Category Archives: Kirk Session

Informal notes on the meeting on Mission Development Planning for the Mid Argyll Parishes: 17.9.19

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.

Kirk session 19 September 2019

Agenda

  1. Opening Prayer and Worship
  2. Sederunt
  3. Apologies
  4. Minutes of meetings of the 19th August 2019
  5. Matters arising from the above minutes:
    1. Audio visual equipment.
    2. Extension
    3. Heartedge Conference
    4. Life explored
  6. Worship and Mission:
    1. Elders and Elder’s districts
    2. Messy Church
    3. Alpha/ Alpha next
    4. Second Sunday Supper/Cafe Church
    5. Mission Development Plan.
  7. Reports:
    1. Interim Moderator
    2. Presbytery
    3. Stewardship  
    4. Safeguarding 
    5. Notifiable events 
    6. Treasurer and Finance Committee
    7. Health and Safety
    8. Fabric  
  8. Correspondence:
  9. Date of next meeting
  10. Close with prayer.

Draft Minutes of Kirk Session 19 August 2019

  1. Appointment of Chair. In the absence of the Interim Moderator due to travel delays, Mrs Catherine Paterson was unanimously appointed to chair the meeting.
  2. Opening Prayer and Worship. Mrs Paterson opened the meeting in prayer
  3. 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.
  4. 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
  5. Matters arising from the above minutes:
    1. 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. 
    2. 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.
    3. 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 
  6. Worship and Mission:
    1. 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.
    2. 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. 
    3. 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.
    4. “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.
    5. 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.
    6. 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.
    7. 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.
    8. “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.
  7. Reports:
    1. Interim Moderator  – no report
    2. 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.
    3. 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. 
    4. Safeguarding: no report 
    5. Notifiable events: nothing to report 
    6. Treasurer and Finance Committee: no report
    7. Health and Safety:  The property convenor confirmed he has received the Health and Safety Toolkit and will complete it for our buildings.
    8. 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.   
  8. 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.

Kirk Session Agenda 19 August 2019

  1. Opening Prayer and Worship
  2. Sederunt
  3. Apologies
  4. Minutes of meetings of the 10th July 2019
  5. Matters arising from the above minutes:
    1. Audio visual equipment.
    2. Extension
    3. Heartedge Conference
  6. Worship and Mission:
    1. Elders and Elder’s districts
    2. Messy Church
    3. Alpha/ Alpha next
    4. “Life Explored” report
    5. Second Sunday Supper/Cafe Church
    6. Service calendar – inc. Rev. Chris Whiteley 
    7. Mission Development Plan.
    8. “Radical Action Plan” proposed Season of Prayer
  7. Reports:
    1. Interim Moderator  – 
    2. Presbytery
    3. Stewardship  
    4. Safeguarding 
    5. Notifiable events 
    6. Treasurer and Finance Committee
    7. Health and Safety
    8. Fabric  
  8. Correspondence:
  9. Date of next meeting
  10. Close with prayer.

Kirk session minutes 10 July 2019

  1. The meeting was opened by the Interim Moderator with prayer.
  2. Sederunt:   Mrs Alison Hay, Interim Moderator; Mr David Logue, Session Clerk and Safeguarding co-ordinator ; Mrs Libby MacDonald; Mrs Norma Kelly, Presbytery Elder and Stewardship Co-ordinator,  Mrs Catherine Paterson, Stewardship Co-ordinator; Mrs Louise Logue, Treasurer.
  3. Apologies were received from Mr Russell Anderson, Property Convenor and Health and Safety Co-ordinator.
  4. Minutes of meetings of the 29th May 2019.                                                   The minutes of the meeting of the 29th May had been previously circulated.   They were approved. Proposed by Mrs Norma Kelly and seconded by Mrs Catherine Paterson.
  5. Matters arising from the above minutes:
    1. Audio visual equipment.     It was agreed that the installation of Audio visual equipment be progressed without delay.
    2. Extension.   There was no further information from the Planning Department concerning the Preplanning application which had been submitted.
  6. Worship and Mission:
    1. Messy Church: The session is now complete and will plan to recommence in the Autumn term.   The final meeting was a picnic at Kilmartin Green.    Mrs Logue who is the main organiser of Messy Church intimated she will stand down as organiser now.
    2. Alpha/ Alpha Next:   No current plans to commence a new Alpha Group.    Alpha Next continues to meet weekly with a short break in July and August.   Mrs Kelly has looked into the training resource “Life Explored” as a possible initiative to start.  Mr Logue was asked to review this on line and if suitable purchase this material for future use.
    3. Second Sunday Supper:   two suppers had been run with the organisation and catering carried out by the Alpha Next group.   The evening had been well received.   The third event will be on the 14th July with some members of the community assisting with catering.  16 to 18 people are attending from both church and local community. 
    4. Cafe Church: 24 people had attended this first “Cafe Church” at Achnamara Hall on the fifth Sunday of the month.    Mr Logue pointed out that this was an experimental format and should not be taken as the only way to do “Cafe Church”.   Some people with hearing difficulties had found the discussion difficult due to the sound from other tables.    It was noted that the discussion was limited in some groups due to the level of biblical knowledge, although this may also be an encouragement for some to read the bible more.It was suggested that a “facilitator” with an understanding of the passage under discussion should be allocated to each table group to help discussion.  One child was present and it was suggested that more focus could be on communication with children. The “Songs of Praise” element of singing people’s chosen hymns was popular.It was also noted that a number of visitors from outwith the parish attended and that some from the local community who did not attend Sunday worship services also came and enjoyed the event. It was agreed that the next “Cafe Church” in September will be led by the Local Worship Leaders.     
    5. Service calendar:   the current list of those who are leading Sunday worship was circulated for information.    It was agreed that North Knapdale would join with Glassary, Kilmartin and Ford Parish for a service on the 13th October in Kilmartin Church to celebrate one year in their new building. Chris Whiteley, a minister in the Baptist church has offered to lead worship on the 8th September 2019 at Bellanoch.   Mrs Kelly will also ask him to lead other meetings, for example, for bible study or prayer  while he is here.    
    6. Mission Development Plan. Four meetings with the congregation have now taken place with a variety of views, suggestions and ideas.  The Session Clerk has written these up and circulated them at Sunday worship and on the website. A summary sheet setting out the main conclusions so far has also been collated and circulated.    A further meeting of North Knapdale congregation will take place on the 21st July after worship, and the session clerk is asked to approach the other Mid Argyll congregations to set a date for a joint meeting. 
    7. Coffee Morning It was noted that the organisation of the Coffee morning is progressing with Dr Chrystine Livingston taking the lead.   Mrs Logue circulated a leaflet showing church activities throughout the year and this was approved as a handout at the Coffee Morning .  
  7. Reports:
    1. Interim Moderator  – no news to report
    2. Presbytery – Mrs Kelly gave a brief report on the discussions at the last meeting of Presbytery and provided a list of the main points provided by the Presbytery Clerk for information for Sessions.  These are provided as Addendum 1 to this minute.
    3. Stewardship:   Mrs Kelly gave an updated total for the Christian Aid collection of £670.00
    4. Safeguarding:  nothing to report 
    5. Notifiable events :  nothing to report
    6. Treasurer and Finance Committee.   Mrs Logue provided a six monthly report on the finances of the church.   The figures are provided in Addendum 2 of this minute
    7. Health and Safety:    The Health and Safety Tool kit has been received and will be passed to the Property Convenor.
    8. Fabric:   no report. 
  8. Correspondence:
    1. An e-mail has been received from the Charity “CHAS” (Children’s Hospices across Scotland) informing of a Fund Raising race night event on the 3rd August in Lochgilphead.   It was agreed to include this in the Sunday Morning intimations.
    2. Notification has been received from the Church of Scotland HR department with information on the recruitment of a Chief Officer to take forward the Radical Action Plan.
    3. Invitation has been received for recommendations for the next Moderator of the General Assembly to be submitted by the 8th August.
    4. The programme co-ordinator for Eco-congregation Scotland has offered to hold an event in Mid Argyll in October.   It was agreed that the session clerk should progress this in collaboration with the other congregations in the area.
    5. Glassary, Kilmartin and Ford parish are holding a celebration service on the 13th October to mark the anniversary of their move into the premises in Kilmartin.     It was agreed we would accept their proposal to make this a joint service between the parishes.    There will therefore be no Sunday Worship service in North Knapdale on that date.
    6. The Session Clerk had made enquiry to the Church of Scotland Law department concerning the title to the land on which Bellanoch church and surrounds lies.    Anne Steele of the law department has replied that in her view, the previous feu ownership has now ceased under legislation of 2004, and that there is no longer any right in favour of the Poltalloch Estate.    Copy of the original feu Contract was enclosed for information.
    7. Notification of the Annual “Heartedge” conference has been received.   It was agreed that this looked to be an interesting programme which   It was agreed that this looked to be an interesting programme which may have relevance to our congregation, and the development of the Mid Argyll Mission Development Plan.    It was agreed that the details would be circulated to the Session and individuals would give consideration to attending.   Some of the costs would be able to be reimbursed from the North Knapdale Parish training budget.
  9. Date of next meeting:   The next meeting will be in Tayvallich Church at 7.30pm on the 19th of August 2019
  10. The meeting was closed by the Interim Moderator with all present saying the Grace together.

Addendum 1

  • Note from the Presbytery Clerk on items for the attention of Kirk Sessions from Presbytery:
  • Congregations are asked to consider membership of the Scottish Compassionate Communities Network.
  • Sessions should note proposals in place to offer “on line” training to congregational office bearers.
  • Improved communication between Presbytery and Congregations should be actively sought.
  • Sessions are encouraged to discuss relevant deliverances from Presbytery as circulated by the Presbytery Clerk.
  • Sessions must ensure that vacant properties remain under valid insurance cover and that the required frequency of regular inspections is adhered to, particularly in relation to water supplies and heating.
  • The Radical Action Plan Mission should be put into action at local level.
  • Congregations should consider and report back on issues of loneliness, injustice and poverty.
  • Session should identify and encourage suitable candidates to train in and then undertake Pastoral Care in Parishes.
  • Sessions should be aware of and adhere to timelines for actions identified in the Local Church Review.
  • Safeguarding returns for Presbytery and Edinburgh should be approved at Kirk Session meetings.
  • Those who undertake activities requiring Disclosure Scotland certification must undertake Church of Scotland Safeguarding training.

Addendum 2 Six month Finance report.

Mission Planning Summary

Mission Development Planning: Summary

Meetings in North Knapdale have been held on 29 May, 2 and 16 June, and 7 July.

On 7 July we looked at the main themes which had come out of the first three meetings and these are listed below in order of most mentioned.

Theme Description Number of mentions
Community Connection The church being involved in the activities and interests of the community in which they live 21
Mission Communicating the gospel of Jesus Christ to people who have not heard or have rejected the message of Christianity. 17
Prayer and Spirituality Worshipping together, seeking God’s will, telling others of God’s love, sharing belief and faith in God. 12
Christian Teaching Teaching and discussion on Christianity, faith, Bible study 9
Care and Concern Serving others in the church and community who have some area of need. 8

People:

We talked about what staffing would be best in terms of paid staff and volunteers which would be able to serve the five parishes of Mid Argyll.

The main Options are:

1 Status quo – three ministers – this is not a realistic option due to financial restraints from Presbytery and Edinburgh.

2 Two full time ministers shared between five parishes with support from readers/ordained local ministers.

3 One minister and one other post – for example a mission development person or a youth worker or an elderly worker or two part time posts, with support from readers/ordained local ministers

We may be able to bid for extra funding from Edinburgh for another (non-minister) full time post if we have suitable mission plan 

If we want to maintain the current pattern of Sunday worship in each parish this would require readers and local worship leaders and members of the congregation regularly taking part in leading worship, as there will not be a minister available to take services in each parish every Sunday.

Buildings

We talked about the buildings we would need in order to carry out the above themes that we have identified.

There was concern about the possibility of closing Bellanoch Church.  It was agreed that Bellanoch church is strategically placed to serve Bellanoch, Crinan and along the canal.

It is an attractive venue for worship but lacks facilities, level access and parking.

There is no “community space” available in the Crinan, Bellanoch, and Canal side area although the Crinan Coffee shop has been used for some community events, e.g. Community Council meetings.

A suggestion was made to build around Bellanoch church to transform it into a “community hub”, retaining the worship space, and adding meetings room, toilets and kitchen. 

Some plans are currently being developed for extension/alterations to Tayvallich church.  Use is also being made regularly of Achnamara Hall.

It was agreed that we set up a meeting with the other four parishes to discuss all our plans.

The next meeting for North Knapdale is after worship on 21st July in Tayvallich Church.

Some questions to think about for this next meeting are:

What are the pros and cons of having two ministers? 

What are the pros and cons of having one minister and a mission development person/youth worker/other full time person (or two part time)?

Can we make a case for funds for another person – for what role?

Are we willing to continue having congregation members, readers, Local Worship leaders taking services regularly when our minister(s) is not available.

What buildings do we think we need across all Mid Argyll?

What, if any, building do we need to serve the Crinan/Bellanoch/canal side area?

What building, if any, do we need in Tayvallich, and in Achnamara?

All previous notes are on the website or ask for a paper copy.

Mission planning progress

Mission Planning for Mid Argyll:  North Knapdale 3rd meeting

Future of the Church of Scotland

3rd Meeting held in Tayvallich Church on June 16th 2019

The number of attenders at the service held on this day were very few around 15. The number who stayed behind to continue discussions around the future of the C of S and North Knapdale’s views were around 10.

We started in prayer and looked at the thoughts that had been forthcoming from the previous meeting and David’s notes on that were read out. Those who had contributed to the 2nd meeting were glad to hear their comments included.

Catherine Paterson read out the bullet points from the Life and Work with a view to their relevance and impact on NK. Whilst a number of the bullet points were aspirational, there was little sense of direction given the diverse range of local parishes we have within Argyll and Bute.

 Networking and providing a hub for ministry was very much seen as a way forward, but we asked how could the people of Achnamara, Tayvallich, Bellanoch, Crinan and Cairnbaan be served, particularly if Bellanoch were to be closed as seems a strong possibility leaving only 1 building in Tayvallich remaining. 

The thought of the latter disturbed most, if not all at the meeting but it was recognised that having no running water, no toilet and further repairs required in the future would probably not be an option. One person said that we’re told that NK had plenty of money and felt some of that should be earmarked for Bellanoch. That raised murmers of agreement.

We noted the tag line from bullet point 10 “well equipped spaces in the right places” and felt that probably most churches in Mid Argyll would not meet that particular criteria and that most church-goers would be reluctant for their church to be earmarked as redundant but we agreed that point would need to be met in the near future.

The point of further training for ministry and leadership roles drew comments that this was simply a means of dealing with the dearth of Ministers and fewer men and women training to be C of S ministers. 

We did recognise that the Church as a whole, has to have a fresh vision and that encouraging members within the church to be more active in different roles was right.  But there were strong feelings that we all need feeding and teaching from Scriptures and that Ministers were equipped during their training to provide the relevance of God’s word for today and we all need ministry.

Other discussions centred around the need for meeting up with our neighbouring churches to hear their views and start the talks on how the diverse geographic and low-populated parts of our parish could be served.

We discussed the need for the church to reach out to those under 40. Catherine told of a Mosque in Perth who also face this problem and used their hall to provide sports activities run and supported by the members.

Whilst Messy Church reached out to primary school children, they did not keep attending when they reached secondary school age. We need to be where the young people are – but how? We also understand that young people often experience anxiety or mental health problems and there are few resources for them.

Everyone agreed with the final bullet point on a season of prayer and preparation from September to December. Could that be expanded on at the next meeting please?

There was an agreed sense that we need to pray for this situation, seek ways to find a new structure that would be fit for purpose for Mid Argyll and that training those who played active roles within the churches in this area be recognised as crucial. 

We need to guard that new structures don’t become strictures that would discourage more people being involved in church growth or leaving the church to find alternatives places to worship. 

Catherine thanked everyone for attending and contributing to the discussions.

The meeting closed in prayer.

The next meeting is planned for July 7th after worship.

Post meeting email.

Due to the birth of their daughter, Courtney and Nick Smith could not attend this meeting but sent on this email a week later. Having taken the trouble to type this up, feel it’s only fair to include their thoughts.

Nick, Daisy and I are not quite ready for a Sunday service with North Knapdale yet, for a number of reasons… but we wanted to contribute to the discussions and brainstorming ideas that will take place today. Below is a list of ideas we developed- please forgive the rough draft – we were typing one handed and Time for editing is short these days!

1.The arrow head of Christianity in the community is Christmas

Christmas decorations and ‘vibe’ in Lochgilphead could be much improved – a little more pride taken particularly with the tree. 

Perhaps a donation of new street decorations – particularly the tree with a Christian focus – rather than the councils current decorations. Perhaps a beautiful nativity scene. 

Could all of the local churches across denominations unite to present a Christian presence that values and glorifies the communities visual experience of Christmas? Imagine if we  had a magnificent tree – like the ones from the movies that the wider communities watch at Christmas time. 

Further on the ideas surrounding Christmas as the churches most public/active community interaction/presence…

Could we host a carol event on the green in Lochgilphead and reach out to the other churches, schools and secular choirs to join in? if the children are involved through school music programs, then the families will come. could have a little craft market or offer mince pies and mulled wine. not for donations but as a generous Christmas gift to the community. 

local art competition across all schools and denominations for posters and publicity. get the paper involved to print new carol sheets in the weeks before Christmas. 

This could create cross denominational and secular community buzz.

2.

Get men involved, you get the men, you get the women and the children.

Fathers’ day… Glorify the masculine contributions in our society with a summer festival on the new Lochgilphead green.

Spend some of the 200K in the bank on this, accept that we will spend money and make an investment. Better than investing 20k in nothing the community benefits from and then reporting that we’ve made a loss.

Bring people together and sponsor the event proudly as the new public face of the combined congregations who wants to get involved in the community. Have a fete, kids will come, families will come… put on music, farm foods, military, shooting clubs, men’s clubs… 

Further on getting men involved to bring in more families…

tool sharing/men’s shed – buy a shed full of tools most men don’t have – plant tools etc. create a tool library and offer mentoring/help with diy projects or advice. 

could be involved in making the beautiful nativity scene for christmas decorations. very skilled community   – lets use it. 

Get local paper involved. Put posters up.

some other ideas:

3.

Invest in accommodation such as a swift s-pod 6. , air bnb it… get a genuine revenue and have guests come stay in the pod. Don’t over do the church involvement but make it known. Could be used as retreat with sightseeing packages included/suggested. could book guided walks for additional fees, etc.

4.

The church is up against secularism… this church will not thrive in its current state. If we change it to a more modern or Pentecostal style we will lose the current congregation and move further away from the biblical realities of what church is supposed to be. Only traditionalists will join this church in its current state. It provides for the current congregation but not really any deeper. 

Final thoughts:

Keep what we have for current ageing congregation.

Put more focus on outward activities and clubs.

Spend money in local community to make events appealing to non church goers.

Sponsor community team/sports team. Provide most valuable player prize – voucher to square peg or something.

All blue sky ideas… but that’s where we are aiming when we glorify our God!

Session Agenda 10 July 2019

  1. Opening Prayer and Worship
  2. Sederunt
  3. Apologies
  4. Minutes of meetings of the 29th May 2019
  5. Matters arising from the above minutes
  6. Worship and Mission:
    1. Messy Church
    2. Alpha/ Alpha next
    3. Second Sunday Supper/Cafe Church
    4. Service calendar
    5. Mission Development Plan.
    6. Coffee Morning  
  7. Reports:
    1. Interim Moderator  – 
    2. Presbytery
    3. Stewardship  
    4. Safeguarding 
    5. Notifiable events 
    6. Treasurer and Finance Committee
    7. Health and Safety
    8. Fabric
  8. Correspondence:
  9. Date of next meeting
  10. Close with Prayer

Mission planning for beginners…

Don’t miss the next vital meeting – 16 June in Tayvallich church after morning worship…

Mission Planning for Mid Argyll: North Knapdale. – First meeting

A meeting of the congregation was held on Wednesday 29th May 2019 at Tayvallich church to discuss the requirement from the Presbytery Planning group for the five parishes of Mid Argyll to develop a joint Mission Development Plan.

The meeting was asked to consider:

How do we plan for the Christian church to be a vital and life changing influence on our society over the next 10 to 20 years?   That is really what we are being asked to   consider for Mid Argyll.

We are asked to produce  a “Mission Development Plan” in collaboration with our neighbouring Parishes of Glassary, Kilmartin and Ford; Ardrishaig and South Knapdale; and Lochgilphead.

This plan must be agreed by all the Parishes and submitted to the Presbytery Planning Group for signing off by September this year.    This plan will include proposals for the ministerial cover for the five Mid Argyll parishes.

What should be in our Plan?

What are the issues in our communities?    How is our church involved in our communities?

How do we present “Following Jesus” as relevant to our neighbours?   How do we introduce Jesus, Son of God, to people who have no idea of the Christian story?   How would you like to see the church working in 20 years time?

Some questions to get us thinking:

What would be lost to our community if we ceased to be here?

Why do we exist as a congregation?

What purposes and values must we hold on to, to maintain our identity?

What are we willing to let go in order to continue as a congregation here?

What resources would help us develop as church in Mid Argyll.

Who will suffer if the church does not continue here?

How can we support them into a changed system.

What structure should we have across Mid Argyll to develop as a combined church.

Following a general discussion the meeting divided into two groups for further discussion based on three questions as discussion starters.  

1 What would the community miss if the church was not here?

2 How should the church serve the community in ways no-one else can?

3 What structure do we need in Mid Argyll to be most effective as a church in relation to the answers to Questions 1 and 2?

It would be impossible to provide considered views on these topics in one meeting only and it was agreed that further meetings with others from the congregation should take place.

At the first meeting a wide range of answers and comments were made and these are summerised as follows – 

People in this area in general appear to be fairly satisfied with material aspects of life, although it is noticeable that issues such as addictions, mental health problems , family break up would indicate that this may not be the real picture.

The church provides a place of stability and is seen by some as the heart of the community, even though they may not attend.

People would miss the Christmas and Easter services if the church was not here.

Messy Church would be missed, and Cafe Connect.

The church building could provide a space for quiet contemplation, for prayer, and for deeper conversations.    

The church building is a scary place for some people who would not come in.

Some in the congregation provide pastoral care and demonstrate God’s love to others.

The church could provide more opportunities for teaching about Christianity, faith, and for open discussion and questioning, during and after services.

If we had “One Parish” of Mid Argyll, this would reduce the number of people involved in being Session clerks, treasurers, presbytery elders, Stewardship and Safeguarding roles, etc., and would therefore free up these people for other activities.

We need to consider how we can “connect” more effectively with the people of Crinan and Cairnbaan.

If we have “One Mid Argyll Parish” then we could have an employed person to do training on outreach, pastoral care, visiting, or youth work, dementia awareness, etc. as well as a minister.

We could have monthly central services led by a minister and on other weeks meet in our local church as we do now – led by lay people.   

Mission Development Planning for Mid- Argyll – North Knapdale:  Second meeting

On the 2nd of June we held a second meeting of the congregation, after the Morning service, to carry on our discussions.

The meeting decided that it would consider the first discussion question –

 What would the community miss if the church was not there – considering the “church” to be the people of the congregation, rather than the building.

There were 16 people attended the meeting and discussions reviewed comments from the first meeting as noted above and also moved on to new aspects. 

Comments and ideas covered the following:

It is vital that we pray about this process, seek God’s will and follow that through.

We have a duty to both follow God and to serve the community by being out and about taking part in what is going on.

When visiting with Christian Aid envelopes many people wanted to talk about the church.

There is an increase in people asking for “Humanist” services for funerals and weddings.   

Should we do more to encourage church weddings?

Visiting is an important role for the congregation, and helps to build up the community.

The community would miss Easter and Christmas services and also weddings and funerals.

Messy church would be missed by those who attend.

The church provides prayer and pastoral care – although this may not be seen by the community.

We should aim to have a Youth Worker for Mid Argyll.

The parish has a healthy bank balance, we could use this to fund extra workers, e.g. for youth work.  Also there are many grants available, such as “Going for growth” fund where we could apply for extra funding for projects.

The presbytery is considering having a Chaplain for Farmers, perhaps this post could be based in Mid Argyll? 

What should we be doing to serve and connect with the communities of Crinan and Cairnbaan?

Services at Bellanoch are well attended.  Is that because of the central position?

How can we influence the schools to include Christian teaching in their curriculum, or to have visits by Ministers, elders or SU groups?

We should join in and support the Youth Environment Project which young people in the area have started. (– e.g.first meeting is in Tayvallich on the 2nd June.)

The next meeting will be after the morning service at Tayvallich next Sunday – the 15th June. Please stay after the service and bring your vital contribution to this important discussion. Thank you.