A FEW WORDS ABOUT THE OPEN FORUM MEETING HELD ON 24TH AUGUST 2017

An informal open meeting for the congregation took place in the Church Hall on 24th August. John welcomed us and encouraged us to get chatting to one another during completion of a fun questionnaire. We then moved round to share what we had written with other folks and finally sat down at a table with a different group of people. He had achieve his aim in getting us all to talk to one another, which is an important step in the process of healing.

He then laid out a time-line moving from the 1840s until the present day and invited us to come up and add significant events in the life of St Cuthberts Church as it was in the beginning, and in the Parish Church, and our own memories associated with them. They covered such things as the removal of the pew boxes in the church, the joining of the congregations of St Mary's and St Cuth-bert’s, the popular Sunday School picnics at The Hut at Carrick, the ordination of women elders, the 6-month visit of Solomon from Zambia, the inauguration of two Sunday services, the beginning of heal-ing services, and so much more. John explained that it was important for us to know and understand how our present church had evolved.

Meantime we had been given paper on which we were asked to note what we felt were the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats to the church community. Our scribe, Sue, made a brilliant job of writing up on a flip chart the vast number of points which were mentioned in the feed-back. It was encouraging to note how many positives came out of this. There were weaknesses and threats too, some of which were based upon the issues of the aging congregation, the church buildings and the two Sunday services. John emphasized that open and honest debate would be needed to resolve the latter two, and that rather than complaining of other people's ‘entrenched ‘ views we should examine our own. Were we not equally stubborn?!  On the question of the future of the church buildings, John stressed that he himself was, and would remain, completely unbiased. The congregation would live with the consequences long after his interim ministry was finished.

The meeting finished with prayer and a round of applause which I think showed how everyone had appreciated it. There are to be other informal gatherings of the congregation such as this and I would encourage everyone who is interested in the future of our church to come along.

Sally McKenzie
 

SPACES FOR REFRESHMENT

From September Rachel Inglis and I will offer some reflective afternoons in Kirkcudbright under the title ‘Refreshing Streams’. These are for people who are new to the whole experience of re-flective prayer (but would like to try it in a supportive space) as well as those who would like to deepen their experience of it.

We will offer space for quiet reflection with different ways of praying, such as coming to stillness, lectio divina, imaginative contemplation and prayer of review, as well as introduce some aids to prayer including journaling, music and using images. Why not come along and try something new?

By the time you read this the first Refreshing Streams will likely have taken place (23rd Septem-ber) so consider coming along to the next one on Saturday 21 October 2 – 4.30 pm at St An-drew’s & St Cuthbert’s church hall. There will be others to follow in February and March.

Once again, we are offering a residential weekend retreat at Abernethy Barcaple. This is designed to be a gentle and supportive introduction to the whole life-giving experience of a silent retreat. It starts with an evening meal on Friday 24th November and ends after lunch on Sunday. There will be an art room, labyrinth, morning and evening reflections and communal space for prayer or simply sitting.

To find out more and to book these events see: www.aigfois.co.uk 
 

Kirkcudbright Parish Church

At the heart of Kirkcudbright, having Kirkcudbright at heart!

On Sundays and throughout the week, our congregation offers you a variety of opportunities for fellowship and service, whatever your age or background.  We welcome others of faith and of no faith to join us in journeying with Christ, He who has promised to be with us always.  We are all at different stages of our journeying and a good number of us discover particular friendship and companioning in our four Home Fellowship Groups which meet weekly. 

We have a fine, light and spacious church building dating from 1838 designed by the Scottish Architect William Burn; also a fine purpose-built church hall, with a well equipped kitchen, which provides a meeting place for not a few church and community groups.   A current congregational initiative is looking at the possibility of releasing our fine, but under-used, 175 year-old church building into 7 day-a-week use under local community ownership which we would continue to use alongside other community co-users.  Plans have been drawn up for the development of the building for such multi-community use and discussions with all interested parties are ongoing at the moment.

You, whom God sends our way, however, are our main concern.  Should you consider that we might be of service to you, please be in touch.