The Church of Scotland's Social Care Council, CrossReach, and the Guild have been working on a collaborative partnership project to tackle the problems of loneliness and social isolation in Scotland - 'Join up the Dots'. Through their work nationally in Scotland across all age ranges and segments of society, CrossReach comes across problems of social isolation and the effects of this on people's physical and mental wellbeing.
Now, they want to hear about similar problems the Guild encounters locally in their own communities. With the Join up the Dots project, together they aim to expose these problems and provide solutions for them.
Rev Hugh Stewart, minister of Lochs in Bernera linked with Uig on the Isle of Lewis, is one of our ministers who has taken part in the project. Here, he has written a prayer on the theme of social isolation - with a Gaelic translation provided.
O Gracious God, we come before you in awe and wonder. Amazed at the length and depth and height of Your love to us, in sending your only begotten Son into this world to be born not in a palace but in a stable. The serenading of cattle lowing replacing the heavenly chorus of glorious, elect angels.
Dhe ghràsmhoir, tha sinn a’tighinn ann ad ionnsaigh ann an iongnadh agus urram.
Air ar lìonadh le uamhas aig meud, doimhneachd agus àirde do ghràdh dhuinne, a' cur t-aon ghin Mhic fèin a-steach don t-saoghal seo.
Airson a’ bhith air a bhreith ann an stàball ‘s chan ann an lùchairt.
Geumnaich chruidh a’ gabhail thairis bho shèist nèamhaidh ghlòrmhor, nan aingeal thaghte.
Praise to your Great Name that Jesus willingly expressed your love, not to be a distant deity but an ever-present Friend. Not to be a judge to condemn but a Saviour to justify and save us from our sins. Not a temporary hope but to gift us with an eternal assurance: “Christ in You, the hope of Glory’!
Moladh do d'ainm Àrd gu robh Iosa deònach do ghràdh a thaisbeanadh dhuinn.
Gun a bhith na Dhia fad às ach na Charaid a tha deannan maille rinn.
Gun a bhith na bhritheamh gu dhìteadh ach na Shlànaighear gu ar sàbhaladh bho ar peacaidhean. Dòchas nach eil eadar-aimeal ach tiodhlac tha a’ toirt dhuinn dearbhadh sìorraidh: 'Crìosd annaibhse, dòchas na Gloire!’