Weekly Update - 8th September

Dear sisters and brothers
As this is first week of the month, I have some thoughts to share below but I first wanted to draw your attention to one or two things going on in the church.  Attached, as always, are the words and notices for Sunday which list various different activities in the congregation.
However, tomorrow (Saturday 9th) is the first meeting of a new Friendship Group who will be getting together on the second Saturday of each month at 11am.  Tomorrow they are meeting in the Seaton Park carpark and going for a wee walk (at the pace and distance of the slowest member). The group is being facilitated by Fran Sim but will be shaped by those who come along. For more information, contact Fran at church.
There are also two opportunities to join a small group this autumn - one watching the TV series The Chosen, and the other going through The Bible Course.  More information about these is attached, but I would really encouraged you to come along to one of them.
And now for some other thoughts.....

I attend a lot of meetings: church meetings, Presbytery meetings, community meetings and more.  If truth be told, I quite like a good meeting.  In a good meeting, things get decided and done that can make a difference.  Unfortunately, in order to be part of the good meetings, you have to attend a lot of not-quite-so-good ones. There are some meetings that go on far longer than necessary and some that seem far from necessary.  That can, of course, be frustrating.

Recently, as I was arriving with others for yet another meeting, someone explained that they would need to leave after an hour as they had somewhere else to be.  As it turned out, this particular meeting fell more on the good side of the line, and after about an hour and twenty minutes I pointed out that the person who needed to get away had better watch their time.  “Oh don’t worry,” they said, confessing “I only said I had to go so that I had an excuse to leave it I needed one.  I’ve no-where else to be!”

I don’t know whether you think that was clever of her, or perhaps a little silly, but it left me feeling somewhat let down.  Now that I know that this person is prepared to make things up to suit themselves, I find that I am a little less trustful of them, and I am sad about that.  Perhaps you think me naïve, and perhaps it is just the way of the world: everyone tells a little white lie now and again.  Well, the truth is that I try very hard not to and I think that it is not only the right thing to do, but is part of our calling as followers of Christ.

We live in a world that is frustrating, to say the least.  There are things we experience which are good and things which are not-quite-so-good.  But when we use lies, half-truths, and manipulation to try and make the world a little less frustrating for us, we may think things are more good than not-quite-so-good in the short term, but in reality we have added to the brokenness of the world.  The Bible is clear that we should not lie. But when Jesus teaches “let your Yes be Yes and your No, No”, he says that “anything beyond this comes from the evil one” (Matthew 5:37).  That is quite a thing to say!  But it reminds us that our calling as Christians is not to do our best to make the world a better place but to live according to the better world that has already come and is coming.  We live according to the values of the Kingdom of God, not because it is good for us necessarily, but because in doing so we are bearing witness to the fact that this frustrating, not-quite-so-good world is coming to an end and the good world, where God’s will is done, has already begun.   Let’s decide together to make a real difference by not giving in to the temptation of small deceits.

As we move into the autumn (although as I write it feels like the height of summer) there are a number of things that are starting up in the church, including some new groups and courses as well as our school’s work.  Information about them is included with this letter.  Please pray for all these opportunities and for those involved, and be assured that we continue to pray for you.

With love from Sarah and myself,



Rev. Ian Aitken

52 Ashgrove Road West
AB16 5EE
Tel. 01224 686929


Aberdeen: Stockethill Church of Scotland
Scottish Charity Number - SC030587


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