News from St James – Ascensiontide 2015
It has been a busy week at St James! On Thursday – Ascension Day – our congregation was joined by folk from Bervie, Montrose and Muchalls for a very joyful celebration. Rev Jane Nelson presided and our guest preacher was Rev Sam Ferguson from Montrose. Sam preached on the theme ‘Last words’ – and reminded us that Jesus’s last words were ‘love one another as I have loved you.’ We joined together afterwards for refreshments, as is our custom after Eucharist celebrations.
On Saturday we had a church brimming with brightly dressed folk coming to celebrate the wedding of Laura Henderson and Steven Kane, conducted by Rev Scott Rennie. This again was a joyful occasion – we all love a wedding, don’t we!
Our Sunday Eucharist marked the First Sunday after the Ascension, and was conducted by Rev Jane Nelson. Preacher was our Lay Reader, Anne Geldart, who chose as her theme ‘This same Jesus’ from the Ascensiontide readings. John’s epistle ‘God gave us eternal life and this life is in his Son’. The disciples had seen the risen Christ and recognized him – he has not been, will not be changed by his assumption into heaven. For the Christ ‘in heaven’ is the same Jesus they got to know in those wonderful fellowship meals, full of table-talk and companionship.
And this is the point, there is humanity in God. God, having entered into the human condition in the person of Jesus, has taken humanity into the Godhead – the human race was, in Jesus, reconciled with God. But the important point is what it means for us and our relationships with those whom we love. The one with faith works and lives in hope. Hope is the special badge of Christians. It enables Christians to continue working in the present, to live in the world, in the knowledge that the crucified Lord was raised from the dead, and the hope born of the memory of the first resurrection sees into a future and the exciting and thrilling possibility that we shall see and recognize those whom we love.
We know people here and now through their physical bodies – and this will have gone. Our Christian belief is in resurrection – the giving to us of a spiritual body. But this spiritual body will still have some characteristic that is recognizably “us”. The “I” and the “thou” will still be there – so if those we love and are our chief cause of human happiness are called to go on that journey from which there is no return – then we can hope. There is this “impossible possibility”. A resurrection. For those who have been baptised will share a life like his, a future like his. And the Ascensiontide text “this same Jesus…” implies recognition.
So we can let our longings grow into hopes, our hopes into convictions, that neither we nor our loved ones in the hereafter will be unrecognizable, disembodied ghosts – but rather spiritual persons. The “I” will still be “I” and the “thou” “thou”.
Our main service next Sunday will be to celebrate Pentecost (Whit-Sunday) – and we are promised a vibrant and colourful service – to which all are welcome.
South Church linked with Dunnottar
May 17 was Ascension Sunday and Rosslyn welcomed everyone with a reading from Psalm 47. The shouts of joy and sounding of trumpets described in the reading were echoed in the beautifully evocative and inspiring hymns.
Kids’ Praise had all the fun, even if they were tired after their picnic on the Saturday, when they were invited to help Rosslyn to build a church. They were asked what would be needed. A variety of suggestions included permission, building blocks and a set of instructions. As the building blocks clattered together, Rosslyn assured the young people that only two things were really required. One is Jesus Christ and the other is people. What a powerful way to make everyone think!
Our prayers included areas of the world where the effects of natural disasters and violence continue to be a major concern and made mention of the young people around us who are facing exams. Let’s not forget that a person is far more than a set of exam results.
Building God’s church was also the theme of the sermon. You will know already that we are far more likely to draw people into the church by being open and sharing the vision rather than focussing too closely on the minutiae. Quite a message!
So, as we share a vision of God’s world, why not join us on Thursday morning May 21 at St Bridget’s for coffee between 10-11.30?
There is also the craft group in the South Church on Thursday afternoon from 2-4 in the Conservatory.
On May 24, our service will be held at Dunnottar church and on May 31, the 5th Sunday of the month, the service will be at St Bridget’s – with a difference.
If you are bored, lonely or just need to get out of the house more check out what’s happening at Stonehaven Baptist.
On Tuesdays you can come along to the church office at 7.30 with your questions about the Christian faith. Or - if you prefer - every other Tuesday there is a ladies’ book study. On Thursdays we have the prayer workshop at the office and on Fridays we have the Zone for S1-S6 students at Carronhill. From Wednesday 27 May babies and toddlers can bring their mums or dads to the office for morning coffee and a blether.
Last Saturday some of us spent the afternoon in Broughty Ferry and enjoyed typical Scottish weather - 4 seasons in one afternoon.
Last Sunday Chas Tanner spoke to us about Catching God’s vision, and letting God work through us - “Expect great things from God, attempt great things for God” to quote William Carey.
Please check out our facebook page or website for contact details.