Below are a few of the articles in our NEW YEAR 2019 edition of our Newsletter.

Click here to download a full printable version of this Newsletter.

 

Dear Friends

By the time you get this newsletter I will have served as your Minister for a whole year! A year ago (as I write this letter) my wife and I (ok - mainly my wife!!!) were busy packing up our belongings as a small but hard working team prepared the manse for our move. Time has gone quickly. We’ve been afforded a truly warm welcome – something that we sincerely appreciate.
This might be around the time that some may be starting to wonder what this new minister is actually going to do? Does he have a hidden ace up his ministerial sleeve? Some hidden agenda waiting to be sprung open?
I am reminded of what one elder in my second charge once told a visiting team from Presbytery, words to the effect that “He (i.e. me) doesn’t seem to move very quickly but somehow things happen around him!”.
Whilst I wasn’t sure exactly why he phrased it that way I would like to think that that was because I try to take time to listen, something which I have always tried not just to embody but to encourage amongst the people I have worked with.

If we listen to each other, we build deeper bonds of friendship.
If we listen to God, we grow deeper in our faith.

One of my favourite Bible passages is to be found in 1st Kings 19 where we find the prophet Elijah fearing for his very life. At the point of his greatest anxiety God asks him to stand on the mountain where He will appear to him. The heart of God’s appearance is described this way – “Then a great and powerful wind tore the mountains apart and shattered the rocks before the Lord, but the Lord was not in the wind. After the wind there was an earthquake, but the Lord was not in the earthquake. After the earthquake came a fire, but the Lord was not in the fire. And after the fire came a gentle whisper.”

Those words are enough to make me stop in my tracks for they remind me that there is plenty of noise and earthquake and wind and fire in this world, more than enough, but that God doesn’t work that way. Rather, He speaks tenderly to his people in a voice sometimes so small that we have to be very quiet to hear what He is saying. Elijah did not hear God until he allowed himself to be calmed and when he was calmed, he could hear God.

This would be my prayer for our Church in 2019 – that we would be a listening people, listening to each other and listening to God. As we do that, we might be surprised at just how much will happen in our midst.

Your friend and Minister
Robin Allison




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