Presbytery Report – March 2015

The last Presbytery met on Tuesday the 24th of March in Inverness. Among the business taking place was the General Treasurer’s financial report. Laurence has been keen to get us to review our giving. He highlighted a likely deficit in the coming year which, with slightly better contributions and efficiency with gift aid claims, could be avoided. Please think about this situation prayerfully.

There were a few items relating to the Stornoway congregation. The first of these was the resignation of Rev John van Eyk as Interim Moderator. John has served the congregation and Kirk Session for some time now and we are grateful to him for that. His resignation was accepted by the Presbytery and Rev Ross Macaskill was nominated and accepted the position of Interim Moderator. There was also the need for another assessor elder and Rev George Macaskill has agreed to take up this position in the interim. Please pray for the Kirk Session at this time and that these changes would be blessed in the ministry at Keith Street.

Besides these matters of the Stornoway Kirk Session there was also the acceptance of Stornoway’s Mr John Davidson as a student minister by the Presbytery. John got on well in an interview where he answered questions from the floor of Presbytery. He now comes under the care of the Training Committee who will prepare John for his trials for licence. Please pray for John and his family (Dawn, Daniel, 5 and Darlene, 4) at this time; as he completes his studies and as he goes forward.

With May soon upon us the Presbytery also spoke about the General Assembly. We discussed its role and any changes that should be made to it. The past years Assemblies have been poorly attended and there will be some changes made to the proceedings this year. Come along and find out what!

The reports from congregations came from Dundee and Skye/Harris. Rev Don Macaskill gave an encouraging report of his work in Dundee. It is of course not without struggles but there is much to be thankful for. Don has exercised a faithful ministry there but has intimated his intension to retire in the near future. The Kirk Session are exploring the possibility of having an assistant as a colleague and successor.

Rev Gordon Murray gave the report on Skye and Harris. We were also pleased to have Mr Alasdair Paterson at the Presbytery who gave an encouraging update. The services have been cut to one in Dunvegan and one in Portree. With the two groups now coming together this has brought mutual encouragement and a more united sense of fellowship. Supply has also been forthcoming and the congregation were helped to furnish the manse to cater for visiting preachers. Gordon looks forward to joining the folk in Harris at the time of their communion. He will also be holding a congregational meeting to think about the best way forward for the congregation.

Please pray for our congregations in these difficult times and particularly those who are without a pastor.