Thursday 23 July

Our very imaginative on line Holiday Club continues today and tomorrow with lots of fun and interesting activities to engage our young folk at home. Give thanks for those who have put this together and worked hard not only to give the youngsters creative things to do but also to share with them the good news of the Gospel as they learn more about following Jesus. Pray that the messages they have heard during this week and at Sunday Kids will remain with them, influencing their choices and lifestyles for a long time to come.

Friday 24 July

There have been a large number of Covid – 19 related deaths in Zambia which is giving cause for concern where the head offices of some banks have closed because of the pandemic and where two MPs died over the week-end and Parliament has been adjourned. Our Church of Scotland’s World Mission section of the Faith and Community Forum has written this week, as follows: “Before going back to their constituencies the MPs were asked to take a test. However, only six out of the 156 did. ……One of the challenges is stigma and people avoid being tested. They fear being locked up and dying alone is not Zambian culture.”  Also Pakistan is facing multiple crises: monsoon floods and storms, the increasing toll from Covid-19 and the worst locust infestation for 25 years. Two countries where the virus, compounded with climatic and cultural issues, is making life intolerable for so many. They need our prayers.

Saturday 25 July

Today is the 108th birthday of our oldest member in St. Columba, Mrs Louie Wilson! Give thanks for her remarkably long life and that she is still interested  and active, taking her walks most days in the company of her daughters. Pray that she will have a very happy birthday and enjoy the celebrations, despite current restrictions.

Sunday 26 July

Give thanks that our Sanctuary will again be open for private prayer from 10 – 12 noon and pray that those who are arranging and staffing this will themselves be blessed by this time of stillness in the presence of God. Pray too for those who are having to consider how and when we may reopen for worship, bearing in mind the many and sometimes difficult rules and regulations which have to be met before the church can safely be opened for this again. Pray for us all to have patience as we await that time. Remember our minister, Scott, as he continues his well earned holiday before resuming duty this week.

Monday 27 July

Our Moderator, Dr. Martin Fair, is continuing his online series of interviews and discussions: It’s a Fair Question about which he says “My voice is irrelevant but there are voices in these broadcasts that must be heard”. This week his guest is Jesuit Brother Dr. Guy Consolmagno, the American research astronomer and Director of the Vatican Observatory, talking about science, God, the universe…and chocolate! Described by those who have already listened to this as “enthralling”, “interesting”, “fascinating” and “enjoyable,” this is a not to be missed encounter. Pray for the impact which the messages of this series convey, again giving thanks for the technology which makes them possible, but also remembering in prayer those who don’t have access to it and for whom the sense of being cut off from the many helps available in this way is very real and difficult.

Tuesday 28 July

Pray today for those who are struggling with the after effects of having been ill with Covid-19. We hear many stories of weakness and exhaustion. Pray for healing and renewed energy and strength. Pray for those continuing to care for them and for those still in hospital and the weary medical and nursing staff there, still coping with the memories of the difficulties and traumatic stresses with which they have been challenged, especially when the pandemic was at its height. May all of us realise the seriousness of the virus and may we not become complacent about its ongoing impact, especially in countries like Australia and France where it has erupted again.

Wednesday 29 July

Give thanks for more encouraging news last week from the  University of Oxford about their  development of a vaccine for the disease, praying that although progress is in early stages the scientists and doctors and brave “guinea pigs” involved will all feel uplifted and inspired by its promise to  persevere with the huge challenges this work presents. Again patience is required!