Abbey Church/Bendochy Church
Due to the current government restrictions, all services at Bendochy and the Abbey Church are suspended until further notice.
See the website www.bandcachurch.org.uk for the daily reflections and for details of when services will be resumed.
As a result of the most recent Covid-19 restrictions announced by the Scottish Government, Cargill/Burrelton Church is closed to the public until further notice.
Blairgowrie Parish Church
Following Rev Benjamin Abeledo’s welcome to members of Blairgowrie Parish Church ahead of Sunday’s online service, he said his call to worship was from the Book of Isaiah and was titled ‘Give Thanks to the Lord and Praise His Name. Tell the Whole World What He has Done’.
The recorded hymn ‘Immortal Invisible, God Only Wise’, was then sung and thereafter prayers were said.
The scripture from Joshua ch 1, vv 1-9, was read by Clifford Cooke and was followed by the hymn, ‘The God of Abraham’.
Commencing his sermon, titled ‘Be Strong and Courageous’, the Minster said that life is filled with many challenges of all kinds, which every one of us must face at some time or another.
He continued: “It is just the way that life is. “These challenges have a purpose. “They have a purifying way of testing the character of our lives and who we are as Christians.
“We cannot face victory until we have faced defeat. We can’t appreciate joy until we have faced heartache.
“How we face the challenges of life will determine whether we are overcome or become overcomers. Win or lose, that is what challenges often do to us.”
Mr Abeledo then spoke of how he had recently watched the Lord of the Rings films trilogy and wanted to reflect on the words: “How shall I save this quest from disaster?”
Lord of the Rings is a huge marathon adventure, fraught with numerous dangers and challenges such as power, greed and control.
Upon reflection, Rev Abeledo thought of how these words could very well have been spoken to Joshua who had a huge challenge ahead of him.
The minister explained: “The book of Joshua records the entry of the Jews into the Promised Land. It is a book of new beginnings for the people of God. Moses was dead and the people were still in the wilderness.
“Captain Joshua could be described as an ambitious man and happy when engaged in some great project.
“How often is it that God raises up this kind of person to do his work?
“God taught Joshua many things to establish the kingdom of God.
“Moses was dead after 40 years in the wilderness but the purposes of God were not. The word of God is not dependent on men or women.
“Joshua was told to take the people into the Promised Land. The Kingdom of God does not depend on people, but on God. He is the one in charge.”
Mr Abeledo said the first lesson people learn is that of sovereignty, that the success of people’s lives and the church depends on what God wishes to do.
He added: “We are only instruments that God may wish to choose.
“The second lesson is that God always keeps his promises.
“The third lesson is that we obey the law – how often do we neglect the word of God?
“If we are going to be men and women of
God and good Christians, we must be very careful to do everything that God asks us to do. His will must be followed.
“If God promises his presence, then he will be with you.”
The service concluded with the hymn ‘O For a Closer Walk with God’.
Recorded sermons can be found on the church website.
For more information, see www. blairgowrieparishchurch.org.uk.
Representatives from Kinclaven Church have said that government restrictions mean it is not advisable to have groups of people meeting in the church and there will be no services in January.
The situation will be re-assessed at the end of the month.
Riverside Methodist Church
The most recent message was delivered by Rev Nik Wooler.
Reflecting on the recent implementation of additional Covid-19 restrictions, she said: “And so from Boxing Day, we found ourselves in lockdown once again.
“There was already quite a lot of uncertainty around when and how the return to school would happen after the Christmas break, but now we know there will be online learning for weeks or months – depending on where you live – and there’s every likelihood that this period may go on for longer than we think.
“With the majority of national exams now cancelled, in England as well as Scotland, there is pressure for all pupils to perform consistently well in order for teachers to be able to estimate the highest grades.
“All but ‘non-essential’ shops are closed and many more people are back on furlough or have been made redundant.
“At church, the realities of worshipping today are still far from what we would normally expect and we have had to adapt to a new way of being together, apart.
“It now feels like we stand at a transitional point of the pandemic.
“We hear on the news the balance between how many people are testing positive for Covid-19, how many are dying, and then in the next breath how many are being vaccinated.
“Nicola Sturgeon said last week we needed to be back in lockdown to avert the threat by a newer strain of the virus before everyone can receive a vaccine.
“She said we need the vaccine to overtake the virus in ‘the race’.
“The Bible passage for this week, the story of Jesus’ baptism, is an important transitional point in Jesus’ life.
“This is the first time that we meet Jesus as an adult and it’s a moment when God spotlights him in front of the crowds and makes it known that he’s really delighted with all that Jesus is and all that he will become in the next stage of his life journey.
“Both Father and Son are aware of how difficult that journey may be in parts.
“How important is it for us to feel the affirmation of others?
“I think many of us try very hard to be liked and affirmed by others, perhaps because of our own low self-confidence.
“Do you think that God would look at you and declare that he is ‘well pleased’ with you?
“As we transition into a new year and the next stage on our – perhaps still lengthy – journey out of the pandemic, I am absolutely sure, we can trust that God continues to speak words of love and affirmation over us, both in these moments and those yet to come.”
• See www.riverside-methodist-church. co.uk.
Scottish Episcopal Churches
All services at local churches have been postponed until further notice as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.
Rev David Cameron said the situation would be reviewed at the end of the month.
Any changes to the situation will be featured in the Blairie and on the church website, www. abcsaints.co.uk.