A place for everyone: a sermon for 24 April 2016, the Fifth Sunday of Easter

Scripture Readings: John 13:31-35
Acts 11:1-18
In the name of God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit, Amen.

Coloured game menSome people have the idea that the Bible is a rather monolithic book- a book of unchanging rules, set in stone, unassailably infallible, without contradictions. It is, in fact nothing of the sort. It is, rather, a book full of stories about people who change their minds.
Today’s reading from the Book of Acts is a good example. Acts is the second volume of writings by the author of the Gospel of Luke. Its full title, ‘The Acts of the Apostles’ is the story of what the earliest Christians, and their leaders got up to. It’s the story of the beginnings of the Church. Continue reading

Sunday Bulletin 24 April 2016

WORSHIP THIS WEEK
Sunday 1 May : Sixth Sunday of Easter
10 am Morning Worship at St Stephen’s
11.15am: Morning Worship at the Old High
SUNDAY BULLETIN please send items to invernesschurch<at>gmail.com. Deadline: Wednesday at noon. Please keep items as brief as possible, and give a contact phone number and email.
NEWS FROM OUR CONGREGATION
For further details and contact information : invernesschurch<at>gmail.com; replace <at> with @
CHRISTIAN AID We need someone to take on the very important task of coordinating our annual Christian Aid Week door-to-door collection. This is a practical way in which we help some of the most needy people in the world, and raises thousands of pounds annually for an excellent cause. Please contact the minister if you would like to know more.
MESSY CHURCH on Saturday 7 May at St Stephen’s from 11am to 2pm. We still need a few volunteers to help with games, and crafts. We are also asking the congregation to help with home baking and crisps. We could use some heavy duty sacks for sack races as well. Thanks! We will have a practical meeting on Wednesday 27 April at 7pm in the vestry. All are welcome. Contact Heidi on tripleh75<at>hotmail.co.uk
CHRISTIAN AID COFFEE MORNING will be held on Saturday 14 May in St Stephen’s Hall from 10am to noon. There will be the usual stalls and gardeners are asked to donate from their gardens any divided plants suitably labelled for sale at the plant stall. Tickets will be available at both churches on 1 and 8 May. Contributions for the coffee morning can be dropped off at St Stephen’s vestry on Friday 13 May at 7.00 pm. The hall will be available the same evening at 7.00 pm for setting up. For further information please contact Jennifer Morrison jennifer<at>kenilweb.com
OHSS HOBBY CRAFTERS are holding an open evening on Wednesday 27 April at 7.30pm in St Stephen’s Church Hall. Crown, St John’s & St Ninian’s have been invited. All welcome. Please bring your craft with you to perhaps pass on tips to others or learn something new. Friendly relaxed atmosphere. Refreshments provided. Further information Margaret McAleer.
WORSHIP & EDUCATION TEAM will meet on Wednesday 27 April at 7.30pm in St Stephen’s vestry. The following meeting is scheduled for Tuesday 31 May at 7.30pm in St Stephen’s vestry. Please forward any agenda items to Rachel hutchy_r<at>hotmail.com and/or Malcolm dmmacrae<at>uwclub.net before the Friday prior to each meeting.
MEET & EAT! Thursday 28 April at 12.30pm at the Craigmonie Hotel,  Annfield Road. OHSS members and friends meet for Lunch. Everyone welcome. Transport available. Please contact Val Cantlay or Rae Swan for further information.
ST STEPHEN’S BIG CLEAN – Saturday 30 April 9.30-12 Noon. Lets all enjoy the Big Clean together. All Welcome – the more the merrier. Tea/Coffee provided. Contact Joan Darcy or joan.darcy<at>tesco.net
DOOR WELCOMING DUTY At both St Stephen’s and the Old High we need new volunteers to help welcome people to church. This is a great help in the church and a good way to meet more people. If you or someone you know would be willing to do this for a few Sundays a year it would be greatly appreciated. As well as greeting people, some of our welcomers help with serving tea and counting the offering; but you don’t have to do these things. Contact at St Stephen’s: Deborah Macrae dmmacrae<at>uwclub.net; Old High: Margaret Sutherland margaretsutherland23<at>talktalk.net. ‘Whoever welcomes you welcomes me’ Matthew 10.40.
CHRISTIAN AID COFFEE MORNING will be held on Saturday 14 May in St Stephen’s Hall from 10am to noon. There will be the usual stalls and gardeners are asked to donate from their gardens any divided plants suitably labelled for sale at the plant stall. Tickets will be available at both churches on 1 and 8 May. Contributions for the coffee morning can be dropped off at St Stephen’s vestry on Friday 13 May at 7.00 pm. The hall will be available the same evening at 7.00 pm for setting up. For further information please contact Jennifer Morrison jennifer<at>kenilweb.com
OLD HIGH MUSIC Saturday 14th May at 12 noon. Inverness Choral has kindly agreed to do an additional concert as part of our recital series this year. Their programme includes music by Faure, Arensky, Elgar and Rutter. Coffee and chat at the Christian Aid coffee morning at St Stephen’s followed by beautiful music at the Old High will surely make for a special Saturday morning. Details from Andrew Stevenson at stevenson.ata<at>btinternet.com
OTHER NEWS
HIGHLAND MALE VOICE GOSPEL CHOIR PRAISE EVENING on Friday 29 April at 7.30pm at the Church of Scotland, Blairbeg, Drumnadrochit with Alan Myles of Scripture Union. Offering for Scripture Union in the Highlands.
NYA 2016 (The Church of Scotland National Youth Assembly) 12th-15th August at Gartmore House, near Stirling. This annual residential event is for young adults aged between 17 and 25 that have some connection with the Church of Scotland. A chance to get together to worship, learn, discuss and work. Tickets are on a first come first served basis and need to be booked by 18th July- financial help is available. If you know anyone who would like to go, please contact Peter.
BLYTHSWOOD CARE HIGHLAND FOODBANK would be grateful for packets of rice, UHT milk, tinned corned beef and bags for life (new or used). Contact Adrienne Dempster for details of how to donate www.blythswood.org or adrienne.dempster<at>blythswood.org or bring the goods to the church, where there are boxes at the doors.

Sunday Bulletin 17 April 2016

WORSHIP THIS WEEK
Sunday 24 April : Fifth Sunday of Easter
10 am Morning Worship at St Stephen’s
11.15am: Morning Worship at the Old High
SUNDAY BULLETIN please send items to invernesschurch<at>gmail.com. Deadline: Wednesday at noon. Please keep items as brief as possible, and give a contact phone number and email.
NEWS FROM OUR CONGREGATION
For further details and contact information : invernesschurch<at>gmail.com (replace <at> with @)
OHSS HOBBY CRAFTERS are holding an open evening on Wednesday 27 April at 7.30pm in St Stephen’s Church Hall. Crown, St John’s & St Ninian’s have been invited. All welcome. Please bring your craft with you to perhaps pass on tips to others or learn something new. Friendly relaxed atmosphere. Refreshments provided. Further information Margaret McAleer.
WORSHIP & EDUCATION TEAM will meet on Wednesday 27 April at 7.30pm in St Stephen’s vestry. The following meeting is scheduled for Tuesday 31 May at 7.30pm in St Stephen’s vestry. Please forward any agenda items to Rachel hutchy_r<at>hotmail.com and/or Malcolm dmmacrae<at>uwclub.net before the Friday prior to each meeting.
ST STEPHEN’S BIG CLEAN – Saturday 30th April 9.30-12 Noon. Lets all enjoy the Big Clean together. All Welcome – the more the merrier. Tea/Coffee provided. Contact Joan Darcy or joan.darcy<at>tesco.net
DOOR WELCOMING DUTY At both St Stephen’s and the Old High we need new volunteers to help welcome people to church. This is a great help in the church and a good way to meet more people. If you or someone you know would be willing to do this for a few Sundays a year it would be greatly appreciated. As well as greeting people, some of our welcomers help with serving tea and counting the offering; but you don’t have to do these things. Contact at St Stephen’s: Deborah Macrae dmmacrae<at>uwclub.net; Old High: Margaret Sutherland margaretsutherland23<at>talktalk.net. ‘Whoever welcomes you welcomes me’ Matthew 10.40.
MESSY CHURCH Heidi is planning another Messy Church on Saturday 7 May. To get involved, please contact her.
OTHER NEWS
HIGHLAND MALE VOICE GOSPEL CHOIR PRAISE EVENING on Friday 29 April at 7.30pm at the Church of Scotland, Blairbeg, Drumnadrochit with Alan Myles of Scripture Union. Offering for Scripture Union in the Highlands.
NYA 2016 (The Church of Scotland National Youth Assembly) 12th-15th August at Gartmore House, near Stirling. This annual residential event is for young adults aged between 17 and 25 that have some connection with the Church of Scotland. A chance to get together to worship, learn, discuss and work. Tickets are on a first come first served basis and need to be booked by 18th July- financial help is available. If you know anyone who would like to go, please contact Peter.
BLYTHSWOOD CARE HIGHLAND FOODBANK would be grateful for packets of rice, UHT milk, tinned corned beef and bags for life (new or used). Contact Adrienne Dempster for details of how to donate www.blythswood.org or adrienne.dempster<at>blythswood.org or bring the goods to the church, where there are boxes at the doors

The Easter Church: a sermon for 17 April 2016, Easter 5

Scripture Readings: John 10:22-30

Acts 9:36-43

The Easter Church

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

What does it mean to follow Jesus Christ, and to be part of his church, in this day and age? We often feel we are up against awesome obstacles as we seek to be faithful to Christ today We know we have immense challenges as a church in faithfully witnessing to the love of Christ in our world today.

When Christians are faced with issues like those, we go back to the old stories. Today we read the story from the Book of Acts about the healing of Tabitha (also known as Dorcas). It is a rather lovely story, and it seemed appropriate for this service today, just before our Annual Meeting, for it tells us some deep truths about what it means to be a Christian, and how the church ought to be- not just back in the first century, but today. And since we are still in the season after Easter, it’s a story which reminds us that we are Easter people. Continue reading

Sunday Bulletin 10 April 2016

WORSHIP THIS WEEK
Sunday 17 April : Fourth Sunday of Easter
Annual Stated Meeting – No Service at St Stephen’s
11.15am: Congregational Service at the Old High
SUNDAY BULLETIN please send items to invernesschurch<at>gmail.com. Deadline: Wednesday at noon. Please keep items as brief as possible, and give a contact phone number and email.
NEWS FROM OUR CONGREGATION
For further details and contact information : invernesschurch<at>gmail.com (replace <at> with @)
BLYTHSWOOD CARE HIGHLAND FOODBANK have written to the Session Clerk thanking us for donations. They would be grateful for packets of rice, UHT milk, tinned corned beef and bags for life (new or used). Contact Adrienne Dempster for details of how to donate www.blythswood.org or adrienne.dempster<at>blythswood.org or bring the goods to the church, where there are boxes at the doors
HEALING SERVICE St Stephen’s today at 4pm to which all are welcome. Ruth Martin
OLD HIGH MUSIC Next recital Saturday 16 April at 12 noon. Organ recital by Graham McLagan from St Cuthbert’s Church, Edinburgh with works by J S Bach, Messiaen, Leighton and others, including Easter music and a recently commissioned Fanfare composed by Rebecca Weir. There will be light refreshments afterwards ahead of a short talk on the history of the Old High Church organised by the Friends of the Old High. All are most welcome. Andrew Stevenson: stevenson.ata<at>btinernet.com
DOOR WELCOMING DUTY At both St Stephen’s and the Old High we need new volunteers to help welcome people to church. This is a great help in the church and a good way to meet more people. If you or someone you know would be willing to do this for a few Sundays a year it would be greatly appreciated. As well as greeting people, some of our welcomers help with serving tea and counting the offering; but you don’t have to do these things. Contact at St Stephen’s: Deborah Macrae dmmacrae<at>uwclub.net; Old High: Margaret Sutherland margaretsutherland23<at>talktalk.net. ‘Whoever welcomes you welcomes me’ Matthew 10.40.
CONGREGATION’S ANNUAL MEETING will take place Sunday 17 April following a Congregational Service at the Old High at 11.15am (nb no service at St Stephen’s next week).
MESSY CHURCH Heidi is planning another Messy Church on Saturday 7 May. To get involved, please contact her.
OTHER NEWS
HIGHLAND MALE VOICE GOSPEL CHOIR PRAISE EVENING on Friday 29 April at 7.30pm at the Church of Scotland, Blairbeg, Drumnadrochit with Alan Myles of Scripture Union. Offering for Scripture Union in the Highlands.

Sunday Bulletin 3 April 2016

WORSHIP THIS WEEK
Sunday 10 April : The Third Sunday of Easter
10am Morning Worship at St Stephen’s
11.15am: Morning Worship at the Old High
SUNDAY BULLETIN please send items to invernesschurch<at>gmail.com. Deadline: Wednesday at noon. Please keep items as brief as possible, and give a contact phone number and email.
NEWS FROM OUR CONGREGATION
For further information and contact details : invernesschurch<at>gmail.com (replace <at> with @)
A WARM WELCOME TO THE REV ANDREW LYON who is leading our worship this morning.
TEA AFTER THE SERVICE today at the Old High. Please stay behind and enjoy each other’s company.
PASTORAL COVER Peter will be on holiday from 3-9 April. For any urgent pastoral matters, please contact your elder, or the Rev Arthur Sinclair.
SOUTHSIDE NURSING HOME there will be a short service, led by Malcolm Macrae, at Southside Nursing Home immediately after this morning’s service at St Stephen’s. If you are able to assist with the singing, please speak to Malcolm; your assistance would be much appreciated. We still also seek members willing to lead these services on a rota basis; please contact Janet Robertson.
BLYTHSWOOD CARE HIGHLAND FOODBANK have written to the Session Clerk thanking us for donations. They would be grateful for packets of rice, UHT milk, tinned corned beef and bags for life (new or used). Contact Adrienne Dempster for details of how to donate www.blythswood.org or adrienne.dempster<at>blythswood.org or bring the goods to the church, where there are boxes at the doors
HEALING SERVICE St Stephen’s next Sunday 10 April at 4pm to which all are welcome. Ruth Martin.
OLD HIGH MUSIC Next recital Saturday 16 April at 12 noon. Organ recital by Graham McLagan from St Cuthbert’s Church, Edinburgh with works by J S Bach, Messiaen, Leighton and others, including Easter music and a recently commissioned Fanfare composed by Rebecca Weir. There will be light refreshments afterwards ahead of a short talk on the history of the Old High Church organised by the Friends of the Old High. All are most welcome. Andrew Stevenson: stevenson.ata<at>btinernet.com
DOOR WELCOMING DUTY At both St Stephen’s and the Old High we need new volunteers to help welcome people to church. This is a great help in the church and a good way to meet more people. If you or someone you know would be willing to do this for a few Sundays a year it would be greatly appreciated. As well as greeting people, some of our welcomers help with serving tea and counting the offering; but you don’t have to do these things. Contact at St Stephen’s: Deborah Macrae dmmacrae<at>uwclub.net; Old High: Margaret Sutherland margaretsutherland23<at>talktalk.net. ‘Whoever welcomes you welcomes me’ Matthew 10.40.
CONGREGATION’S ANNUAL MEETING will take place on Sunday 17 April following a Congregational Service at the Old High at 11.15am.
MESSY CHURCH Heidi is planning another Messy Church on Saturday 7 May. To get involved, please contact her.
OTHER NEWS
HIGHLAND MALE VOICE GOSPEL CHOIR PRAISE EVENING on Friday 29 April at 7.30pm at the Church of Scotland, Blairbeg, Drumnadrochit with Alan Myles of Scripture Union. Offering for Scripture Union in the Highlands. inverness<at>churchofscotland.org.uk.

Sunday Bulletin 27 March 2016

WORSHIP THIS WEEK
Sunday 3 April : Second Sunday of Easter
10am Morning Worship at St Stephen’s
11.15am: Morning Worship at the Old High
services led by the Rev Andrew Lyon,retired minister and member of our congregation
SUNDAY BULLETIN please send items to invernesschurch<at>gmail.com. Deadline: Wednesday at noon. Please keep items as brief as possible, and give a contact phone number and email.
NEWS FROM OUR CONGREGATION
For further details and contact information : invernesschurch<at>gmail.com (replace <at> with @)
CAMERON HOUSE EASTER PRAISE Join us today at 3.30pm for worship with the residents of Cameron House, led by Peter, who is their chaplain. All welcome.
PASTORAL COVER Peter will be on holiday from 3-9 April. For any urgent pastoral matters, please contact your elder, or the Rev Arthur Sinclair.
THE COFFEE MORNING at St Stephen’s on 19 March raised £555 but this has risen to £630 with further donations. Many thanks to all who contributed and attended. There was a great atmosphere/buzz. Special thanks to those who helped on the day making it a successful venture. Margaret McAleer.
HOBBY/CRAFT EVENING Wednesday 30 March in St Stephen’s Church Hall 7.30-9pm and fortnightly thereafter. New Crafters welcome or if you wish to learn a craft please come along. Tea/coffee & biscuits in a very relaxed atmosphere. Contact Margaret McAleer
OLD HIGH MUSIC Next recital is onSaturday 16 April at 12 noon. Organ recital by Graham McLagan from St Cuthbert’s Church, Edinburgh with works by J S Bach, Messiaen, Leighton and others, including Easter music and a recently commissioned Fanfare composed by Rebecca Weir. There will be light refreshments afterwards ahead of a short talk on the history of the Old High Church organised by the Friends of the Old High. All are most welcome. Contact Andrew Stevenson stevenson.ata<at>btinernet.com
DOOR WELCOMING DUTY At both St Stephen’s and the Old High we need new volunteers to help welcome people to church. This is a great help in the church and a good way to meet more people. If you or someone you know would be willing to do this for a few Sundays a year it would be greatly appreciated. As well as greeting people, some of our welcomers help with serving tea and counting the offering; but you don’t have to do these things. Contact at St Stephen’s: Deborah Macrae dmmacrae<at>uwclub.net; Old High: Margaret Sutherland margaretsutherland23<at>talktalk.net. ‘Whoever welcomes you welcomes me’ Matthew 10.40.
WORD FOR TODAY The new copies of daily bible readings for Feb – April, are available in the churches for collection.
CROSSREACH latest newsletter and prayer diary (Feb – Mar) are available at church doors. Rae Swan.
CONGREGATION’S ANNUAL MEETING will take place on Sunday 17 April at a Congregational Service at the Old High, beginning at 11.15am.

Rise and shine! Easter Sunday sermon, 2016

Scripture Readings: John 20:1-18

1 Corinthians 15:19-26

Rise and shine!

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

In a world in which churchgoing is no longer de rigeur, many people have very little knowledge of the meaning of even basic Christian festivals such as Easter. School assemblies, therefore, the church a chance to talk about what our festivals are really about, to young people who may well not be very aware of their meaning.

On Thursday, I led an Easter Assembly for third and fourth year pupils at Inverness Royal Academy. I’d been asked to do so at the last minute- their usual chaplain was off sick- and so I elected just to tell the story of Easter, and attempt to explain why it was important to Christians. Assuming, as I always do, that the children in front of me had very little idea of Easter, beyond that it is a kind of spring festival with chocolate eggs.

One of the key things we have to try to understand in the story of Jesus’ death and crucifixion is the question, ‘How did it come to this?’ Continue reading

Holy Week and Easter 2016

Easter 2016

Click on the graphic for our Holy Week and Easter leaflet

HOLY WEEK services will be at 7pm, Monday to Wednesday at Crown Church.

There will be a Communion Service at Crown for Maundy Thursday, service at 7pm, with a meal starting at 6.15pm, at Crown Church, to which everyone is welcome.

We will host an ecumenical Good Friday service at 7pm at St Stephen’s. This will be a meditative service, featuring music from our choir.

EASTER SUNDAY service at St Stephen’s starting in the garden, 10am. Old High service at 11.15am.

CAMERON HOUSE EASTER PRAISE Join us on Easter Sunday at 3pm for worship with the residents of Cameron House, led by Peter, who is the chaplain to the home. All welcome.

Sunday Bulletin 20 March 2016

WORSHIP THIS WEEK
Holy Week
Services at Crown Church, Monday to Thursday, 7pm
Good Friday at St Stephen’s 7pm
Sunday 27 March: Easter Day
10am: Morning Worship at St Stephen’s (beginning in the garden)
11.15am: Morning Worship at the Old High
SUNDAY BULLETIN please send items to invernesschurch<at>gmail.com. Deadline: Wednesday at noon. Please keep items as brief as possible, and give a contact phone number and email.
NEWS FROM OUR CONGREGATION
For further information and contact details : invernesschurch<at>gmail.com (replace <at> with @)
HOLY WEEK services will be at 7pm, Monday to Wednesday at Crown Church. There will be a Communion Service at Crown for Maundy Thursday, service at 7pm, with a meal starting at 6.15pm to which everyone is welcome. We will host a Good Friday service at 7pm at St Stephen’s. This will be a meditative service, featuring music from our choir.
CAMERON HOUSE EASTER PRAISE Join us on Easter Sunday at 3.30pm for worship with the residents of Cameron House, led by Peter, who is the chaplain to the home. All welcome.
LENT GROUP The next gathering of the Lent Discussion group will be this evening in the Choir of St Stephen’s Church from 7.30 till 8.30pm. Brian McLaren’s book entitled “We make the road by walking” is proving thought-provoking but is also giving us inspiration for quiet reflective time together. “We may not have walked the road that far yet, but that is God’s intent for us”. Each week there is a new focus to explore together, so even if you can’t attend every week, please do join us when you’re able. More details from Andrew Stevenson stevenson.ata<at>btinternet.com
DOOR WELCOMING DUTY At both St Stephen’s and the Old High we need new volunteers to help welcome people to church. This is a great help in the church and a good way to meet more people. If you or someone you know would be willing to do this for a few Sundays a year it would be greatly appreciated. As well as greeting people, some of our welcomers help with serving tea and counting the offering; but you don’t have to do these things. Contact at St Stephen’s: Deborah Macrae dmmacrae<at>uwclub.net; Old High: Margaret Sutherland margaretsutherland23<at>talktalk.net. ‘Whoever welcomes you welcomes me’ Matthew 10.40.
MEET & EAT! On Thursday 24 March at 12.30pm at the Craigmonie Hotel, there will be a gathering for lunch and chat. This is for anyone who would enjoy meeting with members and friends to enjoy a 2 course lunch with coffee or tea. The lunch costs £7.50 and there is no charge for the chat! Please try to join us as this is always a pleasant social occasion. Transport available. To book your meal, please contact Val val.cantlay<at>btinternet.com
WORD FOR TODAY The new copies of daily bible readings for Feb – April, are available in the churches for collection.
CROSSREACH latest newsletter and prayer diary (Feb – Mar) are available at church doors. Rae Swan.
OHSS CHURCH MAGAZINES are available for distributors TODAY.
ST STEPHEN’S CHOIR CONCERT The recent concert of the St Stephen’s Church and Community Choirs together with pupils from the Inverness Royal Academy raised over £1350. A big thank you to all who came along and supported us. Katharina Nimmo.
CONGREGATION’S ANNUAL MEETING will take place on Sunday 17 April at a Congregational Service at the Old High, beginning at 11.15am.
OTHER NEWS
BLYTHSWOOD CARE Trek to Machu Picchu, Peru from 6- 15 October 2017. Have yourself an amazing experience as you trek to the breath-taking Machu Picchu, Peru. Boasting spectacular scenery, your trip will bring a real insight into how the Andean people live and give you a magical and life changing adventure whilst raising money for Blythswood Care. Details from www.blythswood.org or adrienne.dempster<at>blythswood.org