From the Minister

It is with some trepidation that I sit down to write this ‘letter’. As a new comer I feel that I don’t know anything yet, faces whist many being ‘familiar’ still have no names to go with them, things that ‘we always do’ I have no clue about and my constant question is ‘where do I find/get/go for …’.

Home still feels ‘different’, boxes are still all over, and things like schools dentist etc still to sort. As I write I am not even an official member, and the induction is over a week away. So when it comes to writing a piece for the magazine where do I start?

Should I maybe introduce Myself and the boys Adam and Olivers? Or is that something that will happen at the induction, should I try and be inspirational, but then I haven’t yet learnt the context, should I try a theological reflection, but then would it be as good as David’s have been? See I have a lot to live up to, following in the footsteps of such a good moderator and being the first full time minister for so many years!

So is it any wonder I’m sat here looking at a blank screen and wondering what to write! I guess it is fair to say that the next few months will be a time of getting to know you, settling in and beginning to feel a way forward. Whilst its all new here for me, there are some aspects which will be new to us all too. You have a new minister, and that will take some getting used to! The Covid pandemic has taken its toll on so many things in life we used to take for granted, and so many things we used to do are different now too. Then of course some events and activities have stopped altogether. People have been changed too, some will have faced health problems themselves, some have faced loss of loved ones, some have seen jobs/careers and the way of life generally changed. So I guess that I can be assured that, as the government used to say, ‘we are all in it together’. 

Actually, that is one of the important things about being Baptists; we really are all in it together. We believe in the priesthood of all believers (we all have direct access to God and can all equally be inspired); we believe in congregational government (once we all hear from God each together we can discern what that means); and we believe that each person is called to ministry, whether ordained or lay, in Gods service. When we are received into membership, we promise to share your lives and journey of faith together, as well as watch over each other and hold each other before God.

So although I guess there are many things that will still catch me out, (are you sure no one has been appointed to bring the ministers tea to him after the service?) It is good to know that the people of the Shared Church are not only a welcoming crowd but are also in it with me, as together we seek Gods direction for this next phase of our journey together.


Rev Rick