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News from St James – 2nd Sunday of Lent

In the intimations, Anne reminded the congregations at 9.00 and 10.30 of forthcoming events. There would be a Vestry Meeting on Monday, and the Bishop of Brechin, Nigel, would be coming to address our members on ”A Faithful Future?” at 7.00 on Tuesday (which will have passed by the time this item is published) The Bishop will share his thoughts on the challenges to our faith in the turbulence and uncertainties of the world around us. I will report on the discussion and the outcome of the meeting in my article next week.

In addition, we are going to be involved in the World Day of Prayer at Fetteresso Church on Friday, 4th March at 10.00 and hope various congregations from Stonehaven will join together in this event.

Anne’s address at the 10.30 service was ‘different’ as she chose to base it on a short story in the Rabbi Mark stories of David Kossoff’s “A small town is a world”. She will deliver a talk about Rabbi Mark and his little congregation in the small Russian town where the stories are based at a later date. Today Rabbi Mark was dealing with the problem of prayer – a subject which we also pay special attention to at this time of the Christian year.

Rabbi Mark was worried because his congregation never seemed to ‘join in’ the worship, but just sat passively. He was holding a special Service of Supplication but dreaded the sarcastic remarks that might come from the farmers ‘Maybe God doesn’t listen to you, Rabbi – maybe you don’t have the right language – you don’t know about orchards or sheep or cattle or corn. Maybe the Almighty only listens to the expert.’

But on this occasion he had been inspired by his wife’s account of her friend’s new baby donkey – ‘Just what she had prayed for’ – a female, with a white blaze on her nose, brown coat. He used this experience in his address – ‘I’ve told you before. I cannot prove that every prayer is heard, but it follows that if your prayer does come up, it would seem a good idea not to be vague.’ Again his congregation simply huddled together to try to keep warm and showed no great interest in his words.

. It was true, the Rabbi had said it before. They were once again drifting off… then ‘ what was that, a Roman? What Roman?

“…..And the Roman officer had great power, as all Romans did at that time’ Mark said, watching the heads come up and the faces appear. ‘Worse than the Czar’s cruel soldiers, as bad as the Cossacks. Pogroms were known before the fall of the Temple in Jerusalem, you know.’

‘So here is this Roman on his way to Jerusalem but he had a problem. On the way, his pack-donkey had given birth to a foal, who was very unsteady on her four little legs.

‘From the other direction comes apoor man, all his worldly goods in a heavy sack on his back. That morning he had prayed ‘Almighty’ he’d said, ‘this sack is heavy and my feet are sore and swollen. A donkey, dear God, a donkey. Just a little donkey.’

Round the corner comes the Roman.

‘Here you! He orders. ‘Put your sack with my stuff on the pack-donkey.’

‘A thousand thanks, your Honour’ says the poor man – astonished at his luck.

‘…-and pick up the little donkey and follow me – at the double’ said the Roman.

The poor man did as he was told. As he settled the little donkey across his shoulders he looked up. ‘Almighty’ he said. ‘It’s my own fault. I should have made clear that I meant that the donkey should carry me – not me the donkey.’

His little talk ended. Mark waited. Then a heavily built man stood up. ‘D ‘you mean, Rabbi, that if I was to tell God about the barn roof…’

‘Tell him about everything.

‘Would he know about chickens?’ said a woman.

‘Ask him.’ Said Mark, ‘in your own words. At any time.’ He felt a bit happier. It looked as though some praying was to start.

Anne concluded: Maybe the lesson for us is also simple – start with what you know. What affects you. In your own words.

Sound Church linked with Dunnottar

On the second Sunday of Lent, as Rosslyn began annual leave, we gave a warm welcome to Mr Ian Wilson as our preacher and also to Marjory Willox as our guest organist this week with a wonderful selection of hymns both traditional and modern.

The initial challenging question: Can you lift a rucksack? Yes?

Secondly: Can you lift a car? No?

Today, the rucksack proved unexpectedly difficult to lift for those in Kids Praise and the pack revealed 1 car jack.

Lifting a car is impossible for most of us but with the help of the car jack is revealed to be totally straightforward.

It can be so easy to forget that God’s help is always there for us. This practical demonstration with the car jack cleverly illustrated that, as we are told in Genesis 15, with Him, the impossible becomes possible. We know there is a time and a place for all things. The second reflection showed us via the beautiful poem ‘ the Holy City’ and the Hubert Parry song ‘Jerusalem after the reading from the book of Luke that there is also a power beyond our understanding which may dictate when and where things take place. For Jesus, Jerusalem was the essential where. Three days hence was the when. Jesus knew that He had that time to complete His work.

It is incumbent upon us all to strive to do what we can, when we can, in the time available to us.

Limited time, lots of dates for our diaries:

Thursday 25th 10-11.30am Fellowship coffee at St Bridget’s, 2-4pm Craft Group in South Conservatory

Fairtrade fortnight is from 29 Feb- 13 March and we have:

27 Feb: The Big Brew in the South Conservatory from 10.30-12.30

05 March Guild Coffee Morning is from 10-1130am in St Bridget’s Hall. Tickets £2.50, £1

06 March: Fairtrade stall after Worship at the South

13 March: Fairtrade stall after Worship at Dunnottar.

Friday 4th March is The World Day of Prayer and the service will be at 10am at

Fetteresso. 19th March: Morning 10-12 Dunnottar Spring Sale and Coffee Morning, 7.30 pm Earth Hour ‘Supper by Candlelight’ Tickets available now.

Rev. Duncan is on leave until 01 March. Reverend Dr Fyfe Blair of Fetteresso is available for pastoral cover on 762876.

Baptist Buzz

On Sunday at Stonehaven Baptist Church, regulars and several visitors were given a tip from a chess grandmaster! Nathan (not a grandmaster), told us about a U-tube clip in which a grandmaster explained that he used “retrograde analysis” to work back from winning positions in chess to the current position, as a way to work out how to win the game.

Peter wrote to Christians who were suffering persecution to remind them that they had a living hope into an inheritance in Christ that could never perish, spoil or fade, kept in heaven for them.

In other words, despite their current painfully difficult position in this world, they had a sure and certain hope of a successful endgame. Because they had put their trust in Christ, they were shielded by God’s power.

His salvation, ready to be revealed in the last time, was sure to come to them. Such certain hope is different from any of the hopes we may have in this world – of a new job, a longed for holiday, a win for our football team – which are inherently uncertain.

The new enquirers’ course, 3-2-1, runs on Tuesday evenings from 7.30 to 8.30pm in the church office in Arbuthnott Place. The zone club for senior school children meets at Carronhill School on Friday evenings, 7.15-8.30pm, with games, crafts and bible teaching. Stonehaven Baptist Church Sunday services are at 11 am at Carronhill School. Mainly Music, for mothers and toddlers, is at 1.30-2.45pm on Thursdays at St.Bridget’s Hall. For more details visit stonehavenbaptist.org, email stonehavenbaptist@gmail.com or call 01569 765097.

Fetteresso Church

The world day of prayer service will take place on Friday, March 4 at Fetteresso Church, Bath Street Stonehaven at 10am. All are welcome to come and join in the world day of prayer.

This service has been prepared by women in Cuba and the theme is receive children, receive me.

The world day of prayer service is an international ecumenical prayer movement, bringing together various races, cultures and traditions. Sharing god’s word and worship, through this, we are encouraged to be enriched by the faith of other Christians, take up their burdens, pray for them and become aware of the needs of the whole wold and no longer live in isolation. Services ae held in more than 180 countries and over 1000 languages, all around the world from Tonga and New Zealand in the east to Somoa and Alaska in the west.