Callander Kirk Newsletter

Spring 2013

Dear Friends

Gifts for God

Our second annual Stewardship Season (a well established tradition, then!) is almost upon us. 'Stewardship' is our care of all that God entrusts to us – time, talents, money and our environment.

You will remember that last year we spent the month of March reflecting on Gifts for God, with a specific focus on money. There was a leaflet distributed to each household in the church. Each service during the month explored the themes of stewardship and money. There was a series of special events aimed at different sections of the church.

I have been quite thrilled by the response to last year's Stewardship Season.

The average giving has increased by 10%.

This is a huge encouragement, indicating that people are taking seriously their stewardship of the resources that God has given to them. Thank you all for your faithful and generous support for God's work through Callander Kirk.

This year's stewardship programme will run for a month from April 21st. Gifts for God this year will move the focus from money to 'talents'. Again there will be worship on the theme, there will be special events and there will be an approach to everyone to consider what they can contribute.

God gives gifts – gifts beyond list or number:  the gift of Christ himself, of the Holy Spirit, of salvation through faith of Christ, of eternal life, of the Church, and not least of his faithful, merciful, gracious love. Thanks be to God for his inexpressible goodness. 'What can I give him, poor as I am? … Give him my heart.'

God gives each of us personal gifts. We may not think of ourselves as terribly gifted people. That may be through modesty, or because we compare ourselves unfavourably with others, or perhaps we have never discovered where our talent is needed, and so do not realise that this is God's gift. It may be that the church has tended to force people into a mould, rather than shaping itself around the gifts we have. But God gives each of us gifts, abilities, skills, interests. Talents might come as professional qualifications, hobbies, long experience, flair, or an interest waiting to be developed.

God gives each of us gifts to use in his service. God needs all sorts of talents in all sorts of areas. This is not only about serving in the church, it is about our responsibility to be the people God made us to be, using what he has given us to bring glory to him. There are many types of gifts. There are gifts of the spirit that are primarily for 'building up the saints,' but our use of gifts in home, work or community will be a service to others and a witness to the giver of gifts. One thing we know for certain is that God does not want us to bury our talents (Luke 19).

The Bible has several lists of the gifts that God gives. If you want to check them out they are found in Romans 12, 1 Corinthians 12, Ephesians 4 and 1 Peter 4 *. Some of these gifts may need a bit of explanation. They may sound quite esoteric, or aimed at spiritual superstars, but don't let that put you off. They are nearer at hand than you think. I do not believe the lists are complete, and you may indeed know that you have a gift that you want to use for God, and wonder where it fits in these lists. I might think of art and music. If you want to explore your gifts in these Biblical categories, there are several good websites, or ask me for the survey that the elders have tried.

The gifts mentioned in the Bible are important and we need to identify them within the church and use them for building up the saints. But there are many other sorts of gifts and Gifts for God is about recognising all our gifts and using them for God. At this stage we need to find out what gifts God has given us and how we could be using them.

During the Stewardship Season, we shall be trying to visit every household in the church with a very simple questionnaire. What are your job skills, your abilities, your interests or hobbies? Is there an area in which you need some assistance? Are there ways in which you think the church could be serving?

I hope that you will give the visitor a couple of minutes – it shouldn't take longer if you think about it now. Get thinking! What gifts has God given you to share with his people?

Watch out for news of the worship programme during the Stewardship Season, special events, and for other information that will be coming out later. That may include areas of church life in which we clearly need to build up our work. God needs volunteers!

As with money, I don't think we give because of need. We give because we need to give. We give because that is how we become the people God wants us to be.

What do you need to give?

With best wishes

Robert Simpson

* The lists include:-

Apostle  Prophet  Evangelist Pastor  Teacher

Tongues  Interpretation  Healing Miracles Wisdom

Knowledge  Discerning   Helping Hospitality  Giving

Encouraging  Mercy   Administration/Leadership

* * * * * * *

Treasurer’s Report

The financial year 2012 is now past and it turned out to be much better than 2011 from a financial viewpoint. After the Stewardship campaign our offerings increased as the year progressed and this combined with the sale of the minibus and generous donations put our voluntary income almost £10,000 higher than 2011. Our expenditure however also rose mainly because of necessary repair costs to both Churches and improvements to the Manse. Our records are with the Independent Examiner (Dickson Middleton) for perusal and we will present the final agreed figures at the joint Session/Board meeting and then at the Stated Annual Meeting.

Looking ahead to 2013 I have still to agree our Budgets with the Finance Committee (the weather has delayed getting together) but we will be budgeting for a small surplus which will be the first since 2008.This is dependant on our income staying at current levels up and we curtail costs. The main point for 2013 is that we expect fabric spend to be considerably less as the Fabric Committee feel that the Kirk, Trossachs and the Manse are in the best condition for years.

We did not get off to a good start to 2013 in January with the bad weather restricting attendances giving us a first month deficit.  We did however have the same situation last year and we would expect a better picture as the months progress.    


Once we have agreed figures with Dickson Middleton we will present full detail at the meetings.

Bill Sutherland

Hall Booking Manager

Heather Wilson our current manager will be retiring from this position shortly and we will therefore require a replacement person. Anyone interested, please contact Pete Jones on 07840111424 as soon as possible – thank you.

Note from the Editor

I read the following article in the Life and Work Magazine about how a Glenrothes congregation have been reaching out to its community!

A Fife Church is attracting new people by simply telling the community about itself.  “Christ’s Kirk” produced a magazine and delivered it to every house in the parish.  Since then, it has seen an increase in worshippers and in enquiries about the church.

A member of the church explained: “The survival and growth of Christ’s Kirk is dependent on the contributions and talents of the people in the parish (but) the uncomfortable fact is that 2% of people in the parish are members of the congregation.  There are many contributions and talents in the parish which Christ’s Kirk does not reach.

“The Kirk Session and Congregational Board want new members because survival is not enough.  We want our church to grow.  We want to promote the values of the Church of Scotland and help the less fortunate people in the parish.”

The church’s minister quickly recognised the need to encourage more people in the parish to join Christ’s Kirk, but she soon learned that possibly most people in the parish did not even know that it existed.

To combat this, a new team, called the publications and communications team (pub-comm for short) started, with the remit of broadcasting the activities of the church to the parish.  They were asked to produce a magazine to be distributed to every household in the parish.

Christening the publication ‘The Big Magazine’, the pub-comm team solicited contributions from members of the congregation, and wrote articles themselves.  There are introductory features on the church and how to become a member, the Guild, the café, a proposed link-up with a church in Germany, fundraising and events.

Another feature dotted throughout was pictures of members of the church, holding up cardboard signs explaining their reasons for coming to worship: ‘faith and hope’, ‘family and friendship’, ‘feeling of belonging’, ‘tradition’, ‘because I love God’, and many more.

The costs of the 32-page magazine was partly met by selling advertising space, and a donation from a member of the congregation meeting the rest.  The magazine delivered 5000 copies the following month.  

The results were:  The Big Magazine was a success.  New people started to attend the Sunday Services.  More people visited the Kirk Café.  People have phoned the Manse and asked about Christ’s Kirk.  The congregation felt pleased because they were involved in the contents.  The pub-comm team has a sense of achievement.  The Big Magazine is a very good idea because it advertises Christ’s Kirk inside the parish.  The magazine informs people that there is a friendly and helpful Christian community in Glenrothes.  The Church of Scotland and Christ’s Kirk should not shy away from advertising themselves.

Is this the way forward?  We (the members) could all join together and use our (many) talents to make a difference in Callander through the Kirk.  There are many active groups within the Kirk who don’t contribute to the newsletter, and therefore, we don’t really know what’s going on.  When I was putting this newsletter together, I learned so much about what JAM is up to, and how all the work the leaders are doing is proving successful.  So, come on all you groups, contribute and let us be proud of all the work Callander Kirk is doing.

* * * * * * *

Update from the Guild

Another Guild year is almost over and we have enjoyed a good variety of subjects and activities. Having an eye to the weather, nearly all our speakers have been local which proves the wealth of talent we have in Callander.

We have visited other Guilds and they, along with ladies from the other Callander churches have visited us, building up the good relationship we have with these other churches.

When the committee chose Comfort Rwanda as our Project to support this year, we were drawn to it because of the wonderful work being done to heal relationships in that country. The speaker from the project enthused us and we are delighted to say that to date we have raised and sent £589 for their work.

We thank church members who have supported us in this and in the two successful Coffee Mornings. I am glad to report that we hope to have two new committee members next year and we look forward to them joining our team.

We still have our outing in May and a visit to the Presbyterial Council Annual Meeting in June to look forward to and the friendships we enjoy during the meetings, continue on from April till October when we start again.

Library  Review

Creating a Prodigal-friendly church

This book is by Jeff Lucas who is a teaching pastor in the Timberline Church in Colorado. Jeff Lucas is British and part of the leadership team of Spring Harvest.  I was given the book as a present and it took me a year to get round to reading it!  I found it very challenging and radical.  Perhaps a little too radical at times!  There is a copy in the library and it is well worth a read.

The book studies the parable of the prodigal son and each chapter looks at different aspects of the 3 main characters of this well known story.  Jeff Lucas draws a comparison between the church and an imperfect orchestra.   The title of each chapter includes a musical term e.g. Dissonance – the Mutterers,  Mancando – are we preventing a parting?  

He gives many examples of problems in the church.  He describes a church where young folk from the drug culture made a commitment to Christ and started to come to church.  As part of worship they would shout and whistle.  At the beginning of the service the minister gave them a warm welcome and then, with obvious nervousness, asked the congregation to be patient with their unorthodox worship styles.   As an elderly person stood up, he anticipated trouble but she said she was delighted that they had come and that they should carry on whistling!  

I do feel very saddened about friends and acquaintances who have left the church in Callander and in other places. However, find it hard to regard them as prodigals. Nevertheless, this book helped me understand why they left the church and made me consider more deeply why others who have never attended church are not keen to take a look.


'When a person leaves the church and becomes a prodigal, we can be quick to conclude that they need to change and return to where we are.  But we must face the challenge to change and be intentionally prodigal-friendly if we are to prevent people from leaving or help them return.  For that to happen, we will need to be humble, generous people who refuse to be defensive about the weaknesses of our churches'.

Library team  

Janet O'Hara, Hazel Buchanan, Alison Sly, Jackie Pester, Betty Thom, Jean Brownrigg, Olive Walker, Effie McKenzie, Cherie Bettison

The latest news from JAM

JAM numbers continue to be consistent and new faces are appearing as we begin to hold more community events and outreach projects. It is our prayer that JAM continues to grow and attract more young people, yet retain the core group that attend the early service regularly. The Sunday morning group of young people continue to meet at 11 am in the youth room and so far we have covered a range of topics in great amount of depth. These sessions have allowed the young people to open up and talk about current issues within their lives and receive support in their continual spiritual growth. This groups aims to be an active part of the decision making process when it comes to planning JAM and the activities that they wish to see themselves involved in with the church.  

Activities for the coming months include a Ten Pin bowling trip on Friday 1st February, a special guest visit from Harry Chinkumbi from Zambia who will be sharing his story and the work he is involved in in Africa on Friday 22nd February.  Also, a trip to see the Royal Foundlings at Drymen Parish church took place on the 3rd February after their successful music event held previously in Callander Kirk. The young people were eager to see them play again but this time the band will be playing an acoustic set in contrast to their usual rock style. Members of JAM will be attending (and taking part) in the Callander Amateur Operatic Society's performance of 'Anything Goes' on the 22nd or 23rd March and may also be making a trip into Glasgow to see a performance of FAME on Friday 8th March. (This is open to congregation?)

All of these trips and activities allow for positive group dynamics to be formed and through a relational style of youth work the lives of these young people can be impacted greatly. There will be a teaching stream running throughout the JAM meetings on Fridays and it is also our goal to continue networking with other Christian youth groups in order to allow the young people to experience different styles of worship and encourage them to go deeper in their continual spiritual development.

Unfortunately, some of these dates have passed, but thought you would all like to know about the activities taking place and the work being done.

* * * * * * *

Some recent news from the Waddells’ blog

The staple food in Zambia is mealie grain.  The government has agreed a pro-poor policy by stabilising and controlling the price of it by appealing to milling companies to reduce their prices after a sharp rise recently – a contrast to our austerity programmes and attack on universalism by neo-liberal governments in the more developed world.  Zambia has managed to attain a growth rate of 7% up from 6% last year.

Many Zambians, since banks were closed to them, were being forced to borrow money from private microfinance companies who were little more than legalised loan-sharks at exorbitant interest rates.  A number of hospital workers and school colleagues had got themselves into trouble by these rapacious pay-day predators.  But now the Bank of Zambia has put a cap on the effective annual lending interest rates, likewise commercial banks, and borrowing is more affordable and fair for small borrowers.

2013 is the anniversary of David Livingstone’s birth which is being celebrated both in Scotland and Zambia.  After Zambian Independence most colonial names of towns and places were replaced by Zambian names but as a sign of respect and affection names associated with Livingstone have been left largely alone.

* * * * * * *

A message from Tina, youth worker.

I will be traveling to Rwanda at the end of July for three weeks with four other leaders and a group of 12 young people. We will be working in schools, running a holiday programme and traveling to rural communities to help on development projects. The trip runs under the organisation of urban saints and this year the trip will be partnered with SU Scotland. We will be working in partnership with SU Rwanda and living in the capital city of Kigali while we carry out our work.

I anticipate a great support from Callander Kirk and the community and as important as the funds are to raise, help in organising and promoting events for the fundraising are just as important.

To support me, please visit the Church website,, and click the 'Donate' button on the front page, or in the intimations page. When you donate, add a note with my name so that they know who the money is for.

All prayers and donations would be highly appreciated. You will be well notified of upcoming fundraising events also. I will also be participating in the Ben Ledi ascent on the 1st June which I will be looking to fundraise for.

Thank you


This post comes from Maureen Jack, who is serving with EAPPI in Jayyus in the northern West Bank.

Sometimes nice things happen completely unexpectedly. Some time ago Tin (from the Philippines) and I visited a local man in Jayyus who had contacted us. We knew nothing about him, except that he had links with a group of Israelis

By a happy chance, some of that group arrived shortly after we did. The group is called “The Road to Recovery.* It all started when its founder was asked if he could help a child from Jayyus get to hospital in Israel. From this tiny beginning has evolved a group of 300 Israeli volunteers. The core of their work is very simple, but tremendously important. They meet Palestinian patients (with, if granted a permit to travel into Israel, a close relative) on the Israeli side of the checkpoint and drive them to the Israeli hospital where they are to be treated or admitted.

This isn’t for treatment for minor ailments, but rather for serious, often life-threatening conditions, such as cancer, thalassaemia, and kidney failure, involving repeated hospital visits and admissions, often over a long period; some of the patients are children. Close relationships and friendships are often formed between the patients and their families and their Israeli drivers. The Israelis visit their Palestinian friends in hospital when they are in-patients.

I spoke to one Israeli man in his seventies. He said how difficult the work can be at times, because many of the Palestinians he has come to know in this way are seriously ill; some do not recover. He told me about one little girl he had started taking to hospital for kidney dialysis when she was just six months old; she died three years later because no kidney was available for transplantation. He said that his wife found the death of Palestinians to whom she had become close so distressing that she no longer volunteers with the programme.

Emphasising that he is no politician, he spoke of his own motivation: ‘I want to do what I can do. I do it from my heart.’ A little girl he drives to hospital is in isolation just now following bone marrow transplantation; he is visiting her regularly. Recognising the impact the group’s work has on the Palestinians they help, he said of her family: ‘They will never hate us.’

I am sometimes doubtful about programmes that seek ‘reconciliation’ between Israelis and Palestinians by bringing them together in what can seem a somewhat random way. But this work is not like that. It’s something very real, with real people in need, and real people responding to that need. And through that need and that response people see one another as people, and friendships form. My new friend was right. Among these Palestinians and Israelis this work removes the possibility of hate. But it does much more than that: it also brings trust . . . and love.

In its own small way, a road to recovery between peoples. A good way to start the year.

Salaam, shalom, peace.

Let us walk softly, for strange paths lie before us, all untrod.

The New Year, spotless from the hand of God,

Is thine, and mine.

Let us walk kindly;

We cannot tell how long this life shall last,

How soon these precious years be over, past;

Let Love walk with us.

Congratulations to the following who were married recently


15 December Iain Wales & Susan McIntosh

Our thoughts and prayers are with the family and friends of all the people whose funeral has taken place recently.


Margaret Graham  Sadie Johnston  Mary Paterson

Jessie Campbell  Ian Anderson   Tom Aikman

Margaret McConachie Donald Campbell  Flora McDonald

Christopher Turbett  Margaret Rutherford Sheila Burnside

Bible Bites

Isaiah 40 v. 8

“ The grass withereth, the flower fadeth: but the word of our God shall stand for ever.” King James version

I love the words contained in this verse and because I grew up with them, I remember them pretty accurately without looking them up. So…….. when I came to try to look them up for this little article, I didn’t know where to look. However, I was pretty certain they would be from Isaiah. Now Isaiah is a big book. It’s a big book in length and I didn’t fancy sitting down and reading all sixty six chapters. That may well have been good for me but rather time consuming when I was really setting out to do something else. Isaiah is also a big book in its importance because it leads so much into the coming of the Messiah and the writings of the New Testament.

I was fairly certain that the verses I was looking for were not in chapter six, (despite its importance), but I did check there. No luck. I had, therefore, to go to the concordance and firstly looked up ‘grass’. No luck. Then I tried ‘flower’.

I also tried wind because the previous verse speaks of ‘blowing’. No luck. Of course, I should have gone straight to ‘word’ but even when I did that – no luck. What I should have been looking for was ‘the WORD of GOD’

Now there’s a lesson, if ever there was one and I don’t need to spell it out - but…….

We all need to look for the Word of God – in the Bible, in our listening, in our prayers, in our hymns, in our friends, in our world. He doesn’t always have a DIRECT line but often uses imaginative methods of communicating through people, places or problems. Perhaps we just need to listen more carefully or just use our common sense?

“ True, the grass withers and the wildflowers fade, but our God’s word stands firm and forever.” The Message

I looked up various translations but there was little difference in any.

And why did I grow up with these words? I was brought up in Blackfriars Parish Church, in Dennistoun, in Glasgow. It was a huge building and the pews were rather dark and plain but the chancel was BEAUTIFUL. At the back of it were two large carved panels, on one of which, the above words were carved. I used to look at it often and yet sadly, I cannot remember what was on the other panel. Presumably it was a ‘matching’ quote. Any suggestions?


Jesus Loves Me for Seniors

 While watching a little TV on Sunday instead of going to church, I watched a Church in Atlanta honouring one of its senior pastors who had been retired many years. He was 92 at that time and I wondered why the Church bothered to ask the old gentleman to preach at that age. After a warm welcome, introduction of this speaker, as the applause quieted down, he rose from his high back chair and walked slowly, with great effort and a sliding gait to the podium. Without a note or written paper of any kind he placed both hands on the pulpit to steady himself and quietly and slowly began to speak....

 "When I was asked to come here today and talk to you, your pastor asked me to tell you what was the greatest lesson ever learned in my 50 odd years of preaching. I thought about it for a few days and boiled it down to just one thing that made the most difference in my life and sustained me through all my trials. The one thing I could always rely on when tears and heartbreak and pain and fear and sorrow paralyzed me... The only thing that would comfort was this verse.........

"Jesus loves me this I know.

For the Bible tells me so.

Little ones to Him belong,

We are weak but He is strong.....

Yes, Jesus loves me...

The Bible tells me so."

When he finished, the church was quiet. You actually could hear his footsteps as he shuffled back to his chair. I don't believe I will ever forget it. A pastor once stated,

"I always noticed that it was the adults who chose the children's hymn 'Jesus Loves Me' (for the children of course) during a hymn sing, and it was the adults who sang the loudest because I could see they knew it the best."

"Senior version of Jesus Loves Me"

Here is a new version just for us who have white hair or none at all. For us over middle age (or even those almost there) and all you others, check out this newest version of Jesus Loves Me.


Jesus loves me, this I know,

Though my hair is white as snow

Though my sight is growing dim,

Still He bids me trust in Him.



Though my steps are oh, so slow,

With my hand in His I'll go

On through life, let come what may,

He'll be there to lead the way.

When the nights are dark and long,

In my heart He puts a song.

Telling me in words so clear,

"Have no fear, for I am near."

When my work on earth is done,

And life's victories have been won.

He will take me home above,

Then I'll understand His love

I love Jesus, does He know?

Have I ever told Him so?

Jesus loves to hear me say,

That I love Him every day.

If you think this is neat, pass it on to your friends. If you do not pass it on, nothing bad will happen, but you will have missed an opportunity to "Reach out and Touch" a friend or a loved one.

God Bless Us All !!!

Every day is a gift .. that's why it's called the Present

* * * * * *

Many folk want to serve God- but only as advisers.

God loves everyone -

But probably prefers ‘fruits of the Spirit’ over ‘religious nuts’.

Stop complaining about your church.

If it was perfect, you couldn’t belong.

* * * * * * *

Many thanks to everyone who contributed to this edition of the Newsletter.  The deadline for the next edition is the 17th May.

Sunday Services & Easter 2013


3rd    10.00am Early Service in the Hall

11.15am Communion Service, Callander Kirk

3.00pm Trossachs Communion Service

8.00pm Time for Silence in Callander Kirk

10th  10.00am Early Service in the Hall

11.15am Morning Service

8.00pm Time for Silence in Callander Kirk

17th   10.00am Early Service in the Hall

11.15am Morning Service, followed by Informal Communion

8.00pm Time for Silence in Callander Kirk

24th   10.00am Early Service in the Hall

11.15am Morning Service – Palm Sunday - in Callander Kirk

8.00pm Time for Silence in Callander Kirk

31st   11.15am All-Age Easter Service in Callander Kirk

3.00pm Trossachs Easter Service

8.00pm Time for Silence in Callander Kirk


7th    10.00am Early Service in the Hall

11.15am Morning Service, Callander Kirk

3.00pm Trossachs Monthly Service

8.00pm Time for Silence in Callander Kirk

14th  10.00am Early Service in the Hall

11.15am Morning Service

8.00pm Time for Silence in Callander Kirk

21st    10.00am Early Service in the Hall

11.15am Morning Service, followed by Informal Communion

8.00pm Time for Silence in Callander Kirk

28th   11.15am All-Age Morning Service in Callander Kirk

8.00pm Time for Silence in Callander Kirk


5th   10.00am Early Service in the Hall

11.15am Morning Service, Callander Kirk

3.00pm Trossachs Monthly Service

8.00pm Time for Silence in Callander Kirk

12th   10.00am Early Service in the Hall

11.15am Morning Service

8.00pm Time for Silence in Callander Kirk

19th     10.00am Early Service in the Hall

11.15am Morning Service, followed by Informal Communion

8.00pm Time for Silence in Callander Kirk

26th   11.15am All-Age Morning Service in Callander Kirk

8.00pm Time for Silence in Callander Kirk

Lent Study Group

Tuesdays 19th & 26th  February, 5th , 12th  & 19th  March – 7.30pm, Room 1 in Kirk Hall

Holy Week Services

25th - 29th March - 7.30pm

Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday – Callander Kirk Hall

Thursday – St Andrew’s

Friday – Callander Kirk

Care Home Services

The monthly services take place on the first Wednesday of each month in

Ashlea at 2.15pm  

Ashview at 3.15pm,

and the first Thursday of each month in

Ashwood at 2.15pm.  

Friends are welcome at all three services.