An update from the Interim ModeratorSeptember 4, 2013
It is some time since I have written with an update and that is because there has been little really to say. The Kirk Session is still in conversation with Presbytery’s Ministry and Resources Committee about the future of Maxwelltown West but no real progress has been made. When I last wrote with an update in Contact I reported that the Kirk Session had until Presbytery met on 26th June to come up with alternative proposals. The only realistic proposal that the Kirk Session could see was a linkage with Lochend and New Abbey.
This proposal was taken to the Kirk Session of Lochend and New Abbey but the office bearers rejected that proposal preferring to look for a minister on their own. This is not surprising since they had just been given permission by Presbytery to buy a new manse and extend it in preparation for a new ministry. This effectively meant that the Kirk Session of Maxwelltown West were unable to pursue any realistic alternative.
In the absence of any realistic alternative proposal it was the intention of the Ministry and Resources Committee to recommend a seven year reviewable tenure ministry for Maxwelltown West to the June meeting of Presbytery. However they decided not to do so in order to put forward an alternative suggestion of their own, namely that Maxwelltown West consider working more closely with the congregation of Dumfries Northwest, perhaps leading to a union of the two parishes and a full-time unrestricted ministry which would see the current minister of Dumfries Northwest becoming minister of the new united charge.
The Kirk Session discussed this suggestion and for a number of reasons decided to reject it as a realistic way forward for Maxwelltown West. They have instead agreed that it would be best to accept a ministry on the basis of a seven year reviewable tenure rather than delay calling a minister any longer and have communicated this to the Ministry and Resources Committee. We now await a response from that committee but in any case nothing will be decided before the next meeting of Presbytery which is 25th September.
I realise that many of you may be frustrated by the length of time this process is taking but I would urge continued patience (which is of course a fruit of the Spirit) and ask again for your continued prayers for the Kirk Session and Presbytery that the correct way forward for Maxwelltown West may be discerned.