Bulletin – 25th May

Diary

Services Today

10:30am @ Sleat – Morning Prayer Meeting

11:00am @ Sleat – Morning Worship – John 3:16-21 – Not Condemned

6:00pm @ Sleat – Monthly Joint Service – Iain A. Macdonald (SASRA)

Mid-week Meetings & Events

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

Thursday, 7:30pm @ Kyle Free Church Hall – CWI Tour

Next Sunday

10:30am @ Sleat – Morning Prayer Meeting

11:00am @ Sleat – Communion – John 3:22-30 – What we receive from Heaven

5:00pm @ Broadford – Evening Worship – 1 Timothy 3:8-13 – Qualifications for Deacons

Notices

Comments at Assembly

Sharing this for the encouragement of our own folks in Sleat & Strath – a very humbling report from Iver Martin, minister at our denomination’s largest congregation and principal of our training institution. If you go 51 minutes in, Iver was speaking in response to the Home Mission Board’s report. God is good.

Joint Service – This Evening

Next Sunday we will host the monthly joint service with the Church of Scotland.   The service will be addressed by Iain Alasdair Macdonald of SASRA (Soldiers’ & Airmen’s Scripture Readers Association).   Iain has spoken at our joint fellowships before, and it will be good to welcome him once again.   The collection on the night will go towards supporting the work of SASRA.

Evening Service – Next Sunday

Just as last week we were looking at the qualification for Elders (so that we would better understand the qualities we should be praying for among our men), next week we will be looking at the office of “Deacon” in the church in the same way.   These are really one-off events, and not themes I want to preach on too often, but are vital to the welfare of our congregation.   Please make an extra effort to come along on Sunday evening, to the Broadford Village Hall.

CWI Meeting

Christian Witness to Israel – a Jewish Evangelism organisation – are holding their annual Scottish tour later this month.   They will be speaking at Kyle Free Church on Thursday 30th May at 7:30pm, and in Tigh-na-Sgire in Portree on Friday 31st May at 7:30pm.   Please make every effort to go along to one of these events – Paul Morris, Nick Stead and Mike Moore are definitely worth hearing, particularly as there are incredible stories of God working to bring the Gospel home to the Jewish people.

Communion & Church Lunch

As Gordon will be away the second Sunday in June (at the Kyle Communion) we will move our own communion forward to the first Sunday in June (2nd).   Anyone wishing to profess faith for the first time, or join the congregation, should talk to Gordon soon, to arrange to meet with the Kirk Session.   We also hope to have a light lunch that Sunday, at the Sleat Church.   Please see the organisation sign-up sheet in the lobby.

Denominational News

Increase in attendance at Free Church services
The number of people attending Free Church services has increased over the past five years. Statistics showed that an average of 12,639 attended worship each week last year, up from 12,431 in 2007. The number of people under 30, when compared to 2007, had increased by almost 30 per cent.

Two-year moratorium agreed
Any committee-funded posts will require approval from the Board of Trustees after an immediate two-year moratorium was approved by the General Assembly. The move was taken in light of reductions in budgets to the Free Church’s biggest spending committees to ensure that expenditure did not exceed income. It will affect all vacancies and any new posts which are funded by committees. A special group will also explore strategic priorities for the denomination and report to next year’s Assembly.

New College principal appointed
Rev Iver Martin has been appointed as the new Principal of the Free Church College. The Stornoway Free Church minister has accepted the role on a two-year part-time appointment. He will spend his time between Stornoway and Edinburgh during the academic year.

Temporary arrangements for vacant Chair of Old Testament
Due to the temporary moratorium imposed on centrally supported posts, the Assembly decided it would be inappropriate, at this time, to make a full-time permanent appointment for the vacant Chair of Old Testament at the College. The College Board will make temporary arrangements and bring proposals to the October Commission of Assembly as a matter of urgency.

Name change for College approved in principle
The General Assembly has voted in principle to rename the Free Church College as the Edinburgh Theological Seminary. As part of its vision for the future, the College Board said this would attract interest from wider evangelical church circles and show Gospel-work co-operation. It also hopes to offer wider training for church planters, evangelists and apologetics for members. A report will be brought to next year’s Assembly.

Rahmat memorial fund set up by International Missions Board (IMB)
The IMB have announced the Rahmat Memorial Fund, in memory of the late missionary to northern India who recently passed away. The fund will help his young family as well as ongoing ministry in the area. More info coming soon.

Plea to Kirk evangelicals
Ecumenical Relations convener Rev Dr Iain D Campbell gave a gracious and loving plea to brothers and sisters in the Church of Scotland after the national church approved ministers in same-sex relationships. Dr Campbell encouraged commissioners to seek evangelical unity across Scotland.

Govan church plant approved
The church plant in Govan will begin later this summer with Rev Norman Mackay leaving Falkirk.

Group to look at 2014 referendum
The Free Church is set to explore the place of Christianity in an independent Scotland, ahead of the independence referendum in 2014. A special working group has been set up and will report to next year’s General Assembly.

Bulletin: 19th May

Sleat & Strath FreeChurch

Diary

Services Today

10:30am @ Sleat – Morning Prayer Meeting

11:00am @ Sleat – Morning Worship – John 3:16-21 – In darkness & In Light

3:30pm @ Kyleakin – Afternoon Worship

5:00pm @ Broadford – Evening Worship – 1 Timothy 3:1-7 – Qualifications for Elders

Mid-week Meetings & Events

Wednesday, 7:30pm – Joint Prayer Meeting for the General Assemblies (Kyle Free Church)

Next Sunday

10:30am @ Sleat – Morning Prayer Meeting

11:00am @ Sleat – Morning Worship – John 3:22-36 – “He must increase, but I must decrease”

6:00pm @ Sleat – Monthly Joint Service – Iain A. Macdonald, SASRA

Notices

Note of Thanks

Thanks to the ladies who were in all afternoon on Thursday cleaning the church.   It was a big job – and much appreciated.

Summer Duty

Please check the rota for welcome and coffee duties.   If you are unable to cover any of the dates indicated, please alert Gordon as soon as possible.

Tonight’s Evening Service

At next week’s evening service, we will reach 1 Timothy 3.   This chapter addresses the qualifications for elders and deacons.   As one of the more pressing concerns we face as a congregation is a lack of eligible men to serve as elders, I want to request that as many as possible make the effort to attend Sunday evening’s meeting in Broadford next Sunday.   The thrust of the sermon will be looking at what we need to earnestly ask God to provide for our church.   Please make an extra effort to attend.

Joint Service – Next Week

Next Sunday we will host the monthly joint service with the Church of Scotland.   The service will be addressed by Iain Alasdair Macdonald of SASRA (Soldiers’ & Airmen’s Scripture Readers Association).   Iain has spoken at our joint fellowships before, and it will be good to welcome him once again.   The collection on the night will go towards supporting the work of SASRA.

General Assembly – Prayer Meeting

Please note the meeting on Wednesday night at Kyle Free Church Hall.   Our own prayer meeting and midweek fellowship has been cancelled to allow for people to make the Kyle meeting a priority.   Please go over if you are able.

CWI Meeting

Christian witness to Israel – a Jewish Evangelism organisation – are holding their annual Scottish tour later this month.   They will be speaking at Kyle Free Church on Thursday 30th May at 7:30pm, and in Tigh-na-Sgire in Portree on Friday 31st May at 7:30pm.   Please make every effort to go along to one of these events – Paul Morris, Nick Stead and Mike Moore are definitely worth hearing, particularly as there are incredible stories of God working to bring the Gospel home to the Jewish people.

Open Door Cafe – Kyle

The Open Door Cafe in Kyle will cease operation on Friday, 31st May, partly due to staffing problems, but also due to a change in the venue’s management.   The cafe on the 31st is going to be a celebration of all the cafe has achieved over the years.

Communion & Church Lunch

As Gordon will be away the second Sunday in June (at the Kyle Communion) we will move our own communion forward to the first Sunday in June (2nd).   anyone wishing to profess faith for the first time, or join the congregation, should talk to Gordon soon, to arrange to meet with the Kirk Session.   We also hope to have a light lunch that Sunday, at the Sleat Church.   Please see the organisation sign-up sheet in the lobby.

Denominational News

Keep up with goings-on at the Assembly

You can follow sessions at the General Assembly live via the video feed on the St Columba’s Free Church website: http://stcolumbas.freechurch.org/ Text updates will be posted at each interval on the Free Church website http://www.freechurch.org/ where you can also download reports from.

Joint working group to establish strategic priorities

The Board of Trustees is seeking to establish a representative working group to consult with the major spending committees across the denomination with a view to bringing a plan to the 2014 General Assembly that will align the Church’s vision with available finance.  It says a strategic vision must be in place prior to agreeing financial priorities. As an interim measure with immediate effect, the Board of Trustees is proposing that no vacancies, funded by church committees, be filled without its prior approval. This would affect the vacant positions at the Free Church College, which the Board recommends should be filled on a temporary basis – pending the working group’s plan. It hopes that the Free Church can find smarter ways of working, applying innovation and ingenuity to both its expenditure and future mission. The underlying shortfall for 2012 was around £300,000.

Free Church College to consider name change

The report of the College Board suggests that the Free Church College be renamed the Edinburgh Theological Seminary, to broaden its appeal to wider evangelical circles. The Board is considering the provision of additional courses of a less academic and more practical nature, which could utilise part-time lecturers and modern technology to reduce costs. A supplementary report, not yet released, will contain details of nominations for College Principal and Old Testament Chair.

Other items of interest from the General Assembly reports

The Home Missions Board has exciting news of a church plant in Govan, which would begin over the summer. The Free North congregation in Inverness has submitted an application for permission to call an assistant minister, to work with Rev Colin Macleod. The International Missions Board has updates from missionaries around the world. The Ecumenical Relations Committee expresses its desire for greater co-operation amongst evangelical churches, and notes of talks with the APC and also with some in the Church of Scotland. The Communications Committee also has papers on the redefinition of marriage and the impact of Scottish independence.

Bulletin: 12th May

Diary

Services Today

10:30am @ Sleat – Morning Prayer Meeting

11:00am @ Sleat – Morning Worship – John 3 – You must be born again

5:00pm @ Broadford – Evening Worship – 1 Timothy 2:11-15 – Women in authority?

Mid-week Meetings & Events

Wednesday, 7:00pm – Monthly Prayer Meeting

Next Sunday

10:30am @ Sleat – Morning Prayer Meeting

11:00am @ Sleat – Morning Worship – In darkness & In Light

3:30pm @ Kyleakin – Afternoon Worship

5:00pm @ Broadford – Evening Worship – 1 Timothy 3:1-7 – Qualification for Elders

Notices

Summer Duty

With tourist season just beginning (and maybe better weather, too!), this year it’s worth making sure we are working hard to welcome visitors in a helpful way.   Following this morning’s service, please remain behind if you are willing to help with:

  • Door Duty / Welcome Team – we are looking principally for members who can greet people arriving at services, distribute bibles and psalm books, and sit near visitors to help them, e.g. finding their way about Sing Psalms.
  • After Service Tea / Coffee – we hope to put a rota in place for people to provide a cup of tea or coffee after the service.   Because we normally rush off after the service, it’s very difficult to take time to talk to visitors, and share in fellowship together.

Evening Service – Next Week

At next week’s evening service, we will reach 1 Timothy 3.   This chapter addresses the qualifications for elders and deacons.   As one of the more pressing concerns we face as a congregation is a lack of eligible men to serve as elders, I want to request that as many as possible make the effort to attend Sunday evening’s meeting in Broadford next Sunday.   The thrust of the sermon will be looking at what we need to earnestly ask God to provide for our church.   Please make an extra effort to attend.

Joint Service – Last Sunday in May

The last Sunday in May, we will host the monthly joint service with the Church of Scotland.   The service will be addressed by Iain Alisdair Macdonald of SASRA (Soldiers’ & Airmen’s Scripture Readers Association).   Iain has spoken at our joint fellowships before, and it will be good to welcome him once again.   The collection on the night will go towards supporting the work of SASRA.

General Assembly

Please pray for the General Assembly meeting in Edinburgh later this month.   As the Free Church faces challenging financial circumstances, the church’s expenditure is under rigorous review.   One area where some believe substantial savings can be made is the Free Church College, and the way we train our ministers.   Please pray for wisdom in how we approach these issues in the short term, but also provide for the long term health of the church.

Denominational News

Free Church College end of session ceremony

The Free Church College end of session ceremony will take place in Presbytery Hall, Edinburgh, on Friday 17 May at 7.30pm. As well as awards and prizes to present students, retiring Principal John L Mackay will address students who are going out to serve within the Free Church and the wider Christian community. This is a good opportunity for friends and supporters to see the College building, and meet the staff and students.  If you are able to come along it will be greatly appreciated by both staff and students.

Vacancy: assistant drug and alcohol support worker, Inverness

The Free North congregation in Inverness wishes to appoint a drug and alcohol support worker at its Road to Recovery offices at Madras Street, Inverness. This service provides assistance to those suffering from addictions. A job description is available to view on both the Free Church (www.freechurch.org) and Free North (www.freenorthchurch.org) websites. For more details contact Free North minister Rev Colin Macleod by email: colin.macleod@sky.com

Gair Hall in Bonar Bridge to reopen

The Gair Hall in Bonar Bridge will officially reopen on Saturday 18 May, after a complete internal renovation. The hall is the usual place of worship for the Bonar Bridge Free Church congregation, which is linked with Lairg. Saturday 18 May also marks the 170th anniversary of the Disruption, and Professor John McIntosh from the Free Church College will be giving a talk in the evening about the history of the Free Church. There will also be a joint thanksgiving service in the Gair Hall on the Sunday morning (19 May), where Professor McIntosh, whose uncle was minister in nearby Creich, will preach.

2013 Free Church of Scotland General Assembly

The 2013 Free Church General Assembly takes place in Edinburgh from 20-24 May. Most of the reports will be available to download from the Free Church website (www.freechurch.org) on Monday 13 May. Supplementary reports will become available before the start of the Assembly.

Summer supply needed for Arran Free Church

Arran Free Church’s interim moderator Rev Kenny Boyd has issued an open invitation to lay preachers and retired ministers to consider doing a few services with the congregation over the summer – particularly the months of July and August. The manse is well equipped for families, and interested parties can contact Kenny on: kenneth@boyd151.orangehome.co.uk

Bulletin: 5th May

Diary

Services Today

10:30am @ Sleat – Morning Prayer Meeting

11:00am @ Sleat – Morning Worship – John 2:13-25 – Zeal, Signs & Knowing

5:00pm @ Kyleakin – Evening Worship – 1 Timothy 2:8-10 – Godliness in men and women

Mid-week Meetings & Events

Wednesday, 7:00pm – Monthly Prayer Meeting

Next Sunday

10:30am @ Sleat – Morning Prayer Meeting

11:00am @ Sleat – Morning Worship – John 3 – You must be born again

5:00pm @ Broadford – Evening Worship – 1 Timothy 2:11-15 – Women in authority?

Notices

Evening Service

Tonight’s evening worship will be in Kyleakin Free Church, as the annual RAF Search and Rescue training event is based in Broadford Village Hall.

Summer Duty

With tourist season just beginning (and maybe better weather, too!), this year it’s worth making sure we are working hard to welcome visitors in a helpful way.   Following next Sunday’s morning service, please remain behind if you are willing to help with:

  • Door Duty / Welcome Team – we are looking principally for members who can greet people arriving at services, distribute bibles and psalm books, and sit near visitors to help them, e.g. finding their way about Sing Psalms.
  • After Service Tea / Coffee – we hope to put a rota in place for people to provide a cup of tea or coffee after the service.   Because we normally rush off after the service, it’s very difficult to take time to talk to visitors, and share in fellowship together.

General Assembly

Please pray for the General Assembly meeting in Edinburgh later this month.   As the Free Church faces challenging financial circumstances, the church’s expenditure is under rigorous review.   One area where some believe substantial savings can be made is the Free Church College, and the way we train our ministers.   Please pray for wisdom in how we approach these issues in the short term, but also provide for the long term health of the church.

Denominational News

Scottish Reformed Conference – Saturday 11 May

The annual Scottish Reformed Conference takes place on Saturday 11 May in Hamilton College, South Lanarkshire. This year’s guest speakers will be Rev Martin Allen from the Church of Scotland and Rev Bill Hughes from Florida.  More details are available on the SRC website: http://www.scottishreformedconference.org/

Innovative campaign for Dumbarton Christianity Explored courses

One Free Church congregation has gone all-out as it seeks to raise awareness of an upcoming Christianity Explored course. Dumbarton Free Church has advertised in the local newspaper and also recorded a 30-second advert which has been running on the local radio station. The Dumbarton congregation are holding their sessions on Thursday evenings from 9 May in a local hotel. Please do remember this work in prayer.

Summer supply needed for Arran Free Church

Arran Free Church’s interim moderator Rev Kenny Boyd has issued an open invitation to lay preachers and retired ministers to consider doing a few services with the congregation over the summer – particularly the months of July and August. The manse is well equipped for families, and interested parties can contact Kenny on: kenneth@boyd151.orangehome.co.uk

Online training module for camps leaders

The Free Church Youth Camps team have been working hard behind the scenes to create a new online training module, which will be launched in the next few weeks. This means there will be no leader training days this year. For more details contact camps administrator Laura MacAulay on laura@freechurchofscotland.org.uk

CWI Scottish meeting tour 2013

One of the Free Church of Scotland’s mission partners is hosting a series of meetings across the country from the end of May to early June. Christian Witness to Israel (CWI), which is supported by the International Missions Board, will visit 12 congregations including their annual meetings in Glasgow and Edinburgh. Speakers include Mike Moore, Paul Morris and Nick Stead. CWI is a UK-based interdenominational evangelistic society that is committed to sharing the good news of Jesus the Messiah with Jewish people. More details will soon be appearing on: www.freechurch.org

Ravi Zacharias on Atheism

Ravi Zacharias is a Christian philosopher and apologist.   In this interview, he analyses the mocking tendencies of New Atheists like Richard Dawkins.   He points out that the antagonism and mockery Dawkins encourages, reveals a deep-rooted hatred, and correctly points out such behaviour has no place in civil society.

Its worth remembering this lesson – ideas can be discussed, but people, even those we disagree with, should not become the butt of jokes or animosity.   Worth a watch.