November 2014
Some of the campers and leaders at the recent Presbytery Camp in Scaladale in October
Reading the Bible for all it’s Worth
The Bible has to be the staple diet for every Christian. We neglect it at our
peril. I remember the late Rev Murdo Macaulay saying during our wedding
service that he would rather go without his breakfast than go a day without reading his Bible. Every day his personal habit was to read it in four
languages: the original language (Hebrew or Greek), Gaelic, English and
German (which he learned as a prisoner of war).
It’s the first thing I say to every new Christian and ever new church member. You can’t thrive as a Christian without it. But in addition to reading
the Bible it is important to understand its teaching. The greatest satisfaction you will ever experience as a Christian is when you come to grasp a
Biblical truth for the first time. These are our Eureka moments and nothing compares to them. But they won’t come without effort which begins
with spending the time sitting down with the Bible and reading it in quietness. You’d be amazed at what you pick up even in ten minutes.
Whenever we read the Bible we must remember that we’re reading God’s
living word – different from every other book you’ll read. It’s important to
pray that God will reveal himself to you in its pages and by so doing make
you willing to surrender to him. It’s important to read submissively asking
that God will change you day by day as you come under the Bible’s authority.
It’s important also to recognise that the Bible has been given to us as one
Book containing several books, each one written at a different time by different authors as they were inspired and guided by the Holy Spirit. Its content is one great historical narrative, beginning with Genesis one which
explains why we exist and ending with Revelation 22 which is God’s promise to establish the new Heaven and the new earth in which sin will be finally banished.
Try not to read random verses too often. It’s too easy to confine our reading to our favourite passages. Rather, decide to read through the books of
the Bible, always asking where they occur in God’s great story of redemption, who wrote them and what their essential purpose is. While reading,
take a note of questions that come into your mind and thoughts that occur
to you. Don’t be afraid to ask questions and read helpful commentaries.
Try to remember the books in order and how they fit into the overall big
picture. Familiarise yourself with the Bible’s timeline: Creation, Fall, Flood,
Abraham’s Call, Isaac, Jacob, Exodus, Promised Land, Judges, Kings, Captivity and Return. Don’t get too bogged down in the more repetitive Old Tes-
tament sections without balancing your reading with the New Testament.
Return often to the gospels, be inspired by Acts and challenged by the letters.
Bible reading is a discipline. You won’t always feel like it and sometimes you
will feel too tired. Nonetheless, don’t go a day without it. Live in its pages
and grow day by day in its ever marvellous truth. Time is short.
I Martin
Sitting with a Bible in his hand
He thumbs the well-worn pages like before
The evening young and he an aged man
He seeks to understand his Maker more
He learned to love the pages as a boy
And sought to keep his faith alive and strong
And in the face of threats to rob his joy
The years had somehow left him with a song
A rough and shaky finger scans the lines
And well he knows the old familiar words
He thinks of all the times they've met his eyes
It's still the goodest news he's ever heard
(Mark Heard)
Calum Macleod recently celebrated his 90th birthday at his
home in Ranish. Mr Macleod was
a resident lay preacher in the
Stornoway congregation from
1985 to 1998.
He is pictured here with his wife
Catherine, daughter Barbara and
grandson, Donald.
TESTIMONY: Donald Macleod
My name is Donnie Macleod and I'm married to
Teen, we have 3 children, Mairi, DJ and Ally. I have
just recently retired after 30 years in the Police.
I was brought up on the West Side of Lewis in the
village of Shawbost and during my early years, the
Bible and Church were part of our everyday life as
my mother and grandmother were both Christians,
although becoming a Christian was something I
never really thought about when growing up. We
would regularly attend Sunday school and the stories from the Bible and its characters have stayed
with me. This is why I feel it is important to have
your children attend Sunday school, as it gives a
good grounding in the word of God and this stays
with you throughout your life. But growing up, sport was the thing that I and
most of the other boys in the village would say was the most important part of
life; football, cycling and anything that got us out of the house. This continued
throughout my teenage years and into my working life.
Teen and I got married in 1983 and the following year I joined the Police and
we left the island to set up home in Inverness with our eldest Mairi, who was
about 3 months old. It was a big step for us as we didn't really know anyone
there. We started attending the East Church on Academy Street and enjoyed
our time there. Teen became a Christian while we were there, shortly after the
birth of our second child DJ. I was feeling a draw towards the Gospel at that
time, but just as we felt that life was going along nicely, I was told that I was being transferred to Shetland, not mainland Shetland but a small island of its east
coast called Whalsay. This came as a bit of a shock to both of us as it was so far
away from everything we knew and the Bible verse that came to me and often
does is Jeremiah 29 v 11 'For I know the plans I have for you,' declares the Lord,
'plans for wholeness and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.' After settling into our new life and home, we began to go to the local Church of Scotland,
but it very quickly became apparent that the minister was not a Christian and
the services were not what we were used to. I especially remember some funeral services I went to. The services were disturbing to say the least, as the
minister basically said that everyone went to Heaven. Even though I wasn't a
Christian I knew that this was not true. After this we decided that we would attend the Baptist church on mainland Shetland in a village called Brae and it was
a real blessing to us hearing the true Gospel. On the island we met an elderly
couple who had been Christians for a long time and we enjoyed spending time
in their company. They helped us through our time there, especially Teen, as
she had found it difficult as a young Christian. While in Shetland there was a
Billy Graham conference being show on TV screens at a church in Lerwick. I
went along to this and was really challenged by what I heard and felt that the
Lord was calling me, but we are stubborn people and I still failed to grasp hold
of this offer.
In 1992, the opportunity came up for us to return to Stornoway. Even though I
was feeling a strong pull towards God, I can't say I was that keen to return to the
island, but I can't explain why. However, because we had a young family (our
youngest, Ally had been born a few months earlier) and because there were
grandparents who saw very little of the family, we moved back. On beginning
work in Stornoway, it became very easy to fall back into the ways of this world
as my shift colleagues and I all had the same interests and thoughts of Christianity were put far away. I basically did what I wanted to do and gave no thought to
others, family or friends. Going down this path leads you to do things you know
are wrong and will regret later, but at the time there was no thought of this.
However, you reach a stage when you see two roads ahead of you, one leads to
darkness and losing what the Lord has given to you in this life, the other leads
to a glorious path leading to a Heavenly home. When I reached this stage of my
life I knew I had to make a decision one way or the other and during this time I
prayerfully read my Bible and many verses guided me. The chapter that I was
often drawn to was Matthew 7 which has so much guidance, especially verses
13 and 14, which talks of the broad and narrow road.
I cannot exactly say when I was converted, as for me, it was a gradual realisation that Jesus had died for me and that I needed his forgiveness and I give
thanks to God that he opened my eyes and allowed me this privilege. A concern
for me was telling my work colleagues that I was a Christian, but by God's good
providence, there were seven other Christians in the Police station, and two of
them, Chris Macrae (Kiki) and Malcolm Macleod (Steadfast Global) now both
ministers, made my task easier. The next step I knew I needed to take was to
publicly profess my faith and like most people I found this a daunting thought
and put it off a couple of times. Then one Sunday evening service at Kenneth
Street, the minister spoke about our walk in this world and he said, 'We do not
receive strength to do, we receive strength in doing'. I knew then that I could
not wait for strength to go forward, I had to believe that God would be with me
as I walked towards the Session, and indeed He was. Since becoming a Christian
I have known many special times, especially when our three children and
daughter in law became Christians and continue to pray for other members of
my family, that they may also accept Jesus as their Saviour. Our precious little
grandson Zachary was born in August, and what an amazing gift he is as we
watch him grow and develop. There are also times of difficulty and sadness, but
knowing that our Lord is there for us through these times we move forward on
the path prepared for us, leading us to our Heavenly home.
Professor Donald Macleod – 50 years in the Free Church
Representatives from across the Free Church have
paid tribute to one of the nation’s most prolific clergymen upon reaching a half-century of active ministry in
the denomination. He has helped mould the minds of
hundreds, if not thousands, of ministers and Christian
students who have gone onto serve around the
world. The Free Church is indebted to his preaching and teaching, and we rejoice in the occasion of his jubilee in the ministry.
Ness induction confirmed for Friday 28 November
The induction of Rev Ewen Matheson
to the Cross (Ness) Free Church congregation on the Isle of Lewis will be
on Friday 28 November. South Uist
and Benbecula minister Rev Lachie
Macdonald will look after the North
Uist congregation during their vacancy.
Strategy Committee Update
The Strategy Committee have now met several times since the summer holidays
and agreed their first proposals for the Kirk Session. It has been a challenging task
given that the suggestions we received have amounted to nine A4 pages.
The six elders on the Strategy Committee presented their initial proposals to the
Kirk Session on Monday 27th October. These proposals were favourably received
and good and constructive feedback was given, which will help the committee to set
a time frame and structure the items in a workable manner. It is hoped that the
committee will be in a position to meet with the Kirk Session again in December
with a view to decisions being taken on each proposal.
We would like to record a sincere thank you to everyone who has given input into
this process, as our ultimate aim is for the furtherance of the Lord’s cause, to embrace a common vision, and develop a plan which reflects the will of the congregation. We will update everyone with all the relevant detail as soon as possible after
approval is given to the proposals.
Ian M MacLeod (Strategy Committee Convener).
Milestone Birthday
We congratulate Mrs Jessie MacIver, Springfield Road, on celebrating her
100th birthday on 2nd November!
Here are some of the little ones who were baptised on Sunday 26th October
in our congregation. Please remember the families in your prayers.
David and Donna Mackinnon baptised
their cute twins, Orlaith Anne and Joel
David who are five months old.
David and Yvonne MacIver
baptised their wee boy
Calum David.
Donald and Louise Macleod
baptised their little boy Angus
Owen who is pictured here
with his big sister Caitlin.
Beautiful little Amelie
Morrison is daughter to
Matthew and Michelle
Morrison and a younger
sister to Lydia.
‘Compass’ Launch
The new children’s magazine of the Free
Church of Scotland was launched nationwide
on Sunday 5th October. ‘Compass’ magazine
replaces ‘The Instructor’ which had been the name of the magazine for over
100 years! Central Sunday School celebrated the launch of the magazine
with an incredible cake designed like a compass, created by Karina Murray.
Iona Mackenzie, daughter of Iain
and Anne Mackenzie (Tong) and
James Morrison, son of Donald
and Jean Morrison (Ness) were
married at Stornoway Free
Church on Friday 10th October,
with the reception following in
the Clan MacQuarrie Community
Centre, Borve. The couple have
set up home in Back.
Scaladale Presbytery Camp October 2014
The Presbytery youth camps have been going for so many years now that
this year one of our former campers graduated to being a leader! The popular camp had a long waiting list of young people hoping to come along for a
weekend of fun and Bible teaching in Scaladale Outdoor Centre in the October holidays. As it happened, 19 campers (aged P7-S2) along with seven
leaders, one junior leader and a cook headed over to Harris on Friday 17th
October prepared to have fun and not get much sleep!
The weekend began with some ice breakers and name games, mostly for the
benefit of the leaders! The Bible talks were all about Jesus: Who was He?
Why did He have to come? This prompted many good discussions during
Dorm Discussion time. We learned some bushcraft skills on Saturday since
it was too windy for Coasteering, eventually managing to build a fire and
make ‘smores’ with roasted marshmallows! On Sunday evening we headed
to Gravir for church and a fellowship afterwards where we heard from Prof
John L Mackay and Rev Dr Iain D Campbell
who were there for the communion. By
Monday it was home time but not until we
had visited Ness Bowling Alley at Spors Nis.
We are very thankful to God for everything,
the weekend went so well and it was an
excellent group of leaders and young people. Please pray for these young lives to
continue on their journey with God.
November Events & Notices
Mon 10th Deacon’s court will meet at 7pm in the session room
Wed 12th All current precentors as well as those with an interest in learning to
precent (young and old) are invited to stay behind after the midweek meeting
in the Seminary for a Precentors Workshop with Rev Iver Martin.
Sun 16th Rev Thomas Davis (Carloway) will speak at the Congregational Fellowship which meets in the hall after the evening service.
Tues 18th Youth Club meets on Tuesday 18th November 7.30-9.30pm in the
hall for S2-S6.
Friday 21st Senior Fellowship meets from 2.30-4pm in the hall and the speaker
will be Donald Macdonald (Donnie Steven) Branahuie, a member in our own
Sat 22nd Everyone is warmly invited to a Soup and Pudding lunch from 122pm in the hall in aid of Save the Children. Entry by donation
Thurs 27th The annual Thanksgiving Service will be in the church at 7.30pm.
Other midweek meetings on Wednesday 26th will be cancelled.
Mon 1st Dec Monthly Bilingual Prayer Meeting in the Seminary at 7.30pm
Sat 6th Dec Everyone is warmly invited to a Soup and Pudding lunch from 122pm in the hall in aid of Bethesda. Entry by donation
Lost Property: There are now Lost Property boxes at the front door of the Church
and Seminary containing items such as gloves, umbrellas, scarves etc. If you have
lost any such items recently, please check these boxes in the first instance.
Gideon’s Rally
The annual rally of the Western Isles branch of the Gideon’s International
will take place on Friday, 14th November at 7.30pm in the APC Church
(Keith Street, Stornoway), God willing. All are welcome to come along and
hear reports of the work of the Gideon’s locally as well as nationally at the
Commonwealth Games this summer. There will also be an address from Rev
D Karoon followed by tea and refreshments. Everyone welcome.
Gambia Partnership
The Gambia Partnership is taking a group out to the Gambia from 12th-21st
November. Please pray that we would know God's hand and that we would
walking his will. Pray that we build good relationships and that doors are
opened for the gospel. Pray for the Christian Basics lectures which are being
delivered in the marketplace each week as well as the youth Bible study in
Kebakel, the village in which we will be building the school. Please also pray
for Emma, Rhianna, Amber, Lee and Stewart who are coming with us.
9th Nov
Liz Macleod
70 4038 Marion Morrison
Christina Morrison
70 0153 Hannah Morrison
Alison Macdonald
870 034
Diane Macdonald
16th Nov
Annemarie Macphail
70 4389 Laura Macleod
Marina MacLeod
Jodie Mackay
Maighread Macphee
70 3274
Diane Morrison
70 6707
23rd Nov
Dolly Mackay
70 4594 Emily MacNeil
Mary Morrison
706379 Caitlin Macleod
Elaine Macmillan
70 3575
Karen Mackay
30th Nov
Ishbel Macleod
860 418 Abby Macdonald
Kate Macdonald
70 5745 Hannah Morrison
Moira Morrison
Mairianne Campbell
70 4738
Chrisell Macleod
70 5669 Laura Macleod
7th Dec
Elaine Macmillan
70 3575 Jodie Mackay
Marina Macaulay
70 6448
Elaine Poke
Michelle Morrison keeps the rota up to date. If you would like to remove your name
from the rota, update your phone number or become a volunteer with crèche then
please contact Michelle on [email protected] Please swap with someone if
you can’t do your slot. REMINDER: All crèche volunteers should arrive no later than
10.45am on a Sunday morning to set up for crèche. Crèche equipment is in the upstairs cupboard.
Eng AM
Gaelic AM
Eng PM
9th Nov
KI Macleod
Rev DA Macdonald
I Martin
16th Nov
KI Macleod
Rev DA Macdonald
KI Macleod
23rd Nov
KI Macleod
Rev DA Macdonald
KI Macleod
30th Nov
Rev K Ferguson
Rev DA Macdonald
Rev K Ferguson
KI Macleod
I Martin
I Martin
7th Dec
Laxdale:- AD Macdonald
Culregrein:- M Murray, D Macleod
If these dates are not suitable, please swap with someone else
Stornoway Free Church of Scotland, Kenneth Street, Stornoway, Isle of Lewis
Scottish Charity Number: SCO11447
Rev I Martin
Rev KI Macleod
46 Francis Street
Tel 70 2279
Mobile: 07810552916
email: [email protected]
14 Constable Rd
Tel 70 3681
Church Officer:
Mr D Macleod
[email protected]
Tel: 70 4680, 07864 034437
email: [email protected]
Youth and Admin Assistant:
Mairianne Campbell
Tel : 70 3860 (also Audio Ministry Contact No.)
email: [email protected]
Hall Caretaker:
Elizabeth McGowan, 07900 586930, [email protected]
English Service in the Church
Gaelic in Seminary
(Crèche in the hall during morning service)
Sunday Schools
Meeting Place
Church, Kenneth Street
Marybank Meeting Hall
Laxdale Primary School
(All Sunday Schools close during school holidays)
English Service in the Church
Prayer meetings (all at 7.30pm):
Monthly bilingual prayer meeting 1st Monday of month, in the Seminary
Wednesday English in the seminary (1st Wednesday of month in the hall)
Thursday Gaelic in the Seminary
Saturday English in the Seminary
All groups meet in the hall. All groups off for the summer.
C Club
Cross Trax
Kidz Zone
Youth Club (monthly)
Parent & Toddler Group
6:00pm - 7:00pm
7:00pm - 8:30pm
6:15pm - 7:30pm
7:30pm - 9.30pm
1:00 - 3:00pm
9.45 - 11.45am
Age: 4 years to P2
Age: P6, P7, S1
Age: P3, P4, P5
Age: S2-S6
Please direct minibus & transport related enquiries to Roddy Martin—705501