More than we expected: sermon at Old High on 29 October 2017

Scripture Reading: Matthew 22:34-46

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

Luther 2

Today marks the five hundredth anniversary of the event we think of as sparking the Reformation. Martin Luther is said to have nailed a list of forty-nine theses- discussion points, if you like- the door of the church in Wittenberg. In doing so, he provoked arguments which continue to resonate in the Church to this day.

We’ll be thinking more about the Protestant Reformation next Sunday. But I mention now because the Reformation began with an argument, and it reminds us that Christians are prone do to get into arguments. You might think that we shouldn’t- are we not supposed to love one another? Well, perhaps. But turn to a passage like today’s Gospel reading, and you’ll find that Jesus always seemed to be arguing. Continue reading

Sunday Bulletin 29 October 2017

NEWS FROM OUR CONGREGATION
OUR MINISTER is on a phased return to work and undertaking limited duties. The Rev Alastair Younger continues as our INTERIM MODERATOR.
PASTORAL CARE continues to be provided by Rev Arthur Sinclair, our Pastoral Assistant, who should be informed of anyone ill at home or in hospital.
HOLY COMMUNION will be celebrated at the Old High today All are welcome at the Lord’s Table. The Retiring Offering is for Cameron House.
BAKE SALE today after the service at St Stephen’s today. This is part of my fundraising for my year overseas with the charity Project Trust, for which I have to raise £6,000. I plan to go to Nepal in August 2018 to teach English to children in a remote area. I would be really pleased if you would join me and my family for coffee and cake. Anna Kelly.
OHSS AUTUMN WALK this afternoon. A straightforward short circular walk from the old fishing village of Avoch. The walk visits Ormond Castle – once an important medieval stronghold but later completely destroyed by Oliver Cromwell. Today the green mound offers excellent views back to the village and across the bay. Meet at St Stephen’s church for car share at 1.30pm, or 2pm at parking on the seafront at the southern end of Avoch. Cuppa at Munro’s nurseries at Bogallan at 3.30 pm. Contact Deborah Macrae for further details.
SUNDAY EVENING DISCUSSION GROUP Sunday 5 November at 7pm at St Stephen’s. Continuing our exploration of “Life in the Psalms” by Patrick Woodhouse. All welcome at these discussions! Andrew Stevenson stevenson.atabtinternet.com
OLD HIGH Tea will be served after the service next Sunday 5 November. All welcome. Contact Christine Mackenzie on christinemac73hotmail.com
OLD HIGH MUSIC Saturday 11 November at 12 noon: Mozart’s Violin Sonata in B-flat and Elgar’s Violin Sonata by Simon Evans, accompanied by Robin Versteeg. After a season featuring a lot of organ and choral music, the recitals in November and December are dedicated to violin repertoire, so we look forward to seeing all our string enthusiasts! Andrew Stevenson stevenson.atabtinternet.com
BLYTHSWOOD SHOE BOX APPEAL Leaflets are available at church doors. Filled boxes to be returned by 3 November (please provide your own box!). Academy Street shop will accept. Thanks. Rae Swan.
CHRISTMAS FAYRE 25 November, St Stephen’s 10am-12 noon. Tickets £3. Tea/coffee and mince pie/shortbread. Donations for Auction, Gift Stall, Baking, and Raffles most appreciated. Please start thinking about this now! Donations apart from Baking will be accepted 18/19 November or bring along to Church Margaret McAleer at St Stephen’s or Kate Leckie at Old High.
OTHER NEWS
LUTHER 500 A COMMEMORATION OF THE REFORMATION Professor Bill McBryde will hold a series of talks in the Inverness and Nairn area, all at 7pm: Wednesday 1 November – All Saints Day Mass, St Mary’s, Huntly Street, Inverness; Tuesday 7 November – Nairn United Reformed Church, Crescent Road, Nairn IV12; Thursday 9 November – Ness Bank Church, 1 Ness Bank Road, Inverness IV2 4SA. Our services will be Reformation-themed next week!
FAITH, BELIEF AND MENTAL HEALTH A Day for reflection and connection Thursday 30 November 2017, 10.30am-3.30pm, Inshes Church, Inverness. Speakers: Rev Iain Macritchie Mental Health Care Chaplain; Rev Fiona Smith on Faith Communities & Mental Health Care; Michael Perera Mental Health Services Manager. Light lunch provided. To attend, contact Raigmore Chaplaincy: lorna.sculthorpe-goodenhs.net
ELEVATE HIGHLAND are joining with Youth for Christ touring bands, The Sense and the The Stance, for a special concert at Café Nero, High St, Inverness on Friday 3 November from 7.30pm-9pm for everyone in secondary school. Entry free. Greg Youngson elevatehighlandgmail.com
INVERNESS STREET PASTORS Prayer Pastor Training event, Smithton Free Church, Saturday 18 November 09.30 till 16.00. To attend, contact robynloveinverness.org by Friday 3 November.
COUNCIL ASSEMBLY’S NATIONAL DAY OF PRAYER ‘A call to pray that God would do a fresh work amongst His people.’ As a Presbytery, we will respond to this call on Saturday 25 November, when congregations and presbyteries across the Church of Scotland will be gathering on this national day to pray. 9.30-10.30am for prayer at Kinmylies Church, with coffee served at 10.30amTrevor Hunt Invernesschurchofscotland.org.uk
CALMAN TRUST are looking for volunteers to work mainly with young people aged 16-25. Can you help a few hours a week with cooking sessions, practical workshops (baking, crafts, sewing, DIY) or with our Ness Soaps production?- please get in touch! foodcalman.org
SUNDAY BULLETIN ITEMS should be sent to the Church Administrator invernesschurchgmail.com. Deadline Wednesday at 12 noon. Please keep items as brief as possible, and give a contact phone number and email.

Sunday Bulletin 22 October 2017

WORSHIP THIS WEEK
Sunday 29 October 2017: 21st Sunday after Pentecost
10 am Morning Worship at St Stephen’s led by Rev Arthur Sinclair
11.15 Sacrament of Holy Communion at the Old High led by the Minister
NEWS FROM OUR CONGREGATION
OUR MINISTER is on a phased return to work and undertaking limited duties. The Rev Alastair Younger continues as our INTERIM MODERATOR. PASTORAL CARE continues to be provided by Rev Arthur Sinclair, our Pastoral Assistant, who should be informed of anyone ill at home or in hospital.
CRAFT EVENING in St Stephen’s Hall 7.30–9pm on Wednesday 25 September. Please come along with your craft or if you wish to learn a craft you will be made very welcome. At present there is knitting, crochet, cross stitch, tapestry and card making but we would welcome any other craft. Refreshments provided. Enquiries from Margaret McAleer.
MEET & EAT Lunch is on Thursday 26 October at 12.30pm at the Craigmonie Hotel. Transport is available. Contact Val Cantlay.
SUNDAY EVENING DISCUSSION GROUP tonight at 7pm at St Stephen’s. Continuing our exploration of “Life in the Psalms” by Patrick Woodhouse. All welcome at these discussions! Andrew Stevenson stevenson.ata<at>btinternet.com
FROM SALON TO DRAWING ROOM Saturday 28 October, 7pm, Old High Church Hall. Join Robin Versteeg and friends for an evening of French and Scottish Chamber Music, raising funds of the Friends of the Old High Church. Tickets £12.50 including wine & canapes. Tickets & info from Christina Cameron christinajcameron6<at>gmail.com and Linda Philip lindajphilip<at>hotmail.com.
HOLY COMMUNION will be celebrated at the Old High on Sunday 29 October. All are welcome at the Lord’s Table. The Retiring Offering for Cameron House.
OHSS AUTUMN WALK on Sunday 29 October. A straightforward short circular walk from the old fishing village of Avoch. The walk visits Ormond Castle – once an important medieval stronghold but later completely destroyed by Oliver Cromwell. Today the green mound offers excellent views back to the village and across the bay. Meet at St Stephen’s church for car share at 1.30pm, or 2pm at parking on the seafront at the southern end of Avoch. Cuppa at Munro’s nurseries at Bogallan at 3.30 pm. Contact Deborah Macrae for further details.
ST STEPHEN’S BAKE SALE I am holding a bake sale after church on Sunday 29 October after the service. This is part of my fundraising for my year overseas with the charity Project Trust, for which I have to raise £6,000. I plan to go to Nepal in August 2018 to teach English to children in a remote area. I would be really pleased if you would join me and my family for coffee and cake. Anna Kelly.
OLD HIGH MUSIC Saturday 11 November at 12 noon a performance of Mozart’s Violin Sonata in B-flat and Elgar’s Violin Sonata by Simon Evans, accompanied by Robin Versteeg. After a season featuring a lot of organ and choral music, the recitals in November and December are dedicated to violin repertoire, so we look forward to seeing all our string enthusiasts! More details from Andrew Stevenson or stevenson.ata<at>btinternet.com
BLYTHSWOOD SHOE BOX APPEAL Leaflets are available at church doors. Filled boxes to be returned by 3 November. Academy Street shop will accept. Thanks. Rae Swan.
CROSSREACH £1 COIN BOXES The Church of Scotland social care agency has produced money boxes to collect old £1 coins which go out of circulation today. If you have any of these coins around the house please bring them to Church and donate them to this worthwhile cause. Val Cantlay val.cantlay<at>btinternet.com.
THE LEPROSY MISSION COFFEE MORNING held recently in Free North raised £1,800, up on last year! Thanks to all those who supported the OHSS stall and came. Ruth Martin
OTHER NEWS
‘BACK TO CHURCH SUNDAY’ ROADSHOW on Wednesday 25 October 2017 from 1-3pm at Inshes Church, Inshes Retail Park, Sir Walter Scott Drive, Inverness. The purpose of the Roadshow is to provide ideas and inspiration for church members to develop a culture of inviting people to come to church, in advance of the National Weekend of Invitation in June 2018. The event is free but registration is required at https://www.resourcingmission.org.uk/weekend-invitation-roadshows-23-26-October or contact Linda Philip
FAITH, BELIEF AND MENTAL HEALTH A Day for reflection and connection Thursday 30 November 2017, 10.30am-3.30pm, Inshes Church, Inverness. Speakers: Rev Iain Macritchie Mental Health Care Chaplain; Rev Fiona Smith on Faith Communities & Mental Health Care; Michael Perera Mental Health Services Manager. Light lunch provided. To attend, contact Raigmore Chaplaincy:  lorna.sculthorpe-goode<at>nhs.net
SUNDAY BULLETIN ITEMS should be sent to the Church Administrator invernesschurch<at>gmail.com

Belonging and believing: sermon for Sunday 22 October 2017: Proper 24 (Year A, RCL)

Scripture Readings: 1 Thessalonians 1:1-10

Matthew 22:15-22

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

Joseph Andrew Crisci, whom we baptised today, has a Scottish mother, and an Italian father, but he was born and will grow up in Spain. He is also, as his mother reminded me the other day, a citizen of Europe. And today we baptised him in the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. Scottish, Italian, Spanish, European, Christian- Joseph is a young man who already has many different identities.

We all of us have different, overlapping, identities. But some people feel threatened by the notion of different identities. They say that you cannot have one identity, but also claim to have another. When that happens, the results can be horrific.

Last week, I visited two small rooms in a house in Amsterdam. An hour’s flying time from Inverness Airport, and during the lifetime of my parents, eight people, including two children, hid in those two rooms in order to save their lives. They had to go into hiding simply because they were Jewish. For in a speech at the Concertgebouw concert hall in 1941, Arthur Seyss-Inquart, the Nazi ruler of the German occupied Netherlands, had stated ‘We do not consider the Jews to be members of the Dutch nation. The Jews for us are not Dutch’. That Jews had been part of Dutch society for centuries made no difference whatsoever. Having a Jewish identity was, the Nazis said, incompatible with being Dutch- or, for that matter, Belgian, French, Danish, or German.

Anne frank Continue reading

Going Forward Survey and Retreat Day

cropped-OHSS-Blue-Cross-jpeg.jpgGOING FORWARD RETREAT DAY Saturday 4 November at St Stephen’s hall from 11am- 3pm

The Kirk Session invite the congregation to a retreat day!

We will consider the findings of the Going Forward Survey which was completed in August by Kerrera Wilson. It included various suggestions.

The programme is as follows:

11am-12.30pm Opening worship led by (Rev Peter Nimmo)

followed by Guest Speaker Becky Frank on‘Talk Listening/Waiting for God’

12.30pm-1.30pm Lunch

1.30pm- 3pm The Way we do church/The way forward (talk and discussion groups)

3pm-3.15pm Closing worship, led by Peter.

Becky FranckBecky Frank co-pastor is at Wallacewell Community Fellowship, a New Charge Church of Scotland in Glasgow. Here is a short video about the project.

We will be providing a sandwich lunch, so please let us know if you are coming by contacting our Session Clerks: Linda Philip (01463 790253) or Christine Mackenzie (01463 234 835).

Download a copy of the Survey Report here.

The suggestions made by the survey include the following:

1 Employ a full-time community worker or associate minister for missional purposes.

2 Possible developments of St Stephen’s halls as a facility for older people.

3 Set up Messy Church for families with young children.

4 Explore the option of using OH halls on Academy Street as a dry bar or drop in centre thus supporting homeless people and the local business nearby.

5 Exploring a situation of working jointly in co-operation with another church(s).

The primary objective of the Go Forward Survey was to establish current services and facilities offered to clients and the general public residing within the parish of Old High St Stephen’s. The principal concern was to focus on those services, which aimed to meet the social and spiritual needs of residents, as well as those offering living support and pastoral care.

This report documents the results of the ‘Go Forward Projects’ analysis of services and client requirements in the Parish of Old High St Stephen’s, and of some of the adjacent Churches and fellowships, businesses, voluntary groups and individuals situated within Inverness. Time limited numbers interviewed.

We look forward to welcoming you all!

Friends of Old High Musical Evening Saturday 28 October 2017

FROM SALON TO DRAWING ROOM on Saturday 28 October, at 7pm, in the Old High Church Hall.

Join Robin Versteeg and friends for an evening of French and Scottish Chamber Music, raising funds for the Friends of the Old High Church.

Tickets £12.50 including wine & canapes.

For catering reasons, tickets should be purchased in advance from Christina Cameron 07771 736982 christinajcameron6@gmail.com.