Category Archives: Special events

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.

The Columba Experience

Pilgrimage 1 [June 22nd – 29th. ] Schedule

Anyone is welcome to come and join us for a day on the Pilgrimage as long as you let Kenny know in advance on 0777 852 9693 and bring your own food.

Some folks start to gather on Friday June 21st in Tarbert, staying over at Tarbert church until the official start day of…

Saturday 22nd Pilgrims and Team Gather

5pm Travel down by minibus to Southend for a short Commissioning Service at St Columba’s Footprints. 

Snacks are being provided for us by the folks at Southend.

7 ‘ish’ travel back up to Tarbert for evening prayers and prep.

Sun 23rd Walk from Tarbert to Port Ban Caravan Park  [14 miles]

Having eaten our evening meal in our caravans we aim to have a Beach Bonfire @ the Caravan Park where we hope to meet up with other site users.

Mon 24th Walk from Port Ban to Achahoish Church [14 miles]

Evening Dinner is being provided by the lovely folks of Ardrishaig parish church in Achahoish Church.

Overnight in Achahoish church

Tues 25th Walk from Achahoish to Achnamara [20 miles]

AM Mid-morning communion in ‘Columba’s Cave’ led by Fthr David Connor and Rev David Carruthers

PM We will be hosted by some lovely folks from North Knapdale Parish who will also provide us with our Evening meal.

Overnight in Achnamara.

Wed 26th Walk from Achnamara to Kilmartin [13]

AM Visit Dunadd Castle, the Crowning Site for the Kings of Dalriada [Pre –Scotland kingdom] 

PM  Visit the Stone Circles and Chists in Kilmartin with our host and guide: Jim Malcolm]

EVE Possible event in The Kilmartin Hotel [TBC]

Overnight at Kilmartin Hostel

Thurs 27th Travel from Kilmartin to Isle of Luing [12]

AM Walk to Old Poltollach [OP]

Boat from OP to Ardfern for Lunch at church app 12

provided by local parishioners 

PM Walk from Ardern to Croabh Haven  then boat to Toberonochy on the Isle of Luing staying at the church on Luing overnight. The parishioners of Luing have offered to provide us with our evening meal.  

Frid 28th Walk from Luing Parish church to Kilninver Parish Church [12]

Return from Kilninver by Minibus to overnight at the homes of Maura & Robert Rae and Myra Waddell on Seil who have also offered to provide us with our evening meal. Possibly a talk by Robert Rae on St Brendan.

Sat 29th Travel from Kilninver to Oban/Lismore/Oban

AM RIB boat from Kilninver To Oban 

PM Ferry to Lismore for some Reflection Time

EVE Return from Lismore to Oban to stay overnight at the H20 [HopeToOban’s] base

On Sunday 30th the group disperse and the Week 2 Pilgrimage starts in Tarbert.Columba Experience Pilgrimage

Week 2 [June 29th to July 6th] Schedule.

Anyone is welcome to come and join us for a day on the Pilgrimage as long as you let Kenny know in advance on 

0777 852 9693 and bring your own food.

Saturday 29th Pilgrims and Team Gather

5pm Travel down by minibus to Southend for a short Commissioning Service at St Columba’s Footprints. 

Snacks are being provided for us by the folks at Southend.

7 ‘ish’ travel back up to Tarbert for evening prayers and prep.

Sun 30th Walk from Tarbert to Port Ban Caravan Park  [14 miles]

Having eaten our evening meal in our caravans we aim to have Beach Bonfire @ the Caravan Park where we hope to meet up with other site users.

Mon 1st July Walk from Port Ban to Achahoish Church [14 miles]

Evening Dinner is being provided by the lovely folks of Ardrishaig parish church in Achohoish Church.

Overnight in Achahoish church

Tues 2nd Walk from Achahoish to Achnamara [20 miles]

AM Mid-morning communion in ‘Columba’s Cave’ led by Fthr David Connor and Rev David Carruthers

PM We will be hosted by some lovely folks from North Knapdale Parish who will also provide us with our Evening meal.

Overnight in Achnamara.

Wed 3rd Walk from Achnamara to Kilmartin [13]

AM Visit Dunadd Castle, the Crowning Site for the Kings of Dalriada [Pre –Scotland kingdom] 

PM  Visit the Stone Circles and Chists in Kilmartin with our host and guide: Jim Malcolm]

EVE Possible event in The Kilmartin Hotel [TBC]

Overnight at Kilmartin Hostel

Thurs 4th Travel from Kilmartin to Isle of Luing [12]

AM Walk to Old Poltollach [OP]

Boat from OP to Ardfern for Lunch at church app 12 noon

provided by local parishioners 

PM Walk from Ardern to Croabh Haven  then boat to Toberonochy on the Isle of Luing staying at the church on Luing overnight. The parishioners of Luing have offered to provide us with our evening meal.  

Frid 5th Walk from Luing Parish church to Kilninver Parish Church [12]

Return from Kilninver by Minibus to overnight at the homes of Maura & Robert Rae and Myra Waddell on Seil who have also offered to provide us with our evening meal. 

Possible evening talk from Robert Rae about St Brandon

Sat 6th Travel from Kilninver to Oban/Lismore/Oban

AM RIB boat from Kilninver To Oban 

PM Ferry to Lismore for some Reflection Time

EVE Return from Lismore to Oban to stay overnight at the H20 [HopeToOban’s] base

On Sunday 7th the group disperse and we look forward to 2020 when we hope to do another Columba Experience Youth Pilgrimage!

Easter Day

Call to Worship:  Behold what manner of love the Father has bestowed upon us that we should be called the children of God:  Let’s unite our voices in praise of Him who loved us so.

Sermon

For Jesus life had a climax, and that was the Cross. To him the Cross was the glory of life and the way to the glory of eternity. “The hour has come,” he said, “for the Son of Man to be glorified” (John 12:23). What did Jesus mean when he repeatedly spoke of the Cross as his glory and his glorification? There is more than one answer to that question. Why in A W Pink’s words we have tragedy and triumph, victim and yet a victor.
(i) It is one of the facts of history that again and again it was in death that the great ones found their glory. It was when they died, and how they died, that showed people what and who they really were. They may have been misunderstood, undervalued, condemned as criminals in their lives, but their deaths showed their true place in the scheme of things.
When James Montrose was executed, he was taken down the High Street of Edinburgh to the Mercat Cross. His enemies had encouraged the crowd to revile him and had actually provided them with ammunition to fling at him, but not one voice was raised to curse and not one hand was lifted. He had on his finest clothes, with ribbons on his shoes and fine white gloves on his hands. James Frazer, an eyewitness, said: “He stept along the street with so great state, and there appeared in his countenance so much beauty, majesty and gravity as amazed the beholder, and many of his enemies did acknowledge him to be the bravest subject in the world, and in him a gallantry that braced all that crowd.” John Nicoll, the notary public, thought him more like a bridegroom than a criminal. An Englishman in the crowd, a government agent, wrote back to his superiors: “It is absolutely certain that he hath overcome more men by his death, in Scotland, than he would have done if he had lived. For I never saw a more sweeter carriage in a man in all my life.” Again and again a martyr’s majesty has appeared in death. Consider the radiance of Stephen: It was so with Jesus, for even the centurion at the foot of the Cross was left saying: “Truly this was the Son of God” (Matthew 27:54).
The Cross was the glory of Jesus because he was never more majestic than in his death.

John Calvin: For in the cross of Christ as in a splendid theatre, the incomparable goodness of God is set before the whole world.  The glory of God shines indeed in all creatures on high and below but never more brightly than in the cross.
The Cross was his glory because like a magnet it drew men to him in a way that even his life had never done–and it is so yet.
(ii) Further, the Cross was the glory of Jesus because it was the completion of his work. “I have accomplished the work,” he said, “which You gave me to do.” For him to have stopped short of the Cross would have been to leave his task uncompleted. Why should that be so? Jesus had come into this world to tell men about the love of God and to show it to them. If he had stopped short of the Cross, it would have been to say that God’s love said: “Thus far and no farther.” By going to the Cross Jesus showed that there was nothing that the love of God was not prepared to do and suffer for men, that there was literally no limit to it.

H. L. Gee tells of a war incident from Bristol.  Attached to one of the Air Raid Precautions Stations there was a boy messenger called Derek Bellfall. He was sent with a message to another station on his bicycle.On his way back a bomb mortally wounded him. When they found him, he was still conscious. His last whispered words were: “Messenger Bellfall reporting–I have delivered my message.”

That is exactly what Jesus did. He completed his task; he brought God’s love to men. For him that meant the Cross; and the Cross was his glory because he finished the work God gave him to do; he made men for ever certain of God’s love.  He made known “your name” What a legacy!
[iii]  Anticipated it through the church – you and me. v10 In our Being – sanctification/being conformed to His image – It is not just about words but about who we are.

In our Service – incarnational presence in the world
(iv) But there is still more. Jesus prayed to God to glorify him and to glorify Himself. The Cross was not the end. There was the Resurrection to follow. This was the vindication of Jesus. It was the proof that men could do their worst, and that Jesus could still triumph. Why in the tragedy there is triumph a victim and victor. It was as if God pointed at the Cross and said: “That is what men think of my Son,” and then pointed at the resurrection and said: “That is what I think of my Son.” The Cross was the worst that men could do to Jesus; but not all their worst could not conquer him. The glory of the resurrection obliterated the shame of the Cross.

(v) For Jesus the Cross was the way back. “Glorify me,” he prayed, “with the glory which I had before the world began.” He was like a knight who left the king’s court to perform some perilous and awful deed, and who, having performed it, came home in triumph to enjoy the victor’s glory. Jesus came from God, and returned to him. The exploit between his coming forth and his going back was the Cross. The ‘no vacancy’ sign over the door at Bethlehem ended in the spitting and scoffing of Calvary.  For him, therefore, it was the gateway to glory; and, if he had refused to pass through it, there would have been no glory for him to enter into. For Jesus the Cross was his return to God. We might say the cross was an ET moment! Home Home – remember these words in the famous film.

Maundy Thursday talk


Having loved his own – John 13:1
His love was particular – loved his own – those the father had given him
First notice whom we loves: “Having loved his own… he loved them to
the end.”

“He calls his own sheep by name and they follow him.” “The good
shepherd lays down his life for the sheep” (John 10:3, 15, 27).

“Greater love has no man than this, that a man lay down his life for
his friends” (John 15:13).

“I do not pray for these only but for all who will believe on me
through their word” (John 17:1).

“His own.” “His sheep.” “His friends.” “Believers.”

Here is something very precious and powerful and life-changing.

The love of Jesus for his own, for his sheep, for his friends, for
believers is more than the love held out to the world—the compassion
that fed the hungry and healed the sick and preached good news to the
poor.

And in this verse, John wants those of us who are “His own,” his
sheep, his friends to hear something uniquely for us.

It is not by accident that Jesus’ love for the church is compared to
the love of a husband for his wife in Ephesians 5.

There is a kind of love I can have for all women and men, but when I
have vowed in solemn covenant to forsake all others and cleave to Jean
alone and to love her and cherish her for richer for poorer, for better
for worse, in sickness and in health, til death do us part, our love
becomes a slight reflection of what it means for Jesus to love his own,
his sheep, his friends, his bride.

Think of the love that takes captive and cleaves and unites and
cherishes and defends.

His love was protective – in the world

The world of the flesh, tempation, trial and testing.

Having willingly set aside the glory that was rightfully His, and in
spite of the disciples’ appalling selfishness, Jesus’ main concern
that night was to demonstrate His personal love to the twelve so that
they might be secure in it.

John 13:1 says, “having loved His own who were in the world, He
loved them to the end.”  “To the end” in the Greek text is eis
telos, meaning, literally, that He loved them to perfection. He loved
them to the uttermost. He loved them with total fullness of love.

His love was permanent – to the end – no end.

He loved us in life and he loved us in death. Having loved us in the
easiest times he loved us in the hardest times. Having loved us with
words and bread and touch he loved us with blood and pain and death.
Having loved us extensively over years he loved us intensively to the
depths. Eternally – lead them, surely goodness and mercy follow us –
glory of perfection.

We are moved to believe that someone loves us when two things
appear—they stick with us over time, and they stick with us when it is
costly.

And the word tells us, “having loved his own who were in the world, he
loved them to the end.” It went long and it went deep.

O, may God give us the power to comprehend with all the saints what is
the height and depth and length and breadth and to know the love of
Christ which passes knowledge that we might be filled with all the
fullness of God.”Having loved his own.” Those four words are a brief but
complete summary of the Savior’s conduct towards his disciples.

Kirk Session Agenda 29 May 2019

Agenda

  1. Opening Prayer and Worship
  2. Sederunt
  3. Apologies
  4. Minutes of meetings of the 29th April 2019
  5. Matters arising from the above minutes:
    1. Audio Visual
    2. Extension
    3. Service Calendar
    4. Office Bearers:  GDPR
  6. Worship and Mission:
    1. Messy Church
    2. Alpha
    3. Service for the Closure of Inverlussa Church.
  7. Reports:
    1. Interim Moderator  – 
    2. Stewardship  
    3. Safeguarding 
    4. Notifiable events 
    5. Treasurer and Finance Committee
    6. Fabric  
  8. Correspondence:
    1. Inverlussa Church Building
    2. Any other corresspondance
  9. Date of next meeting
  10. Close with Prayer

The meeting will be followed by a congregational meeting to discuss the development of a Mission Plan for Mid Argyll Parishes. 

Inverlussa Closing Service

Rev. David Carruthers

Historically

  • Knapdale was part of the Diocese of Sodor and Man in the early Middle Ages
  • In due course it became part of the Diocese of Argyll under the patronage of the Abbey of Kilwinning in Ayrshire
  • The records of the Synod of Argyll of the mid 17th century make reference to the parish of Knapdale
  • The shortage of ministers to serve in the churches in the outlying parts of Argyll was a frequently recurring subject of discussion in the Synod
  • In 1715 the decision was taken to divide Knapdale into north and south but it took 19years for the recommendation to be fully implemented.
  • North Knapdale and especially Inverlussa (the closest church building) “gave birth” to congregations in Achahoish (church building completed in 1775 and is still in use) and Inverneill (completed a few years later but a ruin since 1900)
  • Expanding populations in Ardrishaig and Lochgilphead (along with population movement) brought about the demise of the Inverneill congregation but the building of churches in Ardrishaig (1860) and Lochgilphead (1828)

Which leads us to:

Today

  • “The Church at home has, perhaps, lost sight of this, but mission and evangelism are core activities of the Christian faith.
    Throughout His ministry, Jesus teaches us to see the world differently from the way we would ordinarily see it.
    To some extent that’s what’s behind the principle of sending out missionaries – to help others see the world, themselves, as Jesus sees them.
    But have we lost sight of that imperative when it comes to our home nations?
  • ‘How great is our burden for mission?’The only way to have a sense of burden for mission is to be more influenced by Jesus than by our culture – seeing the world as He sees it.
    Jesus was/is always trying to help his followers to see the world differently from the way it is ordinarily seen.
  • Missionary activity assumes a new way of looking at the world.
    Perhaps we need to define ‘mission’ and ‘evangelism.’
    Mission is about crossing cultures to win people to/for Christ and planting HisChurch.
    Local evangelism is reaching out to people in our own culture where the Church has already been planted.

Which brings us to John 4:27-39:

  • Jesus had finished talking to the Samaritan woman — she has returned to town with a different view of the world.
  • The disciples back from the same town, encourage Jesus to eat and in His typical, but atypical, way Jesus challenges their way of seeing things.
  • They say, ‘Jesus, it’s gone lunch time; eat something’ — He replies, “I’ve been eating. My food is to do the will of my Father; to accomplish his work” – ‘I’ve just spent the last half hour talking to a Samaritan woman and her need for salvation. I tell you guys; I’m full.’
  • Jesus challenges their/our way of looking at the world.
  • Jesus then calls us to see the world of sowing and reaping differently — inroutine harvesting there’s a time for sowing and a time for reaping (Eccl 3) — the time interval between the two is fairly fixed.
  • But there’s no point in lifting up our eyes in December (in Mid Argyll) to see if the barley is ready for harvesting; it’s the wrong time of year!
  • But that’s not the case in the spiritual realm.
  • Jesus said, “You say, there are four months till harvest” (v35) — you think of fixed and unchangeable times between sowing and reaping. But that isn’t the way I want you to look at the world of mission.
  • Don’t be mechanistic; don’t think that there’s some kind of fixed pattern or timing that always works.
  • Don’t sow and then go back to your routine activities (it’s dinner time) with no sense of expectancy.
  • Instead, I say, lift up your eyes; be on the lookout – there are fields white and ready to harvest!
  • Jesus sowed the seed of the Word with the Samaritan woman.
  • Amazed, she had gone to sow more in the town.
  • Would the disciples lift their eyes to what God was doing? Or would they just go about their routine activity, worrying about lunch?
  • Contrary to all your expectations, Jesus was saying, the town where you’ve just been and saw nothing, is a field ready for harvesting! 
  • When it comes to mission and evangelism, don’t be locked into fixed natural laws. Don’t say, “Four months, then . . . because that’s the way it’s always been.”
  • Instead lift your eyes. Look. See what God is doing – Look upon the world with the eyes of Jesus. 
  • Lift your eyes and look forward with faith as you sow and/or reap within this Charge of North Knapdale recognising/seeing that evangelism/missionary activity in 21st century Scotland assumes/requires a new way of looking at your world

We give thanks for the worship and witness of past generations.

We recognise the changing situations within our land.

We have agreed, under guidance of the Presbytery of Argyll, to the closure of this Holy Place.

With sadness we will close ours doors this evening.

With faith and confidence, we will move forward into God’s future.

Moving forward into the future….
David saying a few words
A lovely spread

Thanks to everyone who came and shared in this event, brought food, brought old photos, washed up, tidied up and made us feel good about the future.

Easter at Kilmory

Worshippers arriving at Kilmory Chapel Then as Peter, and John, went in and did not find the body of Jesus, they were greatly perplexed – and two men standing there said to them – “Why do you seek the living among the dead?”
“Jesus is not here – he is risen!”

Welcome this Easter Morning! Jesus Christ is risen – He is risen indeed!
Let us pray:
Risen Lord, on this day we praise You, on this day we worship You, on this day we draw close to You, and rejoice that You come to us still, out of darkness into light, out of grief into joy, out of fear into hope. Rejoicing in the presence of our living Saviour, we are bold to come close and be glad that in this life, we are not alone; in this life, there is someone we can trust; in this life the promise becomes reality because of You, Lord Jesus Christ, as we stand in Your resurrection light. – Amen

David leading the worship

Hymn 410 – Jesus Christ is risen today.
Reading: John 20 vs 1 – 9 NIV Mystery and confusion:
“Early, on the first day of the week, while it was still dark, Mary Magdaline went to the tomb and saw that the stone had been removed from the entrance. So she came running to Simon Peter and the other disciple, the one Jesus loved, and said ‘They have taken the Lord out of the tomb, and we don’t know where they have put Him’
So Peter and the other disciple started to the tomb. Both were running, but the other disciple outran Peter and reached the tomb first. He bent down and looked at the strips of linen lying there but did not go in. Then Simon Peter, who was behind him, arrived, and went into the tomb. He saw the strips of linen lying there, as well as the burial cloth that had been around Jesus’ head. The cloth was folded up by itself, separate from the linen. Finally the other disciple, who had reached the tomb first, also went inside. He saw and believed. (They did not understand from scripture that Jesus had to rise from the dead.) Then the disciples went back to their homes.”
It is the morning after the Sabbath day’s rest. Two days since they had watched in horror as their leader, their guide and teacher, their friend was crucified as a criminal
They had had one day – one day to try understand – what had gone wrong – to try to re-orientate their lives now Jesus was no more than a dead rebel. This man who had offered so much was lying dead in a cave. But now they could go and bury him properly and get on with their lives. But the confusion continues, the roller coaster of emotion and the whole mystery around Jesus just gets worse – His body is gone! Where is it – who has taken it – why! why! It is all going wrong again.
Can we identify a little with their anguish? Can we get beside Peter, and say – hold on, it will all turn out OK. Can we sit with Mary in the garden weeping her heart out because none of this makes sense and Jesus is dead. Can we say – trust in Jesus, trust in God – but would that really have meant anything at all to these, his distraught grieving friends?
Darkness before dawn, light in a tunnel, new shoots from dry seeds.
Would these pictures have meant anything at all to them on that morning – at that time of sorrow and confusion?

Worshippers inside Kilmory ChapelReading: John 20 vs 11 – 18, NIV Seeking, pleading……. Hope, transformation.
“…but Mary stood outside the tomb crying. As she wept, she bent over to look in the tomb and saw two angels in white, seated where Jesus’ body had been, one at the head, and the other at the foot.
They asked her ‘Woman, why are you weeping?’
‘They have taken my Lord away,’ she said ‘and I don’t know where they have put Him’. At this, she turned round and saw Jesus standing there, but she did not realise that it was Jesus.
‘Woman,’ He said ‘why are you weeping? Who is it that you are looking for?’
Thinking He was the gardener, she said ‘Sir, if you have carried Him away, tell me where you have put Him, and I will get Him.’
Jesus said to her ‘Mary’
She turned towards him and cried out in Aramaic, ‘Rabboni’, which means Teacher.
Jesus said ‘Do not hold on to me, for I have not yet returned to the Father. Go instead to my brothers and tell them ‘I am returning to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God.’
Mary Magdalene went to the disciples with the news: ‘I have seen the Lord!’ And she told them that she had said these things to her.”
John and Peter have gone home, Mary stays on crying her eyes out – sorrow upon sorrow, and through her tears she sees two people sitting in the tomb – white, like angels.
Why are you weeping? Why are you weeping?
Because He is gone! All is gone – Jesus the Messiah is gone, Jesus the teacher is gone, Jesus our friend has gone – even His body has gone. Mary is bereft, empty –
And now Jesus too asks “Why are you weeping”
Indeed Mary – why are you weeping? – Jesus is there, Jesus is beside her. Jesus the Messiah is standing alive, Jesus the teacher is bringing her comfort, Jesus the man is standing – no longer a dead body – but a living being, – no longer gone – but here! and so Mary – “Why are you weeping?”
Dawn is breaking, the dark tunnel of anguish is being slowly lit up, the new shoots are growing from the seed. A new day, a new era, a new life is beginning
Go and tell the others. Go and tell them you have seen me – go and tell them their despair is over, go and tell them the darkness is past – I am not dead – but alive.
Sometimes we enter the darkness of despair, sometimes our expectations crumble to dust. Sometimes our hopes fall flat and circumstances change to snuff out our optimism, our joy. Sometimes our best intentions get distorted and cause more harm than good.
Then Jesus asks us – “Why are you weeping”. The light is coming – I am not dead but live. Then we can reach out, we can cry out, I am weeping because you are gone! But Jesus is not gone he is standing there beside you – look at him.
In these times when we need comfort, assurance, light – we can cry out – Lord hear my needs – understand my position, know my pain – Hear my prayer ! and he does, because He is alive – he waits beside us.
We are going to sing this together now – “O Lord hear my prayer, listen to me!” this is a simple song from the Taize community in France and I think it helps us all to bring our selves to our Lord.

Jesus is King flag outside the chapel
“O Lord hear my prayer”
Reading John 20 vs 19 – 23 Confirmation, commission, enabling.
“On the evening of the first day of the week, when the disciples were together, with the doors locked for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood among them and said ‘Peace be with you’. After He had said this, He showed them His hands and side. The disciples were overjoyed when they saw the Lord.
Again Jesus said ‘Peace be with you, as the Father has sent me, I am sending you’. And with that He breathed on them and said, ‘Receive the Holy Spirit. If you forgive anyone sins, they are forgiven; if you do not forgive them, they are not forgiven’” John Ch 20 vs 19 – 23 NIV
Jesus sends Mary home to the other disciples
Mary tells them that she has seen Jesus alive – Astounding news, desperate news – wild news – was there hope, was there doubt, minds racing and in turmoil.
And then Jesus stands among them – “Peace”. Peace is what they sorely needed. Peace from the anguish and confusion and loss. Peace from the failure and danger, from the crowds and from the horror of the cross. Jesus brings them peace – calm, assurance, certainty, clarity – “see my hands and side”
Jesus stands among us and brings us peace. Jesus stands among us to show us his wounds – it is he, he is alive, he is with us. In all the turmoil and doubt, the anguish and pain, the sorrow and the joy – he stands beside us – and gives us peace.
Jesus did not stay dead – He is risen! Jesus is not in a tomb – he is with us – and he asks us:
Why are you weeping – Receive the Holy Spirit – Why are you weeping” the turmoil is over, here is my peace. Why are you weeping! I am telling you so that you can tell others. I am here, beside you, to bring life, to bring joy, to bring meaning to life – life in all its fullness.
Jesus is not in the tomb – He is risen – He is risen indeed. Here I am beside you.
Amen
Prayer: shared
Loving Heavenly Father,
Today is the most special of days –
A day of victory, celebration and praise!
A day on which we remember your great triumph –
The defeat of evil, suffering and death.
A day on which we recall the transformation you have brought –
Joy after sorrow, hope after despair, faith after doubt.
A day on which we give thanks for all you have given us –
Love, laughter and life!
Speak to us through this joyful season,
And fill us with greater trust and deeper faith.
So may we live not just this day but every day
As your Easter people
Through Jesus Christ our Lord
Amen.
Hymn 419 Thine be the Glory
Christ was raised from the dead
By the glorious power of the Father.
Set out then, on a new life with Christ,
And the blessing of God almighty,
Father Son and Holy Spirit
Be with us all,
Now and always.
Amen

Worshippers chatting outside after the service
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Stated Annual Meeting (AGM)

Stated Annual Meeting of the Congregation of

North Knapdale Parish Church on the 7th April 2019 11.15am

Minute

The meeting was opened with prayer by the Session clerk.

1 Appointment of Chair:    In the absence of the Interim Moderator the Session clerk asked the meeting to appoint a chair.   Mrs Catherine Paterson was appointed unanimously.

2 Sederunt:    Mrs Catherine Paterson, Chair, Mr Nick Smith, Mrs Courtney Smith, Mrs Rachel Walker, Mr Nick Walker, Mrs Kim Ritchie, Ms Ealasaid Mackay, Mr James Goodman, Mrs Mary Maclaughlan, Ms Carolyn , Mrs Libby MacDonald, Mrs Norma Kelly, Mrs Louise Logue, Mr David Logue. 

3         Apologies:     Apologies were received from Mr Chris Tabraham, Mrs Mary Gauld, Mr Russell Anderson, Mrs Heather Anderson.

4 The minutes of the meeting of the 18th March 2018, were read to the meeting and approved.   Proposed by Mrs Logue and seconded by Mrs Kelly.

5 Interim Moderator Report:    In the absence of the Moderator, Mr Logue intimated that Rev Hilda Smith had stepped down as Interim Moderator in March 2108 and Mrs Hay had been appointed from that date.   Mr Logue expressed the thanks of the congregation to Rev Smith for her advice and support as Interim Moderator from October 2018 to March 2019.

6 Session Clerk Report:    Mr Logue, presented a report as session clerk.(Appendix 1).    There were no questions or comments from the congregation

7        Treasurer Report:   Mrs Logue presented a report on the Church finances for 2018. ( Appendix 2).   There were no questions or comments from the congregation.

8 Fabric convenor report:   Mr Anderson, the Fabric convenor, had submitted a written report which Mr Logue read to the congregation. (Appendix 3).     There were no questions or comments from the congregation.

9 Stewardship Convenor Report:   Mrs Kelly informed the meeting of the very successful collection for Christian Aid in 2018.  £640 plus Gift Aid was given through door to door collection throughout the Parish on May and a special Harvest Appeal in the Autumn raised £171.50, which was then multiplied by five by Government Aid.   Thanks to all who assisted with this.

Arrangements are in place for the 2019 appeal in May.

The World Mission Council ask congregations to save stamps the money from which last year was used for training future ministers in South Sudan.   This year the funds will be used to support the Chigodi Women’s centre in Blantyre, Malawi which provides skills training to assist women set up and manage businesses and the congregation is asked to leave stamps in the church vestibule or give them to Mrs Kelly.   

This year the World Mission Council is celebrating 50 years of the Stamp Appeal.

10 Safeguarding Report:   Mr Logue confirmed that the church has a responsibility to ensure that vulnerable adults and children are provided with a safe and supportive environment within all church activities.   There had been no incidents or concerns in relation to safeguarding during 2018.

A question was asked on the position of the church on GDPR legislation and procedures.  Mr Logue answered that this was being looked into and that progress would be made in the near future.  He asked if there was anyone present who would volunteer to take on the role of GDPR co-ordinator.  

11 Discussion on pattern of Sunday worship services following the closure of Inverlussa.

Mr Logue reported that it was likely that the Inverlussa building would be sold by the end of May 2019, with a closing service planned for the 12th May.

The views of the congregation were sought as to the preferred pattern of Sunday Worship venues following the closure of Inverlussa.

Mr Logue suggested two possible alternatives –

  1. Continue with the current pattern but meet in Achnamara Hall in place of Inverlussa.
  2. Meet alternate Sundays in Bellanoch and Tayvallich and cease Sunday Morning Worship in the Achamara area.

During discussion the following points were made:

There should be an increased number of joint services between North Knapdale and Glassary, Kilmartin and Ford Parishes.

In view of the continuing presence in Achnamara through Cafe Connect, services at Bellanoch and Tayvallich only would be acceptable.

It would be helpful to take the views of more of the congregation and also of those in Achnamara through Cafe Connect, at the Church Coffee Morning and at the Easter services.

It was agreed that a short “flier” would be prepared and circulated at these events asking for views.

Close of Meeting.

The meeting was closed with prayer by the Chair.