Round the Churches

Dunnottar linked with South

At morning worship last Sunday, Rev. Rosslyn Duncan reflected on the question “Who do you say I am” which came from the first reading from Matthew 16: 13-20. Jesus asked this question to Simon Peter who replied that he was the Messiah, the Divine Son of God. This was the first confession of faith, the same one our parents take at the font at our Christening and we take at the table before Communion by reciting the Apostles Creed. There are many different denominations within the Church family but we are all brothers and sisters in Christ.

Copy deadlines for the next church magazines are Sunday, September 14,or the Autumn Southscene and Thursday 18th September for the October Spotlight.

On Thursday, September 4, the South Kirk Session will meet at 7.30pm in the Conservatory at South Church.

Many of the Church groups restart in September. Here is a reminder of what starts when. Bowling takes place on the 16th with the usual morning and evening session, Sunday school on the 14th with an invite to any child aged 3 years or over to come along and join in the fun and the Rainbow Whist meets on the 10th in St Bridget’s from 2-4pm.

The Summer Sale was a success and the net profit to date was £1557. Thank you to everyone who helped or came along and contributed to the event.

Baptist Buzz

In our communion services we are learning about what is today a taboo subject for many: sin. However the gospel does not make sense if we don’t understand the doctrine of sin. So we learned that it comes from within us, we are naturally rebellious, and don’t meet the required moral standards. We are unable to better ourselves. We naturally have other “gods” before God, instead of loving our Creator with all our heart, mind, soul and strength as the only one worthy of our worship and total commitment. This is the reality. How depressing ! Christians are able to be realistic without getting depressed as we have a glorious gospel. As we take the bread and the wine we remember Jesus lived a perfect life for us, and died for us, so that we may live. Jesus’ resurrection gives real hope. This was made clear in the main service, learning from Paul’s letter to the Philippians. Paul happily abandoned all other sources of hope (his pedigree, his education, his accomplishments) and strove to focus more and more on Jesus, forgetting what lay behind. Rather than aiming at improving material or personal ambitions we too should strive to know Jesus better, in a personal, real way, so that we can say with Paul: “For me to live is Christ and to die is gain!”.

News from St James’

The organizing and social committee had a very busy time last weekend: on Saturday evening there was the concert given by Gaye Anthony, singer-songwriter, that was really excellent! And then on Sunday they staffed a stall at the Harbour Festival. Between them, these two events raised over £600 for church funds – so well done to all concerned!

The service at 10.30 celebrated the special day of St Bartholomew, the Apostle. Rev Lizzie Campbell preached on this theme.

She began with a story about ‘Mary’ a faithful member of her congregation – who never took a formal role in leadership, but was always willing to help with tea and coffee, and welcoming people to services. She was also a great flower arranger – and mender and fixer of cassock or alb when needed. When Mary died, many stories about her came to light, about how she had quietly served people around her in ways that changed their lives and brought them love and care when they most needed it.

Bartholomew is an Apostle whose work in the service of Jesus is known only to God. He is named in the Gospels and Acts as an apostle, but little else is written. It is thought he might be the one known elsewhere as Nathanael. What we do know is that Bartholomew shared with the other disciples the experience of following Jesus throughout his ministry. He also was a witness to the resurrection and ascension of Jesus and was able to pass on the Gospel message with the authority of an eye-witness.

Though we may know little about Bartholomew, but it was from him and the other apostles that we received our faith in God’s redeeming work. And like the first believers, Mary, was devoted “to the apostles’ teaching and fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer” and she lived out her faith as one who serves others. In her Bible was found a well-worn prayer card, with the prayer of St Ignatius of Loyola written on it: a prayer that we can pray in a fellowship that 3xtends beyond time and reaches out – breaking down barriers and social differences.

We concluded with this prayer:

“Teach us, good Lord, to serve you as you deserve, to give and not to count the cost, to fight and not to heed the wounds, to toil and not to seek for rest, to labour and not to ask for any reward, save that of knowing that we do your will.” Amen.

Focus on Fetteresso

This week our evening worship focused on Genesis and the story of The Binding of Isaac (Genesis 22:1-19). Many of the stories we read in the Old Testament are ‘difficult to take’ and this story is one of the most challenging. In this story, God seems unreasonable. He tests Abraham’s faith and obedience by demanding that he sacrifice his only son. Why would God ask such a thing and why would Abraham even think about doing it? It seems incredible to us now. The story is an old one and has been passed on because of what it tells us about God’s power but also about His grace. Abraham was in awe of God. He knew God’s power over everything in the world and accepted God as the ruler of all. He knew there was no point trying to oppose God and so he trusted Him instead. As a result, God provided for him and his people. Fyfe challenged us – what do we need to offer up to God so He can take care of it and us? If you have an area of your life where you deny God’s power, open it to Him and see just what His goodness will bring to you. In September, the church will have several events. ‘Scientists and Congregations’ starts looking at the creation story on Wednesday, September 10, at 7.30. There’s a Women’s meeting including lunch on Saturday the 13th at 11, and a new Alpha course.