Thursday 20 August

One of the joys of lockdown or self-isolation for many people has been having time to read.  In my reading recently, I came across this lovely reminder in the national Guild’s latest Newsletter which is shared on Facebook :Lately we have all been thanking people from all walks of life – the NHS workers, the carers in our Care Homes, supermarket staff and the lorry drivers who have  kept delivering goods to the supermarkets, Post Offices and so on…we have many people to be thankful to……..Thank you are two really strong words Thank you is the simplest and most powerful way to acknowledge  another person’s value and humanity… and most of us were taught to say it from a very young age. In our daily prayers, then, let us never forget to thank God for His many blessings on our lives and for all He gives us and has done for us.

Friday 21 August

At this time a week ago, our focus in prayer was on the recent rail accident and the aftermath of the violent storms across Scotland which led to it and other huge amounts of damage to homes and buildings. As we saw in a recent news bulletin, the aftermath continues and many people have been left with problems and conditions which are going to be costly to clear up and repair, especially, in some cases , because they have no insurance or other financial help. Pray for all in this position and for the various advice and other centres trying to give assistance. The mental health damage is also difficult and needs our prayers.

Saturday 22 August

Even worse than the local problems here in Scotland is the situation in Lebanon. Christian Aid and partners have been working hard to clear debris. Our own World Mission group writes : Can you imagine dropping a glass on your kitchen floor and the difficulty of finding all the wee shards….imagine then what it is like for our friends in Beirut as they have been beginning to “pick up the pieces” this week after the huge blast which rocked their city… The Moderator  has written to our partners there and they have responded with thanks for all our prayers and support….They have been covering doors and windows with temporary materials  and have no idea when they might get glass in them again because , as you can imagine, there is no glass to be had in the country. Lebanon has very cold winters and this makes the need for adequate shelter even greater…… There are many ways to support and help the people of Lebanon including via agencies like Save the Children, Christian Aid, Embrace the Middle East and others. May this information fuel our understanding and inform our prayers for that land.

Sunday 23 August

Give thanks that from the beginning of September at 10.a.m it will be possible to gather again for worship in St Columba Church (places have to be booked – see latest Columba News for details) Pray for our minister and others as they prepare for this and give thanks for all whose hard work is enabling this to happen. Meanwhile, give thanks too for the many and varied opportunities we have to worship online or via the Dial a Sermon service (see back page of Columba News for details)

Monday 24 August

The arrival of the latest issue of Columba News reminds us of how many people have been working via the congregation’s satellite office and in other places to enable us all to keep in touch. They give their skills and talents in different ways, often quietly and unobtrusively, but we should never forget to be appreciative of all that they do and take every opportunity to give thanks for them.

Tuesday 25 August

In Columba News there are superb pictures of the new kitchen facilities at Lochside provided free to the congregation by a family in Edinburgh who wished to donate a high quality second hand kitchen to a charitable cause. Give thanks for their generous gift and for our Property Convener, John Stewart and Lochside Caretaker, Michael Hall, who have both done sterling work to enable the cabinets to be transported and set up at Lochside. As there is a requirement to make hot food there for those in the local community who need such help, pray for those who provide and  take advantage of this service, asking that this work may be a blessing to all involved and, in these difficult days, a source of encouragement and hope.

Wednesday 26 August

Pray for the service taking place in the Sanctuary at 2.p.m. this afternoon: that those who conduct it and those who worship may be blessed and encouraged by this opportunity to come together. Give thanks for those whose hard work has enabled the building to be made as safe as possible for all who wish to attend and for those whose skills with flowers continue to provide an uplifting feature of this space, reminding us all of our wonderful Creator.