Faith in Conflict: as sermon for the Second Sunday in Lent, 21 February 2015

Texts: Philippians 3:17-4:4

Luke 13:31-35

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

The Pharisees, generally speaking, get a bad name in the New Testament. Again and again, we hear of Jesus in conflict with the Pharisees. Perhaps it was because that in some ways, they were quite alike. Both Jesus and the Pharisees called people to stick to God’s ways in a world dominated by the pagan rulers of Rome. Continue reading

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

Same-sex relationships and the ministry- some resources

The place of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender persons continues to be a matter of controversy within many churches worldwide.

In 2010 the Kirk Session (governing body) of Old High St Stephen’s adopted the following statement:

Our interpretation of the Bible is that God’s Grace is inclusive and the life of Jesus emphasized God’s love and openness to the powerless and the marginalized in society. Therefore it would be wrong to discriminate in the Church on the basis of sexual orientation.

This was in response to a request from a Special Commission which was investigating the issue on behalf of the Church of Scotland.

To prepare for our Kirk Session’s discussions, we held adult education events for members of the congregation. Our minister, the Rev Peter W Nimmo wrote a paper for these events, which deals both with the theological and practical issues facing the Church of Scotland. You can read his paper here.

Please visit this page again for more resources on this topic.

If you have any concerns about issues of sexuality, please do not hesitate to contact Peter.

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

All one! A sermon for 14 April 2013

Old High St Stephen’s, Inverness
Sunday 14 April 2013: Year C, The Third Sunday of Easter

SERMON
Texts: Galatians 3.23-29
John 20.1-18

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

Easter is not just one Sunday of the year. For there is a sense that every Sunday, for Christians, is the day of Resurrection. We know from the Gospel accounts that Jesus was crucified on a Friday, and that after being buried he lay in the grave over the Jewish Sabbath (our Saturday). On the third day, after the Sabbath, he rose again. And that’s why, at a very early stage, the followers of Jesus began to meet for worship, not on the Sabbath, but the day after- the day of resurrection, our Sunday- which the early Christians called ‘The Lord’s Day’. Every Sunday is Easter Sunday. Continue reading

Sing hey! for the Pharisees!: a sermon for the Second Sunday in Lent, 24 February 2013

Old High St Stephen’s, Inverness
Sunday 24 February 2013: Year C, Second Sunday in Lent

SERMON for St Stephen’s
Texts: Philippians 3:17-4:4
Luke 13:31-35

Sing hey! for the Pharisees!
In the name of God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit, Amen.

Come with me, come wander, come welcome the world
where strangers might smile or where stones may be hurled;
come leave what you cling to, lay down what you clutch
and find, with hands empty, that hearts can hold much.

 

Sing hey for the carpenter leaving his tools!
Sing hey for the pharisees leaving their rules!
Sing hey for the fishermen leaving their nets!
Sing hey for the people who leave their regrets!

The Pharisees, generally speaking, get a bad name in the New Testament. Again and again, we hear of Jesus in conflict with the Pharisees. Perhaps it was because that in some ways, they were quite alike. Continue reading

Faith for the Future: Sermon for 2 September 2012

Old High St Stephen’s, Inverness
Sunday 2 September 2012: Year B, Proper 17

SERMON
Texts: James 1:17-27
Mark 7.1-8

Faith for the Future

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

The word ‘Pharisee’ is a word which, for us, seems to sum up the worst about religion. My dictionary says that a person referred to today as a Pharisee is ‘anyone more careful of the outward forms than of the spirit of a religion, a formalist [or] a very self-righteous or hypocritical person’. The adjective ‘pharisaic’ means ‘hypocritical’ (Chambers Dictionary 1998). So the Pharisees have a got a bad name. Continue reading

Sermon for 19 August 2012: Wisdom for the Church

Old High St Stephen’s, Inverness
Sunday 19 August 2012: Year B, Proper 15

SERMON
Texts: Ephesians 5:15-20
John 6:48-58

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

Every day in life, we make decisions. This is what sets us aside from the animals. Human beings are blessed- or cursed?- with the freedom to choose. Continue reading