News from St James – Mothering Sunday
We were fortunate this Sunday to welcome two new folk to our worship team. Rev Tracy Dowling from the cathedral staff came to lead our worship and to celebrate the Eucharist, and we also had a visiting Speaker – Mrs Wilma Somerville.
Wilma came to tell us about the Christian organisation in Romania ‘Children for Christ’ which she co-founded with her late husband, Harry, and a Romanian national, Vio Jorza. She gave an illustrated talk with on-screen photographs . At the end she received a round of applause. Interestingly, one of the first ‘buildings’ was constructed from a redundant shed, donated by Portlethen, and shipped to Romania with funding from a Scottish lady.
It was appropriate that this event was presented at Sunday’s service, it being Mothering Sunday, as Children for Christ provides care and a home for a number of orphans, as well as summer camp and weekend activities for children in Romania. I have no doubt that members of our congregation will join together to contribute to the work of this group.
At the end of the service, as is customary in our church, two of our children distributed small bunches of daffodils as a token of our affection for our parents.
In the intimations, Anne reminded the congregation of next Sunday’s services which would include a celebration of the Eucharist at St Philip’s at 4pm when the Bishop would be the Celebrant.
Last Sunday, having concluded our study on prayer, Pastor Nathan turned our thoughts to the church. Looking at 1 Peter 2, Peter’s message to the church transcends time, space and people and is just as relevant to us today.
Nathan pointed out that previously in Scotland the church had been strong and powerful - but what about today? Church buildings are being sold and put to a variety of uses. Where is God in the midst of this? Nathan reminded us that the buildings are only real estate. God’s church is dong very well - it isn’t about the buildings, it’s about the people and we have to be living stones; with the emphasis on living - we have to adjust to wherever God places us.
Nathan went on to say that “thrive” is a current buzz word and God wants His church to thrive. If we put Jesus at the centre of everything we will thrive. Jesus is the foundation of our faith. He gave His life for us. Focus should be on that and not on his moral teaching as some churches do.
Nathan cautioned that church should never be about personalities, preferences or programmes. It should always be about Jesus. Our lives are our response to what has been done for us. He challenged us - are we making Christ the centre of our lives and telling people about Jesus at every opportunity?
Life is as busy as ever at Stonehaven Baptist Church with all our usual activities, but as you read this we are finalising our plans for our Christmas Dinner. (Yes, it is March - you’ve not picked up an old copy of the Leader.) Anyway, with the snow about just now, it doesn’t seem too strange at all!
Please see our facebook page or website for details of all our activities.
South linked with Dunnottar Sunday was the fourth in Lent and Mothering Sunday. Rosslyn, back refreshed from annual leave, welcomed everyone warmly, with special mention for Gordon Cooper, our guest organist this week.
Our readings came from Luke 1 Mary visits Elizabeth and Matthew 2 -The Flight into Egypt.
Rosslyn’s address to the children posed questions concerning names given to the young of both animals and humans as well as what parents need to do for them. She developed this theme with their responses examining the relationship between parent and offspring and the role of love. Rosslyn’s sermon progressed when she raised the delicate topic of difficulties which might be encountered on Mothers’ Day. To celebrate or not? That is the poser. This day may well be expected to be a day of happiness and appreciation for the majority of mothers, but, regrettably for too many, and for a range of reasons, it is a day tinged with sadness and isolation.
In contemporary society, it is especially important that we celebrate the origins of this day- that of the role of Mother Church. Historically, individuals would return to the church in which they were baptised or confirmed while ministers and priests would go to the church where they were inducted. Looking to the role of Mother Church allows us to see ourselves as nurturers and act to support those around us; within the church, in our community and in the wider world into the future. Note for next year – Mum’s the word!
Dates for our diaries:
Thursday 10/3: Fellowship Coffee St Bridget’s 10-11.30; Craft Group South Conservatory 2-4; South Kirk Session 7.30 in the Conservatory.
Sunday 13/3: Morning worship at Dunnottar; Joint meeting of Sessions in South Conservatory 2-4.
Monday 14/3: Bible Appreciation Group at St Bridget’s 2-3
Wednesday 16/3: Dunnottar Kirk Session Upper Room 7pm.
Saturday 19/3: Dunnottar Spring Coffee Morning St Bridget’s 10-12. Tickets £2.50/ £1; Earth Hour Candlelit Supper in South Church Hall 7.30, entry by donation.
Sunday 20/3: Palm Sunday service at South with very special guest speaker, Suresh from Indian Village Ministries.