Presbytery Prayer

Tiree Parish Church Bible verses and Presbytery Prayer for the Week

I am a herdsman, and a dresser of sycamore trees, and the Lord took me from following the flock….Amos 7:14-15 And because he was of the same trade he stayed with them, and they worked, for by trade they were tentmakers. Acts 18:3 Is this not the carpenter….? Mark6:3 The members may have the same care for one another. If one member suffers, all suffer together; if one member is honoured, all rejoice together. Now you are the body of Christ and individually members of it. 1 Corinthians 12:25-7

Let us pray Sensitize us to our calling, Lord of wholeness, Lord of shalom. Sensitize us to our calling to be the sensitive Body of Christ, full of feeling, each for the other, as members of each other, as members of the Body. Forgive us where we have not felt, forgive us where our self centredness, our concentration on what touches us alone, has rendered us numb and unfeeling. We seek to be your Church. We seek to be a Presbytery bound together in belonging, in supporting, sustaining, feeling, understanding, anticipating; we thank you for all those ways in which you have grown these things among us. You are at work, within us and among us; we are a work in progress, but we are the Spirit’s work in progress. Sensitize us to our calling, Lord of wholeness, Lord of shalom. Sensitize us to our calling to be the sensitive Body of Christ. Sensitize us to each other, but sensitize us, too, to the flock Christ has given us to shepherd and call, within and beyond the Church, but not beyond our bounds, and never beyond the bounds of God’s love. We pray for the working life of our communities, and the economy of Argyll, and we ask, make our microcosmic prayers, for what and whom we know, into macrocosmic prayer for a world in a pandemic crisis. We pray for those whose livelihoods lie in welcoming, who wait to see if guests, visitors, holiday-makers will come. We pray for those whose working lives are in hosting, entertaining, catering for those who celebrate. We warm to the solidarity of those who will support local businesses, support the community, support the people we know. Where there is love, there God is. We pray for shops and outlets kept going by home deliveries, and the new loyalties, and the old loyalties expressed in new ways, to support local businesses, support the community, support the people we know. Where there is love, there God is. We pray in gratitude for all those who will now buy their groceries lovingly, caringly, locally, to support local businesses, to support the community, support the people we know. Where there is love, there God is. We pray for all those whose businesses, supported in this way, will pull through. We pray for those whose businesses will not. And we pray for the congregations within the bounds-our congregations- whose life is not bounded by the walls of the kirk, as they too strive to support local businesses, support the community, support the people we know. Where there is love, there God is. We are your Church, and pointing to that love which is the sign of your presence where people live their lives, is our business. You make our business, Lord, to be the business of real life, in the real world. We are the living body of Christ. But we are also, incidentally, and not so incidentally, an institution. We, your Presbytery of Argyll, know this so well. As we cope with the challenges yet to come, and come they will, down the road we must travel, let our experiences sensitize us to theirs-the people in the communities within our bounds, who must make their living by organising, planning, managing, coping where plans are mocked by Covid-19, employing, and caring about those they employ, seeing and feeling and sharing their humanity in the very things we do. We pray for ourselves as an organisation, as part of an institution, a Court of decision, and planning and strategic responsibility, and we pray that these dimensions of our life and work be always in the service of the Body-that we always discern the Body-and that we understand it as a spiritual task, and rejoice in the business you give us . Amen

Presbytery Prayer

Tiree Parish Church Bible verses and Presbytery prayer for this week.

‘So the people took their dough before it was leavened, their kneading bowls being bound up in their mantles on their shoulders….The people of Israel had also done as Moses had told them, for they had asked of the Egyptians jewellery of silver and gold, and clothing; and the Lord had given the people favour in the sight of the Egyptians, so that they let them have what they asked. Thus they despoiled the Egyptians.’ Exodus 12:34-36

‘Be strong and of good courage; for you shall cause this people to inherit the land which I swore to their fathers to give them.’ Joshua 1:6

Let us pray: They left carrying everything they could, Lord – liberated into the difficult freedom of a wilderness. What they carried with them ceased to serve them as soon as they left the old, familiar, enslaved yesterday, and arrived in the drastic, intermediate today. In the wilderness, they could rely on you. And-they discovered-they could. You nourished them unexpectedly. What they needed, you gave-yet new, every morning. They could store nothing, hoard nothing. In the wilderness they were remade. Can you do that with us, Lord? Can we relinquish even those treasures we brought with us into this, that now simply weigh us down, and depend solely on you? Can WE be remade? What did we bring with us? What must we relinquish? What dare we not let go? We ask for ourselves, as a Presbytery, and for our congregations. But we ask also for our society, where we are friends, neighbours, kent faces. We pray for those who have “no church connection” because of course they have. It’s us. We are their church connection; our congregations; their members; the neighbours who go to church, thus “preaching a sermon a mile long” Us… We pray for these our friends, ‘with no church connection’, except for us. We rejoice at their insight, which, we are sure, can only have come from you. “We cannot carry on as we have”. “We cannot live by old valueless values, of conspicuous consumption, endless economic growth, the ‘anthropocene’ eating our world” We recognise the truth they have glimpsed and desperately wish to hold on to. We have listened to their incredulity that we might slip back into old ways of living and of being a society. They speak to us knowing who we are, and they look to us, as Jesus’ disciples, as the Church. How shall we meet their need? We pray for those made keenly, sharply and sometimes, by circumstance bitterly aware of what is truly precious-people, family, friends. We pray for those around us, awakened, by partial deprivation, to the little things, taken for granted when life was “normal”. We pray for that sense of gratitude, separated by a paper-thin wall from being gratitude to you, and therefore worship. We pray at this moment, an accidental moment, disease created, contagion created, imposed on us, meaningless-and the different moment you lay upon it, of grace and hope and possibility, of relinquishing and re-grasping. Was not the wilderness already there, when you led your people through it? You led them into it because they had to pass through it, to reach the territory of promise by the way of hope and trust-and because they had to be changed. So with us. So Lord, what shall we learn, now, before the world starts up again? How shall we answer Jesus’ call, in this wilderness, to live beyond the present, out of the hope of the future? How shall we live in the world of injustice, of climate emergency, of unsustainable desire, and meaningless living? How, as a Church, shall we live to give hope to our neighbours-who have glimpsed in lockdown what we have seen in Christ? How shall we be the Church? Lord, let us begin where we must begin, and let us see where we must begin, and where we must strike out for, and where we must go next. Bring to life again what we were working on before all this fell upon us. Fill us with zest for the radical, the bold, the courageous. Hone our thinking, that we may sift our priorities, to make them accord with Jesus. Guide us, o thou great Jehovah, Pilgrims in this barren land. WE are not the sum of your people, for God so loved the WORLD, not just the Church. We are your Church for the World. Give to us to guide and lead in relinquishing, with resolution and joy, in gripping what we must never let go, and in discerning the difference. Amen.

Presbytery Prayer

Bible verses for the week: Matthew 4:1 The people who sat in darkness have seen a great light, and for those who sat in the region and shadow of death light has dawned. Luke 1:78-79 The day shall dawn upon us from on high to give light to those who sit in darkness and in the shadow of death, to guide our feet into the way of peace. 1 Thessalonians 5:5 For you are all children of light and children of the day; we are not of the night or of darkness.

Presbytery Prayer It is our calling, and our joy, Father of Light, to walk in your light. We live, not in a gridlocked universe, where light and darkness tussle and supplant each other endlessly, and nothing goes anywhere. Faith grasps the movement from all things from darkness into your light. Ground us now, in these deep patterns of faith. John announces the coming of Jesus, which his father proclaimed over him at his birth, “you will go before the Lord to prepare his ways….when the day shall dawn upon us from on high.” Jesus comes, and with him the Kingdom breaks in. Christ died, Christ is risen, Christ will come again. The defeated night loses ground. Yet we still live in the darkness, as the people of the dawn. This is the raw material, the DNA, of our faith. We pray for those around us, in this time of pandemic, for whom the darkness is a close-woven fabric of anxiety and uncertainty. We know, and feel, and register these things too. We pray for those who chafe at restrictions, those who find confinement to their homes frustrating, socially-distanced queues strange and unsettling. Even after all this time. We have felt all these things. We share the joy, too, that the lifting of restrictions brings. We rejoice to travel short distances, to be with people we love, even if the rules we must obey remind us that the night, far spent, is not yet by. We remember those for whom the easing of restrictions highlights their grief, that it should have happened then, or now, when the rites of loss are so truncated. Strengthen us, your congregations to keep our promise, when the times permit, that communities may remember, and give thanks together for those who have died when this could not be done. In other words, Lord, we pray for people just like us, the people we know so well, because we live among them, our friends and neighbours. They are our communities. And we are their church. We know that in the darkness we seize on every glimmer of light, because we human beings are reassured by as little as the burning of a match when there is nothing else. But for us, in faith, you make the glimmers more than “light at the end of the tunnel”. They are the promise of a new day. We pray for our politicians and leaders, and the whole political process. “That it may generate light not heat“ is the old platitude, Lord , we know-but now it is light that we need. Guard them from the seeking of advantage, and the playing of games, that their leadership, and their questioning of leadership’s direction, their formulation of policy and their interrogation of policy, may always be grounded in truth, and concern for the well-being of all. We pray for the press, in their high calling of seeking the truth by the shining of its light in rigorous and proper scrutiny. We pray for the General Assembly that never fully happened, its Commission, and its Moderator, who embody its ongoing work and the momentum of its predecessors’ work, as they have sought to bring light to our work, and move us out into a new day. We pray for boldness to emerge into a dawn that will be strange, full of challenges, even beyond what we could have imagined when the Radical Action Plan was conceived. We pray for our Presbytery’s role in this, and that our planning and thinking be grounded in hope, in light, in faith and in prayer. Amen

Presbytery Prayer Point

You are invited to pray with fellow Presbyters at 12 noon on Wednesday 27 th May 2020

Lord, keep us under the shadow of your mercy in this time of uncertainty and distress.Sustain and support the anxious and fearful and lift up all who are brought low; that we may rejoice in your comfort knowing that nothing can separate us from your love.

Heavenly Father, we give thanks that we are beginning to see some signs of recovery from the current situation and we are grateful for all the people who have worked so hard to achieve this. Help us to be patient so that we might move forward without further harm, help us to understand our responsibilities for ourselves and others that we might be able restore some semblance of normality in our lives. We give grateful thanks for the worship that has continued online and by other means so that our faith journey can continue during these difficult times. As restrictions begin to be lifted, we look forward to being able to worship in familiar sacred spaces and we pray your blessings on the planning and arrangements for future worship in all the different forms that it might take. We pray too for staff at the national church as they begin to grapple with the consequences of the virus and its impact upon finances, staffing and church buildings. Difficult decisions will need to be made to secure the church’s future and we pray your wisdom and insight for those charged with this responsibility. We especially pray for the future of Crossreach as it undertakes its vital social care on the most vulnerable members of society within a restricted budget. We pray your protection on all the residents and staff as they come to terms with restrictions on visiting and the risk to both staff and clients of being infected. We give thanks for the dedicated Crossreach staff providing safe care across the country in our name. Lord, as arrangements are being made for children to return to school, we pray that thebest arrangements are put in place to keep both staff and pupils safe. The resumption of education for children is of vital importance but needs to be undertaken in a safe and reliable environment and that parents feel reassured that their children will be safe.

Lord, as we hear about deaths amongst the elderly in residential care homes our hearts are vexed. We pray for this vulnerable generation who have already given so much in their lifetime and who now find themselves at risk. We pray that they stay safe during these difficult times. We especially pray for the families who worry about their loved ones from whom they are separated. And we especially remember, at these difficult times, the families who mourn at a distance for those who have lost the fight against the virus. We pray that once some sense of normality prevails, families will be able to grieve properly and hold in their hearts the positive memories of the ones who they have lost in these circumstances.

Father, we offer this prayer in earnest gratitude for all you are doing at this time in our lives and in the world at large. Our future is in your hands and we are assured that when we hand over our concerns and worries to you that you will answer our prayers.

We are not people of fear: we are people of courage. We are not people who protect our own safety: we are people who protect our neighbours’ safety. We are not people of greed: we are people of generosity. We are your people God, giving and loving, wherever we are, whatever it costs For as long as it takes wherever you call us. Amen.

Presbytery Prayer Point

You are invited to pray with fellow Presbyters at 12 noon on Wednesday 13th May 2020

Lord, keep us under the shadow of your mercy in this time of uncertainty and distress. Sustain and support the anxious and fearful, and lift up all who are brought low; that we may rejoice in your comfort knowing that nothing can separate us from your love.

Lord, we continue to pray for all those affected in any way by the pandemic and today we especially pray for all the missed moments that have occurred during this time. We bring to mind the birthdays when children have had to party with only their families to play the games and eat the cake. We remember elderly residents, especially those in residential care, who have had to celebrate birthdays and anniversaries with only dedicated staff as guests and in some cases, with families on the lawn outside.

We also recall all the missed moments between grandparents and grandchildren. Those moments when a hug cures a sore knee, when Grandmother’s special soup makes you feel better or when a walk with grandparents along the beach solves all the things that bother us. We pray for grandparents and other family members who cannot get to visit new-born babies and for new parents who miss that reassurance and love that extended families offer in these happy circumstances.

Lord, we pray too for the people whose weddings have been postponed. After all the preparations and anticipation of starting married life together and the worry of potentially losing money they will be feeling especially disappointed.

We bring to mind all the children who are missing moments being absent from school and nursery. We pray that their resilience and enthusiasm will carry them through these confusing and bewildering times. And we pray too for their parents who are challenged to sustain a time of normality and learning for their children.

Holy God, as the pandemic continues to wreak havoc and the daily death toll continues unabated, we bring to our thoughts those who have to say goodbye from a distance. Lord, lost moments mean that family and friends are denied the opportunity for any meaningful farewells or any close physical contact other than from immediate family.

Lord we gather all these lost moments and those known personally to us, and we offer them to you, and as we do so, we know that they will be smothered in your grace and love so that those who have experienced lost moments will become aware of your comfort and protection. Lord in extending your care in these times of lost moments you remind us all of the eternal hope that lies in tomorrow and that in time these lost moments will be regained tenfold. As we move forward in time and the virus loses its grip, we await with patience for the opportunity to regain lost moments and to never take them for granted again.

We are not people of fear: we are people of courage. We are not people who protect our own safety: we are people who protect our neighbours’ safety. We are not people of greed: we are people of generosity. We are your people God, giving and loving, wherever we are, whatever it costs For as long as it takes wherever you call us. Amen.

An Invitation To Pray

He is able to do IMMEASURABLY more than all we ask for or imagine. From Ephesians 3:20

You are invited to pray with fellow Presbyters every Wednesday at 12 noon

Lord, keep us under the shadow of your mercy in this time of uncertainty and distress. Sustain and support the anxious and fearful, and lift up all who are brought low; that we may rejoice in your comfort knowing that nothing can separate us from your love.

Lord God during these unprecedented and unsettling times we pray for the church as it tries to adjust to circumstances that run counter to the existence of communal worship and fellowship. As we reflect on times past when we have been able to meet in familiar and sacred spaces with friends and acquaintances who shared our love of the Christian faith, we find ourselves yearning for those precious times again which we often took for granted. Now that those spaces and experiences are denied to us, we painfully realise what we no longer have but our faith is not just for the past and the present but also for the future.

For the present we give grateful thanks for the innovative ways in which the church has adopted to different ways of worship and fellowship and to different ways of offering care and compassion albeit at a distance. We offer thanks for the technology that has allowed Ministers and Worship Leaders across Argyll to continue to offer opportunities for worship and to reach new audiences who have found online worship reassuring and comforting during challenging times. We especially pray for those people whose dormant or non-existent faith has been re-ignited during these times and we pray that this will produce a re-awakening of their spiritual life in the longer term. We pray for all Ministers and Worship Leaders that their message remains fresh and relevant for these challenging times.

Lord, we pray too for congregational office bearers who are concerned with fabric and finance. As church buildings remain empty, we pray that they remain in a safe and good condition and we are thankful to those who keep a watchful eye on our buildings at this time. We also bring to mind congregational treasurers as they try to balance the accounts against a falling income when bills continue to need to be paid. We pray that in time, our finances will return to a healthier situation without adversely affecting the work and outreach of the local church in the future. Lord we give thanks for all the unsung heroes found in local congregations who lend support to those in need in a variety of capacities. We pray that in the course of all that they do, they are properly protected and stay safe and well.

We pray for the work of Presbytery which continues quietly in the background albeit in a different way from before. We give thanks for the diligence of our Presbytery Clerk, Stewart Shaw, who has to adapt to working in a different way, whilst still ensuring that the business of Presbytery continues. We give thanks for all of the Convenors who are ensuring that their committees continue to function online so that vital and important matters are still dealt with in a timely and appropriate manner. We pray that the meeting of the Business Committee due to convene in the next week or so will proceed smoothly as plans are determined for the continued functioning of Presbytery within ongoing policy guidelines for social distancing and safe practices.

Lord, we pray for our Presbytery staff who have been furloughed at this difficult time. We give thanks for the important work that they have been involved with in the past and we pray that circumstances will permit their quick return to continue with this in the future. We remember too our vacant congregations who without a Minister now have the additional burden of dealing with the pandemic. We give thanks for the work undertaken by Interim Moderators who are now compelled to undertake their work from a safe distance.

Lord our past and present are important but so too is our future and as we progress through these times and see glimpses of the future beginning to emerge we also need to begin to think about our future as a church and as witnesses to that glorious vision. You remind us that you are the same yesterday, today and tomorrow and so we look forwards to tomorrow with a soaring hope in our heart and a determined view that once the pandemic is brought under control and normality returns we will take up our places again in those sacred spaces and determine never to take them for granted again.

We are not people of fear: we are people of courage. We are not people who protect our own safety: we are people who protect our neighbours’ safety. We are not people of greed: we are people of generosity. We are your people God, giving and loving, wherever we are, whatever it costs For as long as it takes wherever you call us. Amen

A Call To Prayer Each Wednesday

‘For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith – and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God – not by works, so that no one can boast’. Ephesians 2:8-9

Douglas Allan, Interim Moderator for Tiree Parish Church, invites everyone to pray with him at 12noon every Wednesday. Below is the prayer for this week:

Lord, keep us under the shadow of your mercy in this time of uncertainty and distress. Sustain and support the anxious and fearful, and lift up all who are brought low; that we may rejoice in your comfort knowing that nothing can separate us from your love.

Lord, we have just been on an extraordinary Lenten journey unlike no other we have ever experienced before, and an Easter morn spent physically apart but united by the encouragement and hope of the Resurrection. More than ever we need to sustain a hope in the future despite ongoing fears and concerns for our health and wellbeing. Many of us are fortuitous in our circumstances even in these trying circumstances however not all people are so lucky. Today, as we pray together as a Presbytery, we bring to mind those on the margins of society who are in danger of being pushed further towards the margins as a result of the pandemic.

Lord today we pray for those whose limited budgets and family circumstances mean that they need to prioritise whether to stay warm or eat and who in the current situation are pushed to ever more desperate decisions especially when there are children involved. We pray too for those who through social circumstances live on their own and whose isolation has now become more acute. We think too, of those who live on the streets enduring freezing cold nights and are exposed to personal danger that a pandemic imposes on a vulnerable population. We bring to mind the prison population, both prisoners and staff, who are at greater danger of infection due to the difficulties of implementing social distancing in circumstances that impose separation from families and friends. We especially remember those who experience mental health issues particularly those who find life challenging and who in these straightened circumstances, will find the lack of normality and routine especially challenging. We remember too, those people who live in remote and rural parts of Scotland and in particular the remote islands of our Presbytery where day to day living can be a challenge with an, at times, fragile dependency on tourism, crofting and fishing along with reduced transport links. Lord, in a society that purports to be all inclusive there are so many parts of the community who live on the margins and are particularly exposed to danger at this time. We pray that you reign your blessings upon us all at this time that they feel and keep safe as possible in these circumstances and that they will experience the protection that you can offer them through your love and compassion.

We pray too for all those who work to protect and care for the marginalised at this time. We bring to mind those whom we know whose job takes them into direct contact with those most in need and for the army of volunteers who care for those who need it most. We remember today the increased workload experienced by food banks and we pray that they won’t be overwhelmed by demand and that donations will continue to be plentiful. We pray your protection on those involved in handling goods and in their delivery to doorsteps. We pray for those striving to find a safe indoor space for the homeless and the ability to keep all those at risk safe and for those whose responsibility it is to oversee the prison population, a task that presents a daily danger to staff without the need to maintain social distancing. We pray too for all those involved in caring for mentally challenged people in our community; a task that depends on direct and personal interaction with clients now becomes so much more difficult and thus places both carer and client in increased danger. In the fragile economy of remote and island communities we give grateful thanks for crews of ferries, buses, trucks and planes who strive to maintain vital and essential links and supplies to those communities; keep them all safe and well at this time.

Lord, Eastertide is a time of hope and renewal but for many it is difficult to feel this at the moment, sustain us all and those we worry about so that we can lift our eyes to the horizon and see and experience the hope that your sustaining love and care holds for us.

We are not people of fear: we are people of courage. We are not people who protect our own safety: we are people who protect our neighbours’ safety. We are not people of greed: we are people of generosity. We are your people God, giving and loving, wherever we are, whatever it costs For as long as it takes wherever you call us.

We ask all this in the name of Jesus. Amen.

Presbytery Prayer Time

In the midst of the current pandemic there is much fear and anxiety and it is good to remember verses from God’s word which give us hope and encouragement. ‘The Lord himself goes before you and will be with you; He will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid;do not be discouraged.’ Deuteronomy 31:8

Presbytery is having a weekly time of prayer at 12 noon each Wednesday. It would be good for us to join in prayer at this time.

The prayer for this week is below.

kind regards, Pat

 

Lord keep us under the shadow of your mercy in this time of uncertainty and distress. Sustain and support the anxious and fearful, and lift up all who are brought low, that we may rejoice in your comfort knowing that nothing can separate us from your love.

Lord we seek your protection for all those who still need to travel to engage in essential tasks to keep the rest of us safe. Today we bring to mind all those front line staff working in hospitals, testing stations, ambulances, police and fire stations, supermarkets and pharmacies.We give thanks for their dedication and hard work and we pray that they stay safe at this time. We remember those too who maintain our mail delivery helping us to maintain contact with others and for delivery drivers and local shopkeepers who bring essential goods to our doorsteps. We give thanks and acknowledge the willingness of local volunteers to look after the vulnerable in our communities and we are all reminded at this time of the importance of looking out for our neighbours.

Lord we are challenged to maintain our faith in these difficult times having been deprived of the sense of community worship. Lord we give thanks for the sterling efforts of all those who have endeavoured to learn new digital skills so that corporate worship of all sorts can continue throughout Argyll and beyond. We pray that those who have embarked on this form of ministry are able to sustain us all through these difficult times. We especially pray for our ministerial colleagues who strive to maintain pastoral care at a distance, an alien concept in a world where personal interaction and presence are crucial but now no longer possible.We pray too for those times when they might be called upon to conduct funeral services, help them to find ways of consoling the bereaved that is meaningful in these difficulties.

We are not people of fear, we are people of courage. We are not people who protect our own safety, we are people who protect our neighbours safety. We are not people of greed, we are people of generosity.We are your people God, giving and loving, wherever we are, whatever it costs for as long as it takes wherever you call us.

We ask all this in the name of Jesus. Amen.

 

 

 

 

Morning Worship Has Been Suspended

Morning Worship at Tiree Parish Church will be suspended until further notice. If anyone wishes to speak to an Elder about any matter, please feel free to do so.

“If people humble themselves and pray and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and forgive their sin and heal their land ” 2 Chronicles 7 v14

During WW2 when Britain was on the brink of defeat, King George VI called for a National Day of Prayer. This was on 26th May 1940 when millions of people flocked into churches and prayed for deliverance. This led to the miracle of Dunkirk when 335,000 soldiers were rescued from French beaches using small craft.

In view of the severity of the coronavirus it is not only national prayer but global prayer that we need.

Let us all pray.

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