Weekly Update - 23rd April
Dear sisters and brothers,
It was exactly a year ago that I began writing these weekly letters, making this the 52nd that I have written. Had you told me a year ago that I would begin each week by writing a letter to the congregation, I don’t think I would have believed you. But, as in so many other ways, I have fallen into a new pattern of work and have become very used to it. Indeed, I quite enjoy the discipline of trying to be encouraging, informative and brief! Whether I succeed or not, I will let you decide.
One thing we have learnt over the last year is how quickly we can get used to the ‘way things are’ – even when we don’t particularly like them. This can, of course, be both a good and a bad thing. On the one hand, our ability to both adapt to the world we find ourselves in and to make the best of the situation allows us to not only survive, but perhaps even to thrive in difficult times. On the other hand, there is a danger that we accept things the way they are or put up with a situation that we shouldn’t have to. That can be true not only of the world we find ourselves in, but of the way that we find ourselves in the world. We can very often be guilty of saying things such as, “this is just the way I am and there’s nothing I can do about it”. Acceptance of who we are is very important, but we are also called to become the people God made us to be.
In my first letter a year ago, I wrote about the new things that we were introducing to worship and to support each other. One year on, these new ways have become very familiar. However, as the restrictions ease we are not content to stick to them but are trying more new things, such as our afternoon services in the Community Centre. As we do so, our aim is not simply to get back to how things were before, but to ask what is needed for now and for the future. Perhaps we should be regularly asking similar questions of ourselves. What sort of person have I become over the last few months and years? And in the future, what sort of person does God want me to be? As someone once said: I thank God that I am not what I once was, but I also trust God that I am becoming who I will be.
As I have done for the last year, included with this letter are the notices for the coming week and the words for our online Sunday service. If you are unable to join us online or on the phone, I would encourage you to come along to the afternoon service in the Community Centre. The service in two weeks time (2 May) will be a Communion Service. As always, I would also encourage you to contact me if there is anything I can do to help or support you.
May you know the ongoing peace and presence of God and be assured that the Holy Spirit continues to work within you to transform you into the likeness of Christ, for his glory and your good.
With love from Sarah and myself,
Rev. Ian Aitken
52 Ashgrove Road West
Tel. 01224 686929
Aberdeen: Stockethill Church of Scotland
Scottish Charity Number - SC030587