BLAIRGOWRIE EVANGELICAL CHURCH
Pastor Derek Johnston opened the Harvest Thanksgiving service with the reading of Psalm 84.
The congregation then sang ‘Lord I Lift Your Name On High’ and ‘Come Ye Thankful People Come’.
After a time of prayer the children were set a quiz about various food items and asked which of them grow on trees.
The quiz culminated in reading the account of the Garden of Eden in Genesis 2 and thinking about the generosity of God.
The children’s song, ‘Our God Is A Great Big God’ was then sung before the story of Ahab and Elijah, in 1 Kings ch 16, vv 16 and 17-29 was read.
There was further prayer before the singing of ‘Only By Grace’.
Mr Johnston then spoke on the purpose of Harvest Thanksgiving, which is to thank God for giving us food.
He said: “However, many people are concerned regarding rising food costs.
“If we have been paying attention to what the politicians and economists have been saying over the last few months we will be very much aware that many people face difficult days ahead.
“Maybe it won’t turn out as bad as some of the predictions. We certainly pray that it won’t. But there is a lot of pessimism concerning the next 12 months.
“However, what we have to know and remember is that our God reigns.
“In the story of Ahab and Elijah we see that God has the power to give blessing and to withhold blessing.
“But just like he preserved, protected and provided for Elijah we can trust that he will also look after us.
“The Psalms tell us that ‘...no good thing does he withhold from those whose walk is blameless’.
“Through faith in Christ we can have absolute confidence he will look after us and have nothing to fear about what is ahead.”
The service closed with prayer and the singing of ‘In Christ Alone.’
A food collection was taken and given to the BaRI Food Project, based in Blairgowrie’s High Street.
Sunday’s service is in Rattray Hall and all are welcome to attend.
• See the website www.bechurch.co.uk for more information.
BLAIRGOWRIE PARISH CHURCH
Rev Benjamin Abeledo welcomed all present to the Harvest Thanksgiving service on Sunday.
His call to worship included a gathering prayer, which members of the congregation were invited to join.
This was followed by the opening hymn. ‘Come You Thankful People, Come’, a prayer of adoration and the Lord’s Prayer.
Esther Dingwall read Psalm 65 from the Old Testament prior to the congregation singing the hymn ‘Let Us With a Gladsome Mind’.
The New Testament reading was from Mark ch 4, vv 1-20 and also read by Esther.
Continuing the harvest theme, the congregation sang ‘We Plough the Fields and Scatter’.
The minister’s sermon, titled ‘Harvest in a Can,’ was based on the idea of harvest providing “food for the body and the soul”.
Mr Abeledo remembered how, earlier in his theological career, he preached at a Harvest service in Manchester where, apart from the usual gifts of corn and produce, live chickens and rabbits were also present in church.
All these are harvest products, as also are the contents of a tin of soup.
He said this provides a hearty meal and we should all be grateful to not just the farmers, here and abroad, but also for the skills and talents of those who made the tin, delivered the contents and designed the labels and cooking instructions.
The minister said that all these individuals’ skills should be appreciated and that we are all indebted to the Earth’s goodness and the gifts of industry.
Mr Abeledo continued by saying that all people’s senses, which we use to enjoy such products - smelling the aroma, tasting the items and reading the labels - are also to be valued.
The company we enjoy while savouring
such products must also be appreciated, as Rev Abeledo said that all are gifts from God.
The hymn ‘For the Beauty of the Earth’ was followed by the collection of the offering, now carried out in the pews.
The minister led a prayer of thanksgiving and intercession, in which he again encouraged the congregation to participate. The service concluded with the hymn ‘Great is Thy Faithfulness,’ followed by the benediction.
After the end of the service the congregation was invited by Rev Abeledo and session clerk Clifford Cooke to vote on whether to accept the Unitary Constitution for Blairgowrie Parish Church.
No questions were raised on this proposal and the congregation voted unanimously to proceed with the adoption of this new form of administration.
Details on its implementation will be issued over the next few months.
Organist Martha Easton again led the praise and played Dvorak’s ‘New World Symphony’ as a prelude and ‘Bringing in the Sheaves’, arranged by George Miner, and ‘Praise the Lord’ by the Lee Abbey Music Workshop as a postlude.
A beautiful flower arrangement was provided by the Taylor family.
Anyone wishing to donate towards the church flowers is asked to put a contribution inside an envelope in the offering plate.
These will be passed on to Yvonne Taylor, who will purchase and arrange the flower display.
Sunday, October 2, sees the enrolment service for the Boys’ Brigade take place in the church.
Messy Church meets on November 6 from 9.30am in the church hall prior to communion at 11am in the church.
The Remembrance Sunday service is from 10.45am on November 13.
A Book of Condolence following the recent death of Queen Elizabeth is available in the church entry vestibule and people are invited to register thoughts and memories in it.
There are plans for a church sale on October 22, with proceeds going towards the refurbishment of the audio-visual system.
Anyone wishing to assist with the planning and organisation of this event is asked to meet in the hall at 7pm on Thursday, September 29.
The Social Club meets on Tuesday afternoons and Wednesday evenings in the hall for badminton and on Friday mornings for carpet bowls.
During Rev Abeledo’s holiday leave, pastoral duties will be carried out by Rev Brian Dingwall.
Members of the Bible Study group are maintaining contact with each other through an email prayer letter.
Anyone wishing to join is asked to contact David Howat via david@ thehowats.net.
• See the website www. blairgowrieparishchurch.org.uk for more information.
Sunday services are from 11am at Blairgowrie’s Wellmeadow Cafe.
• See www.riversidemethodist-church. co.uk for more information.
SCOTTISH EPISCOPAL CHURCHES
Sunday services start from 9.30am in St Catharine’s in Blairgowrie, 11.15am in St Anne’s in Coupar Angus and 11.15am at St Ninian’s in Alyth.
• See the website www.abcsaints.co.uk for more information in relation to the churches’ activities.