HRH The Prince Philip, The Duke of Edinburgh, 1921-2021
We are back open, if you want to attend the Church you will have to follow the following rules.
AYR AULD KIRK
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 19th April, 2021
I promised in the first booklet that we would begin each new one offering this reflection and prayer of praise and hope from Paula Lennox, a member of both the Mission Committee and the Prayer Promoters' Group. It is so important to put God first and praise Him before everything else so I am continuing into year two with the same reflection and prayers. May we find new hope:
As for me, I will always have hope; I will praise you more and more (Psalm 71:14)
Even as restrictions lift, there is still anxiety so let us remember there is always someone we can rely on. May we start each day thanking him for all he has done for us and holding this gratitude before us as a beacon of hope.
Father, we thank you for your promise to always be with us no matter our circumstances and we hold on to that promise now, as we feel anxious and uncertain as each day goes by. May we remember that through you all things were created, that you have supremacy over everything and nothing is impossible for you. You are our hope and we praise you. Amen
Prayer points are all about praising God:
Praise Him for the little things, we previously took for granted
Praise Him for nature that continues to flourish
Praise Him for more time to spend in His Word
Praise Him that whatever happens he is our hope
Praise Him for...
Now just talk to God about whatever is on your heart...he wants to bless you and give you peace as you trust in him. Amen
Tuesday 20th April, 2021
" He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the human heart; yet no one can fathom what God has done from beginning to end." Ecclesiastes 3:11
Reflection: If you are able to get out walking, I wonder how often something beautiful stops you in your tracks as you look and delight in it. Occasionally it might be a man-made feature, but more often it is likely to be something in nature, and more often still something flowering. If we open our eyes and look, beauty is all around us. I love to look at the colours and shapes of flowers; the delicacy of their petals; the stages of their growth; the surroundings in which they flourish - and truly they do make my heart sing with praise to God in every circumstance.
If you can't get out walking, I hope you can see some from your window, or even inside your house - even pictures. Look and give God thanks: For the beauty of the earth, for the beauty of the skies, for the love which from our birth, over and around us lies. Christ our God, to you we raise, this our sacrifice of praise.
Let us pray:
• God of beauty and perfect love, we give you thanks for a world that is simply breath-taking. Thank you for your faithfulness seen in the changing seasons and constant regeneration. Thank you that we are linked with you for all eternity in our risen Lord, Jesus Christ.
• Lord forgive us when we are careless with all you have provided, and fail to care for it as we should, and forgive us when we take it for granted without acknowledging you.
• Help us to remain faithful in prayer for all situations, especially a world caught in a pandemic, for truly the power to heal and restore is yours. In Jesus' name, Amen
Wednesday 21st April, 2021
"Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight." Proverbs 3:5-6
Reflection: Beverley Parkin offers a lovely insight into these verses from the skill of flower-arranging (a skill I would love to have, and a skill that is often such an important part of worship offered to God). She wrote about those awkward stems that seemed not to blend in easily, and how the answer was to use them in such a way that they would add interest and character to the display. This is such a lovely picture of what it actually means to submit to the Lord. I have met people who cannot find their way to worship God because they have a spirit that does not want to submit to anything or anyone. However, those who do 'submit' to the God of creation and the God of our salvation, find out quickly, that he then brings out the best in us. Jesus said, "I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full." John 10:10. God does not curtail us; he causes us to flourish. Pray:
• Lord God, we submit to your plan for our lives, and we trust you to bring out the best in each of us - even when we feel awkward and inadequate. Help us to trust in you, more than in ourselves and in that way our lives will reveal your beauty.
• Let the beauty of Jesus be seen in me, All His wonderful passion and purity. Oh, Thou Spirit divine, all my nature refine, Till the beauty of Jesus be seen in me.
• Lord God, help us to understand that sometimes we need to step out of our comfort zones to demonstrate your love for us and our love for you to others.
• Lord God, may we all understand our part in the arrangements of life where you have placed us. Refresh and sustain us.Amen
Thursday 22nd April, 2021
" Ah, Sovereign LORD, you have made the heavens and the earth by your great power and outstretched arm. Nothing is too hard for you." Jeremiah 32:17
Reflection: These are powerful words. I love listening to people who have served God and learned to trust him completely in difficult situations. Perhaps we tend to pay lip-service to God so often that we deny ourselves the opportunity to live by faith. It begins by believing in his creative genius and power and it continues by understanding the power that enabled Jesus to humble himself to death on a cross and to be miraculously raised again on the third day. And what might this have to do with flowers?
Beverley Parkin likens this to the tenacity of those plants that creep up where we have decided they are not wanted - like the mesmerising beauty of the Dandelion; like the power and strength of those plants that force themselves through concrete. They may look fragile, but they possess inner strength. We need that strength and courage to trust the God of creation, especially when circumstances threaten to overwhelm us.
Let us pray:
• Lord God, help us to worship you in Spirit and in Truth, by truly reflecting on your awesome power and authority.
• We confess that we believe you could overcome this global pandemic and other issues that destroy us, but it is hard to understand why you don't. Teach us to trust you more.
• Teach us to be tenacious in our faith, and to bring light and joy to those around us as we worship and serve you in Jesus' name - sharing the light of hope and promise that he gives
• May others see your grace in our lives and understand that you are still a presence with us in this imperfect world. Amen
Friday, 23rd April, 2021
"For as the soil makes the young plant come up and a garden causes seeds to grow, so the Sovereign LORD will make righteousness and praise spring up before all nations." Isaiah 61:11
Reflection: We are undoubtedly living in a hurting and broken world for the time being, yet the beautiful handiwork of God is still present all around us. The Bible - the Word of God - is absolutely clear about the destructive power of sin in the world in the present time, but it is also clear that our hope is found in God alone through the redeeming work of Jesus. We are truly blessed if we begin to understand this. Let our world of flowers serve to remind us constantly of the hope we have in a faithful God. He has promised to create a new heaven and a new earth that is completely free from the burdens of sin, and Jesus will reign as Prince of Peace. Meantime we pray, 'Thy Kingdom Come', when 'righteousness and praise spring up before all nations.'
Let us pray:
• Lord God, we thank you for the suffering of Jesus in sacrificial love for us to bring us back into a relationship with you - our righteous and holy God.
• Help us to look on others with your heart of compassion and teach us how to respond and how to be faithful in prayer for those we know and love - especially those who have not yet found their peace and joy in trusting you.
• Lord God, as we look around and listen to the news we understand how much we need your intervention to restore peace and order to our lives. We continue to ask you to help us through these hard times.
• Inspire everyone still working to free us from this pandemic.
• Help us to know your presence with us. In Jesus' name, Amen
Saturday, 24th April, 2021
' In the past God spoke to our ancestors through the prophets at many times and in various ways, 2 but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed heir of all things, and through whom also he made the universe. 3 The Son is the radiance of God's glory and the exact representation of his being, sustaining all things by his powerful word. After he had provided purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty in heaven.' Hebrews 1:1-3
These words from Hebrews Chapter 1 sum up so much of the power, majesty and redeeming love of God. I have loved them since I was a teenager. They are filled with power, love and commitment to fulfil his promises.
Let us now take time to contemplate the words of the whole hymn from which I quoted earlier:
For the beauty of the earth
For the beauty of the skies,
For the love which from our birth
Over and around us lies:
Christ our God, to Thee we raise
This our sacrifice of praise.
For the beauty of each hour
Of the day and of the night,
Hill and vale, and tree and flower,
Sun and moon, and stars of light: