COLONSAY CHURCHES - The Church of Scotland


Notes on Argyll Presbytery Meeting 5th March 2020


Points which might be of interest and of relevance to the church in Colonsay and Oronsay.

Presentation on Suicide Awareness . At every Presbytery meeting time is set aside for a presentation or in-depth discussion. This time there was a presentation on the Suicide Prevention Scheme by Tracy Preece of A&B CHCP. At least two people in Scotland complete suicide every day and many people need support to hold the hope. She provides training such as Safe Talk and Mental Health First Aid and agreed to arrange these for Argyll Presbytery.

New Youth Worker. Susan Whyte was welcomed as the new Youth Worker for eXp in Cowal.

Presbytery Moderator . The Presbytery appoints a new Moderator each year who is either an elder or a minister. Rev Owain Jones, United Church in Bute, will take up the role in June.

Business Committee. All congregations will be encouraged to adopt the Unitary Constitution, having only a Kirk Session and no Congregational Board. Consideration is being given on how to improve the Presbytery website and communication in general. Consideration is being given on whether the Presbytery should meet for two days twice a year, rather than one day three times a year and a two day conference. The aim is to encourage younger elders to participate.

Argyll Presbytery Youth Worker, Kenny Wilson outlined plans for the upcoming spring youth weekend at Port Ban Caravan Park with groups of young people from Oban, Kintyre, Dunoon and Lochgilphead. The theme is "Following Jesus". A group of folk will meet in Kilmartin in March to discuss working with P5-P7 age group ( Myra was there wearing her Godly Play hat).

Presbytery Planning. To complete the review of the Presbytery Plan the review group will be initiating discussion with the remaining four charges who have not yet been visited including Colonsay. The four congregations in North Mull will unite into one congregation.

Jen Zielinski , one of our Readers, is planning to lead a group of pilgrims to Israel and Palestine in support of an initiative by Rev John McCulloch to establish a sacred space at the home of the Nasser family near Bethlehem. The hope is that this worship area will protect the farm and its produce from further threats of demolition by the Israeli authorities.

Moment for Mission . Morian Fletcher gave her "Moment for Mission", which happens every Presbytery meeting when a member of Presbytery reports on some local mission initiative. She spoke about the twice weekly food bank run by the churches in Dunoon where, in addition to food parcels, much needed emotional and practical support is shared along with lunch.

Pastoral Carers. Three additional Pastoral Carers have been appointed to Argyll Presbytery. (Myra is also one of the Pastoral Carers who offer support to ministers and ministry development staff in the Presbytery.)

Training for Readers and Local Worship Leaders. Jo Love from the Wild Goose Resource Group of the Iona Community will be leading a day of training in Tarbert.

Safeguarding. Doreen Henderson, the Presbytery Safeguarding contact, has been asked to provide safeguarding training for Oban Baptist Church and New Hope in Oban.

Radical Action Plan. The Presbytery Clerk reported on a recent meeting of Presbytery Clerks where the strapline was "the church is local, if it doesn't thrive locally, it doesn't thrive!". The aim is to move the central resources of the church nearer to the people. There will be a "Seeds for Change Fund" with micro grants of £750, mini grants of up to £6,000 and main grants of up to £32,000 , with no matched funding. 43 presbyteries are being amalgamated into 10, but Argyll is unchanged at the moment as churches from Dumbarton Presbytery have decided not to join us. Discussions are ongoing.

[ Notes by Myra Waddell, Presbytery Elder COPC. ]



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