Udny & Pitmedden Church Diary

Friday 7th May 2021

Tree stump

I spotted this little plant this week, gamely growing in an unusual place. The tree stump, moss and plant are working together, cooperating in a way. The dead stump is providing a solid base for the others, and probably some nutrients, but it gains nothing from this arrangement, and might even rot more quickly as the top will be wetter. The moss has somewhere to grow, and in turn is providing moisture and a soft bed for the plant’s roots.

A little illustration from nature of altruism, sacrifice, working together, helping others… “friendship”?

And in the process providing colour and beauty and joy “for those who have eyes to see.”

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

email Elaine at elainemoff@aol.com

This week Gert writes

This is the sixth Sunday of Easter and Christian Aid Sunday. The lectionary readings touch on the theme of water, too much or too little, which runs through the Christian Aid Week focus on climate change in Kenya. These passages also help highlight the themes of love and joy that are central to the experience of Christian Aid Week. Love for our neighbours near and far inspires us to strive for an abundant life for all and brings us together to raise our voices and money. And from that connection and abundance comes joy.

Such a joy can be found in Psalm 98.
This is a Psalm of celebration and thanksgiving at the end, or in commemoration of, a significant time of trial. Perhaps for the children of Israel to sing after exodus or exile.
The nine verses can be considered in three sections.
Verses 1-3 begin with an exhortation to sing a new song and give reason for a different song of praise. A victory has been won, an overcoming accomplished because of the Lord’s strength, love and faithfulness.
Verses 4-6 extends this call to praise to all the earth. Giving instruction for this new song to be a joyful noise, full of instruments and melodious. As victory was repeated three times in vv.1-3, joyful and joyous are mentioned three times in vv.4-6. There is to be just as much joy as there was need for victory over the struggle in the first place.
Verses 7-9 unpack that invitation to “all the earth” mentioned in v.4.
People are just one of the many participants in praise of the victory of the Lord and God’s anticipated return. This new song will be creation’s song, not only the praise of people. In verses 7 and 8 “the world and those who live in it” sing alongside the roaring sea, the clapping hands of the floods and the singing hills in joyful anticipation of the Lord who is coming to set things right in the world. That is our prayer also for this Christian aid week, that God will set things right in our world. Hallelujah!

Readings for this week:

Acts 10:44-48
Psalm 98
1 John 5:1-6
John 15:9-17

Sunday Worship Meeting

Duty elders: Joey Sleigh

Time: 0th May, 2021 09:45 for 10:00 AM
Remember, we will be worshipping together in church this Sunday, but for those who want to join on Zoom live, here is the link. The service will also be posted afterwards on our Facebook page and our website
The usual precautions are in force, please stick with them a little longer – wear a mask, sanitise your hands on entry and exit, KEEP 2m DISTANCE AT ALL TIMES and save catching-up chat until you are outside.

https://us02web.zoom.us/j/86500495369?pwd=Rm5ZS0JOK25PWFZKa0FVYUJHbXdBdz09
Meeting ID: 865 0049 5369
Passcode: Udny

Discussion Group

You are invited to join us for our discussion group on Wednesday at 10am. It’s great to be able to catch up with people as well as have an interesting chat based on Sunday’s sermon, or on a question or comment raised by one of us.
Please join us – it’s very informal, you don’t have to speak if you don’t want to, and you can email questions or comments to Gert in advance.
Topic: Udny and Pitmedden Discussion Zoom Meeting
Time: Wednesday 12th May at 10:00 am
https://us02web.zoom.us/j/86920176805?pwd=MklQQlQ4SzNXalBqUWFjVm1UNXpWUT09
Meeting ID: 869 2017 6805
Passcode: Udny

NEWS

Because church events like Big Breakfast and Kirk Café have been on hold over the past months, we have some food supplies that are past, or nearing their use-by date – ground coffee, jams, etc. These will be put on a table in church – please help yourself

Lockdown is gradually easing and life is changing again. What is the future for the church, and UPPC in particular? What should we look like in a year’s time – how can we build our own faith and serve the community we live in? Gert would like to get together a small group of people - members and adherents of Udny and Pitmedden Church - who would like to be part of a visionary group to look into building the church and faith community in our Parish. If you would like to be part of this group please let Gert know, or send him your thoughts in an e-mail or text. As soon as possible, he will organise the first think-tank

Music is a great way to bring people together. You can enjoy working together on a project and build relationships. You can encompass all tastes and abilities and when all the work is done, you can bring delight to others! UPPC plans to start a music and singing group in Pitmedden, not only for our Church but also for the wider community. The aim is to get to know each other and the community better and of course to make music. We are thinking of a weekly get together to learn new music, possibly helping to lead worship some Sundays, and then maybe concerts and music evenings as determined by the group themselves. If you would be interested in joining such a group either as singer, musician playing an instrument or organiser with some experience in organising a music group please make contact with Gert.

Thy Kingdom Come 2021, Ascension Day to Pentecost Sunday:
Thursday 13 – Sunday 23 May

Martin Fair, the Moderator writes,
“So much of how we went about ‘doing Church’ has been denied us throughout the course of the pandemic, and who knows if perhaps some of our tried and tested practices may be lost to us forever. The upside is that we’ve been forced back into that which cannot be restricted, curtailed or locked down; the timeless disciplines of our faith, which remain available to us throughout every circumstance, the life of prayer and the contemplation of Scripture.
Tuesday 9 March, saw the launch of Thy Kingdom Come 2021. I believe that Thy Kingdom Come works because it is established on the twin pillars of prayer and Scripture. Now approaching its sixth season, it has become a genuinely significant part of the global and ecumenical calendar with Christians from across the wonderful diversity of the Church Universal coming together to pray. Running from Ascension Day to Pentecost Sunday, Thursday 13 to Sunday 23 May, it will unite people from over 170 countries and given what we have all been through, that coming together will never have been more important:

thykingdomcome.global/

Sometime in the Summer last year, when it appeared that the virus was on the retreat, people began to use the phrase ‘build back better’. Little did we know then that the second wave would be equally as devastating as the first. However, by May 2021 the roll-out of the various vaccines should be well under way such that many of us, and certainly the most vulnerable among us, will be feeling much safer. Building back better might well be what we’re thinking about in May, and with the culmination of Thy Kingdom Come 2021 on Pentecost Sunday coinciding with our own General Assembly, I can think of nothing better than that we give ourselves to adoration, confession, thanksgiving and supplication. I warmly commend Thy Kingdom Come 2021 to the whole Church and encourage you to put it in your diaries now and begin to explore the superb range of resources that will be available to you:
thykingdomcome.global/resources/new-2021
thykingdomcome.global/resources/tkc-2021-graphics
‘If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray…’ (2 Chronicles 7: 14)
With every blessing,
Rt Revd Dr W Martin Fair
Moderator of the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland

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 or Gert, 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

Gert can be contacted on 07510 670606 (phone calls, WhatsApp, text) or by email gvanrensburg@churchofscotland.org.uk
Please remember that he takes Friday as his day off and avoid contacting him then

Parish Prayer Pointers

You will know people in your own circle who are struggling just now – perhaps with their physical or mental health, bereavement, financial worries… talk to God about them, give them a phone, or find some other way to be a point of light in their darkness

Please pray, not only for our own minister, elders and congregation, but for the churches in our Parish Grouping – Tarves and 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)
The Trinity can be summed up as mutual friendship between three.
Absolute friendship!...At its best, human love and friendship are an extension of the divine love and friendship that exist at the heart of the Trinity. When we treat Jesus as a friend, it’s easy to focus on how the relationship benefits us and relieves our burdens, but there is more to friendship with Jesus than the blessings we receive. Knowing Jesus as a friend is a source of strength that impacts all our relationships in community and society. Knowing Jesus is a relationship so intimate that he carries his followers’ burdens. He brings them joy. He walks beside them. In short, Jesus befriends those who follow him. And friendship with Jesus builds Christian community across cultural, social and ethnic divisions. Christian mission begins with friendship – not utilitarian friendship, the religious version of network marketing – but genuine friendship, friendship that translates love for neighbours in general into knowing, appreciating, liking, and enjoying this or that neighbour in particular.
Richard Rohr