Greetings to one and all.  I do hope you have all enjoyed a wonderful summer and that many of you have great memories of summer holidays.  Autumn is definitely upon us and already we have suffered our first storm, bringing down many trees and damage to buildings.  However, trees and hedgerows are in magnificent colour at the time of writing.

In church we have continued to reflect upon the Book of Acts and how we can be inspired to be a loving, caring, Church reaching out to those in need in our parish and beyond.  It is often overlooked that St Paul travelled well over 5,000 miles by land and sea to tell and spread the Good News of Jesus Christ.

Sadly, today that same message has been lost to so many.  So many outwith our Church do not know anything about Jesus and his love for us all.

On Sept 30th our Church was beautifully decorated for Harvest Celebration, and Guild Dedication.  My thanks to all who used their talents of floral displays and to all who contributed the flowers and gifts and helped distribute them to those unable to attend.

I wrote in my last article that this year’s General Assembly sent a clear message to the Council of Assembly, to bring back a radical plan for Renewal of the Church of Scotland.

And so, as members of the Church of Scotland we too must take our responsibility seriously.  We can all set aside a few minutes daily for PRAYER, seeking God’s guidance and His Holy Spirit to lead us to be relevant in 21st century Scotland.  We can share our faith by telling others as well as showing and sharing our faith in our Christian Love and in our deeds.

We enjoy the life God gives us.  God sent Jesus his Son to offer us life – life in all its fullness.  What a joy to know that God knows us and cares for each one of us personally.

My thanks once again to all who have welcomed me into your houses.  I feel blessed every time you share life stories with me and I feel privileged and honoured to continue to be your Locum.

The uncertainty of BREXIT looms large in our thoughts and fills column after column in our newspapers.  We daily move on towards March next year when we are scheduled to leave the European Community.  Please keep our political leaders in your prayers.

And so the year is rapidly heading towards Christmas.  Let this Christmas be a time of joy and love to all.  But let us ALL put CHRIST first this CHRISTmas.  Let us keep Christmas holy and not a commercial, meaningless time of jingly bells and tills.  Let the baby in the manger speak to us all through the voices of the Angels, the Shepherds and the Wise Men.  Let us in turn come together and worship God with thanks for His supreme gift of His only Son Jesus Christ.  As ever, Laurieknowe School will be holding their Christmas Service in our Church on 21st December.  Elsewhere you will find details of our own services including Christmas Eve and Day to which everyone is very welcome.

Come, now is the time to worship

Come, now is the time to give your heart

Come, just as you are to worship

Come, just as you are before your God, come.

These are the words of the wonderful rousing hymn of that name written by Brian Doerksen.  So, come, just as you are, and join with the happy throng on 2nd December to remember and celebrate Our Lord Jesus Christ through the Sacrament of Holy Communion.

Come just as you are and join us in our beloved Church as we celebrate God’s greatest gift to humankind – Baby Jesus born in the lowly stable at Bethlehem.

Wishing you and your families, a Very Happy, Joyful Christmas, and may 2019 bring you all good health and good cheer and be all that you wish it to be.

God’s blessings be with you all,

Your Brother in Christ, David Matheson