The Community Cafe will be open this Wednesday, 26th and the church will be open for private reflection.
This week the Men’s Group meet on Thursday 27th in the small hall when the speaker will speak on their visit to Costa Rica. EVERYONE (not just men) is very welcome to come along.
St Cuthbert’s is hosting the World Day of Prayer Service in Saltcoats on Friday 6th March at 2pm. Please do come along and learn about Zimbabwe, sing some favourite hymns, learn a new song written specially for the day and join in a celebratory ecumenical event. The service is led by lay members of all of Saltcoats churches so your support will be appreciated. Please wear bright colourful clothes if you can. We will have tea and coffee afterwards in the large hall.
The March magazine is now available for download from the Magazine page.
“We are delighted that you are joining our Lent journey to contemplate how climate change impacts our sisters and brothers around the world – and take action together to stop the climate crisis. Through Lent themes of awareness, repentance, forgiveness, reconciliation, transformation and blessing, you will meet people who are pushed to the brink of survival by climate change. Each daily action will help you give, act and pray, so together we can fight for a greener future.
Next week, if you can, wear something green (if you have no green clothes or scarves, bring a leaf?).
Today’s readings continued in Acts, Chapter 5: 12-42. Yet again, the apostles were thrown into jail. It wasn’t an easy time to be a follower of Jesus, and could even be dangerous. On this occasion, an angel intervened and released them during the night. The disciples were instructed to stop preaching but they bravely continued to share the story. The first Christian evangelists and missionaries.
We struggle today with our individual responsibilities to draw people into the love of Christ and become closer to God but somehow we need to open our hearts and rise to the challenge of sharing our faith and the Gospel story.
During the children’s address, the minister asked whether she could peek into people’s purses (a few said yes and some of the children counted the cash). This activity linked to generosity and how much people would give in relation to what they have. “All that she had, she gave” (see Luke 21: 1-4).
The readings from the Bible were taken from Acts 4: 32-37 and Acts 5: 1-11. The first told of the new Christian community sharing their belongings to ensure that no-one was in need. This is our first introduction to Barnabas “The Encourager” when he brought the proceeds from the sale of one of his fields for the community’s use. As Barnabas’s story continues in Acts, he is shown to have a generosity of spirit which is a good example for the church community today.
The second told of a couple, Ananias and his wife Sapphira, who also sold a field but only donated a portion of the proceeds although gave the impression it was the whole amount. Peter knew about the deception and challenged the man who denied that there was more money available. He was called out but collapsed and died. His wife came to the gathering a few hours later, unaware of the preceding events, but she too denied that they had withheld any of the price. When her deception was caught, she also collapsed and died.
This outcome would have shocked the others; was this a judgement from God? The thrust of this passage reminds us that we need to be true to our words before God.
Storm Ciara understandably discouraged some from coming this morning with high winds battering most of the country so our theme ‘Be Bold, Be Strong’ seemed appropriate.
The Men’s Group are meeting on Thursday (13th) this week at 7pm to see whether a change of day makes it easier for people. All are very welcome.
Reminder to all Board & Session that there will be a review of our Local Church Review document on Tuesday 18th February from 7pm. All are encouraged to come and contribute.
For any trustees (Board & Session) who are unable to access the Church of Scotland Data Protection podcast (required viewing), are invited to the manse on either 25th or 28th February. Please let the minister know if you are planning to attend (tea/coffee/biscuits will be provided). Any trustee who hasn’t received an email from Sarah in the last few days about Data Protection, please check your Junk/Spam folders.
BE BOLD, BE STRONG
This morning’s reading was from Acts Chapter 4: 1-31 and continued from last week’s healing miracle. While Peter and John were still addressing the crowds, they were arrested for performing an act of healing and attributing it to Jesus Christ. They spent the night in jail and were brought before the Sanhedrin (the Jewish religious court) and asked to explain their actions. While Peter had previously been cowardly and denied his relationship with Jesus, this time he was bold in his reply adding personal conviction to his testimony. Initially they were released but forbidden to continue preaching but they refused. They returned to the crowds and together they prayed for guidance. “After they prayed, the place where they were meeting was shaken. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and spoke the word of God boldly.”
We wondered whether we would be as strong in proclaiming our faith or whether we too are waiting for God’s spirit to come and turn our lives upside-down. We must remember that God sometimes reveals himself in quiet unassuming ways – a still small voice – and should always remain vigilant, ready and willing to respond to God’s call.
Notices: There will be a short Board meeting directly after the Sunday service on Sunday 16th February 2020 to discuss the feedback from the recent visit by the Committee on Church Art and Architecture (CARTA).
Please continue to bring in your used stamps to Nan or leave in the provided box.
The choir had chosen to sing Stuart Townend’s song “Behold the Lamb” which can be listened to HERE.
Our readings today came from Acts Chapter 3 and told the story of the first healing facilitated by the disciples Peter and John after Christ’s death and resurrection. According to the Acts narrative, there was a habitual beggar there with a congenital disability, who sought alms as people entered and left the temple. Peter says to him, “I have no gold and silver but what I do have I give you: In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, rise up and walk”. Then taking the man’s right hand, he helped the man up and immediately the man’s feet and ankles were strengthened and he was able to walk and move instead of laying there begging.