We invite you to Pray through the Week with Dreghorn and Springside Parish Church.
I subscribe to Daily Bread which is a Bible reading guide for every day provided by Scripture Union. Andy Bathgate has been providing daily readings from the book of Acts, with explanatory notes for the past 15 days which I have been enjoying reading.
The book of Acts recounts the early days of the Christian community of Jesus’ followers.
As we face changes in the Irvine presbytery, no doubt there will be challenges ahead of us. I found this reading and the response inspiring. Here is what Andy wrote for today:
ACTS 9: 19b-31 entitled Peace-making
Sit quietly for a few moments and allow God to speak to you of his presence and his power.
I visited an Eastern European country a few months ago after the end of the Communist regime to work with an emerging Scripture Union movement, travelling across the country with a Lutheran minister. Eighteen months later I returned. Preaching in a church of a different denomination I was surprised and moved to find him in the congregation. He told me it was the first time he had worshipped in a congregation other than his own, explaining that any stranger was a potential government agent.
The church in Jerusalem felt much the same way about Paul. Despite the eloquent and powerful arguments that Jesus was the Son of God (v20) and the promised Messiah v(22), they could not forget that he was the one who had violently persecuted them. Their fear and suspicion were perfectly natural. But maybe they doubted the power of God to change even the most hardened opponent.
Church is not always easy. There will sometimes be misunderstanding, tension and disagreement. New people may not always fit in. This is why we need people like Barnabus v(27): gentle, compassionate people. People with the wisdom and sensitivity to see what God is doing and to speak out. People who see the best in others.
…he tried to join the disciples, but they were all afraid of him, not believing that he really was a disciple. But Barnabus took him and brought him to the apostles… Acts 9:27,27
Pray for your Church and especially any areas of tension. Pray for more people like Barnabus. Pray that you may be a peace maker.
Just to let everyone know that we few will be taking a break over the holiday period and hope to return refreshed and renewed.
Week Commencing 11 June 2023
Matthew 5:44 - Love your enemies. Pray for those who persecute you.
Last Tuesday was 6th June, recognised as D-Day. It was on that date in 1944 British troops landed on the beaches of Normandy to begin the battle to free Europe from the tyranny of Hitler. For the majority of us we are too young to have a living memory of it and what we do know is only the story. Put yourself as an 18 year old wading through the cold water heading towards the enemy facing you with all guns blazing. The nearer you get to dry land you see your comrades shot dead in front of you. It is not until you step into their shoes can we even start to imagine the horrors of war.
Wars have existed since time immemorial and inevitably they always end one way - a winner and a loser, but it is those caught in the middle who come off worst.
According to the Bible there is nothing inherently wrong with conflict, disagreements happen, but it is the manner in which we solve our conflicts that is extremely important. Conflict can lead to greater understanding or it can result in bitterness and broken relationships. If two opposing viewpoints are not willing to find common ground it can lead to open warfare.
We don't have to look any further than Ukraine or Syria to see repetition of what has happened down through the generations. Man does not seem to have learned the lessons of the past and every generation appears to spawn another evil minded individual who thinks they are so much superior to the rest of mankind.
Herein is the conflict for the Christian - do we sit back and say "It has nothing to do with me" or do we take up the cause. Fortunately in this country there is no conscription but for many in our brother countries there is no choice.
I am saddened at times that the upcoming generation do not appreciate the freedom so many gave their life for and the struggles and conflicts still being endured because of man's inhumanity to man.
Week Commencing 28 May 2023
I was browsing on the internet and came across the site of; reachbeyond.org.uk
This prayer caught my attention. With all the unrest going on around us in the world today, it felt like an oasis of peace in a troubled world.
A PRAYER OF PRAISE AND THANKSGIVING.
Lord as we worship today on Pentecost Sunday, give us a vision.
Move us by your Holy Spirit
Bring good news to us all.
Bring freedom and peace to broken people,
And let us get a taste of Heaven here on Earth.
Open our eyes to see you as you are,
And open our hearts to praise you.
Give us a vision that will take us out of our comfort zone
And lead us into new ways of serving you.
Help us to be agents of your love to all people
In a world where there is much division and hate.
Help us to be beacons of hope
In a world that is sinking deeper into despair.
Help us to be agents of your peace
In a world that is torn apart by conflict and wars.
In our worship today our God,
Give us a vision through Jesus Christ our Lord.
Week Commencing 21 May 2023
PROVERBS 28:: 27 - God blesses those who give to the poor
Christian Aid week this year ran from 14 - 21 May . For most of us we pop a donation in an envelope and drop it in a box. We never stop to wonder to what use the money will be put.
The immediate aid is for Malawi which recently was struck by Cyclone Freddy which has devastated both Malawi and Mozambique. It rained incessantly for 34 days (more than a year's worth) causing extensive flooding. It is reported as the worst Cyclone on record. Over 500,00 people have been displaced and hundreds lost their lives. Crops were washed away and villages destroyed.
Christian Aid has already been there helping provide clean water, shelter, mosquito nets and distributing pigeon peas to farmers. This is an incredible plant which requires no fertilisation and every part of the plant is useful in one way or another.
One area causing concern is South Sudan with the number of refugees fleeing their country, causing massive problems for neighbouring countries.
Needless to say, Christian AId is still heavily involved in Ukraine, providing medicines as well as supporting those fleeing the conflict.
Yes, there is never any shortage of crises and the big problem is how to support them all. This is where we can play our very small, but desperately needed, part. Surely we can do without that bar of chocolate knowing the cost will fill a starving child's stomach. We are all so well off, despite how little we might have in our pocket and a practical way of saying "Thank You" to God for the many blessings in our life is to support Christian Aid.
Matthew 25 - when I was hungry and you fed me, thirsty, you give me a drink, stranger and you took me in, naked you clothed me, sick and you visited me.. The ethos of Christian Aid.
Week commencing 07 May 2023
A prayer to see us through this week
As I adventure with You today,
be the compass that guides me,
the light that shines on my path,
the only one I follow.
As I adventure with You today,
be the word that encourages,
the hand that reaches out
each time I stumble.
As I adventure with you today,
let me glimpse our destination
and appreciate the places
through which you lead me
As I adventure with You today,
be the strength I need to follow
and as the day draws to a close,
let me rest in Your embrace.
Week commencing 30 April 2023
I came across this lovely morning prayer by Wendy Blight and would like to share it with all of you.
I do not know who or what will cross my path today. But I know that You are my Rock and my Fortress. You are my Shield and my Strong Tower. Help me to anchor myself to You today. Help me to walk by Your Truth and not my feelings. Help me to embrace anything that comes my way as an opportunity to see You at work and as an opportunity to point others to You. Thank You that You love me and nothing can ever take that away from me! Even if I fail today and fall short, You whisper Your unconditional love deep into my soul and remind me that Your mercies are new every morning. That truly amazes me, Lord. Thank You for meeting me today. Would You wake me again tomorrow with the same sweet whisper of Your Love? I can’t wait to meet with You again.
In Jesus’ name, Amen.
Week commencing 16 April 2023
Psalm 49 : 15 - Death is not the end but the beginning of eternal life
Having just returned from yet another funeral in the Church I have taken a moment to reflect on the number of funerals I have attended in the past six months. Our village has been hard hit in the past year. How many "sair herts" are aching for the loss of a dearly loved one.
Death is no respecter of persons. It is the great equaliser here on earth. Rich, poor, wise, foolish, great, simple - all will die. But the redeeming feature is the promise of the Resurrection. Our flesh may dissolve but our Spirit is forever with the Lord.
Comforting the bereaved is not always easy but a kind word could make all the difference. Being in the Church family opens doors for us to extend the welcoming hand of friendship. There is always so much buzz around the funeral, but what next? All of a sudden everyone takes up the threads of life again and the bereaved has to take stock of the days and weeks ahead. That is where we can help. A phone call “How Are you?". It lets the person know they have not been abandoned.
No matter how much we think we may be prepared for a death, it is still so much more when it happens. There is no one fit size fits all and each is an individual when it comes to coping but you need never be alone. One who has been through it is our Lord so He fully understands your loss. Turn to Him and you will be amazed at the strength you will be given.
None of us knows the day or the hour so make your peace today, not least with our Lord and Saviour. He has promised Eternal Life with Him and so there is no fear in death (not that I am booking my place any time soon).
Week commencing 09 April 2023
He is Risen!
That is our cry today – Jesus has risen. Can you imagine what it must have been like for Jesus’ disciples, friends and followers? They had been with Him, learning from Him, with hopes of Him being the one who would overthrow the Romans. They had shared that last meal with Him – although being totally unaware that it could be the last meal, and then, all hope was lost, all joy gone. Jesus was crucified!
What must it have been like for them, and isn’t it true that we too have experienced times when we felt all hope was gone? Something happened, quite often as the result of someone else's actions, which threw us into deep despair, depression and hopelessness. However, we have something that Jesus’ disciples didn’t have – we know of the resurrection! We know that Jesus has overcome death and everything bad.
The Easter Story is like a synopsis of life itself. Good, steady times, punctuated by dark times, but always ending with the resurrection of hope.
I have a mantra which I hold onto ‘All will be well’, and yet often throughout my life, all has been anything but well. However, I know that ultimately, all will be well, and I’ve had to tell myself that the ‘well’ will come in God’s time, not mine.
I pray that all is well with you, and if at the moment, it feels that it is not, I pray that as we once again celebrate the resurrection of our dear Lord, that you will find the glimmer of hope that you need to hang on until the darkness passes and you can once again find peace and joy.
Week commencing 02 April 2023
Palm Sunday marks the beginning of Holy Week, historically the most sacred time of year for Christians. It recalls an event in the New Testament, of Jesus entering into Jerusalem, and being greeted by people waving palm branches. It is a reminder to Christians of welcoming Jesus into our hearts and of our willingness to follow him.
Below is a piece written by William Barclay (1907-1978).
In the East in the time of Jesus the ass (donkey) was a noble beast. The ass was the beast on which kings rode when they came in peace; only in war did they ride upon horses. The entry of Jesus was the claim to be King. But at the same time it was the claim to be the King of peace. It was upon the ass of peace and not upon the horse of war that Jesus came. He came deliberately refusing the role of the warrior Messiah and claiming to be the Prince of peace. He was appealing for a throne, but the throne was in the hearts of men. In that entry into Jerusalem Jesus, in a dramatic symbolic action which spoke more loudly than any words, was making one last appeal to men, and saying to them:
“Will you not, even now, even yet, accept me as your Lord and King, and enthrone me within your hearts?”
Jesus’ entry into Jerusalem was an action of supreme courage; it was an assertion of royalty and an offer of love; it was at one and the same time royalty’s claim and love’s appeal.
New Testament John 12 v.12-15
On the next day much people that were come to the feast, when they heard that Jesus was coming to Jerusalem, took branches of palm trees, and went forth to meet him, and cried, Hosanna: Blessed is the King of Israel that cometh in the name of the Lord. And Jesus, when he had found a young ass, sat thereon; as it is written. Fear not, daughter of Sion: behold, Thy King cometh, sitting on an ass’s colt.
Week commencing 26 March 2023
ECCLESIASTES: 3:2 - There is a time to be born and a time to die
This weekend the clocks changed one hour forward. That in effect meant we lost an hour. Time so governs our lives, sadly. Life as we live it now, gallops away from us. We have to live by the clock. It is just the way of the world. Do we make the best use of our time? Yes, there are certain parameters around which we have commitments, but that still leaves us free time to use as we choose. It is that choice that is so important and what use we make of that time.
All of us are so guilty of saying "I must" but that day passes and yet again it is still on the "To Do" list . Have you ever meant to phone someone and not done it, and then it is too late. We may make television the biggest waste of time, but in effect it is only an excuse for procrastination. Ephesians 5:16 tells us "to make the most of every opportunity".
Personally, I hate to waste a moment. My mantra is "once it is gone you cannot get it back" (do I sound like the middle aisle of Asda?).
The biggest loser is the time we share with God in devotions. He gets squashed into whatever spare time we have. Yes, we can set aside time for God, but so often mundane thoughts creep in and we find our minds wàndering. Perhaps if we spent a little more time with Him we would find life calmer and not so frenetic.
I am the first to admit that life does not always allow us to freely choose how we spend our time, but "our times are in His hands" and let us make the most of the days we have.
Week commencing 19 March 2023
Traditionally, Mother's Day, celebrated mid-Lent, was when those who worked away from home, returned to see their mothers in the middle of Lent, and it was seen as a day of celebration, when the sacrifices for Lent were relaxed and some good food was enjoyed. Today, it has become more of a secular celebration.
Mother's Day is not just for mothers - it's for anyone who had a mother and well, that's everyone, is it not? So, whether you are a mother yourself, this prayer by the Rev Jamie delivered in church is for you:
Lord, for mothers today we pray joy -
for orphans, comfort
for not-yet mothers, hope
for single mothers, support and strength
for the lonely, family.
May there be moments of comfort and hope today for -
the mothers of prodigals,
the mothers who've lost children,
the mothers who don't know where their children are
May the embrace of grace displace shame -
for mothers in prison,
for mothers who feel they've failed,
for mothers who can't be with their kids
for mothers coming to terms with decisions of the past
And for those who miss their mothers, we pray
Trust, in your loving arms
A cherishing of memories
And the strength to live and love on
We ask all of this in Jesus' name
Week commencing 12 March 2023
Wednesday 8th March was International Women’s Day. This year the theme was Women of Faith. This made me think of women of faith in the Bible. Two who came to mind were Shiprah and Puah. These ladies were midwives to the enslaved Hebrew women in Egypt. They were also women who worshipped God.
Pharaoh had issued orders that all male Hebrew babies should be killed at birth, and only female babies be allowed to live. However Shiprah and Puah disobeyed the Kings order because they feared God more than Pharaoh. God blessed Shiprah and Puah because they disobeyed the King’s orders.
One of the male babies managed to be hidden by his mother until he was three months old. At this point Pharaoh had ordered that any surviving male baby discovered should be thrown in the Nile. The mother hatched a plan to save her baby. She knew that Pharaoh’s daughter went with her ladies to bathe in the Nile. She made a basket made of reeds, covered it in tar to make it watertight and sat it in the tall grasses at the edge of the Nile.
She sent an older daughter to watch the baby from a distance.
Sure enough Pharaoh’s daughter came with her ladies to bathe. She heard the baby crying, saw him and felt sorry for him. She realised it must be a baby belonging to one of the Hebrew women The baby’s older sister approached and recognising that Pharaoh’s daughter felt sorry for the child, asked if she could find a wet nurse from among the Hebrew women. Pharaoh’s daughter sent the sister off to find someone. The sister immediately went to her mother and presented her to the Princess. The Princess told the woman, “Take this baby, nurse him for me, and I will pay you.” So she took the baby and nursed him.
Later, when the child was old enough, she took him to the King’s daughter, who adopted him as her own son. She said to herself, “I pulled him out of the water, and so I name him Moses.”
What a wonderful story of bravery and faith by the midwives, of the faith of the mother in God to save her child.
Also a story of the compassion of Pharaoh’s daughter in paying the child’s own mother to nurse him until Pharaoh’s daughter could adopt him.
Moses of course grew up to be called by God to save his people from enslavement in Egypt and lead them through the desert to the Promised Land.
This story is found in the Old Testament book of Exodus In the Bible. A wonderful story well worth reading for yourself.
Week commencing 05 March 2023
Matthew 6:28 Look at the lillies and how they grow - Solomon in all his glory was not dressed as beautifully as they.
Spring is my most favourite season of the year. After the long dark nights, cold winter days and almost perpetual rain, suddenly earth comes alive and life takes on a very different complexion. The gardens are so pretty just now with snowdrops, crocuses and tall daffodils swaying in the breeze. What a canvas God paints. His world is so beautiful and we take it all for granted. It is not until something extraordinary occurs, such as the exceptional colours in the aurora borealis, that we even stop to appreciate what is around us. God has made an ever-changing world, but how often do we even stop to say 'Thank You'
I am reminded of that hymn we sang in Sunday School :
God who made the earth,
The air, the sky, the sea,
Who gave the light its birth,
Careth for me.
God who made the grass,
The flowers, the fruit, the trees,
The day and night to pass
Careth for me.
God who made the sun,
The moon, the stars, is He
Who, when life's clouds come on,
Careth for me,.
God who made all things
On earth, in sea, in sky,
Who changing seasons brings,
Careth for me.
God who sent His Son,
To die on Calvary,
He, if I lean on Him,
Will care for me.
When in Heaven's brightland,
I all His loved ones see,
I'll sing with that blest and,
God cared for me.
Week commencing 26 February 2023
For some denominations the beginning of Lent is a time for confession. Of course, confession suggests some sinful behaviour and behind any sinful behaviour lies temptation. Temptation was the focus of Rev Jamie’s sermon on Sunday, 26 February. We looked at the Gospel of Matthew when Jesus was in the wilderness following His baptism, and several temptations were put in front of him by the devil. Of course, Jesus resisted.
In this predominantly secular world, we are all tempted, all the time. Temptations may be small and insignificant, of consequence only to ourselves, eg eating the bar of chocolate we could have done without, or a more serious temptation like, perhaps, stealing, doing someone harm (not that I am suggesting that anyone reading this would be tempted!), but you know what I mean.
There is also the temptation to lose heart. Looking around us, listening to the TV News when everything is gloom and doom. Economic crisis, cost of living difficulties, exorbitant cost of power to heat our homes and cook. So many are suffering, and that’s without mentioning the tragic life-changing and fatal events that are happening across the world; the earthquakes in Turkey and Syria, migrants downing whilst trying to escape to a better life, and of course the war perpetrated by Russia on Ukraine.
How do we overcome it all? Truth is, I don’t know. The only ‘weapon’ I possess against these things is prayer!
This prayer is from the people of Ukraine on the anniversary of Russia’s atrocious attacks:
Almighty and Great God,
Accept our gratitude for your boundless mercy towards us. Hear the supplication of our afflicted hearts for the land and people of Ukraine, as they confront foreign aggression and invasion. Open the eyes of those who have been overtaken by a spirit of deception and violence, that they be horrified by their works. Grant victory over the powers of evil that have arisen and bless Ukraine with your gifts of liberty, peace, tranquillity, and good fortune.
We implore you, O Merciful God, look with grace upon those who courageously defend their land. Remember the mothers and fathers, the innocent children, widows and orphans, the disabled and helpless, those seeking shelter and refuge, who reach out to you and to their fellow human beings looking for mercy and compassion. Bless the hearts of those who have already shown great generosity and solidarity, and those who prepare to receive their Ukrainian brothers and sisters in Ukraine's greatest time of need. Bring us together as your children, your creation, and instil in us your strength, wisdom and understanding. May you be praised and glorified, now and forever, and to the ages of ages.
If all this is a bit too somber this week, let us end on a brighter tone.
Again, ‘stolen’ from the Rev Jamie’s recent service, he told us about texts from Phillipians 4:8 he has on the wall of his study,
“Whatever is true,
Whatever is noble,
Whatever is right,
Whatever is lovely,
Whatever is admirable – if anything
is excellent or praiseworthy –
Think about such things”
Rev Jamie sees this each time he goes into and out of his study – perhaps focusing his thoughts on this is the secret of his ever cheerful disposition!
Yes, Lent is a sad time, but let us look to the ultimate ending - or should I say beginning – the resurrection of Christ our Saviour!
Week commencing 19 February 2023
This week is the beginning of Lent. Lent comes from the Anglo-Saxon word Lenten meaning lengthen, and refers to the lengthening days of Spring.
Shrove Tuesday is also known as pancake day. This is the traditional feast day before the start of Lent on Ash Wednesday. Many Anglo-Saxon Christians confessed their sins before Lent, thus being “shriven” of them, hence the name of Shrove Tuesday.
Many Christians attend special Church services on Ash Wednesday. At these services the congregation receive ash on their foreheads, this is usually accompanied by the words “Repent and believe in the Gospel”; or the dictum, “Remember you are dust, and to dust you shall return”.
The following content was produced by ASK the UMC ( a ministry of United Methodist Communications) found on the internet.
Lent is a season of forty days, not counting Sundays which begins on Ash Wednesday and ends on Holy Saturday. The forty days represents the time Jesus spent in the wilderness enduring the temptation of Satan and preparing to begin his ministry.
Lent is a time of repentance, fasting and preparation for the coming of Easter. It is a time of self-examination and reflection. In the early church, Lent began as a period of fasting and preparation for baptism by new converts and then became a time of penance by all Christians. Today Christians focus on relationship with God, growing as disciples and extending ourselves, often choosing to give up something or to volunteer and give of ourselves to others.
I found this Lenten Prayer on the internet.
A PRAYER TO SEARCH ME, LORD THIS LENT
PSALM (139 V 23 -24)
“Examine me, O God, and know my mind; test me and discover my thoughts. Find out if there is any evil in me and guide me in the everlasting way”.
I confess I may not fully understand Lent’s “how” and “why”. I ask you to speak to me now.
In the quiet aloneness of my time, search me for any selfish motives or sins I cling to that are sapping me of the life you desire. Prepare my heart for what you would have me forgo, and strengthen me to seek you instead.
Wake me, Lord, if I am blind to my patterns of self-destruction. Show me what it is that I can live more fully without.
In Jesus’ name,
Week commencing 12 February 2023
A true understanding of love is the central message of the Bible. It teaches us that love is a commitment not dependent on feelings but rather on a commitment and courageous decision to extend oneself for the well-being of another. The greatest love is shown when people lay down their life for their friends (John 15:13).
It has become so commercialised and just another retailers' bonanza. The story goes that originally Valentine defied the Emperor's orders and secretly married couples to prevent the husbands going to war. What ever the true origin it is no bad thing to express our feelings in a display of emotion, but should that not be a constant in our life to those we love, not just on a special day of the year.
Or is that the same way we show our love for the Lord ‐ only when something prompt us!
There are so many passages in the Bible relative to love - 1 Corinthians 1:1‐3 is a most wonderful guide to follow. It instruct us in what is expected of love - and surely if we were to follow those rules everyday life would be a sweeter place?
To experience a deep and enduring love is a wonderful emotion,, particularly if it is reciprocated. Never take it for granted, there are many ways of expressing your love, you can never show it too often.
To me oor ain Rabbie summed it up beautifully when he wrote:
"Till a' the seas gang dry and the rocks melt w' the sun"
May you àlways feel the Saviour's love surrounding you.
Week commencing 05 February 2023
Proverbs 4:23 – Keep and guard your heart with all vigilance and above all that you guard, for out of it flow the springs of life.
Only we can guard our hearts, and we should. When we act as gatekeepers to our heart we decide what we allow to affect and influence us – and there is much out there trying to influence us. We must guard our hearts against worries, anxious thoughts, critical words before they lodge there, taking away our peace and causing us pain.
We can also guard our hearts by being mindful of the decisions we make. Not every idea that we get is a ‘God-idea’. We shouldn’t rush into decisions, but be prayerful over everything.
But we can completely entrust our hearts to the Lord. We never have to guard ourselves from Him because He is 100% trustworthy. He is our safe place. Our hearts are always completely secure with Him, and we can experience the most peace when we remain near him.
I pray that you will guard your heart from hurt this week and that you will know true peace. Amen
Week commencing 29 January 2023
We celebrated Robert Burns birthday last Wednesday 25th January. Robert, in turn, was a poet lyricist, farmer, and excise-man. He is widely regarded as the national poet of Scotland and is celebrated worldwide.
Apropos last week’s “thought for the week,” in which reference was made to St Francis Benediction, Burns seems to have had sympathy and understanding of the sentiment in that Benediction as he wrote in these following words:
FOR A’ THAT, AN’ A’ THAT
BY ROBERT BURNS
Is there, for honest Poverty
That hings it’s heid an a’ that?
The coward-slave, we pass him by,
We dare be poor for a’ that!
For a’ that, an’ a’ that;
Our toils obscure an’ a’ that;
The rank is but the guinea’s stamp;
The Man’s the gowd for a’ that.
What tho’ on hamely fare we dine,
Wear hoddin-grey an’ a’ that;
Gie fools their silks, and knaves their wine,
A Man’s a Man for a’ that.
For a’ that, an’ a’ that,
Their tinsel show, an’ a’ that;
The honest man, tho’ e’er sae poor,
Is king o’ men for a’ that.
Ye see yon birkie, ca’d a lord,
Wha’ struts an’ stares an’ a’ that;
Tho’ hundreds worship at his word,
He’s but a coof for a’ that:
For a’ that, an’ a’ that,
His riband, star, an’ a’ that.
The man o’ independent mind,
He looks an’ laughs at a’ that.
A prince can mak’ a belted knight,
A marquis, duke, an’ a that;
But an honest man’s aboon his might,
Guid faith he mauna fa’ that!
For a’ that, an’ a’ that,
Their dignities an’ a’ that,
The pith o’ Sense an’ pride o’ Worth,
Are higher rank than a’ that.
Then let us pray that come it may,
As come it will for a’ that,
That Sense and Worth o’er a’ the earth,
May bear the gree, an a’ that.
For a’ that, an’ a’ that,
It’s coming yet for a’ that,
That Man to Man, the warld o’er,
Shall brithers be for a’ that.
Week commencing 22 January 2022
Today is the 3rd Sunday after Epiphany. Churches Together in Britain and Ireland, through this week of Christian Unity, stand together against injustice in today’s world.
Together, we must strive for justice in society - because we all belong to Christ.
As Micah chapter 6 verse 8, tells us, “And what does the Lord require of us but to do justice, and to love kindness, and work humbly with our God?”
A FRANCISCAN BENEDICTION.
(Attributed to the earliest followers of St. Francis.)
May God bless you with discomfort at easy answers, half-truths,
and superficial relationships,
so that you may live deep within your heart.
May God bless you with anger at injustice,
oppression, and exploitation of people,
so that you may work for justice, freedom, and peace.
May God bless you with tears to shed for those who suffer pain,
rejection, hunger, and war,
so that you may reach out your hand to comfort them
and turn their pain into joy.
And May God bless you with enough foolishness,
to believe that you can make a difference in the world,
so that you can do what others claim cannot be done,
to bring justice and kindness to all our children and the poor.
Week commencing 15 January 2022
PSALM 139: Even in darkness I cannot hide from you
It is reckoned the next couple of weeks are the most depressing of the year. All the festivities have passed, the cards down, decorations stowed away for another year, and we are back to eating plain fare, or in guid Scots parlance "auld claes and purrage"! Days are short, nights long, weather dreich, and nothing much in the diary to look forward to in the near future. How quickly that bright light that shone only a few short weeks ago has dimmed and for some it has been extinguished and parcelled with the decorations for another year. That is where we score, because for us that light never grows dim. It shines eternally.
Let us join together singing that apt chorus:
"This little light of mine, I'm going to make it shine"
Let us be aware that for some at this time life is a real struggle and keep an eager eye out for any needing help and lend a listening ear. Remember, a trouble shared is a trouble halved.
Week commencing 08 January 2022
Jeremiah 29:11 - I alone know the plans I have for you, plans to bring you prosperity and not disaster, plans to bring about the future you hope for
That exciting period of Advent is over, and we now look ahead to a new year full of surprises. It is important, though, that we take with us the elements of Advent, represented by the candles – hope, peace, joy, love and faith in Christ. As surely as Jesus was born, we can have faith that He will come again, and we must be ready.
Over the last three years we have had to ‘put on the armour of God’ and get on with what life has thrown at us. There has been loss and sadness, perhaps greater than there might have been without COVID, but our faith, hope, joy and love have brought us through hopefully to a sense of peace.
There’s little we can do about the future, it will happen and unless there is some positive action we can take to alter a situation, either our own, or someone else’s, there is no use in worrying about it – that just saps our energy.
There is much change ahead of us in the church, but this just follows years of complacency – from us all. We have seen the dwindling numbers each Sunday for many years now, but we enjoyed our time at church, our favourite hymns, the comforting words of our minister, the companionship of our regular friends. We were lulled into a sense that we were doing our bit. Maybe it’s now clear that we should have been looking wider at those around us, who didn’t have the comforting faith that we have.
Yes, it’s difficult – ‘people aren’t interested’, ‘they don’t want to come to church’, and that is very true – people don’t want to come on a Sunday morning, sit still on a wooden pew and take part in rituals which are for us comforting and familiar, but for them, unfamiliar. However, do they want to come along as a family, take part in some activities, have a blether with others like them, enjoy a meal that they haven’t had to prepare and pay for themselves? If the attendance at Messy Church is anything to go by, that’s a great big YES! And that’s only one format of doing it differently.
So, maybe that’s not our idea of church, but things change – church is probably the only thing that we still do the same way we did 50-60 years ago, well maybe with a few wee tweaks.
An opportunity is ahead of us; it’s scary, but soon there may be no Parish Church for Dreghorn & Springside, Girdle Toll, Mure Relief; Irvine St Andrew’s, Irvine Old or Fullarton. It’s a sobering thought! But one single Irvine Parish Church is an opportunity that we can’t afford to miss. Hopefully, we can shape it to suit us all – formal services, alongside more fellowship-based gatherings, so we must play our part and not turn our backs on it.
We are blessed to have two dynamic leaders in Rev Neil and Rev Jamie to take this forward – with our help. It’s no coincidence that Rev Jamie felt the call to Dreghorn & Springside Parish Church – God’s hand was in this, and God knew what was ahead. We (DSP) are blessed to have been the congregation chosen as ‘host’, and we should take our hope, peace, love, joy and faith forward in bucketloads to ensure that the active Christian faith in Irvine is not diminished by these changes, but goes from strength to strength.
I pray that you will all find peace and contentment throughout the year, whatever may be ahead.
Week commencing 25 December 2022
Isaiah 9:6 – For unto us a Child is born, Unto us a Son is given; And the government will be upon His shoulder. And His name will be called Wonderful, Counsellor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.
With the four Advent candles now lit, we have one final candle, the Christ Candle, to light on Christmas Day. The waiting is over; A King is born, and we can celebrate.
Advent however continues. Although we think of Advent as the four weeks leading up to Christmas when our thoughts turn to the Nativity, we are still in a period of waiting. In some cultures, the Advent period represents not only the waiting period for Christ’s birth, but also our waiting for Christ’s return to earth.
This is fundamental to our Christian belief; not only did Christ come and live amongst His people, but He will return. No one knows when, but we know that He will, and we live our lives in a state of readiness for that.
Christmas is a time of great joy. As Christians we rejoice in remembering Christ’s arrival in this world. Children rejoice in the toys from Santa. I was asked recently by a (well-respected) colleague if Christmas was extra special to me because I am a Christian! I was a bit gob smacked. For me, without Christ, Christmas is nothing – gifts are nice, but they are not the be all and end all that they may be for many.
However, I also understand that whether a Christian or not, Christmas can be a very poignant and difficult time. Recent and past losses and hurts can be magnified at this time. For those who are alone, there may be a feeling that everyone else is more fortunate, but I pray that this Christmas, whether you are in the midst of family and/or friends, or whether you are on your own, that you will feel the true and genuine love of Christ surrounding you, and that is worth so much more than any company or pile of presents under a tree.
God Bless and Happy Christmas.
Week commencing 18 December 2022
1 John 4:7 – Dear friends, let us love one another, because love comes from God Whoever loves is a child of God and knows God.
Advent week four and we lit the fourth candle – only one more to go – the Christ candle, representing Jesus which we will light on Christmas Day. The fourth candle represents love.
Love takes many forms; there’s the heady, stomach-churning, exciting love that we feel when someone new comes into our life, usually when we are young (or maybe not so young), and we feel a connection with them.
There’s the overwhelming love we feel when a baby comes into our life.
There’s the deep, steady enduring (but maybe not so exciting) love we feel for a spouse or partner or a good friend or family member, and all the other manifestations of love.
The love that Jesus commands we show is not necessarily one of these types of emotional love. We can ‘love’ someone without that emotional attachment by just being kind.
A smile, a kind word, a gift, doing something practical to help someone means we are showing them love. Of course, we all probably do this anyway, but are we guilty of choosing who receives our love?
Jesus’ teaching says that we should love everyone, and of course that doesn’t mean that heady emotional love, but the practical, kind love.
Those with whom we have an emotional connection, our family, friends, people we choose to spend time with are easier to love, but what about those we find less easy to love? Jesus makes no distinction. No one should be exempt from our love.
I pray that you know the love that surrounds you. Love from family and friends but more importantly, I pray that you not only know God’s love for you, but that you also feel God’s love for you, and that you, in turn, are able to show that love to others in whatever way you can
Week commencing 11 December 2022
Psalm 16:11 - You will show me the path of life; in Your presence is fullness of joy; at Your right hand are pleasures forevermore
This week we lit the third candle in our Advent wreath. This one represents Joy. The Joy that we can find through our faith in, and love for, Jesus.
It can be challenging these days to find much joy with all the worldly worries that surround us and all the people we know who are suffering either war, poverty, grief or any of the other troubles that are part of life today. However, we should try to take some time out from our troubles. Time for silence, clearing our minds of everything worldly and concentrate on Jesus.
Advent looks forward to the celebration of Jesus’ birth at Christmas, but it also signifies a time of expectation and waiting for Jesus coming again. Sometimes, the only way to lift ourselves out of the present with all its troubles is to take our minds into the future when eventually, ‘all will be well’ and we will know real joy.
I pray that whatever you are experiencing at the moment that you will be able to find a spark of joy to sustain you, even if only for a moment.
Week commencing 04 December 2022
In week 2 of Advent, the second candle we light represents Peace*. We know Jesus as ‘The Prince of Peace’, and the peace of our Lord is ours for the taking. How many of us though, forfeit this peace for the things of this world? It is so easy to be drawn into the secular consumerism at this time of year. As Christians, do we have a duty to discourage the excesses of modern-day Christmas, and demonstrate a higher level of enjoyment through the free and attainable peace of Christ?
The peace we can have from Jesus is unique,
Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.
I pray that it is possible for us all to rise above the temptations, troubles and concerns of these days and bask in the soothing peace of Christ. Amen
*there are differing versions of what each candle means.
Week commencing 27 November 2022
For many of us, our thoughts are turning to the end of one year and the beginning of a new one. Five weeks from now, we will be in a new year, 2023. However, the Christian church is ahead of us. The Christian year ended with Christ the King Sunday last week when we reminded ourselves of Christ’s crucifixion – a topic we usually associate more with Easter time.
This led us on to the very beginning of the Christian Year – the period of Advent when we await the arrival of Christ the King.
Advent is the period four Sundays and weeks before Christmas. Advent traditions can vary across denominations and countries, but one of the ways in which we celebrate Advent in Dreghorn & Springside Parish is by lighting a candle on our Advent wreath on each of the four Sundays leading up to 24 December.
The Advent Wreath and candles are symbolic: the wreath which is made out of evergreen foliage signifies continuous life; the circular shape with no beginning and no end symbolises the eternity of God, the immortality of the soul and the everlasting life we find in Christ. The candles also have their own symbolism.
The first candle which we lit this week symbolises Hope. It is sometimes known as the Prophesy Candle in remembrance of Isaiah who foretold the birth of Christ. It represents the expectation felt in anticipation of the coming Messiah.
So, this week, let’s be full of hope. Hope for better things to come. Hope for a deeper faith in Christ. Hope for peace and contentment, despite the troubles of this secular world.
I pray that your week will be filled with hope. Amen.
Week commencing 20 November 2022
Psalm 91 - God alone is my refuge, my place of safety, He is my God and I am trusting him.
The past week has been a nervous one for most of us. Time and again we were being told to expect bad news from the Chancellor's budget, in effect they were preparing us for the worst, so that whatever was announced would not be as bad as we had anticipated. Talk about mind games!
Nevertheless it will hit all of us in the pocket, whether earners or not. For some at this moment the future must look bleak. For those with children the very thought of how to provide Christmas gifts must be a worry. Sadly we live in such a consumer age it is even more difficult for children not to feel disadvantaged. Being a pre-war child meant anything you were given was a real treat, be it an orange, chocolate or a pen, and we were all happy with our lot. Wasn't life simpler then when we were almost all equal.
Of course, another big difference was that after breakfast on Christmas morning we went to Church. Today no one seems to put much store by faith and attendance seems to be for high days and holidays. I am not saying Church will solve your financial worries, but it is somewhere to relieve your burdens. God has assured us he is always there in times of stress or worry. The Church can help with debt and ÇAP are based in the Fullarton Centre. It is free and available for all.
Can you afford to put your hand in your pocket. Messy Church assures a two-course meal as well as fun. Could you give a shilling or two towards the cost? By supporting the Springside larder or the Food Bank by donating a can or two (leave in the Session House), we can make a difference, no matter how little. It will be a blessing to someone. It is a practical way for the Church to share what we have, and God's promise never to let us down.
By all pulling (or should that be pooling) together we can make it out the other side, and with God on our side, who will stand against us.
So shoulders to the wheels boys, and forward march in prayer we go.
Week commencing 13 November 2022
Isaiah 41:10 Fear not, for I am with you; Be not dismayed, for I am your God and I will strengthen you. Yes, I will help you, I will uphold you with My righteous right hand
We continue with our Remembrance theme this week. This piece appeared in ‘THE SPECTATOR’ of September 11th, 1915.
CHRIST IN FLANDERS
We had forgotten You, or very nearly -
You did not seem to touch us very nearly -
Of course we thought about You now and then,
Especially in any time of trouble -
We knew that You were good in time of trouble -
But we are very ordinary men.
And there were always other things to think of -
There’s lots of things a man has got to think of -
His work, his home, his pleasure, and his wife;
And so we only thought of You on Sunday -
Sometimes, perhaps, not even on a Sunday -
Because there’s always lots to fill one’s life.
And, all the while, in street or lane or byway -
In country lane, in city street, or byway -
You walked among us, and we did not see,
Your feet were bleeding as You walked our pavements -
How did we miss Your Footprints on our pavements?
Can there be other folk as blind as we?
NOW we remember; over here in Flanders -
( It isn’t strange to think of You in Flanders) -
This hideous warfare seems to make things clear,
We never thought about You much in England -
But now that we are far away from England -
We have no doubts, we know that You are here.
You helped us pass the jest along the trenches -
Where, in cold blood, we waited in the trenches -
You touched it’s ribaldry and made it fine.
You stood beside us in our pain and weakness -
We’re glad to think You understand our weakness -
Somehow it helps us not to whine.
We think about You kneeling in the Garden -
Ah! God! the agony of that dread Garden -
We know You prayed for us upon the Cross,
If anything could make us glad to bear it -
‘Twould be the knowledge that You willed to bear it -
Pain - death - the uttermost of human loss.
Though we forgot You - You will not forget us -
We feel so sure that You will not forget us -
But stay with us until this dream is past.
And so we ask for courage, strength, and pardon -
Especially, I think, we ask for pardon -
And that You’ll stand beside us to the last.
FOOD FOR THOUGHT.
God is constant, we so often forget this, we on the other hand, so often only turn to him in times of our difficulties.
Week commencing 6 November 2022
Psalm 9:9 - THE Lord is a shelter for the oppressed, a refuge in times of trouble
Every year for more than a century we have commemorated Remembrance Day, yet the world today is as hostile and dangerous as it has ever been. Wars and conflicts have come and gone but man has learned no lessons. Earlier this year Ukraine was invaded by just the latest in a long line of Tinpot Leaders inflated with his own importance.
WHY does a loving God allow such things to happen? The answer is that that loving .God made mankind above animal and gave us the right to make choices. The sadness is that we don't always make the right choice. This is where our upbringing and prayer come into their own.
We wear our poppy with pride, honouring those service personnel and civilians who paid the ultimate price in defence of our freedom. Today there are so many still suffering the effects of war, particularly with mental illness. It is easy to see a physical disability, but so often mental illness goes undiagnosed until in some instances it is too late,
There is never a justification for war, no matter the situation, and there are always casualties.
Thank goodness for places like Erskine which for many years has been a lifeline for our military veterans.
When you drop your coin in the poppy can stop for a moment and give thanks for the selfless bravery of those willing to defend the safety of not just this country but in many other countries around the world that people may live in peace and harmony.
Week commencing 31 October 2022
Another inspiring message compiled by Joanie Garborg for a Promise Journal entitled
GOD TENDERLY COMFORTS YOU
My soul finds rest in God alone; my salvation comes from him.
He alone is my rock and my salvation; he is my fortress, I will never be shaken….
Find rest, O my soul, in God alone; my hope comes from him.
He alone is my rock and my salvation; he is my fortress, I will not be shaken.
My salvation and my honour depend on God; he is my mighty rock, my refuge.
Trust in him at all times, O people; pour out your hearts to him, for God is our refuge….
Psalm 62. Verses 1-2, 5-8, 11-12. NIV
One thing God has spoken, two things have I heard: that you, O God, are strong, and that you, O Lord, are loving.
Psalm 37 verse 7 KJV - Rest in the Lord, and wait patiently for him.
Week commencing 23 October 2022
I was having a look through a Promise Journal that I have. The contents were compiled by Joanie Garborg. I came across this piece titled God’s Compassion. It is found in the English Standard Version of the Bible. Lamentations chapter 3 verses 21 to 25 and verses 31 to 33.
But this I call to mind, and therefore I have hope:
The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; his mercies never come to an end;
they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.
“The Lord is my portion,” says my soul, “therefore I will hope in him.”
The Lord is good to those who wait for him, to the soul who seeks him…
For the Lord will not cast off forever, but though he cause grief, he will have compassion according to the abundance of his steadfast love; for he does not willingly afflict or grieve the children of men.
I find these to be comforting words in difficult times.
As it says in Psalm chapter 40 verse 11, Lord don’t hold back your tender mercies from me. Let your unfailing love and faithfulness always protect me.
Week commencing 16 October 2022
Psalm 33:22 - May Your constant love be with us, Lord, as we put our hope in You.
You can't help but notice the state of the world at the moment, wars, rising prices, shortage of staff in crucial services, indecisive government leaders, the worship of that false god, money, and the notion that money will solve all ills. It can be overwhelming and leave us with a sense of helplessness. The following prayer by the Rev Jamie brought me some comfort.
Oh Lord God have mercy we pray, when we look out and see how different our world is from the way that You would have us be, Oh Lord God, have mercy.
You have given us guidance for life. You have given us Your Word, Your Prophets, Your people throughout the generations, and we confess that sometimes Lord, we have been the agents of keeping other people down. That we too, have thought of nature as something to be exploited.
Your church, Lord, has many sins in our past. Today Lord, we seek to be the best that we can be, in Your strength. To move on and learn from our mistakes, and not just to be playing catch up with the world, but to show a uniquely divine way which is different from the way that our world is heading just now.
A way that isn’t just governed by the markets, as all heads bow to them
A way that isn’t just about depleting our planet because we have to keep on grow, grow, growing all the time
A way that values people and doesn’t just treat them as commodities in some gig-economy where people can be picked up and dropped at a whim.
Help us instead Lord, to be a people who build community, who reach over divisions with love.
A people who show mercy in the way that we relate to one another
A people who seek to be just in everything we say and do and in the use of the resources that we have.
So, we thank You Lord, for the money that is given to our church. We thank You for the resources that we have in the buildings, and we thank You Lord, for the precious resource that is each one of us – dearly loved by You – not to be picked up and dropped, but to be encouraged along, helping the slowest among us, and bearing with one another through the challenges that we face, because You have called us to be something different.
You have called us to be a community who love one another
You have called us to be a community who recognise the life that is in us through You, and share that life with others
A community of compassion; a community of forgiveness; a community of second, third and so on chances
And we pray Lord, that as Columba faced those improbable odds in his journey across the Irish Sea, that through that community he set up, Your words became known across this country, that people have come to follow You. In those days Lord, that we feel that our boat is getting smaller every day, we pray that we might take faith from those in the past who have shown us Your way and to trust that we can do all things through Christ who strengthens us.
We pray on Lord for Your church, we pray on for those who are not able to be with us on a Sunday, but join in from home, for those who are sick, for those who are housebound. We pray for those who are mourning, and we ask that they know Your comfort and presence.
Oh Lord God we pray, may we borrow Your eyes that we might see this world differently, and by borrowing Your eyes, may see the place where we can be most effective in seeking to bring something of Your kingdom in, all this we pray in Jesus’ name.
Week commencing 09 October 2022
Those who are kind to the poor lend to the Lord, and he will reward them for what they have done. Proverbs 19:17
What despair awaits many people every day wondering just how they are going to manage to exist, with ever soaring costs but only the same amount of cash to cover all bills. With little expectation we look to our new Prime Minister to have at least some of the answers. Personally, I for the life of me cannot understand why anyone would want to take on such a poisoned chalice! The problems on her in-tray are enormous and we know she cannot solve them all.
This is where we as Christians step in. We are no less cushioned from the financial position, but where we are able, let us stretch out a helping hand. How you may ask? Well, Messy Church is one way, apart from teaching and engaging in craft, the children are provided with a two-course nutritious meal. Can you spare an hour to help, do you know children who would benefit, or perhaps you can financially assist. This is one way the Church is playing its part.
Crossreach runs a clothing exchange in Bourtreehill. What about clearing out your wardrobe and donating what no longer fits. You know the diet hasn't worked and those clothes are only cluttering your drawers! Better someone else can benefit from them than them go to landfill. Did you know, we are now an Eco Church? Speaking of which, if you have any suggestions as to how your Church could engage in playing its part in saving the planet, Sarah Spence would love to hear from you.
Our Church is looking into helping Springside set up a larder. This operates differently from a Food Bank and is already operating in Towerlands. The idea is that for a couple of pounds you can buy a number of items of your choice. These places can only operate with the help of volunteers. Have you a spare hour or two to help?
So, you see, there are ways we can help our neighbours without necessarily putting our hand in our pocket.
However, the first and most important thing we can do is pray. Never has prayer been more needed or more important. Our Father has always provided for our needs, and He certainly won't desert us, but it is a two-way thing. As He looks after us, He asks that we do what we can in His name to look after our neighbours. In the coming days and months let us lòok around us and so ways of stretching out that helping hand.
God's Blessing on all of us as we join hands to help one another.
Week commencing 02 October 2022
I have been enjoying our monthly Prayer group over Zoom which has just started up again after the summer break. There is a Bible study group also monthly over Zoom which is most enjoyable, and we are a friendly lot! You might consider joining in, you would be made most welcome.
I enjoy the Bible study and it is helpful to read a passage in the Bible and then discuss things with one another.
The prayer group tells us about how we can learn formats for prayer.
One of the things I learnt from a video in which Pete Greig was featured, an author and Senior Pastor of Emmaus Road Church in England, was ACTS Prayer.
ADORATION Tell God how wonderful he is. Worship him and acknowledge his goodness.
CONFESSION Admit your sins. Cry out your brokenness. Ask for God’s forgiveness, grace and mercy.
THANKSGIVING Say “thank you” to God for all he’s done in your life.
SUPPLICATION Make your requests to God, asking him for your own needs and for those of others.
I found this helpful.
I came across this little 5 Finger Prayer on the internet. I do not remember by whom, but it reads as follows;
Hold out your hand as you pray and say a prayer for each of your five fingers.
THUMB: The finger closest to you - pray for family and friends, those closest to you.
INDEX FINGER: The finger that points the way - pray for those who teach, instruct and heal.
MIDDLE FINGER: The tallest finger - pray for leaders and all who have authority.
RING FINGER: The weakest finger - pray for the weak, sick and those who are struggling.
PINKIE: The smallest finger - pray for yourself.
Week commencing 18 September 2022
As summer comes to an end and Autumn draws nearer, I normally look forward to the changes in temperature and colours. However, with all the changes in the World and here in the UK, hardship is rearing its ugly head on our horizon, and I feel somewhat apprehensive about what faces all of us.
However having faith in our Saviour the Lord Jesus Christ, I follow the advice in God’s Holy Word and take everything to God in Prayer. Where better to look than in the Book of Psalms at 121 in the Message Bible. It reads as follows;
I look up to the mountains
does my strength come from mountains?
No my strength comes from God,
who made heaven, and earth, and mountains.
He won’t let you stumble,
your Guardian God won’t fall asleep,
Not on your life! Israel’s
Guardian will never doze or sleep.
God’s your Guardian.
Right at your side to protect you,
Shielding you from sunstroke,
sheltering you from moonstroke.
God guards you from every evil,
he guards your very life.
He guards you when you leave and when you return,
he guards you now, he guards you always.
These are words that I find a comfort in troubled times, I hope they prove to be a comfort for all.
Week commencing 11 September 2022
Matthew 25:21 – Well done, you good and faithful servant
Every adjective has been used, and each of them richly deserved. Back in June when we reflected on the late Queen’s Platinum Jubilee, we observed that her integrity, honesty and faith in God set her apart from many public figures.
At this time of her fairly sudden passing, the enormity of just how much she meant to everyone hits home. The out-pouring of love demonstrated by the people at each of her homes across the country is a symbol of the respect in which she was held.
But, amongst the superlatives used to describe the Queen’s life, one word stands out – constancy. She was a constant presence for 70 years in the lives of her subjects. For us – and for her too – there is another crucial constancy. The unchanging, unending, unconditional love for us of our dear Lord Jesus Christ. Amidst all turmoil or joy, it is the one true unchanging thing in all our lives, and I am sure that this was the bedrock of our Queen’s enduring loyalty, strength, and steadfastness, and it is ours too.
As we go forward into a period of change, both nationally and, of course locally, facing change in our local church, we can take comfort from our firm belief that one thing will never change – the constant love and help of our Lord.
We pray that our new King, HM Charles III will also know that constant love and help of God throughout his reign.
Our prayers are with the family of HM Queen Elizabeth II as they go through the next days grieving in the public glare. We pray that they may also draw comfort from their faith in God.
I have no doubt that our beloved Queen will be greeted with, ‘Well done, you good and faithful servant,’ and never was it more deserved.
Thank you Ma’am.