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These last few months (now that I have passed my 3rd month anniversary with you!) have been just such a journey of discovery, and a fascinating and enjoyable one at that. There is much still for me to learn and almost every other day I find myself asking someone somewhere who is responsible for sorting out various things, or what normally happens at different events. So far, I have been able to find answers to most things and truly delighted that the answer does not always come back – “The Minister sorts that out!”
That, it seems to me, is becoming one of my favourite discoveries about Chalmers Church – the high level of participation amongst members and office bearers. As we discovered at our recent Annual Business Meeting our Church is in good hands. You, the people of Chalmers Church, have responded warmly and generously to all that has been expected of you in what have been a challenging couple of years. For that you have my respect, admiration and sincere thanks.
Our journey together may only just be starting, and it is right that we should spend time simply settling in. But we must also be aware of the future too. This is why the Kirk Session have already agreed to an Elders’ day in the Autumn to look at future priorities. That does not always mean that the route forward is always easy to determine but having clear priorities is a vital first step that we must take.
In my sermon on Pentecost Sunday, I tried to reflect upon this by referring to the way in which Jesus had asked the disciples to stay in Jerusalem until God should send his Holy Spirit into their midst. Jesus did not, I pointed out, seek to set up a production line of religious activity. Taking time to take things in, to ponder and to question are all vital too.
Times were uncertain at first for those first followers of Jesus, no less than they are for the Church of the 21st Century. But, at the same time, uncertainty is not the last word here for there is assurance in the midst of uncertainty.
Simply put – God never leaves us. We might err and stray, but God never does. And that is Good News!
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