24 HOURS OF PRAYER

January 27th / 28th 2019

During the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity Kirkcudbright Parish Church will be hosting a 24 Prayer Vigil. This is a great opportunity to spend a significant time in prayer for our town, our churches and our witness to Jesus.

We welcome Christians of every background and denomination to join in. We will use the Upper Room of the Parish Church Hall as our Prayer Space and arrangements will be made for safe access throughout the night.

The Prayer Vigil will be from 12 noon on Sunday 27th January to 12 noon on Monday 28th January.

The expectation is that one, two or three people will take an hour of the vigil throughout the period.

Please sign up online at

http://signupgenius.com/go/70a0f48a4aa2ca1fb6-24hour1

Rev John Collard

Interim Minister
 

OUR NEW ALPHA COURSE: IS IT FOR YOU?

Have you recently become a Christian, and thirst to know yet more of the amazing truths about who Jesus was and is; what He taught; why He came to dwell amongst us; and why He chose to sacrifice Himself on the Cross? —- or —-Have you turned in to a tired Christian, in need of refreshment? Has Sunday Church attendance become just a routine, the flame of faith having
diminished over time to a mere smouldering ember? Life’s journey seldom goes smoothly! Bad things happen; loss occurs; our faith can be impacted and become fragile. Some of us will have little difficulty in identifying with the feelings of that famous 18th. Century poet & hymn writer Wm. Cowper. Struggling through a period of darkness and spiritual challenge, he wrote the hymn “O for a closer walk with thee”, in which he gives expression to that cry of a despairing, yet seeking heart: “Where is the Blessedness I knew, when first I met the Lord”? 

If any (or even none!) of the above describes you, or your journey of faith at this time, or if you are simply interested in joining with some of your fellow members of the Kirk session and congregation to re-explore the “Good News” of Jesus teachings and promises in the New Testament, then we hope you will join us! We plan to run an Alpha course commencing on Tuesday 22nd. January 2019 at 7pm. The weekly meetings will be hosted by Rev. John Collard at the manse, where we will be making use of the latest offering in the Alpha series.

Produced in 2018, this series transports us to many different areas of the world, including the Holy Land, which forms background to the talks and discussions being presented. Nothing is “off-limits” in the presentation or subsequent discussion which is offered, and we hope that you will be interested in joining with us for this series of meetings.

P.S. We hope to be able to provide something to satisfy the stomach as well as the soul at these meetings, (soup!) so physical as well as spiritual needs should be fulfilled! 
 

OUR CHURCH SECRETARY ACCEPTS A CHALLENGE!

The Nazareth Challenge

As you may remember I was to travel to Nepal earlier this year along with a group from the Church of Scotland World Mission Council, to look at some projects our church had helped to fund after the earthquake in 2015. Unfortunately due to illness I was not able to go on this trip. I am now walking my way to better health and have decided to participate in the “Nazareth Challenge” in March 2019, organised by the Nazareth Trust, a Scottish based Charity which funds the Nazareth Hospital EMMS and Nursing School in Nazareth. This is a 65 km sponsored hike over 5 days from Nazareth to Capernaum on what is known as the “Jesus Trail” visiting many of the significant places from the life of Jesus and retracing his steps. I am aiming to raise £1000 for the Hospital for the refurbishment of the maternity unit and hope you will think about sponsoring me for this worthwhile cause. All the money raised will go to the Hospital as I am funding the travel and accommodation myself. If you would like to sponsor me online please visit the everydayhero.co.uk website and search Ann’s Nazareth Challenge or you can speak to me at Church.

Thank you

Ann Morgan
 

AN IMPORTANT MESSAGE FROM YOUR FINANCE COMMITTEE - CHURCH INCOME - OFFERING METHODS

Every Church of Scotland congregation is responsible for its own costs and these are met through the giving of the church members. Part of our vows of church membership is a promise to ‘give a fitting proportion of my time, talents and money for the Church’s work in the world.’ Exactly what a ‘fitting proportion’ might be, is left to the individual to decide. The urging of the New Testament is to give generously and even sacrificially (Romans 12v8, Mark 12v43-44). And the Old Testament practice was of tithing – giving a tenth (Deuteronomy 14v22). Certainly in churches where tithing is the norm, there is not usually a difficultly with income! 

So members have the opportunity to contribute to Church Funds in various ways - Open Plate, Envelopes, or Standing Order.

The most beneficial of these from the Church’s point of view is regular payment by standing order or by weekly envelopes. If you are a tax payer then this can be enhanced through Gift Aid. This allows us to reclaim tax at 25% of the amount donated.  

So, £100 donated by a member is worth £125 to the Church.

Gift Aided offerings can be made by envelope –weekly, and different amounts each week if desired, or by standing order per month or any other period suitable to the member. Payments need not be fixed for any period and can be stopped at any time. Non taxpayers can still pay by standing order or freewill envelope. We would encourage you to review your payment method and, if you do not already do so, consider using one of the more regular methods by contacting Margo Kerr- our Gift Aid and Free Will Offering Administrator at margo.kerr@talk21.com who can provide details on how to proceed. 
 

CHANGE IS HAPPENING

Hopefully, as you read the title of this page, it will not elicit that familiar cry of despair : “Oh no, not more changes!”! In the case of our Church newsletter, the change occurring is that of editor, so it might be appropriate to take this opportunity to introduce myself, and at the same time, on behalf of our church members, thank my predecessor, Kim Lowe, for all the work she has put in to editing the newsletter over the past couple of years.

My name is Howard Brown, my background is that of general practice, although I retired from that and moved to Kirkcudbright around 10 years ago. I have been a Church of Scotland elder for forty one years, and have witnessed the many changes to church life and worship that the years have brought about, many offering great encouragement, a few somewhat less than that.

However our encouragement in uncertain times comes, not from faith in the transient, but rather faith in God’s revealed eternal truths. The apostle Paul puts it this way : “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, and today and forever” (Heb. 13 v8), so in placing our faith in Christ and His finished work of atonement and redemption, which took place on the Cross, we should not feel discouraged on our onward journey — rather we should go forwards with both hope and enthusiasm!

These past few years have brought many changes to our own church here in Kirkcudbright, and as we go forward in to 2019, the pace of change is likely to accelerate — but the good news is that we want all of you, our church members, to be involved in the discussion and decision making process. Our minister, in his monthly letter, has already made reference to two very important meetings which will take place in the first week of December, and as they will have significant implications for both medium & long-term future of our church, I will highlight them once more:

  1. Sunday, 2nd December at 10.00am should be in all of your diaries as a “must be there” event. It’s purpose is to receive from our Church Building Group a progress report on future possibilities in restructuring the interior of our church to better equip it for both congregational worship purposes, and also to provide adaptability for use by the community we live in. This is your opportunity to have a say in this important future project, and we are anxious to hear your views! After the service and presentation you are invited to join us for a soup lunch in the hall.  If you haven't been to church for a while, take this opportunity to renew your acquaintance with familiar and new faces.  A warm welcome awaits you and you will not be disappointed!
  1. Wednesday, 5th December at 7.30pm in the Church Hall. Rev. John Collard, our interim minister, will be reaching the end of his term with us in the forthcoming months of 2019. An important meeting for all members of our congregation takes place on the above date with visiting Transition Support Group team members to ascertain progress made towards returning the right for us to call a permanent minister to the Parish Church. The T.S.G. will wish to receive input from as many of our members as possible, so please make an effort to  attend this meeting if at all possible.

Finally, as we prepare to celebrate the incarnation of our Saviour, Jesus Christ, can I take this opportunity to wish all of you a very Happy and Blessed Christmas.

Howard Brown
 

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