As we enter Advent we begin anew. Our weekly cycle of readings returns to the beginning focusing on the gospel as recorded by Matthew in the coming year. Beginning anew is something of a theme for the circuit at the present. We are delighted that a new half time Presbyter, Revd Nik* Wooller, has been matched and will be stationed (by, and subject to, conference) to the Circuit beginning in September 2017. Nik will work alongside myself across the circuit and have oversight for Blairgowrie for whom it will be a new beginning.
Perth church are currently engaged in building work developing a new worship and community space. In this new beginning we ask how will we use this space in our worship and mission? Nik will have shared oversight with myself in Perth as we explore these questions.
In Montrose we are asking what now Lord, where are you leading? In Arbroath, St Johns are looking to develop the heritage of our building and how that can be handed on for the benefit of the whole community. In Dundee there is a new beginning with a clothes bank; a particular focus on supporting those who need clothing for formal occasions such as funerals and interviews. We are also beginning to work out how we can upgrade the building.
The other half of Nik’s time will be spent working across the District supporting the Methodist Church in Scotland to connect with ‘Churchless Christians’ which will help us all explore new ways of being church and asking questions about our current practices.
Thank you for your vision and willingness across the circuit to explore and question and trust. These are exciting times but like the excitement of Christmas we are also aware that not all new beginnings are desired or welcome. New beginnings can be painful and difficult. Whether longed for or dreaded, making room for the new beginning is at the heart of Christmas. In all our beginnings, we have in our hearts the beginning of the gospel: In the beginning was the Word… and the Word became flesh. This undeserved act of faith of God in humankind draws us all onwards to reciprocate and be generous anew with our love.
*Nik Wooller is spelt N-i-k; Nick Baker is spelt N-i-c-k. Now we have that sorted there won’t be any confusion will there?!?