Advent Study Groups 2019

The topic this year will be “The Theology of Christmas Carols”.

People are often critical of some Carols on the basis that they’re unbiblical:

“What a load of nonsense is written in some Christmas carols. Of course, many are excellent. But along with the gold there is a lot of dross. Take the line in ‘Away in a manger’ which asserts boldly: ‘Little Lord Jesus, no crying he makes’. Really? On what basis is that stated? It’s certainly not in the Bible. And then there is ‘We Three Kings’ – in the Bible: no kings, not three, etc.etc.” – David Barker in Christian Today

Others however take a very different view:

“It’s a kind of bland puritanism which demands literal truism at this level. Next thing we’ll be arguing is that Noah’s ark is parked in Essex, The Good Samaritan was a real bloke called Eli from Shechem and the Johannine vine still grows in an Ephesian cave.” – a post on twitter

Professor Jeremy Begbie from Duke Divinity School and the University of Cambridge, who isn’t in any sense a wooden literalist, when asked whether we should continue to sing traditional carols, said:

“Only with great care. For thousands, carols will be their only link with a church. At the same time, sentimentality is perhaps the single most dangerous feature of our Church and culture—and the sentimental air is never thicker than at Christmas. The Incarnation is messy, dirty, and resonates with the crucifixion. We need a new wave of carol writing that can gradually swill out the nonsense and catch the piercing, joy-through-pain refrains of the New Testament.”

These three sessions will try to cut through all of this and explore what we can learn from a variety of Christmas Carols. We will explore where the ideas come from: the Old or New Testament, the Creeds, Theological Doctrine or simply from the imagination of the writers.

This year there will be two parallel Groups with one session at 2pm on each of the Wednesdays 4th, 11th and 18th at James and Anna’s house in Spinningdale and a second session in the evenings at 7pm in St Andrew’s hall.

St Andrew’s Night – 30th November

St. Andrew’s Patronal Festival

Saturday 30 November

St. Andrew’s SEC, Glebe Crescent, Tain

Eucharist 6:30pm in the church

Followed by:

St. Andrew’s Supper in the church hall

St. Andrew’s quiz

Various musical and other forms of entertainment

(please note: we can arrange transport)

Reclaiming the Light

 

Lairg Christians Together held a Light Party yesterday evening in Lairg Community Centre, at which between 20 and 30 children (difficult to count them all in the dark:-), plus helpers and parents, enjoyed a splendid time.  It really was fun for everyone!!

Light Parties have been held by churches with the help of Scripture Union teaching materials. They’re focused on offering an alternative message around the time of what many people associate as Halloween.  The idea is that as a church we share the good news of Jesus with the young folk at Halloween.  It’s all about ‘Jesus the Light of the World‘.

Our Light Party was called “The Lost Sun” with bible teaching, games, crafts and, like any good party, lots of party food. A wonderful celebration of Jesus being the light in the darkness and about us being called to follow him. A really encouraging message in place of all the ghouls and monster type stuff that’s on offer in the shops at the moment.  However there were scary moments, such as when James was ‘dressed up’ as a Sun by a group of very enthusiastic young folk.

 

Beauty and The Beak – a Black Isle Odyssey

Monday 11th November

Rev. Sandy Sutherland

will be giving a presentation (slides and talk) at “Umbrella” titled

‘Beauty and The Beak–A Black Isle Odyssey’

Sandy is a retired Free Church minister and an excellent bird photographer.

“Umbrella” is a non-denominational Christian social group who meet each Monday, 10.30 – 12 O’clock at The Stag’s Head Hotel on Main Street in Golspie.

This talk is a good opportunity for anyone who has not tried “Umbrella” to come along and give it a try. They would be assured of a warm welcome.