Kirk session agenda 5 December 2018

 

  1. Opening Prayer and Worship
  2. Sederunt
  3. Apologies
  4. Minutes of meetings of the 12th and 14th October 2018.
  5. Matters arising from 12th October 2018
    1. Audio visual technical equipment 
    2. Storage space.
    3. Development of Tayvallich Church.
    4. Christmas cards
  6. Worship and Mission:
    1. Calendar of Services – December 2018 to February 2019
    2. Messy Church
    3. Alpha
    4. Tayvallich Primary School visits
    5. Local Worship Leader Training
  7. Reports:
    1. Interim Moderator
    2. Stewardship 
    3. Safeguarding
    4. Notifiable events
    5. Presbytery
    6. Treasurer and Finance Committee 
    7. Fabric Report
  8. Correspondence:
    1. Inverlussa Church Building
  9. Local Church Review:
    1. Draft Report
  10. AOCB
  11. Date of next meeting
  12. Close with Prayer

Achnamara lunch and crafts

Guests at tablesAchnamara Hall and North Knapdale Church joined together in their annual lunch and Christmas craft fair.Knitted Santa’s and decorations There were some lovely goods on offer at the craft tables. Mary’s knitted decorations sold well.Fraser McIver selling his bookFraser has published a book and was tying up his sales beautifully.Basket stall and decorations tableJane had a distinctive array of baskets and honey for sale. Lynne had some pretty hand painted Christmas decorations on her table.Jan’s pa8ntings stall with Nick’s puffer stall behindJan’s paintings were popular, as was Nick’s puffer table in the background.People eating at tablesA good time was had by one and all. Almost £600 was raised to be shared between the hall and church. Thanks to everyone who baked, cooked soup, made crafts and all those of you who came along to support these two good causes.

Ruth and Naomi 4 November 2018

The books of the Old Testament can be quite daunting reading – stories of hardship and exile, of mistreatment, abuse and deceit – of rebellion and warfare.   And in amongst it all, the thread of God, weaving a pattern of love, of concern, of right and wrong, of forgiveness and justice.

The books of the Old Testament paint a broad picture of God’s interaction with His people on an epic scale at times.   Exhausting reading – exciting and challenging, but also quite frantic at times.   

So when we come to the book of Ruth, we can actually draw breath, relax and sit and enjoy a quiet story of a family.   No references to bloodshed, to Kings fighting for power, to people rebelling and suffering.   This is a peaceful story of the recovery of dignity, of loving relationships, and of care for others.

It gives us an insight into a family who care for one another, who want to do what is right, and who seek to follow God.

The passage we read is the beginning of the story, so please go on and read the rest.

It starts with a Jewish family, from Bethlehem, who decide to leave their home and go as refugees, during a famine, to another country to find a better life.   Elimalek, his wife Naomi and two sons.   They must have got on alright as they stayed and settled there.

 – and then the husband died leaving Naomi a widow with two sons.   But they grow older and the sons marry local girls.   All seems well until, after ten years, both the sons die leaving three widows to fend for themselves – Naomi, and now Ruth and Orpah.   

So – what do widows do!     Widows in that society depend on their family for support.   Naomi has no family in Moab to look after her so she decides she must return to her homeland, to Bethlehem, where she will find a place of support and care.   

 She tells her two daughters in law – you go back to your families locally and find new husbands from your own people – and you can start a family with them – live a new life.   

Now this is where the story gets interesting.

Both of the daughters cling to her and weep – and say no we won’t leave you – we will go with you.

Why would they do that?  Naomi is a foreigner, they have family close by, this is their culture – here is an opportunity to start a new life with a new husband and possibly have children.    Why stay with their old mother in law?  

Naomi must have been an attractive person.   After the second time of cajoling them to leave her, one daughter accepts the advice and leaves to go to her family – but Ruth stays on.  Why?

Listen to what Ruth says:

“Where you go, I will go, and where you stay I will stay.   Your people will be my people, and your God, my God.”

Ruth was a Moabite, they did not worship the God of Naomi, the God of Abraham – they did not follow the Jewish God Yahweh, they worshipped a god called Chemosh, the national deity of the Moabites whose name most likely meant “destroyer,” “subduer,” or “fish god.” .  doesn’t sound very attractive does it? 

But Naomi must have maintained her allegiance to Yahweh – Ruth recognised in Naomi a person who followed a different God – and that she is now saying she is ready to follow also.   Something in Naomi’s lifestyle, her character, her relationship with others convinced Ruth to make the decision – “I don’t want to leave this lady, I want to stay with her, be her friend and companion and “follow her God”.   There is something about her and her God that makes me want to follow her, learn from her and go with her back to her family – that is the life I want to lead – so I will stay with her. 

  As we reflect on Naomi – what was she like – do you think she was caring, how did she treat others, did she look after her family, how do you think she responded to strangers and foreigners – was she wise in her advice to others – what was her first concerns for her daughters in law – did she think of herself?

She lived a life which influenced others – she lived a life which Ruth wanted to follow – and what was Ruth’s ambition – to go with her, to stay with her – but above all – to accept her God as her own.

How do people view us, how do those around us view our lifestyles, our characters, the way we treat others?      Do others look at us and say – “that is a person I want to follow, to get to know – and why are they like that?” – do others look at us and say  “I want your God to be my God?”

That is the difficult challenge of being Christian – “How do others view us?” – and do we live in a way which causes others to say – I want to know more, I want to know about their God, I want to find out about their faith?   Not through singing hymns, not through listening to sermons, not through clever arguments – but by watching our lives and deciding – Yes I want to know them. – and their God.

That is the challenge we have as we commit ourselves to follow Jesus.     But the wonderful news is that Jesus doesn’t leave us alone to try to live in a way which is attractive to others – 

John records Jesus as saying:

…I will pray the Father and He will give you another Helper,, that He may abide with you forever – The Spirit of Truth, …., whom you know for He dwells with you and will be in you.”

Jesus promises us the Holy spirit to help us in our Christian lives – and what does that mean – it means we are not alone, we have help.

In the letter to Galations  – Paul reminds us that the fruit of the Spirit – the result for us of accepting His help – is a life signified by:

Love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self control.

I am sure Naomi had a lot of those attributes – and we think of ourselves, do we have the humility to ask the Holy Spirit to grow this fruit, these attributes in our lives – and 

 – may we remember Naomi, and her influence on Ruth and consider – who are we influencing with our lives, and who will follow us as Ruth followed Naomi?  

Kirk Session Notes 12 October 2018

Gift for Mr and Mrs Cameron:

Mrs Logue reported that a gift of a Hamper of various foods had been bought from Fortnum and Mason, to which had been added a variety of food items bought locally.

The Session viewed this as a very suitable gift to Mr and Mrs Cameron and commended the congregation on their generosity which is a reflection on the high esteem in which Mr and Mrs Cameron are held.

Audio visual equipment:

Mr Logue reported on research which he had carried out on this matter and also advice received from Mr John Turner, CARTA adviser on Audio Visual installations.    Following discussion it was agreed that Mr Logue would circulate a note on this matter to the Session and this would be given further consideration at the next meeting.

The moderator also suggested that members should take the opportunity to study installations in other churches which they visit. 

Storage:

Mr Logue reported on two estimates he had received for the installation of a storage shed for both “Messy Church” and similar items , and for garden equipment.     He noted that he awaited a response from a third supplier.   During discussion it was noted that this shed would be sited on the area designated for the proposed extension to the church at Tayvallich.   It was decided that further consideration on the purchase of a shed for storage would await clarification on the likely timetable for this proposed extension.

Development of Tayvallich Church

Mr Logue reported that an initial plan and specification had been sent to the presbytery Property Convenor, Rev Lindsay Schluter, and a response was awaited on whether this development would be supported by Presbytery.

Service for Public Profession of Faith.

Rev. c. Acklam confirmed that he had met with Nick and Courtney Smith and that following discussion with them he was pleased to propose their admission to the Lord’s Supper.    A service for the Public Profession of Faith, Confirmation and Admission to the Lord’s Supper will take place on the 14th October 2018, at Tayvallich Church, to welcome them into fellowship.

“Shoebox” Service

The Service to gather in Shoeboxes under the Blytheswood Shoebox appeal 2018, and to pray for their distribution and use will take place on November the 4th 2018 at Tayvallich Church and the Shoeboxes will be delivered to the collection point on the 8th November. 

Messy church.

Mrs Logue reported that Messy Church had recommenced for the new session.   She thanked all who are involved in this and is pleased that Mrs Smith has taken on a lead role. 

On a related matter the Rev. C. Acklam reported that the Tayvallich Primary School were looking for a continuation of visits from a representative of the church after Rev. Cliff Acklam has left the parish.

Alpha

Mr Logue reported that the recent Alpha Taster sessions had been well received by the group visiting the Parish from Kasamba congregation.   Following the event one local person had expressed interest in attending an Alpha series.   It had been decided to relaunch a series at the beginning of the new year 2019.

The “Alpha next” continues to meet weekly and covers a variety of topics relating to Christian Faith.

Rev. C. Acklam reported that he had attended a recent meeting of Alpha Next which had been led by a couple from Edinburgh churches, both ministers, who were visiting Mr and Mrs Logue, and he had found their discussion on the challenge and invitation of Jesus, very thought provoking.   He proposed that they be invited at their next visit to provide a training session for the congregation. 

Minister’s report:

Rev. C. Acklam reported that he had asked primary schools in the parish to design a Christmas card, as in previous years, for the congregation to distribute at Christmas to the local communities with Christmas message and information on Church activities at Christmas.

He circulated the paintings submitted by Tayvallich school pupils and following discussion one painting was chosen for the card design with one other as a back up.

The Session Clerk ( Mr Logue) was asked to progress this.

Rev. C. Acklam confirmed that his Visa to take up work in the United States had now been issued and he would be leaving this parish to take up his new post in New York State on the 15th October 2018.

His final service in the parish would therefore be on the 14th October 2018. 

Presbytery report:

Mrs Kelly reported on the Presbytery conference and particularly drew attention to the presentations on Palliative Care and Hospice Ministry.    The Session Clerk was asked to circulate these.

Other items considered at presbytery were Hub Ministry, Training for the future with particular reference to Online training, the use of “Godly Play” in young people’s ministry and schools, and encouragement for congregations to become involved in leading worship in their parishes and undertake training in this.

Treasurer and Finance Committee  

Mrs Logue circulated a note on the financial position 9 months into the financial year.   She reported that the Gift Aid secretary had issued letters with Gift Aid statements for the year to April 2018, and had made the appropriate claim to HM Customs and Excise for payment for the Gift Aid made to 

Training

Mr Logue Provided information on a Training Event – “Equipping for the Future” on various aspects of Building maintenance and projects.  

It was agreed this may be a useful event for those involved in the Tayvallich church development to attend.

Correspondence:

Inverlussa Church Building.

The Session Clerk informed the meeting that an e-mail, with three points, from Anne Steele, Solicitor with the Church of Scotland Law department had been received on the 11th October 2018.

First, the e-mail informed the session that a letter had been received from the landowner to the North West of the Church that he was not willing to grant a wayleave for drainage or septic tank across his property.

Second, the General Trustees had chosen not to follow our request that the Church be sold without wayleaves agreed.

Third, that the law department would follow up with the other landowner adjacent to the church, and with the Argyll and Bute Council concerning wayleaves for services.

Fourth, she asks if there are any other local landowners who might be approached for site of a septic tank.

The Session Clerk was asked to write to Ms Steele expressing disappointment at the General Trustees’ decision.

On line Training

Notification had been received from Argyll Presbytery Ministry Committee on an event in Inveraray on the 20th October to promote “On Line” training on being an Interim Moderator.    

Cross reach.

Materials from Crossreach had been received promoting the sale of Christmas Cards and calendars, and publicising the roles and activities of Crossreach.   Mrs Norma Kelly agreed to promote this material in the Parish.