We never need much of an excuse to come together for fun and fellowship and so we did last Sunday afternoon when we all got together in the church office to chat, play games, walk down to the harbour and dodge the showers.
Before that we met for worship at Carronhill. Pastor Nathan concluded our study of Exodus. It has been quite an intense study of this book, amounting to 22 sermons. It’s a common phrase today of “being on a journey”. Well, we have been on a journey with Moses and the people of Israel, as God led them from slavery in Egypt and brought them to the Promised Land. Like the Israelites we have to show that we value God above all else and joyfully glorify and serve Him, recognising that we are all “under construction” until we reach our promised land - Heaven.
It’s that time of year when we are hoping for some warmer weather (will it ever come, this year?) and the various activities are taking a break. You don’t get to sit down for long though. We have our summer holiday club, the 5-a-side football tournament, and the Thursday evening pursuits (eg putting, walking and eating ice cream) to look forward to. You are all very welcome to join us. Keep reading this column for further details.
News from St James
This Sunday marked a turning point for St James. Arma Iles preached her last sermon as Lay Reader before taking well-deserved retirement. While she will no longer serve as Lay Reader, she will in her retirement (Emerita status) continue to visit the sick and housebound, and take communion to those who cannot get to church. The congregation from St Ternan’s joined us for this service which made it a specially joyful occasion.
The Eucharist was shared by Rev Jane Nelson and Dr Peter Smart. Arma preached on the theme of ‘the love of God’ – and how we are able to know we are loved. She compared it with human love – love for children, for our partners in marriage – none of these can be ‘proved’ scientifically, yet we can know full well when we are loved. Arma used the ceremony of baptism as a symbolic washing, to show us that God will always forgive us and give us another chance. Then in the symbols of Bread and wine at the communion, this teaches us that God will always feed us – not only with food on our plate, but spiritual food, giving our hearts the power to resist temptation, and giving us strength to spend our time and energy on others.
This Sunday being Trinity Sunday, she described the way that when we say the words ‘…in the name of God the Father, Jesus the Son, and the Holy Spirit’ this reminds us of the love which created us, the love we see in Jesus and the inspiration we feel when we pray – they are all the same love. And at the end of a long life we should be able to say ‘I know God loves me – I’ve proved it from experience’ This is how babies know that their parents love them.
At the end of the service, Arma was presented with an engraved glass plaque from the Vestry and congregation, and the folks from St Ternan’s also presented her with a retirement gift.
After the service we all retired to the Hall for a light lunch and social gathering.
During this period of ‘vacancy’ services will continue to take place – the only change being that the early Sunday service will be at 9.00 am. Lay Reader, Anne Geldart will conduct and preach at many of the services, but the Eucharist will be celebrated by Rev Jane Nelson, and occasionally by Bishop Nigel. The Diocesan Warden of Readers, Dr Peter Smart will also take services and help when needed.
In the intimations, the congregation was reminded that the Healing Service has now moved to the evening of the first Thursday of the month. Also, most importantly, St James will be providing a stall, showcasing our home produce, at the forthcoming Feein’ Market on 6th June.
A further important announcement concerns next Sunday’s services: We have agreed a ‘CHURCH SWAP’ with the congregation of St Mary’s RC church to enable them to take advantage of our larger accommodation to celebrate the Confirmation and First Communion of their younger people. This means that St James’ 10.30 service will take place in St Mary’s, and the St Mary’s congregation will meet in St James at the same time.
Visitors to Stonehaven may be interested to know that the church of St James is open during daylight hours, and everyone is welcome to our services.
Dunnottar linked with South
On a very wet, rainy Sunday in St Bridget’s, Rev Rosslyn Duncan welcomed everyone to the All Age Service which was being mostly run by the Be Creative Group. With help from her two bear puppets she told us that it was Trinity Sunday and also the fact that the two animal puppets were a clue to the theme of the morning.
With the weather helping to set the scene, the children of the group told the story of Noah using puppets. Noah was instructed by God to build an Ark and take his family and two of every animal aboard to save them from the great flood that he was sending to clean the wickedness from the world.
The minister asked everyone to be creative and make a puppet or figure from various materials provided that represented ourselves. Then we had to introduce ourselves to our neighbour, tell them our favourite animal and a god given talent that we had. This was a nice way for people to get to know each other.
The children then did a routine of flag waving to a lovely song and they all looked like they were enjoying it and had put a lot of practice into it. A lovely end to a very different type of church service that seemed to be enjoyed by the whole congregation.
Thank you to everyone who supported the various fundraising activities during Christian Aid Week. The total raised was £1925.35. Well done!!
The Minister will be on Study Leave from Monday June 8 to Monday June 22 including Pastoral cover will be provided by Rev Dr Fyfe Blair of Fetteresso Church.
The Bible Appreciation Group will be meeting at St Bridget’s on Monday June 8 at 2pm. They will be reading and discussing Philippians Chapter 3 and all are welcome to come along.