Dingwall Gaelic Choir at the Old High Church

Click on the graphic for a poster

Click on the graphic for a poster

 

Dingwall Gaelic Choir will appear at the Old High Church for a noon recital on Saturday 8 March. Free entry, with donations for Music Therapy at the Orchard.

Click here for more information about our 2014 lunchtime concert series at the Old High.

To receive information about music at Old High St Stephen’s, please email ohssmusic@gmail.com .

 

Anger management for churches: sermon for 16 February 2014

Old High St Stephen’s, Inverness
Sunday 16 February 2013: Year A, Sixth Sunday after the Epiphany
SERMON
Texts: 1 Corinthians 3:1-9a
Matthew 5:21-26
Anger management for churches!

In the name of God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit, Amen.

When I was a wee boy, television used to close down at night. And in central Scotland, the end of the night on STV was marked with a 5 minute epilogue known as Late Call, in which a clergyman, or some other worthy, churchy person, would offer a wee thought for the evening. I seem to recall that once or twice our own local minister did a week of Late Calls, which was quite exciting, in a small town kind of way!

All-night TV killed off the epilogue. Yet Late Call still survives in a very different form- on the internet. On You Tube, and you can find parodies of Late Call by that wonderful Glasgow comic actor, Rikki Fulton. For many years, Hogmanay TV wasn’t complete without Scotch and Wry and Rikki Fulton’s end-of-year address to the nation as the perpetually depressed Rev I M Jolly in Last Call. Continue reading

Lunchtime music at the Old High Church, 2014

Old High music 2014We’ve free monthly concerts at 12 noon on Saturdays at the Old High this year.

There will be choral, organ, and instrumental music.

Each concert will last around an hour.

You can contribute a donation towards music therapy at the Orchard Centre in Inverness.

The next concert is on Saturday 29 November with the Merlewood Quartet.

Please click on the graphic to download the complete 2014 programme.

Or check on this website under the category ‘concerts’.

To receive information about music at Old High St Stephen’s, please email ohssmusic(a)gmail.com (replace (a) with @).

Lent Study 2014: Parables and Possessions

Lent courseOur minister will lead a Lent Bible Study this year on the vexed issue of money.

We will be meeting on Wednesdays during Lent, at 7.30pm at St Stephen’s, on the following dates: 12 March, 19 March, 26 March, 2 April, 9 April.

These studies are open to anyone from any church or none.

The Bible says a lot about money. We will be looking at some of the parables of Jesus to consider how we can be in a right relationship to money, and how that can help us be in a right relationship to God.

We will be following the ecumenical Lent Course of Churches Together in Britain and Ireland, entitled Parables and Possessions: on economics and a right relationship with money.

The course is inspired by the Special Commission on the Purposes of Economic Activity which reported to the Church of Scotland General Assembly in 2012. There is a link to the full report, and other information, on the Poverty and Economics page of the Church of Scotland website.

Topics include:

  • Temptation (wealth, possessions, consumerism)
  • Betrayal (where do our true values lie?)
  • Forgiveness (Church of Scotland version of the Lord’s Prayer talks about forgiving debts, not sins or trespasses)
  • Ridicule (trauma, prophetic voice, being disregarded)
  • Sacrifice (what do others give up for us, what do we give up for others?)
  • Transformation (Christ’s love active in the world, not only for ourselves but for all humankind).

Here’s an extract from the introduction to the course materials:

The Bible says more about money, economics and making a living than any other subject. It is clear, therefore, that God wants us to be in a right relationship with money and this will aid us in our quest to be in a right relationship with God.

In our daily lives we have to make lots of decisions. Many if not most of these have some dimension of money attached to them, whether the decisions we have to make are to do with our family, our community or our nation. It is vital that we make decisions which will impact for the best on those around us (including ourselves). Experience tells us that we have not always been very good at this.

In recent years, we seem to have turned our backs on some traditional ways of managing our finances in favour of others that are not always in the best interests of ourselves, our families, our communities, our nation, and even our planet. Many of us have not hesitated to get into serious debt in order to satisfy our desire for a ‘better’ life. Questions have also been asked about government expenditure decisions.

Living under the kind of financial pressures to which we have subjected ourselves can have very serious effects on our mental health as well as our economic health. A right relationship with money is necessary for healthy personal relationships to prosper.

The season of Lent has sometimes been associated with sacrifice, of giving up a luxury or taking up a new responsibility for a period. In this course you are invited to lay aside any indolence (by which we mean apathy and world-weariness) around the subject of personal economics which is sometimes the result of a sense of helplessness. You are encouraged to be more discerning about those in whom you place your trust.
You are challenged to identify the best interests of your neighbours, especially the weak and marginalised.

The course focuses on a different parable in each session. Each parable is preceded by a Lent reflection.

Each week includes a mixture of materials for reflection, commentary on one of Jesus’ parables, the occasional quote to spark a reaction, some questions and a prayer. There is also a suggestion of something to do as follow-up, a practical action expressing Christian discipleship in the world.

More information from the Minister (01463 250 802; peternimmo[a]minister.com).

The Rev Peter W Nimmo is a member of the Church of Scotland’s Church and Society Council, and is currently involved with writing a report on wealth and taxation which will come to the 2015 General Assembly.

One body: a sermon for 9 February 2014

Old High St Stephen’s, Inverness
Sunday 9 February 2014: Year A, Fifth Sunday after the Epiphany

SERMON
Texts: 1 Corinthians 12:12-31a
Matthew 5:13-20

One body

In the name of God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit, Amen.

CoalitionI once heard it said that political parties were ‘a coalition of different interests’. What that means is: the people in a political party have some ideals which unite them, which bring them together in order to work together. But within a party there will be people who have different emphases, who will support different ways of putting their beliefs into action. The Conservative Party, for example, has its Eurosceptics, and those who are pro-Europe. Some Labour Party members will be happier to be called ‘socialists’ because they have more left-wing views. All parties are like that- a coalition within one party!

And quite often, we use the phrase ‘a broad church’ to describe party, or some other organisation or movement, which encompass different kinds of people and with different ideas. The phrase originated in the mid-nineteenth century, when the Church of England had two wings, a High Church party and a Low Church party (see ‘Broad Church’ in The Oxford Dictionary of the Christian Church; and Chambers Dictionary), and the Broad Churchmen wanted a liberal, inclusive way between the extremes. In fact, religious communities like are a bit like political parties in that respect. We are a coalition of interests, even in the same denomination, even in the same congregation. It was ever so. Continue reading

A faith for fools- sermon for 2 February 2014

Please see below for more information about Religious Observance in Scottish schools

Old High St Stephen’s, Inverness
Sunday 2 February 2014: Year A, Fourth Sunday after the Epiphany

SERMON
Texts: 1 Corinthians 1:18-31
Matthew 5:1-12

A faith for fools
In the name of God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit, Amen.

This week I spent two days in Coatbridge, attending a meeting of the General Assembly’s Church and Society Council, of which I’m a member. I joined about a year ago, having been nominated both by the Presbytery of Inverness, and an existing member of the Council. They needed to have someone from the Highlands, and of course their work is to do with Christianity in public life, a topic I’d been looking at in my study leave the previous year in the United States.

We were mostly revising the reports to the General Assembly, which covered a dizzying array of topics. There will a report on the changing face of family life, on sport from a Christian perspective, on welfare reform, on Scotland’s relationship to Europe, and the continuing conflicts in the Middle East. Also reporting as part of Church and Society is the oldest committee of the General Assembly. The Education Committee was set up back in the nineteenth century, to keep an eye on developments in our state schools. And just before we met this week, education policy was suddenly all over the media. Continue reading