Worship with guest preacher, Very Rev Dr Angus Morrison .
The Worship Video for Sunday 9th August can be viewed at the link below.
One of the things I have really missed during lockdown is not being able to visit the 3 Primary Schools – Ardgour, Strontian and Lochaline. It’s been a very different term. Well done to all the children and staff who have been learning and teaching in very different ways.
As usual at the end of term the local churches have a wee gift for the P7s as they move up to High School. We’ll deliver the gift to you over the next week or so…
Happy Holidays everyone… be kind, keep safe, keep washing your hands… and know that God loves you all.
In addition to the worship video on YouTube, on the first Sunday of each month there will be a Worship Service on Zoom at 11am. If you would like to participate in this please contact the minister.
Worship led by Rev Donald McCorkindale, and Rev Fiona Ogg can be viewed on the YouTube Channel: www.youtube.aksm.org.uk on Sunday morning.
Reading – Matthew 10:40-42
“Whoever welcomes you welcomes me,
and whoever welcomes me
welcomes the one who sent me.
Whoever welcomes a prophet
in the name of a prophet
will receive a prophet’s reward;
and whoever welcomes a righteous person
in the name of a righteous person
will receive the reward of the righteous;
and whoever gives even a cup of cold water to one of these little ones in the name of a disciple —
truly I tell you,
none of these will lose their reward.”
Interconnectedness – Reflection from Fiona Ogg
Never mind Zoom, Google meets and huddles, Teams, Skype, ( other group meets are available ) and the inter-net, let’s think about the original way we are inter-connected.
We all pray, God please do this, or that, or make this happen, or save that situation.
Do we hope God will get off the clouds, materialise in the midst of a bad situation and suddenly all will be well. Of course we do!
‘Oh God, take away this pain, heal this beloved family member, and so on …’. There’s a time for these prayers, want an instant connection with God and the deep hope for a miracle. Absolutely.
But it’s not those emergency prayers I’m thinking of but of the everyday ones, like the teenage prayer I mentioned a couple of week’s ago asking God to help me get great results. In my adolescent, naive mindset I hadn’t quite grasped that God had already given me a brain and memory and it was up to me to use them! ( I got the message, eventually … )
The nurse caring for a covid or cancer patient is the answer to prayer –
God works through their knowledge and hands.
That’s a connection.
The teacher helping someone to unlock the skills needed for reading is the answer to prayer –
God works through their patience.
That’s a connection.
The carer feeding and washing their charge is the answer to prayer
God works through their caring hands.
That’s a connection too!
In this way, you and I are the answer to prayer. Even when we don’t know it! So many times we are positioned to be God’s presence with others. We are welcomed, we are the connection and that’s when, effectively, it’s God who is being welcomed.
We are all in the presence of God.
This week’s reading tells us that when anyone receives or welcomes a believer, then they are welcoming the person, and through that person they welcome Jesus, and when they welcome Jesus, they welcome God.
So interconnected that the theory of six degrees of separation doesn’t hold – this is an instant connection with God.
These are awesome promises!
Wherever God’s people are, we are already in the presence of God.
The Christian writer, Richard Rohr writes, ‘We cannot attain the presence of God because we’re already totally in the presence of God. What’s absent is awareness.’ God is not separate from humanity; inside each person is a spark of God, we call it God’s Spirit. People of faith accept the Spirit within nudging us to do the work of God and to be the image of God in our attitudes and values.
The verse that mentions a cup of cold water is particularly interesting. It’s about giving and receiving. Giving what many would dismiss as such a small thing to do that it doesn’t merit any attention. Receiving, knowing that even this small thing is so very important because of what it represents. The cup of cold water would have been drawn from a well; which took time and effort; it was was given out of the household supplies; it was a response to a need. The person who gave and the person who received were both / each in the presence of God.
The small things matter. Jesus sent out the disciples to work in the world – that’s you and me today, Take note of the inner nudgings, give thanks for the small things, give and receive gratefully, attitudes and values matter, look for God in others.
This reading reminds us to be aware of the presence of God within and without – it’s all inter-connected.
May you aware of the presence of God in and around you today and always. Amen
can I pull up a chair?
Can I sit with here a while with you? Not too long though,
I don’t want to outstay my welcome.
You see, Lord,
It is so good to feel
wanted and welcome,
not to be turned away
or greeted with a “what now?”
I try, Lord, to be like you:
not to bristle when someone expects something from me; not to let my impatience show; to give people space and time.
I know, Lord,
that in saying “welcome”
it opens up possibilities,
some good and some that well, you know…
will take all my patience.
And in sitting with you awhile I am reminded again
what “welcome” looks like and feels like.
Thank you, God,
for letting me sit awhile.
I will leave you in peace now. Amen.
From Spill the Beans, Issue 35, p37
Would you be interested in being part of a Church Admin Team?
Even before ‘lockdown’, I had often wondered about the possibility of a building up a small admin team to share some of the ‘Office’ tasks – but not necessarily having a ’Church Office‘. Now seems like a good time to develop this…
- Do you use a computer or tablet? (if you are reading this you do!)
- Can you browse the web? (Well done, 2 out of 2!)
- Do you have an hour or more a week that you could give to the Church?
- Are you in sympathy with the Church’s work?
- Would you like to use and develop skills for the Church’s benefit and for your benefit?
- Would you be interested in giving it a go for 3 months?
What sort of things?
- Checking Radio/ TV listings for service times and info to share.
- Checking Church of Scotland website and others for news to share locally.
- Typing – words of hymns
- Proof-reading/ checking things before circulation
- Facebook updates/ Website updates
- Updating Rotas
- Newsletters & Service sheets
- Designing images for Facebook/ Web
- Phone calls
- Arrangements towards re-opening church buildings
- Fundraising ideas
- Supporting others in getting online
- Thinking about what’s possible!
- Lots more that we wont know about until we start working together and learn what each other can do!
Interested in any of those possibilities? Great… drop me an email (click the link) or give me a call.
For over a decade people have looked towards “2020 Vision”… what is our vision, our hope for the Church for 2020 and beyond…
Could you be part of a Mission Makeover?
The three congregations of Morvern, Ardgour and Strontian have been dipping into reserves over recent years. The simple fact is: if we do nothing to turn things around we are talking months rather than years until the congregations cease to be viable. Covid19 has brought this reality into sharp focus – but this is a long standing time of decline.
Finance is easily measured. Behind reduced income lies declining membership and engagement with the life of the Church. Let me repeat: If we do nothing, we are going nowhere.
But, we can do something… So, are you up for a few months of massive action to make a difference – not to get us back to “normal” – but to move forward in the mission and adventure of faith in Jesus Christ
- Will you pray regularly for the congregations?
- Could you raise some funds for the congregation(s)? Is there something you could produce and make available for others with proceeds going to Church funds?
- Would you be interested in resurrecting the idea of a FundRaising Recipe Book?
- Could you help with some of the admin tasks, freeing up some of the minister’s time for mission and ministry?
- Could you lead a prayer in worship? Or write a prayer to share online?
- Could you share the Church facebook page to family and friends and tell them what you value about being a part of the congregation?
- Will you encourage family, friends and neighbours to join in the online quiz?
- Could you make a special one-off donation beyond your regular weekly offering?
- Can you think of other things to add to this list?
- … more will be added to this work in progress.