Dear family in Christ,
I write this to you on the beginning of the week of Terry and my nuptials amidst preparations for Sunday’s service and getting our home ready for overseas travellers, and in the euphoria of the wonderful service we experienced at St. Paul’s Roslin on Sunday past. As I drove home from that wonderful event, and the hospitality so generously given, three services, 3 sermons and much talking and listening, I felt overwhelmed with gratitude for the generous and loving way in which so many of you entered into the spirit of the day and responded to the invitation to join with and meet our extended family and to worship and be a blessing to others.
There was a sense of joy as people gathered in a spirit filled and relaxed way, bearing testimony to the message of the ascension gospel and to the anticipation of the day of Pentecost.
We have travelled a thoughtful and disciplined journey over these last few years and have learnt to be patient and to wait in hope and faith for the way ahead and the future God has for us. But importantly, we have diligently and lovingly lived the gospel and the kingdom in the here and now as Jesus invites us too. That unconditional love which excludes no one and opens the path of salvation for all people. Sunday was a clear and true example of that, and my gratitude comes from these moments, which I see and witness over and over.
I would never have imagined even 6 years ago, that supported and surrounded by such love, that I would have the opportunity to approach God’s Altar with the one I love with the blessing of the church, but that each of you make this possible and therefore extend the possibilities and boundaries of God’s Kingdom. Surely, this is what Jesus talked about as he blessed his disciples and invited them to go out into all the world and make disciples.
The risk of ministry doesn’t always sit comfortably with people, and rightly should have the sort of edge that shifts us from our complacency to be transformed more in the image of God than compliant to the ways and bigotry’s of the world. This is the difference God’s love makes and in worship we have the opportunity to give thanks.
There are many who struggle with the person they perceive they are because they do not have the supportive community or relationships to affirm their gift and truth. If they only knew about our parish, life could be very different for them. But that we can only help one person at a time and allow ourselves the grace to be helped too.So thank you. You leave me no room for doubt or even much uncertainty, but the confidence that God continues to do a good thing in you/us for the sake of the kingdom, gives me enormous comfort and confidence.
This Sunday will be an important moment for Terry, myself and the boys, and we want to share it with you as our adopted family. It is also an historic event and I am grateful that our Bishop, +Michael will be with us to lead and celebrate this moment and union.
Please continue to journey with us, together as the body of Christ in praise and worship that God’s Kingdom will continue to flourish.
God is with us
Fr. Jeff and team