Hello one and all and God bless.
Even by a little, the greyness and lingering darkness of daytime are becoming less. The light of day is lengthening. Presumably most are pleased.
Many of us have suffered bouts of ill health, both fairly minor, while for some, a bit more serious and worrying. Looking on I applaud you for even during the vagaries of winter and the unpleasantness and inconvenience of ill health, your attendance and faithfulness to the church is remarkable. You are genuinely a faithful people. Loving, loyal and ever ready to listen to the word of God as I share it with you Sunday after Sunday.
Allow me to share with you the words on my calling card:-
“The Lord bless you and guard you.
The Lord be gracious to you.
The Lord give you peace.”
OUR CHURCH AT CHRISTMAS
Our congregation of members and friends has passed a very full programme of varied events and activities to honour this special time of year. Before reporting on these I would like to comment initially on the very beautifully decorated interior of our lovely church which provided an exquisite backdrop for our Christmas celebrations. As always our multi-talented Jessie was the mastermind and creator of such pleasure for all of us and we owe her a sincere debt of gratitude. We are indebted also to the team responsible for the lovely decorated trees in the Church, the Welcome Hall and the Church Hall. It was most fitting that we welcomed very many visitors to our church to experience the warmth of friendship which is always present at the heart of worship in Dundee Congregational Church.
To start our festivities on 29th November we enjoyed a fun-filled evening in our church hall as we experienced a hilarious “Reindeer Drive” under the guiding star that is Mary Wightman, and the entire event from start to finish was hugely entertaining. The raffle prizes and delicious eats were so generously donated by friends and these ensured our younger well fed competitors went home laden with unusual prizes to herald in the Christmas ahead. I feel that “reindeers” instead of “beetles” is an inspired innovation.
On Sunday 8th December our Morning Service saw 7 members of our Drama Club adding considerable sparkle to usher in this special month. Under the guidance of Marguerite they entertained us to what was described as the Dundee version of “The Twelve Days of Christmas.” The congregation`s laughter was quite a joy to behold and for those readers unable to be present I will print this version for their benefit. Please think in your heads of the music for this very well-known song and substitute the usual words for the following version which was indeed unforgettable.
12 days of Christmas – Dundee Version
On the 1st day of Christmas my true love sent to me:
A big Dundee cake just for me
On the 2nd day of Christmas…………. 2 football shirts (one Dundee & one Dundee United)
“ 3rd “ 3 Dundee “pehs”
“ 4th “ 4 jars of jam
“ 5th “ 5 Keiller`s toffees (gold wrapped) THEN PAUSE
“ 6th “ 6 Dundee ties
“ 7th “ 7 “corpey” buses
“ 8th “ 8 Timex watches
“ 9th “ 9 Evening teles
“ 10th “ 10 sacks of jute
“ 11th “ 11 Beano annuals
“ 12th “ 12 nips of Whisky
and a big Dundee cake just for me
Remembering all the words and waving examples of each item was a feat for our Drama Club friends and the congregation`s attempt to follow suit was amusing in the extreme. Not perhaps a possibility for the “X Factor” but unforgettable for all the right reasons.
On Tuesday 10th December 43 members and friends enjoyed a superb Christmas Lunch with a perfect three-coursed meal of scrumptious Christmas fare, crackers, amusing games and happy singing – with thanks to Graeme for our lovely music. Nancy Jack, along with Evelyn and Irene, deserves our sincere thanks for all the organisation that is required for such a successful afternoon with superb catering.
On Sunday 15th December we had the honour of welcoming Mrs. Catriona Logan as our Guest Preacher and this must have been a very poignant occasion for her with the recent loss of her much loved and respected husband Rev David Logan on 21st August. We know how much our church in Dundee meant to David and he would have been so proud of Catriona coming to join with us in worship while bearing the grief of her bereavement. We were also able to welcome Mrs. Betty Guild with her son Allan and Mrs. Irene Adam with her daughter Doreen which was a special day for them all.
On Sunday 22nd December there was a heart-warming Service of Lessons and Carols with several members and friends taking part in the Readings. There was a slightly augmented choir in the organ gallery which several friends said lent a considerable music presence to the hallowed atmosphere. In our congregation was a very special 3 week old baby girl, Ella Annabelle Cardney, being the very first great-grandchild of our own Nancy and Ron Jack whose daughter and grand-daughter joined us making the 4 generations of their family present as we prepared to celebrate the birth of Baby Jesus. We also had 5 happy and well behaved little people in our congregation which was a delight for us all. Following this a willing team of helpers set out all the candles on the pews and in the aisles in preparation for Christmas Eve.
Christmas Eve on Tuesday 24th December saw the entire interior of our church lit by candles to enhance the beautiful Christmas tree and coloured lights gracing the Chancel and all around the organ gallery. Our Minister Rev Alan Livingstone presided over a very full congregation while we sang lovely carols and shared in precious prayers. We were blessed with several visiting families joining us for this unforgettable evening and the 5 dozen Christmas pies served in the church hall afterwards were greatly appreciated, along with warming tea and coffee to fuel our homeward journeys.
Our first Communion Service of the New Year on Sunday 5th January 2020 brought evidence of the number of our members and friends who had succumbed to the prevalent respiratory virus doing the rounds in the UK. The resultant coughs are much in evidence everywhere one goes on buses and in shops. Let`s hope February will dawn with better health all round.
On Sunday 12th January there was a very special musical tribute to the memory of our dear friend the late Hazel Kelly who passed away on 9th September last year. Our organist Prof Norman Beedie was commissioned to compose a unique tune to accompany Hazel`s favourite hymn which was the 23rd Psalm. This he had accomplished wonderfully and our new “Tune called Hazel” is now part of our church music repertoire and this is the first time in the long history of our church that such an honour has been bestowed. A framed picture of this delightful score was presented to members of Hazel`s family by Elspeth Collins and we all sang this lovely hymn to bring our Morning Service to a close. As we gathered together at the end of our morning service Norman played a superb improvisation of this lovely composition and we did indeed feel honour had been given to the memory of such an unforgettable friend to all of us.
Tuesday, 26th November 2019 : Annual General Meeting
Graeme Tarbet was acting as Chairman for this meeting and welcomed everyone. Apologies were received from May Bellamy, Elspeth Collins, Margaret Ferrier, Elizabeth Langlands, Chris Livingstone, Ann Preston, Isabel Scrimgeour, and Marie Thirde. As you can see there were quite a few absentees but still plenty of us left to deal with the following.
The Treasurer talked us through the Financial report and after some discussion the following donations were agreed :
£500 - Church;
£50 - Archie Foundation;
£50 - Dundee Audio News (DAN) ;
£50 - Dundee Psoriasis
£50 - Air Ambulance;
£50 - McMillan Nurses;
£50 - Maggie Centre; - making a total of £800.
Our Office Bearers: The post of President has been vacant for some time now and there was only one nomination Chris Livingstone. This was unanimously approved;
Secretary Nancy Jack and Treasurer Evelyn Cox agreed to carry on for another year;
Pianist Graeme Tarbet agreed to carry on for another year.
The post of Tea Convener has also been vacant and Irene Stephen agreed to take on this post. This was again unanimously approved. At long last we now have a complete Committee comprising: -
President Chris Livingstone, Secretary Nancy Jack, Treasurer Evelyn Cox, Tea Convener Irene Stephen, Pianist Graeme Tarbet and Irene Cox.
Graeme intimated that to-day was Ella Clark’s 91st birthday and in recognition of all her work and dedication to the church she was to be made Deacon Emeritus. Ella is now residing in Balcarres Care Home and our Minister and Elspeth were there today to present this award.
Graeme thanked the office bearers, members and Jessie for all their work during the year.
Tuesday 10th December 2019 : Christmas Lunch
Our Christmas Lunch held in the hall on Tuesday 10th December was a huge success with 43 members and friends attending. Our new Caterer Norrie Preedy gave us an excellent meal which was served by two friendly and lovely young girls and was most enjoyable. Instead of our usual pass the parcel Chris made up a puzzle about advertisements in which we had to guess the article being advertised. A bit hard for some but a lot of fun and we ended the afternoon with our Carol singing.
Guild Meetings in 2020
Tuesday 11th February : Sitting Exercises – Marguerite Ruffle
Tuesday 25th February : Kilimanjaro - Carolyn Johnson
WEDNESDAY, 11th March: (Note day change) The Bee Ukes (A Ukelele
Band) - Liz Crawford
Tuesday 24th March : GIFT DAY - The Work o’ the Weavers –
Tuesday 7th April : Easter Cake Competition – open to all.
WORLD DAY OF PRAYER
This is to be held on Friday 6th March at 2.30p.m. in Meadowside St. Paul`s Church and everyone is very welcome. All details can be had from Mrs. Mary Wightman.
Two Tales from “A Bundle of Laughs” compiled by John & Mark Stibbe
There was a woman who spent some months serving God in Kenya. On her final visit to a remote township she attended a medical clinic. As the Masaai women there began to sing together she found herself deeply moved by their beautiful harmonies. She wanted to remember always this moment and try to share it with friends when she arrived home.
With tears of emotion flowing down her cheeks she turned to the friend beside her and asked “Can you please tell me the translation of the words to this lovely song?”
Her friend looked at her and solemnly replied, “If you boil the water you won`t get dysentery.”
In his book Folk Psalms of Faith Ray Stedman tells of an experience H A Ironside had in a crowded restaurant.
Just as Ironside was about to begin his meal a man approached and asked if he could join him. Ironside invited him to have a seat. Then, as was his custom, Ironside bowed his head in prayer. When he opened his eyes the other man asked “Do you have a headache?” Ironside replied “No, I don`t”.
The other man asked “Well, is there something wrong with your food?” Ironside replied “No I was simply thanking God as I always do before I eat.”
The man said “Oh, you`re one of those are you?” Well I want you to know I never give thanks. I earn my money by the sweat of my brow and I don`t have to give thanks to anybody when I eat. I just start right in!”
Ironside said “Yes, you`re just like my dog. That`s what he does too!”
A Date for your Diary
Friday 21st February at 7.30 in the Church Hall
A One Act Comedy ‘Death Rehearsal’
It’s that time again when our drama group provides you with an evening full of entertainment to chase away the February chills. We start with a one act comedy, ‘Death Rehearsal’, but watch out for the twist. After a warming cuppa we move on to the concert part of the evening with entertainment from drama members and brilliant visiting acts. Please support our drama group. We are going to divide the ticket and ever popular raffle sales between the church organ fund and another charity (yet to be decided). Did you know there is sixty years between our youngest and oldest member on the stage? So do come along on Friday 21st and support our worthy causes.
For those members and their friends who are not so keen on going out in the evening we are performing our one act play with refreshments on the afternoon of Saturday 15th February at 2.30pm. We look forward to seeing you all at one of our performances.
A D V A N C E N O T I C E
Rev Dave Taylor`s charming son David has very kindly organised a special Cabaret Night next year to raise funds for our organ care. The details are below and will be mentioned again in the next Newsletter.
The Provincial Grand Lodge of Forfarshire
Cabaret Presenting Pat Cairns as Neil Diamond and Kenny Rogers.
Venue: Lochee Burns Club, Muirton Road Dundee. at 7.30p.m.
Raffle and small buffet
Tickets to be available from Lindsay Craig.