Barry Parish Church

10th March 2022

Church of Scotland Guild March E-News


Planning and delivering


Are you so well organised that you always plan extra time in a journey, in case of unexpected delays, like roadworks, temporary traffic lights, or trains cancelled, to name just a few? It is frustrating when we are late and every traffic light between here and our destination is red, or when we are driving along the motorway on a carefully planned journey and the overhead signs say 'Delays Ahead' and the traffic begins to slow down. We expect things to work on our timeline but that does not always happen.


On a spiritual level, most of us do not plan delays or crises that slow us down or change the course of our lives, but they happen. It may be illness or loss of employment. Think about a time when circumstances changed the road we had planned to take, either in a small way or a big way.


Solomon never saw a road sign which said 'Delays Ahead' but in Proverbs 16:9, he says, “In their hearts, humans plan their course, but the Lord establishes their steps.” Solomon compares our man-made plans with God’s good guidance. The Message <>  translates this verse as "Mortals make elaborate plans, but God has the last word." We might make plans, but God directs our steps. In other words, we have ideas about what we want to happen, but sometimes God has another path for us.


We get frustrated when things do not go according to plan, but we should not make plans without asking God what His plans for us are. If we want to avoid frustration and disappointment, we need to allow God to continually direct us. We need to do as Solomon teaches and trust that God will guide us step by step, and prayerfully wait for God to lead us.


This month, we look forward to our conference in Perth, 'A Vision for the Future', to think about the journey ahead for the Guild. Our plans have been delayed by two years because of the pandemic, from which the Guild has emerged in a good position, and we are now ready to rebuild. We can do no better than go forward, remembering the words of Archibald Charteris: “It is they who dream bright dreams that in the end deliver … do not be afraid or ashamed to announce splendid hopes. It is enthusiasts the world needs, and I pray you to be enthusiastic.” So, let us be positive, brave, and enthusiastic, with the plans we make which will take the Guild forward in faith, along the right path, led by God whose we are and whom we serve. 


Safe journey to Perth.

Helen Eckford,

National Vice Convener 







It's love that makes the world go round   


It was lovely to see this photo of some members from Port Glasgow, New Parish Church, sharing fellowship and love on St Valentine's Day. After some "heart-shaped" crafts, they enjoyed wrapped chocolates and Valentine's cupcakes. Sounds like a great day. 







Urgent support for Ukraine  


Very Rev Dr Susan Brown, Convener of the Church of Scotland's Faith Impact Forum, sent a letter to all our presbyteries with information about the situation in Ukraine and particularly about the support of our partners there. We are fortunate to have good links with the Reformed Church in Hungary and a way in which we can support the congregations in Ukraine.


Susan writes: “As I write to you it is with a heavy heart, hearing the news and speaking directly to partners in Ukraine about the dreadful situation there. It would be easy to feel powerless but there are several things we can do to help.”


We suggest that you might share the opportunity to give, via the Church of Scotland, to Reformed Church in Hungary Aid (RCHA), which is run by our partner, the Reformed Church of Hungary.


Through RCHA you can support those fleeing from the east and coming to the west of Ukraine where they can be helped through the churches there; and those in the west already who don’t have access to their money when the banks run out and who will need food/help; and those who cross the borders into Hungary, Slovakia or Romania.   


Read Susan's letter here <>     







Chick, chick, chick, chick, chicken  


The sale of these lovely Easter chicks knitted by Guild member Betty Caldwell from Cupar Old has meant a fabulous donation being able to be sent to help those struggling to survive in Ukraine. Sometimes we can feel so helpless but this act of kindness will certainly be doing some practical good in the days ahead.







'Wee Seeds, Big Trees' theme and discussion guide   


Guilds should by now have received a copy of our new Theme and Discussion Guide. The guide is also available as an online copy. Please pass it on to anyone who would like it in this format.  


Read the new guide <>     







Monday memory


Our memory this month takes us back to the 2015 Annual Gathering in Dundee. It is great to see so many familiar faces. Plans are now in place for our 2022 Annual Gathering at the Assembly Hall when we hope as many of you as possible will be able to join us in person or via a live link.  







125 years of Kilbowie St Andrew's, Clydebank   


National Convener, Margaret Muir, was delighted to be able to join with members and friends of Kilbowie St Andrew's Guild in Clydebank to celebrate their 125th anniversary. It was a wonderful occasion and a real celebration of all that God has done in and through the Guild in Kilbowie St Andrew's over the last 125 years particularly. There was worship, there was cake and the day ended with Guild members being presented with 'party bags' from the Sunday School. A great day.







As a Fire Is Meant for Burning   


Our General Secretary knows that every day is a school day! And after being introduced to this hymn at Appin Guild and then again at Kilbowie St Andrew's she has become a real fan. The words are a great fit to our theme 'lights and bushels'. In this time of continued conflict in Ukraine, the line "we join hands across the nations, finding neighbours everywhere" is especially poignant.     


Listen now <>     







Pray this month   


Thursday 10: giving thanks for Rev Geza Kacso, his wife Dora, and their four children who continue to live and work in Batyu in Ukraine. Pray especially for their protection from harm.

Friday 11: for the people of Russia; for those who fear for their lives, for soldiers involved in a war not of their making, and for those who try to help.

Saturday 12: for the church in Brazil and for the women who are the future leaders, studying with our partner, the Unida project.

Sunday 13: for our brothers and sisters in the Guild in Malawi. Giving thanks for our friendship and mutual support.

Monday 14: giving thanks for the work we are supporting in Uganda, helping children with special needs.

Tuesday 15: remembering especially people in Poland who are working so hard to welcome and look after refugees from Ukraine.

Wednesday 16: for the people of Yemen, who live day-to-day with the conflict of a war that began in 2014 and where 8 million people are reliant on the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees for support.

Thursday 17: thinking of the young women and their children in Zambia who continue to be supported by the 'Journeying Together' project to have access to education and training.

Friday 18: for Guild members in England, thinking particularly of the Guild at Crown Court in London.

Saturday 19: giving thanks for the work of Pioneers in South East Asia, thinking particularly of our partners Chocolate Heaven.

Sunday 20: thinking particularly of the church in Hungary, especially our partners the Reformed Church in Hungary, who are working tirelessly to support refugees arriving from Ukraine.

Monday 21: remembering friends in Papua New Guinea, who first learned about the love of God for them as a result of the work of the Mission Aviation Fellowship and the Guild.

Tuesday 22: giving thanks for the Free to Live Trust in India and remembering particularly the children living at the home in Bori.

Wednesday 23: for the people of Afghanistan, particularly women and girls, who face reduced freedoms following the return of the Taliban.

Thursday 24: remembering the people of the USA, praying especially for President Biden.

Friday 25: giving thanks for the work of the Vine Trust in Tanzania, and especially all involved in developing the Kazunzu Village of Hope.

Saturday 26: continuing to remember the people of Syria and particularly Rev Ibrahim Nseir and his congregation in Aleppo.

Sunday 27: thinking especially of the people of Myanmar, where any opposition to the military coup is met with extreme violence.

Monday 28: for our partners here in Scotland, BEAT and Home for Good. Giving thanks for the work that they are doing to improve the lives of vulnerable children and adults.

Tuesday 29: giving thanks for the church in South Africa, particularly for the work they do to support people infected and affected by HIV.

Wednesday 30: remembering before God, family and friends, and fellow Christians living in Northern Ireland, praying that the peace will not be lost in the midst of political turmoil.

Thursday 31: giving thanks for the work of Feed the Minds in Kenya, and remembering all those whose lives have been changed by our project tackling female genital mutilation.

Friday 1: for the church in Pakistan, living with the regular threat of violence simply for being a Christian.

Saturday 2: giving thanks for the continued peace and rebuilding of communities in Rwanda and for the role that the Guild played in helping to rebuild homes.

Sunday 3: for the people of Occupied Palestinian Territories and of Israel, asking for God to intervene and a peaceful solution to be found in this complex situation.       





Contact us   


Phone: 0131 225 5722 <tel:+013120225205722

121 George Street, Edinburgh, EH2 4YN

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