Round the Churches

Dunnottar linked with South Churches

Reverend Rosslyn Duncan welcomed all to worship on the Third Sunday after Epiphany. The children were reminded through play that this is ‘Homeless Sunday’ and that many homeless people use boxes and chairs – items with which they play – to sleep. We were all reminded that Jesus as an unborn baby and as a man, had to depend on others as he brought God’s message from place to place.

We heard from the scripture according to Luke 4: 14 – 21 which tells of Jesus returning to Nazareth to tell the people that the Scripture has now been fulfilled. A Saviour has been sent to help all those in need. The people who remember the baby Jesus’ birth and his growing into a man are shocked, amazed and in disbelief.

We have learned to know and love Jesus. We considered how we vote in parliamentary elections – our vote depends on whether or not we believe that the candidate is genuine and will have power and authority.

Jesus has power and compassion yet still we have ‘Homeless Sunday’. Why? Because the Saviour has come, his work has begun but we as individuals and as a church have much to do in fulfilling Scripture. We must ask ourselves how we care for the homeless and all in need. Ask God how we can use His Wisdom, Power and Guiding hand in fulfilling the Scripture.

Future Services: 31 January: St Bridget’s, 7 February: Communion 10.30am at South and 2.30pm at St Bridget’s, (no evening service.) (All welcome at both services but no written invitations)

Thursday 28 :Fellowship Coffee morning: 10am all welcome at St Bridget’s, Craft Group: 2-4pm at South Church Conservatory, Badminton: 7.30pm at St Bridget’s.

Please send any intimations for both congregations to the office at St Bridget’s: 01569 760930 or Secretarydunnottarchurch@outlook.com

Please also copy the Minister. She may be contacted by ‘phone on 01569 762166 or 07899878427 or email on rduncan@churchofscotland.org.u.k

Congregational websites: www.stonehavensouthchurch.org.uk, www.dunnottarchurch.net

Baptist Buzz
Last Sunday Nathan continued his study in prayer - who is the God that we pray to? God knows everything and He knows us better than we know ourselves. He already knows all of our sins so we can confess them to Him. He knows all of our circumstances so we can trust Him to protect us. He knows all of our needs so we can ask Him anything. He knows our secrets so we can be honest with Him. God knows everything about us and He loves us anyway. He cares deeply for us and wants us to take our struggles to Him. We ought to be talking to Him all the time. He uses His knowledge to guide and support us.

We have lots of exciting new activities happening:

l Mainly Music for pre-schoolers on Thursday afternoons at St Bridget’s

l 3-2-1 on Tuesday evenings at the church office when any questions about God can be explored

l The Zone for S1-S6 age group on Friday evenings at Carronhill with games, sports and a short bible talk

l Prayer Focus on a Thursday evening at the office

l Every month there is the craft group when the creative among us try out a variety of crafts - and “sort out the world” over a cuppa.

l Beginning shortly is a monthly Marriage “Refresher Course” which will be suitable for all couples, both new and long-standing (and in-between).

Please contact the office or see our facebook page for further details of any/all of the above.

(And of course you are very welcome to join us at Carronhill from 11 am on Sunday mornings.)

News from St James – 3rd Sunday of Epiphany (Church Unity)

Lay Reader, Anne, led both the 9.00 am and the 10.30 service this Sunday. She announced some interesting forthcoming events: first, our annual Burns Supper takes place in the Hall this Friday, 30th January. Places are going fast, so if anyone would like to come, they need to sign the list at the back of church quickly! There will be another of our popular Book Browses on 6th February from 10.30 until about 3.00. In addition, she was able to announce that there will be visiting clergy during February. On 2nd February the Very Rev Francis Bridger, Dean of Dundee will conduct and preach at the 10.30 service, which we are all looking forward to. On Tuesday, 23rd February, Bishop Nigel will visit to deliver his Lenten talk entitled ‘A Faithful Future?’ which is about our Christian Faith in the world today. This will begin at 7.00 pm and will go on until 9.00 at the latest – all are welcome!

This Sunday fell within the octave of Prayer for Christian Unity. Anne had already delivered a short address about this at our Wednesday morning Communion, and she took up this theme again at our main service, where she spoke on the reading from 1Corinthians chapter 16. Here St Paul- obviously dealing with differences of opinion among his congregations – used the human body as an image for a united church. He cleverly set out the way that different organs each have their ‘job’ to do and each is essential to the working of the human being – and in the same way, every member has his or her own part to play in the church. We are all baptised to believe in ‘one church, one faith, one God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ’. She went on to say that all members of the church work together in the spirit, as part of the body of Christ.

She expanded on this theme by discussing differences between different church groups – or denominations - and that all of these are also part of the body of Christ. Even in the days of the early church, in New Testament times, the church had a colourful history and this is because then, as now, the church included people of really diverse backgrounds and natures – and where there are diversity there is bound to be misunderstanding and tension – so, she asked, is it possible to have disagreements of opinion and misunderstandings and still keep together, still be part of the Body of Christ?

She pointed out the way that Jesus himself chose to have fellowship with different folks and shared meals with some of those whom the bigots of his own day would have regarded as unworthy – yet Jesus sat with them anyway. And this is the way the church works. Jesus unites us all through baptism – he joins us with him and with each other. In Ephesians Paul expresses it: ‘there is one body, one Spirit,….one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of all…’ And Jesus sauys ‘ Love one another as I have loved you.’

We are a small church, a minority church in Scotland. Other Anglican/Episcopal churches may be much larger – for instance St Albans in England has regular congregations of over 2,000 people. And many community churches round and about – especially in America – have huge congregations. But it doesn’t matter – we are all part of the body of Christ, the church universal. Can we really say “We believe in one holy, catholic and apostolic church and acknowledge one baptism for the forgiveness of sins”. Can we say that, and yet exclude other branches from our faith because they are different? Of course not!