PASTORAL CARE - REACHING OUT TO THOSE IN NEED

Our Friendship Group runs from October until March so sadly as far as the 2020/21 session is concerned, this is the year that never was!! However, you are not forgotten and I hope the small gifts we delivered to you all recently have reminded you of that.
Please remember that if you or anyone you know needs assistance from the Pastoral Care Team, we are always here to help, in the first instance by ringing Irene Robertson.
 

ECO CONGREGATION - UN CLIMATE CHANGE CONFERENCE

COP26: What is it?

The ‘twenty sixth conference of the parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change’ ,or COP26 for short, will take place Covid restrictions permitting at the Scottish Event Campus (SEC) in Glasgow from 1 to 12 November 2021. Since the first COP in Berlin in 1995 there has been slow and painstaking progress towards international agreement. Getting every country in the world to sign up to life changing commitments is not easy but in Paris in 2015 (COP21) there was agreement to limit global warming to well below 2° Celsius compared to pre-industrial levels and if possible to 1.5°C.

Why is the COP important?

As global temperatures rise so do the range of risks and their severity, particularly for tropical countries. Small island states and low lying countries are dangerously exposed to rising sea levels and have campaigned to limit temperature rises to 1.5°C. Without radical action this will very likely happen before mid-century.

Who is involved?

Diplomatic representatives from all countries will be joined by campaigners, lobbyists, businesses, scientists, NGOs and the world’s media. Faith groups will be well represented, from the Holy See and World Council of Churches (members include the Church of Scotland and Scottish Episcopal Church) to development agencies and other faith groups including ACT Alliance, Islamic Relief, Brahma Kumaris and many others. The total number of participants may be in the thousands – although post pandemic travel restrictions make the precise number uncertain.

Louise Finch
 

ATKINSON PLACE HOME AVAILABLE

A one bedroom flat at Number 4 Atkinson Place is now available for let.  Applications for the tenancy of this property should be made in writing to:-

Rebecca Reed, Messrs G M Thomson & Co, 35 Buccleuch Street, Dumfries, DG1 2AB.
 

A MESSAGE FROM OUR FINANCE CONVENER

At its meeting on 17th March, the Kirk Session approved the accounts which will be presented to the Annual Stated Meeting on 25th April.

The Appeal leaflet which was circulated in February highlighted some of the difficulties that the church has faced during the Covid pandemic. But the Kirk Session would like to express its deep gratitude to those who have found new ways to make their contribution, those who have increased their regular payments and those who have responded to the Appeal, which so far has raised £4010. We are also especially grateful to those who have continued to give at a time when their own financial situation has been very difficult as a result of the pandemic.

Like all churches, we depend on the generosity of our members. Thank you to all who have
responded generously in the challenging year just past.

Graham Finch
Convener, Finance Team
 

WHAT WILL BE KIRKCUDBRIGHT PARISH CHURCH'S LEGACY

(A letter contributed by some members of our congregation.)

The Kirk Session has recently approved the planning stage for a church sanctuary refurbishment programme. Details of these plans were shown in the February edition of the Church Newsletter.  The church sanctuary modernisation will no doubt enhance church worship and help to create a town community facility. All of this is happening at a crucial time for our church and our community. But let us put aside building plans just for the moment and concentrate on what our churches core activities are and in particular about what our church’s legacy will be?

Legacy? Well as we grow older, we tend to think a lot about the past and the good times, or what we perceive were the good times. We also think seriously about what legacy we leave to our family.  As Christians we would all like our Legacy to be that, through this church, we as a part of the Christian Community of Kirkcudbright have brought people to Christ. Remember the old saying; for every soul that comes to Christ there is rejoicing in heaven. Let us change lives, let that be our true legacy to the town of Kirkcudbright.

At this key time in our church’s life, we need to support our minister and elders. But it is also mperative that we, the members of the congregation, play a key role in that regeneration planning.  Also, as we are after all renovating a place of worship, the way this is carried out needs to be thought through at many more levels than just as simply building work. As we seek financial support from within the community and through grant funding bodies it is important that such funders have a vision compatible with the church’s primary aims and priorities.

So, what are the churches priorities? Well obviously, the proclamation of the good news of Jesus through worshiping, witnessing, nurturing, and serving our community. We serve our community in many ways but there are priority areas that so far remain relatively untouched.

One of these key areas is the youth of our community. In the past we have had a part-time Youth Worker linked to Barcaple. Perhaps now is the time to invest in a full-time Christian Youth and Community worker capable of supporting our minister and elders in service and mission. This support has a financial implication, but again it comes back to priorities and legacy. We need to bring in new members; that is what the congregational age profile, the numbers attending services and core discipleship surely tells us. Could the funding for such a worker be a Kirkcudbright Churches Together Project? Possibly through a Covenant Scheme, a yearly donation made by members of the churches and ringfenced to support youth and community work in our town.

There is also the matter of improving the support for our minister and church service provision.  Key to a modern church is a supporting framework of administration, technology support, and Sunday Service and Mission support. The Church of Scotland in this town is much more than just a Sunday service or indeed a building; we need to have a holistic view of what it is to be a worshiping community in this age. So, as the church plans for the building upgrade, we should all plan not just for the physical refurbishment but also the spiritual regeneration of our community.

The congregation needs to know what the churches five year or even ten year plans are, and indeed what are the priority areas for the church in the next few years. If the church needs money for the building work, many will donate. If the church asks for money for a Christian Youth and Community worker to help our Minister or for enhanced church service or office support or whatever, we believe you will be surprised at how generous the congregation, and indeed the whole town will be.

Go for it, Kirkcudbright Parish Church think the big picture, think the future, think people. The church is after all the people. The Lord will provide, but for the church to move forward it must present to the congregation a clear vision of where it is going.

Acts 2: 17: In the last days, God says, I will pour out my Spirit on all people. Your sons and daughters will prophesy, your young men will see visions, your old men will dream dreams.

May the Holy Spirit guide the church in the days to come.

May God’s work be done in this town!

Ron McHugh, Marian and Andy Dixon

(Any comment or feedback on this letter should be e-mailed to the Editor)