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- Call of God
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The Bulletin

June 2007



This year the outing will be going to Fochabers on Thursday 7 June. Same arrangements apply as in previous years. All church senior citizens are invited.




The hymns sung during the summer will be from CH4.
Tea and Coffee served after all summer services.
Through the summer there are no evening services.




Those placing flowers in the church on a Sunday, should contact the Manse (841229) failing which Betty Forrester (841205) to arrange access if they wish to place their flowers prior to the Sunday morning.





The Guild would like to say a big thank you to all those who took part in the sponsored Walk on 29 April in aid of the Senior Citizens' Outing and Guild Funds and also those who sponsored them.




26 AUGUST. Copy for inclusion to be handed in by 11 August.




We can only be talking about Bessie Sandison whose latest personal fundraiser benefiting ChildLine and Cruden Church was to abseil off the Forth Rail Bridge and into the national newspapers! Bessie has already donated £750 to the Church after this feat and we congratulate her and thank all who supported her effort. Not bad for someone in their mid 80's.

Photographs of Bessie in mid air are now in the Old Church welcome area!

[Read what the Daily Record wreote about Bessie]




Dear Friends

Church Officer Appointment

I am delighted to inform the congregation that at its April meeting the Kirk Session were pleased to appoint Mr David Singleton as Church Officer on terms to be mutually agreed.

I had previously asked David if he would be of some assistance with regard to some of the duties when I was off on holiday in March and he had kindly agreed. When I returned, I discovered that he had enjoyed being of help and a number of people suggested to me that we make a formal appointment. Indeed, through April he continued to be helpful at the funerals we had as well as on Sunday mornings.

Since the Session meeting, I have had a chat with David who has agreed to undertake duties similar but not identical to previous church officers and he insisted that it be on a voluntary basis. He will not normally be required to perform any duties at the West Church. At the Old Church, as well as being responsible for opening and closing premises and ensuring the lighting and heating is switched on, he will keep his eye on the tidiness of the grounds. I know that David will receive your friendly support as he continues to serve the church in this way.

Returned Pilgrims

On 18 May, all 24 of us returned happily from our pilgrimage to the Holy Land. As expected, it was a wonderful experience and I was relieved that, after the initial problem of a delayed flight, everything went according to plan (apart from the inevitable few tummy upsets!) I am hoping that the next Bulletin will contain a fuller report, written by another of the pilgrims. Now I am looking forward very much to us taking a closer look at Paul's letter to the Philippians over the summer. I hope that you will want to join me on as many Sundays as possible over the next three months.

Your friend and minister

Rodger Neilson





We must lift ourselves beyond earth to discover the self and the God who sits silently within.

The only reason God wants us to confess sin is for our benefit not for his information. God must smile when we confess for God knows that knowledge is the beginning of contrition and contrition the beginning of salvation.
This world is good because it was created by a good God and therefore the delight that comes from living in the midst of this good world cannot be evil as long a one doe not neglect the needs of one's soul.
The obstacle to our discovery of self and God is not our possession of but our passion for material things.

Avarice begins with a desire for something; it ends with a desire for everything.




This summer at our morning services we will read through Paul's letter to the Philippians and discover from the Bible what the foremost of Christian apostles has to teach us about our faith.

  • June 3 Philippians 1 : 1 - 11
  • June 10 Philippians 1 : 1 - 11
  • June 17 Philippians 1 : 12 - 21
  • June 24 Philippians 1 : 21 - 30
  • July 1 Philippians 2 : 1 - 11
  • July 8 Philippians 2 : 1 - 11
  • July 15 Philippians 2 : 12 - 18
  • July 22 Philippians 2 : 19 - 30
  • July 29 Philippians 3 : 1 – 11
  • August 5 Philippians 3 : 12 - 21
  • August 12 Philippians 4 : 1 - 7
  • August 19 Philippians 4 : 8 - 13
  • August 27 Philippians 4 : 14 – 23





At the time of preparing this for the Bulletin, we have banked £2,390 which is tremendous. Thank you all who have supported, by way of the ‘House to House'; those who kindly gave their time; the Buttery Morning; being there; giving and buying raffle tickets and prizes; collecting jars/boxes/bags etc, etc. It all mounts up and is really appreciated.

On the basis that there were to be a number of our usual collectors away on the Holy Land Pilgrimage, I did have doubts, initially, if there would be enough people willing to help with the ‘House to House' collection, but, quite a few new people stood in and helped out - thank you very much.

By the start of July I will be able to give you a better idea of the final total raised in Cruden Parish; meantime, again I thank you for your support and generosity.

Mary Esson




Keeping our Church Properties up to standard is a bit like trying to maintain the Forth Rail Bridge - there is always something to do!!!
For a number of summers now, work parties have been organised for various tasks to be undertaken and the support given is always greatly appreciated.
Following our Annual Property Inspection earlier this month, various tasks which we could carry out ourselves, have been identified, and it is hoped that if sufficient volunteers are prepared to help, then we might try to tackle these in July, most likely on a Saturday morning.
I would appreciate if you have the time and are willing to help in any way, either contact myself or put your name and telephone number on the list on the board in the Old Church Welcome Area.
I look forward to hearing from you.

Robert M Esson
Property Convener
01779 812206



From our Missionary Partners

Andy, Fliss, Katy & Daniel Gaston
PO Box 718 Mzuzu Malawi Central Africa

March 2007

Dear Friends,

Community based orphan care

The plight of orphan children in Malawi really came home to me recently. I went with a group of visitors from a church in the USA to see a community run day care nursery which their church had supported. The nursery had been one of our show pieces as the local chiefs were very supportive and the local committee very enthusiastic and creative in the way that they cared for the children. It was evident that things had dropped off recently as the building itself was rather run down and the usual team had not come to prepare food for the children, even though they had food in the store room. It was obvious that the children had been waiting a while for us and one of the visitors had put a few small packets of biscuits in her bag. She offered, and it was agreed that the children would like them and indeed they scoffed them as if they had not been fed for days. What was really pathetic was the attention they paid to the discarded empty packets.

My first thought was that the children were attracted by the shiny wrapping but when the children were given the wrappings each of them solemnly and deliberately licked out the crumbs from the inside of the packet hungrily. Several of the visitors left with damp eyes and I was moved as well by the obvious mismatch between the children's need far food, care and attention and the current problems that the community were facing in responding to that need. Most of our work relies heavily on local churches and community groups mobilizing their own resources, particularly in terms of time and personnel, but as everywhere it is always a core group of highly motivated individuals who drive these things and illness, tiredness and discouragement can demotivate even the most committed. Please pray for the bands of dedicated volunteers around the Northern region, that they may continue to joyfully give of themselves in the service of orphans, widows and the sick in their midst and that we would be given wisdom and guidance as we try to encourage and empower such folk with training and technical support.

New hopes / Anti retroviral drugs (ARYs)

The HIV/AIDS situation has shifted somewhat since the advent in Malawi of drugs that can effectively prevent the development of AIDS in patients who have been infected with HIV. The national programme is one of the most successful in the Southern African region but still has a long way to go to reach the majority of those who need the drugs. We know many people, including several of our staff, who are well and able to work and provide for their families due to taking these drugs daily who would probably not have survived before the treatment was available. Many of you will remember the story of one of our staff who died in 2004 because he could not accept the stigma of being labelled HIV positive and refused to be tested in time, even though the drugs were available then. Thankfully that situation is becoming less common as there is a gradual shift away from the negative image of AIDS as a terrifying terminal illness brought on by an individual's irresponsible promiscuous behaviour towards that of a manageable chronic illness that can be controlled by regular medication and a good diet. There is still a lot of work to be done by the Government to train medical and nursing staff in rural health centres to dispense the drugs and monitor patients and thereby make the drugs much more widely available but the overall atmosphere is more hopeful than in the past.

New building project

We have started building work on our site. The programme has quite intentionally concentrated most on the work in the community but we have now had a measure of success in establishing new groups who are actively involved in tackling the impact of AIDS in their communities. Our offices at Ekwendeni have looked like a building site for years as early development work came to an abrupt halt several years ago when funding from one particular donor dried up. The complex was partially finished around 1999 but the facilities were barely adequate then and as the community work has grown are totally inadequate now. We have therefore embarked on an ambitious construction project. In faith we have started work on the first phase which will cost about £25,000 and have already found over half of that amount but need at least another £5,000 to finish the project. That will give us a 16 room hostel that we can use to provide accommodation to groups that come to our site for training. It will -also provide -a much needed means of generating some income for the programme.

New plans & activities at LISAP

It has always been easier to raise funds for community activities than capital projects and our community work is continuing to grow. We will be starting a mobile HIV testing service later this year that will provide HIV tests to remote rural communities that would otherwise face a long journey to get to the nearest testing site. Knowing one's HIV status is vital as it is the foundation for behaviour change and also the entry point for medical services. Alongside the testing we will be encouraging women to check their HIV status if they are pregnant and encouraging those who are infected with HIV to access preventive medication that can reduce the transmission of HIV to their unborn child by half. This programme (Prevention of Mother To Child Transmission - PMTCT) is provided by health facilities but the uptake in Malawi is one of the lowest in the region.

Family news

Fliss continues her voluntary work with Gap Activity Projects and is currently supervising 21 school-leavers who are working in a variety of voluntary posts around the north. She is busiest when the new "gappers" have just arrived and need orientation and visas arranged but once they have settled into their jobs things are a bit quieter with occasional problems to be addressed. The Sunday school class at Katawa is going well with between 50 and 60 three to five year olds attending every week. Katy is now in Standard 2 and enjoying having a new teacher who used to be a pilot! Daniel continues to attend the kindergarten and his confidence has grown as he is now one of the older boys. He has a fascination for frogs and lizards but will need to improve his handling skills or we will have the MSPCR down on us (Malawian Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Reptiles).

With love and best wishes,

Andy, Fliss, Katy & Daniel Gaston





to Mrs Jessie Harris, Cruden Bay who will be celebrating her 90th Birthday.
to Mr & Mrs Alex Kidd, Marindale, Hatton who will be celebrating their Golden Wedding.



to Mr & Mrs W Moir, Hatton who will be celebrating their Ruby Wedding.

to Mr & Mrs Sandy Smith, Peterhead who will be celebrating their Golden Wedding.
to Mr & Mrs J Forrester, Cruden Bay who will be celebrating their Ruby Wedding.

The minister would welcome, in writing please, any news for this feature in the Bulletin




Saturday 16 June Rothes & Pluscarden 9 am, Hatton Hall

Sunday 15 July Monymusk 11.30 am, Old Hall

Fri-Sun/Mon 17-19/20 August Badaguish Outdoor Centre

Sunday 16 September Sands of Forvie 11.30 am, Old Hall

Sunday 14 October Udny 11.30 am, Old Hall



Success consists of getting up just one more time than you fall.

Oliver Goldsmith





The rise of the game of chance and the growth of online gambling is the focus of a major feature in this month's Life and Work.

Whilst the Church of Scotland maintains its historic opposition to all gambling on both theological and pastoral grounds, of larger concern is challenging the growth of the gambling culture and attempting to minimise its impact.


Editor Lynne McNeil suggests that improved financial education and money management should be offered by High Street banks rather than simply promoting financial products.


Perthshire poet Kenneth Steven explains how he believes it is the job of writers to make readers see the world anew work He explains how he draws inspiration from the Celtic Christian world in his work.


In a rare interview, Jean Vanier, founder of the worldwide L'Arche community, says he believes the future lies in community, not competition.

"The whole question for humanity is how to help the strong and the weak to live together. It's about people coming together and each one finding their place."


The Very Rev James Simpson reflects on the Book of Ruth and the impact of kindness. "When I was at university it was clever people I admired most. Now it is kind people", he concludes.


Elizabeth McKay questions how Christians are portrayed in TV soaps and dramas. "Ministers of the Kirk are dour and unyielding while English vicars are jolly good sorts but rarely have anything to say that is worth taking seriously." she comments.


Muriel Armstrong questions the Kirk's obsession with membership and suggests a regular audit of church attendance would give a more realistic picture of church life.

And much more – letters, reviews, news from local and national church, elders page, prayer and reflection.

[Current Issue of Life & Work]



*denotes member


Miss Margaret Wisely, Cruden Bay.


*Mr William Beddie, Peterhead.

We offer a sincere apology to Mrs Ivers for printing her name as Mrs Iverson in last month's Register.




If you are not sure where to begin, perhaps we can help you start the journey! The Church of Scotland's fourteenth Enquirers' Conference is the place to be if you want to explore some of the ways in which you might offer service to God today through the Kirk. It may be that you are sensing God's call on your life in a new way, but are not yet sure what that might mean - if so, this is one way in which you can test it out a bit further.

Some people come to the Enquirers' Conference already thinking about, for example, training as a Reader, or as an ordained Minister. Others want to find out more about serving the Church overseas, or working in social care through Crossreach. It may be that you are looking for ways in which you might be better equipped for what you do in your local church - all of these and many more issues are covered in this 24- hour event.

Spaces are limited at the Enquirers' Conference - it is normally over subscribed, so you need to book early to avoid disappointment. Overnight accommodation and meals are provided on campus for the minimal cost of a £20.00 booking fee.

Friday 22nd - Saturday 23 June 2007.

West Park Conference Centre, Dundee

For further information or to register your interest please contact Margaret Johnston at the Church of Scotland offices.

Tel: 0131 225 5722 or e-mail: