Coronavirus

(COVID-19)

Church Reopening.

Details HERE

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SCOTTISH CHARITY NUMBER SC006235 THE CHARITY LEGAL NAME St Andrews Church of Scotland: Dumbarton

Church News

St. Andrew’s is reopening

Details are HERE

Saturday 19th September  West Dunbartonshire Open Doors Day

Thought for the Day

Today should have been West Dunbartonshire’s Open Doors Day. But like all other similar events this September, and many other events over the last 6 months, it isn’t happening this year. We do have a spell of dry and sunny weather at the moment, so even if we can’t go and appreciate the heritage around us from the inside, we can appreciate it from the outside. Many of us have to watch where we are putting our feet, so that we don’t trip, but it is often fascinating to look up at a building’s upper stories or roofline. And if you look up, you might see hills, or trees, or birds flying, or someone’s face, or eyes, or smile..

Lord, we cannot ignore where we put our feet, or we’re liable to trip up. But if we only ever look at our feet, there is so much that we can miss, and so much that we can give – our smile could mean so much to a person on their own. Help us to appreciate the world around us, and give thanks for what we have instead of dwelling on what we can’t do

 

Viking siege and sacking 871: From the late 8th century Vikings from Denmark and Norway regularly attacked sites across Great Britain and Ireland (including Iona), looking for treasure and slaves. They established various settlements in the Western Isles and Argyll, and major bases in Ireland (especially Dublin). In 870-1, while a large Danish army was rampaging around England, two Dublin-based commanders, Ivarr the Boneless and Olaf the White, led a siege on Dumbarton. Because of (unusually) dry weather the fort on the Rock had to surrender. It is said that the Vikings took away 200 longships of loot.
 

Picture of the Day

                                                                                        Edinburgh 12 Palace of Holyroodhouse               

                                                                                               Edinburgh 12  Palace of Holyroodhouse

                                                                                                 Click on the picture to see it enlarged

PS Next week we embark on a Three Lochs Tour – Lomond, Katrine and Leven

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Friday 18th September

Thought for the Day

Once in a holy passion
I cried in heartfelt grief,
‘Lord, I am vile and wicked –
of sinners I am chief!’

Then swooped my guardian angel
and whispered from behind,
‘Vanity, my little man!
You’re nothing of the kind!’        Anon

 

Picture of the Day

                                                                                             Edinburgh 11 Parliament Building        

                                                                                                   Edinburgh 11  Parliament Building

                                                                                                 Click on the picture to see it enlarged

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Thursday 17th September  Start of British Food Fortnight

Thought for the Day

Q1 What is your favourite British/ Scottish food? Q2 What is your favourite café or restaurant selling British/ Scottish food? Sometimes it is hard to say what our ‘favourite’ is as there are a number of possible answers. There may not be fairs or markets to showcase British or locally grown produce this year, but we can express appreciation for the things we like, and remember those growing or preparing foodstuffs, and those in the hospitality sector facing great challenges

Lord, we give thanks for all our favourite British/ Scottish foodstuffs. We pray for those who grow or prepare them, who may be facing financial pressures this year. Similarly, as we give thanks for our favourite ‘eating venues’, we remember those in the hospitality sector facing challenges too

 

It’s Open Doors Heritage Month so over the next few days we’ll share some short snippets about Dumbarton, its surroundings and its history

Many legends grew up around St Serf, but there is no real evidence about his life or work. He is usually associated with areas around Fife – Culross, Loch Leven and Dunning in Perthshire. Some traditions say that he was of Mediterranean/ Arab origin. Some link him with St Thenew (St Enoch) and St Mungo – making him foster-father of Glasgow’s patron saint. Usually churches dedicated to St Serf are found around the Forth, but the Mediaeval Cardross Parish Church (in Levengrove Park) was dedicated to him.

 

Picture of the Day

                                                                                                 Edinburgh 10 Parliament Building    

                                                                                                    Edinburgh 10  Parliament Building

                                                                                                 Click on the picture to see it enlarged

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Wednesday 16th September

Thought for the Day

The local Covid testing site seemed yesterday to be in the Burgh Hall car park, and seemed quiet. Getting access to tests and getting results back quickly has become a major source of frustration and debate around the country. I know of some folk in Cambridge who were told by the nursery to get a child with a high temperature tested, and the online system offered Inverness. There are obviously problems with the system and the communications. It is easy to use it for political point-scoring either way, but underneath there are a lot of individuals and families whose lives are being messed up by problems with the testing system, from patients waiting to go into hospital, to NHS and care staff, to teachers, to pupils and so on. As well as hoping and praying that the problems are fixed quickly, let’s remember those who are directly affected by issues with the system

Lord, help us to appreciate how fortunate we are to have a testing system. It needs to be better. Help all those working to improve it, and be with all those waiting for it to happen

 

It’s Open Doors Heritage Month so over the next few days we’ll share some short snippets about Dumbarton, its surroundings and its history

St Columba was born in Donegal, part of a powerful royal family that ruled much of the North of Ireland.He trained as a monk and became a priest. He was an impressive figure, a scholar and able administrator. He founded a number of monastic communities which were places of worship, learning and mission – Derry, Kells, Durrow and Iona. He left Ireland in circumstances that are not entirely clear, and went to Dalriada (Argyll) where the (Irish) king granted him the island of Iona. It became a base for missions up and down the Western seaboard of Scotland, and beyond. He corresponded with the King based at Dumbarton. Legends about Columba grew up after his death, including the first recorded encounter with the Loch Ness Monster!

 

Picture of the Day

                                                                                           Edinburgh 9 Parliament Building                 

                                                                                                    Edinburgh 9  Parliament Building

                                                                                                 Click on the picture to see it enlarged

 

        WDC     

To support town centres and ensure residents can continue to safely access local businesses while physical distancing, we are creating wider pedestrian footways across West Dunbartonshire.

To achieve this, fixed safety barriers will be placed on sections of the road Main Street, Alexandria and selected surrounding localities and High Street Dumbarton. Further locations will be implemented as the scheme evolves.

The temporary barriers are necessary to support areas where there is high pedestrian footfall in order to prevent congestion and ensure 2m physical distancing guidance can be followed.

They are expected to be in place beginning Wednesday 16 September and will remain in place until semi-permanent and permanent infrastructure changes – which could include the introduction of planters and parklets – are developed and put in place.

The work is being done using Spaces for People funding, which was introduced to make it safer for people who choose to walk, cycle or wheel for trips and exercise during Covid-19.

Local signage will be in place to direct motorists to the nearest available parking.
We thank you for your patience and understanding as we work to keep our town centres and communities safe.

If you want to discuss this in further detail, please contact WDC regeneration

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Tuesday 15th September  Battle of Britain Day

Thought for the Day

After the fall of France in 22 June 1940, Hitler turned his attention on Britain, aiming to force it to negotiate peace by means of an air and sea blockade, to be followed if necessary by a sea-borne invasion. The air campaign climaxed on 15 September (80 years ago today) with the RAF Fighter Command ensuring that Hitler would not have control of the skies. Although the Blitz continued until May 1941, Hitler called off the planned sea borne invasion. The Fighter pilots (one of whom was a West Kirk elder) who saved Britain from defeat and invasion in late Summer/early Autumn 1940 are known as the ‘Few’. We express our gratitude to them, and remember current RAF personnel. For more information visit https://www.rafbf.org/battle-of-britain

Lord, had the Battle of Britain been lost in 1940 the world would have been a very different and much worse place. We appreciate the courage of those who participated. We pray for peace, for justice for everyone in our world today

 

It’s Open Doors Heritage Month so over the next few days we’ll share some short snippets about Dumbarton, its surroundings and its history

St Patrick came from a Romanised, Christian, British (Welsh-speaking) family on the West Coast of Britain. The Clyde likes to claim he was born at Old Kilpatrick. He was captured by Irish pirates and taken to Ireland as a slave. He was freed (or escaped), made his way home, and became a priest. He may have had some training in Gaul (France) and Rome. He went back to Ireland and based himself at Armagh. His autobiography (Confessio) and Letter to the British king Coroticus have survived. Many legends subsequently grew up around Patrick. The Mediaeval Parish Church of Dumbarton, and the Chapel at the Castle, were both dedicated to St Patrick.

 

Picture of the Day

                                                                                              Edinburgh 8 Parliament Building               

                                                                                                    Edinburgh 8  Parliament Building

                                                                                                 Click on the picture to see it enlarged

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Monday 14th September

Thought for the Day

New rules/ regulations/ guidelines (which category exactly are they?) come into effect across Great Britain today – though (apart from variations between the different nations) in some areas (like here) there are local, tighter ones. The aim is a simple, understandable set of rules – but whenever you devise a ‘rule’ someone will always come up with a situation that requires an exemption. Hence why we have libraries of case law and legal rulings (not to mention protracted negotiations with small children!) A number of people say ‘just use your common sense’, which seems reasonable – till you come across someone with a very different understanding of ‘common sense’ from your own. Maybe we need to keep in mind the second of the Great Commandments ‘Love your neighbour as you love yourself’: treat others with respect (so don’t put them in danger) and treat yourself with respect (so don’t put yourself in danger)

Lord, help us to remember always to be positive, helpful and constructive in attitudes and behaviour towards ourselves and others

 

 It’s Open Doors Heritage Month so over this week and next we’ll share some short snippets about Dumbarton, its surroundings and its history

The Antonine Wall was built between 142 and 154 AD on the orders of the Roman Emperor Antoninus Pius. It ran between Old Kilpatrick and Bo’ness. It was 39 miles long and had 16 forts. It was 3-4m high and 5 m wide, built of turves or soil, with a wooden palisade on top. There was a wide ditch to the North and a military road to the South.

It was abandoned in 162AD, re-occupied in 208 by the Emperor Septimius Severus, and then abandoned a few years later. It has UNESCO World Heritage status.

 

Picture of the Day

                                                                                               Edinburgh 7 Canongate Kirk               

                                                                                                      Edinburgh 7  Canongate Kirk

                                                                                                 Click on the picture to see it enlarged

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Saturday 12th September

Thought for the Day

It’s cold, it’s very wet. Who fancies a socially-distanced meet-up in the garden or park? At least we have modern technology to help us keep in touch (telephones, social media, e-mails etc). No, it isn’t the same as seeing someone face to face, but without it… It is easy to lapse into ‘negative’ mode. If we are going to get through this winter then we need to work on the ‘positive’ mode – and help others to do that too. Can you name 10 things that you are fortunate to have (eg friends, neighbours, a roof over your head, food for the table etc)?

Lord, it can be hard to feel positive on cold, wet days, but compared with so many people we have plenty for which to be grateful. Help us to appreciate what we have and focus on the positive things – and help those who are struggling to do that

 

Picture of the Day

                                                                                                    Edinburgh 6 John Knox's House    

                                                                                                    Edinburgh 6  John Knox’s House

                                                                                                 Click on the picture to see it enlarged

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Friday 11th September

Thought for the Day

What to reflect on today? It is the anniversary of the 9/11 attacks, and in addition to the awful events of that day, we continue to live with the consequences of what flowed from it. Or should it be the wrangles over the Internal Market Bill and dealings with the EU, the ethical issues raised and practical consequences that could flow from it? Or the introduction of stricter guidelines on indoor and outdoor meetings, and the consequences for employment/ the economy/ the future of some businesses, for mental and maybe physical health? In all of that, and much more, one word recurs, ‘consequences’. Everything that we do or say has ‘consequences’ (intentional or unintended) for ourselves and others. We are becoming used to preparing ‘risk assessments’ for just about everything, and even if we baulk at the thought of filling out a written one, consciously or sub-consciously we do it all the time. So maybe our reflection for today is to remind ourselves that everything we do our say has ‘consequences’ for us and others – and to pause and think before we speak or act, and think what might happen as a result

Lord, before we say or do things, help us to reflect on what the consequences might be

 

Picture of the Day

                                                                                                Edinburgh 5 Parliament Square         

                                                                                                    Edinburgh 5  Parliament Square

                                                                                                 Click on the picture to see it enlarged

 

Local Covid-19 restrictions continue in West Dunbartonshire

Residents in West Dunbartonshire are being reminded of local restrictions which prevent them from socialising with other households within their homes.

The Scottish Government has confirmed that Covid-19 cases have continued to rise and as a safety measure the restrictions announced last week will remain in place for at least another seven days. The restrictions were introduced on 1 September to prevent the further spread of the virus in the community.

Public Health Scotland experts confirm that the evidence points to the significant factor driving transmission locally is people meeting up in their homes without following the existing guidelines. During the restrictions, people in the area are again unable to meet other households indoors either in West Dunbartonshire or in other authority areas.

Only essential indoor visits in care homes and hospitals will be permitted, although outdoor visits are still possible at care homes.

In addition, if one household member is identified as a close contact of a confirmed Covid-19 case, the whole household must now self-isolate for 14 days.

Although people from different households can continue to meet outdoors and in hospitality settings, they must adhere to existing guidance. For indoor meetings this guidance states households should be 2m apart and should not meet in groups that exceed three households, or eight person limit.

For outdoor meetings the guidance states households should be 2m apart and should not meet in groups that exceed five households, or 15 person limit.

People who are providing care or essential support can make indoor visits but must take extra hygiene precautions and those who have formed an extended household can continue to meet indoors with enhanced hygiene measures in place.

Residents who were previously shielding have been advised to strictly follow physical distancing and hygiene measures.

Council Leader, Councillor Jonathan McColl, has urged everyone to strictly follow the guidelines to protect loved ones and the wider community from the virus, to avoid taking risks which could lead to a further outbreak. This could include something as simple as having a cup of tea in someone’s house.

Quotes from Jonathon McColl “If we all adhere strictly to these new measures, we will have the best chance of suppressing this virus and avoiding the need for any stricter measures being imposed on us.
“As a Council, we will continue to follow the advice of both Public Health Scotland and the Scottish Government and will continue to share information with residents via the Council’s website and social media pages."

The Scottish Government has not ruled out extending restrictions if necessary to protect public health.
 

Updated press release from West Dunbartonshire Covid-19

Following the message above, there has been a change to the rule in Scotland announced by the First Minister. Please see details below:

Due to concerns about the coronavirus pandemic accelerating, the number of people allowed to meet up in Scotland has been cut to six.
Until now, eight people from three households had been allowed to meet indoors in Scotland, and up to 15 from five households outdoors.
This will change to six people from two household, and will apply both indoors and outdoors - including in homes, gardens, pubs and restaurants.
Children under the age of 12 will not count towards the total, however.

Other planned changes have been put on hold for now, including opening of theatres, soft play and so on.

These measures are essential to avoid further spread of the virus and are similar to measures introduced in England earlier this week.

We would encourage all residents in West Dunbartonshire to take heed of these changes along with the local restrictions in place also.

Further information on local measures can be found HERE

 

Information From Social Security Scotland                      SocialSecScotland                                                          

Please link to our latest Newsletter Social Security Scotland - September Newsletter HERE  which has information about all the latest developments including ….

This week marks the second birthday of Social Security Scotland.  We were formally established as an Executive Agency of the Scottish Government on 1 September 2018.
 
Child Winter Heating Assistance
Regulations were laid last week for our new benefit – this is a payment of £200 to families with the most seriously disabled children to help with winter fuel costs.
 
REMINDER about our Pregnancy and Baby Payment which is one of 3 payments that give extra money to low income families during the early years of a child’s life.
 
NEW  Scottish Child Payment
This new payment which has just been announced is likely to generate significant demand so we’re inviting people to submit applications from November onwards.
 
Independent Advocacy Service
On Tue 30th June the Scottish Government launched an independent advocacy service to support disabled people to access benefits.
This hyperlink will take you to the Independent Advocacy Service Factsheet which is designed to help you share information on the new service with people who need it.

Please don’t hesitate to get in touch if you would like any additional information or clarification on any matter

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Thursday 10th September  World Suicide Prevention Day

Thought for the Day

Many of us will have known someone who took their own life, or attempted to do so, or know family or friends of someone who did. Losing a friend or loved one is always hard, but when they have taken their own life anger and guilt can be much worse, and there can be long-lasting consequences. Some may have at times been in a similar ‘dark place’ themselves. It is something that can be very hard to talk about. What can we as individuals and a community do to respond: be ready to listen, be ready to assure people that they are accepted and valued for who they are, challenge stigmas and negative attitudes to people struggling with set-backs in their lives or with the pain of suicide?

Lord, we thank you for your unconditional love and care, accepting us as we are. We remember today those who carry the pain and scars of suicide, and all who are currently in a ‘dark place’. We thank you for the work of mental health teams, charities and volunteers who work to provide support, and pray for them. Help us as individuals and a community to acknowledge the issue, and strive to know how we can respond and provide support too

 

Picture of the Day

                                                                                                  Edinburgh 4 St Giles              

                                                                                                         Edinburgh 4  St. Giles

                                                                                                 Click on the picture to see it enlarged

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Wednesday 9th September

Thought for the Day

When I was training to be a minister, at the end of one service someone coming out thanked me for the sermon (it does happen occasionally!): I can’t remember what the topic was, but he was a lecturer in Law at Glasgow Uni, and something I had said had given him an idea for a lecture. I suspect that anyone who is a lecturer in law or ethics need only refer their students to the daily news, and they have ample topics to consider for tutorials, exams questions, dissertations and post-doctoral research! EG ‘Looking at the cases of Extinction Rebellion and Brandon Lewis’s statement in the House of Commons, when is it permissible to break a law, and when is it not?’

Lord, following the law, and not following the law, was an issue in the Jewish community before Jesus, in the Gospels we hear him having debates on the topic, and the early Apostles had them too. It has probably been an issue in other faith communities, and in groups where there is no faith. Maybe there are no ‘hard and fast’ rules on the subject. Help us, and others, as we try to think it through

 

Picture of the Day

                                                                                                Edinburgh 3  Gladstone's Land          

                                                                                                      Edinburgh 3  Gladstone’s Land

                                                                                                 Click on the picture to see it enlarged

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Tuesday 8th September International Literacy Day

Thought for the Day

I am writing this, you are reading this. We take it for granted. But do you remember those days (for some of us a long time ago!) when we struggled hard to learn to read and write (and had spelling tests, and were told off if we didn’t write neatly, and…)? Some children will be learning to read and write today, maybe for the first time. Some children don’t get the chance to go to school. Some are at school, but never really mastered reading and writing, so that holds them back learning other things right through school. Some leave school and are faced with a world that presumes that everyone can read and write: road signs, application forms, social media, online information, and so much more. Take a moment to picture life if you couldn’t read or write. Pretty difficult? As individuals, as a community, what can we do to promote literacy for everyone?

Lord, literacy has been an important part of our faith and culture for a long time. We take it for granted. But many struggle to read and write. It holds back their development and opportunities. They can feel isolated or embarrassed. Help us as individuals and as a community to help them to master these skills

 

Picture of the Day

                                                                                               Edinburgh 2 Castle from Victoria St           

                                                                                                Edinburgh 2  Castle from Victoria Street

                                                                                                 Click on the picture to see it enlarged

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Monday 7th September

Thought for the Day

Have you ever been at a crossroads or junction, on foot or in the car, and it isn’t clear from the signposts or your map (or SatNav) which way to go? It seems a bit like that with planning the way forward with public policy regarding the virus. The physical well-being of vulnerable people versus the mental well-being of a large section of the population. Suppressing or containing the virus versus allowing schools to remain open, colleges and universities to start, jobs to be saved and the economy revived. Acknowledging that younger people who catch Covid-19 seem to display milder symptoms, and might contribute to a ‘herd immunity’ versus the risk that there could be longer-term effects on them not immediately apparent, and the possibility that they could pass it on to ‘vulnerable’ people. We approach the crossroads from different directions, depending on our age, health, finances, family circumstances, where we live etc. Our own concerns are important, and need to be heard by others. We need to hear and understand their concerns too. We hope and pray that those who take decisions about public policy will hear all the voices, and develop a strategy that addresses all the conflicting concerns. We hope and pray too that we, the public, will be ready to understand each other’s concerns and follow the strategy and guidance put in place

Lord, there are so many conflicting needs in this situation that it is hard, maybe impossible, to satisfy everyone. We pray for those who make public policy that they will take the right decisions. We pray too for the wider public that we will respect each other, think of the needs of others, and do what we can to help

 

Picture of the Day

This week we’re off to Edinburgh. You may not have been there for the Festival this year, but we’ll have a walk around its streets

                                                                                           Edinburgh 1 Castle from Princes St                 

                                                                                              Edinburgh 1  Castle from Princes Street

                                                                                                 Click on the picture to see it enlarged

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Saturday 5th September

Thought for the Day

The first Saturday in September is usually the time for the Guild’s Annual Gathering. A special version is going to be broadcast online today at 11am. It lasts about an hour or so. It can be accessed HERE


Lord we remember the members of the Guild, missing seeing each other, chatting to each other, and working for the church and the wider community. Thanks you for opportunities like this to bring them together. Help us all to work to support those missing company and conversation

 

Picture of the Day

                                                                                             Culzean 6 Ailsa Craig        

                                                                                                       Cuizean 6  Ailsa Craig

                                                                                               Click on the picture to see it enlarged

PS Today we reach Ailsa Craig, the end of our Trip doon the watter. Next week we’re off to Edinburgh. You may not have been there for the Festival this year, but we’ll have a walk around its streets

 

Moderator’s note to all congregations 6 September 2020

Last Tuesday, the former Presbyteries of Dumbarton and Greenock & Paisley united to form Clyde Presbytery. I have the honour of being its first Moderator.

For many years people across the Church of Scotland have felt that the Church’s structure – designed for circumstances pertaining 40-50 years ago – needs to be overhauled drastically to meet the very different world of the 2020s and beyond. The creation of Clyde Presbytery is part of a wider programme of change across the Church of Scotland – a programme that will probably be extended and speeded up to reflect the challenges and opportunities arising from the Coronavirus pandemic.

The union of the two Presbyteries, and the changes that will in time flow from it, are designed to refocus the role of Presbytery: instead of primarily having an administrative function, it will in future provide congregations with support in a variety of ways. It will take time for Clyde Presbytery to settle into its new role and for new support staff to be recruited (not helped by the limitations in place thanks to the pandemic).

To the Minister or Interim Moderator, Kirk Session, Office-bearers, members and the wider church family of your congregation, I bring the greetings and good wishes of Clyde Presbytery. We give God thanks for all that you have been doing over recent months to continue his work in your congregation and community, and pray for his continued blessing on you as you continue striving to do his work.

Ian Johnson

Moderator Clyde Presbytery

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Friday 4th September

Thought for the Day

People who listen when they are corrected will live, but those who will not admit that they are wrong are in danger. Proverbs 10: 17

 

Picture of the Day

                                                                                           Culzean 5 Walled garden                 

                                                                                                       Cuizean 5  Walled garden

                                                                                               Click on the picture to see it enlarged

 

NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde - COVID-19 Testing Centre in Dumbarton

A new mobile testing unit, will be located at the Meadows Centre, Meadows Road, Dumbarton from 03/09/20. The centre will operate on alternate days including weekends & testing will be available by booking an appointment through NHS Inform.

https://www.nhsinform.scot/

 

Church of Scotland Guild Annual Gathering

The first Saturday in September is usually the time for the Guild’s Annual Gathering. A special version is going to be broadcast online at 11am on Saturday 5 September. It lasts about an hour or so. It can be accessed HERE.

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Thursday 3rd September

Thought for the Day

80 years ago today the SS Athenia, en route from Glasgow to Montreal, was torpedoed by a U-boat NW of Ireland within hours of Britain and France’s declaration of war against Germany – the first of many merchant ships sunk during the Second World War. 98 passengers (mainly women and children) and 19 crew lost their lives. The anniversary in 2000 was used by Seafarers UK and the Merchant Navy Association to bring to public attention the contribution of merchant seamen, and the lives lost, during the two World Wars, and their role in contemporary life where most of the country’s imports and exports go by sea (though not so much now in British-flagged ships). Each year since then local authorities, including West Dunbartonshire Council, and others fly the ‘Red Duster’ in memory and appreciation of seamen past and present. We share in that

Lord, we give thanks for the service of past and present seamen (and women). They and their families can face many challenges because of the nature of their work. We pray for your blessing upon them, and all those who work to support them

 

Picture of the Day

                                                                                                Culzean 4 Camelia House              

                                                                                                       Cuizean 4  Camelia House

                                                                                               Click on the picture to see it enlarged

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Wednesday 2nd September

Thought for the Day

I wonder how many people in West Dunbartonshire, Glasgow and East Renfrewshire were ‘dumfoonert’ when they learned last night that new restrictions on meeting were being introduced from midnight? The reasons for introducing the restrictions are understandable, and the guidance must be followed if we wish to avoid a major spike, closure of schools and a full lockdown. Nevertheless, they are frustrating as we move into colder, wetter weather. For most it is inconvenient, but for people living on their own, people in care homes, and many others, it could cause/exacerbate mental health issues. Friends, family and neighbours might need extra support through this time, if there is something that we can do to help. We might also speculate on the reasons that cases spiked: was it just thoughtless, selfish behaviour; or are there other issues (eg long-established deprivation) that contributed?

Lord, we pray for all who have tested positive for Covid-19, that they will soon recover from it. We think too of those for whom these restrictions are not simply an inconvenience, but may affect their mental health – help us to do what we can to support them. We pray too for those who do not see the need to follow guidelines, or take precautions, that they will start to think more about other people – and help us to understand and address why people might not follow such guidance and advice

 

Picture of the Day

                                                                                           Culzean 3 Castle from Fountain Court 2             

                                                                                              Cuizean 3  Castle from Fountain Court 2

                                                                                               Click on the picture to see it enlarged

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Tuesday 1st September

Thought for the Day

The Scottish Government is to publish proposals today for rebuilding the country and economy, partly things that needed done before the pandemic struck (eg working towards a carbon-neutral economy), partly issues arising from it (eg unemployment and fewer job opportunities). Opposition parties have/will challenge them and put other options forward. There will be similar steps in London, Cardiff and Belfast. We all have our own wishes for things that they should do. Problem is that funding will be a big issue. Low interest rates make borrowing an easy option at the minute, but for the longer term it is not wise – and could be another burden for the younger generations in the future. Governments could opt for raising taxes and/or cutting/ refocussing expenditure, but are aware of the ‘political’ implications of doing so, and sometimes make ‘political’ decisions. Sometimes the weak and vulnerable are the ones who lose out. Are we prepared to say to those in power what we believe is the ‘right’ thing to do?

Lord, much as we might think we could run the country, we wouldn’t really like to be in the shoes of politicians in power. They face difficult, and sometimes conflicting, questions. Help them to take bold decisions that work to build peace and justice here and around the world, and to support the weak and vulnerable

 

Picture of the Day

                                                                                     Culzean 2 Castle from Fountain Court 1                   

                                                                                              Cuizean 2  Castle from Fountain Court 1

                                                                                               Click on the picture to see it enlarged

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Monday 31st August

Thought for the Day

Last day of August, the eve of a month which we tend to regard as ‘Autumn’ – even if it can have warm sunny days. But getting a Christmas card catalogue at the weekend did seem a bit premature! I haven’t opened it yet, but am entertained by the thought of the opportunities the Coronavirus pandemic offers for ‘redesigning’ Christmas cards: Santa with a mask on, socially distanced reindeer, hand sanitiser for the Wise Men etc. Autumn and Winter are going to be different from previous years, if we heed the warnings that we have to be careful to avoid further spikes. Either that means looking forward with some trepidation, or it means starting to make plans for how we will get ourselves, our friends, our neighbours, through it

Lord, help us to remember that Autumn and Winter can be beautiful, that preparing for them can provide opportunities. Help us to make plans for ourselves and others to see us through the next few months supporting and helping each other, maybe doing new and creative things

 

Picture of the Day

This week we conclude our trip ‘Doon the watter’ with a visit to Culzean          

                                                                                         Culzean 1 Castle from Ruined Arch         

                                                                                                 Cuizean 1  Castle from Ruined Arch

                                                                                               Click on the picture to see it enlarged

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Saturday 29th August

Thought for the Day

There was a headline in a newspaper this morning that some militant atheists are planning to use the proposed ‘hate speech’ law against religious groups. Whether it is true, whether it would lead to convictions, we cannot know – it may be speculation. But it is a reminder to those who are of the Christian tradition that the primary authority on behaviour for us is Jesus’ words about how we should live, and how we should treat others. Love your neighbour, love one another – where love means care and concern in action. Writers from Paul to James, to the Book of Proverbs, warn of the need to curb the tongue and say only what is helpful and up-building.  So even if the reported threat were to be carried out, if our words and our actions reflect the teaching of Jesus, there is nothing to fear

Lord, help us to love our neighbour, and help us to speak only words that Jesus would want us to speak

 

Picture of the Day

                                                                                        Irvine Maritime Museum 6 Kitchen of flat            

                                                                                              Irvine Maritime Museum 6  Kitchen of flat

                                                                                               Click on the picture to see it enlarged

 PS Next week we conclude our trip ‘Doon the watter’ with a visit to Culzean

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Friday 28th August

Thought for the Day

All being well we should be able to stream our service to the Internet on Sunday, via YouTube ‘Church of Scotland in Dumbarton’. We’re working with BT to try and get a faster Broadband speed, but we’re not there yet – so if live transmission is interrupted, it should be available later as a recording.

Lord, this is all very different from what we were used to a few months ago. So much of life is different from what we were used to a few months ago. Help us to go forward in the assurance that you travel with us, and prepare the way for us – and pick up the pieces with us when things go wrong

 

Picture of the Day

                                                                                          Irvine Maritime Museum 5 Puffer Kyles            

                                                                                              Irvine Maritime Museum 5  Puffer Kyles

                                                                                               Click on the picture to see it enlarged

 

Survey from West Dunbartonshire Council – warning, it is quite long!


Dear Resident

We want to know more about your thoughts on climate change activity locally and nationally. This will help us plan how to tackle climate change as a community, working towards the zero-carbon goal for Scotland by 2045.

We are keen to obtain as many views as possible and your views would be greatly appreciated. This survey is open to all who live or work in West Dunbartonshire, it should only take approximately 10-15 minutes to complete and is published on the Council website.

Please complete the survey by clicking on the link below or by visiting the Councils website.

WDC Climate Change Survey

The survey is open until Sunday 6th September 2020. We appreciate your support.

Engagement Team
West Dunbartonshire Council

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Thursday 27th August

Thought for the Day

We are planning for worship resuming in one of the church buildings on Sunday. I’m sure it will be an experience that many businesses, schools etc will understand only too well. 59 pages of guidance to follow from the Church of Scotland, preparation of Risk Assessments and protocols, installing sanitisers and signage, Trace and Protect and GDPR etc etc. It is all very necessary, but it is a headache. Much of Jesus’ ministry happened outside. St Columba and the Celtic monks often preached to people in the open air. The Covenanters used to meet on the moors and hills. Maybe we should just meet up outside (only joking, and there restrictions on numbers meeting up outside!)

Lord, help all those who are trying to ensure their buildings meet the current guidelines on opening to the public during this time. Help us too to remember that there are many times in the past when your church has been able to survive – and even grow – without buildings

 

Picture of the Day

                                                                                       Irvine Maritime Museum 4 Tug Garnock                     

                                                                                             Irvine Maritime Museum 4  Tug Garnock

                                                                                               Click on the picture to see it enlarged

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Wednesday 26th August

Thought for the Day

I was doing some forward planning for ‘Thought for the day’ yesterday, and did some research on when there are special days or weeks that try to focus our attention on particular issues. There are dozens and dozens of them, often on the same day! There are so many worthwhile issues to think about – though a few are a bit odd. With many of them it is possible to think ‘Oh, that affects so-and-so’ or ‘They’ve got that.’ Most people we know are contending with some health or other problem (and probably with the others, there are problems, but we just don’t know about them). We don’t need to go into ‘I’m doing good works’ mode, muscle in and ‘organise’ them. Often a bit of time and a listening ear is enough, or opens avenues for help that we can explore together

Lord, there are so many issues and problems in the world. It’s hard to know where to start thinking about them, and doing what we can to help. Help us to be sensitive to others, ready to help, but also respectful of their dignity and independence

 

Picture of the Day

                                                                                         Irvine Martime Museum 3 Departures          

                                                                                               Irvine Maritime Museum 3  Departures

                                                                                               Click on the picture to see it enlarged

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Tuesday 25th August

Thought for the Day

Another day, another storm. There will no doubt be flooding, travel disruption, alterations to plans that people had made for today. Sort of echoes the impact of Covid-19. A reminder to us that we cannot control nature, or make it fit our plans – we must bend to its dictates. Yet with thought, planning and financial investment we can adapt our lives to cope with bad weather and its effects – we can even take steps to avoid seriously bad weather becoming worse in the long run. Shows us how we can handle the virus too

Lord, we need wind and rain as well as sun, even if we don’t always like them. They can devastate life, but often we could have taken steps to avoid them doing so – if we had planned ahead properly, and been willing to spend the money at the right time. So it is with the virus. Help us to treat nature with respect and be ready to take the right steps, and make the right investments – and not postpone important decisions

 

Picture of the Day

Maybe today’s picture is pertinent! Let’s remember lifeboat crews and others who put themselves in danger for the sake of helping people in need

                                                                                           Irvine Maritime Museum 2 Hoy lifeboat        

                                                                                             Irvine Maritime Museum 2  Hoy Lifeboat

                                                                                               Click on the picture to see it enlarged

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Monday 24th August

Thought for the Say

Went to bed last night, lights out, and the burglar alarm went off. The control panel said ‘Intruder in Kitchen’. All doors and windows were shut and locked. ??? Then spotted a large spider walking across the kitchen floor. It was duly deposited in the garden. It is nice to know that the sensor is sensitive enough that it can even pick up a spider walking across the floor. It wasn’t really welcome here, but calling it an ‘intruder’ seems a bit of an exaggeration. How often does our language drift into exaggeration, with words and phrases used that are not really appropriate, and how many problems do they cause?

Lord, help us to think before we speak, and remember how hard it is to repair the damage caused by ill-considered words or phrases

 

Picture of the Day

This week we are off to the Maritime Museum in Irvine       Irvine Maritime Museum 1                   

                                                                                                         Irvine Maritime Museum 1 

                                                                                               Click on the picture to see it enlarged

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Saturday 22nd August

Thought for the Day

Did you know that today is Earth Overshoot Day? No neither did I. It reflects the extent to which in a year we are using more of the earth’s resources than we put back. As we focus on all the implications of the global pandemic, and its fall-out in areas like education, health, housing and the economy, we tend to forget that there are other issues that were around before Covid and are still very much there – issues like the Climate Crisis. A few months ago we had hopes that the Covid crisis would lead to a greener future. With more of us currently taking to cars than public transport, more items coming wrapped in plastic, and countries like China firing up their coal-fired power stations, that hope seems a little faded. What can we personally do, what do we press governments to do?

Lord, for the beauty of the earth, for the beauty of the skies, we give thanks. Help us to appreciate them, and to work to preserve them for those affected by climate change now and for future generations

 

Picture of the Day

                                                                                      Arran 6 Whiting Bay                

                                                                                                            Arran 6  Whiting Bay

                                                                                               Click on the picture to see it enlarged

PS Next week we are off to the Maritime Museum in Irvine

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Friday 21st August

Thought for the Day

News of further countries added to the ‘self-isolate when you enter the UK’ list, and further restrictions in local areas because of rising numbers of Covid cases. For those affected there must be a range of feelings: fear, frustration, disappointment, anger, as people adjust to not being able to go to work (with perhaps a big impact on income), not being able to go to things, or do things that they had planned, not being able to see people/ look after relatives who need help, having to depend on others for things like shopping. For some there may be a strong temptation to think ‘but I don’t have the virus, it isn’t practical for me to accept this new self-isolation/ set of lockdown rules’ or  ‘I kept to the rules, when other people didn’t, and now I have to suffer for their blatant disregarding’. Who is to say that we wouldn’t have those feelings if we were in their position? It is a hard one: not easy to point the finger of blame; hard to ensure that such restrictions don’t cause division in communities. What can be done to heal wounds and stop them festering?

Lord, it isn’t for us to judge people or communities over keeping to guidance on social distancing etc. But we can see that self-isolation and local lockdown – though necessary – can bring hardship and a sense of injustice. We pray for those affected, and ask that we are ready to help whenever we can

 

Picture of the Day

                                                                                          Arran 5 Castle               

                                                                                                                 Arran 5  Castle

                                                                                               Click on the picture to see it enlarged

 

nformation from West Dunbartonshire Council

Social Security Scotland launched a new benefit, Job Start Payment, on 17th August 2020.
 
I write to you today to ask that you share the information in this email with colleagues, partners, clients and anyone who may have an interest in this payment.

     job                                                                        

This new benefit is designed to support young people in Scotland to get into work after being unemployed.  Job Start Payment was due to launch earlier this year but given the circumstances it was postponed.
 
This £250 payment for 16-24 year olds (rising to £400 for those with children) will help young people who have been unemployed for 6 months or more and have been offered a job.
 
Who can claim?  A person must meet all of the following criteria:
 
16-24 years old (or a care leaver 16-25 years old)
Live in Scotland on the day of the job offer.
They have a job offer for paid employment.
The job must average 12 hours or more per week, over a four week period (it doesn’t need to be a permanent job).
They have been out of work and in receipt of a qualifying benefit for six months or more, or if a care leaver out of paid work and in receipt of a qualifying benefit at the time of the job offer (care leavers do not need to be in receipt of a qualifying benefit for 6 months).
Be given an offer of employment after 17th August 2020 (the start date of this benefit)
 
Clients can apply up to three months after getting their job offer and the payment can be used for things like clothes, tools, travel etc.
 
Job Start Payment
 
To apply, the client should either;
go to our website  www.mygov.scot/benefits
Or call   0800 182 22 22

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Thursday 20th August

Thought for the Day

The sunny is shining, but it’s windy and there are some bad headlines today (rises in Covid cases, young person drowned in Channel, worries over the economy, education etc). Or should it be ‘it’s windy and there are some bad headlines today (rises etc), but it is sunny - at the moment’? How do we see life: positively, but with challenges; or negatively, though with glimmers that say it isn’t all bad? If we are in the second group, is there anything we can do to improve our perception of life? If we know someone who views life that way, what can we do (without being interfering busy-bodies) to help them?

Lord, you never promised that life would be easy, but you promised to help us through it. Be with those who are finding it very tough. Help us to do what we can to support them

 

Picture of the Day

                                                                                        Arran 4 Castle Gardens                

                                                                                                         Arran 4  Castle Gardens 2

                                                                                               Click on the picture to see it enlarged

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Wednesday 19th August

Thought for the Day


Don’t take advantage of the poor just because you can; don’t take advantage of those who stand helpless in court, The LORD will argue their case for them and threaten the life of anyone who threatens theirs. Proverbs 22: 22

 

Picture of the Day

                                                                                      Arran 3 Castle Gardens                

                                                                                                         Arran 3  Castle Gardens 1

                                                                                               Click on the picture to see it enlarged

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Tuesday 18th August

Thought for the day

A number of figures associated with exam results across England, Northern Ireland and Wales were apologising yesterday. It’s interesting that they did say ‘sorry’ as there seems to be a culture around that apologising or saying ‘sorry’ is a sign of weakness (is there also a fear that it could lead to being sued, with financial consequences?) So often we hear politicians or business figures adding a qualification to an apology, ‘I’m sorry if you took offence at what I said/did’ – which puts the onus on the offended party for daring to be offended. Far from apologising being a sign of weakness, many of us were brought up to believe that to admit a mistake, and apologise for it, was a sign of maturity and strength of character – and just saying sorry wasn’t enough. You had to be sorry, try to put things right, and try make sure you didn’t make the same mistake again

Lord, ‘sorry’ is a word we need to say so often to you. Thank you that you forgive us, and help us to keep trying to do things better. As Jesus taught us ‘forgive us our sins, as we forgive those who sin against us’

 

Picture of the Day

                                                                                           Arran 2 Brodick Bay                    

                                                                                                              Arran 2  Brodick Bay

                                                                                               Click on the picture to see it enlarged

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Monday 17th August

Thought for the Day

There has been much in the media over the weekend about exam results in England, Northern Ireland and Wales, and the anger, disappointment, confusion among pupils, families, schools/colleges, universities – and politicians - as they struggled to understand what had happened/ was happening, and what the future held for those directly affected. A fortnight ago Scotland was the focus for such feelings. It is interesting that in all of this there is a deep sense, on all sides, that pupils deserve a just and fair treatment, and that we should be striving to improve the life chances of those who start with disadvantages. From time to time we hear politicians talk about the ‘values’ underlying our national identity. It would appear from the widespread reaction to the exam results that most people perceive justice and fairness for all, and fair opportunities for all, as being important values for our communal life. Can they be applied to all areas of life – in the local community, at national level, and in international matters?

Lord, it was only a couple of weeks ago in Scotland that there was deep pain and anger about exam results. Now it is being felt in other parts of the Britain. We pray for all concerned, and that there will be a fair and just resolution for all. We pray too that the principles of justice and fairness will be applied to all aspects of our communal lives

 

Picture of the Day

This week we are off to Arran                                        Arran 1 Arran from Ardrossan                  

                                                                                                    Arran 1  Arran from Ardrossan

                                                                                               Click on the picture to see it enlarged

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Saturday 15th August

Thought for the Day

There are commemorations today of 75 years since VJ Day, the official surrender of Japan and end of the Second World War (albeit scaled back from what had been planned). At the time those fighting in the ‘Far Eastern theatre of war’ felt they were the forgotten forces, especially when the politicians and public at home moved on to think of the post-war future, rather than continued fighting. As prisoners of war and internees were released horrific stories of cruelty were uncovered. It must also be acknowledged that the war in the Far East has been a problem for later generations. While the war in Europe was against the ideology of the Nazis, the war in the Far East was a war between imperial powers – Japan seeking to establish its rule over peoples and territories in place of British, French, Dutch and American rule/influence. In the decades since 1945 territories that were formerly colonies or imperial possessions have gained independence and have different views of that war. Today is an opportunity to remember those who died, those who suffered. It is an opportunity too to think about the complications of history and ties: Japan is now a friend, China has a more ambiguous relationship, most of the former imperial territories are part of the Commonwealth, and the economic balance of power has shifted from Europe to East Asia. Information on official commemoration can be found at https://ve-vjday75.gov.uk/vjday/ and there is also information on the Poppy Scotland website

Lord, the Second World War happened a long time ago, though its consequences are still felt. We remember the courage, the determination, the suffering, the mistakes, the things that are clearer with hindsight. In its aftermath people sought a better world, a world of human rights and a welfare state here. As we look to the future, give us the vision and determination to create a more just and peaceful country and world

 

Picture of the Day

                                                                                                 Cumbrae 6 View from Millport to Portencross & Wee Cumbrae 

                                                                                       Cumbrae 6  View from Millport to Portencross & Wee Cumbrae

                                                                                                     Click on the picture to see it enlarged

PS Next week we are off to Arran

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Friday 14th August

Thought for the Day

Over the past week I have spoken to some people who are very wary about mixing with others because of the risk of picking up the Covid-19 virus, who are uncomfortable with the idea of going into someone else’s house or having someone in their house. I have also spoken to others who feel that the measures that have been and are in place are out of all proportion with the scale of risk. Two very different perspectives. I suspect that those wide differences can be found in many families, groups of friends and neighbourhoods. Our own opinions may partly reflect where we are: our age, health record, or the health record of close family; whether we know people who have had Covid-19, or sadly died from it; how we have been affected by the measures put in place (lockdown, closure of schools, furlough, redundancy). We all carry some kind of mental scar from the last six months, and need to recognise that other people carry them too. How can we help ourselves and other people to address hurts, fears, disappointments, to rediscover some of the hope and joy of living, without putting anyone at risk of physical illness?

Lord, help us to recognise where we are mentally because of Covid-19, and where other people are. Help us to be sensitive to their feelings and needs and respond accordingly

 

Picture of the Day

                                                                                                Cumbrae 5 E End of Millport         

                                                                                                         Cumbrae 5  East End of Millport

                                                                                                     Click on the picture to see it enlarged

 

Church of Scotland

Week of Prayer 17-22 August


 At 8am each morning a pre-recorded reflection will go live on the Church of Scotland website and on Facebook. These will include contemplative music, Scripture readings, a brief ‘thought for the day’, a prayer and blessing. Additionally there will be a suggested prayer activity that you can choose to take up at some point during the day. Each of these activities has been designed for all ages but certainly with children and families in mind.

In the evenings, there will be a ‘live’ gathering on Zoom in which we hope many from across the country and perhaps further afield will participate. These will commence at 8.30pm - giving time for those who need to settle young children and for those who may have earlier meetings to join. The prayers from each evening will also be watchable on catch-up through the Church’s digital platforms.

The evening gatherings will include the following:

•     Prayers led by designated individuals, these including leaders from our ecumenical partners, Church of Scotland youth workers, ministers and staff members.

•     Breakout rooms, during which participants will have a short time to reflect on the Scripture passage that was shared during the morning reflection, to pray together, and to ‘compare notes’ from around the congregations and communities represented.

•     Reflective music and time to simply be still; there will be opportunity for individuals to bring prayer requests and causes for prayerful concern and thanksgiving.

If you are interested in joining the Zoom meeting, contact the Minister or Session Clerk for details

The week is about creating space for the Church to come together from all ‘airts and pairts,’ to still ourselves and to listen for what the Spirit might be saying to us in these days (Revelation 3:22).

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Thursday 13th August

Thought for the Day

The schools have gone back, and (so?) we have hot, sunny weather. It is almost guaranteed. But sadly the hot weather brought with it storms that created widespread flooding and was probably the main contributor to the fatal train derailment yesterday

Lord, we like the sun and the heat, though sometimes we moan that we want it, but when it comes we complain that it is too hot. We remember those who have been affected by flooding or the train accident, and pray that you will be close to them all

 

Picture of the Day

                                                                                                 Cumbrae 4 East Bay from West        

                                                                                                      Cumbrae 4  East Bay from the West

                                                                                                     Click on the picture to see it enlarged

 

Dumbarton Churches Together have supported the charity Embrace the Middle East for a number of years. The following news update was received earlier this week and circulated to churches in Dumbarton:
 

     embrace                              

The explosion in Beirut

The massive explosion that ripped through Beirut on Tuesday 4 August was felt as far away as Cyprus.

At the time of writing (6/8/2020), at least 135 people have been reported dead, more than 5,000 injured (with many more still missing), and an estimated 300,000 people have had to evacuate their homes.

The explosion destroyed three hospitals and severely damaged others, including the clinic run by one of our partners. Silos containing approximately 80% of Lebanon's grain reserves were destroyed, guaranteeing food shortages.

The explosion could not have come at a worse time. Lebanon is home to more than 1.5 million refugees from Syria, Iraq and Palestine. Partly because of the strain of coping with such a huge number of refugees, Lebanon’s economic problems have been building for years. The failure of successive governments to manage the economy came to a head in late 2019. Today Lebanon ranks as the third most indebted country in the world. The currency has devalued over 80% in the past year resulting in hyperinflation, and unemployment continue to soar. It is increasingly difficult for families to put food on the table.

Responding to the call of Christ to care for the marginalised, the local church and church affiliated organisations, including Embrace partners, have worked tirelessly for decades – often in the face of enormous challenges, including a 15-year civil war- to respond to the needs of the most vulnerable in Lebanon.

Embrace the Middle East?

Embrace the Middle East is an ecumenical Christian charity with over 160 years’ experience working in the region and almost a hundred years in Lebanon.

Embrace has longstanding relationships with 12 Lebanese Christian organisations. Our partners work with Lebanese families and Syrian and Palestinian refugees in the areas of primary healthcare, humanitarian assistance, education, livelihoods support and specialist disability services.

We are in constant contact with our partners, all of whom thankfully are physically safe, but in a state of huge shock as the impact of the explosion unfolds. No one has escaped untouched.

In the midst of assessing the damage to their own buildings and projects, our partners are responding to the immense needs of the many affected by the explosion providing shelter, care and essential provisions, as you can see from this video produced by one of our partners in Lebanon, LSESD.

Lebanon needs our prayers right now but it also needs our financial support where we are able to give. Many of us want to give but it is not always obvious what the best way to give is.

In response to these immense needs, Embrace has launched an appeal specifically for the work of our partners in Lebanon. The money we raise will go directly to the work of our partners in Lebanon as they seek to respond to the needs of those affected by these crises.

If you wish to give please click below.

https://www.secure-server-hosting.com/secutran/secureforms/sh207792/embrace_appeal_aug20.html

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Wednesday 12th August

Thought for the Day

Children start back today. Always a day of mixed feelings, but much more so this year. So many have lost so much ground over the last six months in terms of learning and social contact. Going back to studying, and making up lost time will be hard for them and their teachers. Parents/ family/ carers will find it strange too. There might be sighs of relief, but there may also be a sense of loss after nearly six months of being together

Lord, we pray for all children and young people starting school today. Help them to cope with their mixed feelings, and the challenges of catching up with missed study. Help their parents/ family/ carers to cope too

 

Picture of the Day

                                                                                                   Cumbrae 3 Old Pier Millport      

                                                                                                             Cumbrae 3  Old Pier Millport

                                                                                                     Click on the picture to see it enlarged

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Tuesday 11th August

Thought for the Day

Term starts today, but an in-service day for staff. Exciting, as they think about working with a new set of pupils, trying to make up lost ground, and move forward with this year’s objectives. But also worrying and challenging as they work through what the arrangements will be when children come back, concerned to prevent any transmission of the infection to themselves or vulnerable members of their family or ‘bubble’. Good wishes to you all

Lord, we pray for teachers and staff going back to school today. Help them to feel confident, safe and appreciated

 

Picture of the Day

                                                                                                     Cumbrae 2 Bute & Cowal from Cumbrae   

                                                                                                  Cumbrae 2  Bute & Cowal from Cumbrae

                                                                                                     Click on the picture to see it enlarged

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Monday 10th August

Thought for the Day

Patient persuasion can break down the strongest resistance and can even convince rulers Proverbs 25: 15

 

Picture of the Day

This week we will cross over to Cumbrae - go on the car ferry, walk round the island, and take the steamer back from MIllport.

                                                                                                Cumbrae 1 Ferry departing Cumbrae      

                                                                                                     Cumbrae 1  Ferry departing Cumbrae

                                                                                                     Click on the picture to see it enlarged

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Saturday 8th August

Thought for the Day

The Bank of England Governor has said that the anticipated recession may not be as bad as was feared – but it still sounds pretty bad. For those affected in terms of lost jobs, job opportunities, income it is awful – individuals, families, communities. It is easy to talk in terms of statistics, graphs and trends, but life involves real people, their hopes, their dreams, their fears, their despair. Let’s hope and pray that policy-makers everywhere think about the people affected by their actions

Lord, we do not have the skills or abilities to run a country or economy, but we can see life around us, and the fears and worries of people just like us. We pray that decision-makers will understand what life is like for ordinary people, think about how their actions will affect them, and respond accordingly

 

Picture of the Day

                                                                                                        Largs 6 Counting the calories tomorrow   

                                                                                                        Largs 6  Count the calories tomorrow

                                                                                                       Click on the picture to see it enlarged

PS Next week we will cross over to Cumbrae - go on the car ferry, walk round the island, and take the steamer back from MIllport

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Friday 7th August

Thought for the Day

The local lockdown in Aberdeen is a blunt reminder to us that the pandemic has not gone away, and neither have the restrictions associated with that word ‘lockdown’. We thought that we were doing so well in Scotland – almost a little oasis of improvement in a world of resurgence. Now we are reminded of the need to keep being careful and vigilant

Lord, we pray for those feeling angry, fearful, frustrated because they have had to go back into lockdown. Help them to cope. Help us all to be careful and vigilant for our own health and the well-being of others

 

Picture of the Day

                                                                                                    Largs 5 Naughty but nice!  

                                                                                                                 Largs 5  Naughty but nice!

                                                                                                       Click on the picture to see it enlarged

 

West Dunbartonshire Council offer FREE energy advice to all residents, homeowners and private tenants living in the West Dunbartonshire area.
 
Fuel Poverty
Are you in fuel poverty?  You are deemed to be "fuel poor" if you spend 10% or more of your income on your household fuel.  Fuel Poverty results from a combination of having poor energy efficiency in your home, low income or high fuel costs. Our Energy Advice Officer can assist with all aspects of fuel poverty, if you have any problems he may be able to help you.
 
Fuel Issues - We can offer help and guidance on all aspects of domestic fuel related issues such as cutting down on fuel bills, understanding your bills, choosing a supplier, payment methods, arrears and debt, reading meters and keeping you warm in your home.
 
Home Visits - Free home visits can be carried out if required, this enables us to offer tailored advice to each individual depending on their needs and circumstances.
 
Heating Advice - We offer advice and guidance to make sure you use your system more efficiently.

Grant Aid - We can organise grants to increase property insulation levels and help with heat retention.

Community - Our Energy Advisor is available for talks and training to groups on any issues related to energy advice.

https://www.west-dunbarton.gov.uk/housing/maintenance-repairs/energy-advice/

https://www.west-dunbarton.gov.uk/housing/maintenance-repairs/energy-advice/fuel-poverty/

Housing & Employability
West Dunbartonshire Council
T: 01389 737535

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Thursday 6th August

Thought for the Day

75 years ago today the world’s first atomic bomb was dropped on the Japanese city of Hiroshima. Since then a number of countries have developed atomic or nuclear bombs (and the number is probably higher than ‘official’ figures). There have been times when there has been real fear of a war between the Great Powers in which such weapons would be used. Now the fear is more that ‘terrorist’ groups or ‘rogue states’ will get their hands on the technology. Possession of nuclear weapons has been a deeply divisive issue in the church, community and nation at large. On this anniversary let’s work and pray for peace, for measures to bring peace to the world – true peace, a just peace, God’s idea of peace

Lord we pray for peace in the world, a true and just peace for everyone. We pray that never again will a nuclear weapon be used on the earth

 

Picture of the Day

                                                                                             Largs 4 Decisions! Decisions!          

                                                                                                              Largs 4  Decisions! Decisions!

                                                                                                       Click on the picture to see it enlarged

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Wednesday 5th August

Thought for the Day

The devastating blast in Beirut is a reminder to us that the world has many other problems apart from the virus. Lebanon was a country with multiple problems before the blast, and these will only be confounded by it. Our prayers are with the people there. We hope that the international community will provide the support that the people there need. We pray too that the political leaders in Lebanon will ‘get their act together’ and start thinking about the needs of the ordinary people and not just themselves. Sadly we could say much the same about many (most?) countries in the world

Lord, you see and you care. You weep and you are angry. We pray for the people of Beirut and Lebanon and their needs at this difficult time. We pray for the hearts and minds of the country’s leaders and war lords to be changed. We pray too for change in and for all other countries where life is far from the peace and justice you wish for your world

PS went for a walk by Gruggie’s Burn last night when the rain went off, and it was a raging torrent. I wonder what happened to that wee fish?

 

Picture of the Day

                                                                                                    Largs 3 Pencil      

                                                                                                                       Largs 3  Pencil

                                                                                                       Click on the picture to see it enlarged

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Tuesday 4th August

Thought for the Day

Exam results day. Always stressful, and more so this year, when there were no exams. It is always the hope that the results will do the young folk justice, and enable them to take their life-plans forward – whether to university, college, apprenticeship or job. Some will be pleased with their results, some will be disappointed. Some will see a clearer path ahead, some aren’t sure what will happen next. Whatever the results we wish them all - and their families/carers and teachers – well, and hope that wherever life leads them after this they feel fulfilled, valued and making a positive contribution to the world

Lord, we think of all who are getting exam results today. May they feel confidence in their own skill and ability. We pray particularly for those who are disappointed by their results and are not sure what to do next. We pray too for their parents/ carers and teachers, that they will be able to offer suitable support for the future

 

Picture of the Day

                                                                                                    Largs 2 View from Pencil   

                                                                                                              Largs 2  View from Pencil

                                                                                                       Click on the picture to see it enlarged

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Monday 3rd August

Thought for the Day

Went for a walk yesterday along the path beside Gruggie’s Burn, South of Castlegreen Street. In a pool a fish was swimming lazily (don’t know what kind, but quite big). In the late Spring (in the hot weather) the water in the burn was very low. On Saturday (after the thunderstorms) it was a fair torrent. Where the burn meets the sea there were swans swimming gracefully, and hordes of gulls screaming and squawking – and all no doubt interested in a fish. But the fish continued swimming lazily round its pool. Maybe we could learn from the fish’s example: when all can change so quickly round about, just take life as it comes, and don’t panic

Lord, we can be quite good at worrying or panicking, but doing either does not change the world. Help us to accept with calmness and patience life as it is, and just get on with it

 

Picture of the Day

Today we’ll catch the steamer from Kilchattan Bay over to Largs

                                                                                                 Largs 1 Front at  Largs      

                                                                                                           Largs 1  The Front at Largs

                                                                                                       Click on the picture to see it enlarged

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Saturday 1st August

Thought for the Day

August already! The Premiership resumes today. Fans will be pleased, but no fans will be present in the grounds to support their team. How will players feel playing to an empty stadium? Will it affect the quality of their play? (Dare one ask, ‘will they be a bit rusty after all this time?’) Will fans just watch at home, or go to the pub to share the joy and drown the sorrow? But the public have been urged to be cautious about going to the pub because of the risk of passing the virus. How long will life be like this? Adjusting to the ‘new normal’ is going to be very hard

Lord, living the ‘new normal’ is hard. The temptation to go back to the old ways is strong. Help us to put the past behind us and focus on the present and future

 

Picture of the Day

                                                                                                    Bute 18 View North from Suidhe Chatain     

                                                                                                    Bute 18  View North from Suidhe Chatain

                                                                                                       Click on the picture to see it enlarged

PS After today we’ll catch the steamer from Kilchattan Bay over to Largs

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