Bulletin – 24th February

24th February 2013

Diary

Services Today

10:30am @ Sleat – Morning Prayer Meeting
11:00am @ Sleat – Communion Service
5:00pm @ Broadford – Evening Worship

Mid-week Meetings & Events

Tuesday, 12-2:00pm @ Broadford Village Hall – Mustard Seed Cafe
Tuesday, 7:00pm @ the manse – Christianity Explored
Wednesday, 7:00pm @ Sleat – Weekly Bible Study
Friday, 7:30pm @ Kyle Hotel – Question Time 2

Next Sunday

10:30am @ Sleat – Morning Prayer Meeting
11:00am @ Sleat – Morning Worship
5:00pm @ Broadford – Evening Worship

Notices

Services Today

This morning we have Prof. John Angus Macleod from the Free Church College leading the service, and preaching.   The service will be slightly longer than usual, as we have communion.   If you are visitor with us, and are a believer in Jesus, and in fellowship with a congregation at home, please come forward to sit at the table with our own congregation at the appropriate point.

After the service there will be a congregational lunch.   Visitors are very welcome to stay with us and continue to enjoy some informal fellowship.   We hope to rearrange the seating to make way for tables, so please bear with us in that.

New Bibles

The new ESV Bible arrived on Wednesday.   If you would like to own one for yourself, a donation of £9 will cover the cost.

Question Time 2

About two years ago, the local churches came together to organise a “Question time” panel night.   We are planning another event on Friday, 1st March, at 7:30pm at the Kyle Hotel.   Please come along and support this event, and feel free to bring along friends from outside the Church.

This event will be an open question event, with panel members from a range of backgrounds:

  • Gordon Matheson – local minister
  • Moira Lane – family worker with Families First
  • Dr. Murdo Macdonald graduated B. Sc. in Genetics at the University of Glasgow, Scotland, and gained his PhD in molecular biology from the University of St Andrews, Scotland. He spent 20 years involved in postdoctoral; for more than half of that time he was engaged in research on leprosy in a number of countries, including India, Ethiopia and Nepal. In March 2008 he returned to Scotland to take up the position of Policy Officer with the Society, Religion and Technology (SRT) project of the Church of Scotland, which looks at ethical issues in science. He is married to Rachel, a doctor, and they have three young children, Esther, James and Keziah.    For further information please see www.srtp.org.uk
  • Hopefully one other tbc.

Joint District Communion

The next joint district communion service will be Sunday, 31st March – Easter Sunday – at 6:00pm in the Kyleakin Village Hall.

Support for Raasay Crofters

Dear MSPs,

We write regarding the loss of the shooting rights on Raasay by the The Raasay Crofters’ Association.

It is our understanding that the lease has been granted to South Ayrshire Stalkers. It is also our understanding through media reports that the difference in the bid was £2,000.

We were disappointed to hear from a Scottish Government minister that at the end of the day the money was the issue.

We urge you to do all in your power to reverse this decision.

It is a deep concern that the responsibility of this has been laid at the door of civil servants.

You will all be aware that it is difficult to make money at the margins and The Raasay Crofters’ Association have made great progress in developing the sporting rights in Raasay to the benefit of the crofters and the community. The benefit certainly outstrips the mere £2,000 which is at stake.

The Free Church has historically supported crofters’ rights against oppressive landlords. We consider this recent development a gross injustice against the local crofters of Raasay.

Yours Sincerely,

Rev Donnie G MacDonald, Portree Free Church, Isle of Skye
Rev John MacLean, Trotternish Free Church, Isle of Skye
Rev Gordon Matheson, Strath and Sleat Free Church, Isle of Skye
Rev Daniel Sladek, Duirinish Free Church, Isle of Skye

Bulletin – 17th February

The Diary

Services Today

10:30am @ Sleat – Morning Prayer Meeting

11:00am @ Sleat – Morning Worship – 1 Corinthians 11:27 – “Guilty of the body and blood”?

3:30pm @ Kyleakin – Monthly Afternoon Service – Mark 14: 17-25 – The Supper

5:00pm @ Broadford – Evening Worship – Philemon 1:4-7 – The Good Christian

Mid-week Meetings & Events

Tuesday, 12-2:00pm @ Broadford Village Hall – Mustard Seed Cafe

Tuesday, 7:00pm @ the manse – Christianity Explored

Wednesday, 7:00pm @ Sleat – Weekly Bible Study

Friday, 7:00pm @ Sleat – Preparatory Service – David Macleod (Lochcarron Church of Scotland)

Saturday, 7:00 @ Sleat – Preparatory Service – John Angus Macleod

Next Sunday

10:30am @ Sleat – Morning Prayer Meeting

11:00am @ Sleat – Communion Service

5:00pm @ Broadford – Evening Worship

 

The Notices

Sunday Morning Prayer Meeting

The elders of the congregation will be gathering for prayer on Sunday mornings, at 10:30am, for a short prayer meeting before the service.   Anyone who wants to gather with them is welcome to do so.   Please aim to be prompt for this; we expect to spend about 15 minutes in prayer for God’s Word as it is preached in the congregation, before most people start to gather for the service.

Communion

We hope to Prof. John Angus Macleod from the denomination’s training college with us for our next communion weekend, last Sunday in February (24th), in Sleat.

Anyone wishing to profess faith for the first time, or join the congregation having been a member elsewhere, should contact Gordon, to arrange to meet the Kirk Session.

Communion Lunch

Next Sunday we plan to have a congregational lunch after the morning service.   Previously, this has been at the manse but it’s becoming a bit crammed for space!    We want to have this lunch at the church to enable more people to gather.   We hope to have soup, sandwiches and puddings.   Please see the “sign-up sheet” in the lobby, and put your name down for any of the courses you are willing to provide.

We will also need some bowls, plates and cutlery, so if you can bring a set a long on the day, that would be helpful.

And we finally want to encourage families to come.   Maybe you think communion Sundays are not the best day for a family outing to church, but actually, it’s a day for fellowship, and family should be a big part of that.   If you have any special dietary needs, please speak to Kate or Dolina.

New Bibles & Chairs

A few weeks ago we asked people to contribute towards additional seating for the Sleat church.   These chairs have now been ordered, and should be with us in April.   Along with that, the Finance Committee have made money available to buy additional bibles.   The Kirk Session have agreed to bring in the English Standard Version as our pew bible in Sleat.   These will be arriving within the month.   If you would like to own one for yourself, a donation of £9 will cover the cost.

Cleaning Rota

Kate Macrae is organising a cleaning rota for the Sleat Church.   If this is done regularly, it shouldn’t be a laborious job.   Please speak to her for more information about what is involved.   There is a sign-up sheet in the lobby.

Question Time 2

About two years ago, the local churches came together to organise a “Question time” panel night.   We are planning another event on Friday, 1st March, at 7:30pm at the Kyle Hotel.   Please start thinking about inviting people from outside the church to this event.

Joint District Communion

The next joint district communion service will be Sunday, 31st March – Easter Sunday – at 6:00pm in the Kyleakin Village Hall.

 

The Briefing

Professing Faith – Why do we meet with the Kirk Session?

Next week our congregation will be taking communion – remembering the death of Jesus in the way he instituted the night he was betrayed.   One of the steps to sitting at the Lord’s Table is meeting with the local elders, or Kirk Session.   Why do we do this?

Firstly, we think it’s Biblical.   There is a strong Biblical case for Church Membership, beginning in the Old Testament with the peoples’ register, and the lists of genealogies found in passages like Ezra 2.   It’s also found in the New Testament, in passages (e.g. 1 Cor. 5 and 2 Thes. 3) which imply some mechanism (a written list is the only realistic option) for distinguishing those known as “brothers” from those who both aren’t, or those who have sadly departed from the truth.   It seems right that the ones to keep this “list” should be the under-shepherds Jesus has appointed to pastorally care for his flock.

Secondly, we think this Biblical concept has a lot to do with professing faith.   In 1 Cor. 11:18-19 Paul writes that the Lord’s Supper will rightly demonstrate divisions in a congregation.   I used the word “congregation” very deliberately earlier – whether you sit at the Lord’s Table, or stay away (remaining seated, or staying at home) every person in our congregation is taking part.   Those who stay away are making as much of a statement as those who sit at the table.   Those who sit can do so only on the basis of professing their faith – those who stay away can only legitimately do so on the basis of professing they do not have faith.   The self-examination Paul calls for in 1 Cor. 11:28 you will very quickly reveal that you either have faith in Jesus, or you don’t – and that the extent to which you do have faith is irrelevant to the obedience Jesus commands in this.

Thirdly, we think this Biblical concept has a lot to do with fellowship.   Sadly our Highland tradition has viewed the Kirk Session as a stern body of men, often full of condemnation.   No doubt there were some abuses to give rise to this reputation.   But in the main, Kirk Sessions are made up of humble men, who have a genuine desire to care for God’s flock.   That care is best exercised in fellowship, and at Sleat & Strath we very deliberately make a point of meeting with everyone who wants to become a member with us – even those transferring from congregations elsewhere.   We want to ensure your perception of the Kirk Session is one of support, not intimidation.

Anyone meeting with the Kirk Session for the first time will be asked three questions:

“You weren’t born a believer, what changed?”   We ask this because we want to help you be clear that only faith in Jesus entitles you to sit at the Lord’s Table.

“Who else have you told?”   We ask this because being a Christian isn’t a secret thing, and your witness depends on people knowing you’re a believer, and living in a way that doesn’t contradict that – taking communion generally shouldn’t be the first time those who know you best ever thought you were a believer.

And we ask, “Why do you want to take the Lord’s Supper?”   We ask this because Paul is very clear, the supper should be taken with understanding – remembering the sacrifice of Jesus in the place of his people, like he said, “Do this in remembrance of me.”

Bulletin – 10th February 2013

The Diary

Services Today

11:00am @ Sleat – Morning Worship – 2 Corinthians 4:7-18

5:00pm @ Broadford – Evening Worship – 2 Corinthians 4:1-6

Mid-week Meetings & Events

Monday, 7:00pm @ Sleat – Membership Class

Tuesday, 12-2:00pm @ Broadford Village Hall – Mustard Seed Cafe

Tuesday, 7:00pm @ the manse – Christianity Explored

Wednesday, 7:00pm @ Sleat – Weekly Bible Study

Next Sunday

10:30am @ Sleat – Morning Prayer Meeting

11:00am @ Sleat – Morning Worship –

3:30pm @ Kyleakin – Monthly Afternoon Service –

5:00pm @ Broadford – Evening Worship –

 

The Notices

Broadford Evening Meeting

Please note, we hope to be back in the cafeteria in the Broadford Village Hall this evening.   This will mean it’s possible to again have a cup of tea, and a short time for fellowship after the service.   Also note, that is “after the service” – tea will be served after the benediction.   We are not planning to reinstate the question and answer format in quite the same way at this point.   If you have a question, please feel free to ask Gordon – he will be mingling after the service for this reason.

New Bibles & Chairs

A few weeks ago we asked people to contribute towards additional seating for the Sleat church.   These chairs have now been ordered, and should be with us in April.   Along with that, the Finance Committee have made money available to buy additional bibles.   The Kirk Session have agreed to bring in the English Standard Version as our pew bible in Sleat.   These will be arriving within the month.   If you would like to own one for yourself, a donation of £9 will cover the cost.

Cleaning Rota

Kate Macrae is organising a cleaning rota for the Sleat Church.   If this is done regularly, it shouldn’t be a laborious job.   Please speak to her if you want to help with this.   (The task will perhaps mean moving the chairs to Hoover the church floor, so perhaps this is a task couples could do together, you know, like a “date”.)

Christianity Explored

Tuesday night CE is underway.   Please remember this group in your prayers.

We’re also planning another daytime group in the near future – more suited to people with young families.   Please ask Gordon for more info.

Sunday Morning Prayer Meeting

The elders of the congregation will be gathering for prayer on Sunday mornings, at 10:30am, for a short prayer meeting before the service.   Anyone who wants to gather with them is welcome to do so.   Please aim to be prompt for this; we expect to spend about 15 minutes in prayer for God’s Word as it is preached in the congregation, before most people start to gather for the service.

Communion & Membership Class

We hope to Prof. John Angus Macleod from the denomination’s training college with us for our next communion weekend, last Sunday in February (24th), in Sleat.

We will organise an optional membership class over two weeks on Monday nights prior to the communion weekend (i.e. 11th & 18th February).   These short sessions will look at what’s involved in membership: both the privileges and responsibilities of membership, as well as looking at the biblical basis for “church membership”.   This class might be ideal for people who have recently become members with us, as well as people thinking about becoming members of a church for the first time.   We expect to run this class twice a year in future.

Communion Lunch

On Sunday 24th, we plan to have a congregational lunch after the morning service.   Previously, this has been at the manse but it’s becoming a bit crammed for space!    We want to have this lunch at the church to enable more people to gather.   We hope to have soup, sandwiches and puddings.   Please see the “sign-up sheet” in the lobby, and put your name down for any of the courses you are willing to provide.

We will also need some bowls, plates and cutlery, so if you can bring a set a long on the day, that would be helpful.

And we finally want to encourage families to come.   Maybe you think communion Sundays are not the best day for a family outing to church, but actually, it’s a day for fellowship, and family should be a big part of that.   If you have any special dietary needs, please speak to Kate or Dolina.

Question Time 2

About two years ago, the local churches came together to organise a “Question time” panel night.   We are planning another event on Friday, 1st March, at 7:30pm at the Kyle Hotel.   Please start thinking about inviting people from outside the church to this event.

Joint District Communion

The next joint district communion service will be Sunday, 31st March – Easter Sunday – at 6:00pm in the Kyleakin Village Hall.

The Briefing

Financing Ministry – An Encouraging Tale

You might recall, one aspect of our Redevelopment Plan was the way we were going to finance ministry in the congregation for the next 3 to 5 years.   At the Congregational Meeting it had been agreed that the shortfall in meeting our target of £25,000 from weekly collections would come from the proceeds of the Broadford manse sale.   If there was a delay in selling the manse, we were unsure of how this shortfall would be met, but expected the Home Mission Board to come back with some plan to maintain a ministry in the congregation.

Unfortunately, the HMB are so strapped for funds that they stated a local funding plan would need to come from within the Presbytery to cover the cost of ministry in our congregation.   After some discussions between Roddie Rankin and Gordon, an offer was made by the Glenelg and Inverinate congregation to lend us what we needed to cover costs, provided we were able to repay them once the Broadford manse was sold.   Our Finance Committee felt that as we had originally planned to cover the shortfall from the sale of the Broadford manse, repaying Glenelg like this seemed reasonable.   The Presbytery approved this plan, and we owe a huge debt of thanks to our brothers and sisters across in Kintail for this offer.

However, the next day, an individual offered to cover the full shortfall for three years.   This is a generous offering of more than £12,000.   It means we will not need to rely on help from the Glenelg congregation, or tap into money from the sale of the Broadford manse.   Please give thanks to God for moving the heart of this generous individual.   It relieves a huge burden on us as a congregation – and takes away much of the uncertainty over the future of a settled ministry for the next three years.   But it doesn’t mean we can rest, or take our eye away from the goal of being a growing church, serving the communities of Sleat and Strath.   If anything, this gift frees us to be even more focused on the work God has given us, and we should view it as a token of his blessing on the vision we have for his cause.

Honor the LORD with your wealth

and with the firstfruits of all your produce;

then your barns will be filled with plenty,

and your vats will be bursting with wine.

(Proverbs 3:9-10 ESV)

Bulletin: 3rd February 2013

3rd February 2013

The Diary

Services Today

11:00am @ Sleat – Morning Worship – 2 Kings 2 – Carried Home

5:00pm @ Broadford – Evening Worship –

Mid-week Meetings & Events

Monday, 7:00pm @ Sleat – Finance Committee, followed by Kirk Session

Tuesday, 12-2:00pm @ Broadford Village Hall – Mustard Seed Cafe

Tuesday, 7:00pm @ the manse – Christianity Explored

Wednesday, 7:00pm @ Sleat – Monthly Prayer meeting

Thursday, 7:00pm @ the manse – CEplus

Next Sunday

11:00am @ Sleat – Morning Worship –

5:00pm @ Broadford – Evening Worship –

The Notices

Kirk Session & Finance Committee

The Finance Committee will meet on Monday (4th February) at 7:00pm.   This will be followed by a meeting of the Kirk Session.

It would be very helpful if members of the Finance Committee attending the meeting came with photographic ID and proof of address.   These documents must be presented to our Solicitor’s office, and as Gordon will be in Inverness on Wednesday, he will take them through with him.

Christianity Explored

Tuesday night CE started last week.   Please remember this group in your prayers.

We’re also planning another daytime group in the near future – more suited to people with young families.   Please ask Gordon for more info.

Monthly Prayer Meeting

Please remember, this Wednesday is our monthly prayer meeting.   The first Wednesday each month, we devote the entire meeting to prayer for the work and witness of our congregation.   Please make this meeting a priority.

CEplus

Starting Thursday 7th February (7:00pm at the manse), we are beginning a follow up to CE – informal, bible based, geared for people seeking the truth – called CEplus.   If you are interested in this group, please talk to Gordon.

Communion & Membership Class

We hope to Prof. John Angus Macleod from the denomination’s training college with us for our next communion weekend, last Sunday in February (24th), in Sleat.

We will organise an optional membership class over two weeks on Monday nights prior to the communion weekend (i.e. 11th & 18th February).   These short sessions will look at what’s involved in membership: both the privileges and responsibilities of membership, as well as looking at the biblical basis for “church membership”.   This class might be ideal for people who have recently become members with us, as well as people thinking about becoming members of a church for the first time.   We expect to run this class twice a year in future.

The Briefing

Mid-week Meetings

Last week we noted that our midweek meeting is steadily growing – this is a good thing.   It is sensible to ask how we might ensure that they remain central in binding together our fellowship as a congregation, without becoming “just another meeting”.   To continue to benefit our fellowship, we saw that we must come prayerfully, depending on God, and sacrificially, looking to bless others.

The third thing that will help our fellowship is remembering the example of Jesus.    He did have the 12 apostles as well as the group of women who followed him, and they were close.   We can think of that as a sort of little “congregation”.   But within that he also had a closer bond with Peter, James and John.   There are some important lessons in that for how we think about our fellowship as a congregation.

  1. Small groups that are closer within a fellowship are not bad things.   Jesus’ special friendship with these three disciples was in no way sinful or wrong.
  2. Small groups within the congregation need to be about support and encouragement.   Mark 14:34 tells us how Jesus took Peter, James and John to be near him while he prayed in Gethsemane.   He longed for their support.   This is in stark contrast with Mark 10:35ff where James and John assumed they enjoyed special status within the fellowship; that their closer friendship with Jesus entitled them to special treatment.   Jesus reminds this small group that “whoever would be first among you must be slave of all.”   Small groups are much more about support and encouragement.
  3. It’s important to note that Jesus never allowed the small group of friends to take priority over the needs of the larger group of disciples.   The compassion of Jesus seen in Mark 6:34 show us that he placed the needs of the larger group first, even when he longed for some time apart.

Small fellowships can be very helpful in bringing people on in discipleship, and they can be a great place for mutual support and encouragement.   But that group is always in addition to the wider congregation.   Membership in the church has many privileges, but one of the responsibilities of membership is to pray together with the congregation.   That’s why we are taking time to specifically encourage all of our members to try to make a commitment to the monthly prayer meeting held the first Wednesday each month.   Even if this is the only Wednesday you can come, the rewards and benefit will be great.