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Endings and Beginnings

Once a pastor always a pastor... even when God moves you on to pastor anew.  So it is when this morning I received an email from Dibley telling me of the death of one of their folk on Christmas Day, the serious illness of another and the death of a member of D+1 on Christmas Eve.  A tough time for two little churches.  Each of these folk is/was quite elderly, none being under 80 and one well over 90, nonetheless very sad for those who have known and loved them.  My thoughts with these churches whose futures are ever more precarious.

Today at the Gathering Place something special happens as the first of the Scottish Baptist College students to plug the gap of my absence preaches.  I am excited because we have four of the sixteen Sundays covered by women (not all Baptist), and today is the first... how rare this is in a Scottish Baptist Church has to be seen to be believed.  Today a final year woman student and in a couple  of weeks a woman former student still seeking settlement (an experience I knew too well even in the relative ease of England).  We also have a black male Baptist student booked to preach... can you imagine that ever being an issue?  Alas it is for some churches up here.  I am thrilled for our black folk that they will see a black preacher in a largely white church (we have black stewards, readers and prayers).

So, some endings, some beginnings, and in it all God is active and in some weird and wonderful way so is my ministry despite everything...

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