We have now been living on the amazingly beautiful (pictures could never do it justice) island of Stronsay for about two weeks. The house (manse) is truly a blessing, the wonderful people of the community have fixed it up wonderfully for us, it very comfortable (we have a spare bedroom so if anyone wishes to visit just come on!) and just perfect for our family.
I (Scott) have taken two services at Moncur Memorial, the church on the island, right next door to our house. I am still seeking to get the “flow” of the service down, as every church in Scotland has their subtle differences, how many songs they do, whether you give a children’s address (and when), how many prayers (and when), and so on. At least this round I know how to give intimations (announcements) and benedictions, though I am still making a few more mistakes then I like. The people are wonderful, it is a fairly peedie (smallish) congregation but then it a fairly small island, though plenty big enough for us. The people of the island are incredibly nice and welcoming, we are already starting to feel a part of the community. The two older boys (Liam and Colin) attend the local primary school (less then a mile from our house) and Declan attends “nursery” (pre-school) a few days a week. There are two stores on the island, one in the main village on the island (Whitehall) about 3 miles or so from us, and the other next door to us. Both carry a good amount of items. Last Saturday we made a “stocking up” run to the “city” as it is called, Kirkwall on the biggest island of Orkney, to buy a few items. It takes about an hour and a half by ferry to get to Kirkwall, then we shop for several hours and catch the afternoon ferry back. Fortunately we won’t need to do this all that much as we really are well provided for here on Stronsay.
I hope to keep you all updated further as we continue to learn, enjoy, and serve the Lord on this amazing island here in Scotland. And truly if you have a desire to visit this gorgeous little “isle of the bays” and meet the loving people then just buy yourselves some tickets and let us know.
Blessings from Stronsay
-pictures are: Vat of Kirbister (natural arch over the sea on Stronsay), the sanctuary of the church, the manse (home), and on the beach at St. Catherine’s Bay near us
It has been a very long road, as many of you know. But we have our visas and tickets to serve in a church (Moncur Memorial) on the island of Stronsay in the Orkneys. In fact we fly out on the 24th of this month (April). It will initially be for six months, but as our biggest struggle in the past was finding a place to serve that could get us a visa I believe this is a promising start. If nothing else it is a wonderful opportunity to serve a loving community that has been without a minister (pastor) for many years, to preach and teach, encourage and strengthen, and grow together. We are hoping and praying that we will either be able to serve on Stronsay longer or this will help lay the ground work to do similar work in other areas of Scotland. There is such a big need as many areas especially on the islands are without a “under-shepherd”.
I want to express my extreme thanks to all who have been such a blessing to us over the many years we have traveled sharing about our call to Scotland. We could not have made it for so long without so many praying, giving, and encouraging! It is amazing to look back and think of all the struggles and discouragement, yet all the times that people have blessed us, often without even knowing it. On occasion our “struggle” to get to the field is used by preachers and teachers has an example of faithfulness, I always think it is those who lovingly support us that are the ones who are faithful and special. To all who even think and pray about us, we are sincerely grateful.
Peedie = Orkney for small or “wee”
Oh and of course we will try and keep you all updated from the “field” and get some photos of the lovely Stronsay “isle of bays” on here once we are settled. And if you happen to be in the north of Scotland and we are there come and visit.
Hello, we are excited about a new direction (well really the one I have had for years, just a more direct way of serving) we are taking. Recently to my surprise I received an email from a church on the Orkney Island of Stronsay asking me if I would be their new locum (essentially an interim minister). My heart has truly been burdened for years about the many churches in Scotland without a minister, and now one was calling out to me to come and serve! So we are planning to go this May and serve for an initial 6 months and then if the Lord leads and there is still need perhaps longer.
What does this mean? It means that several things will be changing for us and those who support us. First we are no longer going to be with Alongside Ministries, we still care dearly for them and have many friends with them, but we feel our path is moving away from them and will be working instead more directly with the local churches in Scotland. Secondly, since the church on Stronsay is providing housing (and possibly a small salary) we will not need to raise as much support. We should be able to go over in May relatively easily, as that is when they will be expecting us and have the house (the manse) ready for us. We will update all of you who do want to support us where to send the money in the very near future, as well as sending out more information about all of this.
Greetings from cold Minnesota! We are hoping to have the visa to work with a lovely church in Crieff, Scotland in a few months. As we wait for the paperwork and other things in the process we are staying with Karen’s family in Minnesota. During this time I am serving as an unpaid “intern” with a local church in order to serve them and get some more experience helping local churches. Among my duties are helping set up the web page (check out the links and resources section to see it), leading small groups and adult Sunday school, preaching, visiting, and in general helping the pastor.
In the coming weeks I will be traveling to Kansas and Washington to share at various churches and other gatherings. You can follow my plans on the itinerary link .
It has been a few months since our last post, so what are the Daily’s up to now? Well Scott was able to travel to Scotland this past June/July and meet with a few of the churches that are looking for people to serve with them. It was great to spend time with men and women of the various congregations who are seeking to faithfully serve God throughout Scotland. We are hoping to start the process of getting a visa to work with one of these churches in the very near future. Currently Scott is getting ready to travel west to share at various churches and individuals in the US. The need in Scotland is great, and we long to be there building up His church.
Hello all our beloved friends and family who take the time to read our occasional blog post. As most of you know we were over in Scotland in March and April, spending most of our time on the Isle of Lewis serving the lovely parish church in Carloway. We had hoped that this would lead to a permanent role with me serving as the new minister. However while they enjoy having us and I feel we were a great blessing (they especially appreciated my “Biblical preaching”) after long discussion it was felt that because I am not ordained through the Church of Scotland it was to difficult to get me on as minister.
So what now? While we were over we were also able to meet with a few churches that were looking for people to come and serve alongside them. There were a few that really stood out to us and we felt we made good connections with them. Long story short(er) we had a refund from an airline that we needed to use to buy tickets by mid-June or else we would lose the refund. Since I had a strong desire to travel over and “firm up” some details with some of the churches and pray about how God would have us serve them, I began to look at flying over using the refund. It became clear that the cheapest tickets were in a few weeks, and so I was able to use the refund to pay almost all the cost of tickets to Scotland from June 22nd to July 13. While there were quite a number of churches that approached us or Alongside Ministries seeking helpers given both the suddenness and shortness of my trip I am focusing on three or four of a few we prayerfully consider the best fits for us. Lord willing I will be able to update you further in a few weeks (with pictures) and give more details.
Thank you so much for your constant prayers, support, and love.
We are over half way through with our all to brief time here in Carloway on the Isle of Lewis. It has been an amazing time! I (Scott) have been kept busy with preaching, visiting, and taking time as a family to see some of the many amazing sites. On the first weekend we were here there were Communion services Friday and Sunday, a wake Sunday, and a funeral on Monday (quite experience which involved helping carry the casket along the road for a ways).
The people of Carloway are extremely nice and hospitable, they have gone out of their way to make us feel welcome during our weeks here. We are staying in the manse (house for the minister) and they have fixed it up lovely and filled it with toys for the boys. Though we had to change our plans a bit just a few days before our flight after finding out that the car company from which we intended to hire and drive to the island from Glasgow was going to charge us a fee each day we had the car on the island, we have been blessed and God worked it all out and were able to hire (rent) a car here on the island.
Our oldest boy, Liam, is able to attend the local school for the weeks we are here as a “guest” and he is really enjoying it, making friends and learning about Scottish history and culture. The wee boys and Karen are enjoying the manse and the lovely area. I keep fairly busy with visiting and sermon preparation. We all try and travel on Saturdays (and occasionally after school on weekdays) to see some of the amazing sites or visit with the wonderful people. Yesterday (Sunday) I had the privilege of preaching three times, twice as usual at the Carloway Church of Scotland, and also in the afternoon at the lovely village of Tolsta Chaolais at a joint service with the Free Church held there once a month.
In short we are enjoying our time here in Carloway and in Scotland in general. We were able to visit several other parts on our way up to the Isle of Lewis. One highlight was being able to visit with the minister Rev Andrew Phillip and his wife at Crieff Church of Scotland. We really appreciated their heart for the community. We were able to see many of the programs going on in the church that day and spend time with them hearing about all they hope to do. On our journey back to Glasgow (and then on to Albania for a Alongside Ministries gathering) we hope to also meet with other ministers and churches who have written us or Alongside asking for someone to come and serve alongside them in the future. Pray that God will help place the right servants in these areas.
Thank you all for your prayers, support, and love. And I shall certainly post pictures on this site in the future, and hopefully we can visit with you when we return in a few weeks to the states. The two included pictures are of the village of Carloway with the Church of Scotland to the left of the Free Church (which is the one with the steeple) and a picture of the manse where we are staying (which is also where the first picture was taken from, so I can “walk to work”)