Parish Letter Advent/Christmas 2020

A child wants the latest computer game for Christmas, but knows it is hard to get. So he goes into church and prays in front of the Christmas Crib scene. “God, if you get me one, I will be good for a whole week.” Then he thinks better of it “God, if you get me one, I will be good for a whole day.” Even this seemed a tall order, so he picks up the figure of Mary from the Crib scene “If you want to see your mother again…”

Christmas is for the children, it is often said, but is that true? So many are worrying about can they visit family this Christmas; is it safe or responsible to do? And how do those who have no family around feel?

There is something for everyone in the Christmas story. Mary the mother was probably a teenage mother, but Joseph was older (and maybe laughed at behind his back for marrying her). Jesus is a baby, but the Wise Men were older (you have to be around for a while to get wise!). Shepherds lived in the fields with their sheep, so their life expectancy was short, and they worked hard. Simeon, a holy man in the Temple at Jerusalem, and Anna who lived in the Temple all the time, are alone ? No mention of families for them. Then there is Zechariah and Elizabeth, an old childless couple who get an unexpected miracle baby – I could go on. Joseph and Mary take baby Jesus to Egypt as refugees to escape the persecution of ruthless King Herod ; whatever your situation, something for you in this story.

And it is a story that brought hope to a dark world where everything seemed to be going wrong.

Does 2020 feel like that to you? We have lived through the darkest of times with COVID-19, but there is hope a vaccine will improve things in 2021.

The hope Jesus brings is that the life of every person can be changed for the better, for ever.

For He says He came to earth “so that we might have life in all its fullness.”(John 10:10)

Christmas is just for the children? No, the Jesus born at Christmas is for everyone.

We wish you a happy and peace – filled Christmas however you celebrate it.

May God who came to earth as Jesus, bless you.

 

From the Ministry Team

Revd. Steve Fulcher: Parish Minister

I was born in Kent in a Christian family and brought up through the Church. I had a personal experience of Jesus when I was fourteen and that eventually led to me offering for full time ministry. In 2003 Chris and I moved to Scotland and transferred to the Church of Scotland from the Methodist Church. I served first on Islay and then down in the Borders. In 2012 we moved back to Argyll, settling in Southend and now serving the linked parishes in the Team Ministry of South

Revd. Christine Fulcher: Parish Assistant and Ordained Local Minister

I grew up in Gloucestershire and was very involved in the life of my local Methodist Church. After leaving school, I trained as a teacher and taught mainly in Early Years SEN settings. In 2008, I was accepted as a candidate for Ordained Local Ministry and trained through the University of Aberdeen. After my ordination, I was based in Oban for five years, then took on the role of Ministries Coordinator for part of the Presbytery. In March 2020, I joined the newly formed Team Ministry here in South Kintyre.

Matthew Ramsay: Session Clerk for Saddell and Carradale Parish Church & Reader

I was born on 18/01/47. I have lived all my life in Carradale and have always been involved with Church. I attended Sunday School Bible Class and became a member of the ”the kirk”. I was ordained an elder at and became Session Clerk in November 2005. I feel very passionate about the church. I trained for three years in becoming a lay preacher having preached in mostly Kintyre for a number of years. I am delighted with our linkage being now South Kintyre.  

Malcolm Ronald: Session Clerk for Southend Parish Church

I am 65 years old and have been retired from farming for just over 3 years.  I have been married to Inez for 42 years and we have a son, two daughters and two grandsons. I attended church from a young age and have been a member of our church and choir for about 48 years. I have been an elder 33 years and became Session Clerk early in 2020.  Our South Kintyre Linkage has had a difficult start with the virus shut down, but I hope we will soon be able to meet with our Highland and Carradale friends.

Elizabeth Kennedy: Session Clerk for Campbeltown Highland Parish Church

I was brought up in Glasgow where I attended Sherbrooke St Gilbert’s Church through Sunday School, Bible Class and Youth Fellowship. After this I lived in Cape Town and attended St Andrew’s Presbytery Church when there was still apartheid and St Andrew’s was much a mixed-race church. Coming back to Scotland and Campbeltown, I visited the local churches and I was drawn to the Highland where my family was made most welcome. I became one of the Sunday School staff and then the Superintendent, working with the young people in the Bible Class. My job as a teacher took me to Iona where I lived for thirteen years. Iona was a tremendous experience and, due to circumstances, I was involved in taking services in the parish church. On my retirement I returned to Campbeltown and the Highland where after a few years became the Session Clerk. Again, I have been involved in the delivering Sunday services. I have recently taken the Presbytery’s course for local worship leaders.