Monday, July 03, 2006

Chris McCune Reports from Scotland

Summer is here and the thermometer is topping out in the 70s! I realize for most of you that must seem laughable-a high temperature in the summer of 70 something, but that's what it's like here. If it gets into the 80s you can't buy an electric fan anywhere because there's a mad rush on the stores and they're all gone. At any rate it has been beautiful here lately and we've loved being able to get out and enjoy the scenery.

I have great, wonderful news to share. The Free Church of Scotland General Assembly unanimously voted to sanction our church plant in Dunfermline as an official church extension charge. The night the General Assembly met to consider amongst other things the Dunfermline church was easily one of my best moments in ministry. I was encouraged, excited, and truth be told relieved to see such overwhelming commitment to promoting the ministry of this church plant. What this means is that the Free Church of Scotland will now begin a search process geared to appointing a Scottish minister for the Dunfermline church and that the denomination is committing to financially resourcing this ministry for the next 5 years. In this system what happened at the General Assembly was the grand seal of approval and structurally established the needed resources for the church's ongoing development. We are thrilled and thankful. I suppose part of me is still trying to come to grips that it has actually happened. Please make no mistake, however, this is still very much a beginning for this church here in Dunfermline. From our point of view as missionaries, however, what we see now is that our work of helping the national church begin, develop and mature church work has reached a pivotal moment. What we longed to do-start something that Scottish believers will carry on and move forward has happened in a significant manner. Without all of your support, prayers, and encouragement we would have never reached this moment. Thank you for being used by God to help make all of this possible. Would you please pray specifically for this process of appointing a Scottish minister. Obviously this is going to be a major factor in the future of the church and we are praying that God would clearly bring a minister to Dunfermline who is excited and equipped for this young church.

On top of the General Assembly's commitment to the work here we have also elected our first elder for the Dunfermline congregation. Alex MacRitchie was elected on 17 June and will be a wonderful leader and servant for the congregation here. In the midst of Alex's election we had a mission team from Pear Orchard Presbyterian Church (Ridgeland, MS) join us for 10 days of outreach and inreach ministry. This mission team helped us distribute information about our church throughout the neighborhood surrounding the hotel (around 800 homes) where we have our services. When we did this distribution last year a young family started attending the church and have now been coming essentially every Sunday for a year! A mom with her teenage daughter worshipped with us this year after receiving the information about our church during the door-to-door work. Please pray God will draw them into our fellowship as well. We also did our second annual prayer walk through the city centre of Dunfermline during the mission week. I'm positive that everyone who participated in the prayer walk was impacted by reading Scripture and praying God's heart for our city and its people as we literally witnessed the place and the people.

Most of you will know that in addition to our church plant work here in Dunfermline that I am also the Mission to the World Team Leader for ministry throughout Scotland. I have greatly enjoyed and benefited from this opportunity to participate in Kingdom building efforts throughout Scotland over the past two years. As a team we are in a transition process as two short term missionaries who have been here for over two years are completing their work and returning to the USA. Would you please pray for our team that we will have clear insight into how we can best serve Christ's cause here as missionaries and that he will promote and expand the various works that we are engaged in. Finally, would you pray for us as a team as we are 'losing' some of our trusted friends and valued co-workers that we would realize and cherish the certainty that in truth we do not labor here alone but that our Savior constantly goes before us.

Perhaps the next news you receive from us will hopefully declare the arrival of our son. Liz will be 36 weeks on Saturday and is quite ready for this baby to be born. With Annabel and Samuel Liz felt great throughout the whole pregnancy and was doing stuff like aerobics almost up to delivery. Well, things are a little different this time. Did I mention Annabel and Samuel? Having two little kids hanging on her and wanting loads of her attention all the time has definitely had an impact. Would you please pray for Liz' strength and energy for the rest of the pregnancy? She is an amazing wife and mother. We would both be encouraged to know many of you are praying for her (and us) in the weeks to come.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Ligon, what is missing?

Your Post of John Witherspoon being a Scottish Presbyterian Minister in America in the 1700's (very interesting I might add) who is from Scotland and a new church plant in Dunfermline, Scotland both of the Church of Scotland.

Some 200-300 years apart.

Is Dunfermlin a new township in Scotland? Being that the Country is relatively small it seems strang to have room for another. But then we have Natchez, MS 's Presbyterian church which is 200 years old. And plenty of area to grow in this state and new church plants on the books too. Our church's plant in MS is in a new township that is developing.

Maybe nothing is missing but the excitement of knowing both areas are thriving and planting!

Praise the Lord