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


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


5   Port Glasgow

Since Port Glasgow URC reopened for worship we have had a steady number of the congregation return to in person worship.  Along with worship we have relaunched the Church Angels Food Bank .  We are delighted to now have a group of volunteers from our Cluster Churches and our ecumenical Churches helping us as we open twice weekly.  Our Church has joined with our local Church of Scotland, Port Glasgow New Parish Church , where we have set up a mental-wellbeing group which meets, at present, on Zoom weekly, we also have a Walk and Talk group every second Saturday, and are about to be involved with helping set up walking football as a way to combat depression and loneliness.  This venture has only been possible with the funding secured by Port Glasgow New Parish Church.
Generous God,
We pray for the work of our volunteers as they help those in our communities who need a helping hand from time to time.  Allow those who access our service to know that they are loved by You.
We pray for our mental-wellbeing group, listening and being attentive to those we walk alongside.
Please pray for our Church community as we begin the process of being fully open and helping our community where needed.

12  Synod Meeting on 18th Setpember
Great God, whose love surrounds and sustains us, bless our meeting in Synod in Helensburgh and online.
May our meeting be an expression of our relationship and of our commitment to ministry and mission.
Guide us in our thinking and discussing.
Help us as we consider larger issues that effect the life of the world and the wellbeing of our planet.  We think especially of the challenge and continuing relevance of the Legacies of Slavery and of the environmental threats of climate change, of the forthcoming COP26 conference in Glasgow, and of all the small measures that we may take like carbon off-setting.
Bless the work of our committees and of our churches.
Help us, together with our fellow Christians throughout Scotland, to bring the light and love of the Gospel to our nation.
In Jesus’ Name, we ask it.  Amen.

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.

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.


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.
Wednesday 29 September 2021 
Wednesday 06 October 2021 
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:
John McNeil Scott

The College Annual Service for 2021
will take place on Friday 17 September 2021 at 7.30pm
at Helensburgh United Reformed Church
35 West Princes Street, Helensburgh G84 8TF
At this service we will say ‘Farewell’ to the Revd Lindsey Sanderson and thank her for her work as a tutor with the College over the past seven years. We will welcome a new ordinand student, Michael Topple, and also welcome the Revd Fiona Bennett as a new member of our tutorial team.
We will also mark the next step in the College’s constitutional evolution as the Scottish United Reformed and Congregational College prepares to become
The Scottish College (Congregational and United Reformed)
A Scottish Charitable Incorporated Organisation
Our guest preacher at this service will be
The Revd Tom Wilson
Chair, Congregational Federation in Scotland
Please let us know if you wish to join us, especially if you plan to come to Helensburgh Church. You can do so at this link
The Apostles Go Out – Really Out! (with snacks)

As restrictions are lifted, children and young people return to school and people begin returning to their workplaces, many of us may have some anxieties about ‘going out’ again.

Peter and John, Jesus’ disciples, feel the same way. After all, they have pretty much sat on the sofa watching Netflix since the start of the first lockdown…and now they are being asked to go OUT??!

What might Jesus have to say to them as they prepare to go out? What might Jesus have to say to us?

In their latest sketch, Drama Kirk explore the issues we now face – fear, anxiety and complacency – in a light-hearted take on Matthew chapter 10, when Jesus sends out the disciples to teach and heal in his name. “The Apostles Go Out” is intended as a resource for schools, churches and community groups as we reflect on the lifting of restrictions.
Drama Kirk invites you to ‘listen in’ as Jesus sends out the apostles and we hear some of their anxieties about really going out and how Jesus calms them with the reassurance that he will be with them always.

DramaKirk "The Apostles Go Out!" - YouTube

The sketch was commissioned by the United Reformed Church Synod of Scotland who wanted a filmed resource to share with younger people. It was written by Liz Blackman, who says, “I was delighted Drama Kirk was asked to contribute to this work. No matter how glad we might be that restrictions are lifting, no matter how delightful it is to return to favourite activities, there will inevitably be aspects of how we have lived under restrictions that we don’t want to let go. We might also be scared of returning to pre-pandemic activities. These are feelings I recognise in myself and my children – it was lovely to have the opportunity to explore this through scripture. We’ve taken a light-hearted look at what the response might have been from the disciples to Jesus’ call to go out. My hope is that the sketch will give people a giggle and some reassurance that – no matter how we are feeling right now – we are never alone.”

Robin McLean, who plays Peter – a role he has played in the Passion Play, enjoyed the experience, saying, “It was great fun to reprise our roles in a different way. Hopefully something that we enjoyed doing will help encourage people to get back out there.”

‘The Apostles Go Out – Really Out (with snacks)’  is freely available for use in schools, churches and community groups via   The video lasts 6 minutes. For further information about Drama Kirk visit Follow us on Facebook ( or Twitter (@PlayLanarkshire) or email

Update of the work of
Synod Committees:-

Synod Pastoral Committee

No reports this month
Wanted for Priesthill URC ................

Priesthill URC is a small congregation with a powerful ministry affecting the lives of hundreds of people who engage in various activities in the building.  We partner, in particular, with Sanctuary Housing.  For some time we've struggled to have a treasurer and currently Andy Braunston serves in this capacity as there was no one else!  Andy wants to demit this role and wonders if there is someone else around the Central Belt that would be able to take on this role.  
The work would involve preparing monthly, quarterly and annual accounts, attending to bills and invoicing the various users of the building.  Banking and receipts could be managed by congregation members.  The work is probably, once you've got it under your belt, about three hours a month but will make a huge difference!  If you might be interested in helping please email Andy via

Deadline for next e-news
is 11 September 2021. 

Adventures in Faith
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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

URC Children & Youth Newsletter

The bi-monthly newsletter can be downloaded here.
Christian Aid

Christian Aid COP26 Breakfast Briefings
 Join together with other church leaders to hear about 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 be ambitious in taking steps to end the climate crisis.
Christian Aid is hosting three virtual breakfast briefings specifically for church leaders to 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.
 All briefings will take place on Zoom from 8.30-9.30am:
 31 August: All Creation groaning – understanding our asks of world leaders
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

Christian Aid’s Global Hunger Appeal 

Covid, conflict and climate change have worsened global hunger.
The possibility of starvation threatens many – from South Sudan to Afghanistan – but these deaths are preventable.

Please donate to Christian Aid’s Global Hunger Appeal.  
Your support will provide water hygiene kits for clean drinking water, seeds and tools for households to grow vegetables and food for families facing starvation.  

You can donate and explore our emergency church resources on our website: 

Harvest Resources now available online 

Could you help more communities around the world build a new life, full of hope? Join with us this Harvest and help more communities grow and thrive. 

You’ll find our Harvest worship resources at: 

Zambia Blog 

The Scottish Government has funded a Christian Aid project for women farmers in Zambia for the past three years. Subsistence farmers who scratched a living out of small pieces of land are now growing enough food for themselves and for market. Find out how farmers in Zambia have become business-savvy in our latest blog. 


Climate Fringe Event: Curiosity, Creativity and the Climate  
23 September 7pm, online 
Join a panel of artists, writers and storytellers in this climate-focused online event. We’ll be talking with people who advocate for climate justice through creative practice. Find out more about the event and the panel at the Climate Fringe Week website. 


Faith, Hope + Climate Change, Together for Our Planet 
Trinity College COP26 Course 
Wednesdays from 15th Sept to 27th Oct 2021 from 7–9pm BST 

Trinity College Glasgow is hosting a seven-week online course for churches and faith groups in the run up to COP26. Learn from high-profile scholars and speakers, and get involved in three innovative action tracks. Jess and Fiona from Christian Aid will be leading the activism track.  
Find out more about Faith, Hope + Climate Change. 


COP26 Film resources  
Thank You for the Rain tells the story of Kisilu Musya, a smallholder farmer in Kenya who has documented the human cost of climate change. We’ve produced a Thank You For the Rain watch party guide (plus a youth guide) for you to use with your church group.  

What the COP? Throughout September and October, Take One Action will be supporting community groups of all shapes and sizes to host film screenings; explore key climate justice issues and find collective routes to action in November - and beyond. 
Register your interest in hosting a screening by 31 August. 
Have a question? Email 

26 September, Glasgow 

In-person Kiltwalk is back!  

Did you miss the opportunity to take part in the virtual Kiltwalk weekend in April? The in-person Kiltwalk event is returning to Glasgow in September and all fundraising will once again be topped up 50% by The Hunter Foundation.  
Thanks to Christian Aid supporters across Scotlandover £160,000 was raised through the Virtual Kiltwalk in April.  

If your boots were made for walking then why not sign up to take part this September? Keep an eye on the Kiltwalk website for registration going live - 


Remember a Charity Week 

This Remember a Charity Week, Christian Aid is helping churches to talk about gifts in Wills. Two-thirds of people who leave a share of their estate to Christian Aid also leave a gift to their church. Learn more, sign up for a workshop, or explore our worship resources on our website.

Wednesday 17th November 2021
The importance of spiritual care
News from North of the Clyde .......

In the coming months the four churches north of the clyde (Essesnside URCMorison Memorial URCDumbarton URC & Helensburgh URC) will continue to explore possibilities of working more closely together. As a step towards this, they will hold joint services when there is a fifth Sunday in the month. Usually a joint service would mean everyone attends in one building but in the current situation these services will have some attending in person and others joining online and some watching a recording afterwards.
The next of these is at the end of August, hosted by Helensburgh URC. In October it is planned to hold a special service  at the start of COP26 hosted by Essenside URC, which is in Glasgow - the host City of COP26. This service, which will be led by Bungie and Sarah McGrory (Clydebank), will draw on material being prepared by Eco Congregation Scotland and others in preparation for COP26.
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