Brother, sister, let me serve you
As my term in office as National Convener of The Guild comes to an end this Saturday 4 September during the Annual Gathering, I would like to say firstly just what a privilege it has been to have been selected to serve in this office. Secondly, how proud and ever thankful I am to have served alongside the Leadership Team of 2020-21: Margaret Muir, Andrea Houston, Helen Banks and Helen Eckford, as we worked through the challenges set before us during lockdowns to keep our membership informed, encouraged, and updated. ‘Going the Extra Mile’. Serving our Brothers and Sisters in Christ.
During the first lockdown, in March 2020, the office staff (with the exception of Karen, our Associate Secretary) were all furloughed. I would like to take this opportunity to record my personal thanks and that of the Leadership Team to Karen for her outstanding and committed service, support and friendship throughout this unknown and challenging time. After restrictions eased, we were able to welcome back on board our General Secretary, Iain, and the office staff.
On reflection, this last year of our three-year strategy ‘One Journey Many Roads’ – ‘Going the Extra Mile’ – is exactly what everyone connected to the Guild has done. The amazing amount our members have contributed to our six outgoing Projects, while not being able to meet, was truly inspirational. Serving our Brothers and Sisters in Christ.
The leadership team has been on such a learning curve, as we learned more about doing Guild differently, becoming informed about IT, Microsoft Teams, Zoom, video, Facebook and YouTube. We are so grateful for this media input as it equipped us well to: facilitate weekly leadership team meetings, National Council, Conveners' and Project Conferences, Vice Conveners’ Area Meetings; to record various pieces of worship and Big Sings; and to select our six new Projects for our new three-year strategy ‘Look Forward in Faith’. Serving our Brothers and Sisters in Christ.
As lockdown eased, it was indeed a special day and honour to be invited to deliver the Guild Annual Report in person along with Iain during the General Assembly. I am excited and again privileged and honoured that the report was well-received, and that we had Good News to share. I would like to thank those who contacted me personally with their greetings.
We are saddened to learn of Iain’s decision to retire in December. As we have been reflecting on ‘Serving our Brothers and Sisters’, we give thanks to God for calling Iain in the direction of serving the Guild ten years ago. We are thankful for everything he has brought to the post of General Secretary during this time, and we wish God’s richest blessings on both him and Elaine as they look forward in faith to a wonderful time of retirement. It is still a little way off though and we look forward to continuing to work with Iain till Christmas.
I am delighted to share with you that the winner of the Convener’s Rainbow/Tree Picture Challenge for 2020/21 has now been chosen and will be unveiled on Saturday at the Annual Gathering. Thanks to everyone who participated. The winning entry will be printed onto a blank card which will be sold in aid of national Guild funds. Watch this space.
At the beginning of 2020, as National Convener Elect, I was again privileged and delighted to be able, alongside my nine other ‘Companions on the Road’, to visit the ‘Empowering Teenage Mothers’ project in Kanyama, Zambia. This was such a life-changing experience to see first-hand how this project was running; how the mothers and their children were being supported to enrich their lives and take them forward; and to be able to closely share with the girls, their children and those in charge of the day-to-day running of the project. Remembering fondly my ‘Sister in Christ’ Mable Sichali.
So then, as I end my calling into serving in this way by our Lord and Saviour, I ask God’s rich blessings on our National Convener Elect, Margaret Muir, and the Leadership Team of 2021-22. May each continue to be called to serve our Brothers and Sisters taking forward this great movement that is the Church of Scotland Guild.
For, in serving each other and caring for each other, as true brothers and sisters, especially in times of need, we become more Christ-like and begin to truly serve Him.
Brother, Sister, let me serve you,
let me be as Christ to you;
pray that I may have the grace to
let you be my servant too.
He promised He would be with us until the end of time.
Look Forward in Faith...
May I wish every Guild throughout the land a rewarding 2021-22 as you begin to meet in person again.
My arms are heavy, laden with hugs to be shared.
National Convener 2020/21
846 years of service at Cults
Congratulations to the members of Cults Guild who were presented with long-service certificates by their minister Rev Shuna Dicks. In total, they have over 846 years of service to the Guild and we are incredibly grateful to them for their dedication to the work of the gospel through the Guild in that time.
Cults Guild put on a delicious afternoon tea to recognise their achievement and give everyone a chance to be together after such a long time apart.
Please note, rules on social distancing and mask-wearing were adhered to apart from very briefly during the taking of the photograph.
Annual Gathering 2021
We hope you will be able to join us for the 2021 Annual Gathering, either in person or online, this Saturday 4 September.
You will be able to access the event from 10:30am on Saturday with the event going live online at 11am, and finishing at approximately 2:30pm with a short break between 12:45 and 1:15pm.
It promises to be another great day celebrating the life and work of the Guild.
Tea for two or even twenty!
It was great to see members of Crown Church Guild, Inverness, enjoying their first meeting for many months. To celebrate being able to meet together they went for afternoon tea at Fairways Hotel. It looks like everyone had a great time and enjoyed being together.
Please note, rules on social distancing were adhered to apart from very briefly during the taking of the photograph.
Brother, sister, let me serve you
We have chosen 'Brother, Sister, let me serve you' as our hymn this week as Mabel prepares to draw her year of service to a close and Margaret begins this new role of service as National Convener.
We give thanks for all that have been called to serve God over the years as National Convener or President of the Guild. We pray God's richest blessing on them.
Women's Guild in Malawi
As we prepare for our Annual Gathering, our memory this week takes us back to the 2017 Women's Guild conference in Mzimba in Malawi. It was a truly joyful occasion and we ask you to contine to remember our sisters and brothers in your prayers.
Scotland Lead at Home for Good
Home for Good, one of our Guild project partners, is looking to recruit a new Scotland Regional Lead.
They are looking for someone who has good knowledge and experience of the care system and who is comfortable in working with church leaders. If you know of anyone please encourage them to think about applying, and share the link through the red button below.
Pray this week
AIM AND PURPOSE
The Guild at Fetteresso is a movement within the Church of Scotland nationally which invites and encourages both women and men to commit their lives to Jesus Christ and enables them to express their faith in worship, prayer and action.
Our Guild has a leadership team who coordinate the various aspects of the Guild.
Every three years a strategy with three annual themes is decided by the Guild. The Guild also decides on a discussion topic every year. See below for the current theme, topic and strategy.
Annual themes were introduced to encourage Guilds to plan their programmes more effectively. These resources were introduced in the 1950s to give a focus for Guilds but are sufficiently broad to allow for imaginative planning.
Topics offer a chance to explore a particular issue of current concern, possibly leading to some local action.