Newsletter December 2010

August 12th, 2011 by

Glennorchy & Innishael and Strathfillan

Newsletter: November & December 2010

Minister’s Musing

It’s good to spend time thinking about how having faith or being a Christian affects our ideas and opinions. This doesn’t have to mean academic study, and certainly not discussions about angels on heads of pins. It doesn’t need to get in the way of action and activity. In fact at its best it’s likely to encourage more practical engagement with the world around us. TV, books, websites and magazines all inform us, as does our own experience, and the people we listen to and talk with. Reading the Bible is of course important.

It’s not uncommon to find those against Christianity being more knowledgeable about the Bible than those of us who claim it as a holy book. I have been telling some of the Old Testament stories in Crianlarich & Dalmally schools (along with Father Bill Fraser in Dalmally). I started off by telling the children that anyone who says the world would be better if we were to go back to living as they did in Bible times was wrong, and they could say the minister said so. That got a reaction! Jacob being tricked into marrying Leah, and then having his father in law say he can marry Rachel too. Moses running away after killing a man, later returning to lead the exodus from Egypt. No police or lawyers there. Good stories but not a recipe for behaviour. They can help us work out what’s important and how we should treat people. When faced with 21st century issues it’s good to read and research more widely. I’m putting lots of books in the churches where I hope folk will borrow them. Libraries, bookshops and Amazon are good sources. Living the Questions has been a good DVD-based discussion opportunity. Dream, Think, Be, Do (a livelier presentation of some of the same material) will be running in 2011.

“A springboard to get young adults talking about what Christianity is all about for this generation.” Put together with the aim of helping college groups and twenty to thirty-somethings build a 21st century faith, it is accessible for people of any age wanting to explore faith in an informal setting. Watch out for posters and dates in the new year.

Christians have such a wide range of opinions and more influence than always recognised. We need to keep actively reflecting on what and why we believe and how we can play our part in sharing the good news of the gospel. Liz Gibson

Worship – all welcome

14th November St Conan’s Kirk 9.00
Glenorchy Kirk 10.00
Crianlarich Church 11.30
21st November Glenorchy Kirk 10.00
Bridge of Orchy Church 11.30
28th November Glenorchy Kirk 10.00
Bridge of Orchy Church 11.30
Portsonachan Village Hall 18.00
5th December St Conan’s Kirk 9.00
Glenorchy Kirk 10.00
Crianlarich Church 11.30
12th December Glenorchy Kirk 10.00
Bridge of Orchy Church 11.30
19th December Glenorchy Kirk 10.00
Crianlarich Church 11.30
24th December St Conan’s Kirk 18.00
Glenorchy Kirk 23.30
Portsonachan Village Hall 23.30
Bridge of Orchy 23.30
25th December Glenorchy Kirk 10.00
Crianlarich Church 11.30
26th December Glenorchy Kirk 10.00
Bridge of Orchy Church 11.30
nb no service at Portsonachan

Session Clerks’ Conference

On the first weekend of October I was very fortunate to attend a residential conference for new and prospective Session Clerks held at Carberry in Musselburgh. As an Elder with less than two years’ experience and a Session Clerk of even shorter time I have never felt totally confident of what is expected of me. I hoped this conference would be something that could be of enormous benefit to me and hopefully, as a result, to the congregation as well. As the time drew nearer I began to feel apprehensive, not at all sure about the whole idea, but, in fact, I needn’t have worried.

Apart from the experience of the Edinburgh bypass at rush hour the whole weekend was thoroughly enjoyable, very friendly and hopefully beneficial to my understanding of the role of Session Clerk. Apart from various practical suggestions as to the clerical side of the post, what was very helpful was the sharing of common experiences of the clerks from all parts of the country with hugely differing sizes and composition of Kirk Sessions. It was stressed that the role of Session Clerk was more of a ‘people than paper’ position. As I understand it, I am the minister’s person in the congregation and the liaison between congregation and minister, although I am confident that our minister, Liz, is easily and willingly accessible to all the congregation. One suggestion I plan to use is to put on the church notice board a copy of the Kirk Session minutes so that what happens ‘behind the scenes’ is open to all. Ann McNicol

The Next Stage in Twinning with Christ Church, Kohlapur, North India

Members of Glenorchy & Innishael; Muckairn, Kilchrenan & Dalavich; and Connel & Dunbeg, had a meeting in Taynuilt on 5th October. Strathfillan are included but weren’t able to be there that night. We were there to meet Karen Francis, Twinning Development Officer for Church of Scotland World Mission. She gave us a brief but very helpful understanding of the basics.

Twinning: linking Church of Scotland congregations or presbyteries with churches across the world where there is a special, historical relationship.

Benefits of twinning: fosters understanding of different culture realities, identifying humanitarian and international concerns, helping congregations to connect with the community; strengthening understanding of gospel.

What does twinning look like? – experience and share concerns, challenges, ideas, resources, visits and information. There is funding to support visits. Our profile form, completed by the steering group, with input from the Kirk Sessions, gives our congregational details and motivation, ie. what we would hope to bring to the twinning relationship and what we would like to receive from it. Karen challenged us to think further along these lines and say what twinning meant to us – Pairing, Identical, Similar, Joining, Differences, Relationships, Sharing and Friendship were some of the answers. We thought about giving & receiving, & looked at what it means to give in a non-paternalistic way. This relationship needs to be an equal partnership and take the risk of engaging on mutually agreed terms. We talked about other risks eg. fear of failure and concerns about the initial meeting with our partner. So where do we go from here? We need to consider practical issues:

Leadership: who will be the key people for creating and continuing the link?

Communication: how will we ensure that the constituent congregations are kept informed? All the more difficult with several congregations at this end.

Links: what are the possible links with Christ Church – Ministers, Kirk Sessions, Guilds/SWRI, schools, other community groups? Karen will continue to support and advise us but we now have to take the initiative and think about what we want from this new friendship, and how we can make it happen. Janet Buchanan

A Pilgrimage to the Holy Land

8th—17th February 2012

This is a 10-day pilgrimage based in Jerusalem and Galilee led by Rev Robert Brookes from Taynuilt along with a fellow Minister and organised by the very reputable travel company, McCabe Pilgrimages. Visits will include Jerusalem, Bethlehem, Nazareth and the Sea of Galilee. There is ample free time to allow you to explore or relax. Travel is by scheduled flights via Edinburgh and Heathrow and the accommodation in both Jerusalem and beside the Sea of Galilee is in three and four star hotels and is close to the biblical sites you will be visiting. There will be a local guide to take care of local administration.

Cost per Person: Based on 2 people sharing a twin-bedded room with private facilities is £1,560 Included in this is full board, air conditioned coach travel, all entrance fees at scheduled locations, airport taxes and security charges.

Robert says: “Everyone who has ever been to the Holy Land has found it an enriching and uplifting experience. I would thoroughly commend it to all.”

For more information or to make a booking, please contact Robert Brookes at Muckairn Manse, Taynuilt, tel no. 01866 822204, or by email at The deposit is £100 per person

BT service wherever you live

Race to Infinity

After putting in my postcode BT’s message read: “Sorry but your exchange is not eligible to win The Race to Infinity as it has fewer than 1000 premises. We still want you to get involved so please go to ‘VOTE NOW’ to express your interest. If 75% of your exchange registers, BT will engage with your community to see what we can do in your area.” As I write, the percentage of votes cast is 3.03% – 9 out of a total 297. Our faith may tell us that the race to infinity has a different agenda but good communication is a useful tool on the journey! Worth voting.


  • Tammy Kershaw & Sean Rowan, St Conan’s Kirk, 9th September
  • Kirsten Grant & Nicolas Klaissle Blessing, Glenorchy Kirk, 11th September
  • Charlotte Mundell & Greg Bryce Blessing, Crianlarich Hotel 23rd October