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Guild News - April
Lent: give or give up?
A preacher at our church recently pointed out that the 10 Commandments give Christians a bad press.

For years, those who do not attend worship have heard only “DON’T”. A much clearer message is given in the Beatitudes: blessed are you if you DO! Blessed just the way you are. A way to live your life and all the blessings for those who mourn, who are hungry, who show mercy to others, are pure in heart, even pray for those who persecute them, the peace-makers and many more blessings. You can study them yourself in Matthew Chapter 5.

For years I believed I should give something up for Lent, because of the suffering of Jesus for 40 days and nights. But I cannot pretend that giving up chocolate was really suffering. Yes, it was hard, but I always knew I could make up for it at Easter.

However, a few years ago. I started to follow 40 Acts (which is the 40 day Lent generosity challenge from Stewardship). This gives you actions to do every day during Lent. Kindnesses like putting wee pots of flowers on doorsteps with no note, so you got no thanks or recognition. Reading parts of the Bible I wouldn’t normally choose. Maybe I was asked to pray for folk I didn’t normally pray for and perhaps didn’t really like. One day, I was asked to give out chocolate randomly to folk I passed in the street. As I was in Edinburgh for a meeting, I gave it to those homeless people around the train station and Princes Street. A simple “God Bless you” was met by a smile; very rewarding, though a very small gesture in their circumstances.

However you choose to mark Lent, we always enjoy saying “Hallelujah He is risen!” on Easter morning.

I love the Townend and Getty hymn 'See what a morning'.

Verse 3 ends with:
“And we are raised with Him
Death is dead, love has won
Christ has conquered
And we shall reign with Him
For He lives
Christ is risen from the dead.”
 
God bless you,
Helen Banks
National Vice Convener
National Conference Update
We were delighted that over 80 people, representing Guilds the length and breadth of Scotland, were able to join us for our National Visioning Conference. The event was facilitated by Ishbel Smith and used the story of Israelites as its basis. 

The day was full of energy, ideas and enthusiasm. There was also an opportunity for a Q&A with Karen which raised lots of important issues.
From here, the plan is to put together a workshop that will be used by Guilds over the summer and autumn and then bring representatives together in regional areas to reach some consensus as to how we best enable the Guild to thrive in the years ahead.  We hope that you will engage with us over the coming months. From wee seeds grow big trees, and that has been true in the past and will be true in the future. 
Christmas lunch at last
Due to Covid restrictions, Ruthrieston West Church Aberdeen Guild had to cancel their planned Christmas lunch. As the restrictions were lifted they enjoyed a lovely lunch at the Gordon Highlanders' Museum Restaurant in Aberdeen, where they were made very welcome. Great to see everyone looking so happy.
Say hello to some new members
It is so encouraging to hear about Guilds welcoming new members. Two of our new members at Duntocher Trinity are Margo and Margaret who are spotted enjoying the Guild Afternoon Tea after their AGM.

Why not take a photo of new members who have joined you this year and email them to us using the link below so we can welcome them to our Guild family?
Send us your photographs
Chicks by the dozen in Freuchie
The members of the Guild spent the winter knitting and produced about 100 charming Easter chicks all with a chocolate egg inside. These chicks will be displayed in local businesses all over Freuchie and will be available to purchase for a donation. All money raised will be donated to the Guild projects which help people all over Scotland and beyond.
Past Guild Convener Margaret Hill and her husband Everett are helping to get the chicks to their new homes.
Coffee, cake  and a chat at Forfar
Forfar East & Old Parish Guild were delighted to finally be able to hold their annual coffee morning recently. There were the usual stalls and £354 was raised. Thanks to everyone who made it a success, it's good to be getting almost back to normal!
Easter offer
We have teamed up with Life and Work magazine again this month and they have a great offer available. Subscribe to Life and Work and stay connected with the Christian community in Scotland and further afield. You will also be supporting the vital and vibrant work of the Church of Scotland.
  • Print: 12 issues for the price of 10. Offer price: £30. Use the promotion code EAST22 to receive a £6 discount. UK delivery address and new subscribers only.
  • Digital: 12 issues for £14.99 (normally £20.99). No code is required, simply select the introductory offer option.
 
Subscribe here
Stamp appeal 2022-23
This year's stamp appeal, run by the Faith Impact Forum, will go to support the work of the church in Lebanon.

In Lebanon, and in response to the financial collapse in the country, the pastors in Syria and Lebanon initiated a scheme in 2021 where they gave half of their salary to establish a relief programme as an expression of support to the neediest families around their congregations.

The National Evangelical Synod of Syria and Lebanon employs more than 1,000 people including their pastors. The economic crisis in the country and the consequences of the huge explosion in Beirut have struck hard and the Synod is struggling to pay salaries for pastors which range between £100 to £150 per month. Some pastors have left their vocation to take other jobs as they are unable to provide for their families. Others are really struggling to make ends meet. Pastors are key people supporting the spiritual and institutional life and ministry of the Synod and deserve to be supported.

The Stamp Appeal is a really easy way of raising money for a good cause. For more information visit the Church of Scotland website.

Download a Stamp Appeal poster
A four-legged visitor!
Cupar Old Guild had a fabulous meeting recently with Margaret, a speaker from Guide Dogs for the Blind. She brought along Chris and his guide dog Ian. Here is Ian, a golden retriever, proving that once he is off his harness and not working he is like any other dog and looking for any titbits.
Support for Ukraine
The Guild in St. Mungo's Parish Church, Alloa, was asked by the congregation to use sunflowers they had made to decorate the church in tribute to the people of Ukraine and serve as a symbol of our prayer for peace in this tragic situation. There is still the opportunity to donate to the Church of Scotland's Ukraine appeal. Follow the button below to find out how.
Supporting Ukrainian refugees
See what a morning
We hope that you are uplifted and inspired by listening to this hymn from Kristyn Getty. We hope it helps you focus on the journey to the resurrection of Jesus and the hope it gives us as Christians.
Listen now
Pray this month
April 8: for Guild members everywhere. Those who reside in Scotland, but also those who may live in England or other parts of the world. May they enjoy fellowship, worship and social events together once more.
April 9: for Christian Aid whose project Caring for Mother Earth in Bolivia provides solar ovens in rural communities which continue to improve the lives and health of women and their families.
April 10: for all those who are finding it difficult to attend meetings. Maybe they are no longer mobile or just are not well enough. May we try and include them in our communication and visits. Many have served the Guild loyally and still want to be part of our Guild. Help them, although they may no longer contribute as they used to, know that they are still valued.
April 11: thinking of those who are suffering ill-health and for those who have been given a prognosis that requires further treatment. We give thanks for the professionals who administer treatment.
April 12: for A Home for Good. Pray that all children needing to be loved and cared for can find their new homes, and pray that they all have peace and enjoyment in their lives.
April 13: for our National Convener, Margaret, as she starts to prepare her speech for the General Assembly. Pray that she will be given wisdom and guidance as to what to say to share the news of the Guild to all those taking part.
April 14: for the young mothers in the Journeying Together project in Kanyama in Zambia, that their confidence will grow as they learn how to make a life for themselves and their children.
April 15: for Starchild, especially the work in Uganda. Pray that every child can be treated with love and respect. Pray that each child will get a chance to shine, and know what love is.
April 16: for Karen as she begins her journey as General Secretary. May she feel the support of the National Leadership Team and Guild members across Scotland.
April 17: as Covid-19 continues to affect the mental health of so many of all ages, we give thanks for the people who work tirelessly to provide support and comfort to those who are suffering the loneliness it brings.
April 18: for the recently bereaved, we pray that they will find comfort and support from family and friends as the Lord enfolds them in His loving arms.
April 19: for the Vine Trust project, The Kazunzu Village of Hope. Pray that with our help we can help those living in poverty in Tanzania. Pray that families can have homes, a school, and a medical centre. Pray that God can give those working to make this possible strength and faith to build this village of hope.
April 20: for those who work in the Guild office or work from home, to keep the wheels of the Guild going.
April 21: for the girls of secondary school age in Afghanistan who are being denied an education as a human right, leaving them open to exploitation.
April 22: for the Heart For Art project run by CrossReach, that it will continue to provide support for people living with dementia and their carers.
April 23: for Guild members in the West of Scotland region who meet today to share in fellowship and to encourage each other. May they be blessed and leave with a spring in their step and excitement to go forward.
April 24: we give thanks for those who provide food and shelter to people who, perhaps through no fault of their own, find themselves homeless and without jobs
April 25: for all those who have lost someone during the pandemic and need our support to return to our Guilds. May we be sympathetic to their position and recognise that everyone goes through grief at a different pace.
April 26: as austerity continues to affect families around the country and the use of food banks increases, we would ask that those who are able, donate to help others less fortunate than themselves.
April 27: for the adults supported by the Prospects charity, that they will be able to achieve their full potential in the community.
April 28: for everyone who is involved in the Guild projects. Pray that our Lord will guide them and help them to fulfil their commitment to each and every one of them. Pray that we, as members of the Guild, can do our part in enabling that all our projects are as successful as our other Guild projects of the past.
April 29: for the Pioneer project, Chocolate Heaven. Pray that this tiny island in South Asia can learn how to manufacture chocolate, to give them all a brighter future, a sense of hope and a greater understanding of God’s love for them.
April 30: for the Free to Live Trust, which continues to support street children in Pune in India by providing them with a safe place to live.
May 1: for those with responsibilities as Conveners of their Guild, of their Guilds Together and National Council. Those with responsibility for the projects, resources, treasurers, secretaries, and all roles that are so important to the running of our Guilds and plan for the next session.
May 2: for the chaplains of the Sailors’ Society who offer spiritual and practical support in Scottish ports to sailors often far from home.
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