Newsletter

CHURCH SERVICES

We are open for worship! 

Now that restrictions have eased, we are returning to face-to-face worship in the church building.  We are still taking precautions to keep everyone safe, including mask wearing, more space between seats, and hand sanitiser available at the door, and enhanced cleaning after every service.  If you would like to join us for worship at 11am on Sundays, there is no need to book. 

 

If you don’t feel ready to attend face to face worship yet, you are most welcome to join Banchory East or West churches on zoom or livestream.  See https://www.banchorywestchurch.com or https://www.banchoryeastchurch.com for more details. 

FROM OUR MINISTER

Communion 

On Sunday 5th of December, we will be celebrating Communion.  In order to reduce the risk of transmitting COVID, this will be a ‘bring your own’ Communion, so if you would like to take part, please bring along something suitable to eat and drink.  There will be some spare pre-packaged oatcakes and juice at church on the day in case anyone forgets. 

Toy Appeal for the Salvation Army 

We will be collecting toys for the Salvation Army Christmas gift appeal on Sunday the 12th of December.  If you would like to contribute, please bring a new toy for a child of any age to church that day.  You may provide wrapping paper if you wish, but toys should be unwrapped so that those distributing them can give them to the most appropriate child

Lectionary for the week:

Monday, December 6, 2021: Psalm 126; Isaiah 40:1-11; Romans 8:22-25

Tuesday, December 7, 2021: Psalm 126; Isaiah 19:18-25; 2 Peter 1:2-15

Wednesday, December 8, 2021: Psalm 126; Isaiah 35:3-7; Luke 7:18-30

Thursday, December 9, 2021: Isaiah 12:2-6; Amos 6:1-8; 2 Corinthians 8:1-15

Friday, December 10, 2021: Isaiah 12:2-6; Amos 8:4-12; 2 Corinthians 9:1-15

Saturday, December 11, 2021: Isaiah 12:2-6; Amos 9:8-15; Luke 1:57-66              

                                                                          FIRESIDE REFLECTION 

 

Donald Farquharson writes:

 

“The grass withers, the flower fades…” Isaiah 40:7

Life is both beautiful and fragile. If we have learnt anything over the past year and three quarters, it is the proximity of beauty to sorrow, resilience to fragility. Each in our own way - and some more than others - we have been challenged over the past 18 months by the persistence of a pandemic, which at first merely challenged our sang-froid (ironic in using a French term for what we regard a particular national characteristic!) and then, in failing to recede, our stamina. 

Nassim Taleb’s book “Anti-fragile” starts: “Some things benefit from shocks; they thrive and grow when exposed to volatility, randomness, disorder, and stressors and love adventure, risk, and uncertainty. Yet, in spite of the ubiquity of the phenomenon, there is no word for the exact opposite of fragile. Let us call it anti-fragile. Anti-fragility is beyond resilience or robustness. The resilient resists shocks and stays the same; the anti-fragile gets better.”

James reminds us in his Epistle of the fragility of life, “Come now, you who say, ‘Today or tomorrow we will go into such and such a town and spend a year there and trade and make a profit’—yet you do not know what tomorrow will bring. What is your life? For you are a mist that appears for a little time and then vanishes” (James 4:13-14).

Our lives are fragile. We are like a vapour—here today and gone tomorrow. And yet our faith in God through Jesus is a unique pathway of anti-fragility. Paul put it this way in his letter to the Romans:

“Therefore, since we have been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. Through him we have also obtained access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and we rejoice in hope of the glory of God. Not only that, but we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not put us to shame, because God's love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us.” (Romans 5:1-5)

To live well we need to know both the beauty and the fragility of human life. If we learn from these things, we will be both thankful toward God and humble before Him. 

 

“Let love be genuine. Abhor what is evil; hold fast to what is good. Love one another with brotherly affection. Outdo one another in showing honour. Do not be slothful in zeal, be fervent in spirit, serve the Lord. Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer.” (Romans 12:9-12)