As I write this on a very sunny Easter Monday, I find myself looking back over the past 3 months since I last penned my article for Spring Contact. I was delighted when Dumfries and Kirkcudbright Presbytery agreed to grant you permission to call your own minister.

I have been encouraged by Kirk Session and Deacons’ Court having found a new spring in their step, and indeed my prayers will be with the Nomination Committee and for God to guide you to seeking a new minster. Sadly, nationally the Church of Scotland is facing a severe shortage of ministers and indeed there are many other parishes vacant. That is why it is SO VITAL THAT EVERY MEMBER MAKES TIME TO PRAY TO GOD, to grant Maxwelltown West a new minister.

Early February, we had a lovely service followed by a soup & sandwich lunch to fundraise for The Guild chosen project -The Boys Brigade. Of course we sang the BB hymn “Will your anchor hold” and reflected on the 3 principles of the BB/Guild project; Growth in Faith, Growth in Community, Growth in Young people.

Services over the winter months have been quite well attended but of course sadly many members are now unable to come due to age and or infirmity. However there are some members who perhaps have got out of the habit of worship.  These are the words of a lovely hymn:

“Come as you are, that’s how I want you.
Come as you are, feel quite at home.
Close to my heart, loved and forgiven;
Come as you are, why stand alone?

No need to fear, love sets no limits.
No need to fear, love never ends.
Don’t run away shamed and disheartened.
Rest in my love, trust me again.”

Let me assure you of a warm friendly Maxwelltown West greeting, and Sunday by Sunday love flows amongst us all in church and after fellowship of tea, coffee or juice.

During the period of Lent, a group of us thoroughly enjoyed Bible Study every Monday evening for 6 weeks. We used the Lenten Study prepared by ‘Embrace the Middle East’ who are a Christian Organisation helping God’s people in the Middle East countries. The title was ‘Living Fruitfully’, and that led us to what I hope was a service of Easter Joy reflecting upon the Fruits of the Spirit on Easter Sunday in Church.

Once again I thank those of you whom I have been privileged to visit in hospital, nursing home or in your own homes, for welcoming me and blessing me with your life journey stories. Please do make contact with me should you wish a pastoral visit at any time, or indeed if you know of someone who does.  Let me finish with PSALM 23

The Lord is my shepherd;
I shall not want.
He makes me to lie down in green pastures;
He leads me beside the still waters.
He restores my soul;
He leads me in the paths of righteousness
For His name’s sake.

Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,
I will fear no evil;
For You are with me;
Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me.
You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies;
You anoint my head with oil;
My cup runs over.
Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me
All the days of my life;
And I will dwell in the house of the Lord Forever.

May summer be a time of joy and love and laughter as well as time to give thanks to God for his countless blessings He gives us daily.

Your Brother in Christ,   David Matheson