Sunday Bulletin 23 August

WORSHIP THIS WEEK
Sunday 30 August
10am Morning Worship at St Stephen’s
Service led by Full Time Assistant Dougie Wolf
11.15 Sacrament of Holy Communion at the Old High
SUNDAY BULLETIN ITEMS should be sent to Jim Monro: jimjimmonro.com . The deadline for all items is Wednesday at noon.
NEWS FROM OUR CONGREGATION
For further information and contact details on any of the items listed below:
E-mail: invernesschurch<at>gmail.com (substitute <at> with @
KIRKING OF THE COUNCIL is one of the most important events in our congregation and community, and deserves the support of us all. This year’s service will focus on volunteering. Those taking part will include Lt. Kate Donaldson of the Salvation Army. As always, this is a Congregational Service, with no service at St Stephen’s so that we can all take part. The service will be on Sunday 13 September at 11.15am at the Old High- all welcome!
MUSICIANS AT ST STEPHEN’S Pam McCulloch, our organist and choir director, would like to know of anyone of any age who would like to help accompany our singing with any instrument to enrich our hymn singing occasionally with a small band. Contact Pam at pam.41tiscali.co.uk or speak to her or any choir member at the Sunday service
LUNCH CLUB will meet at 12.30pm on Thursday 27 August at the Craigmonie Hotel. Transport is available, please consider joining us for good food and fellowship. Contact Val Cantlay.
OLD HIGH MUSIC The autumn series begins with a concert by “Voiceworks” at the different time of 7.30pm on Friday 4th September. This will offer a mixture of solo and choral pieces from the classical repertoire. We hope this varied programme will have something for everyone! Details: Andrew Stevenson stevenson.atabtinternet.com.
OHSS MAGAZINE the editor of the OHSS Magazine, urgently requires articles and photos for the next issue, which is due out at the end of September. Please submit whatever you can to:  williekenilweb.com . Deadline is Friday 18 September, but the earlier the better.
OLD HIGH ORGANIST We continue to seek applications and recommendations for this post. Contact: Andrew Stevenson stevenson.ata<at>btinternet.com).
SILENT AUCTION 19 September at 7.30pm. Would you like to offer any items for this event? Also using your time & talents would you offer some hours as part of the Auction, eg gardening/cleaning/painting etc. This would be greatly appreciated by other members of the congregation. Please also state the minimum bid you feel is appropriate. Details: Margaret McAleer.
HOBBY/CRAFT EVENINGS re-commence fortnightly from Wednesday 26 August 7.30-9pm. We will be making items for Christmas Coffee Morning at end of November and would ask more crafters to join us. The more we make/sell the more the Church gains. It is a very relaxed atmosphere with tea/coffee & biscuits. Your company/talents will be most appreciated. Details Margaret McAleer.
CROSSREACH NEWS and PRAYER DIARY are available at church doors.
THE GENIUS OF JESUS WORSHIP SERIES Today is the last of our summer worship series, ‘The Genius of Jesus’. Today’s theme is Jesus: Inviting Action (John 4:4-42).
OTHER NEWS
THE CARING AND SHARING SHOP at 68A Church Street, Inverness collects and sells used articles and clothing from their shop, with all profits going to local charities. The shop is always looking for donations of toys, equipment, books, small furniture etc. At the present time they are in urgent need of gent’s shirts and shoes to meet local demand. Should you have any such clothes lying around that is no longer being used please consider dnating them to this excellent cause along with any other ‘surplus’ items/goods you may have. If you have any query etc please contact the store direct.
ADVANCE NOTICES
DORNOCH SPONSORED WALK Saturday 26 September 2015. 5, 10 or 15 mile sponsored walk in and around the stunning area of Dornoch to raise funds for Blythswood Care and help us to transform lives. With three routes to choose from, there is something for everyone! Contact Adrienne Dempster adrienne.dempsterblythswood.org.
PRAYER POINTERS
Our Church Leaders. Peter Nimmo; Arthur Sinclair; Dougie Wolf; and all the elders as they visit the congregation in preparation for Communion in Old High
Our Church To focus honour and praise in Jesus’s name; that the person you have in mind to be the organist at OH steps forward
New Beginnings In Sunday School, nursery, primary and secondary school. For those away from home at college or university and especially for the first time
The Hurt. Those hurt by the church, or whose faith has ebbed away
Prisons. For prisoners, and their families, to have their lives changed by meeting Jesus. For the prison staff, the chaplains, Prison Fellowship and activities of Christian organisations working with ex-offenders
The Countries of: Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania. For their churches, which have experienced new vitality. For economic development, good government, and equal opportunities to all citizens

Jesus and the stranger: a sermon on the Samaritan woman at the well

Scripture Readings: John 4:5-42

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

We have just listened to a long, even convoluted conversation. But then the best conversations are long and convoluted, as each person tries to understand the other! Jesus and the Samaritan woman he met at the well had a lot to say to each other. And yet this was a conversation which many would have said should never to have taken place. Continue reading

Sunday Bulletin 16 August 2015

WORSHIP THIS WEEK
Sunday 23 August
10am Morning Worship at St Stephen’s
Sunday School Returns
11.15 Morning Worship at Old High
SUNDAY BULLETIN ITEMS should be sent to Jim Monro: jimjimmonro.com . The deadline for all items is Wednesday at noon.
NEWS FROM OUR CONGREGATION
For further information and contact details for any items listed below:
E-mail: invernesschurch<at>gmail.com (replace <at> with @)
SUNDAY SCHOOL RETURNS at St Stephen’s next week. All children warmly welcomed! For details, please contact Raema Mackay (raemamackayyahoo.co.uk).
OLD HIGH ORGANIST We continue to seek applications and recommendations for this post. Contact: Andrew Stevenson stevenson.ata<at>btinternet.com).
THE GENIUS OF JESUS WORSHIP SERIES Our summer worship series, ‘The Genius of Jesus’, highlights particular aspects of Jesus’ ministry and personality, especially aspects that broke new ground and revealed more of the heart of God. Themes are:
July 12: Encouraging Potential. Luke 5:1-11
July 19: Balancing Power. Luke 16:1-15,19-31
July 26: Promoting Peace: Matthew 26:48-54
August 2: Crossing Lines. Luke 13:10-17
August 9: Showing the Sacred. Luke 15:11-32
August 16: Holding Heaven. Matthew 13:24-32
August 23: Inviting Action. John 4:4-42
DOORS OPEN DAY Once again this event has come round again and volunteers are being sought to greet visitors to the Old High Church on Saturday 5 September from 10am to 4 pm. The day will be divided into 1 hour periods, so it is not too onerous! Please contact Margaret Sutherland if you are able to assist (please note we need voluteers urgently!).
OHSS MAGAZINE the editor of the OHSS Magazine, urgently requires articles and photos for the next issue, which is due out at the end of September. Please submit whatever you can by to williekenilweb.com. Deadline is Friday 18 September, but the earlier the better.
SILENT AUCTION The Social & Fundraising Action Team is holding a silent auction on 19th September. Would you like to offer any items for this event? Also using your time & talents would you offer some hours as part of the Auction, eg gardening/cleaning/painting etc. This would be greatly appreciated by other members of the congregation. Also stating the minimum bid you feel is appropriate. For further information Margaret McAleer.
CROSSREACH NEWS and PRAYER DIARY are available at church doors.
OTHER NEWS
DORNOCH SPONSORED WALK in Aid of Blythswood Care on Saturday 26 September 2015. Join us for a 5, 10 or 15 mile sponsored walk in and around the stunning area of Dornoch and help us raise funds for Blythswood Care and help us to transform lives. With three routes to choose from, there is something for everyone! Contact Adrienne Dempster adrienne.dempsterblythswood.org.
PRAYER POINTERS
Our Father in Heaven. Thank you for this week past, we are grateful for all the love and goodness that you shower upon us, we welcome you into our lives for this next week and hear our prayers for:
Our Church Leaders. Peter Nimmo; Arthur Sinclair; Dougie Wolf; and all the elders as they visit the congregation
Faith. Those in need of the gift of faith. Ask that they would know that God will provide all they need if they are willing to step out for him
Love. “God reached out to save us by his ultimate sacrifice” (John 3,16). Using this verse, thank God for his unconditional love for us
Fatherhood. Children in need of positive male role models
Action. The opportunity this week to bless others in our actions
Knowledge. For an increase in knowledge of god’s presence in our own lives and the lives of those dear to us
Persecuted Churches. Protection for those who are Christians where they are a minority and in danger because of their willingness to follow you.
The countries of; Oceania: American Samoa, Cook Islands, Fiji, French Polynesia (Maohi Nui), Kanaky, Kiribati, Marshall Islands, Micronesia, Nauru, Niue, Palau, Papua New Guinea, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Tonga, Tuvalu, Vanuatu. For the Christians and churches, relief where there are natural disasters and governments that will be honest and put the people first
(Comments and prayer requests always welcome contact Ruth Martin)

Planting a seed- a sermon on some of Jesus’ parables of the Kingdom 16 August 2015

Scripture Readings: Matthew 13:24-35

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

It’s been lovely today to celebrate the Sacrament of Baptism at St Stephen’s, as we brought to the font Noah (who lives in North Kessock) and his cousin Katie (whose dad is with the RAF in England). Baptism is the way we become part of the Church. So when we baptise children, the hope is that one day, somewhere and somehow, they will find their way for themselves into being part of the church, and being followers of Jesus.

This week, children across Scotland will return to school, and next Sunday our Sunday School children will return to St Stephen’s. It’s very difficult to involve children and young people in the church nowadays, for all sorts of reasons. Often, sadly, children and their families do not feel welcome in church. The worship of the church seems boring, the activities on offer don’t compete well with the many other activities open to youngsters today. Above all, we are living in a society which seems to have lost a sense of the sacred, where religion is treated with disdain, or ignored. Continue reading

The end of religion-a sermon on the Parable of the Prodigal Son

Scripture Readings: Romans 3.9-18, 21-24
Luke 15:1-3, 11b-32

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

One of the most controversial issues in theology is the question of whether the writings of St Paul truly reflect the teachings of Jesus. For Jesus, as we meet him in the Gospels, is a man of action- striding out across the country, healing and caring for people, and preaching usually by telling stories. But Paul stands accused of having taken the original, pure good news, and turned it into some kind of metaphysical system. Jesus tells stories- Paul writes about abstractions.

But I think part of the problem is that Paul’s letters are often trying to deal with the questions of his own time. He’s talking about Jesus by through a fog of first century controversy. Yet faced with these problems, Paul asks, ‘What does Jesus Christ mean in this situation?’ Continue reading