Sunday, 10 October 2021

Worship Sun 10 Oct: 'If I'm good, do I get a sticker?'

WELCOME/
Hello and welcome once again to our time of worship online.
We'll be delving into the Book of Job today, and for the next couple of weeks. What does Job have to teach us about how we view God - in all of life's circumstances?

Some church notices:
Thanks to Ursula B and Heather W for conducting worship in the church building last Sunday, so I could get away for a week's break - much appreciated!

Guild/ This week, on Wednesday at 2pm the Guild will be meeting in the church, and our speaker will be the Rev. Tim Tunley from the Mission to Seafarers. All are welcome.

Our Harvest Thanksgiving Service will be held on Sun 24 Oct and, at that service, we'll also be celebrating Communion - our first time since being back from lockdown, and in a new and covid-compliant way.
Also joining us will be some of the Christian Climate pilgrims who are walking from London to Glasgow for COP26. For those of you who are bakers in the parish, I'll be calling on your talents - if we can provide some home baking for each of our pilgrims to take with them as they head off on the next leg of the journey, that would be fab, and thanks in advance!
Those who would like to help with decorating the building for our Harvest service can drop in on Sat 23rd between 1.30-3.30pm. This year, we will be keeping things simple, as due to covid restrictions, distributing items from displays in our usual way will be very limited. 
A box will be available for items to donate to the foodbank.

The WORSHIP LINK IS HERE for today's service.
May you know God's presence with you through this week,

God bless,
Nikki
 

Monday, 27 September 2021

Church news 27 Sept - 6 Oct '21


MINISTER ON LEAVE:
As of Mon 27 Sept. up to and including Tues 5 Oct. the minister will be using up some annual leave.

To catch up with Sun 26 worship, go to 'featured post' on the r-hand column and click to take you there. Or, just scroll further down this page to the previous post.

Urgent pastoral cover
 will be provided by the Rev. Paul Grant of Law Parish, who is currently the Interim Moderator for our neighbors in Douglas Valley. His phone number is: 01698 373 180.
For any general enquiries please contact Dr Dee Yates, our Session Clerk on 01864 504093.

Worship in the parish church at 10.30am will be conducted by Ms Heather Watt and Mrs Ursula Baillie.
For online worship you might like to explore the following services:
            Biggar Parish Church - LINK
            Dunfermline Abbey - LINK            
            Kirkton Parish Church - LINK          

            Parishes of Upper Tweed - LINK 

Other church notices:
24 Oct. 10.30am - Harvest Festival Service : this year, we're pushing the date back ever so slightly, to tie in with the COP26 Conference, and the pilgrims who are walking from London to Glasgow. On this weekend, they will be passing through our parish and we're hoping to welcome some of them to our service and hear from one of their representatives just what they're doing and why.
The usual arrangements for decorating the windows/ church will be in operation, with the doors open on Sat morning from 9.30 - 12pm [or earlier if finished]. If you have any donations for the foodbank, you can drop them in on the Saturday to feature in the display or bring them with you to the service and put them in the foodbank box in the vestibule as you come in.
Communion will be observed during this service as we reintroduce it once more, in a Covid compliant way.

South Lanarkshire Winter Clothing Campaign, 2021:
The council has launched its annual winter clothing campaign for 2021.
And, this year, for the first time, donations of sportswear are also welcome,
alongside new, or nearly new, winter jackets.
All items collected will be laundered and given to early years, primary and secondary aged children and young people who need them.
The campaign will run until Friday 1 October, during which time donations will be accepted at the following supermarkets closest to us:
· Tesco, Lanark
· Tesco, Lesmahagow
Councillor Katy Loudon, Chair of Education Resources, said: “This exciting project, which promotes sustainability in the recycling of winter jackets and sportswear, comes at an exciting time, as we prepare to welcome delegates from around the world to Glasgow for the COP26 United Nations Climate Change Conference.
“Last year we recycled more than 1000 jackets and donated them to children and young people who needed them across South Lanarkshire. This year we are hoping to achieve similar, if not better, success. We hope as many people as possible will support us and donate whatever they can over the next two weeks.”

Heart for Art Exhibition and Event:

Sunday, 26 September 2021

Worship Sun 26 Sept: 'Only Connect'

WELCOME/
Welcome to our time of worship online - whether you're new here or an old friend. It's great that we can use technology and praise our God.

This week, we come to the end of the Letter of James, and, in what's been a very practical and hand's on exercise in how to live as followers of Jesus, James finishes his letter by turning to the matter of prayer - not that it's a last resort, but that it underpins all that we say and do as Christians.
You'll find the WORSHIP LINK HERE and once again, the format is one full clip, rather than a lot of smaller clips

Just to note that I'll be using up some annual leave this week, and will be back at work on Wed 6 Oct.
Urgent pastoral cover is being provided by the Rev. Paul Grant of Law Parish Church - he's currently the Interim Moderator for our neighbours, Tinto Parishes. His phone number is: 01698 373180
For any other general ongoing matters, please contact our Session Clerk, Dr Dee Yates on 01864 504093.
As to worship, I'll either update this post with links for services for Sun 3 Oct. or put up a new post. Meanwhile, in the parish church, worship will be conducted by Ms Heather Watt and Mrs Ursula Baillie.

I'll catch up with you all once leave is over, in the meantime, take care and God bless,
Nikki

Sunday, 19 September 2021

Worship Sun 19 Sept' - 'Keeping up appearances'

WELCOME/
Hello and welcome to worship where we gather both online and in our church building to worship the God who calls us ‘beloved’. We continue to journey through the Letter of James, this week reflecting on how to be God’s people within a culture that tells us that who we are and what we have is not enough.
Just a couple of notices today – the first is just to flag up that this week I’m on call to provide any urgent pastoral cover for Douglas Valley Church; and the second is to pass on a message from Angela, our community worker – which is to let those of those of you involved in the ‘let’s get growing’ project that she will be down at the old council yard in Crawford this coming Sunday, the 26th after morning tea – so, roughly, from 12 to 1pm – if you have any potatoes, you can drop them off to her there.
OUR WORSHIP LINK IS HERE

Whatever your plans for this coming week, may you know God's presence with you, and know yourself beloved.
God bless
Nikki

Sunday, 12 September 2021

Worship Sun 12 Sept: 'Sticks and stones'

WELCOME/ 
Hello friends, welcome to our online time of worship.... normally the service is available from Sun 10.30, but due to an uploading glitch, I'm afraid I'm running behind. Hope to have this sorted by this evening, so please do bear with me, and do try later on... my apologies!

And, here it is - WORSHIP LINK will take you across and the service has been compressed into the one longer video, as we've been doing the last couple of weeks. 
May you know God's presence walking alongside you this week, 
God bless
Nikki

Sunday, 5 September 2021

Worship Sun 5 Sept '21: 'Jesus loves you but I'm his favourite'

WELCOME/
Hello and welcome to our time of worship.
Last week, Allan Grant was holding the fort in the church while I was away helping in our neighbouring Tinto Parish - so many thanks to Allan, as well as to Ursula and Dee for providing a welcome, stewarding, sorting music, and reading. We heard from the first chapter of the Letter of James, and this week, we continue in James, reflecting on chapter two and thinking about the dangers of playing favourites. But a few notices first....

CHURCH NOTICES/
The Guild: 
A reminder that the Guild recommences after it's loooooong break, at 2pm on Wednesday. This will be the held-over AGM and thereafter, a chance for a cuppa and a catch up, and conversation about this year's Guild programme.
And, doing things slightly the wrong way around, our Guild Dedication service will be held next Sunday in the church at 10.30am.
Let's get growing:
Don't forget to weigh your tatties upon harvesting them, and do let Angela or myself know how many kilos or pounds you've grown. If you're aiming to get some or all of your harvest along to the food bank, you can do so by dropping them into the big box that's just outside the Gillespie Centre in Biggar, or, get in touch with Angela or me, and we'll organise a pick up and drop off.
Morning tea:
As we move to a slightly more 'normalised, but Covid compliant' service in the church - we're now singing, we also have cushions back on the pews - we're bringing back after service morning tea. This will be done in line with Covid regulations, and, while it may feel a little clunky at first, we will get used to it. But, it's great that we're now able to offer this once more.
Kirk Session:
Session meets, via zoom, on Thursday evening at 7pm. Elders, keep an eye out for the zoom link in your email.

WORSHIP LINK/
Just a wee note that I'm currently experimenting with our formatting for online worship. Rather that a playlist of many clips [and interruptions by ads for such delights as funeral directors and such!!] I'm trying out putting together the clips into one larger clip so that the whole service will play uninterrupted. It is taking longer to upload, as it's a much larger file, but, we'll see how it goes... 
So, rather than playlist, you'll find the service in the 'videos' section of our youtube channel...
but of course, I'll provide the link here for you too!
I hope you find this time of worship encouraging, and that it helps you in your journey of faith...
the WORSHIP LINK IS HERE

Until next time, God bless, 
Nikki

Saturday, 28 August 2021

Worship Sun29 Aug - pulpit swap

Hello all, just to note that there won't be online worship for UCPC on Sunday 29th... see below.
In the meantime, some wee announcements -

Pulpit swap with Tinto Parishes:
This week, Nikki has been asked to do a pulpit swap across at Symington and Libberton churches, as there has been a request to conduct the sacrament of baptism at Libberton. So, at Upper Clyde, worship will be conducted by 
Mr Alan Grant, who is a Reader in the Church of Scotland. Given this, there will also not be an online UCPC service provided this week, so please do make use of one or more following choices provided...
      online suggested links: 
         Biggar Parish Church - LINK 
         Dunfermline Abbey - LINK 
         Kirkton Parish Church - LINK  
         Parishes of Upper Tweed - LINK 

Rev. Margaret Muir:
Some sad news came in this last week concerning the death of our previous minister, the Rev. Margaret Muir. May she rest in peace and rise in glory.

Let's get growing project:
Just the usual reminder for those of you growing spuds as part of this project - remember to weigh them when you harvest them, so we can pass this along to Healthy Valleys.

Minister's day off this week: Monday.

Sunday, 22 August 2021

Worship Sun 22: 'The God who speaks'

 
WELCOME/
Hello and welcome to our online service of worship.
Our theme today is 'the God who speaks' as we reflect on the words of Psalm 19.
You can find the service by clicking on this WORSHIP LINK ... meanwhile, church notices are below:

Car boot sale - an update:
Wow! Despite the grey skies and intermittent rain, a good number of folk could be found milling outside the church. Lots of cheery faces, so pleased to be together - safely - and to catch up as well as find some treasure among the stalls. Huge thanks to Heather Craig for a great idea, and for her energy and organisational skills; thanks as well to so many people who gave of their time, talent and skills in so many different ways, and for making the event such a happy and successful one. Thanks also to those who came along to support the event on the day. Truly, a great community effort overall, and both a fun raiser and a fund raiser - with so more money yet to come in, after expenses, we will have raised at least £600. Brilliantly done, everyone.

Pulpit swap:
This coming week, I'll be across at both Symington and then Libberton Kirk, having been asked to conduct a baptism at Libberton. Alan Grant will be conducting worship in the church at Abington in my place. Meanwhile, online, I'll be posting some links to other online worship services for you to connect with.

Potatoes:
Don't forget to weigh your spuds when you get to harvesting, and do let Angela or myself know how much your crop weighs. As we're working in partnership with Healthy Valleys, we'll give them the figures, which they can then use for inclusion in future grant applications... thanks!

And with that, have a good week, may you know God's presence beside you as you go.
God bless
Nikki

Sunday, 15 August 2021

Worship Sun 15 Aug 'Songs of praise' service


WELCOME TO WORSHIP!
Hello, and welcome to our special songs of praise service. It's the first Sunday that we've sung hymns in the church building since before lockdown, and to celebrate, we're having a big, old hymn-fest of favourites that have been chose by both online and in-person members of the congregation.
Our theme for worship today, as we reflect on Psalm 100 us 'the God who is worthy of praise.'

A FEW NOTICES -
Car boot sale: there's still time to organise a pitch, if you're wanting to recycle items from your cupboards to ...well, someone else's cupboards! £10 a pitch and you can arrange this with Heather Craig on  07765 498624. And, if you're able to help in anyway - by baking, helping out at the refreshment stall, stewarding, clearing away, please do get in touch with Janet Telfer on 01864 504 265. 
Dont' forget, all monies raised will be divided between Clydesdale food bank and Upper Clyde Church.
Come along, and bring your friends.

'Let's get growing' community gardening project: a note from Angela, our Community Outreach Worker, who says:
I hope those of you who have been growing potatoes have had some good fortune in at least seeing leaves.  My ones have definitely produced foliage and I am looking forward to seeing what is under the soil.  I hope I am not too disappointed! As it is nearly time for harvesting your potatoes, I just want to remind you what to do with your harvest.  You may choose to cook them for yourself, give or share with someone else or donate to Clydesdale foodbank at one of their donation points.  All I want from you is the weight of your harvest, imperial or metric, and more importantly your recipes. 
These can be sent to me on abrydson@churchofscotland.org.uk or deaconangela454@gmail.com Alternatively you can write them down and leave them at your church and I can collect them when I am with you.  Take care, Angela

I hope this time of worship, and all of the singing within it, cheers and encourages and energises you in your walk of faith. Have a great week, and keep on singing new songs to the Lord.
WORSHIP LINK IS HERE 

God bless
Nikki 

Sunday, 8 August 2021

Worship Sun 8 Aug: Ps 40 'The God who hears'

WELCOME/
Hello and welcome to our online time of worship. Over the next several weeks, we'll be spending time in the Book of Psalms - God's songbook - reflecting, in part, that for worship in person, we're now allowed to sing once more. This week, we look at life through the lens of the writer of Psalm 40, and, as we do, we discover the God who hears us...
NOTICES/
Several notices this week, which are covered in more detail in our online welcome across on youtube.
The first is just to note that there will be a one-off meeting of the Kirk Session to approve adjustments to our Covid forms, required by presbytery. We're hoping to get these sent off by Sunday evening.
Briefly, they reflect the changes to regulations regarding Covid - we're now below level 0.
So, congregational singing will be mentioned, changes relating to social distancing, the use of our hall for meetings, and preparing to reintroduce morning tea after worship. This all needs the tick of approval from presbytery before we can proceed.
Second: Don't forget, this coming Sunday - the 15th - is our Songs of Praise service, with hymns chosen by both online and in person worshippers. For those of you online, our service will look and sound a little different, as there'll be a lot more music!  
Last: A wee reminder about our upcoming car boot sale on Saturday the 21st of August. Come and join us for a celebration of decluttering, and finding new treasures. If you're looking to see, a pitch is £10 - just use the 'contact us' form on the r-h side of our blog and we'll make sure it gets to the right person. We're also looking for helpers... if you're able to help with baking or looking after the refreshment stall, stewarding, and such, do let us know via Janet Telfer 01864 504265.

OUR WORSHIP LINK IS HERE

Blessings on you for this coming week, 
Nikki

Monday, 19 July 2021

News, updates, information 19 July - 4 August

link

 
19 JULY - 4 AUGUST -

Minister on annual leave:
 Nikki will be using up some annual leave from Mon 19 July thru to 4 August.
    During this time, some helpful contacts...
    General parish queries:
        19-25 July - Heather Watt on 01899 850211
        26 July-4 Aug - Dee Yates on 01864 504 093
    Funeral/ urgent pastoral matters:
        The Rev. Paul Grant of Law Parish Church on 01698 373180
    Worship:
        cover for in-person service:
 Mrs Jane Fucella, both Sundays
        online suggested links:
            Biggar Parish Church - LINK
            Dunfermline Abbey - LINK            
            Kirkton Parish Church - LINK 
         

            Parishes of Upper Tweed - LINK 

Funeral of Mrs Moira White: Mon 19 July, 12pm, at Ruchan Loch Crematorium. This will be a small family gathering, and the service will be conducted by the Rev. Sandy Strachan. Please do remember Ali, Graham, and Andrew in your prayers at this sad time. We are so grateful for her faithful service as the first Session Clerk of Upper Clyde. May she rest in peace, and rise in glory.

Songs of Praise Service: Sun 15 Aug, 10.30am in the parish church, Abington. Come along and sing the songs chosen by members of the congregation - our first Sunday of singing [albeit, behind masks!].

Car Boot Sale:
 Sat 21 August, 10.30am-1.30pm in the church car park. Further details on the poster.
In the meantime, this is a wee call for volunteers/ helpers. If you're able to help in any way - providing home baking for the refreshment stall/ or to buy and take home; staffing of refreshment and tombola/ prize draw stalls; donating items for the tombola; stewarding - we'd be so grateful!! Please get in touch with Janet Telfer on 01864 504265 to put your name down... 

Worship and COVID regulations update: upon returning from annual leave, the minister and Kirk Session will be putting together an updated Risk Assessment form and revised seating plan, given the easing of some of the measures put in place. Once this has been approved by Session and thereafter, presbytery, details will be put up here on the blog, and on the church noticeboard by the lytch gate. With the 1m social distancing, we're hoping to have capacity for 34 people.

Sunday, 18 July 2021

Worship Sun 18 July: 'Rest awhile'

WELCOME/
Hello and welcome to worship, where, after some rather hard-going Bible readings and worship themes, today, we reflect on Jesus' invitation to 'come away...and rest awhile.'
Our WORSHIP LINK IS HERE and notices are below.

CHURCH NOTICES/
The minister will be taking some annual leave from Mon 19 July to Thurs 4 August. During that time...
for general parish matters 19-25 July, contact: Heather Watt 01899 850211
26 July-4 Aug: Dee Yates 01864 504093
And, for urgent pastoral cover, contact: the Rev. Paul Grant 01698 373180.

Moira White - please keep Ali, Graham, and Andrew in your thoughts and prayers as they say their final farewells to Moira, who passed away last Sunday morning. The funeral will be held on Monday, 12pm, at Ruchan Loch Crematorium. Moira was the first Session Clerk of the new charge of Upper Clyde, in 2013, and served in that capacity for nearly five years. We are so thankful for her wisdom, and her faithful service, especially in that time of transition. May she rest in peace and rise in glory.

Car boot sale - volunteers wanted. Our upcoming car boot sale is on the 21st of August. If you're able to help by providing home baking, or being there on the day to help with stewarding or tending to the refreshment stall, the tombola, or helping with the prize draw, we'd be so grateful. Please get in touch with Janet Telfer on 01864 504 265, and thanks in advance for your kind help.

Sunday, 11 July 2021

Worship Sun 11 July: 'The ghost of a conscience'

WELCOME/ 
Hello and welcome to worship online with Upper Clyde...

We continue moving through the Gospel of Mark, and, this week, we discover the fate of John the Baptist, as well as encounter Herod, son of Herod the Great. Let's just say that Herod the younger's love life is somewhat... complicated... But, can Herod get away with doing what he likes, and flouting religious and social convention? Who will speak up, and what will be the cost? Well, CLICK ON THE WORSHIP LINK to explore these and other questions arising from our passage in Mark.

In the meantime, don't forget our upcoming car boot sale and to spread the word:
Blessings as you journey into another week, and may this time of worship encourage and strengthen you in your faith walk...
Nikki

Sunday, 4 July 2021

Worship Sun 4 July: 'Welcome home'

WELCOME/
Hello and welcome to online worship at Upper Clyde.
A new month, and with it, a move from the Old Testament and into the New, as we spend some time in the Gospel of Mark. This week, we reflect on welcome and hospitality, acceptance and rejection, as we hear a story of Jesus' homecoming...
Our WORSHIP LINK IS HERE

CHURCH NOTICES/
A date for the diary: Sat 21 Aug. 10.30-1.30...
If the Scottish Gov't Covid restrictions timetable goes to plan, we'll be holding a car boot sale in the church car park on the above date. More details to follow, as well as a call for volunteers (hello to all our lovely bakers!!). But, it's great to be organising an outdoor social event - a fun and fund raiser. Proceeds will be shared between Clydesdale Food Bank and Upper Clyde Church.

Songs of Praise service: Sun 15 Aug, 10.30am
With restrictions likely to be lifted on the 9th of August, rather than humming behind our masks...
we'll be allowed to sing [still behind our masks]. Given this, let's go for it and have a really good sing, making use of some of the hymns that you've all been sending in to me!

'Let's get Growing' project:
Don't forget to send in your favourite potato-based recipes, as part of our potato growing project for this year. Let's get growing and, let's get cooking!


Sunday, 27 June 2021

Worship Sun 27 June: 'I'm holding out for a hero'

WELCOME/
Hello and welcome to worship!
We come to an end today of our brief series on David - we've been there for his beginnings, his highs, his lows, and today, we come full circle to his ending, as he passes on the torch to his son, Solomon.
What is a vital tool for kingship... we'll see what Solomon thinks as we delve into our text for today.

Meantime, as with the last couple of weeks, I'm very happily gathering up favourite hymn choices to be used in worship for when we move to level one and can sing... do keep them coming!
And, don't forget, as part of our 'Let's get growing' project, do please share any favourite recipes you have that feature the humble spud as the main ingredient - and hopefully, if we receive enough, we'll put them together in a wee booklet, or set of recipe cards.
In the next few weeks, you'll also be hearing a little more about another project that is currently in planning stages, so, keep your eyes and ears peeled for that.

Our WORSHIP LINK IS HERE

Hopefully, we might get some summer over the next couple of weeks [I confess, I'm still in cardigans and jumpers here!], but in the meantime, may you know the love and presence of God with you through this coming week.
God bless
Nikki 

Sunday, 20 June 2021

Worship Sun 20 June - '#HerToo'

WELCOME/
Welcome to worship online, as we continue our short series on David. Last week, David hit a high point, defeating the great warrior, Goliath. This week, however, we meet David at what is his lowest point - the messy, sorry story of his encounter with Bathsheba. Years have passed, and David has realised the promise of his anointing by Samuel when a boy. Our story takes place about 10 years into his reign as king and we see David go from hero to zero through one fatal decision.

In the meantime, a couple of notices -
these from last week...
The theme is 'gathering'!
If you've not submitted any favourite hymn choices yet, there's plenty of time - these will be used when we get to level one of the COVID restrictions. So, do please get in touch and tell us what you'd like to be singing over the next wee while!
We're also gathering... recipes!
To go alongside our 'Let's get growing' potato project, we'd love you to share any recipes you have that feature as star the humble potato. We're hoping to put together some recipe cards or even create a wee potato recipe book, for later in the year when it's time for harvesting out potatoes. 
These are all the notices.

Our WORSHIP LINK IS HERE

May you know God's presence with you this week,
God bless
Nikki

Sunday, 13 June 2021

Worship Sun 13 June: 'An underdog's tale'

 WELCOME/
Welcome to this week's time of worship, where we continue with our short series on David.
Last week, we met David, fresh from tending the family flocks, being anointed king by Samuel. To all gathered, David seemed a most unlikely choice for a king...
This week, as we continue journeying with David, we hear of his encounter with Goliath - that very well known Bible story, and a favourite of Sunday School teachers around the globe! 
If David was an unlikely choice for king, we find that when it comes to battle, he is very much the underdog... or is he?

NOTICES/
Just a couple of notices -
So many around the parish have jumped in to join the 'Let's get growing' community gardening project - tatties are being grown in most of our 9 villages, which is brilliant. Given this, Angela, our Community Outreach Worker, is wondering about putting together a wee recipe book, or set of recipe cards, with the humble potato as the star performer. So, what are your favourite potato recipes - simple or splendid - and, would you like to share them for inclusion in our recipe book?
If so, you can use the 'contact us' form, or make use of the comments feature, or email Angela at: abrydson@churchofscotland.org.uk 

And, our other notice: just a reminder to get your hymn selections in for inclusion in worship over the Sundays of July. We're very much hoping that by then, we'll be in level 1 and, for in-person worship, actually able to sing our hymns... but it doesn't stop those of you watching online worship to join in and share some of your favourite hymns for online worship. Please do get in touch and I'll see what we can do!

These are all the notices, so may this time of worship encourage you in your faith journey.
May you know God's presence with you this week...
You'll find our WORSHIP LINK HERE.

Until next time, God bless,
Nikki

Sunday, 6 June 2021

Worship, Sun 6 June 'An unlikely choice'

WELCOME/
Welcome to our time of worship this week.
After pondering the coming of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost, and then, meditating upon the mystery of God - one, yet three - the holy Trinity, we move our focus this month to King David. Over these next four weeks, we'll be taking a whistle-stop tour of the life of David, exploring some highs, some lows, and his walk with God. What might we learn of God, and of our own walk of faith with God, as we reflect on David?

The WORSHIP LINK IS HERE

And, only the one church notice - which is, once we move to level 1 under the COVID regulations, we will be able to sing again in worship. If we move into level 1 in time [which I hope we can] over the 4 Sundays of July, it's over to you to choose the hymns for worship... both online and in-person. So, if you happen to have a particular favourite, do let me know and I'll see what we can do!

In the meantime, may you enjoy God's company with you this week, 
God bless,
Nikki

Sunday, 30 May 2021

Worship Sun 30 May - Trinity Sunday

WELCOME/
Hello and welcome to another Sunday, and another opportunity
to gather online and worship our great and awesome and mysterious God.
Last week we recalled the coming of the Holy Spirit on that first Pentecost.
This week we ponder the mystery of the Trinity - God who is One, yet, Three.
You can find the WORSHIP LINK HERE

NOTICES/
A couple of notices - 
the first being that, subject to levels being lowered on schedule, the latest announcement
from the Scottish Gov't is that, should we move into level 1, we will be able to sing hymns -
albeit with our face masks still firmly on! So, should you turn up to worship in person from
Sun 13 June, we may be finally getting some congregational singing in! We wait and see.
One other piece of information to pass on, which is that over the 4 weeks of June, we'll be
doing a series on that notable character in the Bible, King David. What might we learn
from his relationship with God, his life, and some of the choices made on the way? 
Well, join us online or in person to find out.

In the meantime, may you be encouraged and nourished as you set this time aside for worship,
and may you feel God close beside over this week.
God bless
Nikki

Sunday, 23 May 2021

Sun worship 23 May - Pentecost

WELCOME/
Hello and welcome to worship online on this Pentecost Sunday! We celebrate the 'birthday' of the church in our time of worship today, recalling and reflecting upon the coming of the Holy Spirit. We'll do so by taking a wee tour to a valley filled with dry bones - this from the Book of Ezekiel - and, then we hear the story of the disciples and of a mighty rushing wind and tongues of what looked like fire, resting on their heads... 
Unusually, there are no notices today, so, let's move straight on to our time of worship, which you can find by clicking ON THIS LINK.

And, as ever, I hope this time online is encouraging and helps to strengthen your faith, and put a spring in your step, as you travel along the way with Jesus.
Blessings on you this week,
Nikki

Sunday, 16 May 2021

Worship Sun 16 May, 2021: 'Psalm 1 - Like a tree'

WELCOME/
Hello and welcome to worship on what is the last Sunday of the season of Easter. Next week, we celebrate the birthday of the church, Pentecost. But before we move into the celebrations, today, an opportunity for a gentler time of worship, as we contemplate the words of Psalm One, and of being grounded in God, the One in whom all our hope is founded, and grounded in God’s word...

CHURCH NOTICES/
Community Growing project
 - The potatoes have now been distributed far and wide. And, as we look ahead, we're planning on 'growing' this project. To reflect this, we're changing the name to:
'Let's get growing'.
Working in conjunction with Crawford and Elvanfoot Community Council, we've been given permission to develop a wee patch of ground at the southern end of Crawford.
And there are several things from this:
first - we are looking for donations of Black Hammerite metal paint. If anyone has any left over paint of this type, and would like to donate it please let us know!
And second - we're hoping to form a gardening group as part of the project. If you'd like to know more, and get involved, have a chat with Janice Reid or get in touch with our community worker, Angela on  07543 796820 or abrydson@churchofscotland.org.uk
And third, a date to put in your diary:
Crawford and Elvanfoot Community Council have arranged for the Five Sisters Zoo Nursery to visit the area on Saturday 5th June. So, if you’re free, come along and find out more about our Let’s Get Growing project. As soon as we know what time on Sat. we'll post it to the blog.

WORSHIP...
And, now, for our time of worship - the LINK IS HERE

Have a blessed week, take care, and God bless
Nikki

Sunday, 9 May 2021

Worship Sun 9 May - Christian Aid service

WELCOME/
Hello and welcome to worship. This week we're marking the beginning of Christian Aid week. This year, the focus is on the climate crisis. While the climate crisis affects us all, it impacts most heavily on those with fewer resources and so our online and in person services will feature stories from people who Christian Aid has been helping.

CHURCH NOTICES/
Very few notices this week, but just to say a huge thank you to Heather and Ursula, who did an excellent job leading in person worship last week, while I was away on leave. 
It's been great to see how many folk have signed up for our community growing project - and I caught a wee glimpse of photos of Lamington Primary students busily planting their tatties, and looking like they were having a good time of it as well. Thanks to all our other schools, and those of you in the community who've jumped on board with this project. I'm excited to see just how many potatoes we can grow, and give to the food bank.
As it's Christian Aid Week, should you wish to make a donation to their very good work, you can find a LINK HERE that will take you to their online donations page.

These are all the notices, so, may you all know God's blessing this week, and may this time of worship inspire and encourage you.
The WORSHIP LINK IS HERE 

Sunday, 2 May 2021

Church notices, 2 May, 2021

Minister on annual leave - I’ll be on annual leave from 26th April up to and including 5th May. For any general parish queries while I’m off, please get in touch with Heather Watt 01899 850211 and, urgent pastoral cover will be provided by the Rev. George Shand via 01899 309400. 

Worship Sun 2 May - Our in-person service will be done ‘in-house’, so thanks to Heather and to Ursula for conducting worship And here, online, why not pop across to the Church of Scotland website where you'll find a variety of worship services to choose from around Scotland... Here's the link 

Christian Aid Week - Christian Aid week is just around the corner – beginning on Sunday the 9th of May, and we’ll be observing that in both online and in-person worship services.

Sunday, 25 April 2021

Worship Sun 25 April - 'An adventure in trust'

WELCOME
Hello and welcome to worship!  
It’s the 4th Sunday of the season of Easter – 
traditionally thought of as Good Shepherd Sunday.
Given our rural context, we'll be picking up this theme, and thinking about the One who is the great shepherd of the sheep, Jesus.

Below, you'll find a slew of church notices, which will also be given within our worship online, so, if you want to skip these for the moment, and go straight across to our time of worship, the WORSHIP LINK IS HERE.

CHURCH NOTICES
Ordination of Janice Reid to the eldership - 
At our in-person service in the church building, we’ll be ordaining Janice into the eldership,
welcoming her to serve on our Kirk Session.
For those who aren't able to attend this morning's service, some of you have asked if this might
be recorded. Janice has agreed to this, and I'll put it up at some point today - I'll edit this post to include a link.  [this is now up in the playlist, so just use the worship link to access it]
Anyway, some very happy and welcome news for our small community.
And I’d ask your prayers for Janice, as she steps into this new way of following in faith,
and in service to Jesus, our Good Shepherd.
Minister on annual leave -
As of tomorrow, I’ll be taking some annual leave from 26th April up to and including 5th May.
For any general parish queries while I’m off, please get in touch with Heather Watt 01899 850211
and, urgent pastoral cover will be provided by the Rev. George Shand via 01899 309400.
Worship this coming Sunday -
Our in-person service will be done ‘in-house’, so thanks in advance to Heather and to Ursula for conducting worship next week.
And here, online, I’ll put up suggested links for those of you who are worshipping in this way.
Christian Aid Week -
Christian Aid week is just around the corner – beginning on Sunday the 9th of May, and we’ll be observing that in both online and in-person worship services. 

These are all our notices.
May you know God's blessing throughout this week, 
Nikki

Sunday, 18 April 2021

Worship Sun 18 April: 'What's your resurrection story?'

 WELCOME/
Welcome to worship with Upper Clyde Parish – 
and, don't forget, we meet both online, and in-person, so, which ever way you're worshipping God, it is always good to praise him, the God of new beginnings.
We continue to take time in this Easter season, to reflect upon that great event, so central to our faith, the resurrection of Jesus. Over the last couple of weeks, we’ve explored the resurrection through the eyes of John’s gospel. This week, we move across to Luke, to see what the view looks like from there.

Before we do, there’s just the one church notice, which is to alert you to the following edict from presbytery – concerning the upcoming ordination to the eldership of Janice Reid...
EDICT FOR ORDINATION AND ADMISSION OF ELDERS:
‘Janice Reed, member of this congregation, has been elected to be a ruling elder; Janice has accepted office as an elder: if anyone has any objections why she should not be ordained to office, they may state their objection at a meeting of the Kirk Session in Upper Clyde Church immediately following worship today, the 18th of April, 2021 – which will be outside and fully covid-compliant; if no relevant objection regarding life or doctrine is made and substantiated, the Kirk Session will proceed to the ordination, which, subject to the said objections, will be scheduled for Sunday 25 April, 2021.’

That's all the church notices for the moment, so, to worship.
You'll find the LINK HERE

May your time in worship encourage, bless, and recharge you.
Have a good week, 
God bless
Nikki

Thursday, 15 April 2021

Remembering Bunty: Joan Jean Conning Walker

Sweet peas were Bunty's favourite flower...

Earlier today the funeral of Bunty, Hazel Sharpe's mother, was held across in Dunscore.
As Bunty was so well known to folk here at Upper Clyde Parish, and, because so many
would like to have been able to attend, the service was filmed.
We've been able to put this up on our YouTube channel for those of you who would like
to say your own farewells and pay your respects.
To watch, please click on THIS LINK.

Sunday, 11 April 2021

Worship Sun 11 April: 'Those who have the faith, have the fun'


WELCOME/
It's the first Sunday after Easter Sunday, but the season of Easter continues...
This week, we move from the morning of that first Easter day, into early evening and an upper room filled with puzzled disciples... apart from Thomas who seems to be off getting the messages!
Our time of worship will focus in on our friend, Thomas, and we'll spend a little time reflecting on why his story directly impacts upon us - indeed helps us a great deal, as followers of Jesus from a time many centuries on.
Church notices are below, and our WORSHIP LINK IS HERE to go across to our YouTube channel for our time of online worship. May it be a blessing and an encouragement as you journey in faith.

NOTICES/
Church building - don't forget, we are now able to worship in a COVID-compliant way in our church building. Check the tab above ['COVID reopening of church'] to see what you need to do... and the first thing is to book a seat. Meanwhile, online worship will also run parallel for those who can't make it along in person.

Ordination to the eldership of Janice Reid - We're delighted to finally be able to ordain Janice to the eldership and welcome her to membership of the Kirk Session.
In accordance with Church of Scotland regulations, I’m required to read out the following edict
both this week and next week:
EDICT FOR ORDINATION AND ADMISSION OF ELDERS:
‘Janice Reed, member of this congregation, has been elected to be a ruling elder; 
Janice has accepted office as an elder: 
if anyone has any objections why she should not be ordained to office,
they may state their objection at a meeting of the Kirk Session in 
Upper Clyde Church on 18 April, 2021 immediately following worship; 
if no relevant objection regarding life or doctrine is made and substantiated, 
the Kirk Session will proceed to the ordination, which, 
subject to the said objections, will be scheduled for Sunday 25 April, 2021.’

Community Growing project -
And finally, just a reminder about our new project.
Over the course of the pandemic many folk within communities across Scotland found themselves struggling to put food on their table – more and more folk were needing help from food banks.
Although the food parcels themselves are a great help, they tend to be tinned and packaged food,
... no fresh veg.
So, as part of a response to this, the idea of a community growing project was mooted.
We’re kicking it off this year, and keeping it simple to start.
If anyone would like to grow potatoes - some or all of which could then be given away to the Clydesdale food bank, do let us know.
We were successful in getting some funding to provide seed potatoes and a growing sack, plus there’s a limited supply of compost available. 
For those with the space, you can choose to use the grow bag, or just plant in the garden,
and for those with less space, a grow bag doesn’t take up much room.
Our five primary schools have signed up, which is fab, and if you’d like to sign up for a tatties and a grow bag, do get in touch with either me, or Angela our Community Worker – by 18th April.
Angela's details: 07543 796820 or abrydson@churchofscotland.org.uk

Sunday, 4 April 2021

Worship Sun 4 April, Easter Sunday

WELCOME/
A very joyous Easter to you all -
Christ is risen!
He is risen indeed!
Alleluia!

And on this Easter Sunday, after a year and two weeks of having our church building closed because of lockdown, what better day in the church year than to be able to open the doors once more for in-person worship. Online worship will also continue because we still live in 'interesting' times, and there are those among you who may not be able to attend for a number of reasons.
Worship in the building will see quite a few changes, as we are very much focused upon being COVID-compliant. But whether we gather in person or online, we still worship the God who knows us by name, the great life-giver and light-bringer.

You can find our WORSHIP LINK HERE.

And below, a couple of notices....

CHURCH NOTICES/
Church building reopening - please see the COIVD-19 REOPENING OF CHURCH BUILDING tab directly above the blog post for information about what to do in order to attend, and what to do while attending. You will have to book, because we can only fit 15 people in at a socially distanced space.

Community growing project - 
We are starting a new project, so for all of you who enjoy a bit of gardening, check this out....
Here’s a note from Angela, our Community Outreach worker:
She says -
The pandemic has highlighted that many in communities across the country are struggling to put food on their table.  As part of a response to this we would like to develop a Community Growing Project, which could eventually link into other growing projects regionally. 

For this year we plan to keep it simple and grow potatoes which can be given to Clydesdale Foodbank.  We have successfully applied for funding to provide seed potatoes and a growing sack.  There is a limited supply of compost available.  Alternatively, you can use your own resources.   

To add a bit of competition to the project we want to see which community has grown the most potatoes, so when you harvest your potatoes, weigh them, and let Angela know your address.
If you wish to be involved in this project, please let Angela know by Sunday 18th April.
abrydson@churchofscotland.org.uk or 07543 796820. 
This is to ensure the potatoes can be distributed by the end of April. 

These are all our notices for the moment...
May you have a very blessed Easter, however you're spending,
God bless,
Nikki

Friday, 2 April 2021

Good Friday: 'Seven last words from the Cross'

 Across on our YouTube channel, you'll find a short service of reflection.

Let us walk this last part of the Lenten and Holy Week journey as we stand by the foot of the Cross and contemplate the last words of Jesus...

WORSHIP LINK

Thursday, 1 April 2021

Reflection: Maundy Thursday, in a time of pandemic

Maundy Thursday, in a time of pandemic...  

This Maundy Thursday,
there’ll be no shared meal around a table
for there’d be more
than two households who’d gather;
no washing of feet,
nor a beloved disciple coorying in;
no touching, no hugging—
and where a kiss is a betrayal
on a variety of levels.

In a time of pandemic,
when simple touch
can lead to death,
how then to show God’s love,
to do as Jesus has done for us?

Loving one another is:
a facemask worn;
the skoosh of sanitiser,
falling cool upon hands
when making entries and exits;
making space—
at least two metres.

There are other ways to practice love—
to touch hearts without touching:
be deliverers of medicines,
of food,
of news,
or, stay home—
for that, too, is an act of loving service.

Support the local food bank.
Phone a friend,
ask them how they really are—
and give the gift of listening
when, timidly, they tiptoe past ‘fine’
and move into harder honesty.

This Maundy Thursday,
we follow the command to love
by touching other’s lives...
without touching.

Wednesday, 31 March 2021

COVID-19 Building reopening update - Easter Sunday

AS OF 7.30PM WED 31 MARCH,
WE HAVE BEEN GIVEN PERMISSION TO REOPEN THE CHURCH BUILDING FOR WORSHIP - 
FOR EASTER SUNDAY

Having had the building closed for just over a year now with all worship moved to online, we are delighted that we can open the building on Easter Sunday - quite resonant with symbolism. In accordance with all the regulations, we are ensuring that we run a COVID compliant operation, so it won't quite be back to worship 'as usual'. Below, you'll find what needs to be done at the moment in order to be able to attend worship...

Tuesday, 30 March 2021

Lent baking challenge Wk 6

Week 6/ Hot Cross Buns

It's Holy Week, so what else could we cook apart from Hot Cross Buns! The great thing about making a yeasted bun, is that it’s something you spend time with, and then come back to, over time. On Good Friday, some  church traditions have a service between 12 and 3, marking the hours Jesus spent on the cross. 
You might like to spend that time prayerfully making hot cross buns, with each time you come back to the baking, stepping back into the story, re-immersing yourself in the pain and the wonder of Good Friday.

Here's what you'll need:
Recipe -
50g of butter 
300ml of milk
500g of strong bread flour
1tsp of salt
75g of caster sugar (or what sugar you have available)
a sachet of yeast
1 egg
1 - 2 cups of dried fruit - currants, raisins, sultanas, mixed peel 
(whatever's to hand and however much you want to use...if you like really fruity hot cross buns, 2 cups it is! 
Though mind how you go with the rise, if you make it too heavy)
1 small, roughly chopped apple (or less, or not at all, just depends on how you like it)
1tsp mixed spice - add a dash of ginger to taste

Method
Turn oven to 220C or GM7 

Put milk in pan and heat
Add butter and melt
Leave to cool to body temp.
Fill a mixing bowl with 500g of strong bread flour (I’d choose white, though it depends on what you can get! If you can’t find bread flour, plain flour will work; the buns just won’t rise as much).
Add in salt, caster sugar, and  sachet of yeast.

As you add the dry ingredients, think through what you are laying at the foot of the cross today.

Make a well in the centre, pour in the warm milk and butter, and add an egg.
Mix this well, first with a wooden spoon, then with your hands, until you have a sticky dough.
Sprinkle some flour onto a surface, and knead dough, by stretching and folding, until it’s turned nice and silky and pulls out smoothly.
Put in a bowl, cover [with a plastic bag]
Leave for an hour - so that the yeast can begin to work and make the dough rise.


Spend some of this time prayerfully reading the events of Good Friday
as recounted in one of the Gospels

When the hour is up, add the dried fruit and spices
I’ll leave it to you to put in as much dried fruit as you fancy - I seldom measure it anyway and tend to go by 'feel'!
Knead in to the dough.
Shape the dough into balls, and place them on a floured baking tray.
Cover and leave for another hour to rise.
Mix up flour and water paste, and use this to pipe (if you have the equipment) or dollop (if you don’t!) a cross over each bun.


Remember Jesus and his words on the cross, and quietly thank him for his sacrifice.

Bake in oven for about twenty minutes until they look golden brown.
Once out of the oven, gently heat some marmalade or apricot jam
Paint over the top of buns to make a sticky glaze.

Enjoy, buttered if you like, with a cup of tea, and sing or listen to your favourite songs or hymns about the cross as you eat them.

Monday, 29 March 2021

Lent 'Great outdoors' and 'Thru the window' reflections Wk6

GREAT OUTDOORS/ BIRDS AND AIR 

Look at the birds. They don’t plant, harvest, or save food in barns, but your heavenly Father feeds them. 
                                      Matthew 6:26 

Active Meditation/
1. Wherever you are today, keep looking around to see if you can see a bird, they are everywhere.
2. Find somewhere where you can be quiet for a few minutes and listen to the birds singing.
3. Put some food out for the birds and watch for a while to see what comes.
4. Choose a windy day, and go out and fly a kite. Make a simple one of your own if you don't have one.
5. Go for a walk and see how many ways you can tell that air is there even though you can't see it.
6. Watch a bird flying. See how different birds move in different ways. 
How does watching them make you feel?

Find a place where you can see birds and feel the air.
Be quiet for a moment or two (as long as works for you) 
to reflect on the importance of air and birds in our world.

Prayer/
Creator God, thank you for the air that we breathe 
and the beauty of flying creatures like birds. 
Silence 
We are sorry for those times
when we have taken the simple pleasures and necessities for granted. 
Silence 
Help us to value clean air, and to do our bit to keep it clean. 
And help us always to appreciate the beauty of your creation. 
Silence - Stand for a moment and let the air you breathe and the birds you see point you towards God. 
In the quietness, what is the still, small voice of God saying to you? 
Spend a few moments thinking of people and situations that are on your heart... 
place them into God's hands...
Amen.
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Thru the Window - connecting with creation through Lent when you can't get outside...
wk 6/ SKY

Your lovingkindness, O Lord, 
extends to the heavens, 
             Your faithfulness reaches to the skies.                                                              Psalm 36:5

Look out at the sky. You could try this one more than once at different times of the day. 

Meditation
Sky: 
summer sky,
blue and clear
with fluffy white clouds the 
way that children draw them.
Autumn evening sky 
the blue 
of indigo ink. 
Eyes watch 
as the sparks from the bonfire 
shoot upwards
then disappear 
into the darkness. 
Stormy winter sky: 
grey and heavy with rain, 
clouds scudding across it as if
in a hurry to be somewhere else. 
Early morning sky:
golden pink 
as the sun rises 
and floods the world
with colour once again.
2am sky:
almost black 
but on a clear night 
studded with stars
and a silver moon:
beautiful when sleep evades us. 
Sky: 
always there, 
often unappreciated,
always changing,
made by an unchanging creator. 

Something to think about
What is your favourite sky mood - or does it vary? 
Why do you think people have always wanted to explore the sky and beyond?
What does the sky say to you about its creator?

A prayer
May this eternal truth be always on our hearts,
That the God who breathed this world into being,
Placed stars into the heavens
And designed a butterfly's wing,
Is the God who entrusted his son
to the care of ordinary people,
became vulnerable that we might know
how strong is the wonder of Love.
A mystery so deep it is impossible to grasp.
A mystery so beautiful it is impossible to ignore.
Amen.

Sunday, 28 March 2021

Worship Sun 28 March - Palm Sunday

WELCOME/
Time is a strange concept at the moment - we began our Lenten journey in what seems like both mere days, and yet, an age ago. And, having travelled, having taken on, or given up particular practices, habits, attitudes, we stand now at the beginning of Holy Week.
Welcome to Palm Sunday.

The link for our time of worship, across on our YouTube channel is HERE. 
And below, some notices to flag up...

CHURCH NOTICES/

Holy Week worship: 
On Good Friday, there’ll be a short service of reflection and meditation as we think about the events that unfolded on that day, around 2 000 years ago. I’ll put the usual link up here, and you can also access it directly via our youtube channel as well. Unless everything conspires against me [!!], I’m hoping to put the service online for 3pm.

Reopening of the church building for worship - update:
Still no news on as yet – we are hoping for Easter Sunday, but we do need permission from presbytery to open, and due to an anomaly, we've a little extra paperwork to fill out. I'm hoping to get that all done by Monday evening and submit it by email to the presbytery business committee. So, as you can see, it'll be tight re. timing. It’s more likely to be the week or next after Easter , but we'll give it our best shot! 
A suggested plan:
Later in this week – say from after lunchtime on Friday, why not get in touch with Janet Telfer, who is taking the bookings for worship, and she’ll be able to advise you if we’re able to go ahead for Easter Sunday. I’ll get notices up in the Abington Store and our church noticeboard, and here on our blog. And of course, we will keep online worship available for those of you who are anxious about gathering together – do what you think is best for you on this matter.
Obviously, we still have to be COVID-compliant with regard to worship, so that means we can only fit in 15 people for worship in the building to keep to  the required social distancing. And I’ll get notices up in the Abington Store and our church noticeboard, and on our blog.
And of course, we will keep online worship available for those of you who are anxious about gathering together – do what you think is best for you on this matter.

Church keys:
Those of you who have keys to the church entry door [the double brown doors as opposed to the entry to the hall], we are going to swap these all over, so we would like your old keys back to give you new ones! Get in touch with me to arrange a drop off and collection.

In the meantime, may you have a blessed and meaningful Holy Week, as we walk with Jesus to the Cross, and thru to the quiet of dawn a few days later, in a garden by a tomb where a stone has rolled away...

Blessings to you all
Nikki


Tuesday, 23 March 2021

Lent baking challenge, wk5

 Wk 5: ANZAC biscuits

We move ever closer to Holy Week, and as we do, this week we pause to think of cost - how much to betray a Messiah?
We know the story:
Judas sold out Jesus for 30 pieces of silver...
Judas was a passionate man with a strong belief in freedom, and strong ideas about what it would look like and how it would come about. There is nothing wrong with having strong ideas and being passionate about things, but as with Judas, we need to ensure that we keep listening to God, to hear his solutions, his timings, and to see his kingdom in his way.

I confess...
I don’t have a recipe for thirty pieces of silver, but maybe thirty pieces of golden ANZAC biscuits will do instead?

Recipe
You will need:
 1 cup plain flour
1 cup of oats
1 cup [200g or 7oz] of desiccated coconut
1 cup of brown sugar
½ cup [100g or 3½ oz] of butter or margarine 
2 tbsp of golden syrup
1tsp of bicarbonate of soda
2tbsp of boiling water

Method/
Melt together ½ cup of butter or margarine, and 2 tbsp of golden syrup.
As you do so, reflect on any areas within your life where you can be inflexible, or rigid in your thinking. Allow yourself to give these over to God, and as the butter melts, remind yourself to listen to God for his ways, and his timings.

Mix 1tsp of bicarbonate of soda with 2tbsp of boiling water.
Mix with the melted butter mixture
Pour all of this into a bowl filled with flour, oats, dessicated coconut, and brown sugar.
Mix well, and roll spoonfuls of mixture into balls.
Place them, well spaced. on a baking tray.
Bake at 180 degrees/GM4 for 15-20 minutes. 

Eat, thoughtfully, with a hot drink, remembering how easy it can be to fool ourselves into believing we are doing the right thing, and how hard it can be to trust that God’s timing is right.

A prayer/
Inspire our hearts, O God,
to follow where Christ walked,
for Christ has marked us as his own.
Let us all take new willingness
to carry our cross
and be led through sacrifice and suffering,
but also to the glory and triumph
of the Risen Life of the Savior.
Grant us all your good graces,
through Christ our Lord
Amen.

Monday, 22 March 2021

Lent 'Great Outdoors' and 'Thru the Window' challenges wk5

 WEEK 5/ ANIMALS AND INSECTS

So God made every kind of animal. He made the wild animals, the tame animals, and all the small crawling things.
And God saw that this was good.
                                              Genesis 1:25 
Active Meditation/
1/ If you have a pet, give it a hug (if it is that sort of animal) and think about what your pet adds to your life.
2/ Go for a walk and see how many animals you can spot.
3/ Hang a banana skin on a bush and watch in the early evening – it may attract moths.
4/ Go for a slow walk and see how many "small crawling things" you can find.
5/ Find one "small crawling thing” and watch it for a while to see what it does.
6/ Go outside at night and see if you can hear or even see any of the nighttime creatures. 
Go to a place where you can see animals or insects of some sort.
Be quiet for a moment or two (as long as works for you) to reflect on the importance of the many different sorts of living creatures that are in our world.

A prayer/
Creator God,
thank you for the variety of your creatures.
Thank you for the enjoyment that they give us, and for the part that they play in keeping your world healthy.
Silence

We are sorry for those times when we have been thoughtless
in the way we have treated animals and insects.
Silence

Help us to value every living creature as part of your creation;
to realise that everything has a part to play in this beautiful world,
and that we are responsible for caring for them
and treating them with respect.
Silence 

Take a moment to look and listen to the animals and insects around you...
and let them point your thoughts towards God.
Spend a few moments thinking of people and situations that are on your heart...
place them into God's hands...
Amen.

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Thru the window - connecting with creation through Lent, even when you can't get outside...
So God made every kind of animal.
He made the wild animals, the tame animals,
and all the small crawling things.
And God saw that this was good.
                                              Genesis 1:25 

If you have a pet, sit somewhere where you can see it or even have it on your lap if it is that sort of a pet. If you can see animals outside your window, sit where you can see them. If neither of those is possible find a picture of a favourite animal in a book or on the internet, or feel free to use the pictures above...

Meditation
Animals are many and varied, and sometimes we forget that we are an animal too. In more than one creation story the creator puts the human animal in charge, with the expectation that they will take care of the other animals; wanting what is best for them and being kind to them. Sometimes the human animal forgets this. Sometimes we forget to be kind to other animals, and sometimes we even forget to be kind to ourselves even though we are made in the image of a creator who shows unfailing and never ending compassion.

Something to think about
If you have a favourite animals, think about why you like them.
How do you show kindness to yourself?
When have others shown compassion to you? 

A prayer/
Blessed are you, Lord God,
maker of all living creatures.
You called forth fish in the sea,
birds in the air
and animals on the land.
You inspired St. Francis to call all of them his brothers and sisters.
May we always praise you for all your beauty in creation.
Blessed are you,
Lord our God,
in all your creatures!  Amen