How you can be more involved…

This congregation has a lot of things going on – and the more people we have to do things – the more we can have going on!

You could be involved in all sorts d activities such as –

Welcoming people at the door for Sunday services

Making and serving drinks after Sunday  services

Putting the order of service sheet together

Cutting the grass at Tayvallich Church

Coming to Cafe Connect on Saturday mornings to get to know others in the parish and enjoy the chat, cakes and drinks.

Coming along to Messy Church to be on the hospitality team, meet families in the community, help out (or try out) with crafts. Be a part of a different way of “being Church”

What other ideas do you have for serving our community, to bring people together, to be “church without walls”? – young people, old people, any people??

Dont sit back and wait to be asked – talk to Cliff, David or any of the elders about what you might like to do.

The Oban Convention

Some of you will be aware that Argyll Convention, now in its 5th year, and now part of the Keswick family of conventions will be gathering in Oban during the first full week of August.
The nature of such a venture and our scattered geography will probably preclude many of us from being at all of the sessions so folks will be made welcome at whatever they can manage knowing also that they’re supporting a local ecumenical activity.

Oban convention poster

Pushing the boat out

Sermon from 8 July 2018

 “Moses was faithful as a servant in all God’s house,”[a] bearing witness to what would be spoken by God in the future. But Christ is faithful as the Son over God’s house. And we are his house, if indeed we hold firmly to our confidence and the hope in which we glory.

Warning Against Unbelief

So, as the Holy Spirit says:

“Today, if you hear his voice,
    do not harden your hearts
as you did in the rebellion,
during the time of testing in the wilderness,
where your ancestors tested and tried me,
though for forty years they saw what I did.
10 That is why I was angry with that generation;
I said, ‘Their hearts are always going astray,
and they have not known my ways.’
11 So I declared on oath in my anger,
‘They shall never enter my rest.’ ”[b]

12 See to it, brothers and sisters, that none of you has a sinful, unbelieving heart that turns away from the living God. 13 But encourage one another daily, as long as it is called “Today,” so that none of you may be hardened by sin’s deceitfulness. 14 We have come to share in Christ, if indeed we hold our original conviction firmly to the very end.”

Remember how in Luke 4:14-21, Jesus had begun His ministry a year before after He had read in the synagogue from the prophet Isaiah and declared that today, the scripture was fulfilled in your hearing?

Well, He was saying in no uncertain terms that He was greater than Moses, because He was the Son of God, and He was driven out of the town. They thought this was blasphemy, but in truth, theirs was the sin of unbelief.

He had gone from there and called His Disciples and taught them along the way, as they witnessed miracles and healings.  But mostly, they had learned who Jesus really was, by spending time with Him.

But as always, Jesus reputation preceded Him.  I can’t help but wonder if the people of Nazareth had expected someone else, but sure enough, it was the Jesus they thought they knew who came not as a carpenter, but as a Rabbi this time, travelling with His disciples.

Perhaps He told them some home truths, and a few things they did not want to hear from the man they saw growing up around them and who a few years before had made their furniture or repaired their homes.  How did a carpenter, whose family we know get all this wisdom in just a short time?  And so, because they thought they knew Him, perhaps because HE was a working man, they rejected Him once more.

Jesus reminds us of teaching from 200 years before which said that only in His hometown, a prophet is without honour.  Familiarity breeds contempt.

Perhaps Jesus knew this would be their reaction, because it was His hometown, which is why He took His Disciples with Him, to teach them that people cannot be healed if they do not believe.  And a preacher will not be heard if the atmosphere is lacking in expectancy.

In an atmosphere of expectancy, even the tiniest spark will catch fire, but where there is criticism and coldness, or bland indifference, the most spirit packed words can fall lifeless to earth.

And so, as we seek to hear God speaking, we have a responsibility to either help or hinder the work of Jesus Christ.  We can open the door wide to Him, or we can slam it in His face.

But having taught His Disciples, Jesus knew they were ready to go forth in His name and with authority to teach and be Heralds of the Good News.

Today’s readings together have a common thread, which is we can serve God best, when we are outside our comfort zone.  Jesus was sending them out, two by two, without vast resources of wealth, or materials.  They were to live by faith and would have to depend on hospitality and generosity of their hosts.  It would keep them humble and show them that God would provide.

In Luke’s account of the calling and the big catch, Jesus impresses upon the Disciples the value of obedience and trust, but also displays a show of strength, as to who they were dealing with.  But, just as they learned when being sent out, they also discovered that in the deep water, outside their comfort zone, they would find a bigger catch and more opportunities.

The shallows where the less ambitious fishermen work yields a small catch, but further from shore, where hard work is demanded and storms lurk, God will honour their labours.

Jesus told them to push the boat out and get out of their comfort zone.

What does it mean for us to push the boat out, and be outside our comfort zone?

As a church, we are in a period of transition, just as Jesus in His ministry also was transitioning.  He went from teaching His Disciples to sending them out.  They would reach many more being sent out two by two, than just Jesus on His own.

In this time of transition, we are at the threshold; the doorway of a new opportunity.  And in this liminal space, we have an exciting opportunity to adapt or die.  And in order to adapt, we need to push the boat out for Jesus and venture into new waters, for a new catch reaching new people, in new encounters.

Sharing our faith needs to be taken to another level, learning and growing and living by faith.

The hymn sandwich, as it is often known has become too comfortable.  And we must find new ways to express the passion and joy and love we have found in Jesus Christ.

Those people in Nazareth thought they knew Jesus and had grown up with Him, but were too familiar.  We need to spend time with Jesus every day, to know that He is our Lord and Saviour and never assume, that because we knew Him a long time ago, we still know Him, because we remember what we learned in Sunday School.

Those well meaning songs from our Victorian past about Shining “You in your small corner and I in mine” have left us with a small vision for the Kingdom of God.

Take your car for example.  We have become too comfortable in our cars, our own small corners.  They are convenient, metal boxes, which insulate us from the outside world and from our neighbours.  But the problem is that you cannot meet your neighbour, unless you are sharing the journey, when you are shut in your box.  What if one day a week, we all took the bus into Lochgilphead to do our shopping?  Everyone has different and multiple reasons for their journey, so it might not always work like this.  But, imagine,  Just think, you’d meet people on the way to the bus stop, on the bus there would be new faces and new opportunities to get know your neighbour.  And walking around town we could meet even more people.  The Co-op delivers, so you wouldn’t even need to carry the shopping home, and as you waited for the bus back, you could chat with your new friends over a coffee.

One of the first steps of discipleship is building community.  But it does not happen without effort.

Café Connect is an example of two or three early stages in making disciples.

Of Listening, Loving and Serving, and Building Community.

The next stage in that sequence is Making Disciples, (which is what David and Louise Logue in North Knapdale have been doing through Alpha, and their Alpha Next group).

But that is why Jesus sent the Disciples out, to make Disciples and multiply their numbers, not merely add to them.

Somewhere in the Church of Scotland’s distant past, it formed Kirk Sessions who confused their role of leading God’s people with merely making decisions.  We became good at being mysterious, and now and then making decisions.  But God did not call us to make decisions, He calls us to make disciples.

Jesus taught His Disciples that they needed to push the boat out to get results, and to trust and depend on God for what they needed and not to be distracted by material things, or even buildings.

Just knowing Jesus, His love for you and what He has done in your life is all you need to take with you, and God will give you the rest.

So push the boat out and try doing something different for God this week, this month, and this year.

Amen.

Kirk session minutes 24 April 2018

At a meeting of the Kirk Session in Tayvallich Church on 24th April 2018 the meeting was constituted in prayer by the Moderator, Rev Clifford Acklam.
SEDERUNT
Present were Moderator, Rev Clifford Acklam, Session Clerk, Mr Alan Cameron, Elders, Mrs Norma Kelly, Miss Ealasaid Mackay and Mrs Catherine Paterson.
In Attendance Mrs Marjorie Drysdale and Mr Kenny Wilson, Presbytery Youth Worker.
APOLOGIES
Apologies were received from Mrs Valerie Cameron, Mr David Logue, Mrs Louise Logue and Mrs Libby MacDonald.
MINUTES OF PREVIOUS MEETING
The Minutes of the Kirk Session Meeting of 7th March 2018 were approved.
Proposed by Miss Ealasaid Mackay
Seconded by Mrs Catherine Paterson
MATTERS ARISING
Preparation of Electoral Register – As the Presbytery Plan is under revision, all vacancies will be sisted until the plan is agreed. We will further update the Electoral Register prior to the election of a Nominating Committee.
The Columba Experience
Mr Kenny Wilson outlined the thinking behind the project. Although the idea of a youth pilgrimage is not new, the plan had so far met with great enthusiasm. The walk will take place in the last week of June 2018 and follow the route taken by the Port Ban group in 2017. The group will be comprised of twelve young people between the ages of 16 and 24 plus leaders and a photographer, making a total of 18. Kenny suggested that members of the congregation might wish to provide accommodation as the group passed through this parish. Participants will be drawn from all over Scotland but applications from Argyll based young people will be encouraged.
WORSHIP & MISSION
Pulpit Supply
During the Minister’s absence on leave, the arrangements are
Sunday 29th April  Morning Worship Tayvallich Mr James MacLellan
Sunday 6th May Morning Worship Inverlussa Mr James Malcolm
Year of Young People 2018
A special meeting was held in Tayvallich Church on 10th April 2018.
Participants completed a Health Check on how well our church relates to children and young people. Health Check Questionnaire There was a discussion on the results and Mr Logue’s analysis. It was agreed that we do need to have further meetings to specificallyO address the subject with particular focus on maintaining contact with the “post Messy Church” group.
The meeting was appreciative of the work which Mr Logue had put in to date.
Malawi Visitors
There will be a visit to Mid Argyll by five members of the Kasamba congregation in September. The Sundays affected will be 23rd and 30th September. A suggestion by Mr Logue that there should be a joint service was readily accepted with Lochgilphead Parish Church being the preferred venue.
Messy Church
Messy Church continues to be well supported. Some more volunteers would be beneficial.
Cafe Connect
Attendances at Cafe Connect are holding up very well.
Alpha
Mr & Mrs Logue’s courses have proved successful and they are continuing with Alpha Next meetings.
CORRESPONDENCE
Letter from Mission & Discipleship Council March 2018
Enclosing a new booklet titled Diverse Gender Identities and Pastoral Care. This arises from the 2016 General Assembly where a deliverance was proposed “to promote congregational learning and awareness of the issues transgender and gender non-conforming people experience, in order to better facilitate pastoral care”. The booklet was left with the elders for reading and circulation.
INVERLUSSA CHURCH
The Session Clerk reminded the meeting that the original Application for Authority to Sell had not been returned to the General Trustees because neither Kirk Session nor the Congregation agreed with Presbytery’s decision in relation to Inverlussa Church. Subsequently, however, at a Kirk Session meeting on 15th August 2017 and a Congregational Meeting on 1st October 2017 it was agreed that the building should be offered for sale. The General Trustees have now requested that an Application for Authority to Sell be returned to them. The Moderator and Session Clerk proceeded to sign the document in the face of the meeting. The matter will now go to the General Trustees Chairman’s Committee on 15th May and thereafter to Law Department to take forward the sale process.
REPORTS
Minister

Rev Acklam noted with regret the passing of two members of our congregation. Mr Terence Fitzpatrick of Achnamara on 28th March and Mrs Christina Carmichael of Tayvallich on 12th April.
Stewardship
Nothing to report.
Safeguarding
Elizabeth Spiers led a Refresher Course for Kirk Sessions in Tayvallich Church on 18th March 2018.
Notifiable Events
There were no notifiable events
Presbytery
The next meeting of Presbytery will be on 5th June 2018. The new Moderator will be Rev Roderick Campbell.
Treasurer & Finance
Further to the discussion at the Stated Annual Meeting on the subject of movement of funds, Kirk Session authorises the Treasurer to move the balance of the monies received from the sale of the manse to the Capital Account Growth Fund. In addition, 50% of the balance of our locally held deposit account may also be transferred to the Capital Account Growth Fund.
Fabric
Nothing to report.
SESSION ADMINISTRATION
24th April 2018
The inspection of congregational records took place this morning at Ardrishaig. The Session Clerk was happy to report that our records were fully compliant.
ELDER TRAINING
Safeguarding – Those who attended the course on Wednesday 18th April found it to be very valuable and appreciated its clear delivery by Mrs Elizabeth Spiers. The Safeguarding Handbooks can be accessed by clicking here.
A.O.C.B.
Christian Aid Week runs from 13th to 19th May 2018.
Mrs N Kelly confirmed that she had received supplies of envelopes,posters and banners.
D.O.N.M.
The date of the next meeting will be Tuesday 29th May 2018 at 7.30 pm in Tayvallich Church.
The meeting was closed by saying the grace together.

Kirk Session agenda

Opening Prayer

Sederunt

Apologies

Minutes of the Meeting of 24th April 2018

Matters arising

Worship & Mission
Weekly Prayer Meetings
YOYP Meetings
Pulpit Supply
Messy Church
Cafe Connect
Alpha

Correspondence
General Trustees 22nd June 2018 Inverlussa Church
Church of Scotland Rural Working Group Digital Footprint Conference

Reports
Minister
Stewardship – Harvest offering
Safeguarding
Notifiable Events
Presbytery
Treasurer & Finance Committee
Fabric

Session Administration
Change in Status of Elders – Mr & Mrs A Cameron
GDPR
Commissioning of Presbytery Elder

Elder Training
Interim Moderator’s Course Mr D Logue

Church Buildings
Development plans

Social Events
Coffee Morning

A.O.C.B.