Udny & Pitmedden Church Diary

Friday 10th December 2021


Welcome to the latest newsletter from
Udny & Pitmedden Parish Church.

This Sunday is the third in Advent. Advent starts off the church year and is a time of looking forward, anticipation and particularly of preparation. For the Sundays in December, I will be using Advent poetry and prose to focus our thoughts, not on Christmas, but on this special time of getting ready for Jesus coming. This week, I am using an article by Richard Rohr, from the Center for Action and Contemplation www.cac.org

“Come, Lord Jesus,” the Advent mantra, means that all of Christian history has to live out of a kind of deliberate emptiness, a kind of chosen non-fulfilment. Perfect fullness is always to come, and we do not need to demand it now. The theological virtue of hope keeps the field of life wide open and especially open to grace and to a future created by God rather than ourselves. This is exactly what it means to be “awake,” as the Gospel urges us! We can also use other a words for Advent: aware, alive, attentive, alert are all appropriate. Advent is, above all else, a call to full consciousness and also a forewarning about the high price of consciousness.

When we demand—or “hope for”—satisfaction from one another, when we demand any completion to history on our terms, when we demand that our anxiety or dissatisfaction be taken away, saying as it were, “Why weren’t you this for me? Why didn’t life do that for me?” we are refusing to say, “Come, Lord Jesus.” We are refusing to hold out for the full picture that is always still being given by God.

Old Testament scholar Walter Brueggemann views hope as trust in what God has done and will do, in spite of evidence to the contrary:

Hope in gospel faith is not just a vague feeling that things will work out, for it is evident that things will not just work out. Rather, hope is the conviction, against a great deal of data, that God is tenacious and persistent in overcoming the deathliness of the world, that God intends joy and peace. Christians find compelling evidence, in the story of Jesus, that Jesus, with great persistence and great vulnerability, everywhere he went, turned the enmity of society toward a new possibility, turned the sadness of the world toward joy, introduced a new regime where the dead are raised, the lost are found, and the displaced are brought home again.

“Come, Lord Jesus” is a leap into the kind of freedom and surrender that is rightly called the virtue of hope. Hope is the patient and trustful willingness to live without full closure, without resolution, and still be content and even happy because our satisfaction is now at another level, and our Source is beyond ourselves. We are able to trust that Christ will come again, just as Christ has come into our past, into our private dilemmas, and into our suffering world. Our Christian past then becomes our Christian prologue, and “Come, Lord Jesus” is not a cry of desperation but an assured shout of cosmic hope.

Please send in anything for the newsletter that you think deserves a wider audience – information, good news, a short article, offers of assistance, requests, prayer points. What do you want us to include?

email me at elainemoff@aol.com

Readings for this week:

Link to this week's Bible readings page

Sunday morning worship

The service for the 3rd Sunday in Advent will be led by Alan Doak and it will be available live on Zoom, and a recording will be on our Facebook page.

Link to Sunday's Zoom service

Zoom link:
http://us02web.zoom.us/j/87120275292?pwd=OEhJS0pPa0tvcE90VVBxMXIrMVF5UT09
Meeting ID: 871 2027 5292
Passcode: Udny

Duty elders: Carol Marr and Garth Entwistle
Readings: Isaiah 12:2-6, Luke 3:7-18


Mid Week Group

The discussion group is going to take a break, while we talk about what sort of group we want going forward – a Bible study, discussion group, book club… during the day or in the evening… weekly or less frequently? What would you like to be part of? Please get in touch and join the conversation


NEWS

The Formartine Churches Together working group will meet again at 7.30pm on Tuesday 14th December in Methlick Church.
Please pray for these teams, for kindness and understanding, wisdom, discernment, and unity of purpose.

For the next few months, we will have Rev Anthony Craig, a retired minister who lives in Collieston, and Rev Sheila Mitchell, the minister at Echt & Midmar as our Interim Moderators.

We have a group of dedicated knitters in the church, who, despite not being able to meet together as usual, have none-the-less completed 18 pram baby blankets, 24 woolly hats for seamen, 30 knee blankets (for Woodend Hospital and Malawi), and 250 baby sets (vests, hats and bootees), also for the Church of Scotland project in Malawi. These are sent via the Banana Box Trust, with each box costing £15 to send. Congratulations to the knitters! If you enjoy knitting and would like to join the group, please speak to Joey Sleigh

Formartine Churches Together News Brief No 3

Working Group Meeting (Number 2) Tarves Church, Tuesday 9 November 2021, 7:30pm SAt our second meeting in Tarves Parish Church on 9 November we began to formulate our vision and purpose and we explored one possible model of future ministry for the area. Again, there was a sense of excitement and enthusiasm and God’s leading as we looked at the challenges together. We will continue to look at these items and their implications at our next meeting on Tuesday 14 December 2021, 7:30pm at Methlick Parish Church.
In the meantime, we have agreed that from the beginning of next year, Will Stalder and Alison Swindells will preach at Udny & Pitmedden once a month so that we can begin to get to know the people of this part of our area and they can get to know us.
We would like to hear from you! We believe communication is really important, but we also believe that communication is a two-way street. While we hope to communicate often and clearly throughout this process, we also want to listen, hear any questions or ideas you might have about the churches working together. Please free to contact your minister or Interim Moderator and we will be happy to feed your thoughts back to the Working Group. The more input we have from church and community the better.
Tarves and Barthol Chapel Rev. Dr. Alison Swindells - aswindells@churchofscotland.org.uk
Udny & Pitmedden Rev. Anthony Craig - aacraig@btinternet.com
Rev. Sheila Mitchell - SMitchell@churchofscotland.org.uk
Methlick Rev. Dr. Will Stalder - wstalder@churchofscotland.org.uk
Until we speak again, please pray, and we will do our best to communicate with everybody at each stage in the process. God’s richest blessings to you and your church and community!
Rev. Dr. Will Stalder, Minister of Methlick Parish Church Rev. Dr. Alison Swindells, Minister of Tarves and Barthol Chapel Ministers of the Formartine Area Churches. Friday 12 November 2021

Life and Work have produced a FREE four-page COP26 Special Supplement available now at

https://www.lifeandwork.org/resources/cop26-special-supplement

The purpose of this publication is to enable congregations to engage before, during and after COP26 and also signpost resources. Also, the November issue of the magazine published today has a focus on COP26 and Remembrance. Anyone that is not a subscriber and interested in this particular issue can purchase a single print or digital copy at https://www.lifeandwork.org/subscribe

Plans for Christmas have started! Early in December there will be a family craft and story event to launch the new Kids’ Club. It is hoped to have family worship in the early evening on Christmas Eve, and a traditional Watchnight service with readings and carols by candlelight. More information soon… If you would like to get involved with any of these events, contact Elaine

mainly music, our weekly group for pre-primary children and their carers, is looking for helpers. There are a variety of ways you could get involved, from setting up, helping with refreshments, holding babies, chatting to carers, doing the techy stuff… weekly, monthly, or just occasionally. Please get in touch with Fiona

Many of you will know that we recently applied for a grant to upgrade our AV equipment and have received the good news that we have been successful. With the guidance and advice of our tech expert we will be taking this forward as soon as possible. If you would like to be part of the AV team who will undergo training on it's correct use, and be part of a rota to cover services, please let me know asap

The churches in our parish grouping, Methlick, Tarves and Udny & Pitmedden, have started a joint prayer group, meeting on Zoom, currently at 7.30pm on Wednesday evenings. The format includes a Bible reading as intro and a time to chat. Please join us

Click here to link to our parish group prayer meeting

Please check out the Church of Scotland website (link below)
www.churchofscotland.org.uk

Here you will find all sorts of interesting articles and resources. See what decisions made at the Assembly will mean for us, read inspiring stories from churches around Scotland, and keep in touch with the latest developments in our denomination’s life and witness

Being the church, a worshipping, caring community, is challenging when we are not able to meet together or visit people in their homes. Zoom meetings, phone calls, letters and emails can fill some gaps, but there is a danger that someone will be missed, or will have needs that are not being met. If you can think of something more we could be doing, or know of someone who needs help in any way, please contact elainemoff@aol.com, and we can organise appropriate contact and assistance

The Udny COVID 19 Assistance fund is managed by the church and exists to give financial support to anyone in the wider parish. If you, or anyone you know, needs help, please contact one of these people, in strict confidence. Fiona Entwistle 01651 842412, Debbie Smith 01651 842446, Paul Bailey 07803 501960, Alison Green 07771 996537

Parish Prayer Pointers

Please pray, not only for our elders and congregation, but for the churches in our Parish Grouping – Tarves, Barthol Chapel and Methlick. Pray that our ministers and elders would find positive ways of working together and that our relationships with our neighbours would develop and deepen

Between us, we will know a lot of people, both in the parish and wider afield, who are finding life tough – the bereaved, those who are ill, those struggling financially, those caring for young children… Pray for them by name, regularly, and give thanks as you see your prayers being answered, even when it’s not in ways you might expect

Pray for politicians and leaders, as they continue to tackle the huge issues we face as a country

The whole world is working to overcome coronavirus. Give thanks for the development of vaccines, and pray for scientists, medics and healthcare staff, as well as many other key workers, who daily put themselves at risk for the good of others

We are so fortunate in many ways. As you count your blessings, remember those in countries where war, ‘natural’ disasters, widespread poverty and corrupt government make life precarious

Do you have something you would like to add to this prayer list?
or would you like our prayer team to pray confidentially for an individual or a specific situation?
please email Elaine at elainemoff@aol.com

Quote for the week

No one has greater love than this, to lay down one’s life for one’s friends. You are my friends if you do what I command you. (John 15:13-14)