West Kirk Weekly

Hello –The school holiday is at an end with teachers back and children starting school.

Come and join us this Sunday for our morning service at 11 am. Sunday School starts back this week so let the children know that Jennifer, Janice and Joy are ready and waiting!

Thanks to all those who continue to support our Foodbank Sunday on the 2nd Sunday of the month. There was a large number of bags delivered again to EK Foodbank last Monday. The next collection will be Sunday 8th of September. 

Although most of our own Church groups and activities are on their summer break most are making plans to start up again.

The Boys’ Brigade Enrollment will be on the 29th of August. Please pass this information around to any school age boys from P1 to S6.

The Hub will also start again on the 29th of August. The programme is in process so I will pass on the new acts as I have them.

There are, however, groups who meet in the church each week and will continue over the summer.

The Learning Together Group which meets on a Wednesday night is also taking a break for the summer but will resume again soon. Come along to join with others to discuss the Bible after the summer break.

If you like to have a coffee come along to the Tuesday Coffee and Chat at 10 am. (You can also get toast if you want it!) The Tuesday Coffee and Chat never close!

The Craft and Hobbies Group is on each Wednesday at 2pm. Every crafter is welcome so if you can knit, crochet, cross stitch or would like to learn these skills please come along. Lots of chat and tea! Milly often leads card making classes too!

You will be made very welcome at any group which meets in the church – as you might expect tea and coffee feature at a good number of them!

Let me know if you would like to know about any groups or if you would like to add anything to this newsletter.

If you want to add anyone to the prayer list, please let me know. I know that folks do appreciate your prayers.

Photo by Jenny Hill on Unsplash

Scripture: Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us. Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Hebrews 12:1-2

Our Bible verses today say, "Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us."

It is a long time since I have ever run in a race? I don’t think I was ever fast enough to win a medal or a trophy for running a race. It is a thrill though to run a race and hear the voices of the people who are watching as they shout words of encouragement. It must be an even greater thrill when you finish the race and win a medal or a trophy.

Several years ago, when the Olympics were held in Barcelona, Spain, the world saw one of the greatest moments in Olympic history. Derek Redmond, a young man from Britain, had dreamed all his life of winning a gold medal in the 400-metre race. He had worked hard to get to the Olympics and his dream was within his reach. He was in the semi-finals and was running the race of his life. He could see the finish line just ahead as he rounded the final turn. Suddenly, he felt a sharp pain in the back of his leg and he fell to the track with a torn muscle in his right leg.

As the medical attendants ran toward him, Derek struggled to his feet. He started to hop toward the finish line on one foot in an attempt to finish the race. Suddenly, a large man came out of the stands, pushed aside a security guard and ran to Derek's side. It was Jim Redmond, Derek's father. "You don't have to do this," he told his son. "Yes, I do," said Derek. "Well, then," said his father, "we're going to finish this together."

And they did. They stayed in Derek's lane all the way to the end. At first, the crowd watched in silence. Then they rose to their feet and cheered — and wept.

Derek Redmond didn't win the gold medal, but he walked away with the incredible memory of a loving father who, when he saw his son in pain, left his seat in the stands to help him finish the race.

That is what our Bible lesson is about today. It teaches us that life is like a race that has been set before us. We may struggle and face many obstacles, but we have a great crowd of witnesses who are cheering us on. We have a Heavenly Father who loves us and will help us when the pain is too great. We have a Saviour, who left his place in heaven and came to earth to show us how to run the race. If we will keep our eyes on him, how can we help but finish the race?

Dear Father, sometimes life is difficult. Help us to keep our eyes on Jesus and to run the race that is before us. In the name of Jesus we pray, amen.

Morag and Bruce have asked us to pray for Arran who has been admitted to hospital where they have said he has Type 1 diabetes. Please remember Arran and all the family and pray that he is stabilised and able to get home again.

Continue to pray for our many church friends Vena and Freda, Sylvia, Sheena and Bill, Isobelle, Agnes and Bill, Andy and Mary, Gil and Sheena, Jean and Margaret to your list. I know that they are pleased to know they are remembered by their church family each week.

Pray for Veronica’s family and friends in this time of bereavement.

I am leaving for a second week the letter from Rt Revd Colin A M Sinclair who is the Moderator of the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland. This is an important time for our church and I think it is important that we support our Church. The Rt Revd Colin A M Sinclair has included a prayer for us at the end of his letter.

Dear fellow members of the Church of Scotland, 

In May, the General Assembly approved the work of the Special Commission and the Radical Action Plan. It was overwhelmingly agreed that we needed reform in many areas of our life and that we couldn't postpone the decision to act any longer.  That change process has already begun and I am writing to ask for your prayers.

At the GA a new Trustee body of 12 people was elected, and they have been meeting regularly since they were appointed.  The Trustees are led by the Very Rev Dr John Chalmers and the Vice Convener is an elder and Session Clerk, Mrs Norma Rolls. To provide continuity from the Special Commission, James McNeill, an elder, serves as the Administrative Trustee.

When presenting the Radical Action Plan on behalf of the Council of Assembly, Dr Sally Bonnar, concluded her presentation in these words:

"Trust will be of foundational importance. We are not them and us ...only us together.  Even together we don't have all or even many of the solutions and that only by listening to God and trusting our brothers and sisters will we have any hope of success. And finally we need a total reliance on the living God... That is why within the plan we call once again for the church to pray, for a season of prayer which will be a time of reflection and preparation across the church".

The General Assembly agreed to have a season of prayer for this process of change from September to December. Many have already been praying. Prayer resources and information will be provided but I am writing with a specific prayer request.

An advert has gone out and applications received for the new post of Chief Officer. The person appointed will work very closely with the new Trustee body to implement the decisions of the GA. Next Monday, 12 August, the first round of interviews will be held to fill this vacancy.

Pray for discernment and wisdom for the interview group, and pray for the candidates that they will be enabled to present a full and honest picture of their potential for undertaking such a task.

Pray for the skills and relationships that are needed by the Trustees and for a good and effective relationship with the new Chief Officer. 

To help you in your prayers I have added a prayer.

Many thanks,   

Rt Revd Colin A M Sinclair
Moderator
General Assembly of the Church of Scotland

A Prayer for the new post of Chief Officer

Lord Jesus Christ, Head of the Church,
We pray for the Church of Scotland at this time.
As we begin a significant process of change
give to us wisdom to know what to do
courage to do what must be done
and compassion and understanding
for those for whom this will be hard.
We pray for the Trustee body.
appointed to act on our behalf.
for those who lead it.
and those who serve on it..
Give them vision of what might be.
and practical understanding of how to get there.
Help them to listen carefully, speak graciously and decide clearly..
Especially at this time we pray.
for the appointment of a Chief Officer.
and for the first round of interviews on August 12th.
Bless those candidates who are invited to attend.
and the interview group as they meet with each of them..
Grant discernment to know your will.
Make it clear to them who is the person for this responsible job..
May we all support the Chief Officer.
and the Trustees in the months ahead,.
as, in dependence on your grace,.
they work with us.
for the renewal and reformation of our Church,.
and for the glory of your name..
Amen.

Church is on each Sunday followed by tea and coffee in the hall so come along and worship with us at 11 am.

God bless

Laura

Laura Fleming- Session Clerk