This is more or less what I tried to say at yesterday's Stated Annual Meeting of the congregation.
"We live in interesting times. Demanding, challenging, exciting times and a lot has been asked of people in this little church community. A lot is being asked too!
New membership of the Parish Grouping; offering hospitality to the vulnerable; coming to terms with an altered Presbytery plan; negotiating a new future. Facing the physical reality of works commencing in the church and ancillary rooms – not to mention a change of ownership for the building. Much is changing and much is asked of us. I can only state, as clearly as I can, that I value and appreciate the continued resilience of Lansdowne's people.
It is fair to say that change is coming not only to us but to many in the Church of Scotland, nationally and across the Presbytery of Glasgow, where churches, and ministries will be changing. That is how it is and how it will be for some time. We really do live in interesting times.
Perhaps these circumstances are an invitation to ask basic questions? What is church? What is a parish minister for? What is God doing here and now? Is Christianity credible to people? Or, to put that in other words, is the church, as it is now, a credible communicator of the Christian way?
With these and other thoughts at the back of our minds - there are always everyday things to be done. And as ever I am indebted to the people who organise, maintain, turn up, set up, take down and sweep up, who balance unbalanceable books, ... amongst the big things, these little ones matter!"
March 18th 2013