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Guild News - 12 October
General Assembly 2020
I was pleased to be asked to be a Commissioner for this year’s General Assembly. With accommodation booked and a lovely red Guild fleece bought for Heart and Soul, (I know it was in May, but we do live in Scotland) everything changed. It was all on Zoom. Although, unlike during a normal Zoom call, you are not visible or heard, unless you want to speak.

The photograph shows you what we saw entering the chamber after the sounding of the gong. Very strange. But at least they could take their masks off once they were at their seats.

Rt Rev Dr Martin Fair, the Moderator, was amazing. How he juggled the screens, the order of questions and motions, when people needed to be seen, listened to instructions through an earpiece at the same time, checking everyone had the voting screen available, I will never know. Yet everyone was patient. Everyone spoke with dignity and clarity. The questions were brief and dealt with professionally.

My highlight was Dana McQuater’s report as Moderator of the National Youth Assembly. She talked of her pleasure at the Guild invitation to our Annual Gathering. “They really know how to party and worship”. She was impressed by the work of the Guild project, 'Journeying Together', after her visit to the Kanyama township in Lusaka, Zambia in March.

Dr Fair begged us to “hold our nerve” and do what we are called to do. “Love God, care for our neighbour, love our enemies and pray.”

I am proud to be a member of the Guild. During this pandemic, Guild members all over Scotland have been working hard to find ways to connect with their members. To help the lonely, even though they themselves may have been unable to leave their homes. Guilds have still been finding novel ways to donate to the Projects, Christian Aid, CrossReach and also their own church funds.

The General Assembly discussed cutting down the number of presbyteries and these are discussions we will want to be part of.  However, the Guild Vice Conveners continue to connect with their regional areas through phone calls, emails and online meetings. Many who cannot get to the Edinburgh meetings have been able to join in and so something valuable has come from something difficult.

Be proud of your Guild. Although we cannot yet meet as we did last year, we can still keep in touch and most of us can now connect with some type of device to watch devotions or the Virtual Annual Gathering on a DVD or even join an online meeting.

Look forward in faith. Try and see the sunbeam among the dark clouds. Let your friends know if you are having a “bad” day. Have a chat. Maybe they will then ring you for a cheer up call when they are feeling low. You are not alone.

“I am with you always. Even to the end of the world.”

God bless you.
 
Helen Banks Vice Convener
Virtual Christmas Big Sing
We are disappointed that current Government restrictions mean it is impossible for us to hold our Big Sing on Friday 4 December. However, through the wonders of modern technology we will be hosting a virtual Christmas Big Sing the same day.

To make that possible we need your help to be part of our virtual Guild community choir. You will be singing some well-known carols so everyone should be able to take part. If you would like to join in then email us and we will send you the details.
Send me the details for the choir
Sporting the Guild colours
Ahead of last week's online General Assembly, the Moderator was spotted wearing his Guild tartan scarf! 

During his address to the Assembly, the Moderator spoke of his sorrow that the Guild report could not be delivered and thanked Marian Macintyre for her work and service as National Guild Convener. In particular, he acknowledged that Marian has served the Guild well at local, regional and national level as well as serving at an international level. Marian played a leading part in the group that visited Zambia and Malawi in the summer of 2019 to develop our partnerships and twinning connections with the Church of Central Africa Presbyterian, Synod of Livingstonia.
 
He also spoke of how Marian has played a leading role on the changes that have taken place within the Guild’s operations in recent times, showing enthusiasm for decisions to refresh our work and a clear understanding and vision for how the Guild might meet the challenges and opportunities that surround it.

Thank you Marian from all of us for all that you have done, and continue to do for the Guild.
Faifley Guild celebrate Guild week
This week we are delighted to share a service from Faifley where Guild members shared in the service, saying something of what the Guild means to them. In addition, Rev Gregor McIntyre, the parish minister and one of the Moderator's chaplains, gave a powerful address about the heroes in the local Guild. It is another great service that will give you a boost in these times when we are not able to meet together.
Watch the Faifley service
Spreading the good news
Many of you have already began to knit angels to pop around your local community at Christmas and let people know the Good News of Christmas and also something about the Guild. Nithsdale Guilds Together are amongst those who will be doing this.
If you are still interested and would like the angel pattern please let us know.
Send me the angel pattern
Throwback Monday
Here, we go way back to Heart and Soul 2016. The one with the tattoos and sandwich boards - you remember the one. Great memories! Send us your favourite photos from Guild sessions gone by and we will share them on here and on our Facebook page.
My throwback photo
Pray this week
Monday: for former National Guild leaders who have served the Guild faithfully over the years, asking God to watch over them and encourage them.
Tuesday: thinking especially of those working on the front line of social justice, thinking especially of those working with children at risk.
Wednesday: asking God to help you to forge new relationships with those in your community who are feeling particularly lonely. Asking that He might bring someone to mind who you can call and encourage in some way.
Thursday: that God will enable you to listen carefully to what He is saying to you, so that you will hear what He wants you to hear.
Friday: on World Food Day, for all who suffer from hunger, asking God to work in the hearts of those who make decisions about sustainable international development, that they may ensure that people do not need to go to bed hungry.
Saturday: for all in positions of authority across the globe. That they will make decisions that are just and fair.
Sunday: giving thanks for those who are encouraging us through online meetings or services. 
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