A Word from Bob
It’s hard to believe but that’s almost a year that I have been with you at Mearns Kirk, and I can happily say that it has been a great time for me. Certainly organising my diary around University and Kirk has been a challenge at times but so far I haven’t missed a deadline.
As Joe has already advised I have been accepted for the probationary phase of the training and this will run from October 2015 through to November 2016. During this period I will be full time at Mearns Kirk and this will give me more opportunities to meet with the congregation and become fully involved in the many things which keep a healthy church going.
During the probationary phase I will also be working on a project which involves gatherings to discuss aspects of our faith in a little more detail than is often available on a Sunday. The first of these, sometime in the autumn, will be on the Nicene Creed. Around the Church of Scotland, from time to time, we stand and recite this statement of what our faith is all about but I hope to look into the wordings more closely to explore their full meaning, how they were formulated and their significance for the future. I hope that you are able to join me for these gatherings once we have sorted out a timetable for them.
All parts of any training programme are important but this will be my final phase before I set out to find my own parish. Thus far you have given me a lot of freedom to preach and pastor in my own way but you have also been very helpful with feedback, encouragement and constructive criticism. I would appreciate it if you continue to do this. I have learned an awful lot from you but the great thing about learning, especially in something like the ministry, is that it never ends. There are always different ways to look at things, different ways to present things, and different ways to engage with other members of the church family.
I am looking forward to entering this next part. From day one you have welcomed me as a part of your family of faith, rather than as simply a trainee, and I am grateful for that. Training can be a trying experience but at Mearns Kirk every journey to the church, every meeting at the hall, and every visit to individual members has been exciting and rewarding. When you can look forward to every encounter then training is never trying; it is always a joy.