AYR ST COLUMBA PARISH CHURCH
Thursday 22 July
Give thanks today for the beautiful summer weather most of us have been enjoying but at the same time pray for those who find the heat trying and difficult when working and sleeping.
Many of us have been concerned by the sight in our news bulletins of the many immigrants struggling to find asylum and refuge in the UK from the problems afflicting their homelands and crossing the English Channel in flimsy vessels. There is particular concern for the numbers of unaccompanied children among them and for the poor provision for their needs on arrival here. Pray for them and for those trying to help and advise them. Tonight, our Church’s Joint Public Issues Team invites anyone interested in the government’s proposals for reform of the asylum system to join a meeting online at 8.p.m. (Details of how to join this can be had from firstname.lastname@example.org).
Friday 23 July
The Olympic Games begin in Tokyo this evening. A Scottish friend who has worked in Japan for 23 years with the Overseas Missionary Fellowship writes: “Tokyo is in the middle of a State of Emergency with rising numbers of Corona virus cases. Competitions will be held without spectators and the government hopes to keep the athletes and Olympic-related visitors in a bubble to be kept apart from the general public as far as possible. Many churches…..had hoped to hold various outreach events during the Olympics, but most of these have had to be cancelled. Instead Japan International Sports Partnership are aiming to mobilise the world wide church to pray for a total of one million hours during this most unusual Games”. She invites us to join with people all over the world to pray for the people of Japan at this time.
Saturday 24 July
Please pray today for all who are confused and anxious as restrictions ease yet life still seems far from the “normal” they knew. Ask God to help us all be alert to their need and prepared to extend a helping hand. Pray for those lacking motivation and energy and who feel uncertain about the future.
Sunday 25 July
Give thanks for those who have worked hard to ensure that all our premises are safely complying with requirements so that more people can attend both our sanctuaries in safety and comfort, remembering especially those in our Church HQ in Edinburgh who have to draft the necessary guidance, not to be difficult, but to help local office bearers , like our own Session Clerks and Beadle as they work tirelessly to help us all. Now that the Scottish mainland has moved to level 0 last Monday, the distance between “available pews” in both our sanctuaries has been reduced to 1 metre and so more people can be accommodated from next Sunday. Give thanks for this.
Remember the Rev David Ness and the Rev Roddy McNidder as they lead our worship services at Midton Road and Lochside and pray for a good response to their ministry to us today, giving thanks that the congregation can once again join in praise, even if behind masks! Pray for Scott on this last Sunday of his summer break that he may return to us next week, refreshed and renewed for his service among us.
Monday 26 July
In recent days we have been asked to continue and even increase our prayers for the work of Crossreach which faces various difficulties in these summer months, not only because some staff are on holiday, but because some are being asked to quarantine if they have been in contact with a Covid victim in this latest spike in numbers of cases. Pray for those who have to organise and maintain the care offered to all their clients in various parts of Scotland and the challenges they face each day in their work. Give thanks for the volunteers who assist in some of the work.
Tuesday 27 July
We are asked to pray for two of our partner churches specifically this week as they face situations of violence. Cubans have taken to the streets in their thousands to demonstrate about shortages of food and medicines, power and water interruptions and an apparently faltering government response to surging covid cases. S. Africans have seen rioting and violence on their streets. Our partner, the Uniting Presbyterian Church has written to the CofS to ask for our prayers. Their General Secretary writes “ Life has changed for the worse in S. A., that pride we used to have has vanished. Reality has kicked in. It is sad and bad. In some places, especially Natal, people cannot even get a loaf of bread There will be starvation sooner than we think……racial tensions are taking a dangerous curve. Keep us in your prayers”.
Wednesday 28 July
Please continue to pray for all the plans and preparations being made for COP 26 in Glasgow in November. A national Climate Sunday service is being planned for Sunday 5 September in Glasgow Cathedral and congregations are being encouraged also to organise their own Climate Sunday services on that date or nearer COP 26. Resources to help with plans for these are available on the CofS website. A Homestay Network is also being organised to help accommodate the many visitors coming to the city and the wider area for COP 26. People are being invited to host a climate justice guest by opening their homes to a visiting scientist, activist or policymaker, making new friends from around the globe. Pray that enough offers of help will be received.