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dunnottar linked with south churches

In the absence of Reverend Rosslyn Duncan, Sunday worship was led by Mrs Hazel Paterson and members of the Joint Worship Team. The congregation sang the hymn ‘The Earth Is The Lord’s and Everything In It’, in two parts, although presented as a challenge by Mrs Paterson, it was a challenge to which the congregation comfortably rose being ably led by the ladies and gentlemen of the choir.

With Sunday being the Feast of All Saints, the theme of the Service was heroes of faith throughout the ages. Mrs Elaine Craig told the children the story of David, the shepherd boy and his encounter with the giant Goliath. The face of that fierce Philistine had been skilfully represented by an extra-large pumpkin having been carved and prominently placed on the pulpit; David being represented by a tiny ‘youthful’ cabbage. Further thoughts on the heroes of our faith being recalled, were reflections on St Stephen and on Rev Dr Alfred Harold Wood. St Stephen paid the ultimate price for his faith in Jesus by becoming the first Christian martyr, who in his death prayed to God to forgive those who were to cause his death by stoning. We heard of the great achievements of Dr Wood both in Australia and in Tonga, a man who was very talented but with his gifts was the acceptance of the gospel message ‘To him who has been given much, much will be required’. Worship was concluded in the singing of ‘Look ye saints, the sight is glorious’, that wonderful vision of Christ having overcome suffering and death to be acknowledged on earth and in heaven as King of kings and Lord of lords.

Next Sunday November 8, Remembrance Sunday at South Church, 10.45am (congregation are requested to be seated by 10.30am).

Thursday November 5, 10-1130am, Fellowship Coffee at St Bridget’s; 2-4pm, Craft Group at South Conservatory.

Friday November 6, Lunch Club at St Bridget’s, 12.30pm, £5

Saturday November 7, 10am-12pm, Coffee Morning at South Church Hall with various stalls Tickets £2.50 (adults) £1 (children).

baptist buzz

Last Sunday we celebrated, as one of our number was baptised. As often happens in life the occasion was tinged with some sadness as we said goodbye to one of our members who is heading off to the next chapter in her life We will really miss her and are conceited enough to think that perhaps she will miss us a little too.

But anyway, back to the baptism, Pastor Nathan reminded/advised us that as baptists we practise believers baptism ie it is the person’s choice to be identified with Jesus. It symbolises putting away the old person and taking on the new identity as a child of God. Furthermore, just like a team uniform or indeed a wedding ring demonstrates a commitment, so the act of baptism demonstrates a commitment to Jesus. It is therefore a joyous occasion when someone is baptised and publicly declares that they are following Jesus.

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After a brief break for the tattie holidays all our usual activities have started up again and, as always there is something for every age group. This week saw a fellowship tea, as well as the ladies’study group, the ladies craft group, the focused prayer group and of course the Zone.

You are very welcome to join us. Please contact the church office, or see our facebook page or website for details of all our activities.

news from st james & st philips - all saints

Before the service at 10.30am, Anne reminded the congregation of forthcoming services: All Souls in the evening, and next week the Festival of Remembrance would be a joint service at South Church, where all are invited to join. There would also be a service of Communion with hymns at St Philip’s at 4pm.

We held two celebrations this Sunday: the festival of All Saints in the morning and the Commemoration of the Faithful Departed – All Souls – in the evening. Rev Jane Nelson led the 10.30am service and preached on the theme of All Saints. The Gospel reading was from John 11 – the Raising of Lazarus, which demonstrates that with God, all things are possible. In this story, Martha, the sister of Lazarus, rushed out and cried out to Jesus ‘If you had been here Lord, my brother would not have died’ In our darkest times, do we not also cry out ‘If you had been here Lord’.

Jane had been much influenced in her ministry by the work and writings of Sheila Cassidy, a doctor working in a hospice in Plymouth. In particular Jane referred to ‘Sharing the Darkness’ and ‘Good Friday people’ where Sheila makes a connection between the suffering of her patients and the suffering and vulnerable God, made manifest in the suffering of Jesus Christ. People feel powerless when they suffer pain, illness and loss. They feel estranged from God and find no comfort in the Christian faith. Others may know the feeling of comfort as they feel God’s presence holding them in their pain and anxiety. There are mixed effects of suffering and loss: some people are crushed by it, and others emerge with a new life and free spirit

Jesus doesn’t save the world through his suffering, but through the love with which he bore his suffering and ours. Love is the only thing that saves and love is the only thing that gives life.

The story of Lazarus is one of the most powerful and moving in the New Testament. Jesus sets Lazarus free from death, but he will die again. This is not a foreshadowing of the resurrection. But through the resurrection of Jesus we will see the vision through which death will become the gateway to life in the eternal presence of God.

If we can believe our loved ones like the saints are in the hand of God, then we can believe and hope the same things for ourselves. This story gives us a clue – Jesus needed to take time to pray, and to renew his faith. If Jesus needed to spend time praying, waiting and trusting in a loving God, how much more must we.

The Commemoration of All Souls was well attended and proved to be a meaningful service for our people. Members had written the names of family members who had passed away on notelets. At a given point in the service, these names were read out while quiet music was being played. A candle was lit for every name read out. We then said prayers, sang hymns and then quietly dispersed. Many took the printed service sheet home, so they could read it through in the quiet of the evening.

A note about liturgical ‘colours’. Visitors to the church may see that the altar cloth, pulpit fall and decorative bands on the eagle lectern change colour at this season. We began with white for All Saints, then the more sombre purple for All Souls. Next morning, we changed the colours to Red for the season before Advent.

On Advent Sunday – November 29 – it will be changed again to purple for the rest of Advent.