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Guild News - 20 July
The Lord Himself will lead you
The Lord Himself will lead you and be with you. He will not fail you or abandon you, so do not lose courage or be afraid.

Normally at this time of year we would be thinking about holidays, and perhaps some of us are. Many of us however will have had to cancel a holiday or be uncertain about when we will feel able to go on holiday. As happens at times of uncertainty, we take comfort from looking back to the past and remembering people and places important to us, and we look forward and plan.

“It’s been a journey” is a phrase often used when someone has experienced a change in circumstances. The idea of life as a journey is common in many cultures and a phrase we could certainly use at the moment to describe our position. The Bible is full of journeys led by faithful men and women, chosen by God, from Abraham and Moses to Paul and of course the earthly journey of Jesus Himself.

Life is a journey; faith is a journey. We remember those who have guided and encouraged us on our life journey and have brought us to faith. The Guild has been on a journey for more than 130 years and in the last two years we have considered how we will continue the journey and with whom we have travelled and will travel, each choosing, with God’s help, the right path for us. We are now ready to think about going the Extra Mile. We have no shortage of examples of people who have gone the extra mile for family, friends and neighbours in the last few months and we could make a long list of when God has gone the extra mile for us.

We look to the future in the knowledge that wherever we go, whoever we journey with and whatever challenges the journey brings, we do not travel alone for God is always with us, leading us and sometimes carrying us when we are too weak to continue. What a comfort and what strength we gain from knowing that we are always in God’s presence.

In Exodus we read how God trusted Moses to lead the people of Israel out of Egypt to the promised land. God was with them day and night, as He is with us.

During the day the Lord went in front of them in a pillar of cloud to show them the way, and during the night He went in front of them in a pillar of fire to give them light, so they could travel night and day.

God guides and cares for us on our journey, showing us the way forward whatever that might be. We trust in Him completely. In the words of the well known hymn:

As I travel through the bad and good, keep me travelling the way I should;
Where I see no way to go, you’ll be telling me the way I know.

Go well and safely.

Helen Eckford, National Vice-Convener
Count your blessings
This is another great idea we were sent last week  This 'count your blessings' ring was sent to Guild members encouraging them to think of different ways in which God had blessed them each day. If you would like to try it then we can send you the details of what to do and what you need.
Send me more information
Join us for virtual afternoon tea
Thank you to all the Guilds who have been in touch about the Virtual Afternoon Tea. We are hoping that as many Guild people as possible will host an afternoon tea with family or friends with all the donations being split between the projects. At the moment you can have four other households and a maximum of 15 people outside and two other households inside. Hopefully it might be a few more by 8 August and the sun will be shining!
Get in touch
South Sudan
We have heard this week via our friends in the Faith Impact Forum, from Rev Orozu Lokine Daky Alaan, deputy secretary general of the Presbyterian Church of South Sudan, about unrest in the Southern Jonglei area of the country.

He explains that fighting has broken out among different clans and particularly the youth. He says “there is no proper record of the injured or wounded. They have also taken a large number of cattle from about 10 villages along with an unspecified number of women and children.

"From the reports we have received it is our estimation that the numbers of those killed, injured or abducted are in the hundreds. The attacks reduced the villages to ashes including Gummuruk, the capital of Kubal County. They did not burn the church building but they took all the chairs, solar panels and the piano. They also burned the church compound including the pastor's house.”

"The church pastors in these areas are trying to dissuade potential attackers from further acts of violence while also seeking to meet the needs of the survivors. People have been in hiding without access to food and medical assistance for weeks. He asks us to pray for the situation in South Sudan, particularly in Southern Jonglei at present.

Pray for protection for the church pastors who seek to mediate in this situation and those who have lost lives and face an unknown future.

Pray also for South Sudan as it celebrated its 9th anniversary as a country, that peace may prevail and allow it to flourish as a nation."
It's a Fair question
Rt Rev Martin Fair, Moderator of the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland, is hosting a series of Q&A sessions with a variety of people on topical issues. The latest looks at how churches can best support their local communities and features the Rev Brian Casey of Springburn Parish Church in Glasgow, which has had over 3000 people using their foodbank since lockdown.
Watch It's a Fair question
Guild Virtual Annual Gathering 2020
We have just watched the first take of the Virtual Annual Gathering and we can assure you of a great 80 minutes of celebration and reflection. To make sure we are able to get your DVD or USB stick to you please get your order in as soon as possible but certainly before Friday 24 July.
Order your DVD
Using your initiative
Huge congratulations to Ferintosh Guild who were recently awarded £1000 from the Guild Initiative Fund to help develop a meal delivery service to people who are self isolating or shielding. They run this in conjunction with the local lunch club. The service is proving to be a great success, with Guild members helping with distribution but also being beneficiaries too.
Pray this week
Monday: that we will have the right balance between 'doing' and 'resting'.
Tuesday: giving thanks for all those who provide services we didn't really think about or fully appreciate until we couldn't use them, like hairdressers. Ask God to help us to appreciate people more.
Wednesday: for a nation where people are persecuted because of their faith in God.  Ask that God will strengthen and protect them.
Thursday: for all our twinning partners in Malawi, asking God to encourage them because of their friendship with The Guild.
Friday: giving thanks for the opportunity to meet with family and friends again.
Saturday: asking that we will persevere in prayer for those who need our prayerful support.
Sunday: pray for Karen, our associate secretary, as she prepares for a time of rest and relaxation with her family.
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