Message from our MinisterAugust 31, 2015
Dear Friends, We seem to be living in a world which is getting darker and darker as the tide of secularism rises. Church is being considered irrelevant, the Bible being thought of as fairy stories, the life and death of Jesus Christ ridiculed as are those who profess faith in Him. Indeed, in some countries, those who confess Jesus as lord are persecuted and murdered. Church numbers are falling and the Church of Scotland nationally could be seen as pulling itself apart. For the church and faith, according to this dark world, there is no hope. And if the world was right then we should just give up now and be done with it.
But the world does not see our God as we can see our God. People rejected Jesus 2000 years ago and reject Him still today. The commandments we are called to follow are to love God and to love our neighbours whilst the world’s commandment is to love “me, myself and I”: an inward looking self-justifying way of living. We are called to not conform to the patterns of this world but to be transformed through being renewed by God (Romans 12).
We have a Living Hope which calls us to a way of Holy Living, being Living Stones through the life, death, resurrection and ascension of our Lord Jesus Christ. We have been ransomed by the precious blood of Jesus (1 Peter chapters 1&2), by and in God’s Grace we have been set apart, redeemed for His ways and not the world’s ways. In His Grace, we live as Christians building Christian family and community.
What does that mean in practical terms for us, called to be church here at Max West?
A vision for the future:
- We wish to call a minister who can combine modern vision with the ability to communicate with and enthuse young and old, members and non-members alike.
- We seek a minister who will provide compassionate care alongside enthusiastic outreach, making the church work for everyone in the community, all ages and interests.
- Maxwelltown West has a strong, committed church membership which is open to change.
- To move confidently into the future.
- To continue to work closely with neighbouring churches of all denominations.
- To continue to be open to new forms and styles of worship.
- To encourage an active involvement in the life of the Church.
- To involve the local community more closely.
The vision and challenges are part of the Parish Profile and what I responded to and felt called to. They do not speak of staying the same, doing what we’ve always done or continuing as we’ve been. Rather, they speak of change, of moving together to build Christians, Christian family and community in order to serve God in this parish and this town. I’m happy to move forward with this but I can’t and won’t do it on my own. We are a family of God and to build that Christian family, we can enjoy the social events organised by the Social Group, such as the Ceilidh on 5th September. I’m looking to develop Fellowship dinners with guest speakers and a Men’s Fellowship. The tea and coffee after the services is an important way of building family and fellowship as well.
We are a family of God and to build that Christian family, there will be a Bible Study beginning in September as well as prayer meetings and regular prayer points for us all to pray about: everyone can pray.
We are a family of God and to build that Christian community, we are looking to run Messy Church for families in the community. (See separate article.) But we also need to look at ways of developing Children’s ministry apart from Messy Church, including the children and young people who are part of the Scouts and Guides at Max West.
We are a family of God and to build that Christian community we need to be out there in the parish and working with other churches and Dumfries Christian Network.
We are a family of God and to build that Christian family, we look at different ways of worship: the Praise Group, Hymn for the Month, different structures of prayer, utilising and developing the audio-visual capacity. There does have to be a balance and although worship isn’t the same as it was, I don’t intend to make huge changes to the order of service on a Sunday at 11am.
All this and celebrating the worship of God in this place for 150 years!
There is a Living Hope which calls us to a way of Holy Living as Living stones as a Christian community in the community.
With every blessing,
Your minister, Dave.