ARE YOU BEING FED? PART 2

This month, we have a look at the second of our Home Study Groups, which meet in individual Church members homes. Each of these groups has come in to existence to meet a perceived need for both study of Scripture, as well as fellowship, and each has uniquely developed and evolved over time to become what it represents today. Wherever you may be in your own personal spiritual journey, whether full of doubts or confident of your salvation, whether “modern liberal”, or “traditional evangelical”, or indeed anything in between, do consider coming to one of our Bible study and discussion groups —— You will definitely “fit in” to one of them and be made most welcome! This month, we feature the second of our House Study Groups, the Tuesday Evening Study group, which has, for some time been led by Irene Robertson. Read below what they have to say, and ask yourself the question : “Could this be the one for me”??   

 

FINANCIAL SITUATION 2018/2019

In response to the third challenge of our Interim Minister’s March message to “Pray”, “Participate”, and “Pay”, our Finance Committee has produced a Financial Statement produced below which sets before us exactly where we, as a congregation, stand financially at the start of 2019. It also gives indication of the sort of action required now to place us where we should be financially in order to carry out the ongoing work of Christian worship and witness in our Parish and in our town. Please read it thoughtfully.

Management Accounts (unaudited) for year to 31/12/18 show an underlying deficit of £11,601 as follows:-

General Fund -£2,360

Renovation 14 Fund -£1,972

Fabric Fund -£7,269

Total -£11,601

The costs charged to the Renovation 14 Account relate to improvements in the Hall, and to the Fabric Fund, and repairs to our three properties.

Going into 2019 our funds are therefore reduced by this amount. In 2018, the income from members’ giving to the Church fell by 3.6% (-£2,900), and so we are unable to replenish these Reserves from the General Account.

Our budget for 2019 shows another deficit of -£9,087.

This clearly is a position that we cannot allow to continue, and I am asking you as members, to assist in rectifying the situation by reviewing your contribution to the Church.

An increase of 12.5% in giving would produce the extra £10,000 we need to cover the 2019 deficit and allow us to move forward with God’s work .

We plan further fund-raising exercises during the year of which I advise later.

Thank You.

Bill Borthwick. (On behalf of Finance Committee 13/2/19).
 

TIME FOR COFFEE

For those who like to fill their diaries in advance, here is the list of World Church Coffee Mornings till the end of the year:- 2nd March, 6th April, 4th May, 1st June and 6th July. Then a summer gap till 14th September, 5th October & 2nd November. If you haven't been before come and enjoy real, not instant coffee, tea and home made cakes and scones. You will also find a very social atmosphere. You will be supporting a range of charities, beginning in March with Mary's Meals.

Thank You.

Margaret Hughes
 

THE TUESDAY MORNING DISCUSSION GROUP

The Tuesday morning discussion group has its origins in a group begun many years ago by the late David Marsden and his wife Mary: Mary still is a regular attender. It began to meet in the lounge at Daar Lodge because one of its members, Rev Walter Calderwood, was a resident there and has continued to find that to be a pleasant and comfortable venue (although recently growing numbers have made it a bit of a squeeze!)

We are a group of people from a variety of church backgrounds – Episcopal, Methodist, United Reformed, English and Irish Presbyterian as well as Church of Scotland. Most of us are members of the Parish Church but we are glad to have some Greyfriars members too.

Our normal format is to meet at 10, watch a DVD presentation and then spend some time discussing the contents, often using discussion material previously circulated by email. We then have a break for tea or coffee and afterwards continue the discussion or watch the next bit of the material or sometimes (quite often actually!) have a second look at the extract we watched in the first half in the light of our discussion.

Recent programmes have included The God Question, which explored the relationship between faith and science, Eclipsing Empire, which focused on Paul, Rome and the Kingdom of God and Painting the Stars which explored evolutionary Christian spirituality. We have just begun a course called ‘The Change that Changes everything’ in which our guide is Father Richard Rohr, a Franciscan theologian from the USA. Father Rohr’s invitation to us will be to enter the world of the mystics where “to see is to be astonished; to see is to be moved at the core about who and what we are and to experience ourselves in powerful connection within a world that nurtures all living things and empowers us to be very different kinds of human beings.”

We occasionally lead the 9.30 service (the next one is on 3rd March) and at one of these services, David Brown, one of our members described us as “a group that likes to ask questions.” It would be fair to say that we are better at asking than answering! But even if we don’t always agree with each other, the exploration is very stimulating and members have also found a very deep level of support, friendship and care within the group.

And a twice yearly highlight is the lunch held at Christmas and early summer when theology and opinions take second place to food and drink and companionship!

We have a membership of around twenty people, which is probably as big as you would want a discussion group to be but it has been suggested that we might split into two groups, so if anyone would like to be involved, please get in touch with Graham Finch or with any other member of the group, or just come along to Daar Lodge at 10am some Tuesday morning.
 

ARE YOU BEING FED?

No, for once we are not featuring some new fad diet from the latest celebrity chef to hit the headlines! What I plan to feature over the coming months, is a report from each of the four or more Bible Study Groups which are such an important part of our congregation’s life. Some might go as far as to say that they offer more than just fellowship —- they provide a lifeline which encourages and explores both spiritual growth & development, whilst additionally offering real & practical support to each of us as we continue our journey through this world towards that future day when all our questions, and doubts will be finally and completely answered and resolved. A Church of Scotland minister with whom I was in conversation recently, was reflecting on how his denomination had evolved over time to become a “broad church” encompassing, whether for better or worse, a spectrum of Biblical interpretation & understanding that stretched from what might loosely be called “modern liberal” all the way to “traditional evangelical”. Each of our Bible Study Groups has come in to existence to meet a perceived need, and each has uniquely developed & evolved over time to become what it represents today. Wherever you may be in your own personal spiritual journey, whether full of doubts or confident of your salvation, whether “modern liberal” , or “traditional evangelical”, or indeed anything in between, do consider coming to one of our Bible study and discussion groups —— You will definitely “fit in” to one of them and be made most welcome! This month, first to say who they are and what they do is the Tuesday Morning Discussion Group. Read below what they have to say, and ask yourself the question : “Could this be the one for me”??

(Ed.)