Welcome to Methlick Parish Church

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Mission focused event with Rev Martin Fair and Dez Johnston

Join us on Saturday August 27th for “Fulfilling the First Mark of Mission – Can Alpha Help your Church” at Inverurie West Church, 9.30am (registration and breakfast) – 1pm.

Guest speakers are Rev Martin Fair and Dez Johnston, Director of Alpha Scotland. Please register in advance at https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/fulfilling-the-first-mark-of-mission-can-alpha-help-your-church-tickets-323337119027

Time of Listening and Prayer

In light of the recent announcement by Rev Dr Will Stalder, Rev Peter Barnes is offering a time of Listening and Prayer at Methlick Church at 4 pm on Sunday 7th August for all those feeling saddened by the imminent departure of the Stalder Family.

Letter to Methlick Parish Church
17 July 2022

"Green Pastures"
Those are the words that Rev. Dr. Paul Mckeown used to describe Methlick to me as I applied and prayerfully considered being the minister of Methlick Parish Church

"Green Pastures.
Those words have proved true these last 8 and a half years
I often commented to Courtney and others that we would never think about leaving Methlick unless we were called elsewhere.

Why leave "Green Pastures?"
For the last number of years, there has been a growing sense that God might be calling us elsewhere.
Like Peter who saw Jesus walking on water and asked, "Lord, if it is you, tell me to come to you across the water," so I've asked the Lord countless times, is this you,
Lord, are you calling us to leave green pastures to venture out into the unknown, the deep and uncertain?
It breaks our hearts to say that we believe God is calling us to leave Methlick. For this place, and you the people, have truly been "green pastures".

As Paul says in Philippians 1:3-5, I will always say of Methlick, "I thank my God whenever I think of you; and every time I pray for all of you, I pray with joy, remembering how you have helped to spread the Good News from the day you first heart it right up to the present. I am quite certain that the One who began this gooc
work in you will see that it is finished when the Day of Christ Jesus comes.
It truly breaks our hearts to say that we are leaving.
Leaving, not fleeing
We are leaving because of call that started before the Pandemic and eventually got louder and louder to the point we couldn't ignore it...
Leaving, not fleeing.
Following a call rather than running away.
It's an important distinction, which I think warrants explanation.
We are leaving NOT because of the Church of Scotland
We are leaving NOT because of Presbytery
We are leaving NOT because of the challenges that we face in trying to do ministry differently.

We are leaving for reasons deeper, more sacred and personal
We are leaving because of a growing sense of a call to become Catholic.

Fit? :). What did you say, Will?

We are leaving because of a growing sense of a call to become Catholic.

This has been a long and unexpected journey, one fraught with countless questions and riddled with innumerable uncertainties
For example:
How in the world am I going to support the family?
What can I do to put a roof over my family's head?
I don't have a day job, a previous career I can fall back on
My life has been about ministry and mission since I was a teenager....

Not to mention the biblical, historical and theological questions we've had to wrestle with. But these are all questions and explanations for another time.

The main thing is this:
Although the Church of Scotland and the Catholic Church in Scotland have signed he St. Margaret's Declaration, which is a remarkable step forward between the two traditions, a sign of growing friendship and fraternity, becoming Catholic necessitates that I must demit and leave Methlick. I can no longer be a minister in the Church of Scotland.

We came to Scotland in 2004, 18 years ago!
The Church of Scotland has been a wonderful spiritual home for us, and as I quoted Philippians 1 above, I will always thank God for those I've met in Scotland, in Glasgow, Aberdeen, Dyce, Orkney, across Scotland and of course in Methlick. I will always thank God for the privilege of being one of its ministers, and of your minister
in particular.

But, we have to leave...
And although the decision has been hard, God has been so good to us, so kind to us, as we have tried to follow his call.

There are still a lot of questions, but our immediate future is as follows:
In September, we are going to return to the USA for a few months, to have a sabbatical and spend time with family.
In January 2023, we will be moving to Germany. I will be doing intensive language study for 6-8 months and then begin theological studies at the University of Freiburg and prayerfully discern what God might be calling us to do: teaching? priesthood?

Some other type of ministry? We'll be living somewhere near Freiburg and under care of the Catholic Archdiocese of Freiburg.
Who knows... one day we might come back to Scotland.
What I do know is this:
I am sad to say we are leaving Methlick, but I am confident of this, as Paul said to the Philippians, so I say to you,
"He who began a good work in you will be faithful to carry out to completion until the day of Christ Jesus."
I know the road ahead is uncertain.
It's uncertain for you. It's uncertain for us.. but if we put our hands in the hand of God, it will be a better and safer than the known way.

One of my favourite blessings is from King George Vl's Christmas Day broadcast in which he quoted the poem by Minnie Louise Haskins, which Princess Elizabeth, then 13 years of age, gave to her father because she thought it might lift the spirits of a
nation, riddled with fear and uncertainty having just declared war on Germany
The poem?
You know the words. I hope you might find it true now and in the years ahead.

"I said to the man who stood at the Gate of the Year, "Give me a light that I may tread safely into the unknown." And he replied, "Go out into the darkness, and put your hand into the hand of God. That shall be to you better than light, and safer than
a known way."

Methlick! We love you!
Put your hand in the hand of God
Keep listening
Keep following
He won't let you down!
Rev. Dr. Will Stalder
17 July 2022

How many ministers does it take to change a light bulb?

All joking aside, if you had 600 ministers, how would you allocate them across Scotland, which has a population of around 5,463,300?

If you divided them solely on the basis of population, then it would come to roughly 1 minister per 9,105 people. If you considered other factors, such as geography, economic deprivation and the Church of Scotland’s commitment to provide the ordinances of religion across the whole of Scotland, then the numbers might vary.

In order to equally distribute 600 ministers across the whole of Scotland, the Church of Scotland has taken in the above considerations and has allocated a certain number of FTE (Full-Time Equivalent) ministers to each Presbytery. Gordon Presbytery has been allocated 16 ministers. That’s a drop of 49% from the previous allocation of 31.4 ministers in 2011. Over the last number of months, the Presbytery Planning Review Group of Gordon Presbytery has been painstakingly trying to figure out how best to allocate these numbers. They just presented their Draft Presbytery Plan on 2 March 2022, and this is what it will mean for Methlick and our Area Grouping with Tarves and Barthol Chapel and Udny & Pitmedden


• Ministry Posts: Going forward, there will be 1 minister allocated to the parishes of Methlick, Tarves and Barthol Chapel and Udny & Pitmedden, which, for those who are curious, has a total population of around 6,253 and a couple of cats.

• Buildings: In terms of buildings, Methlick Church, Tarves Church and Youth Hall and Pitmedden Church are all deemed to be necessary church buildings, but it is suggested that Methlick Stables, Barthol Chapel Church and Udny Green Church are to be sold, let or disposed of within the next 5 years.

Conclusion: There will undoubtedly be a sense of sadness and loss. Gone are the days of one minister per parish. That said, as Christians, we believe that God is never gone from us. Christ remains the head of the church, and so there is hope, even though the landscape of church life will be different. There is a Working Group of the Formartine Area Churches working hard on developing a sustainable model of ministry for the future.

Watch this space for more information and a chance to ask questions and or offer your thoughts and feedback on the situation.

Your minister, Will Stalder (3 March 2022)

Would You Like To Sponsor a Ukrainian Refugee?

If so then please contact Rev. Dr. Will Stalder, Minister of Methlick Parish Church at 01651 806264 or email  wstalder@churchofscotland.org.uk

Try Alpha

What is Alpha?

Alpha is an eleven-week series that explores the basics of the Christian faith in a relaxed and informal environment. Small groups meet, watch a short video and then discuss it. Alpha courses are currently being run all over the world in a wide variety of settings from churches to prisons, schools and in people’s homes. Everyone and anyone is welcome to take part. While no two Alpha courses are the same, probably the most important part of any Alpha is the chance to share thoughts and ideas on the topic, and simply discuss it in a small group. There's no obligation to say anything and there's nothing you can't say (honest!). It's an opportunity to hear from others and contribute your own perspective in an honest, friendly and open environment.

What Topics are Covered?

Is There More To Life Than This? 

Who is Jesus? 

Why Did Jesus Die? 

How Can I Have Faith? 

Why and How Do I Pray? 

Why and How Should I Read the Bible? 

How Does God Guide Us? 

How Can I Resist Evil? 

Why and how should I tell others? 

Does God Heal Today? 

What About The Church? 

Day/Weekend Away (TBC) 

What Have Others Said About Alpha?

“ I found the Alpha course reassuring, informative, and sometimes challenging ..but most importantly it felt like a warm hug and a soft blanket from afar (even on a zoom call) and the wonderful people involved and the discussions we had have allowed me to move forward with my life in the knowledge that “I am not alone”.

“Alpha lets you explore ideas and thoughts across a variety of subjects and with the Bible and Faith at the centre the discussions can be wonderfully varied. Getting to know others in the group and learning through them and their perspectives is part of the bonus of Alpha. . I didn’t know what to expect but would be happy to recommend it.” 

“It was lovely to follow the Alpha Course with such a caring group of people. It was really interesting to learn together and share different points of view and interpretations as we went. “

“Alpha was a safe place for me to ask the questions I had and not feel daft for asking them.”

“The best bit about Alpha was making friends”.

Watch this space for details of when our next Alpha course will be running in 2022. If you would like to join us, please contact Jeannie (see below).

Contact: Jeannie Price

Email: jp222@btinternet.com

Phone: 07764221414



Address

The Manse
Manse Road
Methlick 
AB41 7DG


Contacts

Email: wstalder@churchofscotland.org.uk
Phone: +44(0)1651 806264

Links

Presbytery of Gordon 
Church of Scotland
Webmaster

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