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.

Presbytery Mission Committee Community Outreach Report

This report addresses the needs of the community in relationship to concerns of loneliness, poverty and injustice in Argyll and Bute. 

Food Banks:

  • BUTE OASIS FOOD & CHARITY SHOP
  • HOPE KITCHENS – OBAN
  • COWAL AND DUNOON FOOD BANK
  • KINTYRE CAMPELTOWN
  • TRUSSELL TRUST
  • LOCHGILPHEAD HIGH SCHOOL
  • LOCHGILPHEAD CHURCH

MOVING ON MID ARGYLL – MOMA

  • Providing starter pack to homeless people who are moving into permanent accommodation for the first time i.e. all household goods, etc., referrals from housing services or CARRGOMM. Food parcels referrals come from social services. 

CAB

  • Offers referral giving access to food banks. No names mentioned and bags of essential foodstuffs delivered to CAB office for client to pick up.

CAB – Argyll & Bute Citizens Advice Bureau:

Oban Road, Lochgilphead.  www.argyllandbutecab.org.uk

Free impartial, confidential advice on a range of issues:

  • Debt advice and management
  • Financial advice and borrowing 
  • Housing
  • Employment
  • Consumer and utilities issues
  • Health and community care
  • Family relationships
  • Bereavement
  • Armed Forces
  • Tax
  • Mortgage
  • Pensions and insurance

CAB functions as a front office that helps people by  ‘removing the red tape’ and alleviating confusion of which service and resources are available to people in need and requiring assistance. 

Helensburgh to Dunoon, Campbeltown to Oban and the Islands.

Local volunteers uniquely placed to respond to local needs and reflect local priorities. Outreach centres in other areas, Campbeltown, and Oban Job Centre. Government funded money advice service – budgeting, debts, etc., and offering to travel to Islands if required.

In addition, the service deals with patients’ advisory service and complaints relating to the NHS. Signposting service for Housing issues for example: ACHA, Fyne Homes, Argyll Homes (formerly council-run).

Argyll & Bute CAB –  ‘ABCAB’:

Kilmory Estate, Lochgilphead.  www.argyll-bute.gov.uk/advice-services

Not to be confused with the previous entry for CAB, this ABCAB is directly funded and operated by the Council and delivers the following services:

  • Debt counselling and welfare rights across the area
  • Focus on resources for vulnerable people and in need of urgent advice.

ABCAB will work closely with the Council sand support the work of the many other advice centres which operate throughout Argyll and Bute. Again, this is a free, confidential and impartial service to support people across this area. 

Mid Argyll MS Centre:

Campbell Street, Lochgilphead.  www.msargyll.com  01546 – 606303

Provides a positive, supportive environment for those affected by multiple sclerosis and many other long term conditions and injuries.  

Wide range of activities through the week: therapies, exercise classes, self-management, workshops, singing and various activity groups, helps combat loneliness and improves quality of life and wellbeing. 

Outreach Worker Claire Cameron offers home visits for anyone with any long term conditions:

  • Coffee and chat 
  • Loneliness
  • PIP forms
  • Blue badge application
  • Giving people back confidence and self-esteem
  • Getting through the ‘red tape’
  • Holds regular group meetings on Islay and Jura Islands:
    • Lunches and workshops 
    • McTaggart Leisure Centre 
    • Gaelic College
    • 1-to-1 home visits 
    • Carries out ‘informative days’ with GPs
    • Access to therapies to carry out home visits

Claire Cameron carries out awareness events across mid Argyll, Kintyre, Islay and Jura.

Dochas Centre:

50 Campbell Street, Lochgilphead.  www.dochasfund.org.uk  01546 -600022 

The Dochas centre is based in a central position in Lochgilphead, it houses an art gallery and a carers’ room which can be used for people to meet and chat. It is a centre for individuals and various groups for example, Dementia support, Parkinson support, GBS and Motor Neurone disease. Mental health support, addictions, life following bereavement. 

The Dochas Centre – delivering opportunities, care, hope and support. 

Carers don’t look after themselves and all too often, their health suffers as a result of their challenging caring roles due to the emotional and mental stress. They can discuss their fears and anxieties, share their problems and find support. 

 Outreach worker base on the Island of Islay, offers carer support:

  • Lunch groups
  • Befriending groups

Carers meet together and talk over their problems and solutions. The service responds to the needs of clients and offers a comprehensive range of help.  The service is flexible to their needs as well as offering an opportunity for people to discuss the strains on relationships and the responsibilities of the caring role.  The carers are dealing with the complex needs and conditions of the long term and terminally ill.  

The Dochas Centre is essentially the ‘voice of the carers’. This service is used by the local High School offering counselling services to the under 16s. 

Lomond and Argyll Advocacy Service:

Various offices situated in Argyll and Bute. www.laas.org.uk   

Mid Argyll: 01546 – 606056

Cowal & Bute: 01369 – 840250

Oban & Lorn: 01546-606056

Kintyre: 01586-553428

LAAS is an independent, free and confidential advocacy organisation operating in West of Scotland.

  • Independent – separate from Social Services and all other organisations
  • Free
  • Confidential

In the course of putting together this report, I had the great privilege in meeting face-to-face with many of the people running these organisations. I was impressed with their professionalism and the quality of their services and their caring nature. 

People within these organisations and services have the right knowledge and the right skills to help people in need. They offer signposting and advocacy services directly. Each organisation is therefore, uniquely positioned to deal directly with individuals and to provide the right information.   Importantly, these services are able to operate self-sufficiently so that clients are not generally moved on to other services.  This means that any signposting is carried out within one organisation.  All organisations are linked up together and have up-to-date knowledge regarding available resources. 

Norma Kelly

9th July 2019, Tayvallich

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 conclusions

Mission Development Planning – Congregational Meeting 21.7.19
This 5th meeting when 15 people attended drew together the themes we had been discussing and suggested some conclusions…

David Logue briefly gave the background to the meeting and went over the summary sheet of discussion to date.
We discussed the three main options set out in the paper and then considered the questions listed on the second page.

Following discussion on the options listed, the general consensus was:
Option 1 – Status quo – three ministers – This is not realistic in view of the shortage of ministers and the financial constraints on the Church of Scotland.
Option 2 – Two full time ministers shared between the five parishes with support from readers/ ordained local ministers. This would increase the work load on the two ordained ministers without gaining any benefit for the parishes.
Option 3 – One minister and one other post – eg a mission development person or a youth worker or an elderly persons worker or two part time posts, with support from readers/ordained local ministers. This would provide for overall leadership and overview by an ordained minister with a team of one other full time “MDS” person – who could concentrate on Community outreach/youth work/ older people work etc., across Mid Argyll (possibly two part time posts). Church members would be encouraged to take on roles, such as Pastoral care, worship leading, assisting youth work, etc. The minister would lead a team of paid and voluntary staff across the whole area.
With this model we may also be able to gain extra finance from C of S for a second “MDS” post or similar.
This option appears to offer the most potential for Mission development for the area.

We then looked at the questions on page 2 of the summary sheet and had wider ranging discussion on these:
What are the pros and cons of having two ministers?
Pro – Shared workload, ordained ministers more available for Sunday worship in each Parish, and for communion services. Some people expect a minister’s visit rather than an elder.
Con – Leaves the bulk of the workload on the two ministers. Will reduce the opportunity for employing Mission Development staff – for specialist or dedicated outreach in the area. Would remove the impetus to have one united Parish of Mid Argyll. (see below)
What are the pros and cons of having one minister and Mission development person etc.?
Pro – One minister would have Mid Argyll Parish of about 400 members and a population of 5,800 which is a manageable number. Employing an MDS to do community outreach would provide a specialist who could concentrate on both reaching out to the community, and working with church members to take on voluntary roles. The number of parish administrative roles would be greatly reduced – e.g. Session Clerk, treasurer, Safeguarding, Presbytery elder, Property convenor etc. This would free up people for other activities. One parish across Mid Argyll would bring together a “critical mass” of Christians to resource church initiatives. We also suggested that we could have one united service for the whole area, once a month, with local services on the other Sundays.
Con – Sunday worship services – Minister would take one each week leaving the others to be led by “lay people” e.g. Local worship leaders, readers, retired ministers etc. Members would not be visited at home by the minister except in special circumstances.

Can we make a case for funds for another full time outreach worker?

We think that if we can adopt this model of a united Mid Argyll parish with one minister then we have good case to get funds for another paid post – at least as a trial as we get established.

Are we willing to continue having congregation members, readers etc taking services regularly?

Yes, this is well supported and helps to grow the faith of members. It was commented that generally during a vacancy church members pull together and the variety of worship leading styles and content is beneficial. It encourages members to get involved and increases faith. It was also recognised that sometimes in long vacancies the members become less enthusiastic as there appears no end to the vacancy.

What buildings do we think we need across Mid Argyll?

One suitable place of worship in each of the five parishes to maintain and develop local community worship, and outreach.
A suitable place of worship should ideally have a flexible layout, kitchen and toilets.
One building in Mid Argyll suitable for united monthly services, and other larger events.

What, if any, building do we need to serve the Crinan, Bellanoch, Cairnbaan areas?

There is no place for this community to meet at the moment. It was agreed that this should be addressed in some way – e,g. A “community Hub” for meetings, groups to get together, and for worship. Bellanoch church is well placed if the facilities can be improved – toilets and kitchen and parking, and this needs to be explored.

It was also suggested that the small rural church buildings – particularly Bellanoch and Achahoish provide places of quiet and contemplation, and embody the tradition of worship in these areas. Some effort should be made to preserve this.

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

The hall in Achnamara is proving to be a very good centre for the community and for church activities. There are plans in progress to look at adding an extra space to Tayvallich Church to improve the kitchen and to provide a comfortable setting for groups and meetings. The interior of the church could also be revised to be more flexible.

Conclusions
There was clear consensus at the end of the meeting that the preferred way forward is for Option 3 and structured as a single parish of Mid Argyll. We would plan to improve the facilities at Tayvallich church and explore how we can develop Bellanoch church into a community hub.

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

Cafe Church

Our first Cafe Church event in Achnamara Hall. While we enjoyed a drink and a biscuit we discussed four questions after reading Luke ch 9 vs 46 – 56.

We concluded the event with some favourite hymns.

Here is the reading….

An argument started among the disciples as to which of them would be the greatest. Jesus, knowing their thoughts, took a little child and had him stand beside him. Then he said to them, “Whoever welcomes this little child in my name welcomes me; and whoever welcomes me welcomes the one who sent me. For it is the one who is least among you all who is the greatest.”
“Master,” said John, “we saw someone driving out demons in your name and we tried to stop him, because he is not one of us.”
“Do not stop him,” Jesus said, “for whoever is not against you is for you.”
Samaritan Opposition
As the time approached for him to be taken up to heaven, Jesus resolutely set out for Jerusalem. And he sent messengers on ahead, who went into a Samaritan village to get things ready for him; but
the people there did not welcome him, because he was heading for Jerusalem. When the disciples James and John saw this, they asked, “Lord, do you want us to call fire down from heaven to destroy them?” But Jesus turned and rebuked them. Then he and his disciples went to another village.

And if you would like to comment below with your thoughts, here are the questions…

  1. What is the first thing that strikes you in this reading?
  2. Is there a new thought or idea for you from these verses?
  3. Is there any particular aspect which you see as relevant for today?
  4. Does I make you want to read more?