Winter 2010

Letter from Rev Diane Hobson BA(Hons) BD(Hons)
Winter 2010

Diane Hobson BA(Hons) BD(Hons) 2010 -

“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

Rev Diane Hobson
We had the Induction Service and Social for our new Minister, Rev Diane Hobson, on Thursday evening 28th October. After the enjoyable and moving service in the Church we had a lovely social evening in the hall.
At the social a formal welcome was given by David Yacamini with a bouquet of flowers being presented to Diane. Diane replied with a short speech.  St Mark’s Players, Garry Watson and the Scottish Country Dancers accompanied by Kathleen, St Mark’s organist, entertained everyone and a St Mark’s supper was served.
Presentations were made to Rev Mark Rodgers our interim Moderator and Michael Phillippo our Locum for all their hard work during the vacancy. A bouquet of flowers was presented to Monica Phillippo.
A life long friend of Diane, June McGilvray, spoke warmly about Diane the person who we all hope to know better as time passes.  We are working closely with Diane to help her settle in to become a part of our Church Family.  We all hope that she is going to be very happy here at St Mark’s.
It will take time for Diane to get to know everybody but I am sure that you will find her a friend as well as a minister,
God bless
Marjorie and Ian
Session Clerk(s
Induction of Rev Diane Hobson
For those members of St Mark’s who were not able to be present at the Induction of Diane, below is the part of the Service where  St Mark’s members answered questions asked of them and made promises on behalf of the congregation of St Mark’s.
Questions to Congregation were asked:
 Do you, the people of this congregation, in receiving Diane Hobson whom you have called to be your minister, offer her your welcome and promise her your encouragement and support?
We do.
Do you each now agree to share with your minister the responsibility for Christian witness and Christian service?
We do.
And will you give of your time, talents and money for the work of the Church in the world?
We will.
Three members of the congregation then, one at a time, gave a Bible, pitcher and communion cup to Diane with the following words:
A Bible was presented to the minister –
Valerie Kemp It is through scripture that we are called to be Christ’s Body.  Teach us so that we may be true to the Gospel.
Diane Hobson Together may we listen for the Word of God.
Congregation In our words and in our lives may we declare the Good News to all people.
A pitcher of water was brought to the minister –
Oonagh Watt By water and the Holy Spirit we are claimed as God’s own.  Renew us in our calling as Servants of Christ in the world.
Diane  Together may we live out our baptism as a loving community in Christ.
Congregation May we nurture one another in faith, uphold one another in prayer and encourage one another in service.
A communion chalice and salver was brought to the minister –
Malcolm Steel  In celebrating Holy Communion, we know Christ is present among us.  Gather us round the Table that we may be united as His body.
Diane  Together may we celebrate the Meal of the Kingdom.
Congregation We shall always be ready to meet Christ in this place and show in our lives the promise of his reconciliation.
The Ministers who took part in the service were Moderator Rev Dr Nigel Parker, Clerk/Leader of Worship Rev George S Cowie and the Preacher was Rev Scott Rennie.

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?

 Alex McConochie
Congregational Treasurer
Circle of CareCircle of care

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.

Margaret Donald
01224 591942


Church of Scotland Social Care

Extracts from the ‘09’ review.
‘The wind of change can blow like a hurricane through society and our lives but at CrossReach we are still committed to providing outstanding levels of care and support for those who need it most in Scotland.
It is a credit to every single one of the 2,000 committed and enthusiastic staff that, whilst having to address the financial challenges in the last year, they have continued to provide continuity and quality of service to our many service users.’
Margaret Donald
01224 591942
FriendshipThe Guild Of Friendship

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

Costa RicaCosta Rica/Nicaragua Fundraiser
by Stuart Christie

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.

The fundraiser

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.

StrollersThe Strollers

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.

December January February March April
Tuesday 14 11 1 22 15 5 26
Saturday  4 22 12 5 26 16

Contact Margaret Donald for details of the walks.
Margaret Donald
01224 591942

MalawiBaxter’s Inverness 10K

You may remember in the last edition of the Messenger, I was asking for sponsorship for the Inverness 10K run on 3rd October. I am pleased to report that despite very wet and cold conditions, I completed the race in a time of 51:35, much faster than I had anticipated. Thank you to everyone who gave so generously. The final sum raised for Aberdeen Presbytery’s Boreholes for Blantyre fund was £450. Believe me; every single penny spurred me on!
Now that I’ve been bitten by the running bug, I would like to organise a team to take part in the Baker Hughes 10K run in Aberdeen next May. You don’t have to be the next Linford Christie to join in. The St Mark’s team will definitely have its emphasis on fun! More details will follow in the Spring issue, but in the meantime if anyone with a connection to St Mark’s (members, relatives, friends) would like to run to send vital resources to Blantyre, please speak to me or e-mail me.
The Christmas Pot Luck Lunch takes place/took place (depending on when you are reading this) on Sunday 5 December. The usual fare of sandwiches, pies, salads, cheeses and deserts brought by the congregation to share with one another ensures an excellent time of food and fellowship was had by all. It also gives an opportunity to reflect on our partnership with Mpachika and hear the latest news from their congregation. This will be our first Pot Luck Lunch after our visit from Rose and Mary so it is the perfect time to focus on our strong link with Malawi.
Valerie Kemp
Malawi Visit September 2010
On Friday 10th September the visitors from Malawi joined Colin Thomson and they visited a farm and Thainstone Mart at Inverurie.
Kevin Gilbert welcomed the visitors to Womblehill Farm and they were shown round the farrowing houses and saw the newly born pigs, Kevin then took everyone on a tour round the farm to see the cattle and then had their photos taken in the cab of a combine.  Even the rain did not dampen our spirits.
A tour of the Mart followed where sheep and cattle were being sold and lunch was served with a brief talk given by Alan Hutcheon explaining how the Mart works with some details on prices and numbers of animals sold.
On the journey home we were treated to the group practicing their singing and we still remember the looks on the faces of people when the bus pulled up at traffic lights hearing the beautiful singing coming from the bus.
On their last Sunday in church Mary and Rose were presented with a Quaich to use as a Christening vessel and outdoor equipment for the children by the Sunday School.
The time they spent in Scotland was non stop and they visited many places including the David Livingstone Centre in Blantyre near Glasgow.

Add ChangeChange of Address

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
Balnagask Crescent
Mr Keith & Mrs Valerie Mann Craig Road, Ellon to
Crimmond Drive, Ellon
Mrs Catherine Thomson Stevenson Court to
Forestgait, Kings Gate

Memb DeathDeaths

‘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

tree02For the past few years members have been asked to consider making a Christmas Gift to St Mark’s just like they give gifts to family and friends.

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.

Merry Christmas
Alex McConochie

Flower List

Date Supply Distribution
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.