NEWS

Safeguarding Service

Harm or abuse of children and adults at risk can happen anywhere - even in church communities. We have a duty to Ensure a Safe Church for All. This means protecting children and "adults at risk".

The Church aims to minimise the risk of harm occurring. If harm or abuse does occur, with appropriate support and training, it will be recognised and reported. If it occurs we will work with the Police and Social Work services if appropriate.

We provide a service for Church Councils, congregations, and over 70 CrossReach services.

If you require any further information please contact the Church Office, or safeguarding@churchofscotland.org.uk

https://www.churchofscotland.org.uk/about-us/safeguarding-service



We are back open, if you want to attend the Church you will have to follow the following rule

AYR AULD KIRK

COVID-19 Guidance

Scottish Government Easing of Covid Restrictions 20th March 2021

Places of worship allowed to open to extended groups

subject to physical distancing and hygiene safeguards

PLEASE DO NOT ATTEND CHURCH IF YOU OR ANYONE IN YOUR HOUSEHOLD HAVE ANY OF THE FOLLOWING SYMPTOMS: DRY COUGH; FEVER; LOSS OF TASTE or SMELL.

Please also carefully consider the additional risk to your health and wellbeing if you are within the higher risk categories as defined by current government guidance.

1. The Church will open on Sundays from 10.30am with a short service at 11.00am. The Church will close at 11.30am.

2. Please follow government guidance on travel.

3. Only the Church building will be open. There will be no general access to toilets or the Church halls except in emergencies.

4. Entrance to the Church will be through the main door/vestibule only. A one-way system will operate within the Church. The lofts will be closed.

5. Exit after services will be one way only through main door or the car park door whilst maintaining 2m social distance.

6. Social distance floor markings have been installed in the Church - please stay 2m apart.

7. Green 'please sit here' signage has been placed in pews - showing limitations of seating in pews and maintenance of 2m social distancing. (Maximum capacity of Church will be 50 people). Duty Elders will monitor this.

PLEASE DO NOT MOVE THESE SIGNS OR TRY TO SIT IN CLOSED OFF PEWS.

8. Family groups from the same household are permitted to sit together, remembering to maintain 2m social distance from other users of the pew.

9. Elders will be positioned at main entrance doors. Only the Elders will open/close/touch doors. Elders will fully open both sets of main vestibule doors at the end of service.

10. Everyone is asked to maintain good hand hygiene practices - apply hand sanitiser provided in the main vestibule on entry to and exit from the Church.

12. It is recommended that face coverings be worn when inside the Church, but coverings will not be provided. If a face covering is not used for medical or other reasons, cover the mouth and nose with a tissue or sleeve (not hands) when coughing or sneezing.

13. Cleaning of the Church following each opening session will be undertaken after 72 hours has elapsed.

14. A collection plate will be available inside the main entrance vestibule for freewill offerings or cash donations - thank you.

15. To avoid cross-contamination, Bibles and hymn books have been removed from the pews. Please bring your own Bible if you wish.



Monday 18th October, 2021

Passage for the week: Luke 8:42-48

"As Jesus was on his way, the crowds almost crushed him. 43 And a woman was there who had been subject to bleeding for twelve years, but no one could heal her. 44 She came up behind him and touched the edge of his cloak, and immediately her bleeding stopped.

45 'Who touched me?' Jesus asked.

When they all denied it, Peter said, 'Master, the people are crowding and pressing against you.'

46 But Jesus said, 'Someone touched me; I know that power has gone out from me.'

47 Then the woman, seeing that she could not go unnoticed, came trembling and fell at his feet. In the presence of all the people, she told why she had touched him and how she had been instantly healed. 48 Then he said to her, 'Daughter, your faith has healed you. Go in peace."

There are many people in this story. However, only three are singled out - Jesus, Peter and the woman. It might be a good exercise to imagine yourself as one of the crowd who had gathered round. Think about the following questions:

• Why did I come out today - it is so hot and so crowded I can hardly breathe. Why did I come?

• Who is this Jesus anyway?

• Why does it matter whether I am here or not? Jesus will never know that I came to see him

• Why is there such a fuss about someone touching Jesus' cloak?

(You may well think of other questions as you read prayerfully...) Let us Pray (Notice I am not writing out the prayers - just suggesting pointers for prayer suggested by this story. Let God lead you):

• Consider prayerfully How Jesus worked constantly to fulfil the Mission for which he came to the world and thank Him.

• Be thankful for the faithfulness of the disciples who not only travelled with Him, but recorded so much for us and continued to take his Gospel story out across the known world after He returned to His Father.

• Do you know anyone who has been healed from a health problem or an addiction or a dreadful situation? If you do, thank God for that.

• Do you know anyone who needs the healing of Jesus in any aspect of their lives, pray for them.

• Remember you are no different from Peter, especially in his early days of faith. He was puzzled and admitted to Jesus He was puzzled.

In our prayers today we might include the following:

• Everywhere we go with Jesus we are on a Mission with Him to reach out to others. Pray that He will lead you to what he wants you to do and inspire you with faith and confidence.

• Thank Him that He sees the whole picture - we only see our small part.

• Trust His power to enable you to accomplish what He asks you to do in His name.

• Thank Him for spiritual healing, which is eternal, so that by trusting in Him we are invited to spend eternity with Him. Death is not the end.

Tuesday, 12th October, 2021

Re read yesterday's story about Jesus healing the woman of her haemorrhage. Our focus for today is verses 42-43:

"As Jesus was on his way, the crowds almost crushed him. And a woman was there who had been subject to bleeding for twelve years, but no one could heal her."

Reflection: I love the way the records given to us in the gospels help us to have a clear idea of Jesus at work. He is a wonderful early example of someone who multitasks. He was on His way to accomplish an amazing miracle when His journey was interrupted. It seems at first that his purpose was thwarted, but it wasn't - instead he performs two astonishing miracles because he allowed himself to stop and respond to the needs of this woman. Think for the moment of the woman - ill from constant loss of blood. Imagine her tiredness, building up over 12 years of this- that's 144 months; it is more than 625 weeks and approximately 4,383 days. It is a long time for anyone to be ill and searching, hoping for a cure.

Prayers for today might include:

• Asking God to help us to read and understand His word with the help of the Holy Spirit, and to apply the truth revealed in it to our lives.

• Giving God thanks for every record of the ministry of Jesus, and what we learn from Him.

• For His disciples and what we learn from them...

• For those who actively seek Him and what we learn from them

Prayers for others might include:

• A prayer of faith that those we know and love would turn to Jesus and seek his love and light in their lives

• A prayer for some to know the healing touch of Jesus.

• A prayer for the peace of Christ to fill those who struggle.

Wednesday, 20th October, 2021

Go back and read again the passage from Luke 8. Our focus today is verse 44.

"She came up behind him and touched the edge of his cloak, and immediately her bleeding stopped." Verse 44

Reflection: To understand the bold desperation of this dear lady, we have to understand one or two historical things about illnesses in those days. Any sort of 'bleeding' condition meant the person was considered unclean. We also know that religious leaders and therefore the ordinary people believed that illness was the result of an individual's sin. They had no concept of how the 'fall of man' away from God created a covering of sin over the world which affected all in some way. In Romans 3:23 we read:

"Yes, all have sinned; all fall short of God's glorious ideal;"

So, it is truly amazing that she braved the crowd. It is equally understandable that she tried to touch Jesus surreptitiously. From all she had heard about Jesus and His ministry, she believed an answer could be found in Him. He did not fail her.

Our prayers:

• Thank God for Jesus

• Ask God to reveal more each day as you journey through life in service to Him.

• Be like Peter, express doubts and ask Jesus (through His Holy Spirit) to help you to understand more about Him.

Prayers for others:

• Ask God to show you those who are ready to look for Jesus and always be prepared to tell them what you know.

• Pray for the gift of fresh understanding of what it means to join up with Jesus in mission to others in our time and place.

• Look for those lost and hiding in the crowd who are desperate. Help them in Jesus' name

Thursday 21st October, 2021

" 'Who touched me?' Jesus asked.

When they all denied it, Peter said, 'Master, the people are crowding and pressing against you.'

46 But Jesus said, 'Someone touched me; I know that power has gone out from me.' " Luke 8:45 & 46

Reflection: Isn't this beautiful? We have already seen that Peter was happy enough in the company of Jesus to express his doubts about a particular touch. We can safely assume that 'all' in verse 45 refers to his closest followers - his disciples - who would be surrounding Him. Not one of them had noticed this poor woman who had crept in between them to simply touch Jesus. However, she was instantly healed, but Jesus knew that for her to live in true peace she had to acknowledge what had happened. Jesus also wanted to affirm her new status of cleanliness and trust in Him to all those onlookers. Also, isn't it wonderful that He knows when we come to Him and receive from Him. I believe that He knew who she was, but He wanted her to own Him - he never forces anyone.

Our prayers:

• Thank Jesus for the miracle of His saving grace touching you.

• Thank God that you have been called to serve in Jesus' name. Ask Him to show you how to let Jesus be Master (Lord) of every area of your life - especially in His service.

• Thank Jesus that He will never send you on any mission alone. He will be with you in every circumstance as you do His will.

Prayers for others:

• Think of all those you know who willingly offer themselves to serve in Jesus' name. Name them as you ask God to protect and strengthen them in all they do and say.

• Encourage one another to own Him and to love and serve Him.

Friday 22nd October, 2021

"Then the woman, seeing that she could not go unnoticed, came trembling and fell at his feet. In the presence of all the people, she told why she had touched him and how she had been instantly healed. Then he said to her, 'Daughter, your faith has healed you. Go in peace." Luke 8:47&8

Reflection: What a happy ending. The lady comes forward, falls humbly at the feet of Jesus and confesses the healing she has miraculously received - in front of all the people. Then Jesus, as He always does, commends her for her trusting faith and says 'Go in peace.' First, he calls her 'daughter'. We are told in Romans 8:17 that we are heirs of God with Christ Jesus. Think about that - but it is true only when we accept the suffering of Christ as our salvation and our peace. Surely this is a greater miracle. The physical healing may last for a lifetime. The spiritual healing lasts for eternity. Go in peace.

Our Prayers:

• Take time to offer thanks to God for Jesus and reflect as you do on the words of Paul in 2 Corinthians 9:13-15 "others will praise God for the obedience that accompanies your confession of the gospel of Christ, and for your generosity in sharing with them and with everyone else. And in their prayers for you their hearts will go out to you, because of the surpassing grace God has given you. Thanks be to God for his indescribable gift!" This week, I add 'Amen!'

• Thank Jesus for calling you to share in mission through prayer. Ask him to show you what else you might do to serve him in worship and thanksgiving.

Prayers for others:

• Help us to be willing disciples Lord, to take your story to others, that others may find you and worship you.

Saturday, 23rd October, 2021

Please remember we need to pray more and more for the situation within our churches.

Stay strong in asking God for wisdom to see how to keep the Gospel of Jesus and His Mission at the forefront of all decision-making. May He remove the danger and calm the storm.

This week, I am providing you with a list of Churches in Presbytery. Many are concerned about their future. It may seem a daunting task, but all I suggest for this week is that you lovingly name each church in God's presence and ask for His guidance for that church, and that His will be fulfilled. I have split them into 7 groups - one for each day...

Let's move now to some prayers about the critical plans to reduce the number of visible churches, not only in Ayr Presbytery but across Scotland. Already in some parts of Ayrshire alone you can travel many miles without coming across a church that is still testifying to the glory of God and his wonderful saving grace that would draw us into His family. There are plans to reduce this witness even further, while at the same time we need to increase our Ministry as we serve the 5 marks of mission. These are:

1. To Proclaim the Good news of the Kingdom

2. To teaching, Baptising and Nurturing new believers

3. To respond to human need by loving service

4. To seek to transform unjust structures of society, in challenging violence of every kind and pursuing peace and reconciliation

5. To strive to safeguard the integrity of creation and sustain and renew the life of the earth.


A word from our Treasurer.

In light of the present circumstances when the Church is struggling for regular income there is something you can do if you presently give by WFO envelopes. Please consider giving by regular monthly or weekly bank standing order. This can be arranged directly with your bank or you can contact the joint treasurer Fred Stevenson who will provide you with the necessary form. If you wish you can go back to giving by WFO envelopes when things return to normal. Fred can be contacted on 01292 443559 or by email fmgstevenson@gmail.com.