THE following Synod committees will meet in Inverness F. P. Church as follows, D.V.
Tuesday, 5th October
10.00 am – 11.00 amMagazines Committee
11.00 am – 12.00 pmTraining of the Ministry Committee
12.00 pm – 1.00 pmReligion and Morals Committee
2.00 pm – 3.30 pmWelfare of Youth Committee
2.00 pm – 5.00 pmFinance Committee
5.00 pm – 6.00 pmSabbath Observance Committee
5.00 pm – 6.00 pmOutreach Committee
6.30 pm – 8.00 pmPublications and Bookroom Committee
8.00 pm – 9.00 pmDominions and Overseas Committee
(Rev.) John MacLeod, Clerk of Synod.
MEETINGS OF PRESBYTERY (D.V.)
NORTHERN: At Dingwall on Tuesday, 9th November, at 2 pm.
SOUTHERN: At Glasgow on Tuesday, 14th September, at 3 pm.
WESTERN: At Laide on Tuesday, 15th February, 2000, at 6 pm
SKYE: At Staffin on Tuesday, 7th September, at 6.30 pm
AUSTRALIA & NEW ZEALAND: At Auckland, Friday, 28th January, 2000, at 2.30 pm.
ZIMBABWE: At Bulawayo on Tuesday, 12th October, at 11.00 am.
VISITS TO GROUPS ABROAD
ON the 28th of July the Rev John MacLeod left for Singapore to visit and report on the Covenant Grace Church, which wishes to be affiliated with the Free Presbyterian Church of Scotland. This group of believers, which meets regularly every Sabbath, uses the King James version only and worships God according to the Word of God. They express a firm attachment to the teachings of Scripture as summarised in the Confession of Faith and Catechisms. Mr MacLeod hopes to be in Singapore for two Sabbaths, D.V.
It is hoped, God willing, that Rev Keith Watkins, London, together with Rev Allan MacDonald, Probationer, will be going to Chesley, Canada later in the year. Mr MacDonald will be there for three weeks, which will include the last two Sabbaths of October and the first Sabbath of November. Mr Watkins, the Interim Moderator, expects to join him for the last Sabbath of October and the first of November. It is anticipated that the Lords Supper will be dispensed on the first Sabbath of November, with the usual services of the communion season beginning on Thursday 4th November and ending on Monday 8th November.
Mr Lucio Strata, a deacon in the Free Presbyterian Congregation, London, and who speaks Italian fluently, visited the small group of people in Fornaci di Barga for one Sabbath in June. While there he held three services and was well received by the people who expressed appreciation for his visit.
These activities of the Dominions and Overseas Committee are engaged in for the maintaining of a full-orbed gospel in these and other places, and the extending of Christs Kingdom. We ask therefore that the work of the Committee would be remembered in prayer.
(Rev.) D A Ross, Convener of the Dominions and Overseas Committee.
PRAYER IN THE SCOTTISH PARLIAMENT
THE Religion and Morals Committee, following their representations to the First Minister of the Scottish Parliament on the subject of prayer in Parliament [Free Presbyterian Magazine, July 1999, pp. 218, 219], were invited to send a representative to a meeting on 6 July 1999 between representatives of various religious bodies in Scotland and the Parliamentary Bureau, which Parliament has charged with bringing forward proposals regarding prayer in Parliament.
The Parliamentary Bureau was represented by several MSPs accompanied by civil servants. Sir David Steel chaired the meeting. 22 representatives of religious bodies attended. Each was invited to address the meeting for a few minutes and to respond to the questions: Should there be prayer? Should it be in the Chamber? Should it be daily? and, What form should it take?
Without attempting to report on the various positions in any detail it can be said that a humanist wanted no prayer; several were in favour of a thought for the day approach; most others wanted prayer; and one or two proposed a reading from the Bible. The majority wanted this observance to take place in the Chamber, daily. Several asserted that they did not want the prayer to be of such a reductionist nature that it would be acceptable to all faiths, but that each faith should pray in its own way. The non-Christian representatives were in favour of participating in a rota system somewhat based on the proportions of the different faiths, and a number of these representing Christian organisations agreed with this approach. Several proposed that the prayers should be in the Christian tradition as the Scottish heritage is Christian, though some of these thought that others could have a meeting place where they could have their own prayers, or could have at times a type of thought for the day slot. No discussion followed the statements and no attempt was made to sum up all that had been said. Assurance was given that account would be taken of the statements in the Bureaus consideration of the matter and further written submissions were invited.
The position put forward at this meeting on behalf of the Religion and Morals Committee was as set out in the following letter subsequently sent to the Parliamentary Bureau:
We appreciate the opportunity given to a representative of our Committee to briefly submit orally to the Parliamentary Bureau, at the meeting with representatives of religious bodies on Tuesday 6 July 1999, our views on prayer in the Scottish Parliament. We now avail ourselves of the opportunity given by your invitation to submit our views in writing for the consideration of the Bureau.
It is our view that there should be prayer, that it should be held in the chamber, and that it should be held daily. This should not provide a platform for religious bodies to address Parliament, as would typically happen in a thought for the day format, but be an occasion for Parliament to address God and to seek His blessing. Counsel is mine, and sound wisdom: I am understanding; I have strength. By me kings reign, and princes decree justice (Prov. 8:14,15).
We draw attention to the fact that not only is the heritage of Scotland generally Christian, but Protestant and Reformed, and that this is not merely the Christian heritage of Scotland, but the present constitutional position of Scotland. When the union of the Parliaments took place the position of the Reformed Faith in Scotland was safeguarded. The Protestant and Reformed Faith is the constitutionally established faith of the United Kingdom and of the Scottish Nation, which the crown in Parliament is committed to uphold. We trust that the Scottish Parliament will take account of the constitutional position and determine that prayer in the Parliament shall be in accordance with the Reformed Faith.
The civil rights of those belonging to other religions are safeguarded under the law, and the conducting of prayer in and on behalf of the Scottish Parliament should be viewed not as a question of the democratic representation of various groups in society but as the Parliament of a Christian nation, committed historically and constitutionally to the Protestant and Reformed Faith, addressing God. However much that Faith may be caricatured it should be remembered that it lies at the foundation of the rights and privileges which the citizens of Scotland enjoy today.
(Rev.) R. MacLeod, Convener, Religion and Morals Committee.
THE Rev. John MacLeod, Convener of the Magazines Committee, will act as Editor pro tem of The Free Presbyterian Magazine during the Editors absence in Africa. All material for the October and November issues should be sent therefore to the Rev. John MacLeod, M.A., 16 Matheson Road, Stornoway, Isle of Lewis, HS1 2LA. Tel: 01851 702755, Fax: 01851 702919, E-mail: JmacL265@aol.com.
(Rev.) Neil M. Ross, Editor.
BALLIFEARY RESIDENTIAL CARE HOME MANAGEMENT APPOINTMENT
THE matron of Ballifeary Residential Care Home, Inverness, intends to retire after a suitable replacement has been appointed. Applications are invited to be considered for the post of matron/manager. Applicants must be in sympathy with the principles and practice of the Free Presbyterian Church of Scotland. Please apply in writing for an application form and the job specification to the Convener, Mr A. N. MacRae, 20 Inshes View, Westhill, Inverness IV2 5DS, by 30th September, 1999.
A. N. MacRae, Convener.
DOMINIONS AND OVERSEAS FUND
By appointment of Synod, the Special Collection, on behalf of the Dominions and Overseas Fund, is due to be taken in congregations during the month of September, D. V.
R. A. Campbell, General Treasurer.
THE FREE PRESBYTERIAN MAGAZINE ON TAPE
FOR those who are not aware of the fact, The Free Presbyterian Magazine has been available on audio cassette tape for the past 15 months. It is produced for the use of those who are unable to read for themselves because of sight impairment, blindness, illness or illiteracy. Tapes are provided free as funds permit, and anyone may request them on behalf of those eligible.
For further information please contact Mr Ian MacDonald, 3 Anderson Road, Stornoway, Isle of Lewis HS1 2PG. Tel No. 01851 703997, whose e-mail address is: firstname.lastname@example.org
THE TRINITARIAN BIBLE SOCIETY SCOTTISH DAY CONFERENCE
Saturday, 11th September 1999, from 10.30 am to 4.30 pm, D.V.
The Station Hotel, Academy Street, Inverness
Speakers: Rev. H M Cartwright (Edinburgh), Rev. M H Watts (Salisbury),
Mr D P Rowland (TBS Gen. Secretary). Chairman: Rev. Donald MacLean (Glasgow).
Further information and Booking Forms available from: The Booking Secretary,
The Trinitarian Bible Society, Tyndale House, Dorset Road, London, SW19 3NN
Refreshments provided. All welcome.
The papers will be as follows:
The Authentic Text of Holy Scripture Reformation Principles
by the Rev. Malcolm Watts
The Work of the Trinitarian Bible Society Overseas
by Mr Paul Rowland
The Authorised Version of the Bible and the Mission of the Church
by the Rev. Hugh Cartwright