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baptist buzz

Last Sunday, like other Stonehaven churches, we collected in shoeboxes in connection with the annual Blythswood appeal for people in Eastern Europe and also parts of Asia. These filled shoeboxes mean that children, especially, will have something to open at Christmas.

Pastor Nathan’s Sermon continued our study in 1 Peter. Nathan pointed out that doing the will of God often involves different kinds of suffering (the sermon being introduced by the opening chapter of Job).

Christians face adversity as they seek to do the will of God. We have to work through those experiences and can praise God that we can share in the sufferings of Christ and be identified with him.

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We have another busy spell coming up. The end of this week sees the Baptist Assembly in Motherwell. On Sunday we will celebrate as one of our number is baptised, though the celebrations will be tinged with sadness as another of our number flies off to new pastures.

On Tuesday we have the ladies study group, on Wednesday there is the ladies craft group, Thursday sees focused prayer and on Friday the Zone starts up again. You will maybe get a chance to sit with your feet up on Saturday so if you would like to join us for any of our activities and/or church on Sunday at Carronhill, please contact the church office or see our website for details.

dunnottar linked with south church

Reverend Rosslyn Duncan warmly welcomed all to morning worship on Sunday. The Sacrament of Holy Communion was conducted. In this sacrament our Faith is strengthened in the knowledge that as God comes closer to us so we can come closer to Him.

Faith was the focus throughout the service. Psalm 34 V1 – 8 “I sought the Lord, and he answered me”

In the reading from the gospel according to Mark 10 v 46 – 52 we hear of blind Bartimaeus recognising the Power of Jesus and asking for his help. Onlookers and readers of Mark’s account would expect Bartimaeus to ask for his sight to be restored. Jesus, however asks “What do you want me to do for you?” Jesus and Bartimaeus see each other spiritually. Jesus wants to know what is in his heart and Bartimaeus recognises Jesus as the Messiah. With his eyesight restored, Bartimaeus does not go back to his familiar life but follows Jesus.

Jesus looks at us with the same compassion and asks us “What can I do for you at my table” Holy Communion is an opportunity to renew our Faith and to open our hearts to our Lord.

The Minister will be on leave from Thursday October 29 until Wednesday November 4 inclusive. Pastoral cover will be provided by Reverend Dr Fyfe Blair of Fetteresso 762876.

November 1: Kids Praise restarts in the South Hall; Thursday October 29: 10 – 11.30 Fellowship Coffee morning at St Bridget’s, 2–4pm Craft Group at South Conservatory; Saturday October 31: Fairtrade Sales Morning 10.30am in South Conservatory; November 1: all contributions for the Blyths wood Shoebox Appeal 2015 handed in; Friday November 6: Lunch Club meet St Bridget’s Hall at 12.30pm Soup and Sweet lunch £5 pp; November 7: Coffee and Crafts in South Halls with various stalls. Donations for stalls welcome. Contact Karen Smith on 01569 763380 if requiring pick up; November 8: Remembrance Sunday at South 10.45am. Congregation to be seated by 10.30am; Friday November 13, Garioch Blend evening at Dunnottar 7.30pm £6.50

Any intimations should be sent to the secretary and copied to the Minister. Secretary: Secretary.dunnottarchurch@outlook.com or on 01569 760930. Minister usually: 01569 762166 or 07899878427 or rosslynpduncan@gmail.com

news from st james - bible sunday

At the beginning of the 10.30am service, Anne reminded the congregation of next week’s services: the 10.30 service was to celebrate All Saints, and at 7pm there would be an extra service to commemorate the Faithful Departed. Our people are invited to write the names of family members or loved ones who have passed away on notelets and place these in the basket provided at the back of church. These names would then be read out during the All Souls service. All are invited to take part in this service which many find comforting. Anne also reminded the congregation that the Service of Remembrance for those who died in the wars will take place at South Church, and all are invited.

The 10.30am service was conducted today by Warden of Readers, Peter Smart, who also preached. As this was a celebration of Bible Sunday, Peter chose the reading from 2 Timothy 3.14-4.5. He began by remarking that when he was young it was always said that the Bible was the best-selling book of all time. However, this does not appear to be the case any more – it doesn’t even get into the 100 best-sellers list! According to the Bible Society, 45% of children never read or hear Bible stories – and then there is the issue of church attendance. In Stonehaven, as in Montrose, there are probably less than 5 per cent of the population in church today.

However, today is Bible Sunday, and the Bible Society asks us to celebrate the joy of encountering Jesus through the scriptures and to share that experience with others. There are areas in the world where people do not have the freedom to buy, read or have access to a Bible, who are desperate to know the Good News.

And this is what Paul was instructing his young friend Timothy to do ‘All scripture is inspired by God and is useful for teaching, for reproof, for correction and for training in righteousness, so that everyone who belongs to God may be proficient, equipped for every good work.’ (2 Tim. 3-16) Paul, now a man of advanced years, wanted to be sure that the work that he had been doing to bring the Good News to the Gentiles of Macedonia and Corinth, Ephesus and Thessaloniki, Galatia and Rome, would be carried on by Timothy, Titus and others. He urges Timothy to continue in what he had learned from childhood and from his knowledge of the sacred writings. He was encouraged by Paul to proclaim the message, to convince, rebuke, encourage – yet to do so with utmost patience in teaching. And – here’s the hard part – to be persistent whether the time was favourable or unfavourable. Paul knew about difficult times in spreading the Good News, having himself been imprisoned and beaten.

But as for us – we are really fortunate. We in the UK have an unfettered right to read our Bibles and to spread the Good News – yet we hear that nine out of ten adults never even lift a copy off a shelf. On the other hand, there are people quite literally dying in order to get access to the Good News. Think of the penalty of trying to tell the Good News in Saudi Arabia or Pakistan, or in some of the former Soviet states of central Asia. There are areas in China where the penalty for breaking restrictive laws on religious freedom can be severe – yet also there are churches attended regularly by crowds of people.

So how do we encourage our friends, families and neighbours to pick up a Bible from time to time? After all ‘all life is there’ – love stories, murder, intrigue, lust, sex and adultery – as well as the love of God, the death of Jesus for the redemption of our sins. The last verse of the passage of Paul’s letter says ‘as for you, always be sober, endure suffering, do the work of an evangelist, carry out your ministry fully.’ Peter concluded his address with the prayer that there may be a resurgence of Bible awareness in our own land, and for the personal safety of those in other lands who seek or tell of the Good News of Jesus Christ.