Church of Scotland Magazine
Charity Number SC006540
issue – September
date for material –2pm Sunday August 30th
From the Manse…
As I write this I am
a commissioner at this year’s General Assembly of the Church of
Scotland. Contrary to the image portrayed by Rikki Fulton the
Assembly is not a jolly holiday in Edinburgh for ministers and their
The General Assembly is much more important than that. It
is the annual meeting of ministers and elders who are charged with
the responsibility, corporately and individually, of discerning God’s
will for the future of our Church, or more accurately HIS church. For
long after we have gone the church of Jesus Christ will continue,
even in to eternity, as the saints of God dwell in His presence. Each
year difficult and often painful decisions have to be made; decisions
that may for one person or group be a source of great joy, whilst for
another person or group a source of deep sorrow. This has always been
the case, over the year’s issues such as the role of women in
the church, or remarriage of divorced persons to name but two, have
caused anguish and debate. I suspect it may well continue to be so as
fallible human beings seek to discern the will of God in an ever
changing world. Following a long and painful period of reflection and
discussion; this year the Assembly ratified the wishes of
Presbyteries up and down the land in the passing of legislation which
whilst upholding the traditional, orthodox view on human sexuality,
granted permission for congregations and kirk sessions who in all
good conscience are unable to agree with this position, the right to
call ministers who are in same-sex civil partnerships. This was a
historic vote which will have a profound impact on the Church as we
know it. Prior to the vote some ministers and Kirk Sessions who had
already felt unable to accept any such legislation as being in
accordance with the will of God, took the painful decision to leave
the Kirk. Unfortunately I believe that others will now follow in
what about ministers such as myself, who struggle to accept the new
legislation, but who remain convinced of their call to serve the
congregations who have called them? How do we as a church move
forward in this new so-called mixed economy? How can we with
integrity go forward together? To be honest I do not know, however I
am convinced that when Jesus says “I
will build my church and the gates of Hell will not prevail against
(Matt 16:18) that is exactly what He means. Please continue to pray
for our national Church, that through this difficult time that His
purposes may come to pass and that His church will transform our
land, and that the voice of the church may be a prophetic voice
calling all people in our society to come to know Him and love Him.
in His love,
On Palm Sunday it
was my pleasure to set apart four ladies from our congregations as
Pastoral Visitors. As you will possibly remember, it was our
intention, when Irene Ferris retired, to employ a replacement for
Irene. However, despite advertising we were unable to do so. This
was a huge loss to our congregations, and inevitably we were unable
to provide the same level of Pastoral care as we had done in the
past. Thankfully we are in a position now to offer an equivalent
standard of standard of care to our members. Alice Ewing and Evelyn
Wagner from Coltness Memorial and Marion Allison and Marie Williams
from Bonkle have each agreed to provide half a day Pastoral Visiting
per week, giving us the equivalent of two full days per week. Please
welcome the ladies warmly as you did Irene, I am sure you will be
blessed by their visits.
A Tribute to
Jimmy is too well
known to require much of an introduction to the Church Family.
Sitting in the “Dress Circle” he was a regular attender
at church services until prevented by ill health.
Jimmy was a long
serving member of the Men's Club and one of the founder members of
the Thursday Club. We were all saddened to hear of his death on May
8th. Jimmy was held in high regard by all members past and
present of both clubs. He was a thoroughly nice gentleman and a
friend to us all.
Our thoughts and
prayers go to his wife Mary, daughters Janice, Christine and Isobel
and their extended families.
The first meeting of
the session will be on Tuesday September 29th.
“I wish to
thank the Church Family for all their prayers, cards and phone calls
during my recovery from a broken wrist”
The Sunday school meet in the hall before church from 11 45am Children of all ages will be made to feel welcome there is also a crèche.
Recently the children have taken part in a variety of Easter themed
activities in order to help them explore
and understand the Easter story and have fun while learning more about
Jesus. .These have included Easter egg hunt and Easter arts and crafts
The club is fortunate in being
one of only 30 to receive a grant from the Digital Challenge. This
will enable us to purchase tablet computers to bring us up to date.
We have also upgraded some of out
computers to Window10 preview. This will enable us to run classes
specifically designed to show people the types of computer now
available and guide them into a suitable choice for their use. Hands
on tuition will also be given in their use. If you, or a friend are
interested watch the Sunday announcements and the hall notice board
for further details.
have continued to be busy, with another 2 new clients this month; we
currently have 18 clients active and receiving support from CAP. A
client (a married couple) from last month was able, after we looked
at their finances and gave advice from Head Office, to resolve the
debt situation on their own. I was particularly thankful for this, as
the couple involved, after praying about their situation, decided to
call CAP and trust in the Lord to look after their finances, and He
has blessed them in abundance!
Following a talk I did in April
at Liberty Community Church in Bellshill (which is a church plant of
the GLO centre in Motherwell), we have been running the CAP Money
course there, with 7 people taking part. This course ends next week.
This is a short, 3 session money management course which helps people
to budget effectively and so take control of their finances. It is
always satisfying to build relationships with other churches, and I
have been heartened by the response and encouragement of the members
and leaders at Liberty.
I will be attending my refresher
training at the Head Office in Bradford on 2 June, and I am looking
forward to meeting up with the staff there again and the other Centre
Managers. Hopefully, I will return even more fired up than usual and,
Freedom in Christ
We have been running the
discipleship course ‘Freedom in Christ’ on Wednesday
evenings at 7pm at Coltness Memorial, and it has been very
interesting and informative so far. The attendance has been great,
with around 20-25 people attending and participating each week. The
course encourages participants to look at themselves in light of the
freedom and new life that Jesus brings, and also looks at how to
overcome the various barriers to living that new life.
We have a superb team of helpers
and volunteers, who provide invaluable support and assistance to CAP.
We are looking for some people to accompany me on visits to clients,
and to act as befrienders. We are particularly looking for people who
have time on Mondays and Tuesdays, both during the day and in the
evenings. It doesn’t pay much (!) but is very rewarding, and
doesn’t require a big time commitment (client visits normally
last around 2 hours). If you know of anyone who might be interested,
please ask them to contact me. If you feel that you would be able to
help in any way, please let me know. If you would like to receive our
newsletters, which includes news about the service and prayer needs,
please provide me with your email address and you will be added to
our mailing list.
In addition, the CAP Debt Centres
in Scotland are aiming to train people as Community Links
Co-ordinators. The training lasts for one day and will probably be
held in the Glasgow area. This role mainly involves promoting and
advertising the services CAP provides, and creating and maintaining
relationships with other organisations/services in the area. If you,
or anyone you know, has a flair for promotion and inspiring people,
or feel that this is maybe something you have experience or interest
in, please let me know.
Please continue to pray that
people are lead to contact us and so begin their route out of debt
and the misery it brings. Please also pray for our clients, that they
continue to work with CAP, and pray that we continue to show the love
of Jesus, and the hope he brings, to every single person who uses our
‘If you do away with
the yoke of oppression, with the pointing finger and malicious talk,
and if you spend yourselves on behalf of the hungry and satisfy the
needs of the oppressed, then your light will rise in the darkness and
your night will become like the noonday.’ Isaiah 58:9-10
Thank you for your ongoing
prayer, encouragement and support; it really makes a difference!
May the Lord bless you and keep
McLaughlin CAP Debt Centre Manager
Tel: 07400 189398 Email:
The Thursday Club outing this yeas was to the Trossachs.
For a change, the weather was dry and sunny with a
breeze to keep us cool. First stop was Aberfoyle where we had
sufficient time for a snack lunch. We left Aberfoyle heading for Loch
Katrine but, unfortunately, the bus “Sat Nav” didn't work
and we ended up at the wrong pier at Stronachlachar! Moira, however,
managed to rebook our sail to a later time at the Trossachs Pier so
it was back into the bus again to the other end of the loch. The
wonderful scenery, however, made up[ for the extended trip.
After a picturesque trip on the loch we headed for high
tea in Aberfoil and then home.
A wonderful day out.
Second Important Lesson - Pick-up in the Rain.
One night, at 11:30 pm., an
older African American woman was standing on the side of an Alabama
highway trying to endure a lashing rain storm. Her car had broken
down and she desperately needed a ride.
Soaking wet, she decided
to flag down the next car. A young white man stopped to help her,
generally unheard of in those conflict-filled 1960's. The man took
her to safety, helped her get assistance and put her into a taxicab.
She seemed to be in a big hurry, but wrote down his address and
Seven days went by and a knock
came on the man's door. To his surprise, a giant console colour TV
was delivered to his home. A special note was attached. It read:
"Thank you so much for assisting me on
the highway the other night. The rain drenched not only my clothes,
but also my spirits. Then you came along. Because of you, I was able
to make it to my dying husband's bedside just before he passed
away... God bless you for helping me and unselfishly serving others."
Sincerely, Mrs. Nat King Cole.
07.04.15 Bridgit McCarrison 43 Eastwood Dr, Newmains
29.04.15 Ross Campbell formerly 22 Kilmichael Ave, Newmain
14.05.15 George Dick 34 Tollpark Cres, Newmains CM
18.05.15 Jimmy Cranston 39 Muirhouse Ave, Newmains B
on Bonkle Church
Like Elim, where God's people
Their tents in days of old,
So Bonkle Church among
Its beauty doth behold.
Upon the old foundation
A new church has been reared,
A link which past and present
At length our hearts has cheered.
The old church now to us
A thing that's of the past,
But old associations
Their halo round us cast.
How pleasant in the summer
With windows open wide,
To hear the birds their
Pour forth on every side.
The nodding branches of the
close by the windows waved,
While all around did
seem to say
Come and to God give praise.
many in that church had met,
To read and sing and pray,
faces so familiar were
From earth hath passed away.
God's servant, who so often
To us of Jesus' love,
From all his labours rest
In that bright land above.
Many good witness bore that
Could read their title clear
Unto that land where is
No parting and no tear.
Some are away to foreign
But oft in fancy sees
This little church of
Surrounded by the trees.
Some unto different villages
And towns have gone away,
Yet come when they convenient can
To spend the Sabbath day.
Dear little church among the
May peace abide in thee,
And may you unto many
A very Bethel be.