Last Sunday we were blessed to have with us another visiting preacher - Mike Lanway. Although we have had a few different preachers they are all working through a theme - “Love one another” - which, let’s face it isn’t easy. Mike turned our thoughts principally to Ephesians 4, as well as to the books of John and Acts. Mike pointed out that it is useless for us to try and be a better person in our own strength. We can’t do it without Jesus. Mike also reminded us that great things will happen when we make ourselves available to God; all the time, not just on a Sunday morning.
As “Summer” continues, we are looking forward to some walks, both short and long, barbecues and days out. We also have a Mothers & Toddlers group at Carronhill from 10 am on Wednesdays, and of course we meet at Carronhill at 10am on Sundays.
You are very welcome to join us. Please get in touch if you would like further details.
News from St James
Our 9.00 and 10.30 services were conducted by Anne, our Lay Reader, freshly returned from holiday. In the intimations, she reminded folk of the forthcoming Book Browse (next Saturday, 1st August) and the Church Open Day with entertainments and activities – a short piano recital by Emily, a musical and singing group ‘the Swannies’, A harp group, a performance by Kilwhang hand-bell ringers and an organ recital by our resident organist, Peter Parfitt.
There will also be a patchwork display (with a raffle of a very attractive quilt). Outside – weather permitting – there will be a sausage sizzle, bouncy castle, raffles and stalls run by various activity groups connected with the church. Refreshments will be available at both the book browse and the Open day – free!
In her address, Anne preached on John’s gospel account of the Feeding of the 5,000. She used it to show how God feeds all who come to him hungry – and we, the church – are expected to share in that work.
God, ur loving parent, wants us to be aware of our need for his love and to come to him for it, because he will give it to us – for free. In the gospel account people flocked to be with Jesus, to hear him preach, to bring their sick family and friends to him for healing. And when they became hungry he fed them.
In a way this was an acted parable – we don’t know how he produced enough food for 5,000 people from a young man’s lunch box of five small barley loaves and two little fish – but all Jesus used was what they already had. That’s what he always uses.
He uses whatever small talents we have – are you a school-child, ready for Jesus to use your life? Then that’s what he will use to make lots of people happy. Are you a young mum, with so little time for going to church – but you do go sometimes – and Jesus can use that. A shift worker – can only come on your fourth weekend – then he will use that , too. Are you seventy or eighty years old – still ready for Jesus to use your life? Then that is what he will use to bring blessing and hope to lots of other people.
This is the way Jesus works. He will use us – our small talents, our little bits of extra time, our tiny bits of love. And he will make it grow and use it until there’s enough to do all the work that needs to be done – with baskets left over.
He does not expect to do all the work himself, nor for the church leaders to do all the work either. When he said ‘tell them to sit down’ he then took the bread and blessed it and broke it and gave it to them – this was the beginning of the Eucharist that we share today as a symbol of our calling to use whatever small talents we have in the service of our Lord.
Today’s gospel reading is about the use of inconsidered talents – just 5 small bread rolls and two measly fish – to satisfy the hunger of five thousand people. So, we too are being encouraged to use our measly talents – because even measly, inconsidered, little, unimportant gifys, can be used to feed the people. And this must be – our job is to make ourselves available, and help give out to the people around and about us the gifts of God, so that all are fed and their hunger for God’s spirit is filled. Then they will all be properly fed, and we can be those who offered their five small loaves and two little fish – and ended up feeding a mass of people.
Anne concluded by reading the Post Communion prayer – which we would read together after all have received communion –
Strengthen for service, Lord, the hands that have taken holy things.
May the ears that have heard your word be deaf to clamour and dispute.
May the tongues which have sung your praise be free from deceit.
May the eyes which have seen the tokens of your love shine with the light of hope,
And may the bodies which have been fed with your body be refreshed with the fullness of your life.
Glory to you for ever. Amen.
Dunnottar linked with South Churches
Reverend Rosslyn Duncan warmly welcomed all to worship. The focus of the message on Sunday was ‘Building Church: a community of power’.
A reading from The Second Book of Kings saw the prophet, Elisha, recalling events at the ‘place of the seven springs’ where Jesus shared the little food available with one hundred people gathered together. The people were reminded of God’s goodness, provision and creativity. It prompted them to not only consider the wonder of God’s creation but also to look forward to the final banquet which they will share with Christ and the Saints in God’s Heavenly home.
It reminds us today of the might, power and love of God who wants to give us all we need. He is worthy of all our praise.
The second reading came from the gospel according to John. Throughout John’s gospel the greatness of Christ is revealed in many ways. In today’s reading we hear of the disciples being afraid as they witness Jesus walking on water.
The two readings reveal how great God is. This should be reflected in Church. The Church is called to be bold, bright and to shine because of who our Creator is. It encourages us to go out into God’s world and make changes in people’s lives in His power. Jesus said “It is I; be not afraid.”
Saturday 1 August: 10 am – 12 noon coffee morning at St Bridget’s in aid of Brain Tumour Research. Tickets: Adult £2.50, Child/OAP: £1.50 includes tea/coffee or juice and a pancake. Various stalls including a draw with celebrity signed items and a tombola with lots of prizes.
Saturday 15 August: 10 am – 12 noon Summer Sale in the Town Hall: entry by silver donation. Coffee/tea with pancakes and shortbread served £2.50 adults, £1 children, range of stalls.
New South website ‘going live’ soon at stonehavensouthchurch.org.uk
Dunnottar website is www.dunnottarchurch.net
Any intimations should be sent to the secretary and copied to the Minister. Secretary contact: firstname.lastname@example.org or on 01569 760930. Minister contact: email@example.com or01569 762166 or 07899878427