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Stonehaven South linked with Dunnottar.

Reverend Rosslyn Duncan welcomed all to the Nativity service on the fourth Sunday in Advent (December 20).

The call to worship was from Isaiah 11 verses 1-5 and the four candles of the Advent Crown were lit by Rosslyn. During the service, Lachlan McAlpine led one of the congregational hymns ‘Once in Royal David’s City’ unaccompanied, with the congregation and piano accompaniment for the remaining verses. The reading was from Luke 2 v 8-14 and was read by Lachlan.

With the Chancel area of the church being transformed into a stable, the scene was set for the children to tell the wonderful story of the birth of baby Jesus.

Brodie McAlpine, Samuel and Martha Johnston played the parts of various animals who might have witnessed this special event many, many years ago. The story was further enhanced with beautiful songs sung by Brodie, Samuel and Martha. Towards the end of the nativity, the children sang the first verse of ‘Away in a Manger’ with all the congregation joining in verses 2 and 3.

During the Offering, Lachlan and Brodie sang beautifully “Do you Hear what I Hear” to a very appreciative congregation.

With beautiful voices and magical moments throughout, the children captivated the congregation and just when the congregation thought it was all over, Samuel and Martha added ‘A Magical Christmas Jingle’ by playing ‘Jingle Bells’ on a set of hand bells.

This was indeed an uplifting and beautiful service enjoyed by everyone.

Following the service, there was an invitation for warm refreshments in the hall.

News from St James – 3/1/16

Despite the storms and rain, a faithful congregation met for Communion at 9.00 on Sunday, conducted by Anne from the Reserved Sacrament. Anne reminded them that the 10.30 Eucharist would also include a baptism – and it was very pleasing to see a number of the 9.00 members returning for this event.

y 10.30 it was still raining heavily, but the family of the baby to be baptised arrived in cheerful heart – followed shortly after by a sizeable congregation of our usual people.

The baby girl was accompanied by her family – parents, Godparents and brothers and sisters. Rev Jane Nelson conducted the service, assisted by Anne and David (Chief Server). For once, the baby to be baptised seemed to enjoy the event and simply smiled through the whole proceeding.

Her brothers and sisters also enjoyed the service and were ‘ideal’ members of the congregation. As is traditional in our church, as the baby was carried in procession back to the front pew, the congregation broke into spontaneous applause. The Eucharist followed the baptism ceremony and the baby and members of her family either received a blessing or took Communion. Altogether a very cheering event, given the horrible weather conditions prevailing.

On Wednesday this week we have the celebration of Epiphany (revealing) of Christ, and the Wise Men (three Kings and a glorious camel) will join the other figures in our Bethlehem scene. Normally we would have a ‘said’ Eucharist on the first Wednesday of the month, along with a healing service. But this week we shall have a full sung Eucharist with hymns, to which all are welcome.

Dunnottar linked with South Churches

As the congregation gathered to worship on the Second Sunday of Christmas, the joy and wonder of the season was still very visible with the Star shining from the Christmas tree, the Crib declaring the devotion of the Magi and the pulpit fall displaying ‘Flight into Egypt’. Reverend Rosslyn Duncan welcomed ALL, and worship commenced with singing ‘As of gladness men of old, did the guiding star behold’.

The gospel readings were from Matthew and John. Reflecting on the visit of the Magi, Rosslyn indicated how appropriate it was for Matthew, a man devoted to the Hebrew tradition and the Jewish faith to have the realisation of God’s revelation to those Visitors whom we often think of as three foreign kings, who brought their precious gifts, gold(signifying kingship), frankincense(signifying divinity) and myrrh(signifying suffering and death which awaits the Christ Child). These thoughts were in our minds as we sang of the ‘gold of obedience and incense of lowliness’. On considering the Holy Family’s Flight Into Egypt, Rosslyn said how we often miss out the incident of the ‘Slaughter of The Innocents’ when telling the Christmas story but thinking of the brutality of the world, then as now helps us appreciate the whole gospel message. Those feelings of intense sadness for the world penetrated our thoughts as Rosslyn led us in prayers for those both near and far, who are suffering now.

In his gospel, John speaks of the eternal Word becoming a tiny weak baby at Christmas, but in becoming weak He thereby was to lift weak humanity to the heights of communion with the everlasting God and by so doing brought real Joy, a Joy celebrated by the congregation in the final hymn, ‘Joy to the World, the Saviour Came’

Thursday 7th January 1000-1130 Fellowship Coffee at St Bridget’s

Next Sunday 10th January 1030 Morning Worship at Dunnottar Rev. Rosslyn Duncan