THE SEARCH HAS BEGUN!

As many of you will be aware, Rev. John Collard, our current Interim minister and acting Session moderator, will be relinquishing these positions at a final service of Holy Communion to be held on Sunday, 2nd June at 10.00am. Following the Communion Service held on Sunday, 5th May, our congregation met to elect a Nomination (vacancy) Committee for the purpose of seeking a new permanent minister for Kirkcudbright Parish Church. The names of the thirteen people (from 26 proposed names) elected to the Nomination Committee are: Elizabeth Bennett; Howard Brown (convener); Neil Cavers (secretary); Thelma Hart; David Henry; Kathreen Hope-Dunbar; Mark Hutton; Susan Hutton; John Locke; Sue McMinn; Katy Perez; Irene Robertson; Andy Wade.

The challenge of filling the vacancy will be significant, as there are over two hundred and twenty vacant Parishes scattered throughout Scotland, and currently, the rate of retirement amongst Church of Scotland ministers greatly exceeds the supply of new ministers who are coming through the training system.

Nevertheless, we are in the fortunate position of being a “stand-alone” Parish Church in an attractive town, unburdened by linkages with various additional parishes. We have been granted by Presbytery the privilege of being allowed to call a new minister to our church, not least because we are in a small minority of churches in our Presbytery who remain financially self-supporting (so please continue your generous support as we seek to go forwards!), Finally, we remain an “alive” congregation, open to challenge and change, as evidenced by our two varied types of service available to all each Sunday morning, as well as our four Home Study Groups,+ numerous additional areas of activity both within the congregation as well as in the community. Our Nomination Committee will have met three times by the time you read this article, and plans are being formulated to progress the advertising and filling of our vacancy. Please keep this matter, as well as your Nomination Committee members in your prayers at this time as they seek God’s guidance in finding a minister for Kirkcudbright Parish Church. Humanly speaking, the challenge may be great, but remember: “—- with God, all things are possible!” (Matt.19v26).

Howard Brown
Nomination Committee convener
 

CHOIR NEWS

The church choir continues to work hard on Thursdays and following their excellent performance of two carols at the Christmas service sang a thrilling account of a new arrangement of “Ride on, ride on in majesty” on Palm Sunday. The work described being part of the crowd as Jesus approached from the distance, passed by in front of us, and moved on into Jerusalem.

On Easter Sunday the choir sang a jubilant “My Lord, what a morning!” another of Geoff’s arrangements of an old Negro Spiritual.

Further performances include June 9th at Greyfriars when the choir will again sing “My Lord, what a morning!” and also John Rutter’s popular and catchy arrangement of “All things bright and beautiful”.

Geoff Davidson has just been appointed conductor of Kirkcudbright Choral Society, succeeding Michael Appleford, and is looking forward to many years of directing enterprising and top-class music-making with this excellent choir.

The same applies to the church choir and anyone wishing to join will be made very welcome. They are a happy, enthusiastic bunch!

Geoff Davidson
Organist & Choir Master
 

MISSIONARY LIFE IN MALAWI: THROUGH THE EYES OF A WIFE! - Jacqueline Brough

I have ventured into the unknown. After working for the past 12 years as a pensions consultant, I’ve given up the security of a good career and a steady income, and switched life in Lenzie, Scotland for a new adventure in Mzuzu, Malawi. A new house, a new daily routine, new relationships, a new job for Gary, a new school for Eilidh, new food, new shops, new creepy crawlies (!), all while adapting to a new culture. To say it’s a change in direction feels like an understatement!

When Gary and I decided that he should take up this new role, naturally we were nervous at the prospect of uprooting the family and leaving behind our comfortable life. But, at the same time, it felt like we were going in the right direction, and so we didn’t let it phase us. As Christians, we are striving to follow where we believe God is taking us, even if we don’t know what it will look like in the end. For me, the path is still unclear. But I am fine with the not knowing. For now I am taking each day at a time, getting the girls settled in and figuring out this new way of life.

There are lots of things to get used to in Mzuzu – driving for one thing is an adventure! With not many pavements to speak of and more pedestrians and bikes than there are cars, it’s a bit of a free for all on the roads. It’s even more fun when it’s dark – we had our first real experience of this a few nights ago when we arrived into Mzuzu at night after being down in the capital. We could barely see the people walking along the road and cars were blinding each other with their headlights, trying to keep to the middle of the road. I think Gary was glad when we eventually made it back to the house having not hit anything (or anyone!).

I’m also finding I’m becoming a bit obsessive with cleaning up in the house after we eat anything, and having multiple clips and plastic tubs for any food items, to avoid trails of ants or tiny flies turning up to enjoy anything that has been left out. Having a 14 month old crawling around dropping crumbs all over the place makes this a pretty impossible task however, and so the ants always seem to find their way in.

Added to this there is coping with the random power outages, learning to haggle at the market (I’ve still to attempt this), and knowing how to respond to people who are trying to sell you things left right and centre, or are asking for help. But Mzuzu is growing on me. It has a laid back feel to it (those who know me will know that this suits me quite well!), the people are very friendly and I like the hustle and bustle of town. There are lots of places still to explore and I am looking forward to getting to know the city and the people better.

Before we left for Malawi, Gary bought me a bracelet with a verse written on it from Jeremiah, when God’s people were living in a foreign city that was very different to what they were used to: “Seek the peace of the city…for in its peace shall you have peace”. Mzuzu is where we have come to live, and so we want to make it our home and play our part in making it a better place.

Jacqueline Brough
 

 

CHURCH WALKING GROUP

Thank you to everyone who has expressed an interest in the new walking group, thanks too for the extremely helpful feedback.

We’ll give it a go!! The group will probably evolve over time and we’ll continue to chat about the sort of walks folk would like once we get started.

Sunday 9th June. 12.15pm:
Screel Hill – 3.5 miles – strenuous (if you’re happy to provide a lift please bring your car)

Sunday 7th July. 12.15pm
St Mary’s Isle – 3 miles – easy

Sunday 4th August. 11.30am
Kippford/Rockcliffe circular – 3 miles – easy with some uneven paths (if you’re happy to provide a lift please bring your car)

Some general information.
Meet outside Kirkcudbright Parish Church – Don’t forget your sandwiches!
All timings are approximate, depending on the length of the morning’s service!
The walks are ‘self-supporting’ in that participants are responsible for themselves. We’re not a club that folk join, simply like-minded people getting together for a walk.

Further reminders about forthcoming walks will be posted on the Church notice boards.

Sue McMinn
 

A MESSAGE FROM YOUR PASTORAL CARE TEAM: "WE CARE ABOUT HERE"!!

At last week’s meeting of the Pastoral Care Team, we were very pleased to welcome Val Ellwood as another member of our team. We are thrilled to have Val on board.

We are delighted that our locked box at the back of the Church seems to be working well. This box is emptied weekly and we are always here if you or someone you know needs a helping hand. On the subject of “helping hands”, we wondered if there was a need for us to help each other with, for instance, a spot of gardening or shopping, or whatever. If you think this sounds like something that would be useful to you, please let Irene or Alison know.

We are thrilled to announce that the Church Friendship Club (formerly the Wednesday Club) will re-start on Wednesday, 2nd October, 2019 and will run until March, from 2.00pm to 4.00pm, with a break from mid-December until mid-January. The format will be similar to before, transport being provided, as well as entertainment and a cup of tea. If you have any ideas of what kind of entertainment you would like, please let us know before our next meeting on 30th May – this is your group!!