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.


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

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

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


  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. 

Kirk session minutes 29 April 2019

  1. Opening Prayer and Worship.

The meeting was opened in prayer led by the Interim Moderator:

2. Sederunt: Mrs Alison Hay, Interim Moderator; Mr David Logue, Session Clerk; Mrs Louise Logue, Mrs Norma Kelly, Mrs Libby MacDonald, Ms Ealasaid Mackay, Mrs Catherine Paterson. 

3. Apologies:   Mr Russell Anderson, Property Convenor; Mrs Marjorie Drysdale.

4. Minutes of meetings of the 23rd March 2019 and 18th April 2019.

The minutes of the meeting of the 23rd March were approved: Proposed by Mrs Kelly and seconded by Mrs MacDonald.

The minutes of the meeting of the 18th April were approved: Proposed by Mrs Logue and seconded by MrsPaterson

5. Matters arising from the above minutes.

5.1 Audio Visual Equipment:   Mrs Kelly will ask members of the congregation, if they will look into the provision of Audio visual equipment for Tayvallich church.

5.2 Tayvallich Church extension:   Mr Logue advised the meeting that Mr Nick Smith was preparing sketches of the proposed extension to Tayvallich Church for submission to the Planning department for an informal assessment.   It was agreed that this development be handed over to the Property convenor, Mr Anderson, for taking forward.

6. Session Administration

6.1 Review of Stated Annual Meeting 7.4.19:

The Stated Annual Meeting had taken place on the 7th April 2019 and the reports well received by the congregation.  It had been agreed at the S.A.M that the views of the congregation and community be sought on the pattern of the venues for Sunday worship following the closure of Inverlussa Church. 

6.2 Service calendar after closure of Inverlussa:

The views of the congregation and community were canvassed between the 7th April 2019 and the 27th April 2019 by questionnaires distributed at church services and Cafe Connect.

49 completed questionnaires were received with 26 in favour of worship services alternating weekly between Bellanoch Church and Tayvallich Church only, and 22 in favour of worship services continuing in the current pattern but meeting in Achnamara Village Hall instead of Inverlussa Church.   One return proposed that we meet in Tayvallich Church only.

Other comments received were:  Have more frequent joint services with Glassary, Kilmartin and Ford Parish; when there is a fifth Sunday in a month meet on those Sundays only in Achnamara Hall.

Following discussion the session agreed that they would seek permission from Presbytery to commence a regular pattern of Sunday Worship from the 2nd June 2019 as follows:

First and third Sunday each Month: Tayvallich Church

Second and fourth Sunday each month Bellanoch Church

Each fifth Sunday in a month Achnamara Hall.

The times of the Tayvallich and Bellanoch Services will remain at 10.00 am during 2019.   The service in Achnamara Hall will be at 4.30 pm.   The Achnamara services may be presented in a “cafe style” format with afternoon teas.

6.3 Congregational Office Bearers:    

Health and Safety Co-ordinator: Mr Logue reported that Mr Anderson, Property Convenor had been given the position of Health and Safety Co-ordinator.

Mrs Hay will ascertain if there has been a Health and Safety toolkit previously provided to the Parish.

GDPR co-ordinator: Mrs Logue will approach a member of the congregation to ask if they will take on this role.

7. Worship and Mission:

7.1 Messy Church: Mrs Logue provided a brief report on Messy church. 

7.2 Alpha  Next: Mrs Logue reported on the event “Second Sunday Supper” in Achnamara Hall.  This had been well received by all attending and further “Suppers” are planned from June onwards.   The format is a meal with conversation starter questions using “TableTalk”. This had been a pilot event and 18 people attended.  For future events it is planned to invite members of the congregation and the community, it is planned to invite members of the congregation and the community, and due to the constraints of the hall, limit the places to 32.   It was agreed that the “Second Sunday Supper” would have a separate column in the accounts.

8. Presbytery Planning Meeting – discussion.

The Session held an open discussion on the forthcoming meeting with Presbytery on the future planning of Parishes in Mid-Argyll.  The meeting will be with members of the Sessions of North Knapdale, Glassary, Kilmartin and Ford, Ardrishaig and Lochgilphead.

9. Reports:

9.1 Interim Moderator:  Mrs Hay emphasised the importance of carrying out a Health and safety audit on our buildings.  – 

9.2 Stewardship :   Mrs Kelly confirmed that Christian Aid week commences on the 12th May and volunteers would be delivering envelopes throughout the parish.   She also reminded the meeting that World Mission Council were collecting used stamps and asked that this be noted in the weekly service leaflet. 

9.3 Safeguarding :  Nothing to report

9.4 Notifiable events :  Nothing to report

9.5 Treasurer and Finance Committee :  Mrs Logue reported that the recent Coffee Morning raised over £750.   She asked that the dates of Coffee mornings be set by the individual who was taking responsibility for organising the event.   It was noted however, that the events should continue to be on suitable Saturdays during the Easter and summer school holidays to attract the optimum number of visitors.

10 Correspondence  

10.1        Inverlussa Church Building:

Mr Logue reported on an e-mail from the Church of Scotland Law department concerning further correspondence from the potential buyer with qualified acceptance to purchase the property but subject to two qualifications relating to the entry date and Clause 15 of the standard clauses.

It was hoped that this would be concluded by the end of May 2109.       

10.2 Any other correspondence:

  • Possible Worship Leading training with Episcopal Church:

An e-mail had been received from Father Simon MacKenzie of Christ’ Church Episcopal church with information on a possible training course for lay people in leading worship.   This could be undertaken by individuals from the Church of Scotland.   

This has been sent to Presbytery for consideration.

  • Homeless Jesus – post lent reflection on rural homelessness.  Information on this will be e-mailed to session members.
  • Request for wedding at Bellanoch – May 16th 2020.

A request from Ms Julia Ferguson to use Bellanoch Church building as a wedding venue has been received.   As we currently have no minister she has been advised that the church building is available, but she will have to find and appoint a minister from a Christian denomination herself. 

  • Elder’s conference – 7th to 9th June Tulliallan.

A reminder for this event has been received and details will be circulated to Session members.   The costs can be met from the Church Training budget. 

  • Tearfund:  Lent appeal.  Information on this appeal had been received but after discussion it was agreed that this clashed with the Christian Aid appeal and so no action would be taken. 
  • Letter from Rt Rev Susan Brown, Moderator of the General Assembly.

The Moderator has written in relation to the tragedy of the bomb attacks on Christian places of worship and hotels on Easter Sunday in Sri Lanka.

Details of an appeal to assist the Church of Scotland congregation of St Andrew’s, Colombo, to provide aid to those affected by the atrocity, will be circulated to the congregation through the Service leaflet on Sunday, 2nd May 2019

11.Other Business:   It was agreed that the meal in Achnamara Hall after the closing service at Inverlussa would be a buffet.   Mrs MacDonald will co-ordinate the various donations of food.   A request for donations of food will be made to the congregation and to the Achnamara Community

12.Date of next meeting:    29th May 7.30pm, Tayvallich Church.

The moderator closed the meeting leading members in saying “The Grace” together.

………………………………………………………………………..  Mrs Alison Hay

  Interim Moderator

………………………………………………………………………….. Mr David Logue             Session Clerk

Inverlussa Closing Service

Rev. David Carruthers


  • 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:


  • “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.

Talks from 5 May 2019

Today’s service was brought to you by our new Local Worship Leaders!

Mark 5 v 22 – 43


Dr Fritz Talbot conducted a scientific study in the 1940’s regarding the effects of touch in babies and established a conclusive connection between touch and infants ability to thrive.

The importance of eye contact and a  loving touch with babies has a special significance in early attachment and plays an important part in the process of a baby feeling secure and a sense of connection.

From when we are born we are wrapped up to make us feel secure move on to teddies, touch toys, the comforting feel of some types of material all of which make us feel loved and secure which lots of people take into adulthood and evokes memories of the love and security they felt as children.

This is the feeling when you have faith in God and feel the connection. It is sad that there are lots of people who don’t ever get to feel this connection and we should pray to God for guidance.

Importance of touch Jesus touched everyone to heal he  didn’t just stand at the edge of the crowd and say you are all healed  

Jesus gift of touch provides healing connection and can warm even the coldest heart

In what way can you be the hands of Jesus and show the gift of touch to someone who may need love and compassion.

Gods hands will constantly guide you if you seek him and welcome his involvement in your life

Gods hands of intervention and comfort is available to those who seek a close relationship with him.

Gods physical touch is one of the first things you may feel when he begins to draw you towards him and you feel the connection. It is one of the most comforting things you can ever experience. It is life changing.

My story is i  had been to an Alpha meeting and after it had finished had gone for a walk to think about God and religion. I sat on a bench beside a loch and for no reason tears were running down my cheeks they were not sad tears as I felt at peace and I realised that was Gods way of connecting with me. We must be willing to reach out and touch him and if we do we will recognise that here stands the one who will reach out and touch our lives with that touch brings wholeness

The word of God always encounters us and challenges us and asks what about you? 


Connection is something every human being longs for, was designed for and needs. There are so many lonely people who don’t have the opportunity perhaps through illness, shyness or no family near them to have the daily contact of touch. 

There are also people who perhaps in their childhood through circumstances don’t feel touch or hugs in a kind way which we all have to be aware off. 

In today’s world we now have to be aware of the power of touch and how it may offend people which is sad as all through the scripture we read about Jesus healing people by laying his hands on the sick who had faith in him and were healed.  The security we reach for as infants, on in to adulthood to me is  the same as the security we feel in Gods love and the ability to grow.

Jesus said that children and young people are not the church of the future but the church of today. The kingdom of God belongs to them.

Children tend to be receptive, open, humbling and forgiving.

You become childlike when you share your honest feelings. Acknowledge how vulnerable you are and how much you need God and other people.

Respond instinctively like a child to feel and express our love and joy, rush in explore, probe and discover things for yourself.

Sense the presence of God know his security and protection.

The lord goes before you and he will be with you. He will never leave you. 

The church is an important part of the community as worship brings people together. Louise and I were standing talking with our coffee after church and all the congregation were sitting with their tea/coffee chatting to each other and laughing and it was lovely to see. What a difference it would make to more people if they could experience the warmth, welcome and compassion which is felt through everyone’s love of God who promises to give you grace, blessing and honour.

Proverbs 2 v 1 – 11. Ephesians 4 v 1 – 16


David has already mentioned the interesting meeting we had in Ardrishaig on Thursday. There were elders from the five Mid Argyll churches – Lochgilphead, Ardrishaig, South Knapdale, Glassary, Kilmartin and Ford and of course North Knapdale. David Mitchell, who has four churches in Cowal is the Convener of the Presbytery Planning Committee and outlined the case for improvement very well. 

Not only are there not enough ministers to go round the current number of posts, but also there is not enough money in the coffers in Edinburgh to pay their wages if we had all the posts filled.

This leaves us with a little bit of a dilemma if we wish to continue our traditional church in the traditional manner on the traditional Sunday morning with a traditional minister.

Reading between the lines it would seem that there is only enough money available to pay for 2 salaried ministers for our area. 

But, and it’s a big but! This brings a very exciting opportunity for every one of us to be involved in shaping the future of our denomination for the next 10 to 20 years. And I am quoting here from David Mitchell’s own words “it’s not about bums on seats on a Sunday morning!”.

Our reading from Proverbs is all about wisdom

My son, if you accept my words
and store up my commands within you,
turning your ear to wisdom
and applying your heart to understanding —
indeed, if you call out for insight
and cry aloud for understanding,
and if you look for it as for silver
and search for it as for hidden treasure,
then you will understand the fear of the Lord
and find the knowledge of God.
For the Lord gives wisdom;
from his mouth come knowledge and understanding.

God is not going to leave us to flounder in ignorance, we must search for wisdom from him in this situation that we find ourselves in. How are we going to do this? Thinking of what Catherine has shared with us, do we need to be open to feeling the touch of God? Of letting his spirit dwell in us and guide our footsteps?

Some of us will want to have some quiet reflection alone with our Heavenly Father, maybe reading some passages of scripture, searching for some continuity in the outward expression of our faith. Others will want to talk and discuss and argue their points. Others may dream dreams. I know some people who will walk and pray and listen to God. Whatever our preferred method we must share our thoughts with each other in love and gentleness, listening first to understand their point of view before giving our own. Our future is so important that we should be talking about it at coffee time as well as when we meet each other in the co-op or at the lunch club. 

Deuteronomy 6 is talking about God’s laws here “Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up.” I’m not saying this discussion is as important as God’s laws, but it’s a good principle to talk about what you find important and try to share it with others.

What sort of wisdom are we looking for?

David Mitchell impressed upon us that we must set aside all our buildings in our minds, then come up with a mission plan. And we must do this together with the other four parishes, not separately, you in your small corner, and I in mine, but all of us together creating a mission plan for the whole of Mid Argyll. How easy is that going to be? 

Have you heard the term Blue Sky Thinking? It’s a lovely expression. Anything goes. Wonderful, amazing, outrageous, no budget constraints, considerate discussions, with God’s guidance, we will be able to do this. And once we have a mission plan, then we can see if our current buildings can play a part in that plan. And if not, then more blue sky thinking, what if we sell everything and build new purposebuilt whatevers? Some areas have achieved this. What if we already have a purposebuilt premisis? Great! we’re ahead of the game. What we shouldn’t do is build our mission plan around the only buildings we own.

Now I hear some of you thinking, mission plan, mission plan, mission is the minister’s job, surely. 

Let us look again at the passage in Ephesians. If you’ve got a bible beside you, have a look. Chapter 4 v 1 on page          .

Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love. Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace. There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called to one hope when you were called ; one Lord, one faith, one baptism; one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all. 

No arguing with the other parishes, no us and them, take unity seriously. Be humble and gentle!

Reading from verse 7

But to each one of us grace has been given as Christ apportioned it. This is why it says:

“When he ascended on high,
he took many captives
and gave gifts to his people.”

Then at verse 11…

So Christ himself gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the pastors and teachers, to equip his people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ.

So Jesus has instigated the offices of Apostle, Prophet, Evangelist, Pastor and Teacher and his Holy Spirit will have given the people the gifts necessary to carry out these offices. The next part of the sentence is crucial v 12 to equip his people for works of service. Are we his people? Do we feel equipped for works of service? Look at the end of verse 8. He gives gifts to his people. So he has given us gifts in order to carry out our calling, our works of service. The apostles prophets evangelist pastors and teachers are there to equip us to use our gifts, to carry out our works of service. 

Just an aside …. and not being personal… many of us have seen ministers come and go in this parish. Some have inspired us, some have made us think outside the box. Our expectations may or may not have been met, but did you feel as if you were being trained and equipped for works of service? Did you even think that you should be? 

Times are changing, minister numbers are declining, we can no longer afford to be the recipients only, of pastoral care and biblical teaching. It’s time for each one of us to stand up and be counted. To be prepared, to be discipled or apprenticed if you like, in order to take the Good News of Jesus into our communities. Many of us have already started on this exciting journey. Can we as the body of Christ in this place do our part for our neighbours?

There is hope for us all in this upheaval, quoting again from the passage in proverbs

He holds success in store for the upright,
he is a shield to those whose walk is blameless,
for he guards the course of the just
and protects the way of his faithful ones.
Then you will understand what is right and just
and fair—every good path.
For wisdom will enter your heart,
and knowledge will be pleasant to your soul.
Discretion will protect you,
and understanding will guard you.

Such comforting words for the days and discussions ahead. Remember, our God holds us in the palm of his hand.


The next step in the process is for all five congregations to meet together with David Mitchell so that he can explain the project we must undertake and answer any questions. There is a deadline. The Presbytery would like to be able to sign off on our plan in their September meeting. In order to achieve this we need everyone to be involved. We’ll let you know as soon as we receive it, the time and place of the meeting.