Old High St. Stephen's, Inverness

Welcome to Old High St Stephen's Church, Inverness

Month: December 2018

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Sunday Bulletin 9 December 2018

WORSHIP THIS WEEK

Sunday 16 December 2018 : The Third Sunday of Advent

10 am Morning Worship at St Stephen’s

11:15am Morning Worship at the Old High

NEWS FROM OUR CONGREGATION

For contact details contact the Church Administrator

PASTORAL CARE Peter, or your Elder, should be informed of anyone ill at home or in hospital.

EMAIL NEWSLETTER This week we sent out the first of an occasional newssheet to those of you who have provided us with e-mail addresses. If you would like to receive the newsletter, and any future ones, and you have not already done so, please send your e-mail address to invernesschurch<at>gmail.com.

PALESTINIAN HANDCRAFTS STALL Today (9 December) Iwill be running a stall in St Stephen’s with a selection of Palestinianhandcrafts. These are beautifully made and can make a perfect Christmaspresent. For many Palestinian households the women have become the sole wageearners, and these traditional crafts have become a vital source of income.Details at www.hadeel.org 

OHSS CHURCH MAGAZINE The magazine will be available for distributors to uplift next Sunday (16 December). Jennifer Morrison

SUNDAY EVENING DISCUSSION GROUP the meeting on 9December has been postponed until 16 December, when we shall discuss the final 2 chapters of Philip Yansey’s book. Andrew Stevenson

ST STEPHEN’S CHURCH AND COMMUNITY CHOIRS Christmas Concerts at 7.30m on Wednesday 19 and Thursday 20 December 2018. This year’s proceeds will go to the Birnie Centre Toddler Group and Mikeysline. Tickets from Susan MacLeod

CHRISTMAS EVE SERVICE FOR ADULTS & CHILDREN OF ALL AGES A congregation-led serviceat St Stephen’s on Monday 24 December 2018 at 6.30 pm. Do come along and bring family and friends for a short, informal service with carols, lessons and simple activities for the children. We would be very grateful if you could lend us some ‘props’ for the evening, eg toy sheep, donkeys, stars, angels etc. Contact Malcolm Stevens (230882) or Andrew Stevenson for information. We will also have our usual All-Age Service at 10.30am on Christmas Day: bring our favourite Christmas presents along to show us!

FOOD FOR FAMILIES PROJECT Following another successful year, I am delighted that the project will go ahead once again this year. Last year we provided 2,500 meals, which was a fantastic effort from all the teams involved, and be assured all meals were gratefully received by individuals and families who were in need. We hope to maintain the number of meals delivered this year. Over the last seven years we have all helped to provide 18,200 meals! This year we will cook mince and tatties. All ingredients are provided, and I have put us down for cooking w/c 3 December and w/c 7 January with all meals being delivered by Friday 11 January. The process will be the same as before with the ingredients being delivered for cooking and the cooked meals being picked up by Gateway. The meals will be frozen prior to delivery to local schools, community centres and to families who have been referred from agencies such as Social Work, NHS Highland, Councillors, local community groups and local churches. If you wish to participate please contact Christine MacKenzie

HIGHLAND FOOD BANK (HFB) Lorna Dempster has written thanking the congregations of Old High St Stephen’s for their Harvest donations to the food bank which amounted to a magnificent 182 kgs of food. She has said that HFB and the thousands who are helped each year greatly appreciate the generosity. For December and January they would be very grateful to receive jars of coffee, packets of oatcakes, tins of corned beef, cartons of long life fruit juice, tins of ham. Many thanks for your continuing support. Margaret Neville

GIVINGTREES are now at both churches, so we ask for a thought to be given to those who sadlymay not get any sort of small gift at Christmas. This can mean a lot!:

WORSHIP TIMES Please note there was a misprint last week in Month of Sundays, our lists of services for December. Our services for Christmas Day and St Stephen’s Day are at 10.30am. You can download the Month of Sundays from our website.

St Stephen’s Gifts will be distributed to Beechwood, Cale House, Manna House, Mackenzie Centre, Hilton Village (Social Work) and Porterfield Prisoners’ Children. Please wrap your gift and remember to attach the appropriate gift tag for ease of identification and distribution. Please ensure that any remaining gifts are given to me no later than Friday 14 December. Further details Cliff Sim (225481).

Old High (in the East Corridor). We will be providing gifts for homeless people, and any of the following would be appreciated – gloves, hats, scarves, socks, underwear or toiletries. A little extra such as a Mars bar or some sweets would be a nice surprise. Gateway advise that at present there are 12 ladies and 28 men who are homeless. Additional gifts would be appreciated for unexpected situations. Wrapped gifts should be returned by Sunday 16 December. Further information from Sheila MacLeod or Liz McKimmie.

HEALING SERVICE Christian Fellowship of Healing (Highlands) will hold a healing service at St Stephen’s today (9 December) at 4pm to which all are welcome. Contact David Martin (232 457).

CROSSREACH Prayer diary October 2018 to January 2019, Newsletter, and Christmas catalogue now available at church doors. Rae Swan

SUNDAY BULLETIN Please send items for this sheet to our Church Administrator: Mrs Pat MacLeod (079 342 85924 invernesschurch@gmail.com. Deadline Wednesday at 12 noon. Please keep items as brief as possible, and include contact details and/or e-mail.

OTHER NEWS

REASONS FORHOPE AT CHRISTMAS Seminar today (9 December) at CulduthelChristian Centre, Culduthel Avenue IV2 6AS. An opportunity to be equipped for living out and sharing ourfaith at Christmas. Two AfternoonSeminars 4.30-5.30pm (Chris Dowling and Alasdair Macleod).  Main Session 6–7.15pm ‘The perfectgift’ (Andy Bannister). To bookcontact Jenny Sinclair or online at culduthelchristiancentre.churchsuite.co.uk.

VOCATIONS INFORMATION DAY on Saturday 9 February at St John’s Episcopal Church, Princes Street, Edinburgh. The day includes an inspirational keynote speech on the Call to Serve Today, practical information and the opportunity to ask important questions about how God might be calling you. We’d like to encourage you to think of anyone you might want to make aware of this opportunity.  It is an engaging day, with the opportunity to mix with many at the same stage of exploration, and to hear about the different forms of ministry service in the Church of Scotland. The Vocations Information Day remains the first step in the Discernment Process for anyone wanting to explore the recognised ministries of the Church.  Please help us encourage others to explore their call to service further. Spaces are limited – booking essential. To register, contact Ministries Council, 121 George Street, Edinburgh, EH2 4YN vocation<at>churchofscotland.org.uk

Signs of the times: sermon for the Second Sunday of Advent 2018

Scripture readings: 1 Thessalonians 3:9-13

Luke 21:25-36

In the name of God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit, Amen.

In our culture, we expect this build-up to Christmas to be a busy time of preparation, a mad rush of shopping, preparing food, putting up decorations, getting ready for family visits, enjoying the office party and the works night out. And we clergy are as bad as everyone else, and everyone else knows it, which is why we are so often greeted with ‘This will be your busy time of year’.

For many folk, the pre-Christmas season is very enjoyable- choosing presents for loved ones, baking special Advent and Christmas food, putting up a Christmas tree, enjoying a works night out. But for some it is not so easy. For some people, this is the time they get into debt. There are parents worried about how they can afford to give children the Christmas they deserve. For those who are lonely, or anxious, or bereaved, this enforced jollity can be a bit much.

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Christmas and New Year Services

Our Programme of Services for Christmas and New Year 2018 can be downloaded here

Sunday Bulletin 2 December 2018

WORSHIP THIS WEEK
Sunday 9 December 2018: Second Sunday of Advent
10 am Morning Worship at St Stephen’s
11:15am Morning Worship at the Old High
NEWS FROM OUR CONGREGATION
Contact Details from our Church Administrator.
PASTORAL CARE Peter, or your Elder, should be informed of anyone ill at home or in hospital.
PALESTINIAN HANDCRAFTS STALL Today and next Sunday (9 December) I will be running a stall in St Stephen’s with a selection of Palestinian handcrafts. These are beautifully made and can make a perfect Christmas present. For many Palestinian households the women have become the sole wage earners, and these traditional crafts have become a vital source of income. Details at www.hadeel.org Andy Pyott
SOUTHSIDE NURSING HOME There will be a short service, led by Isobel Allan, at Southside Nursing Home immediately after this morning’s service at St Stephen’s. If you are able to assist with the singing, or chatting to the residents, this would be much appreciated. Please speak to Isobel after the service. We still also seek members willing to lead these services on a rota basis. Please contact Janet Robertson
ST STEPHEN’S CHURCH AND COMMUNITY CHOIRS Christmas Concerts at 7.30m on Wednesday 19 and Thursday 20 December 2018. This year’s proceeds will go to the Birnie Centre Toddler Group and Mikeysline. Tickets from Susan MacLeod.
FOOD FOR FAMILIES PROJECT Following another successful year, I am delighted that the project will go ahead once again this year. Last year we provided 2,500 meals, which was a fantastic effort from all the teams involved, and be assured all meals were gratefully received by individuals and families who were in need. We hope to maintain the number of meals delivered this year. Over the last seven years we have all helped to provide 18,200 meals! This year we will cook mince and tatties. All ingredients are provided, and I have put us down for cooking w/c 3 December and w/c 7 January with all meals being delivered by Friday 11 January. The process will be the same as before with the ingredients being delivered for cooking and the cooked meals being picked up by Gateway. The meals will be frozen prior to delivery to local schools, community centres and to families who have been referred from agencies such as Social Work, NHS Highland, Councillors, local community groups and local churches. If you wish to participate please contact Christine MacKenzie
GIVING TREES are now at both churches, so we ask for a thought to be given to those who sadly may not get any sort of small gift at Christmas. This can mean a lot!:
St Stephen’s-Today:. Please choose a label from the Tree and return the red bow for future use. Details of the gifts required are on the labels. Please wrap your gifts, attaching the label for identification and return them NEXT WEEK for subsequent distribution. Gifts are for Beechwood, Cale House, Manna House, Mackenzie Centre, Hilton Village (Social Work) and Porterfield Prisoners’ Children. Info from Cliff Sim.
Old High (in the East Corridor) from TODAY. We will be providing gifts for homeless people, and any of the following would be appreciated – gloves, hats, scarves, socks, underwear or toiletries. A little extra such as a Mars bar or some sweets would be a nice surprise. Gateway advise that at present there are 12 ladies and 28 men who are homeless. Additional gifts would be appreciated for unexpected situations. Wrapped gifts should be returned by Sunday 16 December. Further information from Sheila MacLeod or Liz McKimmie.
OLD HIGH ST STEPHEN’S WINTER WALK AND AFTERNOON TEA today. A short walk, about 30-40 minutes, from Muirtown Locks to Clachnaharry. Cuppa afterwards at the Jammy Piece (JP) cafe at Muirtown Locks. Meet St Stephen’s car park at 2pm for car sharing or at Muirtown Locks beside the JP cafe at 2.15pm, or join us for a cuppa there at 3pm. If the weather is inclement we will still meet for the refreshments. Contact Deborah Macrae or Jennifer Morrison for more details.
WORSHIP TIMES Please note there was a misprint last week in Month of Sundays, our lists of services for December. Our services for Christmas Day and St Stephen’s Day are at 10.30am. You can download the Month of Sundays from our website.
CRAFT EVENING St Stephen’s Hall 7.30–9pm, Wednesday 5 December. Crafters and non-crafters welcome (you may wish to learn a craft). Friendly atmosphere and refreshments provided. Margaret McAleer.
HEALING SERVICE Christian Fellowship of Healing (Highlands) will hold a healing service at St Stephen’s next Sunday (9 December) at 4pm to which all are welcome. Contact David Martin.
CROSSREACH Prayer diary October 2018 to January 2019, Newsletter, and Christmas catalogue now available at church doors. Rae Swan.
SUNDAY BULLETIN Please send items for this sheet to our Church Administrator: Mrs Pat MacLeod (079 342 85924 invernesschurch<at>gmail.com. Deadline Wednesday at 12 noon. Please keep items as brief as possible, and include contact details and/or e-mail.
OTHER NEWS
THE INVERNESS SINGERS present CAROLS AT THE CROWN on Wednesday 5 December at 7.30pm in the Crown Church. Programme of of well-loved Christmas songs and congregational carols. Donations to Mikeysline. Parking in the Crown School playground. Admission by programme (adults £8, children/students £4) from the Music Shop, Church Street, Ken and Margaret Young and at the door.
REASONS FOR HOPE AT CHRISTMAS Seminar on Sunday 9 December at Culduthel Christian Centre, Culduthel Avenue IV2 6AS. An opportunity to be equipped for living out and sharing our faith at Christmas. Two Afternoon Seminars 4.30-5.30pm (Chris Dowling and Alasdair Macleod). Main Session 6–7.15pm ‘The perfect gift’ (Andy Bannister). To book contact Jenny Sinclair or online at culduthelchristiancentre.churchsuite.co.uk.
VOCATIONS INFORMATION DAY on Saturday 9 February at St John’s Episcopal Church, Princes Street, Edinburgh. The day includes an inspirational keynote speech on the Call to Serve Today, practical information and the opportunity to ask important questions about how God might be calling you. We’d like to encourage you to think of anyone you might want to make aware of this opportunity. It is an engaging day, with the opportunity to mix with many at the same stage of exploration, and to hear about the different forms of ministry service in the Church of Scotland. The Vocations Information Day remains the first step in the Discernment Process for anyone wanting to explore the recognised ministries of the Church. Please help us encourage others to explore their call to service further. Spaces are limited – booking essential. To register, contact Ministries Council, 121 George Street, Edinburgh, EH2 4YN xvocation<at>churchofscotland.org.uk

The time is coming… Sermon for The First Sunday of Advent 2018

Scripture Readings:

Jeremiah 33:14-18

Luke 3.1-20

In the name of God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit, Amen.

We may be governed currently by people who think that experts aren’t important, but I love to listen to an expert who knows his stuff and can explain it to the rest of us- whether it’s David Attenborough on wildlife or Brian Cox on astronomy, or Neil Oliver on history. And I do love Melvyn Bragg’s Radio 4 show, In Our Time, with the best people in their field (there was an excellent one on Dietrich Bonhoeffer recently).

A few weeks ago I heard an expert give a fascinating talk.

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