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


Remember, this is YOUR Enews so please tell us what your church is up to. 
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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
 

September

19   Priesthill
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.
Amen.


26   Righead, East Kilbride
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.


October

3   Rutherglen

10  Saughtonhall

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.

17  Shawlands
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.
Amen.  


24  Stewarton
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.
Amen.

Scottish United Reformed and Congregational College

CYBERTHEOLOGY - A Weekly Discussion
based on the book by Antonio Spadaro
 

 
What just happened? And what does it mean?
 
Something has happened to our faith, to the way we live it out, and the way we think about it.
 
The events of the past eighteen months have brought great change to the modalities of church life. We are just beginning to work out what that means for faith itself.
 
Our learning so far has been largely practical, directed towards doing the best we could to sustain old practices in new circumstances. All the while, we have been aware that the significance of our new ways of doing things was not temporary, even if some of our practices would disappear once pandemic restrictions eased. The digital revolution affects not just the externals of church life but how we ‘think faith’ – our theologies – and how our communities form and sustain themselves.
 
Among the best explorations of these important questions is Cybertheology by the Italian Catholic theologian Antonio Spadaro.
 
This Autumn the Scottish College is hosting a series of six weekly gatherings where we can think together about theology, the life of faith, and digital technologies, using this important book.
 
I wonder will you find, with me, that in this area of theological thinking the Catholics ask the best questions, but the protestants are sometimes better placed to give good answers!
 
Our discussions will be structured around the chapters of Spadaro’s Cybertheology, so you will need to buy or borrow a copy of the book.
 
Schedule:
Wednesday 29 September 2021 
Wednesday 06 October 2021 
HALF TERM
Wednesday 20 October 2021 
Wednesday 27 October 2021 
Wednesday 03 November 2021 
Wednesday 10 November 2021 
 
All meetings 19.30 to 20.30
 
I hope you will join us – on Zoom, of course!
 
Please sign up at this link:  https://tinyurl.com/cybertheology
 
John McNeil Scott
As COP in Glasgow approaches, it will be good to address Synod on Saturday.  Congregations may also wish, if not yet registered, to send off the registration to be an EcoCongregation, which is a great statement of intent and solidarity . The form is here... just get it to your next elders and/or church meeting, and get in touch with me chaplain@ecocongregaitonscotland.org if you have any questions - or even hesitations. 

The ‘goody bag’ is what I make sure I leave with churches I visit: information about COP,  hymn texts to well-known tunes, and more.

We’re in the middle of “Creation Time/the Season of Creation: this link takes you to a page to access all the resources brought together by JPIT and EcoCongregation Scotland this year.  Video is fine to download, but get in touch if you need any help.
 
The link to this year’s Creation Time Resources 
 
and  the link to the ‘goody bag’ of resources for churches

 
 
Update of the work of
Synod Committees:-

Synod Pastoral Committee
 
The Committee met via Zoom on 9th September and:
 
- accepted of an offer by the Rev'd Stewart Cutler to draft some guidelines for churches in the light of the forthcoming covid guidelines for places of worship from the Scottish government
- noted that the Rev'd Sarah Moore was working with Helensburgh, Dumbarton, Drumchapel and Clydebank as they discuss becoming a North of Clyde Cluster
- were delighted to hear of another person (in addition to the three already at College) exploring the new mode of volunteer ministry known as NSM4
- recommended the Priesthill and Shawlands CRCW project be reaccredited with some changes to the role description and budget.
- recommended that an approach be made to the Accreditation Sub Committee of the Assembly Ministries Committee asking for a third term for the Eco Chaplaincy post
- were encouraged to hear stories of churches returning after Covid and of plans in various parts of the Synod for new ways of working.  In particular the Committee were interested in discussions taking place between Newburgh and the Church of Scotland for the possible formation of a united congregation and proposals in Dunfermline to sell the building and worship elsewhere.  The Committee noted that Grahamston United will celebrate its 50th anniversary next year and wished them well and commended Priesthill for the serious exploration of its future that it is currently engaged in.
thanked the Rev'd Andy Braunston for his work as Secretary over the last three years and welcomed the Rev'd Helen Mee to this role and wished her well in it.
 
The Committee next meets on 9th November.

 
Andy Braunston
14th September

9th – 15th October 2021
Covid Reflective Pilgrimage from
Edinburgh to Iona

 

  
Remembering ALL who have died from Covid 19
Come and reflect with us along the way...
Edinburgh or Glasgow, Linlithgow or Stirling, Killin or Dalmally, Oban or Mull or Iona

If you wish, you can tell us the name of your loved one and we will name them, or remember them in silence..... 
 
e: covidreflectivepilgrimage@gmail.com 
m: 07885979026

Deadline for next e-news
is 16 October 2021. 

Adventures in Faith
To receive the newsletter email adventures@dioceseofedinburgh.org or visit www.facebook.com/DioceseEdinburgh
To sign up to the Eco Congregation Newsletter click the link below

http://www.ecocongregationscotland.org

 
JPIT
Click here to receive the Joint Public Issues Team newsletter
 
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

 

Christian Aid Harvest Appeal 
In Malawi, womenare struggling in the face of the climate crisis. Extreme weather is affecting crops; cyclones have destroyedhomes,floods have washed away livestock.Food is scarce and there is no money to educate their children. 

 

But with your support, womenlike Janetare joining forces to change their lives and overcome poverty. 

 

You can learn more aboutJanet andthe Makande Women’s Group on our website. 

 

Haiti Appeal 
Christian Aid has launched an emergency appeal to support those whose lives have been devastated by an earthquake and tropical storm. Please give what you can now. 

 

Stand with Afghanistan 
As the Taliban take control of Afghanistan, millions of Afghan people area seeking safe passage and humanitarian aid. You can help by giving, acting and praying. Find out how you can stand with Afghanistan, call the UK Government to compassion and donate to those in need on Christian Aid’s website. 

 

Join the COP26 Prayer Boat Fleet 
This is a crucial year in the struggle for climate justice. To rise to the moment, we must underpin it in prayer and action. 

We're joining the Young Christian Climate Network (YCCN) in a pilgrimage for climate justice. You can help amplify their calls for change, by creating a prayer boat. 

We are building a fleet of prayer boats that will set sail for climate justice and cannot be ignored by world leaders. 
Download the Prayer Boat Activity Pack from our website. 

 

Christian Aid COP26 Breakfast Briefings  

28 September, 26 October: 8.30-9.30am on Zoom  

 

Join church leaders to discover what climate justice will look like at COP26. 

 

The church in the UK and around the world has a crucial role to play in influencing political leaders to end the climate crisis. 

Christian Aid is hosting virtual breakfast briefings specifically for church leaders. These sessions will demystify climate campaigning jargon, ground the issues in stories of lived experience and provide a platform for voices from the Global South.   

 

Join us to hear how you and your church can take action for climate justice. 

 

28 September: ‘I’m a church leader - what’s COP got to do with me?’ 

26 October: Voices from the global church – how our sisters and brothers are responding

SAVE THE DATE
FAITH IN OLDER PEOPLE, CHURCH OF SCOTLAND GUILD AND
CHRISTIANS ON AGEING
Wednesday 17th November 2021
The importance of spiritual care
Thank you .......
Irene and Neil Merrilees would like to thank everyone for all the cards, letters and flowers they received on the death of Jim. £1,000.00 was raised from the collection at the crematorium and it was donated to Amyloidosis, who were very appreciative of such a large sum.
Please peruse, select,  share further,  and use these photos of the Climate Sunday event in Glasgow  on 5th September, which can be downloaded full resolution from the Flickr album
There may be one or two more items a little later in the day. 
 
No further permission should be necessary.
 
Karen Bass took the pictures; I have sorted and edited them and you can find them here.

Write-ups can be organised for those who need them.
Individual photos can be renamed and annotated in due course.
 
love & peace 
Rev David Coleman
Environmental Chaplain EcoCongregation Scotland
chaplain@ecocongregationscotland.org
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