South Church and Dunnottar Happenings
Hope you had a great Easter! Many of us had already enjoyed the EARLY open air service at the harbour, followed by a lovely breakfast at St Bridget’s with members of all the Stonehaven churches, before convening at the South where the many floral displays enhanced the joyous celebration of the Risen Lord. This joy was only increased by the lovely choice of hymns and the anthem presented by the choir.
Rosslyn’s reflections exhorted us to ponder on how independent we tend to be here in the North East corner, reluctant to ask for or accept help. Yet we might benefit from realising that it is only with God’s help, that we can achieve our ultimate goal. Independent spirits need to remember this!
While Rosslyn delivered her second reflection on surprises and the various ways people react to them, the children headed off on an Easter egg hunt within the church and a very thorough job they did. Being able to exchange cardboard ones for the chocolate variety was an added bonus and was symbolic of the joy we can expect facing the challenges of life.
Dunnottar Guild Coffee Morning is taking place at St Bridget’s on Saturday 26th 10-11.30
Next Sunday 27th we celebrate Communion at 10.30 at Dunnottar, 14.30 at St Bridget’s and 18.30 at the South. Retiring collections will be in aid of Scripture Union (Aberdeen)
Thursday 1st May is the meeting of South and Dunnottar Kirk Sessions. Coffee at 7pm for 7.30pm start.
Easter at St James’
It has been a busy week for worshippers at St James, as it has for other congregations in Stonehaven. We joined with other churches in the daily Ecumenical services in St Bridget’s Hall. Then on Thursday, after leaving St Bridget’s, we returned to St James for the Maundy Thursday tradition of ‘stripping the altar’. Here, working in silence and with a minimum of light, clergy and helpers removed all the accoutrements of worship, took down altar frontals and pulpit-falls, leaving the church ‘bare’ as a symbol of the night when Jesus was captured by the Herodian guard. Good Friday saw our three-hour devotion, when the Rector, Rev Maggie Jackson, led members in readings, prayers and hymns from midday until 3.00 pm.
On Saturday, members worked hard to restore the church to full ‘glory’ with flowers, the dressing of the high altar in its Easter array, and the tall candles being put in place ready for the services on Easter morning. In addition, the little ‘Easter garden’ complete with tomb, sheep and bushes, as well as a representation of the ‘Hill of the Skull’ with the three crosses which had held the bodies of Jesus and the two robbers.
A new altar frontal for the Lady Chapel, with symbols representing the town of Stonehaven, beautifully embroidered, was put in place. This will be consecrated for use when the family of the late Chrissie Gould, who donated the cost of the altar frontal, are able to be with us. This is well worth a visit on its own.
The Easter Eucharist at 10.30 was a glorious occasion, with lively, popular hymns – and of course, Easter eggs for all who attended.
Visitors to Stonehaven are welcome to our services, or simply to visit the church, which remains open during daylight hours.
At half past eight on Easter Sunday morning we gathered on the football field to welcome the Risen Christ with praise, prayer, readings and an Easter homily. Our minister, Hugh Conkey, spoke of how the miracle of the Resurrection was an earthquake with aftershocks which reverberate round the world to the present day. The past is wiped clean and we face the future with confidence knowing we are in God’s hands. This does not mean that all our personal challenges and the current international tensions will be brushed away , but that we will have the power to deal with them and work towards a better world.
After the final hymn “ Thine be the glory, risen conquering Son” , we made our way back to the Kirk for a warming cup of tea and delicious bacon rolls prepared as ever, by the leaders of the Boys Brigade.
There are many traditions around Eastertime which people know and love, whether it be sunrise services or Easter egg hunts. Nathan Young, pastor of Stonehaven Baptist Church, led the traditional Easter morning service at Stonehaven harbour for the first time. The Jews of Jesus’ day also had feast days, set out by God for them as signposts for spiritual truth, which could have led them to Christ. On the day of Jesus’ resurrection, for example, the feast of first fruits was celebrated. This consecrated the first portion of the coming harvest to God, although there were seven weeks before the full harvest of grain was gathered in (Leviticus 23, 9-21).The symbolism of Jesus being the first fruits became reality when Jesus rose from the dead. His resurrection should be a message to us, as well as those first century Jews, that all who Christ calls are risen with Him, the fruit of Christ’s death. In other words, when Jesus died, He brought many to eternal life, resurrection life, through faith in Him. So to deny the resurrection is to deny the only hope we have of eternal life. In that case we are still languishing in our sins, as are all who have yet to put their faith in Him. So the main point of the Easter tradition is to help us to remember Christ’s resurrection, because through entrusting our lives to Him, we can have resurrection life with Him.
Focus on Fetteresso
On the large over head screens “He is Risen - Celebrate the Saviour” was displayed. That is what happened: a huge celebration of Jesus our saviour.
The worship group sang as people arrived to a jam packed church, the mood was joyful. The Bath Street Kids (older children from the Sunday school) gave a thought provoking drama “What does Easter mean to you?”
John 20, 11-18 was the reading: Jesus appears to Mary Magdalene.
The Haven group joyfully “signed” the song: You can be certain Jesus is alive. At this point flags were being waved in the congregation and the sun shone in through the stained glass windows.
Rev. Fyfe Blair spoke of that first Easter morning, the confused disciples in disbelief at the empty Tomb. Mary Magdalen stayed by the tomb and met with the resurrected Jesus, Mary once shunned by society, became the first church evangelist, hearing the first instructions of “go tell your friends about the Risen Christ.”A very simple command “go and tell about the risen Lord”
Its that simple amidst confusion and disbelieve “go and tell your friends” Jesus had transformed Mary Magdalen’s life. She was forgiven,her life given new meaning.
Any life can be transformed when given to God.
On that first Easter morning Jesus called Mary by her name, she heard and recognised Jesus, was overjoyed and responded to him. What do we hear? Can we, in faith, hear God calling our name?
God calls us individually - you are his. Sometimes we doubt Jesus because life can stink, life can be broken, but into this broken ruin, Jesus brings salvation no matter the past, Jesus is here and now. Each day is a resurrection day until the second coming of Christ.
The Far and Wide are holding a special Dialysis fundraiser event on Friday 23 May at 7pm and Sat 24th at 10 am. A silent auction and sale of pre-loved handbags, scarves and jewellery. Coffee and cake will be served.
All information about the life of the church can be found on the church web page.