Round the Churches

Dunnottar linked with South

Reverend Rosslyn Duncan welcomed all to Worship. On lighting the second candle on the Advent Ring she reminded the congregation that this candle represented ‘Peace’. Unfortunately, the word ‘peace’ so often signifies for us a negative state, i.e. the absence of noise, fighting or war. However, the true meaning of ‘peace’ encapsulates a wholeness, a reconciliation and a oneness with the will of God who reveals Himself in the Prince of Peace at Christmas. Prayerfully reflecting on the call to be ‘peacemakers’ the congregation then sang with the words of St Francis ‘Make Me A Channel Of Your Peace’.

The readings from Isaiah and the gospel tell of ‘Preparing the way for the Lord’. In her sermon Rosslyn spoke of how Mark introduces us to John.. he gets straight to the point... John is that voice crying in the Wilderness ‘Prepare The Way For The Lord....repent and be baptised.’

The significance of this for Church members today is important as all find their calling and dedicate their lives to Christ’s service. The congregation responded in singing of telling the good news of Jesus in ‘Send forth the gospel let it run.’

Today (Thursday), 10-11.30am: Fellowship Coffee at St Bridget’s, 2-4pm Craft Group in South Conservatory

Sunday, December 14, Worship at Dunnottar with Sunday School and Granite City Brass Ensemble.

Newtonhill Kirk

Last Saturday morning we turned the whole church into a thriving Advent Fair with the main hall full of stalls - both from the church and outside organisations. Santa was also present – this year he was not in his grotto but ensconced next the Christmas tree on the dais at the end of the church - ably supported by his elves and regularly visited by happy and hopeful children.

Down the corridor the catering team were very busy serving teas and home baking in the two other rooms. To add to the seasonal atmosphere our organist was playing Christmas music in the main hall. The fair was very well attended and people were still coming in mid-morning which was good to see as there was plenty of wonderful goods to be purchased and lucky dip prizes to be won.

Thanks to a great deal of hard work by many people the fair raised £1300 which is an excellent achievement.

Fetteresso Church

The fir tree and the lights are up in the town square and the shops are busy. It must be coming up to Christmas! For many in the town, however, and particularly those in Fetteresso Church the Christmas celebrations only really get started with their choir’s annual carol concert. This takes place in the church tomorrow (Friday) and starts at 7.30pm. The usual audience of some 250 people from far and near is expected.

The choir’s programme will as usual feature a selection of joyous and melodic music featuring carols old and new. There will be a few brand new carols as well as some old favourites, with Britain’s John Rutter well represented. The choir will also present its own arrangement of ’The Snowman,’ accompanied by some colourful graphics, which will appeal to young and old.

In addition to the choral items, there will be solos and duets by Jean and Peter Webster. Organist and choirmaster Ian Gillis will accompany the choir on keyboard and piano. Local clarinet player Lesley Clark will again be taking part to add the colour of that instrument to the accompaniments.

The audience - many of whom are now regulars at this annual event - will have the usual opportunity to join in with some traditional carols.

Tickets for the concert and seasonal refreshments will be available at the door priced £5 (children –free).

News from St James’

The 10.30 Eucharist was celebrated by the rector, Rev Maggie Jackson. During the intimations she thanked and congratulated all those who in any way contributed to the very successful Christmas coffee morning on Saturday, when over £400 was collected for Church funds. She also reminded the congregation of the Advent Course on Wednesday, following the 10.30 Eucharist, and this Saturday’s events. There will be one of our ever-popular Book Browses from 10am until 3pm (free entry, thousands of books, refreshments available!). While this takes place, folks are invited to write the name of a loved-one who has passed on, on a bauble to be hung on our Tree of Life in the garden.

Lay reader, Arma Iles, preached on a text from 1 Peter “Finally, all of you, have unity of spirit, sympathy, love for one another, a tender heart and a humble mind.”

Isn’t this a lot to ask in the frantic run up to Christmas. It can be hard to bite back the sharp retort and to see the light of God’s spirit in another. It can be hard to find the time and effort to show sympathy when we are trying to fit three days’ jobs into one! It can be hard to check ourselves at every wrong step and say “Lord, forgive”.

But the advice came from one who knew the anguish of failing to ask forgiveness quickly, of denying the Lord, in his hour of need; of putting his foot in it so often that his name became a by-word for impetuosity.

If Peter can grow in God’s grace and knowledge, there is hope even for us. God has created us as individuals so that in doing his will we will discover our own God-given mission.

While patrons enjoyed probably the best coffee in Stonehaven, as well as wonderful mince pies and home-bakes, they were able to visit the stalls selling home-made produce such as marmalade and jams, wonderful cakes and pastries, and knitted goods and hand-crafted patchwork items. There was also a book stall, and a stall selling delightful jewellery pieces and ‘bling’ at knock-down prices!

Also, a tombola (as always) and raffle where prizes donated by Church members helped raise money for our church. And, on this occasion, a wonderful display of patchwork quilts from our Patch and Pud club, where visitors were invited to vote for their favourite example. One featuring autumn leaves proved to be the most popular.

Baptist Buzz

What was the reason that Jesus was handed over to the Romans by the religious authorities of His day? Pontius Pilate, the Roman governor, was an astute and worldly wise politician, and he knew the answer. It was envy, the second of the seven deadly sins. Our pastor Nathan is exposing these at the communion service (where better place to do such delicate surgical work?). The Jewish authorities resented what Jesus had, and they did not: the ability to speak with words that woke the spiritually (and physically) dead. Terrible you say? But hold on, envy has three cousins that live in our street too: Jealousy – how do we feel when our rival at work gets promotion and we do not? Competitiveness – wanting to be first in line, irrespective of the harm that does to others. Control – wanting our own way, and woe betide anyone who stands in our way!

Mearns Coastal Parish Church

In the absence of the minister, Sunday morning’s service in Johnshaven Church was conducted by Mr Steven Coles, Church of Scotland Lay Reader from Laurencekirk.

Preaching from the Book of Mathew, Mr Coles spoke of the important role Joseph played in the Christmas story.

The second Advent candle, the Candle of Peace, was lit and the praise was led by Marshall Halliday on Viennese horn.

This Sunday’s services will be held at the usual times of 10 am in St Cyrus Church and 11.30 am in Johnshaven Church. The Christmas Eve service will be held in St Cyrus Church at 7 pm and the Christmas Day service in Johnshaven Church at 10am.