Last Sunday Pastor Nathan’s sermon focused on 1 Thessalonians 4 : 1-12 - Living to please God.
Nathan pointed out that he had recently attended a pastors conference and he had been surrounded by non-Scottish pastors - the gospel that once went out from Scotland is now coming back to us. Nathan reminded us that Aberdeenshire is reckoned to be one of the most non-religious spots in the UK but we should see it as an opportunity to tell people about God.
People are not looking for a friendly church; they are looking for friends. We need to engage with each other but at the same time our focus should be on God; on all levels - our head, our heart and our hands.
The Zone starts again on Friday September 11 at Carronhill School. Open to all S1 to S6 students it runs from 7.15-8.30pm and features sports, games, crafts, music, tuck shop, and discussions.
News from St James – the
This Sunday was different! The 9am Eucharist was led by Rev Jane Nelson.
In the intimations, Anne congratulated all those who worked so hard for our stall at the Harbour Festival – which raised an incredible £450. She also reminded them of the Curry and Quiz night, this coming Saturday – please sign up on the list at the back of church.
She then led into some thoughts based on the reading from Mark’s Gospel, about the Canaanite woman, whose daughter was sufferig a mental illness.
But she began with a moment’s reminiscence about one of those moments that ‘make you think’.
A few years ago, David and I set out from home to go by the back route to St Ternan’s for the Thursday evening Eucharist. First off, at the end of our lane was a car with two elderly women looking very confused.
They said they were lost and looking for the Lair Hillock restaurant. We said ‘Follow us, and when we turn off, you just keep going along.’ And so we did. Then we turned across country, and next thing, a beautiful deer sprang out into the middle of the road and just stood there, looking at us.
We stopped, and it turned back and leaped over the dyke into the field and disappeared among some scrub. A half-mile further on and some children were stepping along the top of a dry-stane dyke, and I said ‘Look out, the lad looks as if he’ll fall’ – and he did.
Fortunately we were going slowly enough to miss him as he fell next to the road. And then, only a few yards down the lane, and a couple of sheep had escaped the field and were trotting towards us. They realised their mistake, turned about and went back into their field. All of this happened in about five minutes, and while the light was shining in that bright way that makes everything seem unreal.
What has this got to do with anything? Well, I am led to think there are events that seem to be pointers towards some kind of truth. And today’s readings also point to the same kind of truth
I think our happenings pointed towards what God wants of us: to care for the elderly and confused, to look out for God’s creatures – both wild and domesticated – and to take care of children and ensure they come to no harm. And today’s gospel has something to say about the people who turn to Jesus.
In this reading we have a foreigner, a gentile woman, who wants Jesus to help her daughter who is possessed by a demon. Jesus clearly challenges the woman: he talks of being sent to the lost sheep of the house of Israel, but she pleads with him.
Then he says it wouldn’t be right for the children’s bread to be thrown to the dogs. This means, the teachings of the Kingdom intended for the Jews, to be allowed to go to foreigners.
But the women has a lot of spirit, and responds with the words that remind us of the prayer of humble access from the old Eucharist – ‘we are not worthy so much as to gather up the crumbs from under thy table…’ And Jesus healed her daughter.
The gospels show us, time and again, people who turned to Jesus, and might have been prevented from reaching him because of barriers of race, gender, age, disability or illness – AND YET in every case, Jesus helped them because he loved them.For his love is such that it overcomes all barriers. His death is such that it brings life to all.
South Church linked with Dunnottar
The new session of Kids Praise provided a joyful opening to Rededication Sunday. There was lots of excited chatter about their barbecue last week, highlighting going into the woods and seeking out animals.
Their enthusiasm linked really well with Rosslyn’s theme for today and the use of symbols. The dove symbolising peace allowed us all to learn in three distinct languages ‘sith’ ‘shalom’ ‘peace’, the blessing of being engaged positively in God’s world.
The readings from Mark 7, also symbolic, demonstrating that all people are capable of taking great steps in Faith, and encouraging us to approach Jesus for help even though personal Faith may at times require quite a degree of courage to move forward.
We were reminded that Jesus went out among the people irrespective of nationality, as indeed did St Francis, and they provide us with practical examples to follow; being actively supportive of those so much less fortunate than ourselves. ‘
Session meetings: South meeting at 7.30pm on September 10 in the Conservatory. Dunnottar meeting at 7pm on September 16 in the Upper Hall. Monday September 14 from 2-3pm is Bible Appreciation Group in St Bridget’s office.
Thursday September 17 at 7pm is the meeting for the South Church Flower group in the Conservatory. Come and be involved.
Magazine deadlines: Autumn Southscene Sunday September 13. October Spotlight Thursday September 17.
Church of Scotland Guild Annual Gathering 2015
Guild members and friends gathered together at the Caird Hall, Dundee, on Saturday, September 5, for the Annual Guild Gathering.
Over 2,000 members, including guild members from Kincardine and Deeside, special guests and friends attended, and many more watched it live on the Guild webpage.This year’s Gathering saw the launch of the new three-year Guild strategy, “Be bold, Be strong” with a particular focus on 2015’s theme “Go in Peace”.
The meeting was chaired by new National Convener – Linda Young, who said: “It is such an honour to chair the biggest annual celebration of everything that the Guild is and does, highlighting all the wonderful achievements of our members and all the exciting things to look forward to during this new session”.During the past three years, Guilds throughout Scotland collected £775,000 for the projects.
The two main speakers were Rt Rev Dr. Angus Morrison, the Church of Scotland Moderator, who spoke about our theme ‘Be bold, Be strong’ Then Rev John McMahon, Head of Spiritual and Pastoral Care at West London Mental Health Trust, where his main clinical practice as a Psychiatric Chaplain is at Broadmoor Hospital, one of only four high-secure hospitals in the UK. Rev McMahon, gave us an insight to his work at Broadmoor.
Another highlight of the Gathering was the introduction of the six new projects as part of the ongoing, three year Project Partnership scheme. Representatives gave us a short resume on the chosen projects. The Guild was started in 1887 by Rev Dr Archibald Charteris, and has around 23,000 members, of which nearly one thousand are men, Banchory Ternan East Church is the third oldest Guild, who will be celebrating their 129th anniversary in November.