Call to Prayer 8th August 2021

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“Beware of Imitations!” We are, no doubt, aware of the saying and the implication that we should steer clear of that which is a copy of the real thing. Indeed, in many cases that is wise advice as certain imitations are but a pale shadow of the real thing. On the other hand, we see how a child learns by example and by imitating the behaviour of others. If the example is a good one, the behaviour that follows as a result of imitation will likewise be good.

In the Letter of Paul to the Ephesians, we are urged to become imitators of the good. Indeed, we are urged to ‘be imitators of God’. As those who, by the grace of God, have received the gift and seal of the Holy Spirit, we are called to ‘live in love, as Christ loved us’. As we do so, we become ‘imitators of God’ by the way in which we forgive others, ‘as God in Christ has forgiven’ us. (Ephesians 4: 25-5:2)

We pray:

Gracious God,
In Christ you offer to us forgiveness
And you seal us by your Spirit.
Grant to us that we might become
True imitators of the way of love revealed in Christ
And so represent you to the world.
Lord, in your mercy,
Hear our prayer.

Gracious God,
In Christ you offer to us forgiveness
And you seal us by your Spirit.
Grant us strength
To put aside all that does not reflect your life
And to learn the ways of kindness and forgiveness.
Lord, in your mercy,
Hear our prayer.

Gracious God,
In Christ you offer to us forgiveness
And you seal us by your Spirit.
Grant us wisdom
To always build up that which is good
And to bring healing in a broken and divided world.
Lord, in your mercy,
Hear our prayer.

Gracious God,
In Christ you offer to us forgiveness
And you seal us by your Spirit.
Grant us integrity
To always speak the truth
And to offer words that are gracious to those who hear.
Lord, in your mercy,
Hear our prayer.

Gracious God,
In Christ you offer to us forgiveness
And you seal us by your Spirit.
Grant to us that, at the last,
We have become true imitators of the way of love revealed in Christ
And so represented you to the world.
Lord, in your mercy,
Hear our prayer.

Signed by:

  • Lord Wallace, Moderator of the General Assembly, Church of Scotland
  • Most Rev. Leo Cushley, Archbishop of St. Andrews and Edinburgh, Roman Catholic Church
  • Most Rev. Mark Strange, Primus, on behalf of the College of Bishops, Scottish Episcopal Church
  • Rev. Dr David Miller, Moderator, United Free Church of Scotland
  • Rev. Neil MacMillan, Moderator, Free Church of Scotland
  • Rev. Paul Whittle, Moderator, United Reformed Church (Scotland)
  • Rev. Martin Hodson, General Director, Baptist Union of Scotland
  • Rev. Mark Slaney, District Chair, Methodist Church (Scotland)
  • Rev. Thomas R. Wilson, Chair, Congregational Federation in Scotland
  • Lt. Col. Carol Bailey, Secretary for Scotland, Salvation Army
  • Adwoa Bittle, Religious Society of Friends (Quakers)
  • Rev. Ruth Turner, District Superintendent, British Isles North District, Church of the Nazarene
  • Pastor Chris Gbenle, Provincial Pastor, Province of Scotland, Redeemed Christian Church of God
  • Bishop Francis Alao, Church of God (Scotland)/Minority Ethnic Churches Together in Scotland (MECTIS)
  • Rev Fred Drummond, Director, Evangelical Alliance (Scotland)

Musings from the Manse 1st August 2021

Musings from the manse

What signs point you to Jesus? If you’re like many people you look for signs that might emerge from a Cecil B. DeMille production–large, grandiose, cinematic visions of the Divine presence. Thunder, raging storms, brilliant sunsets, mighty winds may come to mind. Maybe the signs you envision are rare glimpses into the divine nature such as a baby’s first cry, the dawn breaking at an Easter sunrise service to the sound of singing or standing on a mountaintop gazing into the distant valley below.

The reality of our life on earth is that we don’t spend much time on mountaintops; most of our days are spent traveling the plains and dusty roads of daily routine and responsibility. Where are the signs pointing you to a gracious and loving saviour when your house is a wreck and you’re dog tired from a hard day of work or when the bills keep piling higher, when your health deteriorates and you feel lost and alone. Where in the world can you see the One who sustains you, who saves you, who never leaves you–not even in the worst and most chaotic train wrecks life can throw at you?

Here’s a hint: think small and simple. Jesus is found in the ordinary and everyday stuff of life. This week’s gospel reading reminds us of that. John points to Jesus in simple signs of bread and water. Yes, bread and water say a lot about Jesus’ identity and presence, not only in the sacraments of baptism and communion but in daily life.

So the next time you feel lost and alone and in need of some direction that will point you to Jesus, remember that you don’t have to look very far. You’ll find signs of God in each raindrop and every tear. You can see God and hear hope in the joyous play of children in a lawn sprinkler on a hot summer day. You may hear signs of Jesus in the gentle lapping of water as you stroll along a lakeshore, or remember a sign of your baptism whenever you fill a glass of water from the tap.

When you are hungry for a sign, take a walk past your local bakery and smell the fresh, yeasty scent of rising dough. Next time you bite into freshly buttered toast, take it as a sign of God’s daily provision and care. And when you gather with your brothers and sisters around Christ’s table for a bit of bread and wine, be assured of the real presence of your Lord.

Miracles and wonders need not happen in the clouds. All creation is sacred and each moment infused with the divine. Bread and water are wonder enough. Look closely and you will see signs of God incarnate at work in the world and at work in you.

 

Rev Nik Wooller

1st August 2021

 

Call to Prayer 1st August 2021

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‘I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will never be hungry and whoever believes in me will never be thirsty.’

The words of the Gospel resonate in the hearts of all who have searched for spiritual sustenance in a dry land. They are words spoken to those who searched for Jesus and could not, at first, find Him. They are words spoken to those who are ‘looking for Jesus’. On finding Him, Jesus speaks to them of the ‘bread from heaven’ and in turn they ask: ‘Sir, give us this bread always.’ In response, Jesus says: ‘I am the bread of life.’ (John 6: 24-35)

It is to those who continue to seek the presence of Jesus in a dry land that He offers Himself as the ‘bread from heaven’. We stand with those who sing:

‘Bread of heaven, Bread of heaven,
Feed me till my want is o’er.’

We pray:

Gracious Father,
Who gives to us bread from heaven,
Hear us when we hunger
And cry out to the One who is the bread of life.
Renew us by Your gift and restore us by Your presence.
Lord, in Your mercy,
Hear our prayer.

Gracious Father,
Who gives to us bread from heaven,
Hear the cry of all who hunger this day
And who long for the gifts that renew and restore life.
Renew our concern for Your Creation and for all who inhabit the earth.
Lord, in Your mercy,
Hear our prayer.

Gracious Father,
Who gives to us bread from heaven,
Hear us when we thirst
And long for living water.
May all who thirst drink deep from the rivers of living water.
Lord, in Your mercy,
Hear our prayer.

Gracious Father,
Who gives to us bread from heaven,
Hear the cries of those who long for clean water
And who live in parched lands.
May all who thirst find living water for daily life.
Lord, in Your mercy,
Hear our prayer.

Gracious Father,
Who gives to us bread from heaven,
Hear our cry to the One
Who is the bread of life:
Give us this bread always.
Lord, in Your mercy,
Hear our prayer.

Signed by:

  • Lord Wallace, Moderator of the General Assembly, Church of Scotland
  • Most Rev. Leo Cushley, Archbishop of St. Andrews and Edinburgh, Roman Catholic Church
  • Most Rev. Mark Strange, Primus, on behalf of the College of Bishops, Scottish Episcopal Church
  • Rev. Dr David Miller, Moderator, United Free Church of Scotland
  • Rev. Neil MacMillan, Moderator, Free Church of Scotland
  • Rev. Paul Whittle, Moderator, United Reformed Church (Scotland)
  • Rev. Martin Hodson, General Director, Baptist Union of Scotland
  • Rev. Mark Slaney, District Chair, Methodist Church (Scotland)
  • Rev. Thomas R. Wilson, Chair, Congregational Federation in Scotland
  • Lt. Col. Carol Bailey, Secretary for Scotland, Salvation Army
  • Adwoa Bittle, Religious Society of Friends (Quakers)
  • Rev. Ruth Turner, District Superintendent, British Isles North District, Church of the Nazarene
  • Pastor Chris Gbenle, Provincial Pastor, Province of Scotland, Redeemed Christian Church of God
  • Bishop Francis Alao, Church of God (Scotland)/Minority Ethnic Churches Together in Scotland (MECTIS)
  • Rev Fred Drummond, Director, Evangelical Alliance (Scotland)

Call to Prayer 25th July 2021

Call to Prayer: Sunday 25th July 2021 Prayer @ 7pm

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The Psalmist says of the Lord: ‘You open your hand, satisfying the desire of every living thing.’ The imagery embodied in the words of the Psalmist speaks of a God whose will is to sustain and nurture all creation. The God who so wills is a God whose ‘kingdom is an everlasting kingdom’ and one that endures throughout all time. (Psalm 145: 10-18) As our eyes turn to God, we see that intention expressed in the good gifts that we receive in the course of our lives. Equally, we are conscious that the gifts we receive are not thereafter to be kept and retained by our closing our hands and keeping the gifts to ourselves. The goodness of God is a gift to be shared with others.

Within the community of which we are a part, we are called to reflect the One in whose image we are made and whose hand is open towards us. We pray:

Living God,
You open your hand towards us
And offer to us good gifts.
We accept your gifts with gratitude
And respond with thanks and praise.
Lord, in your mercy,
Hear our prayer.

Living God,
You open your hand towards us
And offer to us the gift of life.
We acknowledge that we are made in your image
And recognise your image in the life of each person upon the earth.
Lord, in your mercy,
Hear our prayer.

Living God,
You open your hand towards us
And offer life to the world.
We receive your offer
As a sign of your faithfulness towards us.
Lord, in your mercy,
Hear our prayer.

Living God,
You open your hand towards us
And offer your gifts to all.
We resolve to share the gifts we have received
And not to close our hand towards others.
Lord, in your mercy,
Hear our prayer.

Living God,
You open your hand towards us
And offer to us signs of your kingdom.
We pledge to bear witness to your enduring kingdom
And to your abundant grace.
Lord, in your mercy,
Hear our prayer.

Signed by:

  • Lord Wallace, Moderator of the General Assembly, Church of Scotland
  • Most Rev. Leo Cushley, Archbishop of St. Andrews and Edinburgh, Roman Catholic Church
  • Most Rev. Mark Strange, Primus, on behalf of the College of Bishops, Scottish Episcopal Church
  • Rev. Dr David Miller, Moderator, United Free Church of Scotland
  • Rev. Neil MacMillan, Moderator, Free Church of Scotland
  • Rev. Paul Whittle, Moderator, United Reformed Church (Scotland)
  • Rev. Martin Hodson, General Director, Baptist Union of Scotland
  • Rev. Mark Slaney, District Chair, Methodist Church (Scotland)
  • Rev. Thomas R. Wilson, Chair, Congregational Federation in Scotland
  • Lt. Col. Carol Bailey, Secretary for Scotland, Salvation Army
  • Adwoa Bittle, Religious Society of Friends (Quakers)
  • Rev. Ruth Turner, District Superintendent, British Isles North District, Church of the Nazarene
  • Pastor Chris Gbenle, Provincial Pastor, Province of Scotland, Redeemed Christian Church of God
  • Bishop Francis Alao, Church of God (Scotland)/Minority Ethnic Churches Together in Scotland (MECTIS)
  • Rev Fred Drummond, Director, Evangelical Alliance (Scotland)

Musings from the Manse 18th July 2021

In our reading a few weeks ago we heard that Jesus called his 12 apostles and sent them out to do the work they had witnessed in him. He sent them out two by two, and they took with them the authority to cast out demons, to anoint the sick, to cure broken bodies, to teach people about the kingdom of God.

Who knows just how long they were out there, but by the end of their mission and upon their return, when they saw Jesus in the distance, they probably hauled off in a pure sprint to reach him, much like that son who ran into his father’s wide open arms, after being away too long.

 

Their return from their maiden adventure is not documented in any readily available Christian art, and has certainly not been publicized widely in popular culture.

But it could be–and, quite frankly, I think it should be.

With brilliant brush strokes on a large canvas, the scene could be painted for this tender moment. The largest object would be the tree covered in hues of green leaves, that are dancing in the gentle evening sunlight. Collapsed beneath it, bathed in its generous shade, the apostles gather around Jesus, this rag-tag band of former fishermen and freshly formed messengers, exhausted from their recently frantic lives.

The scars of their travels cover their bodies…. Without any protection and a lack of traveling food supply, dependent on the kindness of strangers for a simple meal, these men are thinner than before, their ribs exposed through torn clothing, the same garments they departed in.

Most of them have tan lines running across their feet, where their sandals–now removed–once pressed in the soles of them worn thin, evidence of the miles they had covered, and the number of times the sand had been knocked off on an inhospitable doorstep.

These men are reclining next to Jesus, you feel they have been telling him story after story, of how many people they were able to help, of how many lives that have been restored, but all at an expense to their own preservation. They are nestled into the green grass that covers the landscape, staring up into the white clouds dotting a sky, giving birth to a perfect shade of blue.

Just on the left side of the canvas is a lake, still and quiet, yet the remnants of a storm linger far in the distance. Just at the edge of the water is a boat, one that has weathered many storms, but is strong and sturdy, and ready to hold the apostles, and all their cares.

On the front of that boat is a basket overflowing with all different kinds of food, including fruits and meats, and the finest bread hands have ever made.

However, if you look on the other side of that lake, just barely recognizable, there seems to be crowd of people heading this direction.

Then, on the other side of the canvas, off in the distance, just at the crest of a hill, you can faintly see another crowd coming into view. They know where Jesus and his disciples are, and they will soon be within earshot demanding the attention and compassion of them all.

The artist has painted Jesus as the only one whose face is turned towards the crowds. His expression is one of knowing, without a hint of panic that the disciples could predict.

Besides, most of them are gazing into the sky as they remember their adventures, reflecting on their work, feeling their exhaustion, and one or two are already fast asleep.

Jesus, sensing that his precious children need to rest, knowing they have nothing else to give, yet seeing the crowd approaching, whispers an invitation to his disciples, an offering of all they need: “Come away to a deserted place all by yourselves and rest a while.”

If we study this picture long enough, we can probably identify with almost every aspect of it or emotion in it, although some may draw us in closer than others. We can identify with those storm clouds in the distance, the trials we have overcome, the difficult journeys we have been on, the mountains we have climbed.

We can probably name the things that feel like the crowds lingering just over a hill, or around the bend– pressures to work long hours, to volunteer for something new at church, or the stress of not having work at all.

There are responsibilities for families we love dearly, beautiful grown up children/grandchildren that seem to still need us constantly, or the pain of a broken connections and dreams that have been shattered.

And on top of all those emotions, we are overwhelmed by the amount of things there are to DO in our lives…. Each day we are pressured by media adverts and our commitments, to give more, produce more, care more, accomplish more. Our lives can be so busy– the world can make so many demands, and even when they are wonderful things we love, life can still be so busy… physically, emotionally, exhaustingly busy.

I have recently been reading Barbara Brown Taylor’s latest book: An Altar in the World. It has been the place where I try to slow down, and do something just for myself, spending a little time reflecting on each chapter. But I am currently stuck on one particular part she calls “The Practice of Saying No.” As a matter of fact, I have read this chapter at least four times now.

In it she offers insights on just how busy we are, the lost art of hearing Jesus’ invitation to us, and giving ourselves permission to rest, to claim the Sabbath time God gives us.

She even has the audacity to accuse me– in all the busyness of my life– of trying to earn my own salvation.1

In one part, she notes that in China the polite answer to the question of “How are you?” is to say, “I am very busy, thank you.”2

That is the measure of our success– an indication of how we run in this world– and measure of lives, no matter where we live.

And then I think about Jesus’ invitation again….

We too could use that cool grass between our toes, the blue sky overhead, the rest underneath a tree, the Jesus who listens to us. And the gift is that we too are on the guest list, and Jesus extends the same invitation to us, in our weary, tired lives, with demands just around the corner. “Come away to a deserted place all by yourselves and rest a while.”

The invitation is there, and the painting is not complete… until we can see ourselves as a part of it.

Accepting Jesus’ invitation may not be so clean as a boat floating on the open sea, far from all the things we need to escape from. But accepting his invitation is crucial for our lives for us to live the abundant life he intends for us.

We, like the apostles, are not able to give from a place that is empty. We are not able to be present, fully present, to our families, our lives, our work, unless we can– for however long– be fully present to Jesus in a place that nourishes our very souls.

Our one task is to put this ahead of all the other things…to open ourselves up to hear his invitation, and respond with the space and the time to listen to his call to take our heavy laden lives, and offer it all to Jesus who will take it from us, even for just a little while.

Listen to his voice, calling us into perfect peace, the kind that only he can give.

“Come away to a deserted place all by yourselves and rest a while.”

 

Rev Nik Wooller

18th July 2021

 

Call to Prayer 18th July 2021

Call to Prayer: Sunday 18th July 2021 Prayer @ 7pm

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Where do we find ourselves today? Does the light of the day still shine and does the way ahead seem clear and certain? Or; does darkness fall and the way ahead seem uncertain and hidden in the shadows? In whatever situation we find ourselves, the Psalms speak to us and the Psalms speak for us. They speak to us and for us in every situation of life.

Perhaps there is nowhere that this is more evident than in the 23rd Psalm. The resonance of the ancient, yet immediately present, words of the Psalmist can be sensed, such that even now we can hear those words speaking into the depths of who we are: ‘The Lord is my Shepherd…Even though I walk through the darkest valley…Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me’. (Psalm 23) To read and to hear the words evokes a response in the very depths of our being. We are addressed by God and the Psalm offers to us words of response: ‘Even though I walk through the darkest valley…I fear no evil’. ‘Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me…and I shall dwell in the house of the Lord’. Wherever we find ourselves today, the Lord speaks to us and graciously offers us words of response. We pray:

Gracious Lord
And faithful Shepherd,
Lead us to the place of your presence
And speak to us your word that brings life.
Lord, in your mercy,
Hear our prayer.

Gracious Lord
And faithful Shepherd,
Lead us to the place of still waters And restore our troubled souls.
Lord, in your mercy,
Hear our prayer.

Gracious Lord
And faithful Shepherd,
Lead us on the paths of righteousness
And deliver us from evil.
Lord, in your mercy,
Hear our prayer.

Gracious Lord
And faithful Shepherd,
Lead us through the valley of shadows
And bring us to the place of safety.
Lord, in your mercy,
Hear our prayer.

Gracious Lord
And faithful Shepherd,
Lead us to the place where the table is renewed
And the cup overflows for all.
Lord, in your mercy,
Hear our prayer.

Gracious Lord
And faithful Shepherd,
Lead us to the place where goodness and mercy abide
And to the house of the Lord forever.
Lord, in your mercy,
Hear our prayer.

Signed by:

  • Lord Wallace, Moderator of the General Assembly, Church of Scotland
  • Most Rev. Leo Cushley, Archbishop of St. Andrews and Edinburgh, Roman Catholic Church
  • Most Rev. Mark Strange, Primus, on behalf of the College of Bishops, Scottish Episcopal Church
  • Rev. Dr David Miller, Moderator, United Free Church of Scotland
  • Rev. Neil MacMillan, Moderator, Free Church of Scotland
  • Rev. Paul Whittle, Moderator, United Reformed Church (Scotland)
  • Rev. Martin Hodson, General Director, Baptist Union of Scotland
  • Rev. Mark Slaney, District Chair, Methodist Church (Scotland)
  • Rev. Thomas R. Wilson, Chair, Congregational Federation in Scotland
  • Lt. Col. Carol Bailey, Secretary for Scotland, Salvation Army
  • Adwoa Bittle, Religious Society of Friends (Quakers)
  • Rev. Ruth Turner, District Superintendent, British Isles North District, Church of the Nazarene
  • Pastor Chris Gbenle, Provincial Pastor, Province of Scotland, Redeemed Christian Church of God
  • Bishop Francis Alao, Church of God (Scotland)/Minority Ethnic Churches Together in Scotland (MECTIS)
  • Rev Fred Drummond, Director, Evangelical Alliance (Scotland)

Musings from the Manse

This week’s gospel lesson (Mark 6:14-29) has had me thinking about choices and consequences. John the Baptist made the hard choice to be a truth teller and lost his head because of it. Herod Antipas made a silly promise at a dinner party and ended up having to deliver the head of John the Baptist on a platter in order to save face.

On the surface these situations may seem far removed from what most of us face in daily life, but I wonder if things are really all that different. If this is true, am I more like Herod or John the Baptist; am I a truth teller or someone caught up in all the trappings of power and prestige?

I suppose there’s a little of both characters in my constitution depending on the situation. I strive as a Minister to be a truth teller and to be fearless in my proclamation and living. Yet, there is still a lot of Herod in me. I am a daughter of privilege just by the fact that I am a white female living in the United Kingdom.

I have work, a wonderful place to live, plenty of good food, clean water, transportation, and more than enough clothes and possessions. I am wealthier than ninety-plus percent of all the world’s people.

To what ends would I go to “protect” that privilege? What would I really be willing to sacrifice in the name of justice and equity? Am I willing to speak truth in love–even if the truth exacts a high price from me personally or, worse yet, from those whom I love?

I think of the many brave men and women of every generation who have made hard choices and suffered the consequences for those choices, who chose justice over saving face and dishonour above honour.

Would I be willing to do likewise? I know what Jesus calls me to do. The gospel is clear about that, and it doesn’t take a Theological degree or a vocational call to figure it out.

The simple fact is that every single choice you or I make in life is either a choice for good or ill. Oh sure, the outcome and ripple effect may not be clear at the time, but do not be fooled; there is a price to be paid by someone, somewhere.

What we eat, what we buy, what we choose not to buy or consume, whether we speak out for right and truth or remain silent it all makes a difference. It kind of boggles my brain to ponder it all but ponder such things we must.

As Christians, people who bear the name of Christ, we must take seriously the command to love our neighbours as ourselves 24/7, not just when it is convenient or when someone is watching us.

Or in the words of Micah 6:8, “. . . and what does the LORD require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God?”

There is always a cost to being prophetic, even today – but that doesn’t mean we should avoid it. But approach with care, there is a danger, a risk, of self-righteousness – of assuming that we have got it right, that we have the answers, of comparing our supposed ‘innate goodness’ over and against those we might challenge. And that is why Jesus taught humility and love – so that our words and actions might always be proportionate, and our motives sincere and true.

And the key for us all is: who or what rules our motives and actions?

May Christ truly be the centre of who we are, and all we do and say.

 

Rev Nik Wooller

11th July 2021

Call to Prayer July 11th 2021

Call to Prayer: Sunday 11th July 2021 Prayer @ 7pm

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What is the future shape of the society in which we live? To ask the question is to invite any number of different answers and many of the answers will reflect the uncertainty of the times. In all of our lives, there is perhaps a greater element of uncertainty than there has been in previous years. Each of us will respond to the challenges of our times in different ways and many will ponder the question and ask: What does the future hold?

The Apostle Paul lived within the society of his time and offers us a vision of our place within the world. That vision is shaped by an understanding of how we share in the purpose and plan of the ‘God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ’. We share in that understanding as those who have received the ‘promised Holy Spirit’. Within this vision, we find that we are adopted as the children of God and discover our place according to the purpose and plan of God. (Ephesians 1: 3- 14) If we cannot yet describe the future shape of our society, we know that, whatever the future holds, we live as those whose destiny is shaped by the purpose and plan of God. We pray:

God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ,
You adopt us as your children
And include us within your purposes.
May we find our place in the world and purpose for our lives
As we respond to your gracious initiative in Christ.

Lord, in your mercy,
Hear our prayer.

God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ,
You adopt us as your children
And offer to us forgiveness.
May we know the healing power of forgiveness
And offer forgiveness according to the measure that we have been forgiven.

Lord, in your mercy,
Hear our prayer.

God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ,
You adopt us as your children
And make known your intention
To gather together all things in heaven and earth.
May our lives on earth reflect the life of the world that is to come.

Lord, in your mercy,
Hear our prayer.

God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ,
You adopt us as your children
And make known to us the word of truth.
May we always speak according to the truth
And may our words reflect the One who came to us full of grace and truth.

Lord, in your mercy,
Hear our prayer.

God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ,
You adopt us as your children
And seal us with the promised Holy Spirit
May we rediscover our place in the world and renew the purpose of our lives
As we receive the gracious gift of your Spirit.

Lord, in your mercy,
Hear our prayer.

Signed by:

  • Lord Wallace, Moderator of the General Assembly, Church of Scotland
  • Most Rev. Leo Cushley, Archbishop of St. Andrews and Edinburgh, Roman Catholic Church
  • Most Rev. Mark Strange, Primus, on behalf of the College of Bishops, Scottish Episcopal Church
  • Rev. Dr David Miller, Moderator, United Free Church of Scotland Rev. Neil MacMillan, Moderator, Free Church of Scotland
  • Rev. Paul Whittle, Moderator, United Reformed Church (Scotland)
  • Rev. Martin Hodson, General Director, Baptist Union of Scotland
  • Rev. Mark Slaney, District Chair, Methodist Church (Scotland)
  • Rev. Thomas R. Wilson, Chair, Congregational Federation in Scotland
  • Lt. Col. Carol Bailey, Secretary for Scotland, Salvation Army
  • Adwoa Bittle, Religious Society of Friends (Quakers)
  • Rev. Ruth Turner, District Superintendent, British Isles North District, Church of the Nazarene
  • Pastor Chris Gbenle, Provincial Pastor, Province of Scotland, Redeemed Christian Church of God
  • Bishop Francis Alao, Church of God (Scotland)/Minority Ethnic Churches Together in Scotland (MECTIS)
  • Rev Fred Drummond, Director, Evangelical Alliance (Scotland)

Call to Prayer 4th July 2021

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At certain times in our experience we are especially conscious of our strengths and, at other times, of our weaknesses. In our times of perceived strength, we are confident of our capacities and abilities. In our times of perceived weakness, it is often otherwise. We might easily imagine that it is in the former situation that God is especially close to us. However, the experience of faith and of the grace of God suggests otherwise.

The Apostle Paul discovered this in the course of his own spiritual experience and came to realise the sufficiency of the grace of God in his life. This discovery is madein the times when he senses that he is at his weakest and not in his times of perceived strength. (2 Corinthians 12: 9) In the spiritual journey that each one of us makes, the sufficiency of God is often known when we come to the end of our own strength and discover the ever-renewed grace of God.

We pray:

God, whose grace is revealed,
In the One who embraces the Cross,
May we know the sufficiency of your grace
In the times of our deepest need.
Lord, in your mercy,
Hear our prayer.

God, whose grace is revealed,
In the One who embraces the Cross,
May we walk in the company of those who suffer
And so share in the grace that you provide.
Lord, in your mercy,
Hear our prayer.

God, whose grace is revealed,
In the One who embraces the Cross,
May we experience the strength you provide
In the times of our greatest weakness.
Lord, in your mercy,
Hear our prayer.

God, whose grace is revealed,
In the One who embraces the Cross,
May our lives be renewed as we live out our response to your grace
And so share in the community of grace.
Lord, in your mercy,
Hear our prayer.

God, whose grace is revealed,
In the One who embraces the Cross,
May your grace, sufficient in days past,
Be sufficient in all the days that are to come.
Lord, in your mercy,
Hear our prayer.

Signed by:

  • Lord Wallace, Moderator of the General Assembly, Church of Scotland
  • Most Rev. Leo Cushley, Archbishop of St. Andrews and Edinburgh, Roman Catholic Church
  • Most Rev. Mark Strange, Primus, on behalf of the College of Bishops, Scottish Episcopal Church
  • Rev. Dr David Miller, Moderator, United Free Church of Scotland
  • Rev. Neil MacMillan, Moderator, Free Church of Scotland
  • Rev. Paul Whittle, Moderator, United Reformed Church (Scotland)
  • Rev. Martin Hodson, General Director, Baptist Union of Scotland
  • Rev. Mark Slaney, District Chair, Methodist Church (Scotland)
  • Rev. Thomas R. Wilson, Chair, Congregational Federation in Scotland
  • Lt. Col. Carol Bailey, Secretary for Scotland, Salvation Army
  • Adwoa Bittle, Religious Society of Friends (Quakers)
  • Rev. Ruth Turner, District Superintendent, British Isles North District, Church of the Nazarene
  • Pastor Chris Gbenle, Provincial Pastor, Province of Scotland, Redeemed Christian Church of God
  • Bishop Francis Alao, Church of God (Scotland)/Minority Ethnic Churches Together in Scotland (MECTIS)
  • Rev Fred Drummond, Director, Evangelical Alliance (Scotland)