Sunday Bulletin 25 June 2017

Sunday 2 July 2017: The Fourth Sunday after Pentecost
10am Morning Worship at St Stephen’s
11.15 Morning Worship at the Old High
Both Services led by Rev Alastair Younger
SUNDAY BULLETIN ITEMS should be sent to the Church Administrator invernesschurch<at> Deadline Wednesday at 12noon. Please keep items as brief as possible, and give a contact phone number and email.
Details from invernesschurch<at>
THE SACRAMENT OF HOLY COMMUNION will be celebrated at St Stephen’s today. All are welcome at the Lord’s Table. Retiring Offering will be in aid of Dr Graham’s Homes, India. Please give generously to this vital project. Linda Philip lindajphilip<at>
INTERIM MODERATOR The Rev Alastair Younger continues as our Interim Moderator: younger873<at>
PASTORAL CARE continues to be provided by Rev Arthur Sinclair, our Pastoral Assistant arthursinclair<at>
MARGARET SUTHERLAND It has been agreed to give a gift to Margaret to mark her long service with our Congregation. Margaret was the first lady elder to be ordained in the Old High and went on to become Session Clerk on John Herrick’s retirement. She has also served as Session Clerk and Deputy Session Clerk since the union. This is nearly 30 years’ service which she has given freely and faithfully. To make a contribution, please either send it direct to our Treasurer, Sandy Cumming, or put it in an enveloped marked ‘Presentation to Margaret Sutherland’ and put it in the offering bag. The closing date for contributions is next Sunday 2 July.
OHSS MAGAZINE The magazine will be available for distributors to collect today. Jennifer Morrison jennifer<at>
FLOWER ARRANGING EVENING Tuesday 27 June,7.30pm, St Stephen’s (in aid of funds) with Annette Stoker. Tickets (£5 including refreshments today at St Stephen’s from Joan Darcy joan.darcy<at> or Old High Christine Mackenzie or from The Olive Grove.
CHEESE AND WINE EVENING Friday 30 June, 8pm. Old High Church Hall in aid of our Fabric Fund. Photographs from church events will be shown by Willie Morrison and also some Old Inverness photographs. Tickets (£10) from Rena Beaton or Evelyn Moffat.
OLD HIGH Tea will be served after the service next Sunday 2 July. All welcome. Christine Mackenzie christinemac73<at>
OLD HIGH MUSIC: THE KELLIE CONSORT Wednesday 5 July, 7.30pm as part of their summer tour. Programme of Baroque Music entitled ‘The Scottish/Italian Connection’: vocal and instrumental music from 17th and 18th century Scotland and Italy. A Sonata by Corelli and Cello Concerto by Vivaldi may well be familiar, but church music by Sir John Clerk of Penicuik and a Sonata by Thomas Erskine may be new for many of us. Philip Higham, cellist; Tom Wilkinson Conductor. As already announced, we are still looking for host addresses for 12 musicians for B&B on 5 July, so I’d be most grateful for any offers of assistance with that. Andrew Stevenson stevenson.ata<at>
MEET & EAT There will be a lunch at 12.30pm at the Craigmonie Hotel on Thursday 29 June. All welcome. Transport is available. Contact Val Cantlay val.cantlay<at>
OLD HIGH CHURCH OPENING The Old High will be open for visitors to the end of September on Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday each week from 10am-12 noon and 2-4 pm. If you are able to help please contact Sheila MacLeod (macloshei<at> If you can’t help every week we will still need people to help out on an occasional basis to cover in case of illness and holidays and will keep a list of those who can help in this way. In advance thank you for your help and I know that visitors to the City will appreciate being able to see round the Old High Church during their visit. Christine Mackenzie christinemac73<at>
WORD FOR TODAY New copies of the daily readings Word for Today are now available in both churches. Ruth Martin.
CROSSREACH newsletter and prayer diary (June – Sept) are available at church doors. Contact Rae Swan.
LOST PROPERTY A small Nokia phone and a single key was found after the service last Sunday. This may belong to a church member or a wedding guest attending the weddings last Friday or Saturday. Contact Linda Philip lindajphilip<at>
COMMUNITY OF FAITH CONFERENCE ON CHILDREN AND YOUNG PEOPLE IN THE CHURCH OF SCOTLAND A day conference for those who work with and minister to children and young people in the church, to connect, be resourced and inspired. this day conference will explore new and exciting ideas on a range of topics covered in the publication. Worship, an address from the Moderator and a market place. For everyone interested in working with young people. 26th August 2017, 10am-4pm in Dunfermline- transport may be available. Cost £20 including lunch and a complimentary copy of the Learn: Children and Young People Resource (RRP £10). Contact Pat Macleod invernesschurch<at>
PICNIC & PRAISE AT URQUHART CASTLE today 7.15-8.30pm. Songs of praise and good news of Jesus Local choir and musicians. Free entry at the castle from 6pm. Bring a picnic and rugs to relax in the unique Loch Ness side setting of Urquhart Castle. Free parking. Tea and coffee afterwards. Contact Ruth Macleod picnicandpraise<at>
CHURCH OF SCOTLAND NATIONAL YOUTH ASSEMBLY (NYA) 2017 21-24 July at Gartmore House near Stirling. Booking closes 25 June. A platform for young adults to voice their opinions and actively participate in decision making within the Church of Scotland. Discussion, workshop, worship, social events and a visit from the Moderator. Cost: £95 per person for food and accommodation, but help with costs is available. Free coach travel to/from Stirling will be provided. Book now at:

Sunday Bulletin 28 May 2017

Sunday 4 June 2017
10am Morning Worship at St Stephen’s
11.15 Morning Worship at the Old High
Services led by Rev Andrew Lyon
SUNDAY BULLETIN ITEMS should be sent to the Church Administrator invernesschurch<at> Deadline Wednesday at 12noon. Please keep items as brief as possible, and give a contact phone number and email.
Contact details : invernesschurch<at>
INTERIM MODERATOR The Rev Alastair Younger has been appointed Interim Moderator in the absence of Rev Peter Nimmo due to illness. His contact details are younger873<at>
PASTORAL CARE will be provided by Rev Arthur Sinclair, our Pastoral Assistant arthursinclair<at> while Peter is absent from his duties, due to illness.
THE SACRAMENT OF HOLY COMMUNION will be celebrated at the Old High today. All are welcome at the Lord’s Table. The Retiring Offering will be in aid of Christian Aid. Please give generously to this vital project. Christine Mackenzie christinemac73<at>
KIRK SESSION The next meeting will be at the Old High hall on Tuesday 30 May. The meeting will be preceded with a meal at 6.30pm. Linda Philip lindajphilip<at>
THE SUNDAY EVENING DISCUSSION GROUP will meet in St Stephen’s Vestry tonight at 7pm. We would welcome anyone to join with us, even for the summer months. Andrew Stevenson stevenson.ata<at>
CHRISTIAN AID Many thanks to all who helped in any way with, firstly, the Coffee Morning which raised the fine total of £880.95 and secondly, the house to house collection. Also thanks to all who contributed via the envelopes distributed at the Church services and who will contribute at the Old High Communion retiring offering today. Any house to house collections or church collections should be given to Susan MacLeod at St Stephen’s or to Roberta MacKintosh at the Old High today, or to myself at 5 Beaufort Road, after 1 June. The returned envelopes will be counted following the St Stephen’s service on 4 June. Watch the magazine for totals! Thanks again to all. Ken Cantlay ken.cantlay<at>
FRIENDS OF THE OLD HIGH CHURCH The Old High will be open from10am till 4pm on Friday 9 June, St Columba Day. There will be organ music at intervals during the day and a short talk at 1pm about St Columba and his connection to the Old High and Inverness. Refreshments available. For information contact Christina Cameron christinajcameron6<at>
OLD HIGH MUSIC Saturday 10 June at 12 noon will be the opportunity this year to hear a number of advanced music pupils from around Inverness. Some of them will perform pieces they are playing at the Highland Young Musician of the Year Competition the following weekend. We know from recent years how encouraging it can be for these young people to play for an appreciative audience, so we do hope many of you will be able to come along to add support.
Looking ahead to the evening of Wednesday 5 July, the Old High is thrilled to be hosting the Highland Concert being organised as part of the Kellie Consort 2017 Summer Tour The Kellie Consort is made up of outstandingly talented young singers and instrumentalists, with a connection to Scotland, who wish to develop their skills in baroque performance to the highest level. The soloist and coach on this tour is Philip Higham, Principal Cello at the Scottish Chamber Orchestra. This charity has to operate on a low budget and therefore has asked whether OHSS can offer one night’s B&B to the 14 musicians after the concert. I have given an undertaking that we will try and organise that, so I’d be most grateful to hear as soon as possible from anyone who could offer such hospitality. Andrew Stevenson stevenson.ata<at>
OHSS MAGAZINE Willie Morrison requires articles and photos for the June issue. Please submit whatever you can, as early as possible, by e-mail to willie<at> . The deadline is Wednesday 14 June.
OLD HIGH CHURCH OPENING The Old High will be open for visitors from 1 June to the end of September on Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday each week from 10am-12 noon and 2-4 pm each day. If you are able to help with this please contact Sheila MacLeod (macloshei<at> If you can’t help every week we will still need people to help out on an occasional basis to cover in case of illness and holidays and will keep a list of those who can help in this way. In advance thank you for your help and I know that visitors to the City will appreciate being able to see round the Old High Church during their visit. Christine Mackenzie christinemac73<at>
FIRE DRILL We propose to hold a fire drill next month (weather permitting) and we hereby attach a plan of St Stephen’s church and hall. St Stephen’s – Please note there are 4 fire exit doors on the plan and we ask you to familiarise yourself with them all. Old High: There are two exit doors, the east and west door. Linda Philip.
BARNABAS PERFORMANCE The choirs of St Stephen’s, Old High, Crown and Ness Bank are to join forces for a performance of Barnabas, a semi- staged cantata on the evening of Sunday 17 September in St Stephen’s Church. Roger Jones, the composer, and his team from Christian Music Ministries (CMM) are touring Scotland in September performing the musical in a variety of churches. The large choir will sing the chorus sections of the work whilst the team from Birmingham will provide the vocal solos, dialogue and instrumental accompaniment. It will be a ‘night off’ for Robin, Pam and Alyn. The choirs are soon to be meeting to learn the light-hearted music. If you would like to join the choir for this project please get in touch with Pam at pam.41<at> We hope that many of you will come along to the performance to support your choirs and enjoy the music. You can find further information about Christian Music Ministries at
HIGHLAND FOODBANK. During the months of May and June the Foodbank would welcome donations of: Tins of potatoes, Crackers/ Oatcakes, Jars of Pasta sauce, Tins of Corned Beef. ‘Bags for Life’ are also very well received for packing the goods when they are given out. Please bring these items to Church and they will be taken to the Foodbank. Blythswood are very grateful for our support. Contact Bill Guthrie: williamwguthrie<at> The Foodbank Centres in Hilton and Madras Street have vacancies for volunteers (a couple of hours every week/fortnight). Contact Lorna Dempster lorna.dempster<at>
WORD FOR TODAY New copies of the daily readings Word for Today are now available in both churches. Ruth Martin.
CROSSREACH  – the latest newsletter and prayer diary (June – Sept) are available at church doors. Contact Rae Swan.
Thy Kingdom Come- Inverness Prayer Space and Joint Churches Celebration This is an initiative facilitating global prayer between Ascension and Pentecost (25 May to 4 June). Churches across the Inverness area are delighted to be hosting a physical prayer room, open 24 hours a day, at CYC Centre,12 Bank Street, Inverness IV1 1QR. Sign up for your hour slot to pray at Come on your own, with a spouse or group of friends to pray during that hour, whether 3pm or 3am to continue an unbroken prayer chain. On Sunday 4 June, from 6pm to 7.30pm, there will be a joint churches celebration at Inverness Cathedral. Details from Rev Trevor Hunt inverness<at>
WATOTO CHILDREN’S CHOIR are putting on two concerts at the Inverness Cathedral on Tuesday 6 June at 1.30pm and again at 7pm. Admission free. Details from Cathedral Office.
HIGHLANDS & ISLANDS YOUTH FOR CHRIST BIG FRIENDS GATHERING Monday 12 June, Barn Church Culloden, 6:30-8:30pm. An evening of fellowship about the work of HIYFC in schools and in the community, with the opportunity to ask questions and pray together for the young people of our area. Light buffet. Contact: Linda Buchan pdw<at>
CHURCH OF SCOTLAND VOCATIONS CONFERENCE 2017 Saturday 17 June 2017. Carnegie Conference Centre, Dunfermline. This Conference offers an inspirational keynote speech on the Call to Serve Today, practical information and the opportunity to ask important questions about how God might be calling you. £15 booking fee. Details and and to register: Ministries Council, 121 George Street, Edinburgh EH2 4YN. vocation<at> Spaces are limited – booking is essential. You must attend this if you are interested in full-time ministry in the Church.
NATIONAL PRAYER BREAKFAST SCOTLAND 7-9am Tuesday 20 June Culduthel Christian Centre. Details

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.

After the referendum- time to reflect this Sunday

Reconciliation ServiceJoin us this Sunday at Stephen’s as we watch and discuss the service of reconciliation which took place at St Giles’ Cathedral, Edinburgh, on the Sunday following the Scottish independence referendum.

The ‘service reflecting shared values and common purpose’ was the idea of the Moderator of the General Assembly, the Rt Rev John Chalmers, who also preached the sermon at the service.

During his sermon, the Moderator said,

Post referendum there are those who are elated or at least relieved, and there are those who are desperately disappointed, “gutted” – is the description that I have frequently heard. Feelings like these will take time to heal and I want no one to think that I think that there is a quick fix or an easy “dusting down”. For some, this referendum has been about national identity; for us all it has been about self-identity and that is about as close to the soul as it gets. So recovery and healing is a soul searching matter and for me, that is a deeply spiritual matter – so no quick fix. Instead, it will take a force of magnanimity and graciousness to restore equilibrium to both nation and individuals.

On Sunday night at St Stephen’s. we will be watching highlights of the service, and having some discussion about whether there is a need for reconciliation after the referendum, and where country goes from here.

More about the St Giles’ service here.

The discussion at St Stephen’s will follow a short evening communion service, to which anyone is welcome.

The service begins at 7pm, and the film and discussion starts at 7.30pm. People are welcome to come to either or both events.

The Moderator will be hosting a nationwide discussion on 5 November  about the aftermath of the referendum, ‘Scotland’s Future Now’. The venue in Inverness will be Crown Church. More details to follow.

Who needs reconciliation anyhow?: Sermon for Sunday 7 September 2014

A note from the Minister: after completing this sermon I fell ill and was unable to deliver it on Sunday morning. I’m grateful to the Rev Morven Archer who took our services in my place, and who used much of the material below. This is the sermon I would have preached had I been able to. I’m glad to say I’m on the mend, since you ask!

Old High St Stephen’s, Inverness
Sunday 7 September 2014: Year A, Proper 18

Texts: Romans 13:8-14
Matthew 18:15-20

Who needs reconciliation anyhow?
In the name of God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit, Amen.

This week the Moderator of the General Assembly, the Rt Rev John Chalmers, chaired a ‘respectful dialogue’ on the independence referendum. It was held in a Glasgow church, but the rest of us could participate because if was put out live on the Internet. At the Crown Church, we watched the speakers live on a big screen, had own audience comments section, and emailed our thoughts back to Glasgow. It was a fascinating experience, being linked up in that way to others around the country. As I was checking that I could communicate with the person receiving the emails in Glasgow, I suddenly thought of the Eurovision Song Contest- ‘Hello, this is Helsinki, here are the votes of the Finnish jury’. Maybe one day the General Assembly will be replaced by this kind of technology- although perhaps the Assembly will be unlikely to turn into a version of Eurovision. Continue reading

Respectful dialogue on independence

Indref logoOn Wednesday 3 September, the Moderator of the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland will host a ‘respectful dialogue’ on the Scottish Independence Referendum.

The event in Glasgow will be live streamed on the internet, and shown at local venues across the country.

The Inverness event will be at Crown Church, Kingsmills Road, starting at 7pm. Car parking will be available in the adjoining Crown School playground. Everyone is welcome to join us.

The Rev Peter W Nimmo, minister of Old High St Stephen’s and a member of the Church and Society Council of the General Assembly, will chair the Inverness event.

Our thanks to the Rev Peter Donald for the use of Crown Church.

Let us know you are coming at our Facebook events page!

The Church of Scotland is officially neutral on the referendum.

Read the press release for local media.

Below is the event leaflet.

You can also download a copy of it.

Indyref dialogue leaflet 1                                   Indyref dialogue leaflet 2

A Respectful Dialogue on Independence: Thursday 26 June at Inverness Town House

A RESPECTFUL DIALOGUE A Debate on the Independence Referendum, chaired by Rev Jan Mathieson, Cawdor and Croy Churches. Blair Jenkins, Yes Scotland, will be debating with Mike Robb, Labour Party. All welcome. Thursday June 26, Inverness, 7.30pm.

The ‘respectful dialogue’ term was used for an event held during the recent General Assembly of the Church of Scotland. The dialogue was chaired by the Moderator of the General Assembly, the Rt Rev John Chalmers. Previously, he had written in an article for the Sunday times:

‘In Scotland, as we stand on the threshold of the most important decision that the Scottish people have faced in peacetime history, we do not need a highly emotive and deeply personalised public rammy…. We need a Respectful Dialogue about Scotland’s future whether it is as an independent nation or as part of the United Kingdom. I am confident that the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland can model the way in which this dialogue should be conducted and I am equally confident that if the Better Together and the Yes campaigners conduct themselves in the same way, then post-referendum healing and recovery will be much more manageable’.

The Moderator has also spoken of the need for respectful dialogue in a recent Scotsman article.

Although this even is not organised by the churches, I hope many Christian people will want to support it.

General Assembly continuing on path towards ordaining gay ministers

The minister writes-

The General Assembly today voted 369 to 189 to accept a proposal from its Legal Questions Committee on a possible way forward in the ‘gay ministers’ debate.

Last year’s assembly had accepted a proposal from former Moderator the Very Rev Albert Bogle which, while affirming a traditional view of sexual relationships as the norm in the church, sought to allow Kirk Sessions to ‘depart’ from tradition if they were willing to induct a minister in a civil partnership.

A report was accepted from the Theological Forum which spoke of the possibility of a ‘mixed economy’, in which a church might accept exceptions from normal practice in the case of issues which are not central to the Christian faith. They pointed to examples from the early church, the reformation and in recent years where congregations and individuals were given the freedom to deviate from the majority of the church. A fascinating debate, in which the Very Rev Professor Iain Torrance fielded complex theological questions with grace and thoughtfulness on behalf of his Panel, prepared the way for the Legal Questions debate after lunch.

Moderator John Chalmers led the assembly through three amendments and a countermotion, as well as the original’ ‘Overture’. The final vote, following prayer brought to an end hours of sometimes painful and passionate debate, from which the Overture survived unchanged.

The Overture now goes to presbyteries across the country to vote on over the next year. If a majority of presbyteries vote in favour, the legislation will come back to next Year’s assembly for final approval. Presbytery approval is no means guaranteed. However, the size of today’s majority, and the support the Overture has received from across the theological breadth of the church, may mean it has a good chance of receiving the presbytery approval, perhaps making it into law as early as next year.

Since the Overture deals only with civil partnerships, the Acting Principal Clerk, the Rev George Whyte, asked and received approval for the Theological Forum and the Legal Questions Committee to also consider whether the provisions of the Overture should also apply to ministers in same-sex marriages, which should become legal in Scotland in the course of the next 12 months.

Reports on today, as usual, are available from Life and Work and Douglas Aitken. There is also press release from the Church.

The big report tomorrow is from the Church and Society Council, of which I have been a member for the last year.

Tuesday at the General Assembly

The minister writes-

The assembly began on Tuesday with prayers for the family of the Rev Tom Sinclair, Clerk of the Presbytery Lewis, who had tragically died in a road accident following the previous day’s sitting.

The Mission and Discipleship brought a report which included a survey from the Highlands of of non-churchgoers who consider themselves Christians, and the first major report on interfaith matters for many years. I was happy to speak in support of a successful motion from the floor instructing the council to provide materials supporting ministers running new members’ courses. We also heard of the work of the National Youth Assembly, and of the Guild.

On the World Mission report, we heard that the plight of the Christians of Pakistan continues to be a major concern. The Very Rev David Lunan spoke powerfully about people trafficking, which he said was modern-day day slavery, encompassing hundreds of women in Scotland victims, not of prostitution, but multiple rape. And there was a moving moment as the Assembly remembered, with prayer, Jane Haining from Dunscore, who defied an instruction to leave the Jewish children she cared for children in Hungary and died in Auswitch with them 70 years ago.

Finally, there was a special, session, billed as a ‘respectful dialogue’ on the questions raised by the independence referendum. Douglas Alexander MP and the Rev Dr Doug Gay gave the opening speeches for a session which was thoughtful and lived up to its billing. We were reminded that there is no them and us, only us. For anyone who believes that religion brings only conflict and division, this example of the church at its best would have been an eye-opener! It was certainly the best debate on the subject I’ve ever heard.

Hopefully there will continue to be respectful dialogue today as we take up the issue of gay clergy.

Douglas Aitken’s excellent reports can be read or listened to here.

The Life and Work reports on the Assembly are here.