Mission teams

2019 GO Team

As there was no American mission team in Scotland this year, we had a week-long GO team from 24th - 31st August. The team was made up of 5 people from Scotland and 6 people from Ireland, with another 3 able to join us for the bank holiday weekend.

The team arrived on the Saturday evening, spent time with some of the congregation and watched ‘Logic on Fire’, a recent documentary about God’s work through Martyn Lloyd-Jones.

On the Lord's Day there was a further opportunity for the team and congregation to get to know each other over a church lunch. In the afternoon we went into Thorney Croft care home, which one of the members of the church recently moved into. We held a brief time of worship with the residents, singing some familiar psalms.

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On Monday the team made the most of the glorious bank holiday weather to give out leaflets inviting people along to five upcoming special services. A number of good conversations were had. Following a BBQ tea, the team spent time doing some practical work around the manse. We finished the night off with a discussion of the opportunities and challenges small churches have.

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The Tuesday morning and afternoon were spent finishing off leaflets in Stranraer itself and doing some of the surrounding villages. In the evening the team went to the Halls’ home for dinner and some games - and a chance to spend time with some of the young people in the congregation.

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On the Wednesday morning the team finished off the surrounding villages (Stoneykirk, Sandhead, The Lochans, Leswalt, Kirkcolm, Castle Kennedy, Glenluce, Dunragit and most of Newton Stewart). In the afternoon we opened up the hall and invited people in for tea and coffee. We were encouraged to have people coming in and opportunities to share the gospel.

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On Wednesday evening one of the congregation very generously took the team out to the Sun Kai restaurant, before we returned to the church for the first of the mission services, where Stephen spoke on the question ‘Is this really all there is’?

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On the Thursday, following a time of prayer in the morning, the team went on trip to see Covenanter sites at Anwoth (where Samuel Rutherford was minister) and Wigtown (where the Two Margarets were martyred). In the evening the team were at the houses of various people in the congregation for tea, before the second night of the mission, where the topic was ‘Are we all going to a better place?’. We finished the night off with a discussion about some of the encouragements of being part of a small church.

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On Friday morning, after a time of prayer, Stephen did a seminar for the team on the theme ‘How to listen to a sermon?’ The team then did some more practical work, including some painting in the balcony of the church. In the afternoon, we again opened up the hall and invited people in. Despite the wet weather, we were glad to have more opportunities to share the gospel.

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A few of the team also went to Stair Park (home of Stranraer FC) to do some practical work. The team then split up for tea in two separate homes before coming together for the last of our special talks, entitled: Are they looking down on us?

The team departed early on Saturday morning. We are very grateful for their help and fellowship this week, and look forward to seeing many of them again soon!

Logic on Fire

We’re looking forward to our GO team arriving tomorrow as we begin a week of leaflet distribution ahead of our mission next week and special services next Sunday, as well as visits to nursing homes, practical work, open air psalm singing and a couple of afternoons where we open the church up and serve free tea and coffee and seek to engage people in conversation.

Things kick off tomorrow night with a movie night in the church hall (7:30pm) where we’ll be watching the film Logic on Fire. It’s about the ministry of Martyn Lloyd-Jones, and is very relevant for Stranraer in 2019 - as he ministered in a time when most churches had stopped preaching the gospel. His years in Wales are particularly relevant as he went to a small, unglamorous place and preached and prayed and saw God do amazing things.

Mission Update Meeting

A relief team to Romania

A relief team to Romania

Last week, two members of the RP Church’s Relief Committee came to Stranraer to speak about the practical work they do, both locally and overseas. It was a great opportunity to hear more about the work, and think through how we can get involved, both as individuals and as a congregation.

The men did a similar presentation in Glasgow the night before, and you can read a report about it on the RPCS website.

GO Team 2018

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This past weekend (24th-27th Aug) we welcomed Rachel, Ross, Eilidh, Heather, Jess, Nathan, Anah, Ken, Calvin and Sam on our annual GO Team. This year's team consisted of ten people - five from Scotland and five from Ireland! Six of them were here last year, and two were doing their very first team! We also had Jude around as an honorary team member!

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The main work of the team was to organise our Family Fun Day, but we fitted in a few other things when they were here, starting with a viewing of the movie 'Calvinist' with some of the congregation on Friday night.

The team joined the congregation for the prayer meeting and worship on the Lord's Day morning, followed by a church lunch.

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After lunch, we went round to Dalrymple Court (sheltered housing), where Stephen and Jude introduced some psalms, which we sang with the residents, before spending some time chatting with them. In the evening, the team were with the congregation for worship and supper afterwards.

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On Monday morning we had a prayer time, before heading to Glentrool in Galloway Forest Park to see the grave of six Covenanters who were shot while praying on 23 January 1685.

The inscription reads: HERE LYES JAMES AND ROBERT DUNS, THOMAS AND JOHN STEVENSONS, JAMES McCLIVE ANDREU McCALL WHO WERE SURPRISED AT PRAYER IN THIS HOUSE BY COLONELL DOUGLAS LIEVTENANT LIVINGSTON AND JAMES DOUGLAS, AND BY THEM MOST IMPIOVSLY AND CRUELLY MURTHER'D FOR THEIR ADHERANCE TO SCOTLAND'S REFORMATION COVENANTS NATIONAL AND SOLEMN LEAGUE 1685.

The inscription reads: HERE LYES JAMES AND ROBERT DUNS, THOMAS AND JOHN STEVENSONS, JAMES McCLIVE ANDREU McCALL WHO WERE SURPRISED AT PRAYER IN THIS HOUSE BY COLONELL DOUGLAS LIEVTENANT LIVINGSTON AND JAMES DOUGLAS, AND BY THEM MOST IMPIOVSLY AND CRUELLY MURTHER'D FOR THEIR ADHERANCE TO SCOTLAND'S REFORMATION COVENANTS NATIONAL AND SOLEMN LEAGUE 1685.

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The monument surrounding the gravestone was 'erected by the voluntary contributions of a congregation who waited on the ministrations of the Rev. Gavin Rowatt of Whithorn' on 19th August 1827. Rowatt, a son of the manse, was RP minister at Whithorn from 1826 until his death in 1832 - he was only 30 years old.

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Back in Stranraer, we went to Belmont Care Home, and put on a musical performance for the residents, before finishing with a time of psalm singing.

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After that, there was just time for a Chinese takeaway before the team members departed via boat, train and car. It was a memorable weekend for the congregation and we're grateful to the GO team for coming and serving so willingly.

Mission Team 2018

Each June our congregation benefits from having an RP Missions team for a week. The team are in Scotland for a month, and spend time with each of the congregations.

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This year, the Mission Team were in Stranraer from 9th-14th June. We had a smaller team from usual, led by Ian (a student for the ministry from Glasgow RPCS) and three Americans: Carlie, Hannah and Matthew. Matthew (RPCNA) served on the two previous Scottish RP Mission Teams, while it was the girls' (both Reformed Baptists) first time in Scotland. They had both found the team online while searching for a missions trip that focused on evangelism and (to paraphrase them slightly) wasn't a glorified vacation.

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The team arrived on one of the warmest days of the year and immediately began the task of leaflet distribution, assisted by a few others who had come for the day to help out. The leaflets were advertising our 2018 Mission, which had the theme 'Who needs Jesus anyway?'.

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On the following day, the team joined the congregation for morning worship, followed by a church lunch. After the lunch, a couple of the team members shared a little about God's work in their lives, and then we went across to Dalrymple Court (retirement housing) where we sang some psalms and spent time with the residents. In the evening, the team joined us for evening worship before spending some time at home of one of the families in the congregation.

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Leaflet distribution continued on the Monday and Tuesday, with dinner each evening at the home of different members of the congregation. On the Tuesday and Wednesday evening the team played games with some of the young people in the congregation (who have little to no contact with other Christian young people).

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The Mission services took place on the Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday evenings. We were encouraged to have a number of visitors, including two Mormons who came on the Wednesday and returned the next evening.

On the Wednesday morning the team went to Stair Park (home of Stranraer FC - to whom Stephen is club chaplain) to do some clean-up work in preparation for the new season. 

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On the Thursday, the team visited some local Covenanter sites at Anwoth (where Samuel Rutherford ministered) and Wigtown (where the Two Margarets were martyred).

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Following the final Mission service the team departed to spend the weekend in Glasgow before heading up to Stornoway. We are thankful for their work and pray that their time in Scotland will be a blessing to them, just as they have been a blessing to us.

To read an article Stephen wrote for the local paper introducing the Mission Team, click here.