The Kirk Session met in Arisaig Church Hall on Saturday 7th November 2009 to look at where we are as a parish and to dream dreams for the future. A future we see as God’s direction for this time. The following is a detailed outline of the vision and the news teams that will support the work of the vision.
The Kirk Session focused on three areas during the vision day: Worship and our personal relationship with God, Community and the World. The vision day started by looking at the strengths of the Parish since Union were explored.
Number of opportunities for worship
Engagement with young people
Worship that is both thought-provoking and understandable
Coming together of both congregations
There are no longer them and us. We have now become ONE.
We now have our own full time minister
A number of people in both main centres and outlying prepared to work / working with young people.
Communities are small enough for many to know each other
Denominations work together at suitable times
On special celebrations non-church folk feel welcome to join in.
Pier project in Mallaig—it is visible both while being worked on and the work done.
Youth work—Shipshapes, Youth Clubs, Luis Palau event, involve more in the community than just church goers.
Engagement in the schools.
Sharing Christ through our minister. Care in the community—church goers and non-church goers.
Communicating with other faiths and recognising their problems
Christian Aid is well supported
Also major issues are highlighted—Fair Trade, Tear Fund and occasional major disasters.
Individuals encouraged to support world issues.
The Elders also considered things that will hinder (û) or help (ü) a new comer
Friendliness of congregations (ü)
We must welcome and speak with them (ü)
Not many opportunities for spiritual activities outside of Sunday worship.(û)
Could we have more worship focused outreach?(û)
Lack of Parish Visiting(û)
Not enough information in the villages (û)
Hear too much talk about negatives. Folk disaffected need re-inviting.(û)
Less gossip would help(û)
Folk who come to live not invited / brought(ü)
Welcoming—spoken to and encouraged to join in after / before for fellowship(ü)
Leaflets put in new houses in Arisaig
Information and message in Westword (ü)
Mystery worshipper comments very positive. (ü)
No specific commitment or involvement by the Church(û)
Not much missionary contact abroad(û)
More posters, photos, information (if we have links)(û)
Each elder offered three hopes and dreams based on Worship, Community and World.
The overall hopes and dreams for the Parish are:
That the Church so lives that the community wants to join
That people would wish to become involved in both the spiritual and practical sides of the Church
That people feel encouraged to support Church more.
That we become a totally friendly congregation
The other hopes and dreams have been incorporated into the remits of three teams that will be set up to support the Kirk Session. Under the Unitary Constitution we have no congregational Board but the opportunity to delegate out functions of the Kirk Session. The remits of the three teams are in addition to the Finance, Property and Stewardship team.
The other teams that were formed last year will be integrated into the new teams as the Kirk Session felt that the original 8 teams were not sustainable in the Parish and with a small Kirk Session there was no need for an Executive Committee. The Kirk Session will be inviting members and adherents to join the teams after its meeting in January.
Remits for teams supporting the work of the Kirk Session are detailed on the right hand column.
The Kirk Session remains responsible for all the activities of the Church within the Parish as Trustees under the Office of the Charity Regulator (OSCR) and the Acts and Regulations of the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland.
Establish an annual ‘back to Church Sunday’
Encourage people to worship in different areas of the Parish.
Co-ordinate, encourage and support welcome teams across the Parish.
Recognise and encourage individual talents to be used in worship across the Parish
Encourage and support work with children and young people across the parish, in relation to worship
Develop opportunities for deeper spiritual involvement beyond Sunday worship
Co-ordinate and develop social activities
Develop parish pastoral visiting teams
Co-ordinate existing and explore new methods of communication within the parish (including IT)
Develop community outreach throughout the Parish (eg Summer activities for all)
Develop ways of increasing use of Church buildings.
Establish Missionary / Overseas partnership/s
Encourage support of Fair Trade, Tear Fund, Bible Society, emergency relief funds, etc
Continue to support the work of Christian Aid
Explore environmental issues.
Ensuring that the congregation meets it financial obligations and are informed of its finances on a regular basis.
Fulfilling all the obligations of Church and civil legislation, including, for example, all requirements of making necessary returns to General Assembly agencies and other appropriate agencies as requested. Fulfilling the requirements of the Charities Regulator.
Setting level of hall letting charges and conditions of let
Responsibility for the fabric of all Church properties. The care of Church grounds, buildings, furniture, fittings and equipment, including their security, repair, maintenance, cleaning and general orderliness.
Obtaining quotations, placing orders, approving invoices and generally dealing with contractors and suppliers
Active promotion of stewardship issues and encourage regular reviews of giving and the use of Gift Aid with appropriate support from the Stewardship Department of the Church of Scotland.
The overall hopes and dreams for the Parish are:
That the Church so lives that the community wants to join in and come to be part of Christ’s Mission;
That people would wish to become involved in both the spiritual and practical aspects of the Church and
engaged personally to Christ;
That people feel encouraged to support the Church more as they learn of it’s witness to the world, through Jesus Christ and in the power of the Holy Spirit;
That we become a totally friendly congregation centred on the example and witness of the life, death,
resurrection and ascension of Jesus Christ.
This is will be achieved through Jesus Christ as He uses the Kirk
Session and its working groups—
Worship, Community, World, Finance, Property
and all of His children who are part of His body here in North West Lochaber.