It is with a heavy heart that I am writing my final monthly reflection as pastor of West Baptist Church. Since you have invited us into your lives we have formed deep bonds with the church family, and are thankful for all the memories that we will cherish forever. It seems like only yesterday that I started at the church as an interim student pastor whilst I was studying at the Scottish Baptist college. We have been on an exciting journey together, by the grace of God, through a period of transformation as well as unprecedented global events. It has been an invaluable time for me as I have found my feet in church ministry and gained a better understanding of how that ministry might look. I thank you for your encouragement, patience, support and most importantly prayers during this foundational period.
Over the last few months, I felt it was important that I finish with the Good News of Jesus Christ, upon which we gather. We are family in Christ, and we can always rely on his unfailing presence:
You are citizens along with all of God’s holy people. You are members of God’s family. Together, we are his house, built on the foundation of the apostles and the prophets. And the cornerstone is Christ Jesus himself. We are carefully joined together in him, becoming a holy temple for the Lord. (Ephesians 2:19-22)
It is through the Holy Spirit and with God’s help that we have achieved so many things in such a short period of time, and I am confident that God has a plan for the coming years which hold so much potential. I am excited to see what God’s plans are for Dunfermline and I pray that you will continue to be a community of faith with clear vision and a deep trust in God’s grace, as well as a humble willingness to risk and change for the sake of your mission. Most importantly, I pray that you will continue to support and encourage one another, building one another up in your gifts (1 Thessalonians 5:11), not neglecting meeting together but encouraging one another (Hebrews 10:24-25).
Rachel, Ethan, Isla and I have been truly blessed during our time at West. Thank you for encouragement as we have grown together during times of joy and hardship. We will always have a soft spot in our hearts for West Baptist. I’d like to close with Paul’s prayer, which was originally written for the Philippians but is still very relevant today.
I thank my God every time I remember you, constantly praying with joy in every one of my prayers for all of you, because of your sharing in the gospel from the first day until now. I am confident of this, that the one who began a good work among you will bring it to completion by the day of Jesus Christ. It is right for me to think this way about all of you, because you hold me in your heart, for all of you share in God’s grace with me.
For God is my witness, how I long for all of you with the compassion of Christ Jesus. And this is my prayer, that your love may overflow more and more with knowledge and full insight to help you to determine what is best, so that on the day of Christ you may be pure and blameless, having produced the harvest of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ for the glory and praise of God. (Philippians 1:3-11) Amen
Dunfermline West Baptist Church
Chalmers Street, Dunfermline