Welcome to 'News'
Note: More selected items of News from the Church of Scotland website are found at the foot of our News page. Be sure to scroll down and check them out.
MACMILLAN COFFEE MORNING SUCCESS
As well as being enjoyed by all, the MacMillan Coffee Morning on Saturday, 30th September raised well over £700 - and there was enough left over to sell after church on Sunday!
PRESBYTERY MEETING RE MISSION PLANNING, 7PM, 26TH SEPTEMBER
The meeting on Tuesday will be broadcast live and a link will be available on the Presbytery website immediately before the commencement of the meeting. The Presbytery page is - https://www.fvandc.org.uk/ or just Click Here
For the Motion sheet, please Click Here
Result of the Meeting:
The outcome of tonight’s special Presbytery meeting was unexpected and as a result any decisions have been deferred yet again.
A number of motions and one counter-motion had been submitted for debate. After the first two amendments had been debated and decided Presbytery turned to the single counter-motion. The thrust of this counter-motion was to replace Sections of the Draft Plan with a quite different Section to defer consideration of the Draft Plan to a future meeting. The rationale for this being to give the Mission Planning Team time to provide congregations with more details behind the proposals it had made. There were complaints from some congregations that really significant recommendations, such as dissolution, had not been communicated to, or discussed with, incumbent Ministers who were finding that they and their families faced being uprooted and with personal challenges on re-location, housing, schooling and so on without any notice. While there were only about two such instances referred to there appeared to be considerable support for the counter-motion on the basis of the absence of concern apparently shown by the Mission Planning Team.
The contrary position that, even though there were imperfections, the Draft Plan provided something for congregations to work from and develop, was put strongly but lacked the emotional impact of other speakers.
After debate this counter-motion was carried by a narrow majority.
The Presbytery is already over 9 months overdue in submission of a Mission Plan so this decision will now extend this by several months. The Convenor of the Mission Planning Team has resigned and this too will create further delay. The Presbytery Clerk has acknowledged that this now takes Presbytery into uncharted territory as it is not clear how the position might move forward. The Clerk was instructed to seek advice and support from the General Trustees. The decision also had the effect of nullifying any further debate on all the remaining motions before tonight’s meeting and also of cancelling the two further special Presbytery meetings later this week and next week where congregations from other areas within the Presbytery had been cited to attend to discuss the Draft Plan insofar as it affected their congregations. The Draft Mission Plan is now no more than a set of options for discussion.
Our Kirk Session will now have to decide what we might do in the weeks ahead. It seems unlikely that very much will emerge from Presbytery by way of guidance in the near future. There are grounds for believing that West Kirk and Stewartfield might be amenable to discussions with the Old Parish on progress towards union. Moving in that direction might help keep some momentum going and begin the process of planning how integration of the congregations and assets might be brought about and what might be realistic timescales for implementation. Members of Session might wish to give this some thought before we meet formally to decide on a course of action. (AW)
After the service on 17th September, an official photograph was taken of as many of our Kirk Session elders as could be gathered, in readiness for our 250th celebrations next year. Thanks to Des Laverty for setting up the equipment!
DOORS OPEN DAY 2023
On Saturday 16th September, from 10am-4pm, we opened our gates and doors to welcome visitors for Doors Open Day! Guides were on hand with fascinating tours of the graveyard, the church and the neighbouring church hall, in which there were refreshments and a very interesting information display as well as the colourful murals. Thanks go to the EKOPC Heritage Group, Community Link and other volunteers who organised and supported the day. Around 40 visitors came along, and donations were received. One happy customer posted the following comment on social media:
"Big thank you to all the people in the Old Parish Church this morning. We spent a very interesting hour or two being shown round the church and the graveyard. Although it had been my Church until I married and moved from EK in 1967, there were many things I hadn't been aware of. Rounded off with a lovely cup of tea and delicious home baking.Thank you to everyone!"
MISSION PLANNING LATEST: 12th September
Please see a summary of the latest position at 12th September (the Draft Presbytery Plan) in Focus (on our Home page), and now also the full, detailed Draft Mission Plan.
We are planning for the 250th anniversary, or Sestercentennial, of our church building next year. One idea currently being developed is to invite members to nominate a favourite hymn, with an indication of the reason for their choice. In consultation with the Minister and Colin our organist, a number of the nominated hymns will be selected for inclusion in our services throughout 2024. Details of the nomination process will be advised to the congregation in the next month or so.
ANNUAL STATED MEETING
The Annual Stated Meeting took place after the service on Sunday, 9th July. Des Laverty, our Treasurer, gave details of the financial position of the church to December 2022. While the total funds show a positive figure, there is a deficit in the General Fund, which covers the everday costs of running our local church as well as contributing to the Church of Scotland nationally. This deficit is at a concerning level and has grown significantly since the pandemic hit in 2020. Des recognised that the current cost of living crisis will make it difficult for some to increase their weekly offerings, but we do need to find ways of both reducing our outgoings and increasing our income. One suggestion from the congregation was to increase income from hall lettings. Other good ideas - please get in touch!
NEW WAY MAKE DONATIONS AND OFFERINGS TO THE CHURCH
We have introduced a new method of giving donations, or your weekly (or other) offering to the church - using digital technology. If you are used to using your bank / credit card eg in the supermarket, you will be used to a little machine called a terminal. We have now located one beside the normal collection plate in the church entrance foyer. An instruction sheet is available to guide you through the process especially for the first time. Don't be nervous - as always, help will be on hand if you need it!
June Communion Lunch
After having had a very successful Communion Lunch at Easter, Community Link organised another after the June Communion Service on Thursday 8th.
What a joyous, chatty occasion it was! There was a choice of three soups, several different flavours of sandwiches, and a selection of sweet delicacies to finish - all served happily, efficiently and in a spirit of generosity by the volunteers - who you see below.
Loaves and Fishes
Community Link have donated 269 bags of groceries so far.
Very many thanks to everyone who faithfully donates to this very necessary cause. (Norma Penman/Diana Ramsay)
LEAVING NO (HEAD) STONE UNTURNED
The EKOP Church Heritage Group, who have been carrying out research into the history of our graveyard and who lies there, are hoping to produce a book detailing what they know about the 450 or so 'lairs' that they have identified so far. (For example, the oldest flat stone is John Warnock 1703 (Lair 448, which was newly discovered by the group in Feb/March 2022, while the oldest upright stone which is readable dates from 1712. Among the well-known occupants are the parents of the famous surgeons William and John Hunter and Rev James French, tutor of the young Walter Scott).
Recently they had a visit from a representative of South Lanarkshire Council to advise them on possible sources of funding, including the Community Wish List. This publication has always been their plan, but it is expected that the book will be of particular help during our Sestercentennial (250th) year next year, and they will be organising a number of very entertaining and informative tours of the graveyard.
(In the meantime, check out Fiona's monthly 'History Corner' articles in our church magazine, the EKO, and look out for information about Doors Open Day -16th September).
The group are also interested in showcasing their information online, either on this website or a new website dedicated to their work, and they are looking for help and advice with organising this, too.
Note: If you are interested in finding out more, or if you have useful skills, old photographs or family history information to share, please use 'Contact Us' on this website, or speak to Bill Arthur at church.
THE COALBURN SILVER BAND CONCERT
As always, we enjoyed an excellent evening's entertainment on Friday night, 2nd June with the Coalburn Silver Band. There was such a good turnout, we even ran out of biscuits and raffle tickets!
As well as performances by the whole band, we were treated to solos from an excellent singer and four instrumentalists. Many thanks to Kirk Life for organising this event!
OUR 250TH ANNIVERSARY
The work to develop a programme of events to celebrate the Sestercentennial or 250th anniversary of the construction of our present church is making good progress.
The series of events will be launched on Sunday, 14th January, when our guest preacher will be Reverend Sally Foster-Fulton, Moderator of the 2023-24 General Assembly. She has led Christian Aid in Scotland since 2016, and has experience working in parishes, hospital chaplaincy and as convener of the former Church and Society Council of the Church of Scotland. We are planning to have a finger buffet for the congregation after the service in our Glebe Street Hall where there will be a chance to chat with the Moderator.
The visit of the Moderator at the start of the programme should set the tone for the various events planned by the Sestercentennial team as they unfold over the year. Watch out in the coming weeks and months for more details in the Order of Service, church website and our Facebook page. (Alistair Walker in May EKO)
Scroll down for earlier information on the anniversary
SELECTION OF CURRENT AND PAST ITEMS FROM THE CHURCH OF SCOTLAND 'NEWS' PAGES
SPOT THE FAMILIAR FACE
Yes, that's Hazel Shaw, our recent trainee, second from the left! The photo shows the next crop of Church of Scotland ministers - the 'class of 2023'.
They recently attended the final conference of their probationer training period at the Conforti Institute in Coatbridge, North Lanarkshire.
Rev Eleanor McMahon, Recruitment and Training Manager for the Church of Scotland, said: "This is an inspiring group of people who have given themselves wholeheartedly to ministry training.......Together they will bring a fresh perspective, energy and commitment to the life and mission of the Church that challenges congregations in new ways and support their growth and outreach".
Well done, everyone!
CONFERENCE SHOWS HOW CHURCHES CAN WELCOME NEW SCOTS
As migration and the question of how the UK treats people seeking asylum dominate headlines, Christians from a wide range of backgrounds gathered to discuss their role in welcoming New Scots. (4 April 2023)
Click Here to read more on the C.of S. website...
PRESBYTERY REFORM CONTINUES AS THREE NEW PRESBYTERIES ARE FORMED
Click Here to read the following and more on the Church of Scotland website...
In a fitting start to the new year, three brand new presbyteries: the Presbytery of Lothian and Borders, the Presbytery of the North East and Northern Isles, and the Presbytery of Perth were established on Sunday 1 January.
The formation of the new presbyteries represents more successful progress made in streamlining the Church of Scotland's presbytery structures to ensure the Church is lean and fit for growth.
"I welcome the formation of our latest new presbyteries as we continue on our journey of reform as directed by the General Assembly of 2019," Rev Fiona Smith, the Church of Scotland's Principal Clerk, said.
"This work has been a major undertaking for the Church and has brought many challenges both for individuals and for our congregations, Kirk sessions and presbytery committees. But there have been joys and new beginnings to celebrate too. I know much prayerful consideration has guided us on this path which will see us find new ways of working together, often across much larger areas, to share the Good News of Jesus Christ. I wish every blessing to those in the new presbyteries as they work together to reshape and renew the life and mission of the Church."
PRESBYTERY CHANGES PREPARE CHURCH FOR THE FUTURE
The Church of Scotland is on target with streamlining its presbytery structures by 2024 as part of a wider drive to meet the demands of 21st century mission.
These radical reforms will see the number of presbyteries in Scotland fall from more than 40 to under a dozen, creating a simpler structure to support the work of the Church as it looks for fresh opportunities to grow, reach out and serve communities across the country. (7/11)
Click Herefor more on this...
nd since 2016, will take a year's sabbatical to become the Kirk's ambassador at home and abroad for 12 months from next May.
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