For the last 9 months or so I’ve been privileged to have a Communications Assistant at Gartcosh Church, employed for just a few hours a week, but making a massive difference in terms of helping with admin, organising the office and also with this blog, with the church social media presence on Facebook and Twitter, and with the ongoing saga of our new church website…
The practical help has been massive, enabling the preparation and printing of weekly service sheets for the church service, the quarterly newsletter and so much more – but in fact beyond that has been the sense of having a colleague. After training as a student and probationer, almost always working alongside an experienced minister, being ordained is different. Usually (in the Church of Scotland at least) the minister is the sole paid person around the church – with the exception of the Organist, and Cleaner or Church Officer, of course! Everyone else tends to be volunteers – who give so much of their time and talents to serving the church, whether they are Session Clerks, Clerks to the Board, Bible Readers, Sound Desk operators, Property Team members, Social Committee people, or whoever. It does mean that ministers can be reluctant to ask for any additional time or tasks to be done by those who do so much.
To have someone with me at a regular time in the office has imposed (a little) discipline on my sometimes chaotic life and work patterns! It’s also meant that my work time has been a little more sociable – a reminder of my days working in open plan offices with many colleagues!
It’s an open question whether the church (or churches) employ someone to fill this role again – this will be decided over the summer. But meantime it feels a bit sad, especially because it’s been factors outside their control that have meant my two Communications Assistants have had to move on.
So thank you, James, for establishing the role, and Lily, for continuing and developing it. I trust that God is leading and guiding you in this move, that he has exciting plans for you in the future, as I trust and pray he leads and guides each of us, into new things. Meantime we have to accept that situations have to change in order for new life and growth to appear.
24 Very truly I tell you, unless a grain of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains only a single seed. But if it dies, it produces many seeds. (John 12:24 NIV)
We are privileged to have some guest preachers in the next couple of weeks: Rhona Cathcart, who is in training for the ministry, on 5th July, and local representatives of Gideons International on the 12th July. Come and join us if you can: 10.15am at Gartcosh, or 11.45am at Glenboig.