Past Parish Pages
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Parish Page – July 2018
From the Session Clerk
As I write this the sun is shining and it is another glorious summer’s day – it is hard to imagine that the snow made it almost impossible to get to Oxnam Kirk on a couple of Sundays during the winter!
The search for a minister for the linked charge of Oxnam and Kelso Country Churches continued throughout 2017 with the nomination committee exploring all avenues open to it with no success. There was a growing feeling in both parishes that it would continue to prove very difficult to attract candidates for a 0.75 ministry taking into account the distances involved. After a joint session meeting with Kelso Country Churches in December, the decision was reached to ask the Presbytery of Jedburgh to sever the linkage of Oxnam Kirk with Kelso Country Churches to enable both sides to look at other options.
In April Presbytery requested that Oxnam Kirk Congregation take a vote on the breaking of the linkage with KCC and this was done before the Stated Annual Meeting on Sunday 15thApril. Following questionsand discussion all the congregation present voted for the motion with one abstention. Following this the motion was passed by Presbytery at their meeting on Wednesday 2ndMay 2018 and has now gone to the Presbytery Planning Task Group at 121 George Street for their approval. If this is given, Oxnam Kirk will return to Guardianship and then be able to seek linkage with churches closer to us.
Luckily for us Marion is happy to continue as Oxnam’s Locum Minister. The Kirk Session and congregation are so grateful for her dedication, hard work and enthusiasm in both the Kirk and the Oxnam community. She will be going in for a knee operation on 11thJuly so unfortunately for us will be out of action until September. As I write this we are busy finding others to take our summer services. Luckily the Worship Group were already planning to lead the service on 5thAugust – we’ll now just have to do it without Marion there to advise!
Reverend Robin McHaffie stood down as our Interim Moderator in December and the Kirk Session would like to thank him for all his help and guidance over 2016/17. We welcomed Helen Howden as our new moderator in January. You may know her as she was HR Manager of Mainetti in Jedburgh for many years and is an Elder in Ruberslaw Parish.
At the packed Christmas Eve service it was a delight to have so many children dressing up and performing their own song. Well done to them and their mums! This year the Christmas Morning and End of Year Services both included a simple celebration of Holy Communion which was much appreciated by those who attended.
In January the Northumberland Theatre Group once again entertained an enthusiastic audience. It was wonderful to see the Kirk so full of people having such an enjoyable, fun afternoon. Many thanks to Moira Land for all she did to make this now annual event such a success and also to all who helped Moira, including Francis Armstrong who fed the cast and others! Moira has already booked the Northumberland Theatre Group to return in January 2019.
Valerie Hunter continues to lead Sunday School on the occasions when children join us on a Sunday morning. It was lovely to see so many of them there on Easter Sunday morning enjoying her Easter Egg Hunt. On 22ndMay a special Cradle Roll service was held and we welcomed back a number of children who had been baptised in Oxnam Kirk along with their families. Moira Land had decorated the kirk with balloons and Marion’s delightful service was enjoyed by adults and children alike. During the service Val presented the children with a little gift.
Moira Land continues to be our very active Presbytery Elder. Last year she took the initiative of making a short video film of life in and around Oxnam Kirk as part of a Church of Scotland competition. Although she did not win the organisers felt there was much to enjoy in the video and have uploaded it to the main Church of Scotland website. Very well done to her! With her encouragement we have continued to record the life of Oxnam Kirk. Look out for this video later in the year.
Enjoy the summer.
The Jedburgh Presbytery meets most months on a Wednesday evening to discuss important church matters and the future and allocation of posts and churches.
For the past two years Oxnam has been linked with Kelso Country Churches trying to find a 3/4 ministerial post. They have not been successful finding a candidate and, after much discussion on both sides, and also together, it was decided to break the linkage. Kelso Country Churches are now free to call 3/4 minister on their own.
Oxnam Kirk will now have to consider their way forward.
The Church Of Scotland has a huge reduction in ministers coming forward to be trained and this is presenting problems in filling posts.
At present, we have only 5 ministers (3 in Hawick and 2 in Kelso), this leaves us with 6 vacancies. There is talk that our allocation may be reduced from 11 posts to 6.5 posts .
The only upside is that 34 elders in Jedburgh Presbytery have completed their course in “Leading Worship”. They are now able to go to lead worship in the churches in Jedburgh Presbytery. Oxnam
will be able to ask any of these trained elders.
“Year of the Young People”
Presbytery is encouraging churches and congregations to “engage with young people “8 to 25 year olds to give them a platform to talk about their needs and wants . Oxnam is having some events to encourage the Young People .