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Dunnottar linked with South

Reverend Rosslyn Duncan welcomed all to Sunday’s service. During the service Harris Robert Smith, son of Frazer and Catriona was welcomed into the Church family through the sacrament of baptism.

Rosslyn reflected on the Bible reading from the gospel according to Mark: Jesus tells his disciples that he is travelling to Jerusalem where he will be rejected by those he tries to save and will eventually face death. Peter recognises Jesus as the Messiah and rebukes Jesus, knowing that he is powerful enough to prevent this from happening. Jesus replies “Get thee behind me Satan”.

Following his baptism, Jesus had been in the wilderness for forty days and nights and he resisted the worldly temptations of Satan. Now he faces Jerusalem, knowing he has the power to resist his fate there but he will choose God’s way and die for his people.

This was the second Sunday of ‘Creation Time’. This is the time when we can all think of God our Creator and our rights and responsibilities as we live in his Creation. We were encouraged to consider those urban areas in every city where the poor live. We have to see what needs to be done in those dark areas. Make all areas, places where everyone understands that they are loved and are the people of God.

Jesus welcomed all. God’s challenge to us is to care for those in our country who live in poverty and let them know that they are valued by God.

Thursday September 17 at 7pm: Flower Ministry - Meeting of the South Church Flower Group in the Conservatory. Everyone is welcome.

Harvest 2015: September 27 10.30am Harvest Praise at Dunnottar with Granite City Brass Ensemble, 2.30pm Harvest service for elderly and housebound at St Bridget’s; October 4, 10.30am Harvest Thanksgiving at the South.

Gifts for Harvest Table welcome at all services: flowers and fresh produce for local community. Tinned and dried goods for the Cyrenians.

Web addresses: www.stonehavensouthchurch.org.uk, www.dunnottarchurch.net

Any intimations should be sent to the secretary and copied to the minister.

Secretary.dunnottarchurch@outlook.com or on 01569 760930; Minister rosslynpduncan@gmail.com or 01569 762166 or 07899878427.

News from St James and St Philips

What a busy weekend at St James and St Philip’s! On Saturday we saw 40-plus people sitting down to a gorgeous chicken curry, cooked by Lynne Geldart, while her husband Matt acted as Quizmaster. Not only was a good time had by all, the event raised £300 for church funds. Well-done, Matt and Lynne!

Our next event is a concert by folk Singer, Gaye Anthony. This takes place on Saturday, September 19 at 7pm. Tickets £7.50 including refreshments. Contact Anne O’Gorman on 01569 765793 for tickets or further information.

Sunday’s worship began with Communion from the Reserved Sacrament conducted by Lay Reader, Anne, at 9am, who then also led and addressed the 10.30am All Age Service.

Her address was a little ‘different’ as she incorporated a listening competition. The address was based on the theme ‘ships in religion’. This was prompted by some remarks by a French visitor to the church who commented how like the inside of a upturned boat the church roof appeared – especially the apse – the arched area above the altar.

First she asked the congregation to name the main area of the church – and received the reply ‘the nave’ – which gives us the word NAVY – a fleet of warships. Anne then invited the congregation to keep a tally of how many times she used the word ‘ship’ in her address. And it was an astonishing tally: we had fellowship, friendship, - not only with each other, but with Christ. Then there is stewardship – people who act as greeters, reading the lessons, making coffee, or maintaining the structure of the church – these are all stewards. Their duty to manage the church’s resources, to keep the faith alive – and to keep worship alive in this place. Anne then introduced words such as churchmanship, discipleship, scholarship, and recognizing the divine lord-ship of Christ. All these are aspects of an apprenticeship, a learning process.

However, as with a warship, there are those who work to keep the ship afloat, and those who fight. Those with courage to go out and face the enemy – while others quietly and faithfully maintain the stores, feed the crew, keep up the maintenance of the vessel. One thing is sure, on a fully-crewed warship there is no room for hangers-on.

Anne concluded that this – our church – is our ship. In it we are saved.

And just for fun – one member counted 53 times when the word ‘ship’ was used. We were astonished – but then, as Anne commented, older folk are apt to repeat themselves. The member who had this tally, won a little model boat.

We concluded the service with one of the favourite hymns of our former Rector, Maggie Jackson ‘Will your Anchor hold’, who at this time is suffering a serious illness and for whom we are all praying.

In the afternoon, Anne led a small congregation at St Philip’s, Catterline with Communion from the Reserve and a short address. The address was based on the theme from St James’ epistle on ‘Bridling the tongue’. First there was a practical demonstration – members were invited to draw pictures on a sheet of paper, or squeeze toothpaste from a tube, or squirt various sprays round. Then, said Anne, ‘Now put it back. Put the ink back in the pen, the toothpaste back in the tube, the aerosol back in the can.’ This was to illustrate that ‘once it’s out, it’s out – and can’t be put back’. In the same way, when we speak out of turn, or cruelly, or mischievously, we cannot take it back. James, author of the epistle, speaks at length of the power of the tongue for good and for harm. Such a small organ of the body, but having such power. Anne illustrated the harm this can do with a personal memory of an occasion when her daughter, then aged 12, came home very upset because her ‘best friend’ had told her that her Mum and Dad were splitting up. ‘And she knew it was true because her mother said so, and she got it from Miss ‘X’ – a senior member of the congregation.’ Well here we are, still together, 51 years later so obviously that was not true, but it was spiteful and caused a lot of grief.

This is the trouble, the same tongue that can praise, can carp and quibble. The same mouth that speaks words of love – can hurt and malign. The same hand that can write words of encouragement, can set a person’s self-esteem at an all-time low. The same mind that meditates on the scriptures can frame malicious half-truths, or suppress the truth. And lips that open to speak words of kindness can fail to close quickly enough to avoid careless hurtful talk.

These words, like the substances we played with at the beginning of the address, cannot be taken back. Once out, they stay out. Anne finished with a verse from the Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam:

The moving finger writes, and having writ,

moves on. Nor all thy piety nor wit

shall lure it back to cancel half a line,

nor all thy tears wash out a word of it.

We should remember that our Lord never spoke an unkind word. Even on the cross, he refused to curse his tormentors, but begged that they might be forgiven.

Baptist Buzz

Nathan is encouraging the church on Sunday to think about the call given to Christians to please God. He illustrated his sermon from the mixed community of Thessaloniki which Paul had encountered in his missionary journeys. A church had been raised up from this community, bringing with it people with old, entrenched ways that were being transformed by the gospel. The only way this would happen was by the power of the Spirit of Christ at work within them, not by outward conformity to a new set of traditions and withdrawal from that community.

Nathan reminded us that we have a responsibility to engage with the community around us, in real ways. This means new and radical relationships are cultivated: the stay at home mum with the struggling single parent; the stable pensioner with the substance-abuser; welcoming strangers and refugees into our homes and lives. Deliberate, intentional effort to bring the gospel to those around us. Such activity pleases God, because it makes the name of the risen Lord, Jesus Christ, known in the world, and encourages others to follow Him in discipleship.

The church is participating in the shoebox appeal for Eastern Europe and Nathan encouraged us to prayerfully look for ways to support people caught up in the refugee crisis.

The zone club for senior school children continues to meet at Carronhill School on Friday evenings, 7.15-8.30pm. Stonehaven Baptist Church Sunday services are at 11 am, also at Caronhill School. For more details visit stonehavenbaptist.org, email stonehavenbaptist@gmail.com or call 01569 765097