Old High St. Stephen's, Inverness

Welcome to Old High St Stephen's Church, Inverness

Month: October 2018

What must we do? Sermon for Sunday 14 October Proper 23

Our text from the Letter to the Hebrews today begins with a vivid image:

The word of God is alive and active, sharper than any double-edged sword. It cuts all the way through, to where soul and spirit meet, to where joints and marrow come together.

A sharp sword was the deadliest weapon of ancient times- the Kalashnikov of the Roman era. So this image is like something from a very bloody battle- or a very graphic horror film. A sword that cuts through flesh, joints and marrow is an unsettling thought. And it is used to describe the word of God.

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Old High Music 3 November 2018

You can download a copy of the Programme for this event here

Sunday Bulletin 14 October 2018

Sunday 21 October 2018 Proper 24
10:00am Morning Worship at St Stephen’s
11.15 am Morning Worship at the Old High
Both Services led by Vivian Roden, Reader
THE MINISTER WILL BE ON HOLIDAY from 18 to 30 October inclusive. For any pastoral matters, please contact your elder, or Rev Andrew Lyon
HARVEST THANKSGIVING Thank you to everyone for their donation of flowers, plants and food for the Foodbank. Thanks also to everyone who delivered gifts: they were much appreciated by our members especially those who are housebound.
SUNDAY EVENING DISCUSSION GROUP will meet in St Stephen’s vestry at 7pm on Sundays 21 October and 4 November. On the next occasion we shall discuss chapters 5 and 6 of Philip Yansey’s thought-provoking book ‘Vanishing Grace’. More details from Andrew Stevenson
OLD HIGH CHURCH OPENING During the month of October the Church will be open at the following times: Thursdays 10.00-12.00; Fridays 10.00-12.00 and 2-4pm. New Volunteers are always welcome: contact Sheila MacLeod macloshei<at>aol.com
HOLY COMMUNION will be celebrated at the Old High on Sunday 28 October. All welcome at the Lord’s Table.
OLD HIGH MUSIC Saturday 3 November at 12 noon. Katy Bell studied Cello in London and the US and is now a freelance orchestral and chamber musician based in Inverness. Alice Durrant studied Double Bass in London and Sydney and now plays with the BBC Philharmonic in Manchester. This is a special opportunity to hear these instruments as a Duo, performed by friends who have known each other since early childhood. Details from Andrew Stevenson ohssmusic<at>gmail.com
BLYTHSWOOD BOXES This is the 25th year of the Blythswood Shoe Box Appeal. Why not bring some happiness to someone in need this Christmas. Fill a shoe box with simple gifts and it will bring untold joy to someone who never gets a present. Leaflets are available, with all the necessary instructions at the Church door. Bring your box back to Church or deliver it to Blythswood Care. Further information from Jaye Rankine robrankine125<at>btinternet.com
PASTORAL CARE Peter, or the Rev Arthur Sinclair, our Pastoral Assistant, should be informed of anyone ill at home or in hospital.
CROSSREACH Prayer diary October 2018 to January 2019, Newsletter, and Christmas catalogue now available at church doors. Rae Swan.
SUNDAY BULLETIN Please send items for this sheet to our Church Administrator: Mrs Pat MacLeod invernesschurch<at>gmail.com. Deadline Wednesday at 12 noon. Please keep items as brief as possible, and include contact details and/or e-mail.
CHURCH AND HALL BOOKINGS OLD HIGH and ST STEPHEN’S All hall bookings (including one-off events like concerts, coffee mornings and exhibitions, and for church activities and regular events) should be made as follows: St Stephen’s Church and Halls at Southside Road: Katharina Nimmo; Old High Church and Old High Halls Pat MacLeod, Church Administrator invernesschurch<at>gmail.com. Booking essential, even for the smallest events!
FRIENDS OF THE OLD HIGH CHURCH. The Annual General Meeting will be held in the Old High Church Hall on Monday 22 October at 7pm (enter by School Lane). Christina Cameron christinajcameron6<at>gmail.com
HEALING SERVICE Christian Fellowship of Healing (Highlands) will hold a healing service at St Stephen’s today at 4pm to which all are welcome. Contact David Martin.
AT THE HEART. ON THE EDGE at Ness Bank Church on Tuesday 13 November 10 am to 3.30 pm. Hosted by Rev Fiona Smith, Minister of Ness Bank Parish Church, and Rev Dr Sam Wells, Vicar of St Martin-in-the- Fields. Programme has been developed jointly by Ness Bank Church and St Martin’s. HeartEdge is a growing ecumenical network of churches and other organisations working across the UK and overseas, initiated by St Martin-in-the-Fields. It aims to catalyse Kingdom Communities, both for those working at the heart of commerce, culture and community, and those on the edge. Topics for the day include: liturgy and worship for day-to-day communal life; starting and sustaining distinctive enterprise to generate finance for your church; addressing social need locally; using art, music and performance to reimagine the Christian story. More at https://www.stmartin-in-the-fields.org/life-st-martins/mission/heartedge/. Please register to attend at https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/at-the-heart-on-the-edge-tickets-48122091471?aff=eac2, or contact our Minister, Peter.

Funeral Announcement – Mrs Daphne Mackintosh

Mrs Daphne Mackintosh, Broom Drive, Inverness, died on 3 October 2018.

Mrs Mackintosh’s funeral will be held on Tuesday 16 October 2018 at 1.30pm in St Stephen’s Church, Southside Road, Inverness.

Further details from the Funeral Director :  John Fraser & Son, 17-19 Chapel Street, Inverness IV1 1NA (01463) 233366

Funeral Announcement – Mr Derek Moffat

Mr Derek Moffat, Darnaway Road, Inverness, died on 4 October 2018.

Mr Moffat’s funeral will be held on Monday 15 October 2018 at 1pm at John Fraser & Son Service Room, 17-19 Chapel Street, Inverness IV1 1NA.

Further details from the Funeral Director (01463) 233366 

Speech for Proud Ness by the Rev Peter W Nimmo

Our minister, the Rev Peter W Nimmo, was asked to give one of the speeches for the opening of the Proud Ness event in Inverness on 6 October 2018.

This is the speech he gave, at the Northern Meeting Park, following the parade from the city centre.

The crowd at the Northern Meeting Park as Peter spoke

Good morning everyone- thank you having me. It’s a joy and a pleasure to be here.

I was really surprised to be asked by Highland LGBT Forum to speak today- but I’m also honoured, and deeply grateful.

Inverness is a small city. And many of you will have come from even smaller places around the Highlands. So it’s often hard to connect with the LGBT community in this part of Scotland.

Today is a chance to connect. There is lots of celebration going on. And there’s a great programme of events and stalls here at Eden Court, on the issues LGBT folk face. Fun and educational- what’s not to like about this event?

Compared to the past, we’re living in a time when it’s maybe a bit easier for people to be honest about their sexuality. Yet there are still taboos around sexuality and gender identity issues.

For young people in particular, it can be a struggle. Bullying, and a lack of understanding, can result in mental health problems and harmful behaviour. This is a challenge for schools and mental health services, but also for all of us.

Because young people, and people of all ages, need to have friends to speak to, friends to share their feelings with, friends who will listen, friends who will be kind, friends who will not be judgemental.

I hope today is a signal to LGBT folks in the Highlands that you do have friends who care, and who stand alongside you. Let’s all pledge to be friends to those who need us!

Within the churches, there are folk who call themselves friends and allies. And LGBT Christians do find a home in some churches. But sadly, religious people are sometimes among those who are the least understanding.

Christians have misread the Bible, and used outmoded theology and attitudes, to hurt, discriminate and exclude. We have often acted judgementally and unlovingly towards our LGBT neighbours.

For this, we can only repent before God, apologise to those whom we have hurt, and try to learn how to do better[1].

When I read about Jesus in my Bible, I find someone who challenges the tendency of religious people to make rules which exclude and discriminate. And Jesus assures even those who seem on the edges of respectable society that God loves them. He speaks about loving our neighbour, and not judging others. So, to be a follower of Jesus today is to show love, understanding and respect to our neighbours, whoever they are, whatever their gender identity or sexuality.

Today we are, rightly, focussed on respect for people, regardless of sexuality or identity. But in our world right now, there are loud voices trying to make all sorts of discrimination respectable again. Racism, sexism, bigotry of all kinds seem to be being talked about more and more. Minorities are anxious; hatred is becoming tolerated.

So it’s really, really good to have, here in an Inverness, an event today which is uncompromisingly about inclusion, acceptance and love.

Thanks, again, for giving me the chance to speak today. Enjoy yourselves, everyone!

Rev Peter W Nimmo,

Minister of Old High St Stephen’s Church of Scotland, Inverness

[1] In the Church of Scotland, the General Assembly is the highest authority in the Church. The Assembly of 2017 passed the following deliverance (on the report of the Theological Forum):

3(b) Invite the Church to take stock of its history of discrimination at different levels and in different ways against gay people and to apologise individually and corporately and seek to do better.

Watch the speech here (courtesy of Gèidh.uk)

Sunday Bulletin for 7 October 2018


Sunday 14 October 2018 Proper 23

10:00am Morning Worship at St Stephen’s

11.15 am Morning Worship at the Old High

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Thank God for food!: sermon for Harvest Thanksgiving, 7 October 2018

Scripture Readings: Deuteronomy 26.1-11

Luke 4:1-13

In the name of God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit, Amen.

Sometimes, gratitude is the last things on our mind. We may be dealing with one challenge after another- illness, bereavement, problems with family or work. There are times when it becomes hard to cope, when we are likely to become worried and irritable if we are not careful. We can forget to be thankful.

But in our service today, are called to thanksgiving. We’ve just heard part of the instructions for the people of Israel for celebrating their harvest thanksgiving festival. These are instructions for a farming community, in the days when the vast majority of the people lived off the land. So the command was not that you gave money (as we do week by week in church nowadays), but that you gave a share of the produce of your farm to God- the first part of the crop to be placed on a basket and offered to God.

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