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August 7, 2017 · 15:34

Truants

Watching the (live stream) of the Church of Scotland’s General Assembly last week, a face from the past popped up to ask a particular question during a debate.

I hadn’t seen him for many years, but he used to be a Minister in the town where I live, before he moved elsewhere.

He would pop into the local Infirmary (where I worked as the full-time healthcare chaplain) now and again, to visit the hospitalised members of his congregation.

Several times, when I was chatting to certain patients who worshipped at his church, they would remark on what a clever man he was, with a wide ranging knowledge of just about everything.

“You know” someone would tell me, “he’s even abreast of the day time soaps on TV, and has been keeping me up to date with them”

Another patient, “You know that antiques programme on the telly at 3 o’clock?  Well, Mr D was able to tell me that someone who had bought a piece of junk in a car boot sale for a couple of quid, had it valued by an expert at £500”

And so on.

Of course, they all missed the point – Mr D wasn’t out working every day, but was sitting in his Manse, watching afternoon TV!

–oo00oo–

Many years ago, Helen and the boys and I were driving somewhere on a particular Sunday morning – probably setting off on holiday with my in-laws in Suffolk (presumably because I had to be around on the Saturday for a wedding)

En route, I was amazed to see so many of my own Kirk members, including some Elders, walking their dogs, washing their cars, going to the supermarket…..with about 10 minutes before their “home” church service was due to start.

The cliche is true, as so many are, “When the cat’s away….”

–oo00oo–

Now and again, when ministering in Trinidad, we had a two hour Saturday morning discussion/training session for church Elders.

For one of these – held in the first week in July – I received a lot of apologies for absence.  The meeting itself was poorly attended.

Trinidad is four hours behind British time.  Last week in July. London – 2.00 pm.  And in those days, guess what happened in SW19?  Yep, the Wimbledon men’s finals. (shown on TV)

It was only on the Sunday morning, that some of my Elders (post service) asked, “Did you see that Match?  Wonderful!”  oops!

–oo00oo–

Lastly, a ministerial friend who was Presbytery Business Convener, sent in his apologies to the Clerk, saying that he was unable to attend the Meeting “for family reasons”

Aye, the “family” was his fellow football team fans!  There was a big European game that evening – and not only did he attend, but was caught on (TV) camera.  Ouch!

 

 

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Synchronisity

Synchronisity: on the occasional Sunday morning, I’ve taken the worship service at the Upper Clyde Parish Church at Abington, while the minister was on leave.

Nikki Macdonald was ordained and inducted there last October, following a placement in Musselburgh with a Minister, Yvonne Atkins.

Many moons ago, when I was Minister at Inveresk Kirk in Musselburgh, Yvonne was my student attachment.

At Upper Clyde, the Session Clerk is Moira White, whose husband Bob was MY supervisor, during my Probationary Assistantship (1973-4).

Moira happened to mention, after one Sunday’s service, that her elder son, Graham, is a doctor in Polmont.

My cousin, Richard , lives in Polmont, and – yep! – Dr. Graham White is his GP.

What a funny old inter-connected world!

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Mysterious Ways

This Sunday, I’m taking the worship service at a church (about half an hour’s drive from me).  The regular Minister was at the same Ministry Selection School with me in 1970, and our paths never crossed over all these years since then. On the next two Sunday’s, I’m in the pulpit of a newly ordained and inducted Minister, who was the trainee assistant to a Minister, who, in years gone by, was a student attachment at the Church where I was the Minister (St. Michael’s, Inveresk.). It gets stranger – the Church where I’m preaching in a couple of weeks time has, as its Session Clerk, the widow of the Minister, in whose Kirk in Edinburgh, I was the (very young) Assistant (1973-74)

Oh, and the Church where I’m preaching THIS Sunday – the predecessor of the Minister in whose Kirk grouping that I’m conducting worship? My old “boss” from all these years ago in Edinburgh!

coincidence? synchronicity? or….. something more profound?

There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio, Than are dreamt of in your philosophy. – Hamlet (1.5.167-8), Hamlet to Horatio

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Wee Donny writes c**p (again)

Hebrides News – 20 December 2014

Sir,

I see that the Church of Scotland continues to defy and undermine the word of God by asking its 46 Presbyteries to vote – before Hogmanay – on whether to allow congregations to appoint ‘gay’ ministers.

The folly of putting God’s law up for a vote, especially in a morally compromised church, is nothing less that demonic. The church is not a political entity and ought to know that the Bible, the word of God, is its operating manual and no law is paramount to that.

Who does the Church of Scotland think they are when they freely give presbyteries and congregations the opportunity to vote on whether they should accept ‘gay’ ministers?
National kirk is an “ungodly institution”
Any church that brazenly, and bizarrely, fancies it can decide on what is acceptable or unacceptable in the perfect word of God has lost its very right to be called a church. Not only is it an apostate church, it is also a synagogue of Satan.

The truth has to be formally recorded about the Church of Scotland. The national kirk is an ungodly institution run by godless, and graceless, men and women. The kirk is both a disgrace and a sinful blot on our nation’s spiritual landscape, and shame on it. The scandalous evidence of its reputation is in the public domain for all to see. Instead of being a light in the midst of darkness it has blackened the nation by approving of practices which a holy God, and His unchanging word, condemns and abhors.

Let us set the record straight here. Nowhere in the Bible does God approve of a homosexual relationship, and neither does a holy God let sinful man redefine marriage.

Scripture clearly tells us that the Rev Scott Rennie should not, because of his immoral lifestyle, be in the Christian ministry. A manse and a pulpit is no place for a man who unashamedly disregards God’s word and Divine law, and who has no love for the truth. The practice of homosexuality is incompatible with Christian teaching. Homosexuality and Christianity can never approvingly coexist beside one other. It never has and it never will. This is absolute truth as recorded in the Bible, and Divine truth cannot be edited.

When the Church of Scotland says and thinks otherwise, and it quite clearly does, then it is guilty of hypocrisy and religious sacrilege. In their approval of relationships which are depraved, ungodly and unbiblical, then God’s damning words of judgment are pronounced upon the hierarchy of the church. He regards them, not as true Christians but as “traitors, heady, high-minded, lovers of pleasure more than lovers of God…men of corrupt minds, reprobate concerning the truth.” (2Timothy 3v4&8) This is God’s verdict, not mine, and what solemn condemnation it is. He will not be mocked, when church commissioners dare to poke fun at all that is sacred and ‘change the truth of God into a lie’ (Romans 1 verse 25).

What is desperately needed more than anything else, both in the heart of the Church of Scotland and in the heart of every other Scottish church that has turned its back on God’s word is repentance and reformation.

Mr Donald J Morrison
85 Old Edinburgh Road
Inverness

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Sky Pilots

Because of turbulence yesterday, we had a bumpy landing at Manchester airport.  On the plane was a local Pastor and his wife, Mark and Helen Smith (of the River of Life Church).  Mark posted on FB that at least we had three preachers aboard!

This reminds me of the joke about a little old lady who is flying for the first time.  After half an hour, she notices that one of the engines has packed up.
  
She calls the flight attendant who reassures her that the plane can fly quite safely without it. 

Another half hour - another engine fails. 

Again, the flight attendant says that everything will be fine..... then adds, "Don't worry, we have three ministers aboard".

To which she replies, "I'd rather have two engines that are OK - these ******** only work on a Sunday"

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Hootsmon

some of the readers’ comments – online edition of the Scotsman (following its report on the Kirk’s debate yesterday about same-sex ministerial civil unions.

Some nasty stuff here

 

 

 

pigpen

8:37 AM on 22/05/2014

Stick to the way of the Bible, or are people wanting to run
religion in the manner they wish? Dangerous.

 

 

The Ayrshire Bard

8:27 AM on 22/05/2014

I’m not sure that a gay minister can discuss the sanctity of marriage with a young couple prior to their marriage?

 

 

Thucydides

8:12 AM on 22/05/2014

I fear for the Kirk now.
The Word of God rejected, the flock misled.
Nothing new in this, Paul warned about it very early on in Ephesus and it has occurred constantly since. 
The difficult but probably correct decision for the believers in the Kirk now is to decide if they can stay in a Kirk that has failed to apply the Word of God, clearly written, to their lives. A difficult personal decision must be made.
Loyalty to Jesus their Lord, or loyalty to a disobedient church.
The end result of either decision, while hard, is obvious.

 

 

AntoineBisset

8:09 AM on 22/05/2014

“But Rev Bryan Kerr, countering the Evangelical motion, said that while he was not “100 per cent comfortable” with the gay clergy plans, he said it offered “the best chance of peace and unity” for the Kirk.”

Peace and unity of the Church are far from being the important point. Adhering to the teachings of Christ as promulgated by Christians down the centuries is. Up till now Christian teaching has been clear that homosexuality is a deviation from the norm that is not to be condoned.

 

 

Richard Lionheart

7:50 AM on 22/05/2014

“go into the world of darkness and conform to all it’s ways”
the Gospel according to the CofS!

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Teeth

I once had an assistant minister whose dentures didn’t fit very well.

When he offered a prayer at a Sunday service, it came out as “Let us spray” – and I was usually wiping off spittle from my spectacles as a result.

In another charge, advice from a senior elder about the evening service: just preach the same sermon from the morning – but take your teeth out!

And – I’ve told this before – a dentist friend and regular church attender told me of a minister being fitted with new false teeth; his dentist suggested that he looked into the mirror and say something to find out what he sounded like; the clergyman enunciated the words, “Jesus Christ”, to which the dentist commentated, “Oh, come on, Reverend, they’re not that bad!”

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The Reverend I. M. Different

One particular fellow sky pilot often forgets to announce that the Offering will be collected – and someone from the Choir has to whisper in his ear during the last hymn to remind him of this omission.  His response is usually to say to the congregation “Oh, silly me – I forgot to ask you for your cash!”

another man of the cloth who was obviously not firing on all cylinders one Sunday morning and after the congregation had sung the first hymn, he pronounced the Blessing or Benediction – thus closing the service.  My erstwhile colleague left the punters in the pew somewhat puzzled

A fellow Divinity student friend once took a service during the University vacation, and discovered that the service was going to be rather short – so he had the congregation repeat the Nicene Creed and had them say the Lord’s Prayer a second time toward the end of the service – all to pad it out.

how about the retired minister “filling in”during a vacancy  – he announced from the pulpit that some people found his sermons too long.  So, on this particular Sunday (and I was there at that church as a worshipper), he announced, “This morning’s sermon will be much shorter, in the Name of the Father and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen”……  and that was it!

One of the kirks where I was minister was used by a neighbouring vacant Charge to assess and then interview one the applicants for the post.

Poor guy got landed with taking the service on Trinity Sunday (which all clergy love – not).

His children’s story was very inventive, using three drinking straws bound together with sellotape.  He started by asking the kids what an equilateral triangle is.  Silence.  He then attempted to explain before the whole thing fell to pieces.  Quickly, he reassembled it.  Interruption from a surly teen (not part of the Sunday School contingent):  “Isn’t that now an Isosceles Triangle?”

Guest minister: “No, it’s not!  And my first Degree is in Maths, so I should know!”

He didn’t get the job.

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The Gairdner

charlieCharlie Chaplain’s Tales
When I first started my full- time  healthcare chaplaincy post some fourteen years ago, I visited as many of the clients and residents at our then mental-health care facility.
“Hello, I’m Sandy, the new chaplain” I would introduce myself.
On one occasion, the response was “I’m John and I’m a gardener” (with a broad Galloway accent – “gairdner”)
He was interrupted by a fellow female client: “I’m X…. and I’m awff ma heid”
“Wheesht, wumin”, interposed old John, “Ye dinnae ken whit ye’re talking aboot!”
He monopolised the rest of the conversation.
“Ah ken you meenisters; Ah usetae dae gairdenin’ work fur some o’ them at their big posh manses”
“Aye,” he continued, “ye sit oan yer erses a’ afternoon readin’ the ‘Scotsman’ and drinkin’ wheesky”
I hadn’t the heart to contradict him.  It was usually a G & T and the “Herald” for me
ADAM_THE_GARDENER__2_JPG

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