Welcome to the Messenger Archive for Spring 2010
Letter from Andrew Christie
The last time I had to write a pastoral letter to you was over twenty years ago and during the vacancy before John became your Minister. That vacancy lasted for nearly three years and so I would like to ask you to be patient again while the search for a new minister continues. We are richly blessed with Mark our Interim Moderator and also with Michael our Locum minister and their services deserve our fullest support. The attendance at morning worship is keeping up well and that is a tribute to yourselves as well as them. Without a regular minister people often drift from the Church but I always like to remind them it is the Lord we come to worship and follow, not the minister.
In 1990 when my time at Ferryhill North was coming to an end, five different charges and a hospital chaplaincy all passed me by before I went to Banchory Devenick and Maryculter-Cookney. I still had at least ten years and possibly fifteen to go and for trusting in the Lord I knew the right place for me would come. I kept wondering why, but God will sometimes say yes, sometimes no and sometimes wait a while.
We are in a very difficult situation as regards ministers as there are well over two hundred vacancies and not enough men or women to fill them. In the business world there are always more applicants than jobs available, sadly for us we have more posts than applicants.
We need to keep the faith and do all we can knowing that one day the right person will be provided for us as a congregation of God’s people. Trust in the Lord, He will provide. We are all aware of how the economic crunch has affected the world’s finances and from great nations and businesses down to ordinary individuals it has had a devastating impact. However, I am aware that there are people who contribute well to their Church but have not Gift Aided their contribution. If you pay Income Tax you cannot get it back but the Church can if you sign a once in a lifetime Gift Aid notice. Without a penny more from your purse or your pocket 28% can be reclaimed thus increasing your contribution to your Church.
Continue to serve your Church with your presence and prayers and may the Lord bless you and yours now and forever.
Yours in Christ
Andrew C Christie
Note from the Editor – Neither the Treasurer nor Revd Andrew Christie knew what the other was writing for this magazine, as Andrew says ‘Trust in the Lord’; He must have been speaking to them both, are you hearing the words?
Now read the Treasurer’s report and download and sign a Gift Aid Declaration. Please also consider signing the Standing Order form which can also be downloaded here.
Neither Form Is For Ever – UNLESS you want them to be.
There is the ‘opt out’ option between now and the day when you answer to Him! This is unlike the ‘opt out’ time of 28 days for High Street stores or 7 days for Door Step selling.
A Note from the Treasurer
Well, the GOOD news is that we didn’t end 2009 with a deficit. The BAD news is that for the third year running our givings are DOWN!
The surplus on the Congregational Account was £498.38 before extraordinary income, not something to be pleased about. For a congregation in vacancy we need to show that we know what it is to support God’s work but we are failing.
Offerings in 2008 amounted to £61,654 compared to £57,459 for 2009. This is a reduction of £4,195, or 6.8%. In a period with low inflation (0.64% over the year) we should have ended the year with income of £62,000. Not much to ask you would think, but we failed. As the teacher might write on our report card, “must try harder!”
A number of members do really support St Mark’s. Those who give by Standing Order never miss a week when they are ill or on holiday but far too many members give only when they are in church. Offerings at Communion Services are always higher than “normal” weeks but this simply does not make up for the shortfall in those “normal” weeks when so many members just stay away.
Please think about doing two things:-
Use the Standing Order Form available here so that your offering for the work and witness of St Mark’s counts every week, not just the ones you come to church.
If you are a taxpayer, give by Gift Aid. Until 2011 every pound you give can be increased by 28 pence at no cost to you. All it takes is a signature and a few details. Fill in the Gift Aid Form, available here.
The Lord loves a cheerful giver.
Circle of Care
The members of O.A.K. have kindly arranged an afternoon tea in the Hall on Palm Sunday, March 28th and we are grateful to them for doing this. On the same afternoon, also in the Hall, there will be an informal celebration of communion for which we are also grateful. We are thankful too for the transport to ensure that those who have difficulty in coming to church have the opportunity to do so not only for this special occasion but on other Sundays. There is however a need for more drivers and it would be good to have a rota of drivers willing to take someone to church even if it is only now and again. If you would like to consider being part of such a rota please speak to Margaret Donald.
CrossReach is committed to working alongside individuals with mental health difficulties enabling then to grow in confidence as they make decisions and develop practical solutions to the challenges they meet. The aim is to support people to improve their wellbeing and engage in purposeful and creative activity. With encouragement key relationships can be restored and integration into the community can be achieved.
(Extracted from CrossReach pamphlet on Mental Health)
The Guild Of Friendship
We had an unfortunate start to our second session, having had to cancel two afternoons owing to the stormy weather- but hopefully we shall continue as usual with no more cancellations until our closing day on 29th March.
Our meetings have been well attended and enjoyed by all.
Although we finish meeting in March, we intend to meet up again in June for a High Tea together.
Any further details required, please telephone me:
Pat Skene 01224 642293
Bad weather meant that only 1 of 5 outings scheduled for January and February was possible but on that one occasion the stroll along the Deeside Railway Line from Cults to Aberdeen took place on a lovely sunny afternoon.
Hopefully we shall be able to meet more often in the following months on the dates below:*
Please feel free to come along on any of these times, you will be made most welcome.
* Dates are not shown in the Archive
Contact Margaret Donald for details of the walks.
The St Mark’s Malawi Committee
Following the success of the Pot Luck Lunch before Christmas, the Malawi Committee has thrown itself into 2010 with a number of projects. Our main concern at the moment is contributing towards the funds being sought by the city-wide Malawi Partnership Committee to send containers of goods to Malawi; about £12,000 is required to do this.
On Friday 19th February St Mark’s arranged a concert featuring Craig Pike and Friends which raised over £900. Despite the atrocious weather conditions, there was an excellent turnout. It was a wonderful evening featuring songs from the shows as well as classic Scots tunes and a few surprises! We are very grateful to Craig and to Anne Donaldson and her team for their hard work both in and out of the kitchen.
Another event, a coffee morning, was held in St Mark’s on Saturday 27th February. The Malawi Committee all donned their aprons and we were very pleased to donate the funds to the visit of the Malawian delegation in September. (Note the proceeds went to the Container Fund as the travel costs were fully raised.)
Spring brings with it the prospect of another Pot Luck Lunch and preparations for the forthcoming visit of a delegation of Malawians in September. St Mark’s will be assisting in the programme as well as hosting visitors too. This promises to be an exciting time for everyone.
Change of Address
|Mrs Sheila Edmund||Kintore Place to|
|Mrs Isabella Low||Hutcheon Court to|
|South Mount Street|
|Miss Eliza Christie||Middlefield Place to|
|Fullerton Court, Gt Northern Road|
|Miss Moira Murray|
|to The Laurels Nursing home, Woodside|
|Mrs Barbara Ballantyne||Cairncry Road to|
|Torry Nursing Home|
|Mr Alexander and Mrs Marion Wilson||Gilcomston Park to|
|Mrs Margaret Walker||Cairnwell Drive to Huntly|
‘He will surround you with love on that golden day’
|5th||November||Mrs Lizzie Milne||Hawkhill Home|
|4th||December||Mrs Maggie McPherson||Kirkcaldy|
|16th||Mrs Mina Grant||Stewart Park Court|
|20th||Mrs Jean Rettie||Donmouth Terrace|
|25th||Mrs Hilda Smith||Fairview Home|
|10th||February 2010||Mrs Margaret Leslie||South Anderson Drive|
|14th||Miss Cecilia Gordon||Roxburgh House (Formerly|
On Sunday 10th January, after the Communion Service, soup was served in the hall by the Social Committee. This was to raise money for the Church of Scotland towards their HIV/Aids Project. This event was very well supported and the soup and tea/coffee were welcomed on a very wintery lunchtime. Many people at church had not found it easy to get around during the previous two weeks and there was a lovely warm atmosphere in the hall as everyone caught up with Christmas and New Year. £400 was raised for the Project and once again St Mark’s members showed that they enjoy getting together and smiling whilst digging deeply into their pockets.
Legend of the Easter Lily
I was going to print the legend of the Easter Lily but when I started to research I found far too many legends and none of them matched, however there was one that I would like to believe:
When Christ arose on Easter morn
In glory and in grace,
He walked within the garden
Making it a Holy place.
For everywhere the Saviour walked
A pure white lily grew,
And shed its fragrance on the air
To scent the morning dew.
And still the Easter Lilies grow
And blossom on the way,
As they flowered in Christ’s footsteps
On that first glad Easter Day.