Moderators climb Ben Lomond for Christian Aid

Christian Aid newRachel Hutcheson, National Youth Assembly Moderator (a member of Old High St Stephen’s congregation) and The Rt Rev John Chalmers, Moderator of the General Assembly, has called on the Church to get behind a major fundraising drive for Christian Aid by signing up to their Munro challenge.

On Saturday 2 May, Rachel and Mr Chalmers and will be leading by example by climbing Ben Lomond, and are encouraging folk to sponsor them.

As they prepare for their trek, the two Moderators are calling on congregations across Scotland to reach the summit of 69 other Munros to mark the 70th anniversary of Christian Aid.

Rachel said: “I really hope everyone who is able to will climb with us in order to raise as much money as possible for a charity I am very proud to support. If people are unable to support John and I in person then I’d be very grateful if they could sponsor us.

“I hope and pray that as well as a fundraising activity it will also be a networking opportunity for friends and fellowship.

“I am also determined to beat the Moderator of the General Assembly to the top as I have a score to settle after him beating me at golf at the national youth assembly.”

Mr Chalmers added: “This day out is much more than a fundraiser – it is an opportunity to join me and Rachel on a pilgrimage during which we will contemplate some of the mountains that Christian Aid and others are still trying to climb on their way to creating a world that is just and fair and which gives the poor a chance to climb out of poverty.”

For more details, and to donate, click here.

Sunday Bulletin 19 April 2015

WORSHIP THIS WEEK
Sunday 26 April 2015: Third Sunday of Easter
10am Morning Worship at St Stephen’s
11.15am Morning Worship at the Old High
SUNDAY BULLETIN ITEMS should be sent to Jim Monro: jimjimmonro.com. The deadline for all items is Wednesday at noon.
NEWS FROM OUR CONGREGATION
For further information and contact details for any items isted below:
E-mail: invernesschurch<at>gmail.com
OHSS ANNUAL ACCOUNTS 2014. The Kirk Session approved the Annual Accounts 2014 on Tuesday 24 March. Copies of the full set of accounts are available at http://oldhighststephens.com/annual-accounts-now-online/ or on request from Sandy Cumming, Treasurer sandy.cummingbtopenworld.com. A short commentary on the Annual Accounts will be prepared. If you would prefer the commentary, then please contact Sandy.
ORGANIST POST AT OLD HIGH Unfortunately Steven Flett has had to inform us of his decision to withdraw from the post he recently accepted as organist and choir director at the Old High. Due to a variety of personal circumstances he has decided that the timing is after all not right for him to be leaving Orkney. He wrote a letter expressing his appreciation for the warm reception he had received and the offers of practical support from a number of people across the whole congregation. Given the enthusiasm and energy he promised to bring, this is a disappointing setback, but we are hopeful that a new candidate will nonetheless emerge over the coming months. More information from Andrew Stevenson, search committee convenor.
CHRISTIAN AID WEEK is approaching once again and I have taken up the job of organising our Door to Door Collection. Last year’s total was among the highest in the Presbytery and I would hope that we would manage to maintain that position. Some people have already intimated their willingness to collect once again but there are many areas of our Parish still to be covered. Please contact Ken Cantlay ken.cantlaybtinternet.com to get an area.
CHRISTIAN AID COFFEE MORNING The annual Coffee Morning for Christian Aid will be held on Saturday 9 May in St Stephen’s Hall. There will be the usual stalls and gardeners are asked to donate from their gardens any divided plants suitably labelled for sale at the plant stall. For further information please contact Jennifer Morrison.
SEATING AT THE OLD HIGH CHURCH In order to improve the congregation’s singing, and to make newcomers feel more welcome, we are asking those who attend at the Old High to sit in the centre section of the church. Please speak to Peter if you have any questions.
HIGHLAND FOODBANK The Session Clerk has received a request for donations to the Foodbank. The preferred items are: tinned corned beef, tinned mince, tinned ham, tinned potatoes/smash and long life milk. The Foodbank is also keen to receive donations of plastic BAGS FOR LIFE, either new or used ones. Boxes at the Church doors.
INVERNESS HANDBELLS needs one more person to make up our team. If you would like to have a shot and you can read music, why not have a bash? We currently have ONE male member in the team, so male or female would be welcome! We meet on Tuesday nights at 7.30 in the Old High hall. If you’re interested you can have a word with Rena Beaton or Isobel Allan.
MUSIC EMAILING LIST For advance notice of all music events in our congregation, please send an email to ohssmusicgmail.com . Encourage your friends to sign up for this mailing list- it’s a great way to keep up-to-date.
THE COTTON PATCH GOSPEL CHOIR The congregation is hosting the Choir, some 42 members, from North Carolina, who will be singing in St Stephen’s on Monday the 22nd June. In the first instance this is a request for members of the congregation to host some of the members of the choir. It could be for 2 nights but please contact Joan Darcy for more information.
CROSSREACH NEWS and Prayer Diary (Feb – May), is now available at church doors.
WORD FOR TODAY The new issue of Word for Today is available at church doors.
OTHER NEWS
INVERNESS CHURCHES HUSTINGS Danny Alexander (Lib Dems), Mike Robb (Labour), Drew Hendry (SNP), Edward Mountain (Conservative), Donald Boyd (Christian Party) and the Green party will be there to answer your questions. Culduthel Christian Centre, 30 April, 7.30 to 9.30pm. If there are specific burning issues that you wanted raised with the candidates please email them to: InvernessDecides2015@gmail.com
ADVANCE NOTICES
CULTIVATING AN ACTIVE PRAYER LIFE John Thomas will be coming to Inverness, 2nd to 3rd May 2015, to teach a weekend workshop on prayer. The venue is King’s Factory, Smithton, IV2 7WL. Early bird booking (before 22 May) is just £25 per individual. For details contact Heather Gregg heather.gregggooglemail.com

Sunday Bulletin 5 April 2015

WORSHIP THIS WEEK
Sunday 12 April 2015: Second Sunday of Easter
10am Morning Worship at St Stephen’s
11.15am Morning Worship at the Old High
Both services led by Reader Jonathon Appleby
SUNDAY BULLETIN ITEMS should be sent to Jim Monro: jjimmonro.com. The deadline for all items is Wednesday at noon.
NEWS FROM OUR CONGREGATION
For further information and contact details for any of the items below:
E-mail: invernesschurch<at>gmail.com
OHSS ANNUAL ACCOUNTS 2014. The Kirk Session approved the Annual Accounts 2014 on Tuesday 24 March. Copies of the full set of accounts are available at http://oldhighststephens.com/annual-accounts-now-online/or on request from Sandy Cumming, Treasurer sandy.cummingbtopenworld.com). A short commentary on the Annual Accounts will be prepared. If you would prefer the commentary, then please contact Sandy.
SOUTHSIDE CARE HOME: There will be a short service, led by Etta Malcolm, at Southside Care Home immediately after this morning’s service at St Stephen’s. If you are able to assist with the singing, please meet in the transept at St Stephen’s after morning service; your assistance would be much appreciated. We still also seek members willing to lead these services on a rota basis; please contact Janet Robertson.
WALKING GROUP A walk has been arranged on Sunday 12 April. Meeting at TESCO (Inshes) car park at 2pm. The walk will be following the canal banks and finishing up at Eden Court. Everyone is welcome and for details contact Anne Taylor.
SOUP AND SWEET LUNCH organised by the Social & Fundraising Action Team on Saturday 18 April in Old High Church Hall 12 noon– 2pm. Tickets £6 (children ½ price). In aid of OHSS Fabric Fund. We are sure you will enjoy having lunch made for you and enjoy the company of others in the congregation. Further info from Margaret McAleer. Thanking you in anticipation for your support.
SEATING AT THE OLD HIGH CHURCH In order to improve the congregation’s singing, and to make newcomers feel more welcome, we are asking those who attend at the Old High to sit in the centre section of the church. Please speak to Peter if you have any questions.
HIGHLAND FOODBANK The Session Clerk has received a request for donations to the Foodbank. The preferred items are: tinned corned beef, tinned mince, tinned ham, tinned potatoes/smash and long life milk. The Foodbank is also keen to receive donations of plastic BAGS FOR LIFE, either new or used ones. Boxes at the Church doors.
INVERNESS HANDBELLS needs one more person to make up our team. If you would like to have a shot and you can read music, why not have a bash? We currently have ONE male member in the team, so male or female would be welcome! We meet on Tuesday nights at 7.30 in the Old High hall. If you’re interested you can have a word with Rena Beaton or Isobel Allan.
MUSIC IN OLD HIGH On Thursday 16th April at 7.30pm there will be a one-hour Choir Concert by Kor-Ost, a Norwegian Choir with 40 singers, who come together twice a year from various community choirs, in their 40’s to their 70’s, who sing a programme of religious, classical and traditional music from Norway Donations of £5 at the door to support the OHSS Music Fund. Details: Andrew Stevenson stevenson.atabtinternet.com.
MUSIC E-MAILING LIST For advance notice of all music events in our congregation, please send an email to ohssmusicgmail.com . Encourage your friends to sign up for this mailing list- it’s a great way to keep up-to-date.
THE COTTON PATCH GOSPEL CHOIR The congregation is hosting the Choir, some 42 members, from North Carolina, who will be singing in St Stephen’s on Monday the 22nd June. In the first instance this is a request for members of the congregation to host some of the members of the choir. It could be for 2 nights but please contact Joan Darcy for more information.
CROSSREACH NEWS and Prayer Diary (Feb – May), is now available at church doors.
WORD FOR TODAY The new issue of Word for Today is available at church doors.
OTHER NEWS
INTERFAITH SCOTLAND Dr Maureen Sier, Director of Interfaith Scotland (formerly The Scottish Inter Faith Council), will be in Inverness and will be giving a talk on’ Tackling Extremism, Bigotry and Prejudice: Interfaith Engagement in Community Relations.’ Organised by the WEA (Workers’ Educational Association). Inverness Library, Farraline Park, Thursday 9th April, 12.30- 1.30pm. Admission free (a small donation is invited). Details: Norman S. Newton norman.newton@talk21.com.
INVERNESS CHURCHES HUSTINGS Danny Alexander (Lib Dems), Mike Robb (Labour), Drew Hendry (SNP), Edward Mountain (Conservative), Donald Boyd (Christian Party) and the Green party will be there to answer your questions. Culduthel Christian Centre, 30 April, 7.30 to 9.30pm. If there are specific burning issues that you wanted raised with the candidates please email them to: InvernessDecides2015gmail.com
ADVANCE NOTICES
CULTIVATING AN ACTIVE PRAYER LIFE John Thomas will be coming to Inverness, 2nd to 3rd May 2015, to teach a weekend workshop on prayer. The venue is King’s Factory, Smithton, IV2 7WL. Early bird booking (before 22 May) is just £25 per individual. For details contact Heather Gregg heather.gregggooglemail.com

Update on Old High Hall Proposed Development
As you will be aware we are in the middle of exploratory discussions with Birchwood Highland (BH) to improve parts of the Old High Hall to provide BH with modern offices, kitchen and toilet facilities. This would involve converting the existing crèche room, the small hall and adjacent store into offices with a new separate entrance, accessed from the lane between the Penta Hotel and our building. The present kitchen would become toilets and the adjacent room used by the choir and our handbells group would house the kitchen and be available as a common room or shared facility, as also the new toilets. The existing disabled toilet would remain. The old boiler room would be completely sealed off.
This would leave us with full use of the main hall and the present ladies and gents toilets, (just off Academy Street) one of which would remain with the other converted to storage and shared access to new toilets and kitchen facilities. If more storage was required this could be readily accommodated in the main hall at the kitchen end, with some suitable partitioning, as required.
Funding all these works from outside grant sources has proved negative so we have offered the opportunity to BH to cover the expenditure required for the full costs of conversion, separation of gas and electricity supplies, etc. In return they would pay an agreed annual rent, say £10K pa, with repayment of their outlays recovered from a reduced net rent over a ten year period. If BH costs were £70K annual net rent £3K.
We see this as an opportunity to improve our building, better equipped for the future, and also of great benefit to a very impressive local charity which provides wonderful assistance to those with mental health issues. Possibly a win-win situation for us both.
We are applying for planning permission and change of use now but are fully aware that we still need the approval from both our congregation and Inverness Presbytery.
However we must look forward and we think doing nothing now is not an option so we have a chance to effect an improvement, while also helping a worthy local charity.
If this proposal does not proceed we will have to re-seal the hall roof and re-decorate the rooms at an estimated cost of at least £12,000, to be met from our own resources.
If any member has any questions at all or wishes more detailed information please apply to me as Convenor of the Old High Hall Development Group or any team member viz Jim Alexander, Jim Monro, Frank McCubbin, Rev Peter Nimmo and Margaret Sutherland. We also consult our Treasurer Sandy Cumming.

Cliff Sim – Convenor 1 March 2015

Everything’s changed! Sermon for Easter Sunday 2015

Texts: John 20.1-18

Acts 10:34-43

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

The day after the Sabbath, two days after his execution, disciples of Jesus come to his tomb. Now, when I say disciples, you probably think I mean some of the inner twelve (or eleven, if you take Judas Iscariot out of it)- those men who are often the ones whom the Church has honoured with statues and stained glass windows.

But the four Gospels are unanimous it saying that it was women who were the first witnesses to the resurrection. Continue reading