Round the Churches

South Church linked with Dunnottar

With the advent of the holiday season, there was a distinctly warm and celebratory feel to the Communion service led by Rosslyn. The flowers were fabulous while the hymns were both reflective and inspiring.

The readings came from the book of Ezekiel:2 and from Mark:6 where the disciples were encouraged to head on out to spread God’s word without even the basic requisites of money, food, or spare clothes. They were to rely solely on the compassion and generosity of those they met. We may consider such a challenge unthinkable today – it would have been just as inconceivable then. What supported them was their absolute faith; Faith that God would always walk with them and provide for them. Today it is still just as important that we believe that we are not alone in confronting the challenges of the world. Through good times and bad He walks beside us, always faithful, always true.

Next Sunday, we meet at Dunnottar for the usual 10.30am start.

Despite the holidays, the Bible Appreciation Group meets on Monday July 13 at 2pm at St Bridget’s. Everyone is most welcome to these.

News from St James and St Philip’s

Peter Smart, Diocesan Warden of Readers, attended our 10.30 service this week, where he preached on the Gospel reading (Mark 6.1-13) The account concerned Jesus’ first preaching in the synagogue in his home town and the opposition he faced from people who had known him and his family ‘for years’. The locals knew all about his antecedents – and Mark’s description of him as ‘the carpenter’ and ‘the son of Mary’ ignored any mention of a father figure. This would have been a direct insult of Jesus’ character, his honour, hinting at one who had been conceived illegitimately. Mark’s account of Jesus’ ministry presents a tension between Jesus and his family and the hometown folk. Then he would have upset some of the crowd by referring to himself as a prophet.

What a difference in ther welcome in neighbouring synagogues, like Capernaum, or the restoration to life of Jairus’s daughter, as we read last week. Up ‘til then the congregations in the synagogues had been astonished at Jesus’ wisdom and his ability to perform miracles – but now in his hometown the locals had questions about Jesus’ own origins. Jesus was amazed at their unbelief.

Peter then drew parallels with the reception Jesus had with the experiences of people who submitted themselves for the priesthood, or to train as a lay reader, only to be deemed ‘not suitable’. How do they feel? Or there may be a vacancy for a priest for which a local candidate seems ideal – only to be set aside in favour of a candidate from another diocese or province.

A prime example locally is of John Comper, the priest who founded St Margaret’s, Gallowgate in Aberdeen. He felt called to the priesthood in his home in a small village in rural Sussex. The then Bishop of Chichester rejected him for training, substantially because of his background – he appeared not to be sufficiently upper-class. So he came to Scotland to teach, where he then trained for ministry – then established the church in Gallowgate, first as a mission in a school, working among stevedores and dock-workers, fishwives and prostitutes in what was then one of the poorest parts of Aberdeen.

Like Jesus, he was not good enough to be a prophet in his own town, but did great works after he settled in Aberdeen.

Like Jesus, in the second half of today’s reading, he knew how to pick himself up and dust himself down. Jesus left Nazareth and went out teaching. He trained the twelve, gave them authority and sent them out in pairs, to live on such hospitality as was offered. And so the disciples started their ministry. There’s a chance for all of us yet.

Notices: Anne reminded the congregation that she would be on holiday now for two weeks, and that next week the All Age Service would be conducted by the Sunday Club teachers and children. The following Sunday (19th July) we would be celebrating our Patronal Festival of St Jams the Great – Bishop Nigel presiding. Our next big social event will be the Combined Book Browse and Open Day – with stalls, music, BBQ and Bouncy Castle – on August 1.

Baptist Buzz

A former youth member of Stonehaven Baptist Church, Matthew Spandler-Davidson, took the service last Sunday. Matthew now pastors a church in Kentucky, but is here on a visit. He spoke about the early church. In Acts, the book of the bible that describes the phenomenal growth of the early church, we read that the believers in Jesus were filled with a sense of the presence of God in their midst, that they rejoiced together in their salvation, and that they loved one another in very practical and heartfelt ways. Last week, the church held a summer mission in Johnshaven, with a five aside football competition. A combined team of girls from Johnshaven and Glenbervie won the juniors, and a team of local heroes (JTID - Johnner Till I Die) won the seniors, despite a strong challenge from a team led by Tangleha’ volunteers and the Ship Inn. The epilogue was on the subject of Jesus sticking closer than any brother. This week, the Stonehaven mission is in full flow with activities for juniors in Carronhill School, and for the seniors in the church office and at the sports venues around the town. Next Sunday Matthew will again be speaking. This will be at 11 am at Carronhill School, Stonehaven. For more details visit stonehavenbaptist.org, email stonehavenbaptist@gmail.com or call 01569 765097.

Bervie Church

In Bervie Church, Inverbervie, on July 5 2015, to mark the 20th Anniversary of Rev Dennis Rose being licensed as a minister of the Church of Scotland, Peter Smith, former Session Clerk of his present charge, Arbuthnott, Bervie and Kinneff, presented Dennis with a small memento to mark the occasion on behalf of the congregations.

Mr Rose was Licensed for the Holy Ministry on 4th July 1995 in Dalry; Trinity Church

by Rev Melvyn Wood MA BD Moderator of the Presbytery of Ardrossan.

He served as minister in St Andrew’s Church, West Kilbride (Probationer) 1995 - 6

Kirkmahoe, Dumfries 1996 – 2004; Bathgate: Boghall 2004 – 2010;Arbuthnott, Bervie and Kinneff 2010 – 2015

His wife, Lyn was presented with a bouquet of flowers in gratitude of her supporting roll in the Guild and other church activities.