Round the Churches

Newtonhill Kirk

Newtonhill Kirk services for Easter week start with an evening communion at 7pm on Thursday April 2. The following day is Good Friday and again we have an evening service at 7pm. On Easter Sunday - April 5 – we have two services; the first is the short early morning service to greet the Risen Lord, held outdoors at the football field, which is followed by tea and bacon rolls at the church. There is also our main Easter day service at the usual time of 10am.

During the week the church will be open for prayer and reflection - as well as a cup of tea - on Tuesday and Wednesday from 2–4pm.

Newtonhill Kirk Spring Fair will be held in the church on Saturday March 28 from 10 am till 12 Noon. There will be wide range of stalls including Home Baking , Bottle Stall, Fruit and Veg, Books and DVDs, Spring Hamper and many more. Admission is £3 for adults and 50p for children and this includes generous refreshments with wonderful home baking! Come along and enjoy a pleasant morning browsing and chatting!

On March 21 we held our Stated Annual Meeting when the work of the previous year was presented by all the various organisations and our financial position reviewed.

Our organisations are in good heart. Over 30 girls enthusiastically enjoyed a varied programme in the Girls Brigade, winning and being highly placed in a number of Divisional Competitions. The Boys Brigade continued regularly with 14 lads in the junior sections.

Our Jaffa group (Jesus is a Friend for all) with 28 members meets every Thursday for an enthusiastic and lively session. This group is for primary age children and is so enjoyable that some of last year’s P7 members have continued as young leaders into the current year. When a leader can be found, we hope to have a Youth Group where youngsters can follow on from Jaffa.

The Sunday fun club and crèche meet every Sunday at the time of the service. The Guild meets monthly with a varied programme of interesting speakers; the Guild also sponsors the schooling of Sari, a young girl in Indonesia whose touching letters are read with interest by members.

Both the fundraising and publicity committees have worked steadily throughout the year and the fundraisers have a range of new ideas in hand for the forthcoming year.

The fabric convener reported that our buildings are in good order due to regular maintenance – and the fact that we have modern easily maintained church!

Financially we could always do with more money but due to some excellent fundraising we are keeping our heads above the water.

Dunnottar linked with South

At Morning worship in Dunnottar Church last Sunday, Rev Rosslyn Duncan baptised Rachael Louisa, the daughter of Andrew and Elspeth Gordon. Children from the Sunday school handed over the customary gifts to Rachael and her parents and there was a special gift—a piece of music called Rachael’s song which had been composed for Rachael by her grandfather, Martin Scott, and played on Sunday by Dunnottar Church organist Dr Albert Bil.

In her message to the children, Rev Duncan told them that March 22 was a special day—the UN had designated it as a day when we should think about something we all take for granted--water. Everything needs moisture to grow and infant baptism, which uses water, is a symbol of God’s gift of grace to us.

In her sermon to the adults, the theme was service and sacrifice. Lent, the period before Easter is a time of reflection on what we can do to make up for our shortcomings. In the Old Testament, there are lists of remedies for failings in the form of sacrifices. God wants truly repentant hearts not burnt offerings. Christ lived a life of service and sacrifice of himself. We should use our time, talents, energy and compassion for the good of others.

This Saturday, March 28, the Guild is holding a coffee morning in St Bridget’s from 10-11.30am in aid of Guild Project Funds. Do go along if you fancy a cup of coffee and a warm freshly made scone for only £2.50 (children £1) and you can also browse and buy from various stalls.

Sunday March 29 is the fifth Sunday in the month (there are four months with five Sundays in 2015 - March, May, June and November). This year it is planned that the “Fifth Sunday” services will be a bit different! Sunday’s one will be an all age service for Palm Sunday and it and the other three “Fifth Sunday” services will take place in St Bridget’s at 10.30am. Do come along and join us there.

News from St James

Our Eucharist service at 10.30am was conducted this week by Rev Jane Nelson. She began by reminding the congregation of some forthcoming events this week. The Lent Study Group will meet after the Wednesday morning Eucharist, and this week members will bring their own compositions, or prayers taken from collections of prayers the members have found helpful. Lay Reader, Anne, who has been conducting the course, will arrange for copies of the notes to accompany the course to be available for those who have been unable to attend on a Wednesday morning. Jane also drew the attention of our members to the Craft Fair which takes place next Saturday from 10am onwards.

Jane then took as her theme for her address the reading from John’s Gospel where Jesus explains why he will not attempt to avoid his crucifixion and used the image of the grain of wheat: ‘Very truly, I tell you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains just a single grain; but if it dies, it bears much fruit.’ She enlarged on this and explained how we must all be prepared to give our life in this world for the greater benefit of a life in the world to come.

The post-communion hymn ‘Now the green blade riseth’ particularly illustrates this theme with its constant refrain “Love is come again, like wheat that springeth green”. The children from the Sunday club joined us and demonstrated their joyful experience with tambourines. They particularly enjoyed accompanying the last hymn, “To God be the glory, great things he has done” by the renowned hymn-writer, Fanny Crosby (aka Frances van Alstyne).

Next Sunday will be celebrated as Palm Sunday, with the traditional procession outside the church (if fine – inside if raining) when all will be invited to join the procession. Our guest leader will be Peter Smart, Warden of Readers for the diocese.