Last Weekend at Strathy

David Fraser getting a helping hand!
Thank you to everyone who came and helped at the Strathy weekend and particularly those who came on Saturday to help with the painting.  The weather was lovely and we were able to achieve a lot in a short time.  More pictures can be seen seen by clicking on this link.

Reflecting on the Referendum by Catherine Mackenzie

It’s over now – the referendum. The polling stations are closed, the posters are coming down and we, the people, look on at the aftermath. Facebook ended up being my point of reference for information during the debate. Here are some quotes from my newsfeed before, during and after the Independence Referendum on September the 18th:

Three Ministers
“So be it, Lord; thy throne shall never 
Like earth's proud empires, pass away; 
Thy Kingdom stands, and grows for ever, 
Till all thy creatures own thy sway.
Queen Victoria selected this hymn for her Diamond Jubilee in 1897. One hundred years later it was sung when Britain handed control of Hong Kong to China in 1997, closing one of the last chapters in the imperial story. But Christ has never lowered his banner or handed over control of any his conquests. Whatever the outcome on the 19th, Jesus reigns.”

“What we need is a wholesale redemption of politics. Christians who love Christ and love liberty need to stand for the things we believe in. We need to employ the politic of Christ's Kingdom here in Scotland and in the United Kingdom. We need to love the Lord our God with all our heart, soul, mind and strength and love our neighbour as ourselves (Mark 12). And we need not be surprised if we suffer for it. We need to long for and pray for the day when the glory of God will cover the earth. And in the meantime we need to reflect that glory in the pulpit, in the pew and, as much as we can, in the parliament. Both Parliaments.”

“Ultimately of course I am hoping for real change - which only comes from the Gospel! That is our only hope ... The work goes on - whatever the political system. May God give myself and all His people, strength to continue that battle until the end. And may He grant the grace and mercy so that we may see revival and renewal of the Kingdom in all the kingdoms of these islands."

A Church Elder
The vote is over. The referendum is finished, but let’s make sure that one thing continues – that we don’t just have a day of prayer for Scotland, that we pray without ceasing for the land that used to be known as “the Land of the Book”. 

A Young Man
"I've been pretty much silent on this debate... I hope I am more explicit about expressing my faith, because I care about Jesus much more than this independence thing, and want you to know that He loves you too; but somehow I hope we don't have to fall out on this. Is it possible to hold strong, life-defining beliefs, want others to realise the truths that you believe, and yet still live at peace with folk who don't agree? And do we have the humility to turn around and accept that we were wrong if eternity conspires to point us in a different direction from where we started?"

A Parent
"I make no secret of the way I voted but regardless of the outcome I want the people of Scotland to unite together for a better, fairer, ethical, moral country - remembering that 'here we have no continuing city'".

A Sixteen Year-old Girl
“As I placed a cross in my chosen box, I couldn’t help but think of a man, the Light of the World, who stepped down into darkness, who was nailed to a cross for you and me – that is the greatest sacrifice for freedom in the history of mankind.”

The Lord of All the Earth
Isaiah 40:15 Surely the nations are like a drop in a bucket; they are regarded as dust on the scales; he weighs the islands as though they were fine dust.

Psalm 22:28 for dominion belongs to the Lord and he rules over the nations.

Psalm 105:1 Give praise to the Lord, proclaim his name; make known among the nations what he has done.

Ephesians 4:31-32 Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice. Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.

Presbytery Highlights - September 2014

September’s Presbytery was held in Fearn APC in Hilton.  It was wonderful to go by the farmland past the activity of harvest and down to this scenic village on the East coast and to meet with some of the folk there.  This is a new initiative of Presbytery to have our meeting on occasions in places other than Kingsview, Inverness.  We hope that this will be an encouragement to us all as we share in the work that we are involved in. 

On this occasion we heard from three of our congregations (Tain, Oban and Edinburgh) and the work that they are involved in.  From these reports it was clear that the work of the gospel is not without its difficulties.  Discouragements come in suffering, bereavement and through the choices that people make but the Lord is faithful and there are also many things for us to give thanks for. 

It is wonderful that in each of our congregations the life-changing gospel is proclaimed freely.  The seed of God’s Word is scattered and just as the harvest has come from the farmland at this time we look forward to and pray for the Lord’s own harvest to come.

We also give thanks for Laurence Mackenzie our General Treasurer and for all that he does for us.  Laurence was happy to report that our financial obligations continue to be met and encouraged our continued prayerful support of the financial administration of the church.  In addition to being our General Treasurer, Laurence was appointed to Convener of the Business Committee of Presbytery.  Please remember him in prayer as he takes on this new role. 

Laurence takes over this work since the passing of Roderick MacKenzie.  We were certainly reminded of that loss as we met in Hilton.  Not only in the present but in times past there have been so many committed to the work of the gospel among us.  Tribute was also paid to the late William Fraser.  Alexander Murray spoke of his commitments, including being General Treasurer himself. We give thanks for those who have gone before us and in whose debt we are.  May the Lord help us to follow in their place and to faithfully support to the cause of Christ among us.

Thank you to the Office-bearers in Hilton and to the ladies who provided food and refreshments for the Presbytery as we met.

Strathy Weekend

This weekend (26th-28th Sept) at the Strathy church we are going to have communion.  There will be a preparatory service on Friday at 7pm.  On Saturday we will be doing some long needed maintenance.  Along with a general tidy up, the church windows and doors are needing painting and so we hope to tackle this, weather permitting.  If you are able to lend a hand then you will be most welcome.  We will have our communion service at 2pm on Sunday.  

Next Meeting of Presbytery

The next meeting of the APC Presbytery will take place (dv) at Hilton APC on Tuesday 23 September at 1pm. Presbytery is normally held in public and members of the public are welcome to observe.

Honours for Rev Alex Murray

We are delighted to hear that Rev Alex Murray is to be awarded an honourary fellowship from the University of the Highlands and Islands for his contribution towards the University and the Highland Theological College in particular. Rev Murray is still an active member of Presbytery in the APC and an elder in the Lairg congregation.