2019 Islands Study Conference
By the Grace of God, the Islands Study Conference this year had four of the most passionate evangelists that I have ever heard! Does Scotland today have a greater need than fervent prayer and passionate evangelism?
Our very own Rev David Robertson Minister of St Peters Dundee, and his wife Annabel spoke alongside Rev. Roger Simpson Associate Vicar of St. Michael Le Belfrey, York and his fellow full-time evangelist Paul Myers. David spoke on ‘The Good News for Today’s Scotland’ and Roger spoke on ‘Lost for Words.’
The first lecture of the Conference was at 7.30pm on Friday night where David spoke from Romans 1 on the theme ‘Regressive Society.’ He was the Consultant giving us the diagnosis and interpreting the scans – Scotland is dieing and on life-support with a culture that is not PROGRESSING towards a tolerant and diverse utopia as the secularists claim but is instead actually REGRESSING to a Greco-Roman pagan culture where all manner of sin is not only condoned but celebrated! But it was in that ancient pagan society that the New Testament fledgling church grew and prospered!
On Saturday morning Roger spoke at 11am on the topic ‘Good News is Our Business’ where he read from Colossians 4. This was practical, step-by step advice about evangelism and how to do it. Prayer was double-emphasised because only God can give the increase. In his experience most people came to Christ through the faithful, loving friendship of a Christian. People will only take our invites seriously if we are good friends to them and will only find us interesting if we are interested in them!
After lunch David read from Romans 8 and spoke about ‘The Groaning Creation’ where he filled us with hope showing us the cure for a terminally ill Scotland – Jesus Christ and Him crucified! To be inward looking is devastating for a church, so we need to be outward looking, applying the word of Christ to the culture that we live in. We must communicate clearly who Jesus is as most people in the UK just don’t know!
Lecture 4 was at 8pm where Roger read from John 4 and spoke on the theme ‘Good News for Individuals’. His stories from being an evangelist for over 30 years were so inspiring! By the Grace of God, he has seen hundreds saved (including billionaires, gangsters and gladiators!) through personal evangelism or courses such as Alpha.
On Sunday all the Conference residents and visitors, including the Scaladale, Free Church Youth Camp, joined the 11 am morning service at North Harris Free Church where Rev David Robertson preached from Romans 8:38-39 on ‘The Conquering Church.’ The sermon was hope filled, encouraging and triumphant – who shall separate us from the love of Christ? No one and nothing! No matter what trials and tribulations we go through we are on the winning side because Christ died for us and our sins have been forgiven forever!
At 3.30pm we had the treat of Annabel Robertson being interviewed by her husband about her God given ministry as a Ministers wife, her own deep passion for outreach and how she had supported and helped people as part of that outreach in Brora and Dundee. We also discussed the role of women in the church and the importance of women being active in serving and evangelising.
At the 6pm service Rev Roger Simpson again blessed us by reading from 1 Corinthians 15:1-8, speaking on the theme ‘Good News in the Local Church.’ He exhorted us to tell people the things of ‘first importance’ - that Jesus Christ died for our sins, was buried and rose from the grave! This is the Gospel - the message of hope that the sin ravished, guilt ridden, shame filled, failure feeling people around us need to hear! Paul Myers again spoke passionately and clearly (he spoke for several minutes every time Roger spoke) of his incredible deliverance from despair and addiction - a clear indication of the healing, transforming power of Jesus!
After the evening service we went back to the Harris Hotel where the Conference is held (The North Harris Free Church is right next door to the Hotel) and heard testimony from David about how he became a Christian and about his upcoming move to Australia. We also heard testimony from Roger on how he had once, by the Grace of God, after a long struggle and much prayer, helped a demon oppressed gangster, who he had invited to stay in his home, come to Christ!
What a blessed, blessed weekend! God willing, next year’s Islands Study Conference is from 7th to the 9th February 2020 and the speakers are Rev Alistair I Macleod and Rev Robert Murdock. If you want a wonderful weekend of great teaching and fellowship in beautiful surroundings you can get the booking details on this website.
Written by Alasdair 'Moley' Macleod