Old High St. Stephen's, Inverness

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Sunday Bulletin 18 August 2019

WORSHIP THIS WEEK

Sunday 25 August 2019: Proper 16

10 am Sacrament of Holy Communion at St Stephen’s

Led by the Minister

NB ALL SUNDAY MORNING SERVICES IN AUGUST

AT ST STEPHEN’S

NEWS FROM OUR CONGREGATION – contact details from the Church Administrator

AUGUST SUNDAY SERVICES AT ST STEPHEN’S With a view to strengthening the life of the congregation, the Kirk Session has decided to hold only one service on Sunday in July and August. All our services in July were at Old High, and all the August services will be at St Stephen’s at 10am. The Session trust you will give this initiative your enthusiastic support! Please speak to your elder if you have any questions. If anyone has trouble getting to church during this period, please contact your elder, or Pat, our Church Administrator, and we will try to organise a lift (079 342 85924).

THE SACRAMENT OF HOLY COMMUNION will be celebrated at St Stephen’s next Sunday 25 August. All welcome at the Lord’s Table. Retiring Offering in aid of the Maggie’s Centre, which provides practical, emotional and social support to people living with cancer and their family and friends at Raigmore.

KIRKING OF THE COUNCIL Sunday 8 September 2019, 11.15am, Old High Church. As always, we will all be at Old High for Kirking Sunday, now well-established as a major community event and a wonderful chance for our Congregation to bring the Christian message to the secular world. Taking part in the service with our Minister this year will be our friend, the Rev Doug McRoberts, who is Moderator of Inverness Presbytery this year. Please make it a priority to support what is one of the most important and significant events in our Congregational calendar. More from Peter.

OLD HIGH CHURCH OPENING PROGRAMME The Church Opening programme is once again proving popular with both tourists and local people. We are open from 10.00-12.00 and 2-4pm on Tuesday-Friday each week. New Volunteers are, however, now urgently required. You are welcome on a regular or occasional basis. For more information contact Sheila MacLeod.

Old High Music the second half of the 2019 programme commences on Saturday 24 August at 12 noon, when Gordon Tocher, organist at Inverness Cathedral, will perform a Fugue and Choral Prelude by Bach, a Handel Organ Concerto, and a selection of compositions by 19th century French composers. Gordon has contributed much to Old High Music over the years, so we are delighted to welcome him back to the console. Andrew Stevenson. Get onto the mailing list!.

Sunday Evening Discussion Group will recommence on Sunday 25 August at 7pm in St Stephen’s vestry. We continue to work through chapters in Sam Wells’ book  that seek to give a Christian perspective on some of the most topical issues of our day, starting with Europe and Social Media. Anyone who might like to join the group at this point should contact Andrew Stevenson to get advance access to the book.

CRAFT EVENING St Stephen’s Hall 7.30–9pm, Wednesday 28 August. Crafters and non-crafters welcome (you may wish to learn a craft). Friendly atmosphere and refreshments provided Susan MacLeod.

OHSS Magazine editor Willie Morrison urgently requires articles and photos for the September issue. Please submit whatever you can, as early as possible. The deadline is Friday 13 September.

HARVEST WEEKEND COMMUNITY FESTIVAL The Outreach and Events Action Team is planning a weekend of events for Harvest. We hope to involve children, families and the local community over the weekend of 5-6 October. To find out more, come along to a meeting at St Stephen’s on Tuesday 20 August at 7.30pm. Details: Joan Darcy.

GENERAL DATA PROTECTION REGULATION (GDPR) The General Data Protection Regulation GDPR came into effect in the UK on 25 May 2018. It replaces the existing law on data protection (the Data Protection Act 1998) and gives individuals more rights and protections with regard to how their personal data is used by organisations. Congregations must comply with its requirements, as there are no relevant exemptions for charities or small organisations. The OHSS Privacy Notice, Data Protection Policy and Data Retention Policy can be viewed on the OHSS website (www.oldhighststephens.com). If you want paper copies of these notices, or have any queries with regard to GDPR, please contact our Church Administrator, Pat MacLeod.

PASTORAL CARE Peter, or your Elder, should be informed of anyone ill at home or in hospital.

SUNDAY BULLETIN Please send items for this sheet to our Church Administrator: Mrs Pat MacLeod (079 342 85924) invernesschurch<at>gmail.com. Deadline Wednesday at 12 noon. Please keep items as brief as possible, and include contact details and/or e-mail.

OTHER NEWS

WELL EQUIPPED SPACES IN THE RIGHT PLACES Over the next few months, the Church of Scotland General Trustees will be inviting your views on one of the most crucial issues for the future of our Church: how best to manage our church land and buildings. An online survey will run until Saturday 31 October, giving you the chance to express your views on the best ways to manage, use and maintain our buildings for the future. The Rt Rev Colin Sinclair, the Moderator of the General Assembly, said “Buildings are hugely important to everyone in the Church and we all have strong feelings about the buildings we know best. This consultation is important so I encourage everyone who cares about the Church to take time to work through the survey and make their views known. This will ensure that the plan that will go to the 2020 General Assembly will be the very best plan we can make for the future of our congregations as well as for the mission of the Church.” The survey is available at https://www.churchofscotland.org.uk/news_and_events/news/2019/your_opportunity_to_help_shape_the_churchs_plan_for_land_and_buildings . If you can’t access it via a computer, contact Peter on 01463 250 802.

Which gods? Sermon for 18 August 2019 (Proper 15)

Scripture Readings: Psalm 82

Luke 12:49-56

Which gods?

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

God presides in the heavenly council; in the assembly of the gods he gives his decision (Psalm 82.1).

Today’s Psalm asks us to picture a strange scene. The scene is a ‘heavenly court’, or an assembly of gods. The Lord God of Israel presides- but he’s not the only god there- he’s speaking to other gods.

This Psalm must be harking back to the earliest days of Israel’s religious history. In ancient times, people tended to believe in a lot of different gods- the Greeks had Mercury, Apollo and Zeus, the Egyptians made gods of the Pharaohs and worshipped Ra the sun god alongside other lesser deities. The genius of Israel’s faith was that they began to see that their tribal God, the God Moses had met in the desert, this God who had no name, this strange God who insisted on love and justice- this God was maker of heaven and earth, was greater than all the other gods, was, indeed, the only true God. This was an incredible insight that changed the world. But it was a change that happened gradually.

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Sunday Bulletin 11 August 2019

Sunday 18 August 2019: Proper 15

10 am Morning Worship at St Stephen’s

Led by the Minister

NB ALL SUNDAY MORNING SERVICES IN AUGUST

AT ST STEPHEN’S

NEWS FROM OUR CONGREGATION – Contact Details from our Church Administrator

AUGUST SUNDAY SERVICES AT ST STEPHEN’S With a view to strengthening the life of the congregation, the Kirk Session has decided to hold only one service on Sunday in July and August. All our services in July were at Old High, and all the August services will be at St Stephen’s at 10am. The Session trust you will give this initiative your enthusiastic support! Please speak to your elder if you have any questions. If anyone has trouble getting to church during this period, please contact your elder, or Pat, our Church Administrator, and we will try to organise a lift (079 342 85924).

OLD HIGH CHURCH OPENING PROGRAMME The Church Opening programme is once again proving popular with both tourists and local people. We are open from 10.00-12.00 and 2-4pm on Tuesday-Friday each week. New Volunteers are welcome on a regular or occasional basis. For more information contact Sheila MacLeod.

PASTORAL CARE Peter, or your Elder, should be informed of anyone ill at home or in hospital.

BRIDGE SOCIAL EVENING on Friday 16 August at 6.00 pm in St Stephen’s Church Hall. £20 per person (includes Buffet Meal, wine and coffee). Joan Darcy.

Old High Music the second half of the 2019 programme commences on Saturday 24 August at 12 noon, when Gordon Tocher, organist at Inverness Cathedral, will perform a Fugue and Choral Prelude by Bach, a Handel Organ Concerto, and a selection of compositions by 19th century French composers. Gordon has contributed much to Old High Music over the years, so we are delighted to welcome him back to the console. Andrew Stevenson. Get onto the mailing list: ohssmusic<at>gmail.com.

THE SACRAMENT OF HOLY COMMUNION will be celebrated at St Stephen’s on Sunday 25 August. All welcome at the Lord’s Table. Retiring Offering in aid of the Maggie’s Centre, which provides practical, emotional and social support to people living with cancer and their family and friends at Raigmore.

Sunday Evening Discussion Group will recommence on Sunday 25 August at 7pm in St Stephen’s vestry. We continue to work through chapters in Sam Wells’ book that seek to give a Christian perspective on some of the most topical issues of our day, starting with Europe and Social Media. Anyone who might like to join the group at this point should contact Andrew Stevenson to get advance access to the book.

CHURCH AND HALL BOOKINGS AT ST STEPHEN’S We require a new Lettings Officer for St Stephen’s. This involves taking bookings, creating a weekly diary, and ensuring that someone sets up the heating. If you think you could help with this, please contact our current Lettings Officer, Katharina Nimmo.

HARVEST WEEKEND COMMUNITY FESTIVAL The Outreach and Events Action Team is planning a weekend of events for Harvest. We hope to involve children, families and the local community over the weekend of 5-6 October. To find out more, come along to a meeting at St Stephen’s on Tuesday 20 August at 7.30pm. Details: Joan Darcy.

SUNDAY BULLETIN Please send items for this sheet to our Church Administrator: (079 342 85924) invernesschurch<at>gmail.com. Deadline Wednesday at 12 noon. Please keep items as brief as possible, and include contact details and/or e-mail.

OTHER NEWS

WELL EQUIPED SPACES IN THE RIGHT PLACES Over the next few months, the Church of Scotland General Trustees will be inviting your views on one of the most crucial issues for the future of our Church: how best to manage our church land and buildings. An online survey will run until Saturday 31 October, giving you the chance to express your views on the best ways to manage, use and maintain our buildings for the future. The Rt Rev Colin Sinclair, the Moderator of the General Assembly, said “Buildings are hugely important to everyone in the Church and we all have strong feelings about the buildings we know best. This consultation is important so I encourage everyone who cares about the Church to take time to work through the survey and make their views known. This will ensure that the plan that will go to the 2020 General Assembly will be the very best plan we can make for the future of our congregations as well as for the mission of the Church.” The survey is available at https://www.churchofscotland.org.uk/news_and_events/news/2019/your_opportunity_to_help_shape_the_churchs_plan_for_land_and_buildings . If you can’t access it via a computer, contact Peter.

SPONSORED CYCLE ROUND INVERNESS PRESBYTERY CHURCHES BY REV ROBERT BROOKES Rev Robert Brookes is cycling to every church in the Presbytery on 12th, 13th and 14th of August. He will be visiting each church and will ring the hand bell from Dunlichity Church (which sadly closed recently) at each church. Money raised in sponsorship will be shared between two charities: Birchwood Highland and The Samaritans. The ride is approximately 170 miles over the three days. Please do consider sponsoring Robert in this cause. Please donate at www.justgiving.com/teams/revrobert or send donations to Rev Robert Brookes.

SUPPORTING EU CITIZENS IN OUR COMMUNITIES All Church of Scotland Ministers have received a letter from the Church and Society Council highlighting resources from the Scottish Government, with practical support and advice to help support people from other parts of the EU at what we know is an anxious and uncertain time for many. The materials includes information on the UK Government’s EU Settlement Scheme. A support and advice service for EU citizens with more complex needs or particular challenge is currently being rolled out, with more information available at www.cas.org.uk/brexit. A toolkit for employers to support their EU staff in Scotland, a Guide for EU citizens, posters, factsheets, and leaflets are also available to share and download at www.gov.scot//stayinscotland. If you would like to know more, please contact the Minister.

WORLD MISSION COUNCIL TRIP TO INDIA –  SOLAR, SARIS AND SPICES – MEET OUR INDIAN PA RTNERS! Tuesday 21 January–31 January 2020. Led by Carol Finlay (World Mission Council) and Val Brown (Christian Aid Scotland). This trip is specifically designed for people who play a role in raising global issues in their church and who come on behalf of and with the support and encouragement of their congregation. Flying to Chennai, with travel by local transport to see the Church in action and visit partner projects in Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh, focusing on women’s projects, HIV and issues of Climate change. Accommodation will be in Church guest houses and small hotels. There will be opportunity to enjoy local food and visit some historic sites during the visit. The cost per person will be around £1500. The Church of Scotland and Christian Aid have been working with Indian partners to ensure a just and sustainable future for some of the most vulnerable people in the country. You will get the opportunity to enjoy the rich cultural heritage but yet engage with some of the realities faced on a daily basis by much of the population and we will visit with partners implementing projects to adapt to the situation. To apply for a place or for further information, please contact World Mission Council, Church of Scotland, 121 George St Edinburgh, EH2 4YN wmoutreach<at>churchofscotland.org.uk

INVERNESS STREET PASTORS Praise & Prayer Update: Thurs 22 Aug 12.15 – 2.30 pm, The Hub, Castle Street (supporting Day-time patrol 12.30-2.30 pm) TBC Sat 31 Aug  21.15 – 01.00, The Hub, Castle Street – Pay W/e Sat. patrol; Information Talk Sat 24 Aug (10.00-11.30 am) at the Hub (adjoining the Castle Street Baptist Church) for anyone who would like to know more about the work of both Street Pastors and Prayer Pastors in Inverness, feel free to come, and bring a friend with you! “Pray for Inverness:  City Centre outreach”- joint churches event on Wed 28 Aug at 7.30 pm at Culduthel Christian Centre.

Where your heart is? Sermon for Sunday 11 August 2019 Proper 14

Scripture Readings: Isaiah 1:1, 10-20

Luke 12:32-34

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

I once knew an elderly lady who told me she had been worshipping in the same local country church all her life. She told me that, when she was a wee girl, her family had to go to church each Sunday. Her father was a gamekeeper, and if he wasn’t there the laird would have noticed and he’d have lost not just his job, but his tied house as well. Homeless and jobless if they didn’t go to church.

Thank goodness, we live in a different age nowadays. There is no great cultural expectation that we have to go to church. We come because we want to. It’s our own choice. And that old lady in continued to come to church, not because she was forced to, but because she wanted to.

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The Tyranny of Things: sermon for 4 August 2019 Proper 13 Year C RCL

Scripture Readings:

Ecclesiastes 1.12-14; 2-18-23

Colossians 3: 1-11

Luke 12: 13-21

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

If I was to set you homework, it would be to ask you to read the Old Testament book of Ecclesiastes this coming week. For it is a remarkable book. As one commentator says,

…many readers find this book to be one of the most intriguing books in the Hebrew Scriptures, a fascinating mixture of darkness and light, confidence and doubt, piety and irreverence.[1]

I first read it as a teenager, struggling to make sense of the world, and the Christian faith I had been brought up in. It was amazing to discover a book, in the canon of Scripture, which seemed so honest about the world and the mystery of life. We tend to think of the Bible as a book of answers. Ecclesiastes is not afraid to say that sometimes we do not know all the answers. Ecclesiastes may be a rather gloomy book, but it reminds us that life, and faith, is ultimately a mystery.

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Sunday Bulletin 4 August 2019

WORSHIP THIS WEEK

Sunday 11 August 2019: Proper 14

10 am Morning Worship at St Stephen’s

Led by the Minister

NB ALL SUNDAY MORNING SERVICES IN JULY

AT ST STEPHEN’S

NEWS FROM OUR CONGREGATION – contact details from Church Administrator

AUGUST SUNDAY SERVICES AT ST STEPHEN’S With a view to strengthening the life of the congregation, the Kirk Session has decided to hold only one service on Sunday in July and August. All our services in July were at Old High, and starting next Sunday all the August services will be at St Stephen’s at 10am. The Session trust you will give this initiative your enthusiastic support! Please speak to your elder if you have any questions. If anyone has trouble getting to church during this period, please contact your elder, or Pat, our Church Administrator, and we will try to organise a lift (079 342 85924).

SOUTHSIDE NURSING HOME There will be a short service, led by Jim Alexander, at Southside Nursing Home immediately after this morning’s service at St Stephen’s.  If you are able to assist with the singing, or chatting to the residents, this would be much appreciated.  Please speak to Jim after the service.  We still also seek members willing to lead these services on a rota basis; please contact Janet Robertson.

OLD HIGH CHURCH OPENING PROGRAMME The Church Opening programme is once again proving popular with both tourists and local people. We are open from 10.00-12.00 and 2-4pm on Tuesday-Friday each week. New Volunteers are welcome on a regular or occasional basis. For more information contact Sheila MacLeod.

PASTORAL CARE Peter, or your Elder, should be informed of anyone ill at home or in hospital.

BRIDGE SOCIAL EVENING on Friday 16 August at 6.00 pm in St Stephen’s Church Hall. £20 per person (includes Buffet Meal, wine and coffee). Joan Darcy.

THE SACRAMENT OF HOLY COMMUNION will be celebrated at St Stephen’s on Sunday 25 August. All welcome at the Lord’s Table. Retiring Offering in aid of the Maggie’s Centre, which provides practical, emotional and social support to people living with cancer and their family and friends at Raigmore.

A new CHURCH MUSIC RESOURCE on the Church of Scotland website at includes recordings by our combined choir. Have a search on music.churchofscotland.org.uk for hymns 491, 608, 26, 192, 333, 496 and many more! Contact Pam or Robin if you want to join our fantastic choirs!

SUNDAY BULLETIN Please send items for this sheet to our Church Administrator: Mrs Pat MacLeod (079 342 85924) invernesschurch@gmail.com. Deadline Wednesday at 12 noon. Please keep items as brief as possible, and include contact details and/or e-mail.

OTHER NEWS

SUPPORTING EU CITIZENS IN OUR COMMUNITIES All Church of Scotland Ministers have received a letter from the Church and Society Council highlighting resources from the Scottish Government, with practical support and advice to help support people from other parts of the EU at what we know is an anxious and uncertain time for many. The materials includes information on the UK Government’s EU Settlement Scheme. A support and advice service for EU citizens with more complex needs or particular challenge is currently being rolled out, with more information available at www.cas.org.uk/brexit. A toolkit for employers to support their EU staff in Scotland, a Guide for EU citizens, posters, factsheets, and leaflets are also available to share and download at www.gov.scot//stayinscotland. If you would like to know more, please contact the Minister.

INVERNESS STREET PASTORS The Praise & Prayer Update: Thurs 22 Aug 12.15 – 2.30 pm, The Hub, Castle Street (supporting Day-time patrol 12.30-2.30 pm) TBC Sat 31 Aug  21.15 – 01.00, The Hub, Castle Street – Pay W/e Sat. patrol; Information Talk Sat 24 Aug (10.00-11.30 am) at the Hub (adjoining the Castle Street Baptist Church) for anyone who would like to know more about the work of both Street Pastors and Prayer Pastors in Inverness – feel free to come – and bring a friend with you! “Pray for Inverness:  City Centre outreach”- joint churches event on Wed 28 Aug at 7.30 pm at Culduthel Christian Centre.

Pray for the city: sermon for 28 July 2019: Proper 12 Year C RCL

Scripture Readings: Genesis 18:20-32 GNB

Psalm 85 NRSV (said responsively)

Luke 11:1-13 GNB

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

This week, I have been thinking about a minister friend of mine, now retired after long and varied career. He had served in a number of very ordinary west of Scotland parishes, and had also served as a university chaplain and with a major Christian charity. Not long after his retirement he started to work as a locum in a church in Fife, and found himself preaching to a congregation which, on most Sundays, included the then Prime Minister, Gordon Brown. But my friend took it in his stride, because he realised that the Prime Minister needed to hear the Word of God as much as an old lady in a housing scheme in Paisley.

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In August at St Stephen’s

In July and August 2019, are holding one service of worship only on Sunday mornings.

Sunday Morning Worship in August will be at St Stephen’s, Southside Road, at 10am.

St Stephen’s is at the junction of Old Edinburgh Road and Southside Road, opposite the Crown Court Hotel.

The address is:
St Stephen’s Church
Southside Road at Old Edinburgh Road
Inverness
Inverness-shire
IV2 4XA

Parking is available in the surrounding streets- but please don’t block our neighbours’ driveways!
Click here to see a map.

Click here to read a guide to the architecture of St Stephen’s Church.

In September, we will revert to our normal pattern of services: 10am at St Stephen’s and 11.15am at Old High (except on Sunday 8 September, when there will be one service only, at Old High at 11.15am, for the Kirking of the Council).

August 2019 Month of Sundays

You can download a copy of our August Month of Sundays here

Sunday Bulletin 28 July 2019

WORSHIP THIS WEEK

Sunday 4 August 2019: Proper 13

10 am Morning Worship at St Stephen’s

Led by the Minister

NB ALL SUNDAY MORNING SERVICES IN AUGUST AT ST STEPHEN’S

NEWS FROM OUR CONGREGATION – contact details from the Church Administrator

AUGUST SUNDAY SERVICES AT ST STEPHEN’S With a view to strengthening the life of the congregation, the Kirk Session has decided to hold only one service on Sunday in July and August. All our services in July were at Old High, and starting next Sunday all the August services will be at St Stephen’s at 10am. Easy way to remember: In July at Old High (it rhymes!); in August at St Stephen’s. The Session trust you will give this initiative your enthusiastic support! Please speak to your elder if you have any questions. If anyone has trouble getting to church during this period, please contact your elder, or Pat, our Church Administrator, and we will try to organise a lift (079 342 85924).

KIRK SESSION will meet this Thursday, 1 August, at St Stephen’s at 7.30pm. (The Leadership meeting arranged for that date will be re-scheduled.)

OLD HIGH CHURCH OPENING PROGRAMME The Church Opening programme is once again proving popular with both tourists and local people. We are open from 10.00-12.00 and 2-4pm on Tuesday-Friday each week. New Volunteers are welcome on a regular or occasional basis. For more information contact Sheila MacLeod.

PASTORAL CARE Peter, or your Elder, should be informed of anyone ill at home or in hospital.

BRIDGE SOCIAL EVENING on Friday 16 August at 6.00 pm in St Stephen’s Church Hall. £20 per person (includes Buffet Meal, wine and coffee). Joan Darcy.

HIGHLAND FOOD BANK For the months of June and July, they would welcome donations of tins of potatoes, tomatoes, fruit and ham. Many thanks for your continued support. Contact Margaret Neville.

A new CHURCH MUSIC RESOURCE on the Church of Scotland website at includes recordings by our combined choir. Have a search on music.churchofscotland.org.uk for hymns 491, 608, 26, 192, 333, 496 and many more! Contact Pam or Robin if you want to join our fantastic choirs!

SUNDAY BULLETIN Please send items for this sheet to our Church Administrator: Mrs Pat MacLeod (079 342 85924) invernesschurch@gmail.com. Deadline Wednesday at 12 noon. Please keep items as brief as possible, and include contact details and/or e-mail.

OTHER NEWS

The Way is a group aimed at anyone between the ages of 18-30 in Inverness. Weekly activities include prayer meetings, bible studies, social evenings and events, like trips to Loch Morlich or bowling. For more information, contact Claire Rush.

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