Highlander Heritage church movement not just idle claver

Sean McTavish (not his real name) used to be an associate pastor of a mid-sized suburban Baptist church. But he got tired of the lack of passion, the church politics and the convoluted theological sermons he had to sit through. Wasn’t there something better? Something closer to what Our Laird had envisioned for a Christian fellowship?

Highland Kirk

McTavish in his Braveheart - styled clerical gown.

That’s when he discovered the growing Highlander Heritage church movement. Around the country, mostly in rural and outlying areas, often in secret, congregations were forming around a shared Scottish lineage or an interest in all things Celtic/Scottish.

Last year Sean became pastor of the Lampasas Highland Heritage Kirk in central Texas, and he’s never looked back.

“It’s thrilling to see someone in need and in the name of Christ say, ‘Can A gie ye a haund?’ It’s not just the bagpipes during prayer, the haggis and scotch whiskey communions, or throwing the ‘Braemar Stone’ during the Easter Highlander Games on the kirk lawn. It’s something more practical,” he explained.

“Basically, there are a lot of hurting people out there who would never darken the kirk door, but who turn out for a pipeband competition, the gathering of the clans, a caber toss or a Braveheart marathon.”

The Calvinism wasn’t a stretch at all for Sean. The brogue came easily. And his lifelong love of Robert Burns’ poems finally made sense.

But he still hasn’t gotten used to the kilt. In fact, his attempts to don the garment “gang aft agley.”

“Aye, ma heid’s mince and I get fair puckled trying’ to get the thing on over ma biking breeks. Yes, I wear something underneath. You don’t expect me to go completely native, do ye?”

About Skippy R

Skippy R is retired after toiling as a scribe for a large denominational newspaper in Texas for about 40 years. He's written for The Wittenburg Door and Beliefnet. He lives in Dallas with his wife, Mrs. Skippy, and leads a Bible study in his home. Mostly spends time running after his grandkids. He is -- what are they calling it now? -- a Jesus follower.
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