June 10th - Day Pilgrimage to Eigg

The Western Grouping of Lochaber Church of Scotland Parishes went to the island of Eigg for a Day Pilgrimage.  What an amazing day - wonderful worship, cool company, fab food and wow weather!

June 4th - Education Changes

Presbytery has an Education Working Group that has recently been active in voicing concerns about changes by Highland Council to class room assistants.  Teachers are hard enough pressed without reducing their support.  Here are copies of the letters sent and received.  Presbytery is not convinced cutting back in early years is such a good idea but that it causes problems further down the line.  This thinking has been backed up by recent research carried out in England around the Sure Start programme.  

There's a story about people watching other people being swept down a river and a huge rescue attempt going on.  Eventually, someone thought to look upstream for the cause of the problem.  That's what early years support and Sure Start does - it looks upstream to the source of the problem and addresses those issues to stop a disaster later on.  Such a shame the various authorities have not taken heed of the research!  It's not rocket science!!!

What can be done by people of faith?  Voice concern to whichever authority backs the programmes.  Be pro-active in helping local schools, even if it means filling in paperwork of PVG or similar (it may be a hassle but it's not complicated), so that you are able to help.  Get to know your community and volunteer with programmes that seek to help others, get to know the families around you and offer to help them.  

2019 May 4th - Saturday

Back from holiday.  It was lovely to be able to take time away and just relax and refresh. 

Thank you to all who looked after worship - it's good to know that others want to be involved in leading worship, both traditional Sunday worship and Messy Church.  That involvement and participation is what faith is all about.

In business terms, that's the difference between shore-holders and stake-holders.  (From a comment I heard on a podcast about something else!)  This thought needs expanded a bit ...

God bless!

2019 April 22nd - Easter Monday

Beautiful weather and the scenery looked stunning!

Kilchoan for the church coffee morning supporting Embrace the Middle East then to Acharacle to help offer refreshments for an Easter egg hunt and then record and interview for Messy Church.

The first photo is on Maclean's Nose and Mingary Castle at Kilchoan and the second is of people needing a cool drink while on the egg hunt at Acharacle.

2019 April 19th - Good Friday

Each congregation had the opportunity to share a Passover / Seder type 'meal'.  We tasted bitter herbs to remember the bitter times the Israelites had in Egypt, salt water to symbolise their tears, haroseth, a sweet paste that looks like the mud they were forced to use to make bricks for Pharaoh, lamb to remember the Passover, flat bread to remember the hurry in which they left Egypt and then wine to symbolise the promised land where they would be settle for long enough for vines to grow and wine to be produced.

We then thought about how Jesus had shared a meal like this just before he was arrested, tried and crucified.  There was a short reflection and the service ended there - leading into the quiet of Saturday ...

2019 April 11th - Thursday

Another lovely sunny day here - that's four days in a row!!!

I'm staying on the peninsula today and heading down to Kilchoan. Lunch with the local Lunch Bunch then joining the craft group. These two sessions are great to catch up with what's happening and also to enjoy knitting (that's 'my' craft).

I'll be taking the dog so perhaps we'll go for a beach walk afterwards. Let's hope she doesn't repeat her cool down session of jumping into the muckiest of puddles and lying there for a minute - just before getting back into the car ....

(As I was typing, a goldfinch wandered along the outside window sill - how beautiful they are!)

2019 April 10th - Wednesday

Spean Brige today for a project that is being developed jointly by Lochaber and Abernethy presbyteries.

My journey there and back was the shortest of those there - for me, three hours travelling time and 100 miles altogether.

2019 April 9th - Tuesday

What's happening today?

Acharacle teas and coffees this morning then mainly desk for preparation time and catching up.  A cuppa with a friend then Spanish conversation class this evening.

Why Spanish when this is an area with a Gaelic heritage?  It's because I enjoy Spanish and it's useful when I volunteer on the Vine Trust Forth Amazon in Peru.  I can now order a coffee with milk and no sugar - especially useful in the morning!

Have a good day!

2019 April 7th - Sunday

At Acharacle today we looked at John 3:16 and 17.

Thanks to 'Spill the Beans' for the idea of teasing out some of the meaning of these verses.

For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him.

God - maker of life - Father of Jesus - love - energy - purpose - omniscience - strength - guide - healing - forgiveness - love

World - big - people - animals - plants - water - air - sky - universe - everything

Believe - hope - gamble of God - faith - it's real - trust - truth to you.

Life - living things - animals - sad - stressful - being - risky - lonely - hard - destitute - empty - air - breath - annoying (honest, we're usually a happy bunch!!)

Condemn - punish - put down - mean - judge - criticise - denigrate

Save - help - rescue - restore - to be a light - guide

Enough there for a meditation or two!

2019 April 5th - Friday

This morning, I spoke at an assembly at Ardnamurchan High School. I'm very aware that the Easter holidays will be the last chance for some of the pupils to have down-time and relax before the stress of exams next term.

For some, it's almost the end of their school years. Next term they'll be on study leave and then leaving school.

Please, take a moment of tow to think about the pupils, their families, friends and teachers - all of whom will be trying to encourage and support each other through this challenging time. It might seem like a time of threat but it's an opportunity to step into the future knowing you've done your best.

meanwhile - enjoy the break, be kind to yourselves and balance the work / down-time.

God bless,