Formartine Churches Together

How can Tarves and Barthol Chapel, Udny & Pitmedden and Methlick work together?
A working group has been established, with representatives from each of the congregations, to establish the way forward. Read News Briefs below.
 

News Brief No 3 Working Group Meeting (Number 2)
Tarves Church, Tuesday 9 November 2021, 7:30pm

Summary: At our second meeting in Tarves Parish Church on 9 November we began to formulate our vision and purpose and we explored one possible model of future ministry for the area. Again there was a sense of excitement and enthusiasm and God’s leading as we looked at the challenges together. We will continue to look at these items and their implications at our next meeting on Tuesday 14 December 2021, 7:30pm at Methlick Parish Church. In the meantime, we have agreed that from the beginning of next year, Will Stalder and Alison Swindells will preach at Udny & Pitmedden once a month so that we can begin to get to know the people of this part of our area and they can get to know us.

Again: We would like to hear from you! We believe communication is really important, but we also believe that communication is a two-way street. While we hope to communicate often and clearly throughout this process, we also want to listen, hear any questions or ideas you might have about the churches working together. Please free to contact your minister or Interim Moderator and we will be happy to feed your thoughts back to the Working Group. The more input we have from church and community the better.

Tarves and Barthol Chapel
Rev. Dr. Alison Swindells - aswindells@churchofscotland.org.uk

Udny & Pitmedden
Rev. Anthony Craig - aacraig@btinternet.com
Rev. Sheila Mitchell - SMitchell@churchofscotland.org.uk

Methlick
Rev. Dr. Will Stalder - wstalder@churchofscotland.org.uk

Until we speak again, please pray, and we will do our best to communicate with everybody at each stage in the process. God’s richest blessings to you and your church and community!

Rev. Dr. Will Stalder
Minister of Methlick Parish Church Rev.

Dr. Alison Swindells
Minister of Tarves and Barthol Chapel

Ministers of the Formartine Area Churches Friday 12 November 2021

 

News Brief No 2 Working Group Meeting (Number 1)
Pitmedden Church, Tuesday 12 October 2021, 7:30pm

In the first news brief about the Joint Session Meeting that took place on Sunday 19
September 2021, I opened with this question, “How can Tarves and Barthol Chapel, Udny
& Pitmedden and Methlick work together?” I am proud to say that I can now answer the
following question, “How are we working together?”

Since the initial Joint Session Meeting, a working group has been established, with
representatives from each of the respective congregations and with the remit of addressing
the questions, concerns and suggested priorities raised on the 19 September 2021. A
summary document of the day came to seven pages and covered upwards of 15 topics:
communication, Covenant Agreement, discipleship/training, fabric, finance, youth, general
comments/feelings, ministry/ministers/pastoral care, mission, Presbytery and the General
Assembly, relationships and fellowship, structure, technology and vision.

For our first Working Group meeting, we met at Pitmedden Church on Tuesday 12 October
2021, 7:30pm. Rev. Valerie Mitchell opened the time with a devotional looking at Psalm
127. During the first part of the meeting, we started looking at our vision and purpose, that
is, what will (should) be the guiding principles of our working together. We then reviewed
the Joint Session Meeting Summary Document (19 September 2021), acknowledged the
difficult points raised by the fact that there will need to be a further reduction of 4.75 FTE
(Full-Time Equivalent Posts) across Gordon Presbytery in the New 5-Year Presbytery
Mission Plan and then set out exploring what should be our next steps in our working
together. We had a really good, open and honest conversation about the issues affecting
us all. There actually was a genuine excitement about what God could do. We looked at
the following questions:

• What are the key issues that we need to address first?
• Who should address them?
• How should we address them?
• When should we address them?

It was amazing! We could have been all over the map with these questions, but there was
a remarkable consensus on what should be the immediate focus of our attention. It was
decided that three things will (should) be the focus of our energies in the lead up to our
next Working Group meeting in November 2021:

1. Communication
2. Vision and Purpose
3. Exploration of Ministry Models

Action Points were assigned, and we then spent time praying for our respective churches and communities and then closed with Grace. We finished before midnight too!

The dates of our next meetings will be as follows:

Tuesday 9 November 2021, 7:30pm (Tarves Parish Church)
Tuesday 14 December 2021, 7:30pm (Methlick Parish Church)

We would like to hear from you! We believe communication is really important, but we
also believe that communication is a two-way street. While we hope to communicate often
and clearly throughout this process, we also want to listen, hear any questions or ideas
you might have about the churches working together. Please free to contact your minister
or Interim Moderator and we will be happy to feed your thoughts back to the Working
Group. The more input we have from church and community the better.

Tarves and Barthol Chapel
Rev. Dr. Alison Swindells - aswindells@churchofscotland.org.uk

Udny & Pitmedden
Rev. Anthony Craig - aacraig@btinternet.com
Rev. Sheila Mitchell - SMitchell@churchofscotland.org.uk

Methlick
Rev. Dr. Will Stalder - wstalder@churchofscotland.org.uk

Until we speak again, please pray, and we will do our best to communicate with everybody
at each stage in the process. God’s richest blessings to you and your church and
community!

Rev. Dr. Will Stalder
Minister of Methlick Parish Church
Minister of Formartine Area Churches (w/ Rev. Dr. Alison Swindells)
Thursday 13 October 2021

 

News Brief from Joint Session Meeting
19 September 2021

How can Tarves and Barthol Chapel, Udny & Pitmedden and Methlick work together?
The sessions of Tarves and Barthol Chapel (TBC), Udny & Pitmedden (UPC) and Methlick met at Haddo Main Hall on the 19 September 2021 to begin the process of discussing how this might/should look like in practice. There were 30 people in attendance: 25 representatives from the four churches, including the ministers of Methlick (Rev. Dr. Will Stalder) and TBC (Rev. Dr. Alison Swindells), the Interim Moderators of UPC (Rev. Sheila Mitchell and Rev. Anthony Craig) and the Probationer from TBC (Fiona Lister). It was a good and productive meeting.

Rev. Sheila Mitchell outlined the overall context, process and hoped for outcomes of the process, and included illustrations from her own context.
Rev. Dr. Alison Swindells gave a brief overview of the wider national and regional context that has influenced our present state of affairs (i.e. General Assembly and Presbytery).

We then spent time discussing with one another and sharing questions and concerns about the Presbytery Plan and working together. Time was also spent detailing what people thought should be the priorities going forward.

Going forward, a working group will be established from members of the respective churches in order to look at the proposed questions, concerns and suggested priorities. Based on the above consultation and on going communication with the respective sessions, this group will meet on a monthly basis in order to draw up a way of working together that will be positive, sustainable and agreeable by all the respective churches.

If there are any additional questions or concerns about the process or future of working together, please feel free to e-mail Will Stalder in the first instance:

Rev. Dr. Will Stalder
Minister of Methlick Parish Church
Minister of Formartine Area Churches (w/ Rev. Dr. Alison Swindells)
wstalder@churchofscotland.org

Until we speak again, please pray, and we will do our best to communicate with everybody at each stage in the process. God’s richest blessings to you and your church and community!