THE following Synod committees will meet in Inverness F. P. Church as follows, D.V.
Tuesday, 21st March, 2000
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
WESTERN: At Laide, on Tuesday, 27th June, at 6 pm.
SKYE: At Portree, on Tuesday, 4th April, at 11 am.
OUTER ISLES: At Stornoway, on Tuesday, 7th March, at 1 pm.
AUSTRALIA & NEW ZEALAND: Auckland, Friday, 2nd June, at 2.30 pm.
ZIMBABWE: At Bulawayo, on Tuesday, 7th March, at 11 am.
Dominion and Overseas Visits Abroad
IT is hoped, God willing, that the Rev R MacLeod will visit the Texas congregation for the first and second Sabbaths in April. It is expected that he will conduct the Sabbath and mid-week services and visit the homes of the people there. It is cause for thankfulness that our friends in Texas continue to express their desire to remain with our Church, and that reformed doctrine, worship and practice would continue to be maintained among them.
It is intended that Mr MacLeod will proceed from Texas to the Chesley Congregation in Ontario, for the last three Sabbaths of April. During that time he will take the usual services as well as the Communion services, which we trust will be a refreshing occasion for the congregation.
Rev E Rayner, after having taken services with the group in Singapore, has now returned to his own congregation in Australia. He has sent a very encouraging report to the Committee and it is hoped that more Church deputies will be able to visit this group, which continues to have a sincere interest in our position as a Church and desires to belong to it.
The Dominion and Overseas Committee are grateful to Mr Rayner and Mr Macleod for giving their valuable time to this necessary work in those places. We ask our people to be remembering them in prayer that the Word preached would be blessed to everyone in those various congregations.
Rev Donald A Ross, Convener Dominion and Overseas Committee
Chesley April Communion
God willing, for this year only, the Chesley Communion will take place on the fourth Sabbath of April instead of the usual third Sabbath. It is hoped that the Rev. Roderick MacLeod, North Harris, will be officiating.
Rev. Keith Watkins, Interim Moderator
Barnoldswick March Communion
TAKING into account the somewhat isolated nature of the congregation and the new availability of a manse, the Barnoldswick Kirk Session have decided to re-instate the March communion season, on the third Sabbath of March each year. God willing, services for March 2000 will be as follows:
Thursday 16th March 7.45 pm
Friday 17th March 7.45 pm
Saturday 18th March 2.00 pm (prayer meeting) and 3.00 pm
Sabbath 19th March 10.45 am and 6.30 pm
Monday 20th March 7.45 pm
It is hoped that the Rev D J MacDonald, together with the Interim Moderator, will assist on this occasion.
Roy Middleton, Session Clerk
Northern Presbytery Response to Standards in Public Life Bill
WITH regard to the: Consultation on the Ethical Standards in Public Life etc. (Scotland) Bill. Repeal of Section 2A of the Local Government Act 1986, the Northern Presbytery wrote as follows to the Scottish Executive in response to its request for the Presbyterys submission:
“The Presbytery agrees with the overall thrust of the Bill to promote higher standards in public life.
“No specific mention is made about bad language, such as swearing and blasphemy. This may be already covered by the guidelines, but in a Bill that seeks to promote non-discrimination, the unacceptableness of bad language should be spelled out.
“We believe that discrimination against Christians who wish to respect the Lords Day should be forbidden; and other aspects of the conscientious outworking of their religion in public life. The difficulties that some Christians have in this regard are the very reason why some of them do not contribute more actively to local government; e.g. courses and meetings associated with duties laid upon councillors, etc., which have weekend involvement.
“The Presbytery has already expressed its grave concern, in writing to the Scottish Executive, at the proposal to repeal Section 2A [also known as Section 28 Ed] of the Local Government Act 1986.
“This Bill is about raising standards, but the repeal of Section 2A is a lowering of standards. The Presbytery believes that teachers have sufficient ability within current legislation to handle bullying on account of homosexuality.
“The debate on the dangers of homosexuality should not be confined to discrimination, which implies an equality in health risks, social consequences and morality. While the Presbytery deplores the fact that homosexual acts, which are contrary to the holy law of God, are allowed by British law, the medical case against homosexual behaviour is overwhelming, and if people had to pay private insurance for such health risks then it would become apparent that equality is not the issue.
“From a practical point of view, it is madness to be fighting against AIDS, the highest incidence of which is among homosexuals, and at the same time to suggest removing the restraints upon legislation which forbids promoting homosexual conduct to schoolchildren.”
Rev. D. M. Boyd, Clerk of Presbytery
Australia & New Zealand Presbytery Letter and Resolution
AT its last meeting, the Australia and New Zealand Presbytery wrote as follows to Mr Phill Goff, the Minister of Justice in the New Zealand Government:
“Gay and Lesbian Marriages
“At the recent meeting of Presbytery the possibility of legal status for same sex marriages was discussed. The Presbytery instructed me to write to you to express this denominations total disagreement with any proposals in that direction, as such a move would be in complete conflict with the Christian principles that ought to govern our society.
“Relevant scriptures are as follows:
“Romans 1:24, Wherefore God also gave them up to uncleanness through the lusts of their own hearts, to dishonour their own bodies between themselves: 25, Who changed the truth of God into a lie, and worshipped and served the creature more than the Creator, who is blessed for ever. Amen. 26, For this cause God gave them up unto vile affections: for even their women did change the natural use into that which is against nature: 27, And likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another; men with men working that which is unseemly, and receiving in themselves that recompence of their error which was meet. 28, And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a reprobate mind, to do those things which are not convenient.
“Jude 1:7, Even as Sodom and Gomorrha, and the cities about them in like manner, giving themselves over to fornication, and going after strange flesh, are set forth for an example, suffering the vengeance of eternal fire.
“2 Peter 2:4, For if God spared not the angels that sinned, but cast them down to hell, and delivered them into chains of darkness, to be reserved unto judgment; 5, And spared not the old world, but saved Noah the eighth person, a preacher of righteousness, bringing in the flood upon the world of the ungodly; 6, And turning the cities of Sodom and Gomorrha into ashes condemned them with an overthrow, making them an ensample unto those that after should live ungodly; And delivered just Lot, vexed with the filthy conversation of the wicked: 8, (For that righteous man dwelling among them, in seeing and hearing, vexed his righteous soul from day to day with their unlawful deeds.
“We trust that these principles will be taken into account for the good of our civilisation.”
“Resolution regarding Abortion legislation
“The Australia and New Zealand Presbytery of the Free Presbyterian Church of Scotland view with dismay the wanton destruction of large numbers of unborn children in our supposedly civilised nation. Had these thousands of children attained to the maturity of babyhood outside their mothers womb, their murder would spark a national outcry. The Presbytery therefore welcome the governments proposed review of the Act under which these atrocities have become possible and ask that appropriate steps be taken in any new legislation to prevent this shocking practice being continued or becoming worse.”
Rev. Johannes van Dorp, Clerk of Presbytery
DURING this month, DV, it is expected that two useful books, will become available from Free Presbyterian Publications. These are Ministers and Men in the Far North by Rev Alexander Auld, and the childrens book, Line Upon Line by Mrs F L Mortimer.
The first book runs to 280 pages and will cost around £12, but will be available at a reduced price for a limited period. It was last published, by the Churchs Publications Committee, in 1956, and is now being made available
again as an attractive hardback with the type newly reset. It is both interesting and spiritually profitable, giving the lives of some of the leading Caithness ministers, including both Cook brothers and John Sinclair, one of whose sermons appears in this volume and is also printed in this issue. The next section is given to accounts of a goodly number of that remarkable galaxy of godly “men” that is, they were not ministers and a smaller number of
godly women, who in the far north of Scotland in the hundred or so years before Auld wrote in 1869. There follow some sermons, and letters from both ministers and men. It is a book which should call forth earnest prayer that a new galaxy of spiritually-minded men and women would once more be raised up, not only in the north of Scotland, but throughout the world. The book is highly recommended.
The second book is a companion volume to Peep of Day, which is already available(at £5.25). Line Upon Line is suitable for young children and retells much of Old Testament history, with suitable application. It has been revised and reset and comes as an attractive paperback of 256 pages with a number of appropriate illustrations. It will cost £5.95, but will be available from the Free Presbyterian Bookroom at £4.95 until the end of April.
Other recent publications include Memoir and Remains of Rev Donald Macfarlane, edited by Rev Donald Beaton, hardback, 227 pages, £11.95, and The Free Presbyterian Magazine, volume 2, edited by Rev J S Sinclair, hardback, 480 pages, £16.50 (£13.50 from the Free Presbyterian Bookroom until March 15).
(Rev) K D Macleod, Convener, Publications and Bookroom Committee
Jewish and Foreign Missions Fund
By appointment of Synod, the first of two Special Collection in the year, on behalf of the Jewish and Foreign Missions Fund, is due to be taken in congregations during the month of March, D.V.
R. A. Campbell, General Treasurer
WE regret that some pieces have to held over until later, due to lack of space.