Living under The Word- a sermon for the ordination of elders, 13 March 2015

Scripture Readings: Philippians 3:4b-14

Mark 10:41-45

Living under The Word

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

HEL219079 Portrait of John Calvin (1509-64) (oil on panel) by Swiss School, (16th century) oil on panel 41.5x28 Bibliotheque Publique et Universitaire, Geneva, Switzerland © Held Collection Swiss, out of copyright

Portrait of John Calvin (1509-64) (oil on panel) by Swiss School, (16th century)
Bibliotheque Publique et Universitaire, Geneva, Switzerland

Very often, the names of Christian denominations describe something of how they are governed. Catholics have a worldwide church structure. Episcopalians have bishops involved in the workings of their church. The Church of Scotland, for historical reasons, does not mention in its title the word which describes our kind of church government. It is, however, a word historically used by churches around the world which were influenced by our way of doing things. That word is ‘Presbyterian’. 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

Theological Commission on Same-Sex Relationships and the Ministry publishes report to General Assembly

The Church of Scotland’s General Assembly will meet from 18 to 25 May in Edinburgh this year. Our Minister, the Rev Peter W Nimmo, and one of our elders, David Smillie, will be Commissioners.

One item being considered will be a report by a commission set up at the 2011 Assembly on the matter of whether persons in same-sex relationships ought to be able to be Ministers or office-bearers within the Church. The Commission’s report is now available on the Church of Scotland website. Continue reading