‘A FAITH to proclaim’ is the 2012/13 theme for the Church Guilds. This is quite a challenge for some of us, especially from the east coast of Scotland, where ‘proclaiming’ isn’t in our nature. We’d rather work quietly and leave the trumpet-blowing to others.
There’s no doubt that we have a faith, “Faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see” (Hebrews 11:1). To be asked to proclaim it, maybe, to shout out hallelujah and amen, to talk to others about it - that’s not so easy. However, Guild members have been proclaiming their faith in many other ways for the last 125 years and will continue to do so.
For example, they sing about it with favourite hymns. In prayer they praise God and ask for his blessing on others. They look after family, friends and neighbours by visiting, listening, chatting, encouraging and not judging if there’s a problem but by just being there if needed.
They knit! As I write, brightly coloured wee vests and bonnets are growing on knitting needles for Aids victims’ babies, to keep them cosy, as they are usually wrapped in newspapers when born (they’ve been called the ‘fish and chip’ babies). They sew. Beautiful banners proclaiming their faith decorate our churches.
They provide and arrange flowers for church services. Isn’t it a lovely thing to receive those kirk flowers? They bake to raise funds, they try to lose weight on sponsored slims for good causes. Coffee mornings, soup and sandwich lunches, Guild open meetings all pro hard work, great fellowship and collections to support Guild projects - specially chosen projects for Scotland’s Guilds.
No MBEs, Oscars or gold medals are required, just the joy of using our talents to show that we have a ‘faith to proclaim’.
Sheila E Mann
Dun and Hillside Guild