no matter where I am or what I am doing.
Warm my soul with the awareness of Your presence
and light my path with Your Word and Counsel.
As I enjoy Your creation, create in me
a pure heart and a hunger and a thirst for You.                                                   
Author Unknown

Scottish United Reformed and Congregational College

The College Annual Service will take place at 7pm on Friday 17 September 2021. We expect this will be hybrid service (in person and online). The Annual Service will give us the opportunity to extend welcomes, share thanks and celebrate the life of the College in the Synod of Scotland and the denomination beyond.
Lots of Drama Kirk activity is planned between now and the end of the year!
Why not use some of the resources or help us spread the word as we enjoy bringing the Gospel to life through drama?

Send them Forth??!
Our next project is a short sketch where Jesus sends Peter and John out… or does he?
Peter and John have been firmly ensconced on their couch watching Netflix since lockdown began and are less than keen on the idea of leaving. Ideal for use in a back to school or back to church setting, where we might help people work through their fears about returning to some of the activities we enjoyed pre-pandemic. This will be freely available on our YouTube playlist from
August.

Paul: A Man Changed Forever
Our bible studies on the Apostle Paul will continue from the autumn, where we re-join Paul and companions on the third missionary journey. Further studies on the church and pastoral letters will follow.

Rhyming Bible
We will continue our work on Bob Hartman’s Rhyming Bible by recording four poems ideal for advent. They will be freely available for church, school and community use and are an ideal and engaging way to share the true story of Christmas.

Drama Kirk Nativity
At this stage, we don’t know whether it will be feasible to perform a nativity in person, however we do intend to film a short nativity and make this freely available to all who wish to use. It is likely to be a short, humorous piece focused on the shepherds….more details soon.

Script Development
Drama Kirk is delighted to have commissioned two playwrights to produce scripts for forthcoming productions.
The first is our next dramatized walk, “Walk with the Word: Emmaus” by Louise Scott which follows in the footsteps of the disciples and the risen Lord. We’ve had a first readthrough and look forward to bringing this to you in Sumer 2022.
The second is going to be our own Passion Play script, developed with our cast and setting in mind.
This is in early development and is being written by Simon McCallum.

Thank you for your ongoing support.
Update of the work of
Synod Committees:-

Synod Pastoral Committee

 
The Pastoral Committee met on 30th June and received updates from various churches. They were pleased to note that Aberdeen URC is now registered with OSCR - this was much faster than had been anticipated.
 
Following a review of LMMR the Rev'd Sarah Moore is to contact the LMMR team and advise that a new process is to be suggested to Synod in due course.
 
Ms Moore is also working with Helensburgh, Dunbarton, Essenside and Morrison Memorial churches with a view to forming a North of Clyde Cluster and it is hoped this will progress over the Summer.
 
The Committee were pleased to declare a vacancy in Nairn. This will be a full time post with up to 20% of the post Synod directed, normally for work within the North Link. This will go to the Moderators' meeting forthwith with a view to ministers seeing the profile from September onwards. The Committee took an in principle decision to declare a vacancy in Southside and reaffirmed the previous scoping that these five churches should be scoped at two full time ministers. The Moderator will work with the Cluster over the Summer in the hope that a vacancy can be declared in the autumn. The Committee also agreed to work to declare a 0.5 vacancy and to seek to join the Lanarkshire Trinity pastorate with Carluke and Wishaw meaning those five churches would have 1.5 full time equivalent ministers. Again it was hoped to be able to declare this vacancy in the Autumn.
 
The Committee granted concurrence to Marie Trubic's Call to serve the Church Related Community Work project in Bridgwater and Cannington in Somerset and noted she's likely to move towards the end of the year. The Committee wished her well in this move and noted she'd made a positive impact on the Synod. The Committee continues to look at a second CRCW term for the Shawlands and Priesthill project.
 
Finally, the Committee noted that the Transition Champion role is to have an 18 month review and gave consideration for a Strategy Group to help guide this role as it develops.
 
The Committee will meet again on 9th September by Zoom.
 
Andy Braunston
Secretary


 
Policy Planning and Strategy (PPS) Committee

PPS continues to meet via Zoom.

Synod Office now has fibre broadband installed and commissioned. The next step in process has seen emails transferred to Microsoft 365. Work continues on migration of files and data to the cloud.

PPS agreed that based upon Covid 19 current limitations, our Synod meeting on 18th September should be held as a hybrid meeting with a limited number of representative present. Synod will be held under the Standing Orders for Virtual Meeting. (N.B. This will be subject to Covid 19 requirements and guidance applicable).

Work continues on the remit and role for the Synod Clerk. This is being undertaken by the Moderator, Ms Myra Rose and Ms Marie Trubic.

PPS members / trustees participated in a Zoom trustee training session on 2nd June hosted by Revd Dr John McNeil Scott and Revd Andy Braunston.

Synod Accounts for 2020 have been prepared and submitted to the Auditors – no major issues have been advised and are due to be formally presented to PPS on 6th August.

The Church Life Development / Mission Fund process is being reviewed and updated.

W Robson
Synod Clerk
News from Peedie Kirk .................

It is good news that the whole of Scotland is to be in Level 0 from 19 July. This is the first time we all will have been the same since last September.  In Orkney we have been in Level 0 for quite a while so have had time to get used to it.  It has been lovely to be able to resume singing (still masked) and enjoy slightly fewer restrictions.   On General Assembly Sunday we took advantage of a one – off opportunity and joined worship which was broadcast from Cambridge.  All the tech worked fine and it was good to be reminded that we are part of something bigger.  And the icing on the cake, we were joined by  URC visitors from two churches on mainland Scotland who were on holiday in Orkney. They were  pleased to be part of it.   
 
[Pictured – gathering on 11 July to join the URC General Assembly Morning Worship]

 

Deadline for next e-news
is 13 August 2021. 

Adventures in Faith
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The latest newsletter from the Scottish Churches Disability Group is available on their website
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URC Update and Newsletter
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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


Rise to the Moment Launch Event
As we journey towards COP26 we are joining the Young Christian Climate Network (YCCN) in a pilgrimage for climate justice. 
 
We’d love you come to the campaign launch to find out more about how you and your church communities can be involved in the run up to COP26! 
 
Register your place at our online event where you can hear direct from the walkers about how you and your church can get involved over the coming months. There are two sessions to choose from – afternoon on 19 July or evening on 20 July.
 
You can also pledge your prayers to support the relay here. We will count up all the prayers and actions taken in support of this pilgrimage and deliver them to decision makers in Glasgow.
𝗪𝗲 𝗵𝗮𝘃𝗲 𝘀𝗼𝗺𝗲 𝘀𝗮𝗱 𝗻𝗲𝘄𝘀...
After a particularly challenging few years, the difficult decision has been made for Scottish Churches Housing Action to close down.

We realise this will be disappointing for many of our supporters, it's disappointing for our board and staff too...but unfortunately this decision was unavoidable.

Over the past 27 years SCHA has been able to work with committed people across the country to create local responses to homelessness.
The legacy we leave behind are the many Starter Pack Projects that continue to operate independently all over Scotland, as well as our offshoot charity Whitebeam Homes. We hope that in our absence these projects will continue to flourish.
Thank you to the many people who have supported us and worked with us over the years - your input has made a big difference in the lives of so many.

We wish we could say we are closing down because homelessness is no longer an issue in our society - but that is untrue. The need is still great. So don't give up, churches really can (and should) make a difference.
Stay safe and God bless,
The SCHA team
All the latest news from See Me is https://www.seemescotland.org/news-and-blogs/
 

 
SAVE THE DATE
FAITH IN OLDER PEOPLE, CHURCH OF SCOTLAND GUILD AND
CHRISTIANS ON AGEING
Wednesday 17th November 2021
The importance of spiritual care
News from Saughtonhall United Reformed Church..........

At present we are currently updating our IT system at Saughtonhall which will allow us to broadcast our service to a wider audience. The new Sound system is particularly helpful to those who’s hearing is not so good.  Since re-opening in the Church on 23rd May, numbers have been steady each week at Church, as well as maintaining some regulars on Facebook. The telephone reflection line is particularly helpful for Members not able to attend Church or Facebook. Some Members even listen to it a couple of times during the week.
 
When restrictions have lifted, Saughtonhall are going to hold a “Memory Lane Café” on Friday mornings which will be open to Members and other Churches. The Café is being run by Murrayfield Dementia club.
 
Other Hall users are slowly returning to the Church with an exercise class and slimming world being the first. Hopefully, restrictions permitting others will return in the Autumn.
 
After Piano exams being held at Saughtonhall recently we arranged for two of the young ladies to play the piano in church.
 
 We held our first Elders meeting in Church on 29th June sitting 2metres apart wearing face masks. It was lovely to see people in person without the challenges of Zoom.


 
Wee Glasses for Iona.....
 
I have been asked by Caro Penney on behalf of the Iona Community to see if any of our congregations might have surplus ‘wee glasses’ or even a tray they could donate (or loan) to Iona Abbey for Communion there.
 
If you have Caro’s contact details you can get in touch directly, but if not please get in touch through me.
Thanks,
Bungie
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