Maryculter Trinity Church of Scotland
It is often said: What’s in a name?
Well in answer to the above question in terms of the Banchory- Devenick & Maryculter/ Cookney Church of Scotland it is a whole mouthful. So after careful deliberation and prayer it has been resolved to change the name to Maryculter Trinity Church of Scotland.
A name which seeks to uphold the Trinitarian nature of the Christian Church as well as honour the past history of the three parish churches that from the basis of this union.
So it may be a change of name but by no means do we want to forget our roots or the long history of faithful service by the three Parish churches. So look out for the new kid on the block!
News from St James - Trinity 4
A busy weekend at St James! Our indefatigable Social and Fundraising groups once again excelled themselves with a very successful Coffee Morning on Saturday, where their effort raised a goodly sum towards church maintenance.
The Sunday Communion from the Reserved Sacrament was led by Lay Reader, Anne, who also preached on the Scripture readings for the day – Wisdom of Solomon Chapters 1 and 2, and the Gospel according to Mark. Both had to do with ‘Matters of Life and Death’. Anne first reminded the congregation of the response of millions of people when Diana, Princess of Wales, died in September 1997. Here was a beautiful, rich, well-loved princess – who plunged the whole country into mourning. Why? Perhaps it was because people were reminded of their own mortality. If this could happen to one such as she, it could happen to anyone. And of course, the shootings on the beach of so many holiday-makers in Tunisia this weekend brought this even closer to mind.
The readings for today are also reminders of our own mortality and how to deal with it. The Wisdom of Solomon says ‘God did not make death and he does not delight in the death of the living;’ and maybe a clue to immortality ‘righteousness is immortal’. Anne reminded the congregation of the number of occasions when young people who were raised from the death – from the first ever ‘mouth to mouth resuscitation’ of the young man in 1 Kings, to the raising of Jairus’s daughter in the Gospel reading. (Anne had taught in a school in Wales for many years, and as an aside she broke off to tell of the ‘Welsh’ interpretation of Talitha Cumi, where a pupil instead said ‘Teledi Cymru’ (which means, ‘TV Wales’).
But why, she asked, does not everyone who died before their time get raised – surely people pray hard enough. But it doesn’t work that way, and no-one should suggest that people die because their loved ones do not pray hard enough. But it does raise the question – why do people have to die? Quite apart from the millions who die in war -–mainly young men, or in violence, or in accidents. Young people seem to have no sense of their own mortality – which is why they become ideal cannon-fodder for the armies of the world. It seems to take until you are in your fifties before mortality comes knocking at your door.
So, why are these examples of being raised from death given us in our scriptures? And why do we have to die – at any age?
‘Asleep in Christ’. This is often found inscribed on memorial stones – so perhaps this is a clue. We know we need sleep – babies sleep longer than adults, and by old-age we can probably manage on 5 hours a night – but we must sleep or our brains would become overloaded and we’d probably go mad. So perhaps the sleep of death is the space between this life and the life to come. And just as we generally don’t know how long we were asleep when we wake up in the morning, neither shall we know how long we have slept when we are awakened to the new life in the new Jerusalem.
A much-loved Bishop of Llandaff spoke in his retirement sermon about the question of death and dying. And he said ‘Everyone expects Bishops to have all the answers – but we don’t, we just struggle on. And if at the end you see the light, just a little light at the end of a tunnel – then that is probably the best you can expect until finally you see the great light, whenever it comes.’
Dunnottar linked with South
Morning worship in Dunnottar Church last Sunday was the Sunday school presentation service as the Sunday school takes a break over the school summer holidays. In her first reflection, Rev Rosslyn Duncan read the story of Jairus’ daughter from the Children’s bible and spoke of how sometimes people say things which hurt other people on the inside. Everyone in the congregation was given a piece of sticking plaster and asked to think about something that had hurt them or that they had said or done to hurt other people. Rev Duncan reminded everyone that Jesus healed people on the inside as well as the outside.
Before presenting the children with their awards, they were reminded of all their activities at Sunday school over the year. They had presented the story of Noah with puppets, they had planted bulbs, they had sung lots of songs and they had had some outdoor activities as well as indoor. The children led the congregation in singing two of their songs, one in two parts which involved lots of standing up and sitting down with the singing being done by whichever group was standing up!
In her second reflection, the theme was breaking the rules. Sometimes Christianity is seen as a set of rules as to what you must or must not do. This was particularly the case with religion in Jesus time. Christ did not keep to the rules and broke the rules of class, employment, race, gender and faith. He regarded every human as a child of God and we are encouraged to do the same.
Tea and coffee is always served at the end of the morning service each Sunday and for most of the year this is in the vestibule of the Church. During the summer months, the post service refreshments move to the Marischal Aisle and in preparation for this there will be a “clean up” session on Saturday July 11 from 10am-12 noon.
The services on the fifth Sunday in the month this year have all been a bit different! They take place in St Bridget’s at 10.30am and are all-age services. The next one is the last Sunday in August and planning has begun for this by the Worship group. The one thing that as been decided is the title-“Heavenly High Jinks” as it happens to be the day of the Harbour Festival. As to what will happen in the service, you will just have to come along and find out for yourself!
It’s almost the school holidays and the sun is shining! What better way to start off the holidays than coming along to our Holiday Club - 10 am to 12 noon at Carronhill School for P1 to P7 people from Monday July 6 to Friday July 10. On Wednesday July 8 at 10am we also have a mother and toddlers/babies coffee morning. From Tuesday 7 to Thursday 9 July from 7pm to 9pm there will be Holiday Zone for S1-S6 students, using the church office 6 Arbuthnott Place) as a base. Look out for flyers and posters for further details.
Last Sunday Franke Haydon led our services. For the sermon he spoke about serving each other, looking at Galatians 5:13-26. He encouraged us to love each other, and to serve each other as an act of love. He pointed out that it’s not easy to live by God’s commandments, but we don’t do it in our own strength, and when we serve each other we share the love that’s in our hearts.