A note from St Oswald’s Priest-in-Charge, The Rev Jim Geen.
Reflective thinking turns experience into insight.” John C Maxwell
This year seems to have been one of many new beginnings, no doubt in our personal lives and certainly within our faith and civic communities. I don’t think we have space to touch on national and international changes.
“What is right is not always popular…” Albert Einstein
A new beginning for the Scottish Episcopal Church, our mother church, has been the vote to allow same-sex marriage to take place in our churches by SEC priests who wish to, and are duly registered to do so. This new beginning is a time of attempting to bring new insight and awareness of what it truly means to be a church which opens its arms to be an example of Christ’s love to all people regardless of race, colour, gender or sexuality.
The vote has brought pain to some and acceptance and hope to others but we seek to be a Church where differences are respected and where those of differing views can still find a home and worship together in companionship and love. Should anyone want to discuss their concerns, feelings or seek understanding I am always available to chat.
For St Oswald’s it is a time of new beginnings as we separate from our friends in the South Ayrshire Team and seek to further our vision of being living examples of Christ’s love and compassion in Maybole and Girvan. It is a time when we seek insight, a clear understanding, of what particular gifts we can bring to share with the faith communities, who have been our friends for so long.
It is a time when we build on our vision and seek an understanding how we can play our part more effectively and joyfully in our wider communities. We have begun, and must continually build on, our vision of what it means to be a welcoming and compassionate church, for all who seek our help and support. The Church is called to be the dwelling place of God with arms wide open for His whole creation. For Maybole it is a time of new beginnings as we look to the future.
We have nearly come to the end of the celebrations that have marked Maybole 500; many people have been involved in creating a range of entertaining and educational events so we were able to celebrate our town’s history and gain insight into how change and growth, over 500 years, has made us the community we are today. Now we have to look to the next 500 years; we, the community of Maybole, are the foundation stones on which the next 500 years will be built. Together we need to look at what has been done in the last year so that it can inspire us for future projects and activities which will benefit ours and future generations.
So, a time of new beginnings, a time of change for us all. Change can be unsettling but it can also be tremendously exciting. The Maybole 500 Flower Festival to be held at St Oswald’s on the weekend of the 5th and 6th August. The same weekend is also the 170th anniversary of our founding as a congregation, the feast day of St Oswald, our patron, and the feast of the Transfiguration. A truly auspicious weekend on which to celebrate our past and look forward with courage to our future.
“When we encounter God’s love how can we fail to share that love with others?” Pope Francis
May God send the Holy Spirit to guide us and strengthen us so that we may always hold Christ before us that we may become living example of the love, joy and compassion of Christ.
With every blessing, Jim