Spotlight on Dunnottar
In his talk to the children last Sunday, Ian Wilson, who was leading worship in the absence of Rev Rosslyn Duncan who is on study leave, produced three bags of sweets. (It will come as no surprise that children were able to identify what each bag contained!) He pointed out that the marshmallows were all the same, the jelly babies were all different but the liquorice allsorts, although all different, had something in common-the liquorice. In the same way, people are all different but God made us all and Jesus loves us all.
In his sermon, he spoke about why an increasing number of people get involved in volunteering because it will add to their CV.CV’s are no longer a summary of what we have done but a determining factor in what we will do. He went on to say that he did not think that there were CV’s in the time of the apostle Paul and that even if there had been, they would not have been the motivating factor for all the work that Paul did to spread the message of the gospel. The parable of the mustard seed is one of the parables of great significance of who Jesus was and what he has done. Paul was planting the seeds of the gospel and we should do likewise today.
After leading the service at Dunnottar Church in the morning , there was the regular service at Edenholme for the residents there.
Although many organisations are taking their break for the summer, the Friendship Coffee group continues to take place in St Bridget’s every Thursday morning from 10-11.30am. A warm welcome is assured to all who go along so if you haven’t been before, why not give it a try some Thursday morning!
This Sunday we learned about evangelism, or how to spread the good news. Our guest speaker was Glenn Innes, who himself is involved in church planting in Garthdee. He explained that we need to understand our culture, our story and our job. In Acts 17 Paul showed he observed the idol worship in Athens as he was mixing with the locals. He was familiar with Greek poetry and wisdom. People like to hear what they already know, and that was and is a good place to start the conversation. We also need to know what we believe, including the beginning and the end of the whole redemption story : How God created a good earth, how man fell, how God called a people to himself to be his own, and how they rebelled, were disciplined, and how Jesus came to fulfill all God’s commands , being the most human human that ever walked the earth, and took upon himself God’s punishment for the transgressors who trust in his sacrifice, and conquered death. One day everything will be renewed, our bodies, the earth, and all people will acknowledge Jesus as King. Faith in him produces a provocative hope, and when people ask what makes us hopeful, we should be ready to say, with gentleness and respect: It is not something, like a theory or a set of rules that I live by, that gives me hope, but a living person, a friend to the weak, the lonely and despised, who gave his life for me , Jesus, who is God himself.
This week there is no prayer meeting in the office. On the 1st of July we have planned a five-a side football tournament and BBQ in Johnshaven, and a holidayclub in Stonehaven from July 6-10. Venue to be confirmed.
All are welcome at our regular Sunday services at 11 am in Carronhill School, Stonehaven. For further information visit our website: stonehavenbaptist.org.
News from St James and St Philip’s
Our services today were conducted by Lay Reader, Anne. The 10.30 service was our All Age (Family) Service where the theme was ‘a world in harmony – Peace’ . The first lesson was from the prophecy of Ezekiel, where the prophet described the LORD’s control over nature: planting trees and making them grown so that every kind of bird can bird can live under their boughs. The Gospel parable of Jesus was another ‘growing’ story – the mustard seed that grows into a bush that can also put forth large branches so that the birds of the air can nest in its shade. An example of nature working in harmony with the living things on earth.
Anne used an account of the breeding and growing of a special rose – known only by its code-number 3-35-40 – grown by Francois Meilland in France just at the beginning of the War in 1939, and protected by the international Rose-growers of the world – in France, Italy, Germany and America. In 1945, just when the world was looking forward to the possibility of Peace, the international Rose-growers held a conference where a name was decided on and the following message transmitted to rose-growers all over the world after a naming ceremony in April 1945 “We are persuaded that this greatest rose of our time should be named for the world’s greatest desire – PEACE”. Anne concluded by holding up an example of a Peace Rose, and said that today we had been thinking about peace and harmony in nature and also harmony in our society. We pray that harmony may be brought about in society, so that people of every race and nation may live together peaceably.
In the evening, the 4.00 Communion service at St Philip’s was celebrated from the Reserved Sacrament. As ‘Father’s Day’ was on the horizon she used the occasion to teach on the subject of ‘Our Father, God’ and the Lord’s Prayer.
She began with a reminder about the birth of the Peace Rose that she had talked about that morning and talked about the way that the microscopic organism that fathers produce eventually combines with the ova of a mother and, though at first the combined male and female cells cannot be seen with the naked eye – yet within this small speck is contained the whole of the genetic code that will produce a child. This is part of the process of procreation, where human beings share with God the bringing into being of a new life – so we see that God is father of us all.
Jesus taught his followers that God is our Father – and in the New Testament we have two versions of the Pattern Prayer we call the Lord’s Prayer – These appear in Matthew and Luke: the Lord’s prayer does not appear in Mark or John at all. But the ancient version of the Lord’s Prayer that is nearest to the one we use is found in a document that may even pre-date Matthew – a document called the Didache, (Didache)or Teaching of the Twelve Apostles.
Anne pointed out that certain ‘key words’ may be different in versions of the Lord’s prayer used in different worshipping communities, but the intention is the same. We worship God and ‘hallow’ his name. He is ‘Our Father’ – not my father, or your father, but our Father. We learn that it’s all right to ask our Father for food for the day and enough for tomorrow. And we ask forgiveness for our sins – some versions have trespasses, others day debts. And we ask not to be put to the trial – not to be led into temptation. As mentioned last week in her address at St Mary’s, Anne reminded the congregation that we are to shun Evil – whether you believe it to be an actual being, or a mind-force, or whatever. And she concluded that the Lord’s Prayer is a prayer for the whole Christian community – and that the words ‘I’ and ‘My’ do not occur one in the Lord’s prayer:
You cannot pray the Lord’s Prayer, and even once say ‘I’
You cannot pray the Lord’s Prayer, and even once say ‘My’.
Nor can you pray the Lord’s Prayer, and not pray for another;
For when you ask for daily bread, you must include your brother.
For others are included in each and every plea:
From the beginning to the end of it, it does not once say ‘Me’.