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,
Fiona

2019 March 24th - Sunday

The Bible reading today was the story of some friends lowering their disabled friend down to Jesus. So far so good.

We thought a bit about how far the group would have carried their friend, the kind of ground they'd have walked on, how hot it might have been, how on earth they'd have negotiated getting him up the steps to the roof (didn't go into the Health & Safety briefing) before then dismantling the roof to get him through!

As a practical way of understanding the task, at each service a volunteer lay on a blanket and was carried from the back of the worship space to the front. That was ok, but we were indoors, went only a short way and had no difficult terrain nor steps. That soon brought home to us how much that group of friends cared for their disabled friend!

Well done to the volunteers and those who carried them!

Here's a photo of the ceiling in a traditional Middle Eastern house. It shown how complex a construction the ceiling and roof would have been.



2019 March 23rd - Messy Church

Messy Church - On Monday coming Messy Church will be held at Acharacle Shielbridge Hall. It's for all ages, not only children as is often assumed. 

What is it?

Messy Church is all about…

Finding creative ways to explore the Christian message
enjoying celebratory worship. This is done by telling the stories of the Bible as stories! Instead of a sermon there are activities for all ages to help each other enjoy. There is a short prayer. Sometimes there is singing too (as this minister isn't a great singer and can't play a musical instrument, and no-one else is confident enough to take it on, singing doesn't often happen!). 

Although adults can come on their own but children must bring their own adult. We all chat and worship and eat together. Getting to know each other over shared activities has led to relationships and friendships that would otherwise not exist. It's lovely when eg an older person in the village who lives alone is spoken to and known by school age children.

So, who's coming on Monday at 3.30pm for fun, friendship and food - all because God inspires us to gather and enjoy God's love and care for us through each other!

2019 March 13th

A wee update on what's been keeping me occupied.

Last week there were church lunches at Acharacle, a chat about helping deliver some learning about loss and bereavement, an afternoon at Kilchoan Primary School, a Working Group meting about the restoration at Ardnamurchan Church building, pastoral and administrative work, a Community Development meeting at Kilchoan and one about ministry in the Western Grouping of Parishes in Lochaber, a presentation of certificates by the Ardnamurchan Trust to children in the Trust's area - and prep for worship on Sunday past and the Annual Stated meeting of Ardnamurchan Parish Church.

Meanwhile, there was ongoing drainage work at the manse. This is very necessary as the land behind the manse is sodden and floods, threatening to undermine the foundations of the building.

This week has been busy too. Prep for a family funeral which took place in Dundee yesterday (10 hours of travel for those who are interested - catching up on listening to podcasts!) and today getting ready for planning Messy Church and for Sunday coming's Spring Breakfast at Kilchoan.

It does seem, at times, to be all meetings but, as mentioned above, there has been pastoral work too. Last week, at one point while visiting, I ended up watching and chatting about James Martin's UK cooking programme - not a bad way to spend time with a parishioner.