UPDATE FROM CHAIRMAN OF KIRK SESSION
22nd November 2017
I last updated you in May 2017 in relation to the situation concerning our ministerial position. This is another brief update to keep the membership appraised of the work being carried out by your Kirk Session.
By the time this article appears in the Newsletter the nine year tenure of our minister, Rev. Andria Randall, will have expired. The official date for ending her employment with us was 26th November 2017, a date chosen by herself, and Kirk Session asked that the keys to the manse were returned to our solicitor by close of business on 30th November 2017. On your behalf I conveyed our grateful thanks to Andria for all her work with us and wished her and her family every happiness in the future whichever Christian path they follow.
We must now concentrate our thoughts on what is, now, a vacancy.
The trustees, along with much appreciated advice from Rev. David Taylor and Rev. Bob Wightman, on instruction from Session, have formulated a provisional job description outlining what we consider to be the priorities which we are looking for in appointing a new part time minister to fill our vacancy. As I have said in the past this cannot be prescriptive but must be used as a basis for discussion with any potential candidates for the position. As I mentioned in the last report Mrs. Hazel Kelly has done a superb job in updating our Church profile and has now put together an advert which has appeared in “Life and Work”, the magazine of the Church of Scotland. We have already had interest from this advert and we can only pray that a suitable candidate appears in whom we will all feel comfortable. We have also advertised the vacancy in the local job centre.
In the meantime I am sure you will agree with me that disruption to our normal Sunday services has been kept to a minimum and this is due to a number of very hardworking and conscientious individuals whom I thank, sincerely, on your behalf.
I am also very grateful that Mrs. Tarbet, Rev.Taylor and Rev.Wightman have been carrying out pastoral work with our membership as has Mrs. Elspeth Collins who is due our special thanks for carrying out this work whilst dealing with her own personal situation.
In summary I believe we should look on our current situation as an opportunity - an opportunity for renewal.
Lindsay G. Craig.
(Lindsay is never hesitant to give praise where it is due but he, himself, is deserving of the heartfelt gratitude of all of us for the consummate leadership he has given to every aspect of our church life this year throughout many complex developments. His integrity, faith and charm are unsurpassed and Dundee Congregational Church is very blessed to have such a Chairman at the helm.) EMC
On Sunday 10th December the Rev. Dave Taylor will conduct his last Morning Service for us
having given us all such unstinting support in many ways throughout this difficult year. He is acknowledging that his mobility is severely compromised, but otherwise Dave is supporting all we are coping with at the moment and in particular is wonderful at securing pulpit supply and his wise advice never goes unheeded.
He has expressed to us all the sincere gratitude of Chris and himself for the flowers, gifts and cards which they received for their recent Diamond Wedding Anniversary.
(Our Queen and Prince Philip have now set the prospect of possible Platinum Celebrations – a lovely thought for Dave and Chris and George and Margaret!)
Reindeer Drive Friday 14th November 2017
What a great night this was to start the cheerful side of Christmas festivities. There were 29 of us present, including 4 children, and judging by the noise we could have numbered twice that. The noise is a good yardstick of how much enjoyment was being experienced and also no doubt of just how much hilarious cheating was going on! Filling in reindeer shapes instead of beetles was an inspired innovation by Mary Wightman and it did prove considerably more difficult to achieve but added to the great fun of the entire evening. Mary deserves our gratitude for organising this event (in full Elf regalia!) when she has her own family troubles at the moment, and there was an eye-opening variety of sparkling and flashing `accessories` to be seen to enhance the appropriate atmosphere.
The interval arrived and thanks to Mary, Jessie, Evelyn and Irene the most sumptuous feast of goodies was presented with something for all possible tastes - indulgent and healthy.
The impressive raffle was drawn at this time with such a wealth of donated prizes and raised the incredible sum of £131. The total amount raised including ticket sales and donations was £292, indeed the most successful and enjoyable of fun nights.
Some Christmas Fun
Christmas is weird. What other time of the year do you sit in front of a dead tree and eat sweets out of your socks?.
Christmas cracker jokes:
Who is never hungry at Christmas? The turkey: it`s always stuffed!
Why are Christmas trees bad at knitting? Because they keep dropping their needles.
What do vampires post at Christmas? Fang mail!
Why was Santa`s little helper upset? Because he had low elf esteem!
What do you get if you cross a snowman with a shark? Frostbite!
Who delivers presents to cats at Christmas? Santa Paws!
How do you know if a snowman doesn`t like you? He gives you the cold shoulder!
What do you call a donkey with three legs? Wonkey
What does Santa do in his garden? Ho, ho, ho-ing
What does a snowman wear on his head? An icecap!
Tuesday, 3rd October 2017 : Rev Bob Wightman
Having Faith in Who We Are and What we can Achieve
An excellent start to our new session with 18 members attending.
Rev Bob gave us a most inspiring talk on Faith and how much it had helped him through his childhood and throughout his career to date. “Faith can move Mountains” he said and recalled many times when this had proved to be the case. He impressed on us all to have faith in ourselves and in everything that we do and if there are times when things become difficult and we think we can’t cope remember that ‘Faith Can Move Mountains’. Thank you Bob for an excellent talk.
Christmas Lunch : Elspeth intimated that her late husband Dennis had expressed a wish to cover the entire cost of our Christmas Lunch this year as a gesture in his memory to bring a smile to the faces of all members, relatives and friends who are able to be present. Thank you Elspeth. This is a very generous gesture and so typical of Dennis to be thinking of us.
Tuesday 17th October 2017 - Diane Stout : Children of India
Diane was President of the Dundee Soroptimists several years ago and while in office they paid a visit to India. She was shocked at the conditions for young girls and teenagers who were mostly sleeping rough in the streets and also had no schooling. When her term of office ended she was determined to sponsor a child and try to help these children. As a result Diane and her husband have been raising funds over the last few years and have been travelling to India twice year. With the help of the Soroptimists in India they have made great strides with accommodation and education for these girls so much so that one or two are going on to further education. As we saw in the slides the girls are well looked after and all looking very smart and looking very happy.
At our AGM on the 28th November I think this would be a very worthy cause to support.
Tuesday 31st October 2017 - Halloween - Appointment with Fear !
It was nice to see so many attending our Halloween afternoon – 21 in total.
To set the atmosphere and get us all ready for the ghost tales Graeme played on his keyboard The Danse Macabre by Saint Saens– very appropriate. Irene then started off our ghost trail nearer to home with The Howff, Bell Street Car Park (built over an old burial ground), HMS Unicorn, and Strathmartine Hospital. Graeme covered the Dundee area with The three White Ladies – Balgay Bridge, the Coffin Mill and Verdant Works. Evelyn did the Den o’ Mains - the Castle and Graveyard and I finished off with Glamis Castle.
Lastly we were treated to a humorous short play with Evelyn narrating and Irene as the ghost with a bloody finger wandering about a haunted house, scaring the inhabitant to bits and finally asking for a band aid. Then to finish off we had a rendering of The Dundee Ghost by Matt McGinn – very funny. Then the best bit of all our Halloween Afternoon tea of Spider’s Web Cake, Skull Cake, Witches Hats, Mallow Spiders and treacle scones - a perfect end to an excellent afternoon.
Tuesday 14th November 2017 - Floral Art Demonstration : Jessie Tarbet
Jessie gave us a very good demonstration of flower arranging. She started off at the beginning by selecting containers, a basket, and two smaller ones. She then cut the oasis to fit the containers and placed them in a basin of warm water. This is the best way to soak oasis rather than running it under a tap and doesn’t take very long. Jessie chose the basket and placed the oasis in and held it firm with sticky tape. She explained everything as she was doing it starting with the greenery first to form a shape and then filled in the spaces with a variety of flowers. Her basket was lovely when finished then it was over to two volunteers to do the other two small containers – Jean and I volunteered. It all looked so easy as Jessie was demonstrating but totally different for us when confronted with an empty container. However, with a little help from Jessie we managed to produce two very nice arrangements. Thanks Jessie for a most enjoyable afternoon and one which may have inspired us to take up the art.
Tuesday 28th November 2017 - Annual General Meeting
Tuesday 12th December 2017 - CHRISTMAS LUNCH in the Church Hall 12.30 for 1pm.
2018 : Tuesday 6th February : The Life of J.M. Barrie - Rev Gordon Campbell
Tuesday 20th Talk and Slide Show on Old Dundee: Ian Crammer
HE CAME FOR YOU (CHRISTMAS EVE)
`God was manifest in the flesh` (1 Timothy 3.16). He was born in abject poverty, yet a choir of angels filled the heavens with songs of his greatness. A star that astronomers still can`t explain to this day became the compass that brought world leaders to worship at his crib.
His birth defied the laws of biology and his death defied the laws of mortality. No miracle is greater than his life and teaching. He owned no cornfields or fisheries, yet he spread a table for 5,000 and had bread and fish left over. He never walked on expensive carpeting, yet when he walked on water it supported him; when he spoke, the wind and the seas obeyed him.
His crucifixion was the crime of all crimes, yet in God`s eyes no less a price could have made your redemption possible. When he died, few mourned, yet God hung black crepe over the sun. Those who crucified him never once trembled at what they`d done, yet the earth shook beneath them. Sin couldn`t touch him. Decay couldn`t claim his body. The soil that was reddened with his blood couldn`t claim his dust.
For over three years he preached the gospel, yet he wrote no books, built no cathedrals, and seemingly had no great financial resources. Yet 2,000 years later he`s still the central character of human history, the perpetual theme of Christian preaching, the pivot around which the ages revolve – and the only Redeemer of the human race.
For every other job God sent a man. But in order to rescue and recycle you, God became a man. Aren`t you glad?
(from A Basket of Gems by Mark Stibbe)