David’s address on 21st October 2018
David read the story of Fergie the Frog scout.
I decided to read this story, to some extent out of nostalgia, because it reminds me of 15 years ago or so when we were also in vacancy – when we had a locum minister from Canada, who introduced us to the stories of Fergie the frog. And during that time we grew together as a church.
This is our first Sunday without a minister – but we have been here before, and we know our strengths and abilities.
Hilda Smith will be our guide through this, but she has her own church to run and will not be able to give us the same attention that a full time minister can. She will not be able to take many services here. So we will have different people leading services, but even then, there are not so many people available as there were 8 years ago. I have a list of 9 possible people to come but that includes those from Dunoon, Campbeltown and Islay. And there are many other vacant parishes to be covered.
So, to continue Sunday worship – here and in GKF we will need at times to use our own resources.
Cliff had started some meetings with people from the congregations to plan and take part in services – I think we need to develop these, in conjunction with GKF. I will take as many services as I can and with GKF will set out a programme of those readers, etc who can come to us. But there will be gaps which we will have to fill ourselves. I will also be asking Hilda about trying to find a locum.
Also, this is likely to be a long vacancy because first of all Presbytery need to decide how best to manage the vacancies we have and the structure of the parishes, and then, if and when we can call a minister – there are not many around.
However, overall, experience from this congregation is that we respond well to being in a vacancy and we can work to grow together to be a lively community of worship and of outreach to our friends and neighbours.
I would ask that we all take time daily to pray that this time of vacancy will be a time when we experience clear guidance from God, that we each one see our faith in Jesus grow, and that we know the presence of Jesus more and more in our daily lives.