Letter from Rev Diane Hobson BA(Hons) BD(Hons)
“Hello” is a simple word and yet has a huge impact on us.
For the warm “Hello” we have received from St Mark’s, Thank You.
So who am I?
Born in Liverpool I had a happy childhood. I went to university and later met David, now my husband.
We came up to Scotland 20 years ago – when Pavarotti sang at the World cup! Rebecca, our daughter, was three and puzzled and she asked “why did we bring so much furniture on holiday?”
At the moment, unpacking for David and myself is a time of remembering, as well as excitement. Very appropriate as this is the season of remembering.
In November gratitude leads us to remember people who have served and serve their countries in the Forces. December reminds us to prepare to celebrate Jesus Christ’s birth. This Christmas we remember that Jesus forged, for all people, the way to find peace within ourselves and with each other.
This Christmas, just as the young couple, Mary and Joseph, looked upon the new born child, so we too can share in their joy and amazement at God’s grace whilst still remembering those people, who like the young couple, miss family and friends.
So this Christmas my prayer for you all is that wherever you are, whoever you are with, may the joy, love, companionship and peace of Jesus Christ be within and with you all this Christmas.
God Bless you
Welcome our new minister
Marjorie and Ian
A Note from the Treasurer
“The Church is always asking for money”. Perhaps that’s something you have said yourself and, as Treasurer, I can agree that perhaps it does. But it is important to know why.
It’s like Aberdeen City being able to rebuild Marischal College at a cost of millions and having to close schools because of a shortage of cash. The money comes from different places and is for different things. This year we have spent large amounts due to the vacancy, eg refurbishing the manse but the money for that has come from our investments, not from FWO. It is the duty of members to ensure that our day to day costs are covered by our income from offerings. That’s part of the vow you made when you became a church member. And we responded positively at Diane’s induction when we were asked if we would give of our “time, talents and money for the work of the Church in the world?”
It costs about £100,000 a year to keep St Mark’s open. Our income from offerings, gift aid tax refunds and donations is about three quarters of that and the rest is made up from coffee mornings and the like, support from our organisations and hall lets. To keep our heads above water we must increase our income, ideally from improved regular giving so once again I ask that members think seriously about their financial support to St Mark’s. Come regularly, give generously, each week, every week and think about giving by Standing Order and through Gift Aid.
This year I have written elsewhere about our Christmas Gift Appeal. Why not add up what you have already given this year, think about what you will spend on yourself and family for Christmas and consider if it’s time for a gift to St Mark’s?
The Circle of Care Communion and Afternoon Tea was again greatly appreciated by all who were present as it was both an uplifting experience as well as a happy social event. As always we are most grateful to those who helped in anyway to make the afternoon such a success.
With the approach of Christmas we also thank the Elders for distributing the gifts to the members of the Circle of Care and also Alex McConochie for providing the labels.
We wish you all a joyful Christmas and a Happy 2011.
Church of Scotland Social Care
At the time of writing this, we are halfway through our first session and have had a very varied programme already – a few musical afternoons, a very interesting talk by Ruth Sturgeon and a slide show by Ian Lord. We look forward to the rest of our meetings until we have our Christmas Party on 13th December.
Our attendances have been good but we would love to welcome any new members who would like to come along to the Hall on a Monday afternoon at 2pm.
We restart in 2011 on Monday 10th January. Any information can be had by telephoning me on the number below.
Pat Skene 01224 642293
On the 28th of June this year, I set off on my journey to Central America along with another 35 pupils from Aberdeen Grammar School. Our aim was to go and do some charity work in a primary school in the village of Rota in Nicaragua. However, to get there I had to raise £3,700; a large sum of money but with the help of St. Mark’s Church and Drama Group I was able to do it.
From the 25th to the 26th of March, a fundraiser was held at the Church to try and raise some of these funds. I decided to do a cabaret with some family and friends which included songs from famous shows and films as well as some comedy sketches. We received great support from the congregation and the Drama Groups at St. Mark’s and the 2 evenings proved to be a huge success. Thanks must go to all the helpers and attendees who gave up their valuable time to allow this fundraiser to happen.
Moving onto the trip
When we arrived in Costa Rica, the 36 pupils and 4 teachers split up into two groups. My group went on to Nicaragua and a small village about an hour away from the city of Leon. There, we camped for 7 days and did some repair work to the primary school. We decided to paint the classrooms, fix the desks and chairs as well as buy new equipment and supplies for the children. The children, teachers and locals greatly appreciated the work we had done and that made all of the work seem worthwhile. I have learned a lot from the trip, it was a really humbling experience and we should spread the word to help our neighbours.
The Strollers may walk in familiar areas but there is always something new to be appreciated and we sometimes also have quite unexpected experiences. If you would like to discover this for yourself please come along on any of the dates listed below. You will be made most welcome.
Contact Margaret Donald for details of the walks.
Malawi Visit September 2010
|Ms Margaret Duncan||George Street to|
|Whitestripes Drive, Bridge of Don|
|Mr Norman Mutch||Arnage Drive to|
|Grandholm Care Home|
|Mr James Christie||Wallfield Place to|
|Mr Keith & Mrs Valerie Mann||Craig Road, Ellon to|
|Crimmond Drive, Ellon|
|Mrs Catherine Thomson||Stevenson Court to|
|Forestgait, Kings Gate|
‘He will surround you with love on that golden day’
|10 September||Miss Betty Alexander||Forestgait|
|19 September||Mrs Margaret Duncan||Strachan Mill Court|
|16 October||Mr Charles Christie||Balnagask Place|
|4 November||Miss Barbara Cowie||Inchmarlo|
Christmas Gift Appeal
When it was first tried the idea was a novelty and members gave generously but after year one the novelty wore off and the numbers giving and the amount raised fell dramatically. Last year we raised just £1,000. That doesn’t go far towards our annual running cost of £100,000.
St Mark’s has entered a new era, we have a new minister and a new future to look forward to. If you haven’t been in church for a while, why not come back and attend regularly. That’s what you promised to do when you became a member. As Treasurer I know that times are hard, they are for individuals and they are for the Church, but we can all help.
If every single member gave a £5 Christmas Gift we could double last year’s total and if it were £10 …. well you can all do the math. But don’t let me limit your generosity. Think about what you have already given to St Mark’s this year, think about what you’ll be spending on celebrating Christmas with family and friends, think about how much your Church means to you, how much you have relied upon it in the past and how much you will rely upon it in the future. Then think about what you should give, what you can afford and put it in the envelope provided with the magazine.
And why not bring the envelope to church before the year end? If you want to give by Gift Aid just put your name and address on a slip of paper and put that in the envelope as well.
|26th||December||Miss M Donald||–|
|2nd||January 2011||Mrs M Leslie & Miss O Watt||Miss Watt|
|9th||Miss J Morgan||Mrs S Main|
|16th||Mrs S Mann||–|
|23rd||Mrs B Coull||Mrs B Coull|
|30th||Mrs I Grieve||–|
|6th||February||Miss S Henry||–|
|13th||Mrs B Duthie||–|
|20th||Mrs A Brown||Mrs A Officer|
|27th||Mrs E Leys||–|
|6th||March||Mr A Sim||–|
|13th||Grouping Service in Queen Street Church|
|20th||Mrs S Kessack||Mrs B Brown|
|27th||Miss J Davie||Mrs C Cunningham|
|1st||April||Mrs B Ballantyne|
Sincere thanks are due to all those who provide the flowers and those who distribute them later, but please, we need help with the distribution on several Sundays. Please contact Mrs B Coull about helping with distribution.