David Caruthers opened the meeting with prayer.
David Caruthers and Hilda Smith both stressed that we should be looking at the next 10 to 20 years, beyond their likely current tenure as ministers.
It was noted that other areas, such as Dunoon and Campbeltown were also going through a similar review of their structures and developing their plans for the future which involved the churches in their areas coming together through linkages and unions, with a reduced number of ministers.
A suggestion was made that, as Presbytery was considering appointing a “Chaplain to Farmers” this may be a post which could be incorporated into Mid Argyll.
The use of technology to bring sermons and other worship materials into churches was suggested to reduce the load on individuals leading worship over a number of church buildings.
It was suggested that we should as a group identify the tasks which the “new church” wanted to achieve, and then consider the resources required to achieve this, and then look at the type of personnel and structures to best carry this through.
The point was made that, while looking to focus on mission to develop the church, it would also be incumbent on the church to look after and nurture the existing members, particularly where it was apparent that membership was dying out.
It was noted that a ministers are required to carry out Weddings and baptisms, and to some extent funerals, although the Church of Scotland is providing training for readers to carry out funerals.
A proposal was made to divide mid Argyll into two “areas”. Ardrishaig joined with North and South Knapdale, and Lochgilphead joined with Glassary, Kilmartin and Ford. This would avoid displacing the current ministers but would increase their responsibilities, membership and populations. One further Mission Development person could be employed to encourage mission across the two areas.
Another suggestion was made that the area could come under one minister giving leadership to a team of two Mission Development people working across the whole area and also working with, training and encouraging members to do mission activities.
In both the above scenarios local worship could continue to take place with input from Local Worship Leaders, Readers, and other lay members.
With either of the above scenarios funding for a third post would have to be applied for, although the Church of Scotland is planning to disburse funding to Presbyteries for such posts through the saving accruing centrally under the reduction of staff in the Radical Action Plan.
It was agreed that this was a starting point for discussions and that for future meetings, two people from each parish, plus the two ministers, attend to represent the views of the members.
The next meeting was set for the 1st October 2019, at Lochgilphead Parish Hall.
Norma Kelly and Kim Ritchie have agreed to attend from North Knapdale.
- Opening Prayer and Worship
- Minutes of meetings of the 19th August 2019
- Matters arising from the above minutes:
- Audio visual equipment.
- Heartedge Conference
- Life explored
- Worship and Mission:
- Elders and Elder’s districts
- Messy Church
- Alpha/ Alpha next
- Second Sunday Supper/Cafe Church
- Mission Development Plan.
- Interim Moderator
- Notifiable events
- Treasurer and Finance Committee
- Health and Safety
- Date of next meeting
- Close with prayer.
- Appointment of Chair. In the absence of the Interim Moderator due to travel delays, Mrs Catherine Paterson was unanimously appointed to chair the meeting.
- Opening Prayer and Worship. Mrs Paterson opened the meeting in prayer
- Sederunt: present were Mrs Catherine Paterson, temporary chair; Mr David Logue, Session Clerk; Mrs Libby MacDonald; Mr Russell Anderson, Property Convenor; Mrs Norma Kelly, Presbytery Elder; Ms Ealasaid Mackay; Mrs Louise Logue, Treasurer.
- Minutes of meetings of the 10th July 2019. The minutes of the meeting of the 10th July 2019 which had previously been circulated were approved. Proposed by Mrs Kelly and seconded by Mrs MacDonald
- Matters arising from the above minutes:
- Audio visual equipment: Mrs Logue reported that Mr Chris Tabraham had undertaken research into suitable equipment, both projectors and screens and LED screens. It was agreed that one or more LED screens or similar would be most suitable. Following discussion it was agreed that Mrs Logue should discuss this further with Mr Tabraham with a view to installing one screen on a trial basis either immediately behind the Communion Table or to the right hand side (facing) of the gable end windows.
- Extension: Having now received advice from the Planning Department on the initial proposal for an extension it was agreed that Mr Anderson and Mr Logue should discuss this further and approach an Architect to draw up proposals. In the light of the limitations expressed by the Planning Department on the size of the proposed extension, it was also agreed that the discussions with the Architect should include revising the interior layout and functionality of the existing building. Mr Logue would also seek advice from the Presbytery adviser on property.
- Heartedge Conference: Three members of the congregation have expressed interest in attending this conference in Edinburgh. It was agreed that conference fees and expenses incurred for two nights accommodation and travel be paid from the training budget.Those attending the conference to be asked to present a report on the conference to Session and the congregation on their return. Mrs Paterson passed the chair to Mrs Alison Hay, Interim Moderator, who had now arrived
- Worship and Mission:
- Elders and Elder’s districts: Mr Logue had sought advice from the Interim Moderator on the possibility of our appointing more elders to the Kirk Session during this period of vacancy. The reply from Rev David Mitchell, convenor of the Presbytery Planning Committee is that the normal process applies. It was agreed that current elders would send the names of members they would propose to be new elders to Mr Logue in the next two weeks. Also, it would be intimated at Sunday Services that we are seeking to appoint new elders and that anyone interested and feels called to this ministry should approach one of the current elders to discuss this further. It was also agreed that a suitable course of introduction on eldership and the Christian faith should be arranged for potential elders to undertake prior to ordination. Ordination would be undertaken by an ordained Minister. Consideration of changes to the Elders’ Districts would take place after new elders have been ordained.
- Messy Church: Mrs Courtney Smith has sent an e-mail to all the Messy Church team and some guests asking that they consider delaying the start of the Messy church season until the beginning of 2020. This is in view of her current time commitment to her new baby for the immediate future, and the decision by Mrs Logue to stand down from a leadership role in Messy Church. Messy church helpers are asked to consider if they are called to take on a leadership role in Messy church.
- Alpha/ Alpha next: Alpha Next will recommence in September 2019. It is planned to encourage more people to attend. There are no plans currently to run a new Alpha course.
- “Life Explored” report: Mrs Kelly has looked in detail at this resource and reports that it would be very worthwhile to purchase this with a view to using this as a group activity for those wishing to learn about the Christian faith. She suggested that elders could look at samples of the videos on You tube. It was agreed that Mrs Kelly should purchase the resource with 20 hand books and 6 leaders’ books, one for each elder and the interim Moderator.
- Second Sunday Supper/Cafe Church: Mr Logue reported that the next Second Sunday Supper will be held on the 8th September at Achnamara hall. The next Cafe Church will be at Achnamara Hall on the 29th September and will be led by the Local Worship team. Mrs MacDonald asked that the service should include material suitable for children and this was agreed.
- Service calendar – inc. Rev. Chris Whiteley: Mr Logue circulated the list of those leading worship on Sundays up until the end of December. It was noted that the joint service with Glassary, Kilmartin and Ford will be at 11.00am on the 13th October. The Rev Chris Whiteley is visiting for the period around the 8th September and as well as leading Sunday worship has offered to lead a Bible Study or similar group meeting. He will also be invited to attend the second Sunday Supper on the 8th September. Mrs Kelly will contact him to discuss the dates of his visit and possible meetings during his visit. Mr Logue suggested that he could attend the Alpha Next meeting on the 10th September or hold a bible study or similar event on another evening. These meeting would be open to all who wished to attend. Mrs Kelly will send Mr Logue Mr Whiteley’s e-mail address to agree a suitable programme.
- Mission Development Plan. Mr Logue has been in brief discussions with the Session Clerks of Kilmartin and of Ardrishaig Parishes, but no date has been set for any joint meeting across the five parishes.
- “Radical Action Plan” proposed Season of Prayer: It was agreed that this should be a regular part of Sunday worship. Mrs Paterson will co-ordinate this and will contact the Ministries Committees of the Church of Scotland to ask for resources and information on this initiative. Mrs Kelly reported that the Radical Action Plan is being taken forward by Argyll Presbytery.
- Interim Moderator – no report
- Presbytery: Mrs Kelly is on the Mission and Development Committee which is actively involved in the implementation of the “Radical Action Plan” for Argyll Presbytery. This will be a major item on the agenda for the presbytery meeting in September.
- Stewardship: Mrs Kelly reported that she had attended the Church of Scotland Road Show on Stewardship in Oban and that this had presented a revised plan for stewardship centred around “Mission”. She has asked for a copy of the presentation and when this is received it was agreed that the Session and the congregation be invited to view and discuss this.
- Safeguarding: no report
- Notifiable events: nothing to report
- Treasurer and Finance Committee: no report
- Health and Safety: The property convenor confirmed he has received the Health and Safety Toolkit and will complete it for our buildings.
- Fabric: Nothing to report. One member has reported possible woodworm in a pew at Bellanoch. It was noted that there was an indication of damp above the gable window in Tayvallich.
- Correspondence: correspondence had been received from:
8.1 World Mission Council inviting the congregation to be linked to Rev. Dr Ken Ross as Mission Partner. Following discussion it was agreed that we would not take invitation.
8.2 Church and Society Council with sources of information for the support of EU nationals with difficulties due to the process of the UK leaving the EU. It was agreed that this would be referred to in intimations and displayed on the notice board.
8.3 Mission and Discipleship Council with copy of a new resource “Conversations in Discipleship” for use with Sessions, group discussions or home groups. This was agreed to be a useful resource and the Session Clerk was asked to get copies for all the elders. This may also be useful for Cafe Church.
8.4 Graham Walker, a member of the Achnamara Hall Committee, to inform Session that there was a “Maintenance Weekend” at the hall on the 31st August and 1st September 2019. It was therefore agreed that Cafe Connect would not take place on the 31st August.
9. Date of next meeting: The next meeting will be on the 19th September at 7.30pm in Tayvallich Church.
10. The meeting was closed by all saying “The Grace” together.
In this series of six lectures, which will be live streamed on the Church of Scotland website, Rev. Dr. Sam Wells, vicar of St. Martin-in-the-fields, London, discusses the theology and methods of HeartEdge as a vision for renewal in the church.
See poster for more details