Bulletin – 24th March

Diary

Services Today

10:30am @ Sleat – Morning Prayer Meeting

11:00am @ Sleat – Morning Worship – John 1:1-18 (3) – John the Baptist

6:30pm @ Broadford Village Hall – Faith Mission Gospel Meeting

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 – Mid-week Bible Study

Saturday, 10:30am @ Kyle Free Church – Praise Workshop

Next Sunday

10:30am @ Sleat – Morning Prayer Meeting

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

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

Notices

Christianity Explored

Please remember, this is the last week of the current CE group.

Faith Mission Convention

This weekend is the Faith Mission convention has been taking place at Broadford and Kyleakin.   The main speaker is Rev. George Macaskill, retired from Stornoway APC.   George is a fantastic preacher, and his messages will be worth making an effort hear.   Our own evening service in Broadford tonight will be cancelled to avoid over-burdening us with meetings.   The Faith Mission meeting tonight will be at 6:30pm in the Broadford Village Hall.

Broadford Manse “Deep Clean”

We expect to have the Broadford Manse on the market within the next few weeks.   Last week, all the old furniture and rubbish was cleared.   We now need to make sure the manse is clean and fit for photographing for the sale brochure.   A date for this is provisionally set for Thursday 28th at 10am.   As many volunteers as possible will make the job a lot quicker.   Please bring brushes, cloths, cleaning materials, window wipes etc.   Most rooms have wooden floor boards, but some have old lino coverings, so a mop or two might be useful as well.

Joint District Communion

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

Minister Away

Gordon will be on leave for about 10 days, from Saturday.   The morning service next Lord’s Day will be conducted by John Norman Macdonald, with our evening service cancelled for the joint district communion in Kyleakin.   The following Sunday morning is TBA, but the evening service in Broadford will be conducted by Stuart MacKinnon (Elgol).   In the event of any pastoral emergencies, please contact the elders in the first instance.

Denominational News

Board of Trustees workshop

Representatives from the main boards and committees of the Free Church and every Presbytery met at Greyfriars Free Church in Inverness to discuss issues facing the denomination over the next five years. Delegates were reminded of the purpose of the Church and discussed a vision of what the denomination will look like if that calling is fulfilled. The chairmen of the Home Missions, International Missions and College Boards all reflected on what this would mean for their respective areas. The final aspect of the discussion looked at how limited resources may be allocated in the current financial climate realising this vision and building God’s kingdom.

Marriage bill “completely nonsensical”

The Jedi Knights could soon be officiating at weddings in Scotland under plans to redefine marriage by the Scottish Government, according to the Free Church of Scotland. The Free Church described the Government’s plans to create a third category of marriage as “completely nonsensical”. The comments came as the denomination responded to the second consultation on the redefinition of marriage in Scotland, which it continues to vehemently oppose. The story attracted worldwide media interest.

New minister for Leith Free Church

Inverness Greyfriars Free Church assistant Rev Gavino Fioretti is set to create history by becoming the first-ever Italian minister in Edinburgh after accepting a call to Leith Free Church. An induction for the 38-year-old father-of-four, who is originally from Sardinia, is expected to take place on Saturday 20 April at 2pm.

Induction of Rev Andrew Coghill to Scalpay

The induction of Rev Andrew Coghill to Scalpay Free Church is expected to take place on Wednesday 27 March at 7pm. A special service welcoming Mr Coghill will be hosted in the Tarbert Church of Scotland building – as the usual place of worship in Scalpay is too small for the occasion.

Churchman criticises £1.6m Government grant to gay rights group

Rev David Robertson has criticised the Scottish Government’s decision to award a leading gay rights group £1.6 million of taxpayers’ money for its own schools programme. David, minister of St Peter’s Free Church in Dundee and director of the Solas Centre for Public Christianity, condemned all homophobic bullying in Scottish schools but argued the decision to give the Equality Network £1.6 million is unwise and unhelpful.

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Broadford Evening Service

Broadford Evening Service

Overview

Sleat & Strath Free Church is a congregation of the Free Church of Scotland that exists to: (1) promote the Worship of God; (2) provide Instruction for those seeking to live by his word; (3) serve as a place of Fellowship to nurture lives of discipleship; and (4) reach out (in word and action) with the Evangelistic message of the Gospel – to all the people of the communities in the Sleat and Strath districts.   Both parts of the congregation were previously separate congregations, and both enjoyed two services every Sunday.   In 2001 these congregations merged to become one congregation serving all the communities of South Skye.   Since 2009, the congregation has only one morning service in Knock, but has evening services three Sundays a month in Kyleakin, and twice a month in Knock.   Our Kirk Session is planning to begin services in Broadford, but realising we cannot do everything, are also planning to end evening services in Knock to enable this.   Therefore, we will have a weekly morning service in Sleat (at the church in Knock), and a weekly evening service in Strath (alternate weeks at the church in Kyleakin, and the Village Hall in Broadford).

Ministry Vision and Long-term Considerations

Ministry designed to simply maintain a position (“maintenance ministry”) is not a long term option for our congregation, as the current ministry is a 5-year terminable appointment (due to end in 2014).   The Presbytery and Home Mission Board will only recommend that the General Assembly extend a preaching ministry here on the basis of growth – not only financial growth, but numerical growth in the form of new converts and growing attendances.   The Kirk Session wants to avoid the temptation to just follow a maintenance ministry, but would rather we put all our efforts into outreach, or “Gospel ministry” – particularly “replanting” a church in the Broadford area.

Why Broadford?

  • Broadford, along with its neighbouring townships, is the second most populous area of Skye after Portree.   Broadford therefore has the highest concentration of un-evangelised people in our area.
  • Prior to 2000 the Free Church had a work there – although that work diminished over several decades of maintenance (as opposed to Gospel) ministry.   We owe it to the prayers and investment of our predecessors to carry on the work of the Gospel in that community.
  • We have undertaken a lengthy legal case to re-secure property and assets in the Broadford area.   It is be dishonest to God to not make every effort to re-secure a witness to Jesus Christ in the same place.

For these reasons, the Kirk Session has had a long standing desire to renew the work in Broadford.   The Presbytery agreed to this plan, in fact they only agreed to allow a ministry to continue in the congregation on the basis of us getting on with work in Broadford.   We are already made a start with this re-plant, through the Mustard Seed Café.

Why are we not keeping all our existing services, and doing Broadford in addition?

We are a small congregation, with less than 15 communicant members.   That is, only 15 people who are willing to be counted as Christians.   Whilst adherents are most welcome to join with us for worship each Lord’s Day (many have shown great commitment in that and some may be converted), they are under no obligation to attend services (while members are obligated).   Furthermore, of these fifteen members, roughly a third are either housebound or regularly out of the country or engaged in supply preaching elsewhere.   This means that even if no one else is away on holiday, we often have less than 10 believers willing to gather to Worship on a Sunday evening.   Dividing that number into two or more smaller gatherings is not something we are willing to do.

Nor are we willing to spread ourselves too thinly, holding many concurrent services in different places.   Trying to maintain one well-attended service, rather than many smaller services in more areas is healthier for the Worship of the congregation.   Many services inevitably mean the preaching minister is always moving between different places, and (despite excellent lay preachers) this gives little stability or consistency in Instruction.   It also undermines the Fellowship of the congregation, as these smaller groups tend to foster narrower, not broader fellowship in the whole congregation.   And while such an approach seems like we are “maintaining a witness” in more areas, it tends to be counter productive for Evangelism – as unconverted adherents are often the first to give up on these smaller services.

We are one congregation, and as such, the Kirk Session feels we should approach this new challenge as a family.   All members of a family should strive together to the same goals – so the Kirk Session wants to encourage a unified approach to how we meet to Worship.

Bulletin – 2nd January 2011

2nd January 2011

Today

11:00am @ Sleat – Morning Worship – Mark 14:43-52 – Betrayed!

5:00pm @ Kyleakin – Evening Worship – Reviving the Nation: The Life of Samuel

Wednesday

7:00pm @ Sleat – Monthly prayer Meeting

Next Sunday

11:00am @ Sleat – Morning Worship – D.J. Steward

5:00pm @ Kyleakin – Evening Worship – Stuart MacKinnon

News and Coming Events (D.V.)

Minister away

Gordon will be away next Lord’s Day on preaching supply in Rassay.   The morning service will be taken by D.J. Stewart and the evening service in Kyleakin will be taken by Stuart Mackinnon.   There will be no service in Sleat that evening.

Kirk Session

The Kirk Session will meet on Wednesday evening after the Prayer Meeting.

Mustard Seed Café – New Year Program

The Mustard Seed Café will resume on 12th January.   As the team of cooks and helpers has expanded sufficiently, we are planning on running the Café weekly until Easter.   A staffing rota is available.   We also hope to be in a position to offer another Food Hygiene course early in the New Year.

Quinquennial Assessment

Every 5 or so years the Presbytery will carry out an assessment of the congregation.   This involves a detailed look at our records, and meetings with the minister, the Kirk Session, the Finance Committee, and also the congregation.   We are to receive such a visit, led by Roddie Rankin, on Tuesday 18th January.   The Finance Committee will meet the visiting team at 7:00pm, and the whole congregation will meet them at 7:30pm.   This will be at Sleat Free Church.

Christianity Explored – Broadford Area

Although no time or venue has been set, we are planning to run a Christianity Explored group in the Broadford area early in 2011.   It would help with planning a venue if we could have a rough estimate of likely numbers.   If you would like to attend, plan to bring others, or know of others who would like to attend, please let Gordon know ASAP.

The most likely time for the group to meet would be Tuesday evenings, at about 7:30pm – but if this is unsuitable for most people, we can plan for a different night.   The course would run for 8 or 10 weeks, meaning we’d have to start in early February to be finished before Easter.

 

The Mustard Seed Cafe

The Mustard Seed Cafe starts tomorrow.

Sleat & Strath Free Church is committed to replanting a church in Broadford after a ten year absence. The latest step in that process is starting a free community lunch called the Mustard Seed Cafe.
Jesus illustrated the Kingdom of God, likening it to a mustard seed – a small, insignificant seed that grows to become a great tree where the birds of the air find shelter. Through the Mustard Seed Cafe we hope to do just that: provide, in the first instance, a warm, friendly place for people to meet up. We hope to serve the real needs of people, providing them with a hot meal. We also hope the lunch will give us opportunities to build relationships with people in our community.
Please pray for this work – it is the first outward step towards re-establishing the Free Church in the second most populous part of the Isle of Skye. In the coming weeks we will be starting Christianity Explored, and plan to shortly resume Sunday Services in the area.
If you are in the Broadford area, stop in for a free lunch at the Broadford Village Hall, 12:00-2:00pm Wednesdays 3rd, 10th 24th Novermber and 8th, 22nd December.

Donations in support of this and other outreach aspects of our work (as opposed to the upkeep of a preaching ministry) can be forwarded to Mr. Harry Saunders, Brookside, Old Kyle Farm Road, Kyleakin.
Sleat & Strath Free Church is a registered as a Scottish Charity, No. SC034148.