25 May 2019

We welcomed Sarah back from her week at the Church of Scotland General Assembly. An overview of her feedback to us is included in a separate post.

Notices for today include a reminder that there is a meeting of the Kirk Session at 7pm on Tuesday 4th June in the small hall and Communion, to which everyone is welcome, will be next Sunday, 2nd June.

Most groups are now in the process of winding up for the year with the Guild’s planning meeting to be held at 2pm on Wednesday, 29th May. This is a chance for everyone to have an input into next year’s programme. Similarly the Men’s Club have their final meeting on Tuesday 29th May at 7pm and will be collating plans for the new season, plus their AGM.

1st Saltcoats Boys Brigade annual junior and company section display is on Friday 31st May. The display starts at 7pm and all boys should be there for 6:45pm. All boys should come in full uniform.

The annual church outing (“Sutherland Tours” organised by Liz & Graeme Sutherland) will be going to Bonnie Dundee for the day on Saturday 31st August. For more details, including full price, please see the June edition of the Church Magazine, which can be found HERE. Bookings plus a deposit of £10 per head should be given to Graeme or Liz by JUNE 23RD.

Looking ahead, the children will be taking part in the Pentecost Family Service on Sunday 9th June.

General Assembly and Heart & Soul

There was a lot to tell us about and for those that want more detail, please do look at the convenient Daily Updates page on the General Assembly 2019 website. This will open in a new window.

Heart & Soul, the Sunday afternoon celebration of the Kirk held in Princes Street Gardens, realised quite a few freebies which Sarah distributed to the children. Included was a “Postman Pat” van which can be used to collect used stamps for the World Mission Stamp Appeal. This year they will support the Chigodi Women Centre in Blantyre Malawi who are celebrating their 50th anniversary. A donation box template can be accessed HERE.

Also from World Mission was a simple board game which highlights stories and facts relating to their work with partner churches and organisations (counter, dice and Bible needed but suitable for all ages) “Around the World in 36 steps”.

Other items included ‘Holy Socks’ (not distributed but to show); Malawi Fruits collection sheet; “Postman Pat” postcards; “Together we Pray” bookmarks;

We heard about the Scottish Bible Society’s “Bible 2020” initiative hoping to inspire a global community to read the Bible aloud across the world, everyday throughout 2020.

Tearfund’s Rubbish Campaign launched this week. And it could improve tens of thousands of lives in some of the world’s poorest countries (your prayers needed please).

Engage Worship’s Thy Kingdome Come Family Prayer Adventure Journal (part of the Worship & Music Foundation) and links with Ascension day (Thursday 30th May) through to Pentecost (Sunday 9th June). Please note that these resources have a cost.

There were many other items which Sarah told us about during her later address. This year’s Assembly was certainly one of radical change where administration will be trimmed back to become more efficient, and encouraging all congregations and presbyteries to consider collaboration so that skills are suitably deployed. As time progresses, I am sure we will see how these recommendations and instructions could affect us.

“The pain of not changing may be greater than the need to change”

19 May 2019

With the minister absent, because she is acting as a Presbytery Commissioner at the General Assembly, the congregation were pleased to welcome Bert McCool to the pulpit who would lead the service.

There is a notice on the Session Noticeboard asking for elders to advise Elsa of their availability for Communion duty on 2nd June.

There you will also find a poster promoting the Church of Scotland Stewardship Roadshow in Ayr on 20 June from 7-9pm in Monkton Prestwick North Church. This event takes a different look at “A Narrative of Generosity Following Jesus into Stewardship” and offers a new stewardship resource. Tickets (free) are available at from Eventbrite (CLICK HERE).

Sarah Park is asking for the congregation’s generosity once again in sponsoring Amy, Sarah and Megan in climbing Goat Fell.

Death of an inspirational man

Earlier this week the news broke that Jean Vanier, Founder of L’Arche, died aged 90.

The son of a Canadian diplomat, Jean Vanier embarked upon a naval career that saw him serve during World War Two. But in 1950 he resigned his commission saying that he wanted “to follow Jesus”.
He studied theology and philosophy, completing his doctoral studies on happiness in the ethics of Aristotle. He became a teaching professor at St Michael’s College in Toronto.

“During the Christmas holidays of 1964, he visited a friend who was working as a chaplain for men with learning difficulties just outside Paris. Disturbed by conditions in which 80 men did nothing but walk around in circles, he bought a small house nearby and invited two men from the institution to join him. L’Arche – the Ark – was born.” (Martin Bashir: BBC Religion editor 07 May 2019)

From these simple beginnings a significant worldwide organisation grew. L’Arche is a worldwide federation of people, with and without learning disabilities, working together for a world where all belong