In early January, your Kirk Session had a time of prayer which we grandly called our ‘Day of Discernment’. This was a day when we came humbly before God and acknowledged that we did not know what direction we should take his Church and we needed His guidance. It brought with it a sense of expectation – we gathered to pray expecting the Lord would be with us and would speak to us. He was and He did.
At the time, the Building Works were not yet complete and we were anticipating an end to Covid-19 restrictions. The Presbytery Consultation was, and is, taking up time and effort and it is wearing. In prayer, we saw that we should look long and hard at what we did before Covid-19. We wondered what we could we put down in order to pick up another task.
We had obtained reports on our ministries prior to the day and realised they were grouped naturally into:
- Framework Ministries (who we are as a worshipping church): Leadership, Sunday Worship, Prayer, Praise Band, Sunday Club, Homegroups, Pastoral Care.
- Outreach Ministries (what we do as a church): All Things Eco, Children and Families, Holiday Club, Youthwork, Scripture Union, Lunch Club.
The first group – we are called to do these in the best way we can. The second group – we are called only to do those things in response to a call by the Lord. Through prayer, we gave to the Lord all our struggles – we are too busy, too old, too distracted, too weak etc. We heard back that it was not our job to perform the miracles; only to provide the loaves and fishes. To do what we can with what we have.
In a truly poignant and beautiful moment, we were led to light candles and pray for ministries that were important to us, and we found we needed more candles.
We call ourselves a ‘Church Family’ not a ‘Congregation’ – so we can work as a family: looking after our elderly, learning from their wisdom, feeding off the energy of the youth, teaching them grace by example. We won’t be perfect at anything but we’ll be good at what the Lord calls us to do. So we ask everyone to keep praying. Maybe you can’t run an SU Group on your own … but perhaps you can help to welcome people to church?
Your Session does not have the answers, but we know a God – THE GOD – who does. We are still working on what this looks like for us all, but we have so much more peace and encouragement about it. If God asks … then go and do it.
Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying, “Whom shall I send? And who will go for us?” And I said, “Here am I. Send me!” (Isaiah 6:8)
[from Alison Franks]