Sleat & Strath Free Church

Bulletin – 3rd March 2013



Services Today
10:30am @ Sleat – Morning Prayer Meeting
11:00am @ Sleat – Morning Worship – Acts 16:25-40 – A Jailer Saved
5:00pm @ Broadford – Evening Worship – 1 Timothy 1 – A Father Writes…

Mid-week Meetings & Events
Tuesday, 12-2:00pm @ Broadford Village Hall – Mustard Seed Cafe
Wednesday, 7:00pm @ Sleat – Monthly Prayer Meeting
Friday, 7:30pm @ Portree Community Centre – Scotland for Marriage

Next Sunday
10:30am @ Sleat – Morning Prayer Meeting
11:00am @ Sleat – Morning Worship – John 1:1-18
5:00pm @ Broadford – Evening Worship – 1 Timothy 1
7:00pm @ the manse – Teens Group



Thank you to everyone who was involved in helping out with last Sunday’s congregational lunch.   It was a great afternoon, and everyone seemed to have enjoyed the fellowship together.   God willing, we’ll have more events like that in future.

Christianity Explored
Please remember, CE is postponed this week.   We will resume next week as planned.

 Monthly Prayer Meeting
Please note: this week’s mid-week meeting is the monthly prayer meeting.   Please make an extra effort to come along to this if you are able.   Prayer notes are available at the door.

Scotland for Marriage
There will be a meeting, jointly hosted by the Christian Institute, Care and the Evangelical Alliance, in Portree Community Centre, on Friday, 8th March, at 7:30pm.   The meeting, “Speak now or forever hold your peace,” is for anyone who wants to know what steps can be taken to help defend marriage as the union between one man and one woman.

Teens Group
We are now aiming to hold the Teens’ Group on the second Sunday each month.   This is for any kids in P7 or secondary school.

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


News from the Denomination

More news is available daily at

Committee meetings
Most committees will meet over the coming week, so please remember their work in prayer – especially the Home Mission Board as they consider a formal approval of Gordon’s ministry here for the next few years.

 Meeting with Communities and Legal Affairs Minister
A delegation from the Free Church of Scotland will tomorrow (28 February) meet with the Scottish Government’s Communities and Legal Affairs Minister at the Scottish Parliament. The meeting with Roseanna Cunningham MSP will explore matters of mutual interest, particularly community projects which are expressions of the Free Church’s faith and ministry.

A freeze on ‘Wee Frees’
The Free Church Moderator has called on the Scottish media to stop using ‘Wee Free’ in reference to the denomination. Rev Dr Iain D Campbell described the phrase as an “unnecessary slur”.

Moderator to visit South Africa
The Moderator will be visiting South Africa from 6-13 March, meeting with missionaries and ministry students. Rev Dr Iain D Campbell will be the special guest speaker at Dumisani Theological Institute’s annual awards ceremony.

Scalpay induction
It is expected that the induction of Rev Andrew Coghill to Scalpay Free Church will take place at 7pm on Wednesday 27 March. The service will be held in the Tarbert Church of Scotland building. All welcome.

Dornoch Free Church begins £400,000 renovation
Dornoch Free Church is set to begin a £400,000 renovation project to transform its building into a multi-purpose venue for the community. The congregation has raised £130,000 thus far, allowing the first stage of work to commence, and donations from the wider community and Church are invited. From Sunday 17 March, the congregation will worship in the nearby Dornoch Academy whilst work takes place.

Pray for the Reanos
Free Church missionary Manuel Reano has sent an urgent prayer request following gunfire between local gangs, which led to the evacuation of schools and an enforced curfew on the area. Father-of-three Manuel Reano, who has been in Columbia for over a decade, teaches at the Medellin Seminary and is also involved in professional counselling with his wife Patti.



Office Bearers – Our Goals
You might recall that in the Kirk Session’s “Redevelopment Plan” we said that one of the greatest challenges facing us in the next three to five years is a shortage of office bearers.   Over the next few weeks we’ll take some time to flesh out some of the Biblical teaching on office bearers in the church: elders and deacons.   We are not in a rush to appoint deacons (or elders) just yet, but we want to encourage the congregation to pray about this, with an understanding of why it is so important.

The congregation has been without a Deacons’ Court for several decades, but has been well served by a Finance Committee.   However, the Church recognises that Finance Committees are at best a stop-gap measure and should not be the normal long-term set-up for any congregation.   This is because a “Finance Committee” is not the Biblical model.   Instead, the Bible teaches that deacons – men of faith, filled with the Holy Spirit – collectively oversee and arrange for the practical ministry of the church (a role which, as we’ll see in coming weeks, involves far more than just looking after the fabric of buildings).   This is why, over the last few years, we’ve made a point of annually re-appointing the Finance Committee – it’s not a “for life” post.   As we begin appointing deacons, it is important to realise that the Finance Committee will eventually be phased out.

First among the qualifications of deacons (and elders) is that they must be men who profess faith.   So as we pray for God to raise up deacons who will serve well in the congregation, the first criteria we must pray for is men to be converted, and to profess that faith in Jesus.   In short, we need men of faith if we want to continue to grow and mature as a congregation.   Another qualification is that these men not be “novices” in the faith, meaning that they not be new converts.   These roles are ones that people grow into over time – not thrust on unsuspecting men the minute they profess faith.

It is really important that we all understand the role of prayer specifically on this issue in the coming months.   As we’ve seen recently, God’s answers to our needs are not always what we envisage, even when we have made good, healthy plans ourselves.   The congregation does need office bearers sooner rather than later, but the Kirk Session has opted to take time to reflect and teach on this issue.   Why?   Mainly, because we want to encourage the congregation to approach this issue prayerfully.