26 February 2015Future Plans
Extract Minute from a meeting of the Cromarty Kirk Session on Tuesday 10th February 2015
On Tuesday, 10th February the Kirk Session met and deliberated the future of our parish church here in Cromarty.
Particularly the vexing issue of our steadily falling congregational numbers and the consequent difficulty to find the necessary volunteers to meet the needs of congregational responsibility and to pursue many of the activities associated with normal congregational life.
The situation is greatly aggravated by the high average age of the active congregation & also that of the Cromarty Church of Scotland Membership in general.
The congregation has probably reached a critical point where there are barely sufficient people resources to sustain the life of the Parish Church, and insufficient people resources to take the necessary corrective action.
It is perceived that a majority of the local community has no interest in joining the dwindling congregation for the present form of regular worship & devotion, and places few demands upon the parish church, save funerals and occasional weddings. It is evident that christening of children is rarely a consideration for younger parents.
This raises the question whether the local community perceives a role for the parish church in modern society.
Cromarty Church of Scotland clearly has a role, and a Christian responsibility, for outreach to the local community, but no longer has the human resources to do so in a meaningful way.
It is not at all clear what form an outreach programme should take in order to engage the attention of today’s society.
All agreed there was a need to engage the local community in dialogue to establish what the people of Cromarty wanted from their parish church; to establish what form of worship and Christian development would meet the needs of today’s society; to judge the degree of support which might be forthcoming to strengthen the current overstretched resources within the congregation.
In the first instance, a leaflet/flyer campaign would invite members of the Cromarty Community to attend a meeting in the church on Tuesday 10th March at 7pm to spread awareness of the present plight, and to seek the views of the local community on the future of the parish church.
Extracted by Stuart M Tickner, Session Clerk 16th February 2015.
Biography of Rev Terry Burns
Terry Burns was born in Wyandotte, Michigan, but being part of military family, he spent the early years of his life in Japan, France, and Germany, as well as other parts of the United States. When his father’s military career was finished, the family settled into a home overlooking the Rocky Mountains in Colorado Springs, Colorado. After finishing secondary school, Terry attended and graduated from Colorado State University with a degree in history. While earning his degree, Terry also completed the training needed to earn a commission as an Army officer, and he entered active service as a cavalry officer shortly after graduation. Like most military officers, Terry’s career took him to places like Korea, Panama, and Germany, as well as a number of assignments in the United States. Following his retirement in 1995, Terry attended Regent University’s School of Divinity and graduated with an MA in Church History and Theology in 2002. After finishing at Regent, Terry began the ordination process with the Presbyterian Church in America, and he was ordained as a minister in 2004. His first placement was an assistant pastor with Trinity Presbyterian Church in Charlottesville, Virginia until 2007, when he became an associate pastor with Grace Presbyterian Church, which was also located in Charlottesville. After a significant amount of thought and prayer, Terry accepted the call to be the minister at Nicosia Community Church in Nicosia, Cyprus in October of 2009. While there, Terry became a Corresponding Member of the Church of Scotland’s Presbytery of Europe, and he later underwent assessment, and earned his Certificate of Eligibility with the Church of Scotland in 2014. He is currently serving as the locum for Scots Kirk Paris.
Terry is married. His wife Cindy was an administrator and faculty member with the University of Nicosia’s distance learning program during their time in Cyprus. They have three sons – Kevin, Brian, and Alan – all of whom live in northwest Texas. In addition to the boys, they have eight grandchildren: Kenedi, Kolter, Kingsley, Kutter, Kalen, Krosbie, Keaton, and Hunter. Cindy and Terry enjoy traveling throughout Europe, as well as taking the occasional trip home to see their family and friends in America. Before needing eye surgery, Terry was an avid motorcyclist, and enjoyed touring around the Virginia’s Blue Ridge Mountains with Cindy as his “back seater.” Despite a rather Scottish sounding surname, Terry’s – and Cindy’s – ancestors hail from Ireland and France. Although they have never lived in Scotland, Terry and Cindy have visited, and in combination with their time in the Presbytery of Europe, they’ve developed a taste for haggis, cullen skink, salmon, stovies, and lowland hog roast sandwiches – along with some of Scotland’s finer and more discriminating beverages. All humor aside, Terry and Cindy seek your prayers for God’s guidance and direction, as they prepare to come to Culbokie and Cromarty.