We may feel there wasn’t much to celebrate about 2021.  We started the year in our second lockdown and it all felt a bit bleak, like we’d been stuck in this particular loop before.

But I sat down this week to write a summary for our annual accounts of our achievements in the year and, frankly, I felt a lot better by the end of it.  Encouraged? Certainly. Inspired? Yes, even inspired.

Because despite all the challenges, we can be sincerely thankful for God’s faithfulness and provision as He blessed us in so many ways:

  • We ordained 4 new Elders to our Kirk Session in April.  Cat, Emma, Jacqueline and Veronique each brought their own unique skills, talents and spiritual gifts to our team and their impact to the way we lead has already been felt by our church family.
  • We have been blessed by, and are thankful to, our staff team.  George has been very busy this year with his normal preaching duties combined with the additional tasks of keeping us in touch through the weekly newsletters and the myriad other tasks a minister is called upon to do.  Our Operations Coordinator, Alison was only just appointed at the start of the year and has made significant improvements to our administration and provided much-needed support to all of us.  In July, we were delighted to welcome Kenny to our staff team, and along with Ashley, to our church family.  He quickly picked up the reins from where Philip had left off in April and has proved to be a brilliant teacher already to our young people.  Our cleaner, Moira was furloughed for some of the year, but has made up for lost time in the last quarter of the year, tirelessly battling the dust created by the building work to restore the church to its pristine condition.
  • We launched our first online Alpha course in April and were delighted and overwhelmed to have the privilege of hosting 26 guests with 11 leaders – a mighty undertaking each week between Easter and the end of May.  Many of us on the course experienced a real sense of growth in our journey with the Lord and at least 1 guest came to know the Lord as their Saviour – praise God.
  • And, significantly, with some negotiating and significant prayer, we were given the go-ahead by Edinburgh Presbytery to start the long overdue work to transform our building into a space fit for purpose for our church family and local community in the 21st century.  We started in June, and by the end of the year, we had a new kitchen, completely replaced toilet facilities, vastly improved access between our Church and halls and a new staff office.  The West Transept now provides an attractive meeting space and a new disabled toilet and hospitality point at the back of the church supports our aim to make the Sanctuary as accessible and welcoming as it can be.  
  • And that’s not to mention the work of our new Eco Group, the planning for the launch of our Toddler Group and our packed Christmas outreach programme!

I think I might need a lie down now!  Seriously, though, none of what we do at church would be possible without the commitment of our faithful church family who volunteer in so many ways to serve.  Our sincere thanks to everyone for what you have done, and for what you will do, in His name and to His glory.

[from Alison Franks]

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