On Sunday, 7 October, at 11am Polwarth Parish Church will celebrate Harvest Thanksgiving. Because our minister, Jack, came to us from a rural parish on Royal Deeside, Aberdeenshire, he knows how important this festival is still to many communities in Scotland, and this is reflected in the way the service on Sunday begins. But he is also aware that people in the city have no direct contact with the land and that their food comes mainly through supermarket chains. So at Polwarth the congregation is no longer asked to bring items of produce, but a financial gift to support the charity EMBRACE the Middle East. It does education, health and community development work in Egypt, Lebanon, Israel/Palestine and Syria working with Christian partners.
This year we shall be joined in the service by Mr Mark Calder, the Regional Manager for Scotland and the North of England for EMBRACE, who will share some aspects of their work and lead our prayers shaped by his knowledge of situations in the Middle East. This year the charity has issued the story of a five year old girl called Mandisa living in Egypt in a poor area of Alexandria as the focus of their Harvest appeal and her story can be read by clicking on the link.