Many prayers have been answered with the release of Rimsha Masih, a young Pakistani Christian girl with Down’s Syndrome, from prison. However, she has only been released on bail and still faces blasphemy charges. Even to be accused of blasphemy in Pakistan can be enough to unleash lynch mobs. So prayer is still needed for Rimsha and her family. And for the repeal of the blasphemy law which sadly is used as a weapon to terrorise religious minorities in Pakistan.
Rimshi Masih, an 11- year old girl with Down’s Syndrome from a Christian family in Islamabad, has been arrested and accused of blasphemy, an offence which carries the death sentence in Pakistan, on the grounds that she is alleged to have burnt some papers on which verses from the Qu’ran were inscribed. Rimshi is not able to read so, even if she had been burning the papers, she could not have known what was written on them. It is being reported that a local imam has been accused of planting the burnt papers in Rimshi’s bag as a way of inciting anti-Christian riots. Meanwhile she is being held in a maximum security jail and will be brought to court shortly to face charges of blasphemy. Almost 1 million people have signed an online petition calling on President Zardari to order Rimshi’s release. The Netherlorn Churches have sent her a card to assure her that she is in our prayers, together with her whole family.
Mokebe Mminele is a Xhosa Lutheran minister from South Africa who visited Netherlorn in 2001 and preached at Craignish and Kilninver. On the celebration of his 80th birthday he has sent greetings to the Netherlorn churches, saying that the days he spent in Argyll were very special for him and he wishes he could have spent his birthday in Netherlorn. Mokebe is a close friend of Ian and Meriel Tegner of Kilninver who have followed with admiration his work in the struggle against apartheid and in the making of the new South Africa
Summertime on the west coast of Scotland brings one dreaded hazard – the midges! This give us a vivid sense of the damage that can be done by small biting insects. None more damaging than the mosquitos whose bite brings malaria to 250 million people each year. Over one million malaria-sufferers die each year. The good news is that there is a simple yet highly effective form of defence – sleeping under a chemically-treated mosquito net. Christian Aid is supplying such nets at a unit cost of £3 to needy people in the most vulnerable areas.
At the Netherlorn united service hosted by Kilchattan Church on 29 July 2012 a special offering raised £272.30 to contribute to this Christian Aid effort. If you missed the chance and would like to contribute there will be other opportunities at church services or contact Douglas Gibson on 01852 314 230.
Five New Members of the Church of Scotland were welcomed at the Kilbrandon and Kilchattan joint Churches service on Sunday 24th June 2012. In a service led by the Minister Ken Ross, Jennifer Fothergill, Emma MacLachlan, David Ritchie and Janette Donald all took their profession of faith in front of a packed Kilchattan church on the Island of Luing. Also in the congregation was Ronalda Graham, who came through the preparation sessions with the others, but joined a week ago in Kilninver Church on the mainland. Jenny and Emma both grew up in the Kilchattan Church, attending Sunday School, then Anchor Club and JAM, while David is a well known face to everyone, his Dad was the minister for Kilbrandon and Kilchattan in the 90’s. Janette and her young family live close to Kilbrandon Church where they worship Sunday by Sunday. A BBQ was held to celebrate the occasion in the Cullipool Hall following the service, with everyone joining together to welcome the new members.
The afternoon of Sunday 17th June saw an intrepid 15-strong band of walkers gathered in the Kilmelford Church car park. Soon they were off, with expert guide Hamish MacNicol in the lead, to find their way to the head of Glen Domhain, a little-visited but spectacularly beautiful part of Netherlorn. Gradually they made their way down the glen with frequent stops to take account of geology, wildlife, history, and land-management, not to mention magnificent views out to the Paps of Jura. Smoke rising from the barbecue at Turnalt Farm spurred them on their way in the last stretches and soon they were tucking into top-class burgers and sharing their story with others who had not been able to tackle the long walk but were keen to join in the fun. Some walkers were sponsored, raising a total of £410 for the Craignish Church Restoration Appeal and further funds for the Bemvu Fund for work with our partner congregation in Malawi. All in all, it was a day which lifted our hearts.
Xplorers’ Report Sunday 3rd. June2012
The Xplorers welcomed Walter and Heather Ritchie, who came to join in the activities and help lead the Prayz Time, Ken being away on holiday.
Latecomers who had been involved in the Jubilee celebrations at the Village Hall took the number up to 11within the three busy groups.
The theme of the afternoon was God’s care for his people and Jesus’ love for us. The youngest group achieved this by learning about the crossing of the Red Sea and made a brilliant collage which now hangs at the back of the church, as you can see.
The two older groups began their exploration of the first Passover by making unleavened bread,[which was baked and delivered later in the evening.] We then examined the items which make up a Passover meal and talked about their symbolism, all of which were either smelled or tasted!! Hieroglyphic symbols were used to spell out 2 messages of reassurance to us. The senior group’s message can be seen below.
Xplorers – Sunday 6th May
After wondering if families would be away for the May holiday weekend it was a happy surprise to find that this was one of the busiest Xplorers gatherings in Kilmelford Church.
Continuing Moses’ story we selected some more aspects to deal with in detail. The youngest group created some of the plagues and enjoyed making play doh frogs and gruesome looking boils and spots and duly bandaged the very lifelike boils they had created on their arms and legs.
The older groups were also creative in making their versions of burning bushes – as badges to take home. The balcony group then designed and made a pulpit fall using fiery coloured crepe paper, which is now on the new pin board at the back of the church. Both these groups made origami jumping frogs, which needed only a gentle touch to make them hop. These were then raced enthusiastically though too hard a push resulted in leaps off the race track!
It was encouraging to hear positive and accurate responses to Ken’s questions during the Prayz Time. There was an enthusiastic buzz throughout the entire session, including the song “Mary don’t you weep”.
An action packed and fun afternoon for the children – and leaders!
The fourth meeting of the Xplore Xtra group took place on the Island of Luing on 25th of May 2012.
This meeting was of some teenagers of Argyll, who know something of Jesus and want to learn more and share together. Meeting together has happened in Kinlochleven, Oban and Dunoon. This month the JAM group on Luing were to host the event. Everyone was welcome, and many from Oban stayed the night.
The event started at 6.30pm with a BBQ, and through following a treasure trail, the young folk ended up a the playing field to the welcome smell of BBQ! A game of softball ran off the burgers, and some very wet games. Then up to the ‘secret beach’ for a swim (for some) and ‘smores’ on a log fire at the beach. The guys from Kinlochleven sadly had to leave on the 10.30pm ferry, but eveyone else stayed on to have hot chocolate and cakes in the village hall. A super night of fun and fellowship.