Weekly Update - 19th June
Dear sisters and brothers
“I thank my God every time I remember you.” So writes Paul at the beginning of his letter to the church in Philippi. I want to begin this week’s letter by saying the same thing to you: I thank God for you – the people of Stockethill Church.
One of the more heartening aspects of our present situation has been the emphasis on saying thank-you. Although the Thursday evening clap for the NHS and others on the frontline has now come to an end, the sentiment behind it remains. In many windows across the country people have put up posters that say, “thank you”. I’ve found myself making sure that I give a purposeful, and not simply a polite, “thank you” to the posties, the shop workers, the delivery drivers, or who-ever else I come across. And Sarah and I have been greatly encouraged by the number of cards and messages of thanks that we have received from people over these last few months.
In 1 Thessalonians 5:12 Paul urges the church to “acknowledge those who work hard amongst you, care for you and help you live the Christian life”. There are many people in our church who I would like to thank. It is always dangerous making a list as one inevitably misses people out, but the elders of the Church have been working very hard and having to wrestle with difficult issues and decisions throughout the lock-down period. I want to ask you to join me in thanking them and praying for them. Others in the church have been on the phone, doing shopping, helping with the online activities and services, making sure people are kept in touch by letter and internet, and doing a whole host of other jobs. I want to ask you to join me in thanking them and praying for them. A tremendous number of people have taken it upon themselves to offer help and support, to encourage and bless, and to do what they can, often anonymously, to lift the spirits of others. I want to ask you to join me in thanking them and praying for them.
Who do you want to say thank you to? I encourage you not to be slow in saying it. And I encourage you not to be slow in giving thanks to God. My last quote also comes from 1 Thessalonians 5 where Paul writes “Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” Giving thanks is a blessing on others, it lifts your spirit and it draws you close to God.
As always I have included the events taking place in the church this week along with the daily Bible readings. Please note that, because Sarah and I are taking a few days off this week, there will be no Thursday evening Bible Study. However, a weekly prayer meeting for the church and it’s ministry, as well as for those in need, will begin this Wednesday at 4pm on Zoom. With Sarah and I being off, please contact Fiona Douglas or one of the elders if you are in any need. Contact details are on the attached sheet.
It is a joy to be part of this church and a privilege to serve it: not least at this time. Thank you for being the wonderful family that is Stockethill Church.
With love from Sarah and myself,
Rev. Ian Aitken
52 Ashgrove Road West
Tel. 01224 686929