At this time of the year it is usual to look back and to look forward. As we look back on 2009 in the Church, there have been some positives. We have increased the number of new elders bringing new energy, different experiences, and fresh perspectives to our leadership. We started a couple of new committees - not exciting in itself – but with the aim of dividing the workload, increasing involvement, and widening our range of interests.
We had a Stewardship Campaign which, apart from any financial benefits, gave the new Minister a measure of the levels of commitment in the congregation. The links between the church and Abernethy Primary School get stronger. Our youth work is developing. There were holiday clubs at the Williamson Hall., and a pilot scheme for a youth club. Perhaps the highlight of our youth work was the ‘teen-nativity’ on Christmas Eve, written and directed by Rory Learmonth. The Sunday School, now Sunday Club to emphasise friendship and fun, thrives with a good programme linking it to the church service.
It has not been all plain sailing in this year of hard thinking and hard work. Mistakes were made and some things could have been done better. There is however a well known proverb about the man who never made a mistake! This year I intend that we consolidate on our progress and learn from our lessons. There are no prizes in the church for finding fault or pointing out mistakes – that is too easy. The prizes go to those who figure out solutions, get things done, and move things forward.
We do have plans. We will soon establish a regularly meeting youth club for Secondary School ages. There will be holiday clubs in the Williamson Hall for Primaries (w/b 26/7/10) and Secondaries (the date is being negotiated). We will again have Back to Church Sunday, to invite folk to church (simples) In the meantime our committees are making constructive plans – church committees no longer have the luxury of just being talking shops.
The elders have a continuing discussion about the church and the village. My simple aim is to bring the two closer together, and this involves listening to the people of the village. This is an important discussion because a ‘parish church’ is an old term, originally about the 12th century and reformed in the 16th century for a community church, or here a church for the village, not just situated in the village. This continuing discussion is itself more important than any specific plans or projects set.
Despite my mainly affable manner, I am fully committed to helping the church in Abernethy and Dron and Arngask to be a forward thinking, community-engaged, rural church for the 21st century. I only ask others to help.
Rev. Alec Wark