Bulletin – 31st March

Diary

Services Today

10:30am @ Sleat – Morning Prayer Meeting

11:00am @ Sleat – Morning Worship – John Norman Macdonald

6:00pm @ Kyleakin Village Hall – Joint District Communion

Mid-week Meetings & Events

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

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

Next Sunday

10:30am @ Sleat – Morning Prayer Meeting

11:00am @ Sleat – Morning Worship – D.J. Stewart (Elder, Kyle Free Church)

5:00pm @ Broadford Village Hall – Evening Worship – S. Mackinnon (Elder, Grace Community Church, Kyle)

Notices

Broadford Manse “Deep Clean”

Thanks to everyone who came along to help give the Broadford Manse a good clean.   It’s looking a lot better now.

Minister Away

Gordon is on leave for about 10 days.   The morning service next Lord’s Day will be conducted by, DJ Stewart (morning) Stuart MacKinnon (evening).   In the event of any pastoral emergencies, please contact the elders in the first instance.

Joint District Communion

The service this evening will be a joint district communion service at 6:00pm in the Kyleakin Village Hall.   Ben Johnstone will be preaching.

Bible Study Books

The study books for our mid-week Bible Study on Nehemiah are available at the door.   Please put an extra £4 in the collection plate to cover the cost of these.

Next Sunday Evening

Please note the service next Sunday evening will be in the club room at the back of the stage in Broadford Village Hall.   This is because a group from Durham University are using the rest of the building as a base for a field trip.

Food Bank Meeting

There will be a meeting on Thursday 18th April for Christians locally interested in setting up a Food Bank for South Skye and Lochalsh.   This will be at the Lighthouse Centre in Kyle at 7:30pm.   Representatives from Blythswood will be present.   Please give this your prayerful attention in the coming weeks, as interest and commitment shown at this meeting will determine whether or not we go ahead with operating a food bank in the community.

Ben & Annette’s “Leaving Do”

A celebration of the ministry of Ben and Annette Johnstone is planned for Monday 29th April, at 7:00pm in the Kyleakin Village Hall.   A general invitation has been extended to our congregation. I’m sure we will want to join in showing our appreciation for Ben’s ministry, as we enjoy such good fellowship with the local Church of Scotland congregation.   Ann and Fay do need an indication of numbers for planning, so if you would like to attend, please contact them on 822 300 (Ann) or 822 907 (Fay).

Denominational News

Moderator’s Easter message

Free Church Moderator Rev Dr Iain D Campbell has said that Christians should be “the agents of the resurrection that God calls us to be”, citing the need to love our neighbour and remember the poor. In an Easter-themed meditation Dr Campbell said: “Any doctrine of the resurrection which leaves us gorging on chocolate eggs but not feeding the hungry is not worthy of the name.” His whole address will appear on the Free Church website http://www.freechurch.org/ from Friday 29 March.

Moderator writes to new Archbishop of Canterbury

The Moderator of the Free Church of Scotland has written to the new Archbishop of Canterbury conveying his prayerful good wishes in his new role. Rev Dr Iain D Campbell, minister of Point Free Church on the Isle of Lewis, said he hoped God would use Rev Justin Welby to “bring the Church of England back to its evangelical roots”.

Youth camps fundraising continues

Two Free Church of Scotland congregations are fundraising so that some of their local children can attend the summer camps programme. The Poolewe and Aultbea congregation in Wester Ross are hosting a car wash and serving afternoon tea from 2-4pm in the Aultbea church hall this weekend. Knock Free Church on the Isle of Lewis is also holding a special collection at its Sunday services.

April edition of The Record out now

One of the Professors at the Free Church College in Edinburgh has agreed that the embracing of tithing would lead to “a monumental surplus to invest in further Gospel work”. Writing in the April edition of The Record, the Free Church’s monthly magazine, Professor John McIntosh referred to a previous discussion paper on offerings and urged members and adherents to consider giving a tenth of their income to the Lord’s work.

Spring conference 12-14 April in Inverness

The 2013 Spring Conference takes place at Greyfriars Free Church of Scotland in Inverness from Friday 12 to Sunday 14 April. The main address will be from Rev Dr Robin Sydserff, minister of St Catherine’s Argyle Church of Scotland in Edinburgh, who will speak on Daniel. The conference costs £25 for the weekend, or £12 for a day ticket. More details available on the conference website: http://fcossc.wordpress.com/

Briefing

Tithing

Tithing is the Christian discipline of giving one tenth of your income to supporting the Lord’s cause.   After reading Prof. MacIntosh’s article in The Record on tithing, I also read a blog post from Malcolm Maclean about tithing (http://greyfriarsreadings.blogspot.co.uk/).   Both are worth a read.   A few things occurred to me.

Firstly, do we tithe seriously?   In the Old Testament tithing was thought of as a test of our spiritual health (See Malachi 3:56-12).   God sent the prophet Malachi to remind the people that giving to the upkeep of his cause was a sort of spiritual thermometer.   What we privately give to the Lord’s cause, (and it seems clear that God expects us to tithe) says a lot about the state of our own hearts.   Nobody else can judge that – but God takes it seriously.   It’s tempting to think that these sort of money-issues are all “Old Testament only” or were somehow done away with in the New Testament, but the story of Ananias and Sapphira (Acts 5:1-11) ought to teach us God still cares very deeply for the purity of our private giving to support his cause.

Secondly, do we tithe expectantly?   Tithing is not laid out in the Bible as a sort of trade – as if we give to God and he’ll give back to us a certain amount according to some sort of formula.   But clearly, in the Bible, God does promise to provide for his people’s needs.   We pray “give us our daily bread”.   But praying for God to provide for us, but then refusing to give God his share, is hardly an example of faithful living.    Tithing should be done with a faithful expectation of God’s blessing in our lives, but also through our lives.   Through tithing, the church grows, brings blessing to more and more people, and so on.   Perhaps our struggles with bearing fruit in our witness are because we do not honour God with our wallets.

Thirdly, do we tithe thankfully?   Giving God a tenth of our income is more costly when we do it grudgingly.   When we think about what God gave for us – his own Son, to experience human pain and taste death – we have to acknowledge that a tenth of our income is an appropriate expression of thanks.   One problem is when we give grudgingly we give thinking about the cost to us, not the benefit our offering will bring.   Our thanks in giving should not just be looking back at what God has done for us already, but also looking ahead to the good God will do with the money we are giving.   People will be saved because of our financial support – people who might not have been reached otherwise.   New churches will be planted, at home, or internationally – and new churches mean new Christians.   The church’s mercy ministry can go on bring relief to the suffering.   Our 10% makes a huge – eternal – difference in the lives of men and women all over the world!

Finally, do we tithe practically?   A tenth of our income seems like a lot.   The Bible often speaks of offerings coming from the first fruits – literally, the first of the harvest.   One practicality is to give to God’s cause first in your weekly or monthly budget.   Once it’s gone, you’ll not notice it the same.   But if you wait to give God only what’s left over in the budget, often you’ll find you have very little to give.   Money is still tight, and giving a tenth of our income can be a big change to make right away.   Often that’s not possible, but there are probably other options.   We can give a tenth of our working week to practical service.   I don’t mean the hours we come together for worship on a Sunday, or fellowship during the week – but giving 4 extra hours a week to doing practical things that serve the church, e.g. staffing the Mustard Seed Cafe, or the proposed Food Bank.

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