Winter 2009 Messenger Archive

Welcome to the Messenger Archive for Winter 2009

Letter from Michael Phillippo

Presence for Presents

Winter 2009

Only a few days left until Christmas! Cards to write, presents bought and sent…. Christmas is always so busy that we hardly get time to consider what it’s all about. Presence for Presents – that’s odd!

We are so used to accessing things instantly. E-mail cards, Amazon for books, gifts at the touch of a button, gift cards and vouchers, even balloons, chocolates and flowers for those special people! We hardly need to spare a thought for the person receiving the gift. It was so different at the first Christmas – for God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son – when the right time had come. A lot of thought went into the first Christmas – the present was a person, Jesus the Saviour, God with us.

It’s important to keep on giving at this time of year (and at other times as well!) but think about Presence for Presents. Maybe the person doesn’t want another thing – they would prefer YOU to see them, visit them, spend time with them. Christmas can be lonely for people as it brings back memories of missed loved ones – they need a person alongside. Could you become the Immanuel, ‘God with us’ person for them? It takes time and effort but compare it to the planning for the first Christmas.

Thanks be to God for his unspeakable gift

Freely, freely you have received;

freely, freely give;

go in my Name

and because you believe

others will know that I live

A Note from the Treasurer

At the Congregational Board meeting in October I reported that income for the quarter ended 30 September was £76,500 with expenditure at £72,000, a surplus of £4,500.  However this hides the true story.  In each of the three individual quarters this year we have produced a deficit in relation to ordinary income and expenditure.  The surplus arises from the reclaim of income tax paid on Free Will Offerings last year.  By the year end I expect the surplus to have been used up and we will be lucky to break even.

My message to the Board was that we had two choices, either improve our income or reduce our expenditure.  In the previous “Messenger” I pointed out that being in vacancy was likely to increase our expenditure, rather than reduce it and so improving our income is what we must do.

I have two suggestions therefore which I hope every single member will pay heed to and take immediate action.

  1. Consider the amount of your offering, compare it to your other spending, how does it compare, can you improve it, can you give more regularly, how about a standing order?
  2. Included with the magazine there is a Christmas Gift Envelope, please consider what you will be spending on Christmas presents to family and friends, how much is your church worth as part of your family?  Please give generously.

I know the current economic climate is not good and that we all have different priorities.  Where does St Mark’s sit on your list of priorities?  Read Mark Ch 12 V 41 – 44.

Compare your Spending and your Offering
TV Licence cost a week £2.74
Total cost for a Year £142.50
Isn’t there more to see with Christ?
Evening Express 6 nights a week £2.40
Sunday Post once a week £1.00
Weekly Read £3.40
Isn’t the Good News of Jesus worth more than this?
 Lunch in the OAK Cafe (Main course)  £2.50
 One meal a day for a week (7 days)  £17.50
  Isn’t the spiritual food of Christ worth more?
 A tank of petrol, once a week, (at least)  £30.00
  Isn’t your journey with the Lord worth as much?

There are many more examples you can consider for yourself.  Please think about them.  Please think where your priorities in life are.  Where does your faith come on the list?

How much is your Church really worth to you? 

Circle of Care

The Circle of Care communion and Afternoon Tea on Sunday 11th October was well attended and enjoyed by all. As always we are very grateful to all who give of their time and work so hard to bring such an enormous amount of pleasure to our elderly.

Margaret Donald

01224 591942


CrossReach realises that people with learning difficulties need a certain level of support but that it is also important for them to take as much responsibility for themselves as is possible.  There is help for them to do so wherever they live.  Some have their own tenancies while others are in residential units.  Some of these also provide short breaks to allow those with learning difficulties to enjoy a change as well as giving the families or carers much needed respite.

Margaret Donald

01224 591942

 The Guild Of Friendship

At the time of writing this, we have only had one meeting when our guest, Marion Dey, gave a very interesting talk.

We were delighted to welcome four new members and also two ladies who, due to illness, had been unable to attend for the last couple of years.

There is always a warm welcome to anyone who wishes to come along on a Monday afternoon.

Any further details required, please telephone me:

 Pat Skene 01224 642293

Scottish Country Dancing

Dancing finishes on Wednesday 9th December with a Party Night and resumes on Wednesday 6th January.

Margaret Brown

The Strollers

The Strollers really had to be hardy or were they foolhardy when they walked along the Deeside Railway Line on Saturday 3rd October?  When wind was at times almost gale force.  They thought they would be more sheltered there but they were wrong!  Nevertheless they did enjoy the outing.  The next will be on the following dates.

December January February March April
Tuesday 10.00am 15 12 2 23 18 6 27
Saturday 2.00pm 5 23 13 6 27 1

Contact Margaret Donald for details of the walks.

Margaret Donald

01224 591942

The St Mark’s Malawi Committee

The update below was received from Mary Ngwira in Malawi in September.


For the kitchen project we are at roofing stage as John promised to send us money for the roofing. We have received the funds, about £2000 (St Mark’s £1500 plus £500 from John Watson).  It has taken about three weeks if not a month to get cleared by the bank. It was only yesterday when we were called by the bank that our money has finally been cleared. Converting in Malawi Kwacha its about MKw458,161.51. We are sure if we buy iron sheets and other materials ourselves we will manage to finish off the roofing stage, thereafter what will remain is finishing off, this will need extra funds i.e. plastering both in and out, floor cabinets etc, so that we can declare the kitchen is finished according to the plan. After finishing roofing we will sent you pictures and actual expenditures on roofing for both (material/labour charges).

Apart from the kitchen project we are also building offices behind the Church. I hope we showed you the plan that time you came. It is also on roofing stage. We had fund-raising (Big paper Sundays) on March quarter and June Quarter respectively. From the funds we accumulated from 1st quarter we started with foundation, from 2nd quarter building walls inclusive of office rooms, now we are about to finish up to roofing level. We are planning for another big paper Sunday this quarter to have funds for roofing process.

The Woman’s Guild, with the machine you gave us, are busy sewing their uniforms for the big launch they are having on 4th October.  With the money you gave to the Woman’s Guild choir, they have managed to produce an Audio CD with which, I am sure, they will realise a lot of money after selling them from this launch.  We need your prayers and support so that these functions should be successful.

As for Sunday School, they are going for their final plays.  They participating with other Churches within the Blantyre Synod.  Some of our children got good grades on poems, drama, bible verses, gestures etc and were chosen to participate in the final draws this weekend at Presbytery Office.

These are the latest updates so far.

Greeting to you all and we love you all.



Change of Address

Miss Marjorie Forbes Woodgrove Care Home  to
Eastleigh Care Home



New Members by Certificate
Miss Elizabeth Dinnes Strachan Mill Court





Rev John, Mrs Jennifer & David Watson Newtonhill




‘He will surround you with love on that golden day’

27th September Mrs Flora Rennie Edinburgh
10th October Mr Douglas Daniel Inverurie



Nine of our St Mark’s members go on the third Sunday of each month to Foresterhill to take patients from their ward to the hospital Chapel and back to the ward again.  This is a service they all enjoy doing.

On Sunday 18th October  Mark Rodgers presented four of them with a certificate recognising their service over 10 or 20 years.

 20 years service
 Mary Caie
 Derek Caie
 Maurice McFarlane
 10 years service
 Lorraine Caie

St Nicholas Kirk was featured in the November magazine, just one of many interesting features in a new look Life and Work.

The history of the ‘mither kirk’ is told from its beginning in the 11th and 12th centuries.  After the Reformation in the 16th century St Nicholas was subdivided, one congregation meeting in the East Church and the other in the West Church, the latter fell into disrepair after 1690 when Presbyterian church government was reintroduced in the Church of Scotland.

In the 1750’s the West Church was replaced by a new building.  The medieval East Church was restored in 1835-37 but was gutted by fire in 1874 and rebuilt in 1875-77 with a granite spire.

The present congregation is known as St Nicholas Uniting. In 2002, because of dwindling membership, the St Nicholas congregation was joined with that of the nearby St Nicholas Congregational Church.

Currently the East Church is being developed as a modern worship place which is taking longer than originally  anticipated because of the excavation works revealing a Romanesque church.

This is a brief outline of the article with kind permission of Life and Work.

Ask Rosalyn Rennie about placing an order for this magazine and keep up-to-date with news from Church of Scotland, stories about faith at home and abroad and much more…..

Jesus Loves Me This I Know

Alternative Words


Jesus loves me this  I know

Though my hair is white as snow

Though my sight is growing dim

Still he bids me trust in Him

Though my steps are oh so slow

With my hand in his I’ll go

On through life, let come what may

He’ll be there to lead the way


Though I am no longer young

I have much, which He’s begun

Let me serve Christ with a smile

Go with others, the extra mile


When the nights are dark and long

In my heart, He puts a song

Telling me in words so dear

“Have no fear, for I am near”


When my work on earth is done

And life’s victories have been won

He will take me home above

Then I’ll understand His love