Last Sunday our visiting pastor, Dr Matthew Spandler-Davison, turned our thoughts to Paul’s letter to the Thessalonians. He explained that Paul was writing in response to the report from Timothy who had been visiting the Christians in Thessalonia. Life for them, like us, could be a struggle and, like them, our response is often despair and quickly we feel discouraged. Matthew reminded us that Jesus is our peace and our security. The battle is already won. Our God reigns! Matthew concluded by reminding us to encourage each other and build each other up.
As I write we are looking forward to a barbecue and some fun and games with friends from Lochee Baptist Church. At this rate, by the end of the summer we’ll either be super-fit, or on our last legs. I’m hoping for the former but maybe I’m being too optimistic.
DUNNOTTAR LINKED WITH SOUTH CHURCH
As it was Sea Sunday, Rev. Rosslyn Duncan spoke to the congregation about how the sea is very unpredictable and uncontrollable. She told us about her visit to the Holy Island earlier this year and how she had to wait until the tide went out before the road appeared to drive onto the island. Access to and from the island is controlled by the daily tides.
Many people work on the sea and risk their lives every day. Whether they are fishermen on fishing boats, sailors on merchant ships, workers on oil rigs, volunteers on lifeboats, the coastguard or naval personnel on ships and submarines, they all have to respect the sea as one moment it can be calm and beautiful, then suddenly change to stormy and dangerous. Sea Sunday is a time to think and reflect on not only the sailors but also their families. In many fishing communities there are local mission halls where people gather to pray for the men at sea and also give love and support to their families when disaster strikes.
The Thursday Fellowship Coffee mornings continue over the summer months and everyone is welcome to come along to St Bridget’s Hall between 10am and 11.30am to enjoy a tea or coffee and a lovely homebake. You will be made very welcome.
NEWS FROM ST JAMES’
The Sunday Club Leaders, Anne, Laura and Irene, ably assisted by five youngsters, took the All Age Service on Sunday.
The youngsters played the piano, read, performed actions and played the tambourines and one helped with the address.
Laura did the address and said that so far Mark’s Gospel had been light and bright, as Jesus’ teaching and healing ministry gathered pace and his reputation grew.
She explained that today’s story was a dark one. Mark uses flashback to recount the events leading to John’s execution: a condemnation of the abuse of power and a grim foreshadowing of Jesus’ own betrayal and death.
She asked who is Jesus? The people think he may be John the Baptist, Elijah, or a prophet. Educated King Herod is blind as to his true identity, and his guilty conscience persuades him he is John the Baptist, come to haunt him. Ironically it is the uneducated disciple, Peter, who will recognize him as the Messiah.
She then told the congregation that she would introduce King Herod to them. She said that here you see him part way through his life on the staircase to heaven. Like all of us he does the right thing sometimes and goes up another step; sometimes he does the wrong thing and comes back down again. Laura, with one of the youngsters used a ladder to demonstrated this.
King Herod had arrested John the Baptist and put him into prison because John was saying that he should not have married Herodias.
Herodias had been the wife of Herod’s brother Philip, and John said that their marriage was not lawful. So Herodias was very angry with John and wanted to kill him. Herod was angry to, but he respected John as a good and holy man and so kept him safe in prison.
On his birthday Herod held a special banquet for lots of guests.
His stepdaughter came and did a special dance at the party and he was so impressed he said to her, “Ask me for anything you want and I will give it to you up to half my kingdom!”
The girl went to her mother and said, “What should I ask for?” Her mother said, “Ask for the head of John the Baptist!”
So she went back to Herod and asked for John’s head on a plate.
Herod did not want to kill John, but he had made a promise in front of his guests, so he sent a soldier to cut off John’s head.
When John’s followers heard about what had happened, they came and took John’s body and laid it in a tomb.
When Herod heard that Jesus was teaching people about God and healing them, he thought that Jesus was John the Baptist, come back to life to haunt him.
Laura said that we all make good and bad decisions. On balance where would we be on the ladder to heaven?
We finished the service by singing happy birthday, to one of the members of our congregation. We also enjoyed a slice of cake with our coffee.
Forth coming events happening at St James include the book browse on August 1 10am – 3 pm. Also on the 1st we are holding an open church from midday to 3pm. This will include a variety of music in the church, plus a patchwork display.
Outside there will be a sausage sizzle, various stalls and weather permitting a bouncy castle.