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LATEST GUILD NEWS january 2024

Updated: Jan 18

Happy New Year

January heralds a new year and, as most of us know, the month takes its name from the Roman god Janus who governed the first month of the year in ancient Rome. He was the god of beginnings and endings; entrances and exits; passageways, transitions and change; gateways, doorways and archways. So it’s understandable that he is depicted as having two faces - one looking back and one looking forward.

Sound familiar? I imagine that most of us have very mixed feelings as we enter a new year, reflecting on the past and wondering what the future will bring. It’s a time of sadness as we bring to mind memories of those dear ones no longer with us (immediately after the bells and the good wishes all round, my sons would wordlessly hand me the box of tissues for the few minutes I needed alone to ‘be with’ loved ones who had gone before,) and it’s also a time of anticipation and excitement as we step into a future unknown.

Yes, a time of reflection, recollection and perhaps regret, but also a time of renewal as we emerge from the dark winter into lighter days energised and eager to embrace God’s plan for us.

Most people talk about January as being a dismal month after all the busyness of Christmas and New Year but how about thinking about it being the month of opportunity?

Do you identify most with the backward looking face of Janus - are you an ‘always looking to the past’ person?

Or do you identify most with the forward looking Janus - are you a ‘discard the past and only look forward’ person?

Or are you a mixture of both taking the lessons of the past and marrying them with the promise of the future?

I firmly believe that we need to be the latter to be able to reach our full potential and move forward within this ever-changing world. We need to recycle and upcycle, using the best of the old, adding this to the best of the present to create the new.

So let’s keep sight of the joy, the delight, the promise and the love that came down to earth in the form of that precious baby over two thousand years ago, and travel through this year in the knowledge that our Saviour is always with us, walking ahead to lead us, walking beside to encourage us, walking behind to support us and shining his light in the darkness toilluminate our way.

And may God bless each and every Guild member as we strive to share his love through prayer and action throughout 2024.

Christina PatersonNational Vice-Convener

Pop up nativity

The members and friends of Linlithgow St Michael's had great fun at their Christmas night with everyone getting involved in a totally unrehearsed pop up Nativity. Everyone really enjoyed taking part and it is maybe something that you  could consider doing next year!

The Church of Scotland Guild June 2023

General Assembly 2023

Thank you to all of you who came along or joined online to support our National Convener, Helen Eckford, as she presented the Guild report to the General Assembly. The report was well received and generated a number of questions and contributions from commissioners. It was heartening to hear the positive comments that were made and the interest shown by the Assembly.

The evening saw us host the Big Sing where we heard from six of our former project partners who provided an update on how the project has progressed since our involvement. Everyone was so encouraged by what they heard and we hope that we may be able to produce a USB drive featuring some of our project partners if there is sufficient interest. There will be small charge but if you are interested please let us know using the link below.

St. Columba's Guild, Stornoway is 125

Congratulations to St Columba's Guild in Stornoway who recently celebrated their 125th anniversary with an Afternoon Tea which included some of their oldest members and our National Convener.

Sunflower Sanctuary officially open

We are delighted to hear that children with learning difficulties and additional support needs will now be able to access education and support thanks to the efforts of the Guild working with our project partner Starchild. We believe this is the first facility of its kind in Uganda and we hope it will be a huge boost to the children and their families. Once again the Guild is helping projects to go where others won't.

Annual Gathering 2023

Our Annual Gathering will once again by held in the Assembly Hall in Edinburgh and we are so pleased that Professor Jason Leitch will join us as our special guest speaker and will share something of his own journey of faith with us. We will also welcome our Moderator, Rt Rev Sally Foster-Fulton who will speak on our theme of 'new wine, new wine skins'. Our musical entertainment will be provided by the Salvation Army Govan Songsters.

This promises to be a wonderful day and there are just a few tickets left. Why not come with fellow Guild members or friends who want to learn more about our work and witness? Order tickets using the link below.

Standing firm - rebuilding lives in Syria

Our Big Sing offering went to support our partner church in Syria, the National Evangelical Synod of Syria and Lebanon, as they work to support those who are rebuilding their lives following the devastation of the recent earthquake. We were overwhelmed by the generosity of those present and have been able to send just over £2,070 to the church for their work. Once again the Guild is showing God's love in action.

Pray this month

Week beginning 5 June: for the work of the Guild at a national level, thinking especially of the members of the Leadership Team, National Council and staff. Thinking also of the new National Convener as she is confirmed by the National Council and praying God's richest blessing on her as she carries out this important role.

Week beginning 12 June: for the work of the Guild locally, praying especially for your own Guild branch, the members and office bearers who make your Guild the special place it is.

Week beginning 19 June: for the work of the Guild internationally. For our project partners past and present, for our brothers and sisters in the Church of Central Africa Presbyterian, Synod of Livingstonia and for all who support our work overseas. Praying that God will inspire and encourage them in the months ahead.

Week beginning 26 June: for ourselves, as we rest and take stock over the summer months, praying that God will equip us anew for all that he calls us to do in his name.Fair Pay for Carers

The Leadership Team would encourage Guild members to do all that they can to support the Scottish Faith Leaders declaration on fair pay for care workers. The declaration unites the views of the faith communities in an urgent call to the Scottish Government to ensure fair pay for all social care workers. Care workers provide invaluable support to people young and old when they need it most. We are proud of our connections with CrossReach and the amazing work they do and as an organisation we want to stand with them as they campaign for fair pay for their staff. Why not contact your MSPs, councillors etc and encourage them to find the resources to give care workers the fair pay they deserve.


Divide and plant

February is one of my favourite months, the last of the winter, and a month of promise. The vision of snowdrops in my back garden reminds me that despite new life struggling to get established, spring is imminent.

Snowdrops vary greatly in size, colour and shape, but if too many propagate in one place, the overcrowding causes numbers to reduce. Divide and plant is the best way to secure an increase – a bit like the Christian church (which has sometimes been better at one than the other).

The best way to spread the Good News of Jesus and to flourish is by replanting, spreading out into new places with new ideas. For that, we need patience as bedding-in takes time for plants as well as for people.

We pray this year that we’ll have the courage to progress the work of growth where God is calling us to serve.

“God will meet you where you are in order to take you where He wants you to go" — Tony Evans

Rae Lind

National Vice Convener - South Area

PeaceThis month we are launching a series of worship resources that have been compiled by Guild members and friends. These focus on a particular issue and we begin with peace. This also allows us to walk alongside our Moderator, the Rt Rev Dr Iain Greenshields, who has been taking part in an ecumenical pilgrimage of peace to South Sudan. Please pray for the situation in South Sudan, asking for God's healing presence to be in that situation.

We are grateful to our National Convener, Helen Eckford, for writing the peace resource which we hope you find thought provoking and helpful and you can keep to use both now and in the future. This new resource complements the 'Help I'm Leading Worship' resource that is available on the Guild website.

You can download the worship resource below or get a paper copy by emailing the Guild office.Download the peace worship resource.

Chocolate Heaven

If you are anything like our General Secretary then this is great news! The chocolate from our partner Chocolate Heaven has arrived and is available for purchase. It costs £2.50 per bar or £10 for a mixed pack of four plus postage and packaging. We don't yet have any raisin flavour but all of the others are available. You can order yours by following the link below. Not only does it taste good but the money goes directly to those who make it. Order your chocolate

Birthday celebrations

We are delighted to share these wonderful photos from Houston and Killellan Kirk Guild. Both Marion (110) and Marjorie (100) celebrated their birthdays in style with letters from the King and a party at the nursing home they now share. We are very proud of our two very special ladies who have given so much of their time and talents to the Church and the Guild over the years.

New Wine,

New Wineskins theme and discussion guide

We are excited that our new Theme and Discussion Guide is now available and a paper copy has been sent out to each Guild. This is an invaluable resource if you are helping to lead a Guild meeting or are looking for new ideas. We hope that you enjoy using it.

Young Adults Guild

It was great to have 20 young people take part in the launch meeting of the Young Adults Guild. It was so encouraging to have so many folks at the first meeting and they are hoping, even more, will join them on 1 March when a speaker from our Guild partner Starchild will join them.

Please promote the Young Adult Guild locally, Why not download the poster and pop it up on your church's notice board?

Ness Bank Church Guild - 1932-2022

Pictured above is Ness Bank Church Guild celebrating their 90th anniversary celebrations on 20 September last year.

Congratulations to all!

Sanitiser in the Saharah

Margaret Boe from Craiglockhart Guild in Edinburgh shared this great photo of her Australian companions appreciating the use of her Guild hand sanitiser and hearing the Guild's story as they stopped for lunch in the home of an Amazigh local while on tour in the Moroccan Sahara Desert. How far has your sanitiser travelled, we wonder?

Celebrating service at Tranent Parish Church

Tranent Parish Church Guild recently held their Dedication Service and celebrated the long service of their members. Many congratulations to these ladies who have between them 432 years of service.

Hymn for the month

Our hymn for this month is 'Make Me A Channel Of Your Peace'. It links with our new monthly worship as well as helping us to focus on the pilgrimage for peace to South Sudan.

We hope you enjoy this version by Susan Boyle.

Monday memory

Today's Monday memory image takes us back to one of our Guild events in Orkney in 2016.

We hope there will be an upcoming Guild event you can visit near you:

Ayrshire, Wednesday 12 April, 10.30am – 3.30pm, Howard Centre, Kilmarnock

South of Scotland, Thursday 13 April, 11am – 3.30pm, Castle Douglas Parish Church

West of Scotland, Saturday 22 April, 12.30pm – 4pm, Springburn Parish Church

Moray Firth, Wednesday 26 April, 2-30pm – 4pm, St Ninian’s Church, Nairn

Western Isles, Saturday 28 April, 10am – 12.30pm, St Columba’s Hall, Stornoway

Fife, Monday 12 June, 11am – 3pm, Linktown Church, Kirkcaldy

Perth /Stirling, Tuesday 13 June, 12.30pm – 4pm, Auchterarder Church Centre

Angus, Wednesday 14 June, 11am – 3pm, East and Old Church, Forfar

North East, Thursday 15 June, 10.30am – 3.30pm, Acorn Centre, Inverurie

Pray this mont

Week beginning 6 February: for peace in areas of conflict, for peace in our communities and for peace in our hearts.

Week beginning 13 February: for love, remembering those who feel unloved or marginalised, for children struggling to find a loving family, for those who are lonely and for love shared between Guild members.

Week beginning 20 February: for joy to permeate every fibre of our being, deep lasting joy that comes from God.

Week beginning 27 February: for strength when we are feeling weak, for strength to stand up for what is right, for strength to change even if it terrifies us.

The Guild does AdventThinking about the Advent candles which we light in our churches, it seems to me that the Guild does Advent all year round.

Hope is a vision for the future and there is hope for the future of the Guild. We have survived the last two years and are now seeing signs of growth. As I have visited Guilds and Guilds Together groups around the country, I have been encouraged by the positivity and the determination not just to survive but to grow.

New seeds planted with new Guilds who have chosen to unite. New ideas for Guilds Together groups thinking about new presbyteries and planning ahead, taking the initiative to have Guilds Together groups which will work for us in the new presbyteries.

Our young friends who took the initiative to start the Young Adults Guild, and who will meet online for the first time in January 2023. We wish them every success and keep them in our prayers.

Advent is a time of preparation and a time of reflection, although too often it is a time of noise and lists of things to do. Stress and worrying that we won’t get everything done. In all the preparation, we can lose sight of reflecting. No time to be still. No time to reflect on the angels’ song of peace and goodwill. Where is the peace of Advent? How often will we say in the coming days, “I just need some peace!” External peace may be hard to find but internal peace which strengthens our relationship with God and calms our fears, is ours through prayer.

Four times in the Christmas story the angels calmed fear and brought this inner peace. Four times the angels said “do not be afraid” to Zechariah, to Mary, Joseph and the shepherds. The fellowship we share in our Guilds brings peace to comfort and support friends, all year round.

Like peace, joy is in our Guilds all year round and during Advent we share joyful times. Joy is happiness, delight, excitement. I recently went to some Guild Christmas Fairs and the noise and excitement in the busy halls with stalls full of good things and people chatting while enjoying tea and mince pies was a real joy.

Then there are the Guild carol services. Our Christmas Big Sing was a joyful occasion. The singing was wonderful, and the sharing of the Christmas story was very meaningful. Just as joyful are the Guild and Guilds Together carol services. The carols and readings may be familiar but the shared delight in the telling and the singing is not diminished for the re-telling every year.

And finally, love. Have you ever been to a Guild meeting when you did not feel love in the shared fellowship, even in difficult times? Then there are our Guild projects, built on love from those who run them and love in the Guilds who support and raise money for them.

All this love is evident in the words of our Guild prayer:

Heavenly Father, thank You for loving me right where I am.

Help me to know Your love deep in my heart and enable that love to flow from me to those with whom I am in contact.

Love came down at Christmas. A love which is at the core of the Guild. A love we share every day.

We are a Guild of hope, a Guild of peace, of joy and of love!

May I wish each of you every blessing for the Christmas season and continued growth in our Guilds in the year ahead.

Helen Eckford,

National Convener

Christmas is coming

Well, I think winter has truly arrived with cosy jackets, scarves and gloves very much in evidence. With Hallowe’en, Bonfire Night and St Andrew’s Day celebrations out of the way, we are now hurtling at an amazing speed towards Christmas and all the celebrations!

Sadly, all year round we hear of disasters around the world affecting people, both rich and poor. We hear of fires where whole homes and businesses are engulfed in flames, floods where water washes everything away, earthquakes which destroy buildings and homes and, at the opposite end of the scale, drought and famine where adults and children are crying out for food. Whilst we are experiencing many challenges within our own country, we cannot begin to imagine the daily struggles experienced by the affected communities around the world.

Here in the north-east of Scotland we recently experienced extreme rainfall over a number of days, resulting in rivers overflowing, which caused extensive flooding, affecting many homes, causing road closures with tragic consequences ensuing for many. We thankfully have emergency services that we can call on, and we heard inspirational stories of wonderful communities who rallied around to provide food and safe shelter to those affected.

As we approach the festive season, I am sure that, like me, you receive numerous mailings of appeals for financial aid and, on reading the stories, cannot help feeling that, despite our challenges, we do not suffer the ravages of destruction experienced by people in the affected areas. We give what we can to the appeals in the hope that the funds will be used wisely by the volunteers on the ground. As with our current 'Wee Seeds, Big Trees' theme, we pray that however small the donation is, it can help improve the lives of others less fortunate than ourselves and inspire them to have a brighter future.

But, looking at the overall picture of what is happening to our world, much is attributable to global warming. This is caused by greenhouse gas emissions blanketing the earth and, whilst the gravity of the situation is mostly outwith the control of ordinary people, there are ways in which we can play our part, such as recycling plastics, paper etc.

The majority of problems are caused by countries and large conglomerates and, until an agreement can be reached between them, sadly, the rest of the world will suffer. Following the much-lauded COP26 which was held in Glasgow last year, COP27 recently concluded in Egypt and we can only look forward in faith and pray that an agreement can be reached to help and heal our world.

Whilst we all live with and worry about climate change, the Guild is also supporting a worthy project closer to home that touches all of our hearts. 25 November saw the start of 16 Days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence. The campaign is being backed by the Religions for Peace UK Women of Faith Network. It focuses on the remembrance of those throughout the world living in violent situations, with an emphasis on domestic abuse. For the past 22 years, domestic abuse has been highlighted by the Guild and whilst the problems have not diminished, especially over the Covid pandemic, we have been encouraged to learn that more people are willing to talk and seek help for themselves and their families. We pray for the women and men who seek the courage to stand firm to overcome violence.

Can I ask that you continue to keep these issues in your prayers as we journey through Advent to Christmas Day and into the New Year?

With best wishes for a very Happy Christmas and I hope that 2023 will bring good health and happiness to all.

Flora Buthlay,

National Vice Convenor (East Area)

Young Adults Guild

We are so excited to be launching a new project next year with young folk from across the Church — The Church of Scotland Young Adults Guild. This will be a new platform for faith development, representation, journeying and questioning. Members will also learn lots more about the Guild so what's not to love? Follow them on Instagram for updates, sign up for the mailing list or email for more information. Be part of this exciting new adventure.

Beautiful bulbs in Beith

It was great to see Guild members in Beith getting into our theme of 'Wee Seeds, Big Trees'! Each Guild member planted two daffodil bulbs; one to keep and one to give away to someone who they thought would enjoy it as a way of spreading the love and joy of being a Guild member. Maybe it is something your Guild could do? We are looking forward to seeing the fruits of their labours!

Birch for Breich

The Lord Lieutenant of West Lothian, Ms Moira Niven, joined members and friends of the Breich Valley Church Guild in planting a copper birch tree as part of the Queen's Platinum Jubilee green canopy initiative. As it grows and flourishes over the years it will remind us of how the wee seeds planted by the Guild over the years grow into big trees.

Forfar joint Guild meeting

The Guilds in Forfar came together recently to hear from Helen Eckford, National Convener, and Karen Gillon, General Secretary. The theme was 'change' and this was enjoyed by the members who also shared information about one of our project partners, Home for Good. It was a good night enjoyed by all.

Long service recognised

The Guild in Tranent recently recognised and celebrated the long service of their members. These ladies have over 412 years between them. Thank you, ladies, for your service to the Guild over the years, it is very much appreciated.

Monday memories

As we get out the soup pans to heat us up on these cold winter days and enjoy soup lunches in many congregations, our Monday memory takes us back to our virtual soup lunch in April 2020 when we raised much-needed funds for CrossReach. It is amazing just what the Guild can do when it sets its mind to it!

Marian still going strong

It was a privilege for Helen and Karen to catch up with our oldest member Mrs Marian Dolan recently. Although Marian will soon be 110, she is as sharp as ever and as well as sharing many fascinating stories she was keen to know everything that was going on at the Guild. She gets updated through the newsletter and the magazine thanks to the support of her local Guild friends at Killearn and Houston who visit her, and her fellow Guild members Marjory and Nancy every week. It is what we are all about — looking after each other and supporting the work of the Guild at home and abroad.

Come thou long expected Jesus

There are so many great Advent hymns to choose from but this year we have chosen 'Come thou long expected Jesus', a traditional hymn but with everlasting truths. We hope listening to it helps you prepare for the coming of the baby born to be King and Saviour.

Christmas Life and Work Magazine offer

Subscribe to the magazine of the Church of Scotland and save with their Christmas offer. By subscribing you will be supporting the vital work of the Church while staying connected with the Christian community in Scotland and further afield.

Print: 12 issues for the price of 10. Offer price: £30. Use promotion code XMAS22 to receive the £6 discount.

UK delivery address and new subscribers only.

Digital: 12 issues for £14.99 (normally £20.99). No code required – simply select the introductory offer option.

To take advantage of these savings, which are valid until 31 December, please visit to Life and Work Magazine

Pray this month

Week beginning 5 December: thinking of the loyalty shown by Joseph, help us to be loyal to friends and family as well as to our Guild and our God. Give thanks to all who are loyal to us.

Week beginning 12 December: thinking of the commitment of the Kings as they journeyed to see the baby, pray that God will show us new ways in which we can use the skills and gifts we have to serve Him.

Week beginning 19 December: remembering the excitement of Mary, pray that we will continually be excited by God and encouraged to always look forward in faith.

Week beginning 26 December: as we think of the initial fear experienced on the hillside by the shepherds, we pray for all who live in fear, be that within their own homes, in their community or in the country they live. Help their fears to be stilled and a safe place found where they can experience the joy the shepherds felt as they rushed to Bethlehem.

Week beginning 2 January: as we remember that the Holy family had to quickly flee persecution and were themselves refugees, pray for all those who this week are fleeing themselves or who are seeking refuge in a strange land. Pray for empathy to be shown and justice to prevail.


Annual Gathering 2022

It's hard to believe that the Annual Gathering has come and gone and we are now beginning planning for 2023!

It was so encouraging to have so many people come together in person and to have as many people join us online as well. The day was filled with love, laughter and encouragement. The Moderator, the Rt Rev Dr Iain Greenshields, reminded us of the importance of the Guild and encouraged us to remember that God used Abraham, Moses and Elizabeth in their later years and that age should be no barrier to us being used by God through the Guild.

We enjoyed linking up with the Guild in Ardoch and sharing in fellowship with them. Our guest speaker, Rev David Clark, took us on a journey through Scotland through his own journey of faith but also encouraged us to think anew about the Psalms and how we could reimagine them through the landscape of Scotland.

We were also entertained and challenged by the Clydeside Singers, particularly with their song 'It's Still Me Inside', which reflected someone's personal journey with dementia. The day concluded with the installation of Helen Eckford as our new National Convener for 22-23 and we wish Helen the richest of blessings as she carries out this important task on behalf of the Guild.

We know that a good number of folk couldn't join us either because of the change of date, the train strike or simple geography, so we are producing a recording of the day that can be purchased as a DVD or on a USB stick. It is a great Guild meeting basis to use in itself and you can order using the link below.

Ardoch online

One of the real bonuses of modern technology is the opportunity for those unable to come in person to join us at the Annual Gathering. We loved being able to link up with the Ardoch Guild who meet in Braco. They hosted with their own Guild and with folks from Guilds nearby. By all accounts, they had a great day of fun, fellowship and food.

Broughty Ferry Guild

The historic first meeting of the new Broughty Ferry Guild, incorporating Broughty Ferry New Kirk, St Luke’s and Queen Street and St James Guild, was held in the hall of St Luke’s and Queen Street Church on Tuesday 27 September. It was great to see folk queueing to get into the Guild. In total, 36 members and friends were in attendance, and everyone is looking forward to a great first year together as a united Guild.

Sunflowers blooming in Balerno

The seeds given out to Guild members at the Big Sing to show support and solidarity with Ukraine have been blooming across Scotland. It was lovely to see these healthy, cheery flowers that were on display in Balerno.

Christmas Big Sing

We are so excited to be able to have an in-person Christmas Big Sing this year and hope that we have a full house to join in our celebrations: Friday 2 December at 3pm (doors open at 2:30pm) Dalziel St Andrew's Church, Motherwell Please do encourage your members to come along to what promises to be a great afternoon. You can reserve your tickets using the link below.

Guild scarf goes global

These are the gifts that the World Day of Prayer Scotland committee sent to 200 delegates from the virtual international conference which was hosted by the Scottish committee. We were delighted that the pack included a Guild scarf, which we hear has been very well received by delegates all over the world. The Guild is an integral part of the World Day of Prayer here in Scotland and it is great to see the delegates being encouraged to show off that connection.

Fundraising ideas

The members at St. Ninian's Craigmailen in Linlithgow have been making their own little pots at the start of the session. These little pots will help members remember that the money that they collect over the year will help to plant seeds that, when nurtured, will multiply and grow over the months and years ahead. Maybe it is something that you could use in your own Guild this session?

Dull and Weem Guild is 50

Congratulations to our friends at Dull and Weem Guild who have celebrated their 50th anniversary. The Guild held a special event to celebrate including planting a tree and having a special Guild cake made. The cake was cut by one of their founder members, Mrs Pam McDiarmid. Pam is now their treasurer. Huge congratulations to you all.

Monthly memory

Our memory takes us back to the 2008 Annual Gathering and the Guild shop. It is great to see some familiar faces!

Prayers for November

9 Nov: for our Guilds Together Resource Coordinators as they meet to share and prepare for local Resource Days in 2023.

10 Nov: for members of the Guild National Council who are meeting together in person for the first time. Asking God to richly bless them in their deliberations.

11 Nov: for Morag Duncan as she takes on her role as National Vice Convener and supporting Guilds in the North of Scotland.

12 Nov: giving thanks for the wee seeds planted by the Guild over the past 135 years and giving thanks for the work of our project partners.

13 Nov: remembering particularly the Guilds in Guilds Together groups in Glasgow.

14 Nov: thinking especially of the seeds being planted by our current project partners who are making a difference in the lives of people here in Scotland and across the globe.

15 Nov: giving thanks for our brothers and sisters in Malawi and asking that God will protect them as they try to contain a recent cholera outbreak.

16 Nov: remembering those who have been planting seeds, bulbs and trees to celebrate our theme 'wee seeds, big trees'.

17 Nov: giving thanks for the Guild in Westburn Guild in Greenock which is celebrating its 130th anniversary.

18 Nov: particularly for Flora Buthlay who, as a National Vice Convener, supports Guilds in the East of Scotland.

19 Nov: remembering all who have served the Guild faithfully as a past National Leader or General Secretary.

20 Nov: for Rae Lind, as she takes on her role as National Vice Convener and supporting Guilds in the South of Scotland.

21 Nov: for General Secretary Karen Gillon as she speaks at the Guilds in Penicuik, Cockpen and Carrington and Burntisland.

22 Nov: giving thanks for Guilds in the new Moray Firth Guilds Together area.

23 Nov: thinking particularly of all who serve in elected office at the local council, Scottish Parliament or United Kingdom Parliament, asking that they will serve with justice, wisdom, compassion and integrity.

24 Nov: for Christina Paterson as she takes on her role as National Vice Convener and supporting Guilds in the West of Scotland.

25 Nov: on the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women we remember all women who are victims of violence and all who work to support them and bring an end to violence against women in all forms.

26 Nov: for Guilds Together groups in the Forth Valley and Clydesdale area who are working together in a new way.

27 Nov: giving thanks for new members who have joined the Guild this year, asking that God will richly bless them as part of the Guild family.

28 Nov: particularly for Guilds in the Edinburgh and West Lothian areas as they look to see how they can work more closely together.

29 Nov: giving thanks for the Guild staff, Mandy, Chris, Joanne and Dorothy, who along with Karen work to support the Guild in so many different ways.

30 Nov: especially for Guild members who are now housebound or in nursing homes. Asking that God will richly bless them.

1 Dec: on World Aids Day, we pray particularly for all who are affected by HIV/Aids. Praying that God will help to bring an end to the epidemic and end the stigma people living with HIV face.

2 Dec: thinking particularly of all who are joining together for the Big Sing at Christmas today.

3 Dec: giving thanks for Guilds in the new Moray Guilds Together area bringing together Guilds in Moray East and Moray West.

4 Dec: remembering ministers who are retiring and for whom this will be their last year in full-time ministry.


The King and the Queen

On 6 February 1952, a very young Princess Elizabeth was in Kenya with her husband Prince Philip, when she was told of the death of her father, King George VI. Elizabeth returned home to a nation in mourning.

The young princess, aged 25 and a mother of two young children was thrust into a public role as Queen Elizabeth whose duty was to serve the people of Britain and the Commonwealth.

As we celebrated the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee, I thought about how her life as Queen compared to the life of Jesus, our King. At her coronation, the Queen went to Westminster Abbey in a beautiful coach. Jesus rode into Jerusalem on a humble donkey.

The Queen was dressed in beautiful robes. Jesus was dressed in purple robes, not because he was King of Kings but because the Roman soldiers were mocking him.

The Queen travelled to Westminster Abbey through streets full of cheering people waving flags. When Jesus rode into Jerusalem, the crowds lining the streets cheered and waved palm branches, a symbol of victory, and shouted: “Hosanna. Blessed is the one who comes in the name of the Lord.”

Both were crowned: the Queen with the St Edward’s crown of solid gold and Jesus with a crown of thorns, pushed onto his head to mock him. She returned with her husband to Buckingham Palace, He walked to His death.

On her 21st birthday in 1947, Princess Elizabeth made her first ever broadcast. She said, “I declare before you all that my whole life, whether it be short or long, shall be devoted to your service. God help me to make good my vow, and God bless all of you who are willing to share it.”

For me, the life of Christ, Prince of Peace, is an inspiration and an anchor in my life, a role model for reconciliation and forgiveness. He stretched out His hands in love, acceptance, and healing. Christ has taught me to respect and value all people, whatever their faith or lack of faith.

Sunday 5 June was a double celebration this year; the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee and Pentecost. The Queen has served for a long time, but her reign will end. After the resurrection, Jesus said, “I will be with you always.” Jesus will be King forever and for that, we give God thanks and praise.

Andrea Houston, National Vice Convener

National Convener Elect 2022-23

At their meeting in June, the National Council unanimously elected Helen Eckford of Inverclyde Guilds Together as the National Convener Elect for 2022-23.

Helen is a member of New Parish Church in Port Glasgow where she is a worship leader. Since retiring as a teacher of French and German she has enjoyed having more time for church activities, especially the Guild, and learning more about what happens locally, regionally, and nationally. She has also had the opportunity to represent the Guild as a corresponding member of Presbytery.

Speaking after her election, Helen said: "To be elected to serve as National Convener of the Guild is a huge privilege and I welcome the opportunity to repay what the Guild has given me. I am looking forward to meeting Guild members over the course of my year of office."

Helen is very keen to visit as many Guilds and Guilds Together Groups as possible. If you would like Helen to visit your group over the coming year please get in touch with some

possible dates.

Joanne Brown, East of Scotland Regional Support worker

We are delighted that Joanne has joined us to support Guilds in the East of Scotland. Joanne will be contacting Guilds Together Groups in the weeks ahead to look at how best she can support their work.

Joanne will also look after our communications such as the newsletter, Facebook and website. She will also help us find great new merchandise.

We hope that you will give Joanne a warm welcome to our team.

Christine Fulcher, West of Scotland Regional Support worker

We are delighted that Christine has joined us to support Guilds in the West of Scotland. Christine will be contacting Guilds Together Groups in the weeks ahead to look at how best she can support their work.

Christine will also look after our resources such as the theme guide, a new support guide for those leading worship, and our revamped dedication service.

We hope that you will give Christine a warm welcome to our team.

Cults Guild on the road

It was good to see what the 36 members of Cults Parish Church Guild were up to on their summer outing. They visited Peterculter Heritage Hall where they had a talk from the Heritage stitchers on the Culter tapestry. This was followed by a splendid afternoon tea. It certainly looks like you had a great time.

Sunflower Greetings Cards

This beautiful painting of a sunflower was drawn by Jan Winch of Wormit Guild. It has been made into a greeting card by our newest Guild, Wormit's neighbour at Newport on Tay. The proceeds from the card sales are being used to support the work of the community in Zolotarevo in Ukraine, twinned with Newport on Tay, to support refugees fleeing the war. Cards are being printed and if you would like to order some please use the button below.

Meet Rae Lind

It's great to be able to introduce Rae Lind from Irvine and Kilmarnock Guilds Together who is our new National Vice Convener looking after Guilds in the South of Scotland. We hope that you will pray for Rae and support her as she takes on this role.

Pray this month

Week of 11th July: We give thanks and pray for all our Project Partners as they strive to improve and enrich many lives with their dedication and commitment.

Matthew 25:40“The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’

Week of 18th July: We remember all those in the Church nationally and locally who have the task of planning the way forward for the church. Lord, guide them in the decisions they make, decisions which will not be easy.

1 Corinthians 12:27: 'Now you are the body of Christ, and each one of you is a part of it.'

Week of 25th July: Eternal God, look on our brothers and sisters in Guilds across the world, thanking you that the voice of prayer is never silent nor dies the strain of praise away. Unite us as one in your service, so that our common bond may be found in Christ Jesus whose Throne shall never pass away and whose Kingdom stands and grows forever.

Mark 3:35 'Whoever does God’s will is my brother and sister and mother.'

Week of 1st August: We pray for those who live in countries suffering from earthquakes, floods, landslides and drought. Those living in war zones and conflict. Those worshipping who are in danger of arrest. The agencies and individuals giving aid where they can. We pray for help and resolution.

Psalm 115:16 'The heavens are the heavens of the Lord, but the earth He has given to the sons of men.'

Week of 8th August: Dear Lord, as our children and young people enjoy their summer holidays, keep them safe from harm. Refresh their minds ready for their return to nursery, school, college or university. We remember particularly all who will receive exam results this week. Whatever they are, Lord, help them remember that you have a plan for each of them.

Jeremiah 29:11 "For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future."

Week of 15th August: We remember churches throughout the world. We give thanks for the freedom we enjoy to worship and pray for those who have obstacles placed in the way of sharing their faith.

Ephesians 2:19 'Consequently, you are no longer foreigners and strangers, but fellow citizens with God’s people and also members of his household'

Week of 22nd August: Heavenly Father, we pray for our National Guild in Scotland. May our plans be built on Christ; our sure foundation bringing calm to anxious hearts at this time of transition and change. Give us Your strength of purpose, raising us to glorify Your name and to be thankful for the ways in which You guide us.

Esther 4:14: 'Who knows but that you have come to your royal position for such a time as this.'

Week of 29th August: We pray for the new Presbyteries. We ask that Presbyters will seek your guidance as they find a new way to work together, to give us a powerful church for generations to come.

Ecclesiastes 4:9 'Two are better than one

Portpatrick Guild Calendar

Our friends at Portpatrick Guild have again been able to produce this lovely calendar that showcases the gorgeous part of Scotland they live in and raises funds for the Guild at the same time.

You are now able to order your copy of this year's calendar using the link below. They are just £6 plus £2 postage and packaging. It would make a lovely gift for someone who enjoys lovely landscapes.

Hymn for the month

As we get ready for a summer break, we thought you would like to use this hymn, Great is thy faithfulness, to encourage you over the coming weeks.

We're off on our holidaysThe enews is taking a break over the summer but we will be back on Monday 5 September ahead of the Annual Gathering on 10 September. See you then!

Guild News - June 2022

Let your light shine

Guilds throughout the country have certainly let their light shine over the past few weeks as they have come together for Regional Gatherings in Springburn, Edinburgh, Kilmarnock, Dundee, Castle Douglas and the last one for this session in Inverurie.

How encouraging it has been to share in all of these Gatherings and meet with people in their own areas. Each one will hold a special memory for me and, as I look back in the days ahead, I’m sure these memories will bring a smile and remind me of all the Guild folks throughout the country.

Yes, these Gatherings have been a great time of Guild fellowship but I must say the highlight of last month has to have been my week in Edinburgh at the General Assembly.

The invitation to Holyrood, the Moderator’s reception, and the Big Sing at the Assembly, gave Guilds the opportunity to ‘shine their light’ as they told their lockdown stories and, although fewer in number than normal, the singing was still a time of great celebration.

Then, of course, we had the presentation of the Guild report to the Assembly. Thank you all for your prayers, support and encouragement. The report was well received with lots of thoughtful and encouraging comments.

For those Guilds who are taking a break for the summer, I thank you for letting your light shine in the past few months, and for summer Guilds I pray that you may let your light shine in the months ahead as you share fellowship with each other.

No matter when or where our Guilds come together it is so encouraging to know that all we do is for the wider work of the Guild at home and abroad.

Let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven” - Matthew 5:16

Have a great summer everyone.

Blessings to you all,

Margaret Muir

National Convener

Bathgate High Guild's 130th birthday

Bathgate High Guild was formed in May 1891 with 97 members. Last year would have been their 130th birthday but because of Covid-19 regulations, they could not celebrate it.

So here they are, one year later, at their AGM with afternoon tea to end this session.

Although numbers are depleted, a good time was had by all and they hope to see their numbers increase in the years to come as they continue to 'Look Forward in Faith'.

Tartan takes flight

The Guild at Cupar Old was delighted to welcome visitors from America at a recent church service: Anne and Ray Schneider from Jefferson City, Missouri.

Anne is a former convener of Presbyterian Women of the Missouri Union Presbytery. She also served as Moderator of the Missouri Union Presbytery. She and her husband were doing a tour of Scotland and were in Cupar because Anne's ancestors emigrated from here in the 1800s.

Pictured are Cupar Old Committee (Jean, Eileen, Mary and Hilary) and Jeff, their minister, along with Anne and Ray who were presented with a Guild tartan scarf and tie.

Life and Work General Assembly supplement

The magazine of the Church of Scotland has produced a free four-page summary of the key decisions and speeches from the 2022 General Assembly.

Inside the supplement, you will find a reader offer from Saint Andrew Press with 20% off selected books, stationery and resources until 30 June – order here using the promotion code 'General Assembly'

Regional Gatherings

We were delighted at the response to our recent series of Regional Gatherings in Glasgow, Edinburgh, Kilmarnock, Castle Douglas, Dundee and Inverurie. In Dundee, we had a full house of folks from Guilds in Fife, Perth and Kinross, Dundee, Dunkeld and Miegle and Angus who enjoyed an inspiring talk from former Moderator, Very Rev Dr Martin Fair.

All in all, over 500 Guild members were able to join together and we hope that a similar event might take place next year.

If you think your area has good transport links and a venue that can host about 100 people, please let us know and we will add your suggestion to our list of possible venues.

The Guild at the General Assembly

The Guild enjoyed a very fruitful week at the General Assembly. It was a week full of useful conversations, encouraging comments and enthusiasm for the role of the Guild in the Church both locally and nationally.

We had a fabulous Big Sing with almost 750 people joining us either in person or on Facebook. We heard from Guilds who had been 'letting their light shine'. Very Rev Dr Susan Brown led our reflection sharing about her recent visit to Ukraine which was amazing to hear.

Our National Convener, Margaret Muir, presented the report to the General Assembly and we were heartened by the positive response and the range of questions and comments our report generated. The week ended with us ready to speak to three local congregations about their desire to start new Guilds.

All in all, it was a very good week.

Platinum Jubilee Guild celebrations

We hope you enjoy this selection of photos from Platinum Jubilee events held across the country.

Long service at Sauchie & Coalsnaughton

Sauchie & Coalsnaughton Guild celebrated the long service of two of their members, Marion Young Thomson and Cynthia Aide (octogenarian and nonagenarian respectively), who have loyally served their Guild through many a long winter Monday night, in all weathers and various mishaps, extreme weather conditions, poor heating, no speakers and of course Covid!

Huge congratulations, ladies.

Monday memories

For this month's memory, we look back to the Ayrshire Gathering where a few of the participants were up doing the 'slosh' to the ukulele band. Seems like everyone had fun.

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